Heaven Hill is bringing distilling back to Bardstown for the first time since 1996 fire with new, $135 million distillery
After nearly 30 years, Heaven Hill is finally going to be distilling in Bardstown again.
Heaven Hill has now announced plans for a new, $135 million distillery in Bardstown, only a few miles from the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience and very close to their existing Schenley warehouse site (see map below). The distillery will open with a production volume of 10 million proof gallons a year (150,000 barrels), with the space to expand capacity up to 30 million proof gallons (450,000 barrels).
In 1996, a fire broke out at one of Heaven Hill's warehouses, where it quickly spread and destroyed the onsite distillery and seven rickhouses holding nearly 100,000 barrels of whiskey. After the fire, competitors such as Jim Beam and Brown-Forman volunteered to contract-distill Heaven Hill's recipes until they purchased the Bernheim Distillery outside of Louisville in 1999, where they've been distilling ever since. Bottling has continued at Heaven Hill's Bardstown campus, and aging takes place at 5 different warehouse sites around Bardstown and one site at the Bernheim facility.
The new distillery will sit on a 61-acre site at 1015 Old Bloomfield Pike in Bardstown. Construction will start this spring, with plans to open the distillery in 2024. The Bernheim distillery will continue to operate at full capacity, and Heaven Hill will continue using their existing warehouses for aging.
This project follows a $125 million investment by the company in the current Heaven Hill campus in Bardstown, which included a new visitor center experience, new warehouses, bottling line and equipment upgrades, and other distillery enhancements. The new visitor center opened last June.