Heaven Hill Bernheim Distillery

Founded in 1935, Heaven Hill Distilleries is headquartered in the bourbon heartland in Bardstown, Kentucky. The company makes Heaven Hill straight bourbon whiskey along with a range of other spirits. The distillery currently in use by Heaven Hill is located in Louisville, Kentucky.

Heaven Hill is the largest family-owned distiller in the United States and has been in operation since shortly after the repeal of prohibition. The company has a long history of hiring the most skilled master distillers, all of which have come from the well-known Beam family.

The company makes Heaven Hill Bourbon and a number of other brands, such as the popular Evan Williams. The distillery also produces or imports gin, vodka, and other alcoholic beverages.

This award-winning distillery has a time-honored history of producing some of the highest quality straight bourbon whiskeys on the market. It is also loved for its family-owned nature that has somehow managed to stand the test of time.


Bernheim Distillery was, originally, an out-of-operation distillery that had started the business back in 1881. Located in the heart of bourbon country in Bardstown, Kentucky, this was a small, family-run distillery that eventually fell on hard times and went out of business.

Now owned by Heaven Hill Distillery, the facility was purchased after a huge fire ripped through Bardstown, Kentucky which ravaged the city and also caused the destruction of their main distillery. The rebuilding of the main facilities was also combined with the acquisition of Bernheim Distillery and later expansions of said facility.

Heaven Hill purchased the Bernheim Distillery in 1999. It has a capacity of 100,000 barrels and has recently been renovated and expanded for larger operational capacity.


Heaven Hill Distillery produces spirits from many brands, including:

  • Heaven Hill
  • Henry McKenna Single Barrel
  • Bernheim Original
  • Rittenhouse Rye
  • Larceny
  • Old Fitzgerald
  • Parker’s Heritage Collection
  • Pikesville Rye
  • Elijah Craig
  • Evan Williams
  • Mellow Corn

Let’s take a closer look at a few of their most popular brands: Heaven Hill, Elijah Craig, and Evan Williams.

Heaven Hill

The namesake Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey has long been a favorite among bourbon drinkers around the country but is especially popular in its home state of Kentucky. This is a spicy, complex, and well-balanced bourbon that is made in accordance with standards set forth in the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. The award-winning bourbon is aged for at least 7 years and is 100 proof.

Elijah Craig

This is a time-honored straight bourbon whiskey available in several varieties, from the old style, single barrel, small-batch, and barrel proof. Elijah Craig is considered one of the founders of the bourbon movement as he was the first to char oak barrels before aging whiskey. This process created a well-balanced but bold, smooth flavor that has become the standard for bourbons worldwide.

Evan Williams

This is a very popular brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey and is available in various varieties from the classic Bottled-in-Bond recipe, 1783, single barrel, honey, peach, cherry, and fire. It is a well-loved bourbon that is perfect for sipping or as the base of your favorite cocktail. It combines sweet and spicy notes with a clean finish.

Bernheim Original

Bernheim is best known for its eponymously named long-aged wheated Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. This is a smooth, light-tasting whiskey that has complex, sophisticated flavors, with a clean finish.

Unlike other types of whiskey, Bernheim Original uses a higher percentage of wheat than rye. This is what gives it its delicate and uniquely smooth flavor combination. It creates a bourbon that is less spicy with a more delicate range of flavors, with a focus on berries and spice.

The whiskey is aged for seven years and made in small batches with a keen eye towards quality and superior flavor. The whiskey ends up a deep, rich color with a sweet and honey-like smell. It is an excellent bourbon for people who like a smoother bourbon and is a great choice for those who like to sip their bourbon. This brand is one of the only straight wheated bourbon whiskies and is aged in charred oak barrels and is 160 proof. Their bourbons are made in 100 barrel or fewer batches.

Tour Information

Heaven Hill has an award-winning Bourbon Heritage Center located in Bardstown, Kentucky, that provides a fascinating and interactive history of the American bourbon industry. This is a fun, educational experience that takes you deeper into the culture of bourbon distillation and its long history in the United States.

There are two different tasting tours on offer: the mashbill tasting tour and the whiskey connoisseur experience. These are both unique and affordable events, costing $10 and $20, respectively.

The Mashbill Tasting Tour can only be enjoyed by reservation. You are given a detailed history of both the bourbon industry and Heaven Hill itself on this tour. The tour also provides guests with a taste from three different mashbills.

The Whiskey Connoisseur Experience is also only available by reservation. Not only will you learn all about the bourbon-making process and the history of Heaven Hill Distillery, but you will also get a chance to taste limited edition and premium bourbons along with lessons on how to enjoy their complex flavors best.

Throughout the year, there are also some specialty tours and events. The Heritage Center is also located near Whiskey Row, where you can enjoy tastings at a range of bourbon distilleries, including the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, another offering produced by Heaven Hill Bernheim Distillery.

Bottles from Heaven Hill Bernheim

Evan Williams Green Label bottle

Evan Williams Green Label

Recently, I was asked to review Evan Williams Green Label – a brand extension of the more familiar Black Label product. The only problem: I’ve

Evan Williams Black Label bottle

Evan Williams Black Label

Evan Williams Black Label Bourbon is the No. 2 selling Bourbon whiskey in the United States. Its price point — on the upper edge of

Evan Williams Honey Bourbon bottle

Evan Williams Honey Bourbon

Evan Williams Honey Bourbon is a wonderful choice for anyone desiring a mild, light, and well-crafted bourbon. The bourbon is flavored with real honey, and

Larceny Bourbon bottle

Larceny Bourbon

John E. Fitzgerald. The man. The myth. The legend. When it comes to the stories behind bourbon brands, some are grounded in fact, while others