The story of American Whiskey is as spirited as it is varied... full of history, a few tall tales, and plenty of colorful characters. In Tales from the Hill, we dive deep into the heritage of Heaven Hill Distillery and reflect on our legacy with the people who know it best. And equally important, we explore how that tradition informs what we do today to nurture American Whiskey towards a vibrant future.
So settle in, pour yourself something to sip, and discover the stories that have been Lifting America's Spirits since 1935.
There’s been a debate among whiskey lovers for the last few years over what defines a “craft” whiskey. At Heaven Hill, expertise, attention to detail, and innovation steeped in tradition combine to create quality whiskeys consistently from batch to batch…especially when you’re doing it at one of America’s largest Bourbon distilleries....READ MORE
Episode 5: Lifting Spirits, Community Connections
Whiskey brings people together, and those connections matter when times get tough and a community faces a crisis. As Kentucky and the world dealt with the impending realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, Heaven Hill lent its Bardstown bottling lines, the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, and other facilities to aid in the making and distributing of hand sanitizers. Those efforts are part of Heaven Hill’s tradition and commitment to being a good community neighbor and help Kentucky grow — both economically and in equality....READ MORE
Episode 4: Vintage Inspiration
Had it not been for Heaven Hill’s desire to preserve the heritage of American Whiskey, many of America’s historic Bourbon and whiskey brands would have faded into history years ago. The legendary Old Fitzgerald is just one of the brands given new life under Heaven Hill’s stewardship, with “Old Fitz” serving as the inspiration for the modern legacy Bourbon....READ MORE
Episode 3: Life in the Rickhouse
Eight men and women. 66 barrels full of “new make” spirit are rolled into the rickhouse in a ballet of steel-toed boots and work gloves. Before day's end, the same amount of mature Bourbon barrels will be rolled out of the warehouse and loaded up to be readied for bottling. Heaven Hill’s warehouse teams don’t just roll barrels for work - they also do it for bragging rights each year at the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival....READ MORE
Episode 2: The Handshake Barrel
In 1986, Max Shapira and Leroy McGinnis shook hands and made a deal for Bourbon barrels. Today, McGinnis Wood Products still makes barrels for Heaven Hill, and that handshake still binds the partnership. In this episode, we’ll take a closer look at what goes into making a Bourbon barrel, and why responsibly-sourced, carefully-selected American White Oak trees make excellent Bourbon barrels....READ MORE
Episode 1: Grain to Glass: Born to be Bourbon
Terroir... the element of Bourbon that reflects the environment where it is crafted. For Heaven Hill, this is where tradition meets innovation. The Grain to Glass project begins with a collaborative approach among three historic family businesses, who set out to create, farm, and distill unique mashbills that are maturing into Bourbons unlike any other....READ MORE
Introducing Tales of the Hill, Season Two
Tales from the Hill is back for season two, taking you on a Bourbon adventure which explores how the people who make Heaven Hill’s award-winning portfolio — including Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Old Fitzgerald, & Larceny— are shaping the American Whiskey experience....READ MORE
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....READ MORE
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....READ MORE
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....READ MORE
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....READ MORE
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....READ MORE
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....READ MORE
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....READ MORE
Discover Our American Whiskey
You've heard of Evan, Elijah, and Larceny. Now discover our entire American Whiskey portfolio.