Heaven Hill Distillery - Info, Mash Bills, Bottles & Timeline

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Heaven Hill Distillery - Info, Mash Bills, Bottles & Timeline

    • 157 posts
    December 20, 2019 10:00 AM PST

    Heaven Hill Distillery - Info, Mash Bills, Bottles & Processes


    Heaven Hill - One of the only major family owned distilleries left in the USA.

    Heaven Hill distills a wide variety of whiskeys from the one of the widest arrays of mash bills by any major producer.

    Heaven Hill has also done contract distilling and throughout their business course has been a seller of bulk whiskey as well.  Since around the 1940s Heaven Hill has been selling bulk distillate to the open whiskey market for producers/Non Distilling Producers (NDPs) to bottle for their own brand. Therefore you are likely to have had Heaven Hill products even in brands not known to be from Heaven Hill.


    Established: 1935
    DSPs: DSP-KY-1 (Bernheim facility in Louisville, bought in 1999), DSP-KY-31 (Bardstown distillery burnt down in 1996; bottling plant still operational)
    Other Names Used: Old Heavenhill Springs, Heaven Hill Distillery Bernheim Facility, Elijah Craig Distillery, Old Evan Williams Distillery
    Current Master Distiller: Conor O’Driscoll
    Previous Master Distillers
    Major Brands/Labels: Bernheim, Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Fighting Cock, Heaven Hill, Henry McKenna, Larceny, Mellow Corn, Old Fitzgerald, Parker’s Heritage Collection (PHC), Pikesville Rye and Rittenhouse Rye
    Whiskey Types Produced: Bourbon, Wheated Bourbon, Rye Whiskey, Wheat Whiskey, Malt Whiskey and Corn Whiskey

    Headquarters Address: 1311 Gilkey Run Road, Bardstown, Nelson County, 40004 KY
    Phone: 1.502.337.1000
    Owner: Shapira family owned




    Bourbon Mash Bill: 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
    Wheated Bourbon Mash Bill: 68% Corn, 20% Wheat, 12% Malted Barley
    Rye Whiskey Mash Bill: 51% Rye, 35 % Corn, 14% Malted Barley
    Corn Whiskey Mash Bill: 80% Corn, 8% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
    Wheat Whiskey Mash Bill: 51% Wheat, 37% Corn, 12% Malted Barley
    Malt Whiskey Mash Bill: 65% Malted Barley, 35% Corn


    Column still fed into a doubler for a second run

    Max Capacity: 1,300 Barrel per day (3.5MM gallons / year)
    Number of Warehouses: 59
    Warehouse Style: Multistory, metal-clad, unheated at Heaven Hill Bardstown location. Some Brick rick houses which are heated at the Bernheim site.
    Barrels On Hand: 1.6MM+
    Fermenters: 17 fermenters, stainless steel, atmospheric, closed top
    Fermentation Time: Four to six days
    Distiller’s Beer Proof: 18-20
    Still Proof: 140
    Barrel Entry Proof: 125
    Barrel Char: #3 for all products except for some special Parker’s Heritage Collection Projects that use the “Heavy Char” which is a #5



    Column still fed into a doubler for a second run

    Water Source: 2 near-by spring-fed lakes
    Mash: Pressure cooked and 25% is sour mash/backset
    Fermenters: 4 Cypress and 27 Stainless
    Still Proof: 125-130 (low wines) 138 (doubler)
    Barrel Entry Proof: 125
    Barrel Char: #3



    This account of info has been assembled from various parts of the internet and speaking to people in the industry. There are way too many places that had some info to recall everyone now, but if you would like credit I will be happy to add a link to your site where it appeared first.

