I can only judge from the pictures, as I’ve yet to visit in person, but visually, Heaven Hill is a weird place. The distillery sits amidst more than a dozen MASSIVE, 7 story “rickhouses,” conjuring less the image of a “family run” distillery, and more the image of a Soviet apartment block, albiet with grass vs. frozen tundra between each building.
Heaven Hill is one of the world’s largest distilleries. By volume, they’re the United States’ seventh largest distillery, and the largest independent bourbon distillery. They’re based in Bardstown, near the center of Kentucky. Heaven Hill is near Jim Beam, and the two distilleries have a shared history. Heaven Hill was founded by a businessman who immediately enlisted members of the Beam family to help run the distillery.
Even if you haven’t heard of Heaven Hill, if you’re a drinker, you’ve no doubt sampled some of their brands. Henry McKenna, Bernheim Original, Rittenhouse Rye, Pikesville Rye, Elijah Craig, Mellow Corn, and Evan Williams are part of their stable. Heaven Hill used to release a 6 year old Bottled in Bond bourbon only in Kentucky. In 2019 the company started releasing a new Bottled in Bond whiskey, now aged for 7 years, and no longer at the ridiculous $12-$15 price point it used to command in KY.
Nose: rich oak, cinnamon, cigar, vanilla.
Palate: caramel molasses and bourbeny goodness, vanilla, toffee, butterscotch attack on start. Some smoky quality on the back palate. Smooth fade into caramel.
Finish: unsweetened cocoa nibs
Quick overview of our scoring system
About Heaven Hill
- Heaven Hill is home to a number of brands, including: Henry McKenna, Bernheim Original, Rittenhouse Rye, Pikesville Rye, Elijah Craig, Mellow Corn, and Evan Williams.
- Located in the middle of Kentucky in Bardstown.
- Originally started in 1935.