Discover the story behind our Bernheim Distillery, the largest independent, family-owned Bourbon Distillery in the world.VIEW OUR DISTILLERY
We work with the same local farms we’ve had relationships with for decades to select our corn. The corn, malted barley, rye, and wheat are then milled and combined according to our recipe, also known as a "mashbill". These ingredients eventually become the whiskey you know and enjoy.
The milled grains are cooked in small, 35 barrel batches with Kentucky limestone water, in a specified order and at exact temperatures, to create a sweet, porridge-like “mash”. A portion of the prior day's distillate is then added to both the mash cooker and the fermenter. This helps maintain continuity of flavor that’s unique to each of our whiskeys.
Explore the styles of American Whiskey »
Our proprietary yeast strain, a family recipe that’s been passed down for seven generations and used since our founding in 1935, is added to the cooked mash, where the sugars naturally convert into alcohol. Over several days, the fermenting mash bubbles violently, creating a thick liquid called, "Distiller's Beer."
In our 70-foot-tall column stills, the Distiller's Beer drips slowly down a series of perforated copper plates while steam blasts up from the bottom. The alcohol vapors rise to the tops, where they're captured and then condensed.
At 140 Proof the alcohol vapors rise up into the head of the still where they're drawn off into an arm and then to a coil. The coil is submerged in cool water, which liquefies the alcohol again. The result is the purified, raw whiskey, also known as "white dog" or "new make"
Next up is the waiting game. The whiskey is transferred to a barrel and sealed with a "bung." We source all of our barrels from family-owned cooperages we've worked with for generations. The newly filled barrels are then placed in open-rick warehouses to naturally age. It's during the aging process, when the barrels experience the hot summers and cold winters of Kentucky, that the whiskey acquires its distinctive color, aroma and taste, imparted by the charred oak barrel.
The barrels are aged anywhere from 4 to 23+ years in our Kentucky rickhouses and then expertly combined to create the signature taste profiles of each and every brand. Each batch is created under the attention of our Distillers, who ensure quality and consistency.
Did you know that Heaven Hill Distillery is the only heritage distiller that features every major category of American Whiskey? From multiple mashbills to storied brands, from Small Batch specialties to limited-edition collections, our Master Distillers keep the American whiskey-making tradition alive for all to enjoy.
Heaven Hill Distillery offers a collection that features every major style of
American Whiskey, and is the only major American distiller that can claim that.
The requirements for Corn whiskey, distilled from a mash of at least 80% corn, are unlike any other straight whiskey. While Corn whiskeys do not have an age requirement, if aged it must be done in one of two ways: either in a used, charred oak barrel (such as those previously used for our other whiskeys), or a new oak barrel that has never been charred. Heaven Hill Distillery is the sole remaining national producer of this unique whiskey.
Heaven Hill Distillery is a proud distiller of American Whiskeys that range from
Bottled-in-Bond to Small Batch and Single Barrel. Discover your favorites.
To be labeled as Bottled-in-Bond, a whiskey must be the product of one distillery and distilled during just one distillation season, which can run from January-June or July-December. These whiskeys must be aged for at least four years, and bottled at exactly 100 Proof, for a strong, signature flavor. Additionally, the D.S.P., or Distilled Spirits Plant numbers of both the production and bottling facilities must be stated on the label.
For something that tastes so rich and complex, Bourbon is made of surprisingly
few ingredients. All of that bold, dynamic flavor comes simply from grain, yeast,
time spent in a charred oak barrel and...water. Kentucky’s famed limestone water plays a major role at every step of our
production process. It not only contributes to flavor, but
aids in fermentation and helps get the most of those humble ingredients. Learn all the ways that water contributes to creating the highest quality Bourbon:
You've heard of Evan, Elijah, and Larceny. Now discover our entire American Whiskey portfolio.LEARN MORE
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