    1935 – Founded as Old Heavenhill Springs by the Shapira brothers (David, Ed, Gary, George & Mose) with an investment group. The company is still majorily owned by the Shapira family
    1937 – First whiskey produced, Bourbon Falls, released
    1942 – Distillery shut down for WW2 and mandated to make industrial alcohol
    1943 – Shapira brothers buy out their other investors making them the sole owners
    1945 – Park Beam manages distilling operations
    1946 – Park’s son Earl Beam Joins Heaven Hill as Master Distiller
    1955 – 500,000th barrel filled
    1960 – Parker Beam (Earl Beam’s son) joins Heaven Hill
    1961 – 1,000,000th barrel filled
    1971 – Max Shapira (Edward Shapira’s son) joins the company
    1973 – Harry Shapira (David’s son) joins
    1975 – Parker Beam is named Master Distiller
    1976 – 2,000,0000th barrel filled
    1977 – Acquired the Old 1889 brand
    1983 – Craig Beam joins Heaven Hill. He was hired by Parker to prep the newly acquired Deastville Rickhouses for renovation by Buzick Construction
    – Evan Williams is the fastest growing bourbon in the USA, growing over 12% YoY for 5 straight years
    1988 – 3,000,0000th barrel filled
    1989 – Heaven Hill purchases multiple brands from Seagrams: Harwood Canadian Whisky, Wilson Blend, Paul Jones Blended Whiskey, Mattingly & Moore Bourbon, Henry McKenna Bourbon, Vandermint Liquor, Burnett’s Gin, 100 Pipers, Queen Anne and Something Special Scotch, Tom Sims
    1993 – Acquire Cabin Still, J. W. Dant, and Philadelphia Blended Whiskey from United Distillers
    – Also Copa De Oro Coffee Liqueur, Dubonnet Aperitif, Coronet VSQ Brandy, DuBouchett Cordials and Liqueurs.
    1995 – Acquired Two Fingers Tequila and launches O’Mara’s Irish Country Cream
    1996 – Fire destroyed the distillery and over 90,000 barrels of whiskey
    – George Shapira, last living original founder, passes
    – Max Shapira becomes president
    – Rye Whiskey Production moved to Brown-Forman
    1999 – Bought Bernheim Distillery from Diageo
    – Purchased John E. Fitzgerald brands and Christian Brothers Brandy
    1998 – 4,000,0000th barrel filled
    2000 – Production started at the Bernheim distillery in the fall
    – Bourbon mash bill changed from 75% Corn and, 13% Rye to 78% Corn and 10% Rye
    2001 – Kate Shapira Letts and Allan Letts join HH – first of the 3rd generation
    2003 – Acquired HPNOTIQ Liqueur
    2004 – New Bourbon Heritage center opened at the location of the old distillery
    2005 – Introduces PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
    2006 – 5,000,0000th barrel filled2004 – Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center opened at Old Heavenhill Springs location
    2010 – 6,000,0000th barrel filled
    – Rye Whiskey Production moved back to Heaven Hill from Brown-Forman
    2011 – Acquired Admiral Nelson’s Rum
    2013 – Evan Williams Bourbon Experience (also operating under DSP-KY-1) opens to the public: the first new distillery on Louisville’s old Distillery Row
    2014 – 7,000,0000th barrel filled
    – Acquired Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur.
    – Changed official corporate name to "Heaven Hill Brands", adds a new logo
    2015 – Acquired Deep Eddy Vodka
    2017 – Craig Beam resigns as Master Distiller to care for his father, Parker Beam, who subsequently passes from ALS
    – Denny Potter becomes 6th Master DIstiller and first non-Beam Master Distiller for Heaven Hill
    – Acquired Carolan’s Irish Cream Liqueur and Irish Mist Whiskey Liqueur
    2018 – 8,000,000th barrel filled
    2019 – Conor O’Driscoll named the 7th Master Distiller
    – Acquired Black Velvet, MacNaughton, McMasters, Golden Wedding and OFC



    Even harder to track down are the label changes and release dates. I know I missed a couple that I’m still researching, but I’ll add them to this mega Heaven Hill Distillery post as I get them. I’ll also keep adding them as new things come out.

