Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., a private, American family-owned and operated distillery founded in 1935 and headquartered in Bardstown, Kentucky, that produces and markets the Heaven Hill brand of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and a variety of other distilled spirits, spans 61 picture-perfect acres with 57 rickhouses and six sites, sets the world record for being the World’s Largest Tourable Distillery, according to the WORLD RECORD ACADEMY.
“Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. is a private, American family-owned and operated distillery founded in 1935 and headquartered in Bardstown, Kentucky, that produces and markets the Heaven Hill brand of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and a variety of other distilled spirits.
Its current distillery facility, the Heaven Hill Bernheim distillery, is in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the seventh-largest alcohol supplier in the United States, the second-largest holder of bourbon whiskey inventory in the world, the largest, independent, family-owned and operated producer and marketer of distilled spirits in the United States, and the only large family-owned distillery company headquartered in Kentucky (not counting Brown-Forman Corporation, which is publicly traded but more than two-thirds family-controlled, or Sazerac Company, which is family-owned but headquartered in Louisiana).
The Heaven Hill company strongly emphasizes the history and traditions of bourbon in its public relations, highlighting its location in the historical home of bourbon-making and its status as the only such company still under local ownership. In 2004, the Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center was opened on the old distillery grounds, providing historical exhibits and guided plant tours. The company also hosts the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and several of the company’s brands are named after famous local distillers. The traditional methods used here are the same as those of the company’s first plant, the Heaven Hill Springs Distillery in Bardstown, KY, roughly 45 minutes away. The Shapira brothers, who cofounded the distillery in 1935, could not have imagined owning a distillery like Bernheim. And given the unfortunate circumstances leading to its purchase in 1999, none of them would have wanted to.