FOR RELEASE: October 15, 2004
HEAVEN HILL DISTILLERIES OPENS NEW VISITORS CENTER
BARDSTOWN, (Ky.) - This Friday, October 15, the newest stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail was dedicated. The Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center, the premier tourism destination in central Kentucky, sits in the middle of Bardstown, the "Bourbon Capital of the World®," on the grounds of Heaven Hill and across the street from 40+ open air rickhouses which house the world's second-largest supply of aging Bourbon.
The architecturally-significant new building incorporates into its design the key natural elements from the Bourbon-making process - such as copper, limestone and white oak - and echoes the form of the open rickhouse. The center is dedicated to the history of Bourbon and its dramatic effect on the growth of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as well as its legacy as "America's Native Spirit" as declared by a 1964 Act of Congress.
Highlights inside the Bourbon Heritage Center include:
* A series of interactive and educational exhibits that demonstrate the Bourbon-making process and Bourbon history, including information on Evan Williams, Kentucky's first distiller, Elijah Craig - "the father of Bourbon" - and other Bourbon pioneers whose names are immortalized in some of Heaven Hill's most famous Bourbon brands.
• The Evan Williams Theater will show "A Portrait of Heaven Hill," a short informative film on the history of Bourbon, the Bourbon-making process, and Heaven Hill Distilleries. The theater, located at one end of the Center, accommodates 75 in traditional theater-style seating.
• A highlight of the Center is the one-of-a-kind barrel-shaped "Taste of Heaven" tasting room, which seats 22. The dramatic space gives visitors (21 and older) a unique environment in which guided samplings of the company's world-renowned whiskeys will be conducted.
• Eye-catching display items such as old advertisements, photographs, and even a sample of the very first "white dog" (new, unaged Bourbon) that was distilled at Heaven Hill.
• One wall re-creating a rickhouse, complete with various Heaven Hill Bourbon - branded barrels stacked up to the ceiling. The company's milestone barrel heads, beginning with the first barrel filled, are also on display on this wall.
• The center's gift shop will have Kentucky crafts, branded merchandise and a special bottling of Evan Williams Master Distillers' Select Bourbon available for purchase and customized personalization.
The official opening of the Bourbon Heritage Center was held Friday, October 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Officials from Bardstown, Nelson County, the state of Kentucky and the Bourbon industry were on hand to take part in the dedication of the building. Addressing the event will be Kentucky Department of Travel Commissioner Randy Fiveash, whose agency administers state tourism and travel. A proclamation from Governor Ernie Fletcher declaring October 15, 2004 as Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center Day in the Commonwealth of Kentucky will also be presented.
"The creation of the Bourbon Heritage Center has been a work in progress for many years, and it's gratifying to see it finally come to life exactly the way we had envisioned it," said Harry J. Shapira, executive vice president, Heaven Hill Distilleries, who personally oversaw the design and construction of the Center. "We think it's really come together well, and we're excited that it will undoubtedly be one of the premier tourism destinations in central Kentucky for many years to come."
"We have always done a brisk tour business, often welcoming nearly 10,000 guests a year to our facility," said Shapira. "Our adjacency to My Old Kentucky Home State Park, as well as our support of the Heaven Hill Distilleries Trolley, has meant we have always had a broad and consistent base of visitors. We feel strongly that the new Bourbon Heritage Center will augment both the number of people visiting the distillery and Bardstown, as well as their overall impression of the city, county and region."
Guests can visit Heaven Hill's new Bourbon Heritage Center at 1311 Gilkey Run Road in Bardstown. Hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays; last tour starts one hour before closing, the center is closed on Mondays. For more information, call 502-337-1000 or visit http://www.bourbonheritagecenter.com
Founded in 1934, Heaven Hill is the nation's largest independent, family-owned marketer and producer of distilled spirits products. Aging in its facilities is the second largest holding of Kentucky whiskey in the world. Heaven Hill's diversified portfolio includes: the full line of The Christian Brothers Brandies; Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey; Hpnotiq; Whaler's Rums; Burnett's Gin and Vodka; Dubonnet Aperitif; Scotch Whiskies; Irish Whiskeys; Canadian Whiskies; vodka; gins; rums; tequilas; cognacs; liqueurs; cordials; and dessert wines. Heaven Hill is based in Bardstown, Ky.
"Drinking just to get drunk is like having sex just to get pregnant." --Robert Hess