BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Heaven Hill just completed a multi-year, multimillion-dollar renovation and expansion project to its Heritage Center in Bardstown.
The distillery is planning to host a ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony Monday. Gov. Andy Beshear is scheduled to be in attendance and will fill the first ceremonial bottle of bourbon in the new interactive experience, which is called You Do Bourbon.
Heaven Hill built its Heritage Center in 2004 as a place where guests could learn about and taste the Heaven Hill brands.
“It was one of the trailblazers of the industry in terms of tourism experience for bourbon,” said Anna Hibbs, marketing manager of Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience.
After years of growth, it was time to upgrade the small building to meet customer demands.
“We started brainstorming this project four years ago, with a concept that maybe after 15 years of this being open, we should rethink this space,” Hibbs said.
Heaven Hill broke ground on the $19 million project in 2018, and construction ramped up through the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, the distillery will be hosting a grand opening next week, and the timing is perfect as demand has continue to grow, Hibbs said.
“The pandemic really boosted the growth in a way that nobody every expected,” she said. “But before that, Elijah Craig was growing in double digits, and Larceny was growing in double digits.”
The exhibits showcase the family history and Heaven Hill’s brands. And Five Brothers Bar and Kitchen gives guests the chance to relax with a drink and a scenic view of the property. Both of these will open to the public Monday.
“People are becoming so much more educated and aware of the bourbon industry, and they’re wanting more," Hibbs said. "And they want to know more, more, more. And they want to do it themselves."
And that’s exactly what the You Do Bourbon immersive experiences aims to provide. Guests will learn about four different bourbons, taste them and pick a favorite. Then, people will be given a bottle, wash it, fill it and label it.
“It is a completely personalized experience,” Hibbs said. “Some of our friends in the industry are allowing personalized labels, but we really wanted to take it a step further so that they can actually feel like they’re making their own bourbon in a way.”
The entire experience will last about an hour and cost $40, which does not include the price of the personalized bottle. A donation of $5 per bottle will be made to a rotating charitable cause.
The Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience and Five Brothers Bar will open to the public starting at 11 a.m. June 14.
Tours and tastings will be open to book starting Monday, June 14. You Do Bourbon is not listed online yet, but it is expected to be fully operational by July 1. Click here to learn more about the different experiences.
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