Heaven Hill

Rare and selected Heaven Hill Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Rye Whiskey

Heaven Hill is a whiskey distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky and Louisville and the family-owned company mainly produces Bourbon whiskey. Heaven Hill s best-known international brands are Elijah Craig, Evan Williams and the premium whiskeys from the Parkers Heritage Collection.
The first Heaven Hill Distillery in Kentucky was built in 1890. However, the present company was founded in 1935, immediately after the end of prohibition in the United States. The founders were five brothers from the Shapira family, whose descendants still own the company today - originally the distillery was named Old Heavenhill Springs. The Shapira brothers had no experience in the spirits business, but had a successful chain of department stores in Kentucky. First Master Distiller and responsible for the whiskey was Harry Beam from the Jim Beam family, which was succeeded by his son Joe Beam. Until now, all Master Distiller of Heaven Hill were members of the Jim Beam Clan. Heaven Hill started with two of its own brands, Heaven Hill and Bourbon Falls, but also sold whiskey to other manufacturers and resellers, including brands such as Noah s Mill, Old Bardstown, Rowan s Creek, Willett and others who could fill and sell it under their own name. At the same time, Heaven Hill bought up several whiskey brands over the decades, whose owners left the business and thus saved a number of traditional brands from disappearing.
On the 7 November 1996, the production facilities and seven of Heaven Hill s 44 warehouses in Bardstown burned down almost completely. The fire that covered the production facilities and warehouses destroyed 340,000 litres of whiskey, among other things, which was stored there. Only the yeast strain that Heaven Hill has been using since 1935 could be saved.
The whiskey burned at that time was about 2% of the world s bourbon at that time. At that time, the distillery was considered one of those distilleries that were particularly well equipped to withstand fire, as the warehouses at Heaven Hill were particularly far apart. However, strong winds made sure that the flames could jump from one warehouse to the next. As in many other distilleries, the warehouses themselves consisted of a wooden frame covered with thin metal plates. Since the warehouses are also located on a small hill and the fire broke out in a warehouse on top of the hill, burning whiskey ran down the hill to other warehouses. The burning whiskey spilled out and almost one square mile of land was inaccessible as rivers of burning whiskey blocked the entrance. The exact cause of the fire could not be clarified, because the whiskey, which burned very hot, destroyed all traces - it is assumed that the cause was a lightning strike.
After the fire, Heaven Hill was able to use the production facilities of Jim Beam and Brown-Forman s neighbouring distilleries. Instead of rebuilding the facilities, in 2000 Heaven Hill bought the Bernheim distillery from Diageo in Louisville, Kentucky, which was newly built in 1992. Heaven Hill ferments and burns in Louisville, while Bardstown continues to store and pack. Bardstown is home to the Bourbon Heritage Centre, a visitor centre, and Heaven Hill s warehouses, where 900,000 barrels make up the world s second-largest stock of Bourbon.

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