The Greatest American Whiskey Bargain

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One of the keys to the runaway success of single malt Scotch is that it comes from a single distillery and you can’t add anything to it besides water and a bit of spirit caramel to even out the color. That highly regulated purity has struck a chord with consumers around the world who are willing to pay ever-increasing prices for their favorite Glen and have a passion that borders on zealousness.

But there’s actually another type of whiskey, which is held to an even higher set of standards than single malt Scotch: bottled-in-bond American whiskey. Full story

Heaven Hill reduces age statements as Bourbon demand continues

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Heaven Hill has reduced the age of its Elijah Craig Small Batch whiskey as demand impacts supply. The distiller said that a surge in the demand for Bourbon, both domestically and internationally has affected stocks. The expression, which previously carried a 12-year-old age statement, will now be made using Bourbon aged between 8 and 12 years. Full story

Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Visits Skyrocket With 900,000 Guests in 2015

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With more distilleries participating than ever before, the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures set an all-time attendance record in 2015 with nearly 900,000 guests touring the best of the Bluegrass.

That means the popular tourism attraction has more than doubled its attendance in just five short years, said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association that created the landmark journey in 1999. View full press release

Brown-Forman’s Morris named new chairman for Kentucky Distillers’ Association for 2016

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The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced Tuesday that Master Distiller Chris Morris of Brown-Forman has been named chairman of the 136-year-old group that unites, promotes and protects the state’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

Morris, an acknowledged authority on Bourbon and Kentucky history who is celebrating his 40th year in the industry, will serve through December 2016. The KDA Board of Directors selected officers during its annual meeting recently at the historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville. Full story

The Jews Who Made American Whisky

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Many of the iconic bourbon and rye brands on store shelves are or were once owned and operated by Jews, including Jim Beam, I.W. Harper, Rittenhouse, Elijah Craig, Four Roses and Dickel.

From ubiquitous bagels and cream cheese to restorative matzo ball soup to decadently rich pastrami, Jews are famous for contributing a number of delicious dishes to the menu of American food favorites. But when it comes to drinks, the item that usually pops into people’s minds first is, sadly, the sickly sweet kosher wine Manischewitz. Full story

Heaven Hill Brands Celebrates 80th Anniversary of First Bourbon Barrel with Special Production Run

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In 1935, Friday the 13th was anything but unlucky for Heaven Hill.  It was on that date 80 years ago that the fledgling distillery filled its first barrel of fine Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, marking the beginning of a business that has grown to become the largest family owned and operated distilled spirits producer, and the second largest holders of aging Bourbon, in the nation. Full story

Rye Adds an Authentic Touch to the Holidays

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Three men sitting in a Midtown Manhattan restaurant one recent afternoon represented three generations of the Kentucky clan whose hand has been on the tiller of the Wild Turkey distillery for more than half a century. There was Jimmy Russell, the legendary distiller; Eddie Russell, his son, a veteran distiller in his own right; and Bruce Russell, Eddie’s 26-year-old son, a relatively new addition to the firm. Full story

Heaven Hill Brings Back Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel Bourbon After Three Year Hiatus

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To the delight of scores of Bourbon fans who have lamented its absence, Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel Bourbon is back.  Heaven Hill Brands, the nation’s largest independent family owned and operated distilled spirits supplier, is once again offering the highly sought after and critically acclaimed American Whiskey after a three year hiatus due to inventory shortages.  A past winner of the “Best Bourbon” award at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel was first introduced by Heaven Hill in 1994, and quickly gained legendary status at a time when super-premium Bourbon offerings were few and far between.  Full story

Heaven Hill Introduces Ultra Rare John E. Fitzgerald Very Special Reserve Bourbon

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BARDSTOWN, KY—Heaven Hill Brands, the nation’s largest independent family owned and operated distilled spirits supplier, announces the one-time release of a Bourbon that will thrill both whiskey aficionados and history buffs—John E. Fitzgerald Very Special Reserve. Comprised of 12 barrels of wheated Bourbon produced at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, original home of Heaven Hill’s Old Fitzgerald and direct ancestor to the celebrated Larceny brand, the ultra-rare, highly allocated release will offer both an extraordinary sensory experience and a glimpse at the DNA of Bourbon lore. Continue reading

