Introducing "Tales from The Hill"
There are stories inside every bottle of whiskey, and for the first time, Heaven Hill Distillery is sharing some of our favorites. From our early days after the end of Prohibition through today’s Bourbon boom, we're proud to be a part of American Whiskey history. Our podcast begins with the five Shapira brothers, who began as investors in a small distillery, and grew to become one of Bourbon’s leading families.
Episode 1: Caretakers of the American Spirit
The history of American Whiskey lives in every one of our barrels. From the tradition established when Elijah Craig first used charred oak barrels for Bourbon, to Evan Williams founding the first licensed distillery in Kentucky, or the preservation of historic styles with Larceny or Rittenhouse Rye...you can't discuss American Whiskey without Heaven Hill.
Episode 2: The Spirit of the Distillery
A rickhouse is a magical place; one where wood, the natural elements, and time interact to turn raw spirit into exquisitely aged whiskey. In the rickhouse, we watch over every barrel as they mature to make sure each one reaches its fullest potential. But in these great buildings, you also sense the connections across generations... bonds that have been tested in both good times and bad.
Episode 3: It Starts with the Grain
For decades, Heaven Hill distilled, matured, and bottled its whiskeys in Bardstown, Kentucky. After the 1996 fire that destroyed most of Heaven Hill's distillery, the Shapira family moved distilling to the modern Bernheim Distillery in Louisville while keeping the rest of the company's operations in Bardstown. The team that makes every drop of Heaven Hill's whiskeys explains just how grain, water, and yeast come together in the distilling process, while Master Distiller Conor O'Driscoll takes us on a tour of the Bernheim Distillery.
Episode 4: The Hands that Craft the Spirit
Consistency has always been a hallmark for Heaven Hill, from our first Bourbon distilled in 1935 to our full portfolio of award-winning American Whiskeys. In this episode, we meet the expert tasting team in Bardstown, who explain how barrel placement is key to developing flavors across our different rickhouses and locations. They invite us into the tasting lab and show how they use those different barrels to find the exact flavors they’re looking for, mingling them in the small batch process to create our signature balanced and smooth taste profiles.
Episode 5: The Experience of American Whiskey
Heaven Hill Distillery proudly offers two award-winning visitor's centers in the heart of Bourbon country. In this episode, we learn how a passion for whiskey knowledge and education evolved into the Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown. Then, we visit the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, the first-of-its-kind destination in historic Whiskey Row that paved the path for redevelopment of Bourbon tourism in downtown Louisville. Jodie Filiatreau takes us behind-the-scenes at the artisanal distillery there, which produces one barrel of whiskey per day.
Episode 6: Preserving Traditions, Pioneering the Future
In the season 1 finale, the Shapira family reflects back on some of their favorite stories from growing up in the Bourbon business. Then, we take a look into how the industry is evolving, and hear how educated enthusiasts are helping us grow and innovate the future of American Whiskey. We explore what it means to be continually expanding our rickhouse facilities to keep up with demand, and go all the way back to the seed for our pioneering "Grain to Glass" project.