    1937 – Bourbon Falls (2 yo whiskey) released to bring cash into the young distillery
    1939 – Heaven Hill Bottled-In-Bond
    1940 – Heaven Hill bourbon released as a 4 yo
    1957 – Evan Williams launches as a 7 yo whiskey
    1970s – Fighting Cock and Pennypacker (export) launched
    1980s (early) – Henry McKenna Bourbon
    1982 – Acquires Pikesville Rye (whiskey sourced from Brown Forman)
    1986 – Elijah Craig released as a 12 yo small batch whiskey – 100 barrels per batch
    1989 – Harwood Canadian Whisky, Wilson Blend, Paul Jones Blended Whiskey, Mattingly & Moore Bourbon, Henry McKenna Bourbon and Tom Sims brands purchased and released under HH.
    1992 – Old Fitzgerald purchased from Diageo
    1993 – Acquires, and releases, Cabin Still, J. W. Dant, and Philadelphia Blended Whiskey brands
    1994 – Henry McKenna Bottled-in-Bond 10 yo Single Barrel
    1995 – Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage
               – Elijah Craig 18 first release
    – Elijah Craig Single Barrel 23-year-old
    1999 – Purchased Old Fitzgerald Bourbon and Rittenhouse Rye brands
    2005 – Evan Williams loses 7 yo age statement
    2003 – Evan Williams black label loses 7-yo age statement
    2004 – Evan Williams drops from 90 proof to 86 proof
    2005 – Bernheim Wheat Whiskey (also seeing 2000)
    2006 – Rittenhouse Very Rare 21-Year-Old Single Barrel Straight Rye (3,000 bottles, 50%, NCF, $150)
    2007 – Parker’s Heritage 1st Edition (cask strength)- Evan Williams 1783 loses 10 yo age statement
    – Rittenhouse Very Rare 23-Year-Old Single Barrel Straight Rye (2,300 bottles, 50%, NCF, $170)
    – Acquires Mohawk Distilled Products Spirits Portfolio
    2008 – Parker’s Heritage 2nd Edition (27-year-old)
    – William Heavenhill Signature 225th birthday LE
    2009 – Parker’s Heritage 3rd Edition (Golden Anniversary)
    – Rittenhouse Very Rare 25-Year-Old Single Barrel Straight Rye (3,000 bottles, 50%, NCF, $200)
    2010 – Parker’s Heritage 4th Edition (10 yo Wheated Bourbon)
    2011 – Pikesville Supreme (white label) discontinued
    – Parker’s Heritage 5th Edition (10 yo Cognac Finish)
    – Elijah Craig 20 yo released exclusively for the 20th anniversary of the Kentucky bourbon fest
    2012 – Elijah Craig 18 canceled and Elijah Craig 20 released wider (1,300 bottles)
    – red state blue state bourbon for the elections
    – Parker’s Heritage 6th Edition (Blend of Mashbills)
    – Larceny
    – Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond (white label)
    2013 – Elijah Craig 21 replaces the EC 20
    – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (134.2, 137, 133.2)
    – Parker’s Heritage 7th Edition (Promise of Hope single barrel)
    – Henry McKenna line gets new labels (current ones) and distribution expands out of the Mid-Atlantic
    2014 – Elijah Craig 23 replaces the EC 21
    – Bernheim Wheat Whiskey 7 years
    – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (132.4, 134.8,140.2)
    – Parker’s Heritage 8th Edition (Original Batch Wheat Whiskey)
    – Evan Williams Red Label (12 yo 101 proof) – gift shop only, previously export only
    – VSOF moved to gift shop only
    – Old Fitz 1849 Discontinued
    2015 – Elijah Craig loses 12 on the front and moves it to the back
    – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (128, 139.8,135.6)
    – Elijah Craig 18 brought back to the market
    – Parker’s Heritage 9th Edition (8 yo Malted Whiskey)
    – Fighting Cock loses 6 yo Age Statement
    – Pikesville Rye debuts
    2016 – Switched to a NAS whiskey blended using 8-12 yo bourbon
    – Elijah Craig bottle changed to the new tall bottle and batch size increased to 200 barrels
    – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (138.8, 139.4,136)
    – Parker’s Heritage 10th Edition (24 yo Bottled-in-Bond)
    – Evan Williams American Hero edition launched for Memorial Day
    2017 – ECBP starts carrying batch numbers when it moves to the new taller bottles
    – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (A117, B517, C917)
    – Parker’s Heritage 11th Edition (11 yo Single Barrel)
    – Old Fitzgerald Prime discontinued
    2018 – Old Fitzgerald BiB re-released as 2x yearly (spring and fall) limited editions
    – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (A118, B518, C918)
    – Parker’s Heritage 12th Edition (Orange Curaçao Finish)
    – Heaven Hill 6-Year Bottled-in-Bond Discontinued
    – Heaven Hill 27-Year-Old Barrel Proof Small Batch
    2019 – Parker’s Heritage 12th Edition (Heavy Char Rye Whiskey)
    – Larceny Barrel Proof (announced)
    – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (A119, B519, C919)
    – Elijah Craig Rye (announced)
    – Evan Williams Apple
    – Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond (Spring 2019, Fall 2019)
    – Heaven Hill 7-Year Bottled-In-Bond
    – Acquired Black Velvet, MacNaughton, McMasters, Golden Wedding and OFC
    2020 – Elijah Craig Rye (launched)



