LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It is the first of its kind along Louisville's West Main Street and the newest stop along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
WDRB News was there when Heaven Hill fired up its new distilling operation for the first time on Tuesday at the company's new tourist attraction in the 500 block of West Main.
"We are getting ready to distill our first beer, our very first mash that we made four days ago," explained Charlie Downs, the master distiller for the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience.
When it opens on Friday, after a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, the attraction will be the first -- and for now the only -- stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
"We spared no expense doing this," says Larry Kass, the director of corporate communications for Heaven Hill.
The family-owned company is spending more than $10 million to take visitors back in time with high-tech HD displays that show the history of bourbon.
There are recreations of store fronts, a new copper state-of-the-art distillery, and video features that tell the story of Evan Williams and Louisville.
The attraction has two tasting rooms, one decorated like an early 1960's bar.
The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience celebrates the legacy of Evan Williams, the first licensed commercial distiller in Kentucky and the namesake of Heaven Hill's signature brand.
Adds Kass, "We are right across the street from where Evan Williams set up his still back in 1783."
Below street level, there is even a room called "The Speakeasy" that will be used for parties and special events.
With its location in the 500 block of West Main, across from the Kentucky Center and near Museum Row, Heaven Hill expects to easily attract more than 100,000 visitors during the first year.
The 40-minute guided tour costs $12 for adults. There are cheaper tickets for certain age groups.
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