Heaven Hill unveils its $19 million Bourbon Experience in Bardstown

Just as Kentucky life is inching its way to back to (semi) normal, we have a new reason to get back out on that Kentucky Bourbon Trail for a brand new excursion: the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience. The $19 million expansion project fittingly opened on June 14, National Bourbon Day.

Heaven Hill barrel
The new Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience held its grand opening on National Bourbon Day. | Photo by Sara Havens

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony held Monday morning, Gov. Andy Beshear proclaimed it National Kentucky Bourbon Day and talked about how happy he was that we could all gather and celebrate such a thrilling occasion in the bourbon industry.

“Kentucky is fully open, and we are excited,” he said. “This new expansion is going to give people one more reason to visit Kentucky.”

Heaven Hill President Max Shapira also announced a new bourbon release — called Five Brothers — that honors his father and his four brothers, who started Heaven Hill in 1935. The 90-proof bourbon is a blend of Heaven Hill’s traditional bourbon mash bill at five different ages, ranging from 5 to 9 years old. The retail on the bottles, which were available in the gift shop, is $59.99.

After the ribbon cutting, guests were free to walk around the new facility and check out all the offerings and experiences. Here’s a rundown of some of them:

  • “You Do Bourbon” — A fill-your-own bottle station where you can rinse, dry, fill and cork your own bourbon from one of four brands.
  • 5 Brothers Bar — Located upstairs, this fancy yet comfy bar will offer cocktails and flights to guests waiting for tours, or somewhere to refuel after a tour. There’s also a nice balcony and an event space as well.
  • Brand Gallery — A huge museum-like space that provides info on all of Heaven Hill’s brands, from Elijah Craig to Larceny to its Bottled-In-Bond products and beyond.
  • 1935 Theater — An immersive video telling the history of Heaven Hill and the Shapira family. It runs every 20 minutes.

It’s important to note that $5 from every You Do Bourbon bottle filled will go to nearby neighbor Bernheim Forest to help with its new Rites of Passage program, an initiative that opens up immersive experiences in nature to young black men and women.

The You Do Bourbon experience will open officially on July 1. And the rest of the new interactive exhibits will be open tomorrow.

Here’s a look at the sights and sips of the ribbon-cutting ceremony:

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