LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, a cornerstone of Whiskey Row’s renaissance in Downtown Louisville, filled the 1,000th barrel on February 1, 2018. The artisanal distillery reaches this milestone after producing one barrel per day since production began in September 2013, compared to the 1,300 barrels produced per day at Heaven Hill Distillery’s Bernheim Facility. The multi-million dollar artisanal distillery, immersive tour experience and retail location celebrates the legacy of Evan Williams, Kentucky’s first distiller, and is the first official stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Bourbon tourism continues to grow rapidly, with more than 1.4 million visitors enjoying tourism experiences across Kentucky in 2017. As the first distillery to re-open on Whiskey Row, the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience celebrates the heritage and craft of American Whiskey distilling in Louisville.
“When the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience opened in 2013, a unique, innovative experience was created where Bourbon fans, historians, and visitors alike could enjoy our nation’s spirit,” said Heaven Hill President Max L. Shapira. “We are proud to celebrate filling 1,000 barrels at our artisanal distillery with the City of Louisville and look forward to sharing product from the first barrels when they mature.”
Evan Williams was not only a pioneer in Bourbon, but also a Trustee of the City of Louisville, wharfmaster, and built the first county clerk’s office and city jail. In honor of Williams’ heritage in Louisville and the milestone achieved by the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, the 1,000th barrel was dedicated to the City of Louisville. The unfilled barrel was displayed in the lobbies of seven downtown partners for one day each before being transported from Mayor Greg Fischer’s office to the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience to be filled. All visitors were invited to sign the barrel on the day of the filling.
“Bourbon is a unique part of both our rich history and our bright future,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Distillery experiences like Evan Williams are part of what we call Bourbonism, creating a great opportunity for our city to become an even more popular tourist destination in the years ahead. And that’s more great news for our economy.”
Marked by a five-story Evan Williams Bourbon bottle on the building façade at 528 West Main Street, the facility epitomizes Louisville ‘Bourbonism’ movement at its finest. Artisanal Distiller Jodie Filiatreau operates a fully functioning, copper pot still distillery producing one barrel per day, just as Evan Williams would have in his distillery on the Ohio River more than 200 years ago.
As Heaven Hill Distillery’s flagship Bourbon brand and the second largest selling Kentucky Bourbon in the world, the legacy of Evan Williams is brought to life through a state-of-the-art modern facility. Guests are transported through the distillation process and history of Whiskey Row when Williams himself first built his distillery. Premium tastings of Heaven Hill Distillery’s award-winning whiskeys are also included on a variety of tours offered.
Visitors can learn more about tours and tastings at www.evanwilliams.com/visit.
About Heaven Hill Distillery
Founded in Kentucky by the Shapira family in 1935, Heaven Hill Distillery continues its legacy as one of the foremost American Whiskey producers. Heaven Hill has cultivated the traditions and history of America’s Native Spirit with its fierce independence, passionate family ownership, dedication to quality, and thoughtful innovation. Today, Heaven Hill Distillery maintains over 1.3 million barrels aging in 55 warehouses throughout Nelson and Jefferson Counties. It is home to an award-winning collection of American Whiskeys including Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky and Parker’s Heritage Collection. Heaven Distillery currently holds the title of 2017 Whisky Advocate Whisky of the Year, and previously held the titles of 2016 Whisky Magazine Distillery of the Year, 2016 Whiskey Advocate American Whiskey of the Year and 2016 Rye Whiskey of the Year from “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.” For more information, please visit www.heavenhilldistillery.com.