The Podcast from Heaven Hill Distillery

Tales from the hill

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.


One of the most unique whiskeys in the Heaven Hill portfolio is having a moment. Whether it’s the one-of-a-kind label, the rare style of Straight Corn Whiskey, or its position as a historic 75-year-old brand, you just can’t find another whiskey like Mellow Corn. Join us for a roundtable discussion as we dive into the long (and a little weird) history of Mellow Corn. ...READ MORE


In 2020, something historic happened. Whisky Advocate named Larceny Barrel Proof (B520) “Whisky of the Year.” But this isn’t the first Heaven Hill brand or mashbill to be recognized by a major competition, so why is this win so special? It’s because Larceny Barrel Proof is the first wheated Bourbon to ever receive the title. In this episode, we are diving deep into the Larceny vault to discover the folklore of John E. Fitzgerald, details on how it’s crafted from our Master Distiller, and even inspiration on how to best enjoy Larceny Barrel Proof. ...READ MORE

EPISODE 12: The Meaning of Craft

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 11: 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 10: 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 9: 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 8: 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 7: 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 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.


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