At their annual awards banquet in Louisville, the Icons of Whisky Awards announced Heaven Hill as Distiller of the Year. Heaven Hill also took home top honors for all its nominations, including Sustainable Distiller of the Year, Lynn House as American Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the Year, Connor O’Driscoll as Highly Commended Master Distiller, World’s Best Small Batch Bourbon and Best Kentucky Small Batch Bourbon for Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C922. As winners and finalists for these categories, Heaven Hill will be considered for the upcoming World’s Best competition in London in late March.
The Awards are the global awards selecting the best in all the internationally recognized styles, awarding and promoting the world’s best whiskies to consumers and trade globally. In 2022 the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience won Visitor Attraction of the Year, along with Director of Kentucky Visitor Experiences Jeff Crowe winning Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year. Brand Ambassador Bernie Lubbers is also a past winner, having taken home the prize for American Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the Year three previous times.
Master Distiller Conor O’ Driscoll was recognized as Highly Commended in the Master Distiller Category. He joined Heaven Hill Distillery as Master Distiller in 2019, then became a fifteen-year veteran of Kentucky’s Bourbon industry. Conor leads the distilling and warehousing teams at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, the world’s largest independent, family-owned Bourbon distillery. Conor also oversees Heaven Hill Distillery’s portfolio of historic brands, which reflects the rich heritage and tradition of American Whiskey.
Heaven Hill was also honored with the Sustainable Distillery of the Year award. Director of Environment and Sustainability Rachel Nally and Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel Jes Pendergrass accepted this exciting award which acknowledged the already impressive strides made towards Heaven Hill’s 2030 Sustainability Goals.
These goals will be an integral part of the Heaven Hill Springs Distillery, set to open at the end of 2024. The $135 million-dollar, state-of-the-art distillery will augment Heaven Hill’s distilling capacity to meet increased global whiskey demand and marks the company’s return to distilling in Bardstown. It has been designed to create a more environmentally conscious distilled spirits industry and ensure a thriving environment for generations.
Heaven Hill Springs Distillery has been engineered to minimize water use to below industry benchmarks and reuse certain water streams. The site will use native plants and natural systems to manage stormwater runoff and improve the habitat on the property. The distillery will also include a wastewater pretreatment system to ensure that discharged water exceeds environmental standards and greatly reduces the load on the city’s treatment plant. Heaven Hill also will plan to utilize energy creation and recovery, lessening the distillery’s demand on the city’s electrical grid.