BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- On the outskirts of the Bourbon capitol of the world, construction crews are hard at work to complete Heaven Hill's unique Heritage Center for visitors.

The $18 million project that was announced in 2018, with two phases of construction.

The first phase featured a redesign of the current heritage center, positioned around a larger-then-life bourbon barrel. Tasting rooms circle the barrel, and a brand new gift shop allows visitors to take home special bourbons and memorabilia from Heaven Hill Distillery. That phase has been complete for about a year, and Heaven Hill said it's been a hit for visitors.

Phase two is nearing completion. It is an addition to the original building that will feature exhibits that will allow visitors to bottle their own bourbon, self-guided tours that highlight Heaven Hill's Larceny and Elijah Craig bourbons, rustic event space and eventually a restaurant and rooftop bar.

"They can come in here, and they can buy the experience that they want to do," Heaven Hill Operations Manager Ann Marple said.

The bourbon industry has kept Bardstown thriving for decades, and this unique visitor's experience will push that forward even more, Heaven Hill said.

"In the long run, it will pay off," Marple said of the multimillion-dollar project. "To have something like this in Bardstown will be a plus for the community."

The project is expected to be completed and open in spring of 2021.

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