    has a wide range of products and while many of them come from the same mash and same warehouses they taste quite different. This is all due to where they were aged in the warehouses, how long they aged and the barrel profiles selected for the final blend that gives each label its signature taste.

    All whiskeys from Heaven Hill are chill-filtered unless it says otherwise on the bottles.




    Elijah Craig Barrel Proof – Aged 12 years, released three times a year, this is a high proofed bourbon with specific notes for each release

    Elijah Craig Single Barrels – Also called "Store Picks" where a liquor store or restaurant picks a single barrel

    Elijah Craig Small Batch – This used to be the Elijah Craig 12, but since removing the age statement in 2016 it’s now just called "Small Batch" - blend of barrels likely aged 8-12 years

    Elijah Craig 18 – Yearly limited releases, Lots of wood imparted notes

    Elijah Craig 20 -

    Elijah Craig 21 -

    Elijah Craig 22 - KBA Release 2 barrels only

    Elijah Craig 23 - Has lots of wood and smoke notes

    Evan Williams 23 Years (blue wax) – Gift shop exclusive or found in Japan previously

    Evan Williams 1783 – A small batch whiskey aged around 4 years

    Evan Williams Black – Aged for about 4 years 86 proof bargain whiskey

    Evan Williams Green – Younger than the Black and bottled at 80 proof

    Evan Williams Red Label – 101 proof & Gift shop only

    Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage – Aged for roughly 7-8 Years, these yearly releases of single barrels come from a single vintage/year of distillation

    Evan Williams White Bottled In Bond – 

    Fighting Cock Bourbon – Originally launched as an 8 year, became a 6 year old a few years later and the age statement was completely removed in 2015. Now it’s around 4 Years but still 103 proof

    Heaven Hill Bourbon (White Label) – Standard Heaven Hill

    Heaven Hill Bottled-In-Bond – Aged for 6 years, once was the best value bourbon

    Heaven Hill Bottled-In-Bond – Aged for 7 years (released in 2019)

    Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bottled-In-Bond 10 years – A fantastic value in the bourbon world… when you can find it

    Henry McKenna Sour Mash Bourbon Whiskey – Aged 4 years, it’s the ultra value younger brother of the BiB above

    William Heavenhill – Annually Released Distillery Exclusive



    Larceny Barrel Proof – The full proof version of the Larcen below

    Larceny Small Batch – A great value in the world of wheated whiskey

    Old Fitzgerald Bottled-In-Bond– Released 2x a year, this special release changes in age, but never in proof, with each release

    Old Fitzgerald Bottled-In-Bond Very Very Special – Visitor Center only



    Elijah Craig Rye – Another value rye release from Heaven Hill Distillery

    Pikesville Rye – Aged at least 6 Years, and delivered at a high proof, this is one of my favorite ryes on the market

    Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond – It’s hard to find a better value in the rye world today



    Mellow Corn – A bonded corn whiskey that’s remarkably drinkable and mixable



    Bernheim 7 Years Small Batch Wheat Whiskey – A great example of how delicious a wheat whiskey can be

    Parker’s Wheat Whiskey – A divisive whiskey, but one I love



    Parker’s Malt Whiskey – I loved this one, wish they’d do more



    Limited edition annual releases that change each year. The releases, by year, are further up under the releases section.

    This post was edited by admin at April 3, 2020 10:43 AM PDT