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Heaven Hill Distillery. Bardstown, KY © 2020
Think Wisely. Drink Wisely. ®
A rickhouse's elevation and exposure to sun, wind, and precipitation all affect how the whiskey inside will age. Open-rick warehouses are built to maximize airflow, allowing the barrels to experience bigger temperature shifts and more air circulation than other rickhouse designs, such as palletized warehouses. Heat transfers throughout the rickhouse through the process of convection, in which air moves because some parts are heavier than others. The hotter, lighter air rises to the upper floors, and the cooler, more dense air sinks to the bottom. Our crews periodically open and close windows to help with the convection effect. In the summer, windows on upper floors are often opened and you’ll feel a lot of air movement on a hot day. In winter, windows are left closed. Since our buildings are not climate controlled, we use our tasting expertise to mingle barrels from different parts of the rickhouses to create consistent taste profiles. As the air outside moves from low to high, it shifts the atmospheric pressure inside, producing airflow that circulates throughout the barrels.
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