Everything You Need to Know About Bottled in Bond Bourbon

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An often-overlooked category of whiskey is bottled in bond bourbon. This is probably mostly due to the fact that not very many brands actually carry expressions that fit the stringent criteria, part of which involves minutiae like government-certified warehouses. Obviously, the rules that classify bourbon as bonded aren’t mandatory, so why would a brand even bother? Well, there’s a bit of history behind it. Full story

Next Parker’s Heritage Whiskey Looks To Be Kentucky Straight Malt

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The Parker’s Heritage series of limited edition American whiskies draws much love from whiskey drinkers each year it is released because of the high quality behind each bottling. It is one of the highly sought after whiskies in the typical fall release cycle of mostly bourbon. Offered up this year for your consideration as the 9th edition is what looks to be a Kentucky straight malt whiskey expression. Full story

The Jewish Origins of Kentucky Bourbon

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There’s a fine art to creating a liquor brand. It involves convincing people to buy booze with stories crafted around popular notions of heritage and legacy. Today’s drinkers are familiar with the classic formulas: Rum is named for pirates or tropical islands (think Mount Gay or Captain Morgan); scotch brands enshrine beautiful but unpronounceable places in Scotland (Laphroaig, Bruichladdich, Auchentoshan); and gin brands conjure pictures of the British empire sending adventurous young men to India clad in jodhpurs and pith helmets (Bombay Sapphire, Old Raj). American whiskey brands often celebrate individuals who represent idealized values—independence, pragmatism, guts—of the American frontier. Full story

Heaven Hill unveils Evan Williams Derby Bottle

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The 2006 Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Bourbon is blended from two barrels of Bourbon and bottled at the 43.3% abv. Evan Williams is an official partner of this year’s historic event, and to reflect this the bottle – which has been dipped in a teal wax – features the Kentucky Derby Festival logo on the label, and is presented with a tag detailing the festival’s history. Full story

Kentucky Bourbon Trail: Distillery tours offer taste of region’s spirit

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The bad news for bourbon drinkers is that the brown spirit has become so popular that shortages loom. The good news is that the surging popularity has spurred distilleries to add or expand visitors centers and tasting rooms in Kentucky’s bourbon-making region, where more than 95 percent of the world’s supply is produced. Not surprisingly, the biggest and most elaborate of the new sights along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail belongs to the best-selling bourbon, Jim Beam. Full story

After 80 years in business, Heaven Hill to fill seven millionth barrel of Kentucky bourbon

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On Tuesday in Bardstown, Heaven Hill will fill its 7 millionth barrel of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. The milestone comes as the distillery, which is owned by the Shapira family, marks its 80th year in business. The company, which is well known today for its Evan Williams bourbon, almost didn’t live to see the amazing renaissance that American whiskey is undergoing. Full story

Heaven Hill changes name for 80th anniversary

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Heaven Hill Distilleries, one of the US’ largest spirits producers, has renamed its organization as it celebrates its 80th anniversary. The group, which owns the Elijah Craig and Evan Williams Bourbon brands, is now known as Heaven Hill Brands to reflect the diversity of its spirits portfolio. As well as producing Bourbon, the group also makes category-leading Christian Brothers Brandy, Burnett’s Vodka and Admiral Nelson’s Rum. Full story

The Whiskey Professor: Heaven Hill’s Bernie Lubbers

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Bernie Lubbers has great timing. It’s the day after Super Bowl XLVIII when I contact Lubbers, Heaven Hill’s Ambassador of American Whiskey, to set up a chat about his role with the distillery and what it’s like to be known as “The Whiskey Professor”. His trade in the spirits world takes him all over the globe to the tune of over 100,000 miles per year, but guess where he is today? “I just landed in Denver.” Full story

As Bourbon Booms, Marketers Firm Prices And Look To Premiumize

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While it’s easy to focus on volume gains in a category that’s added more than 5 million cases to its global total since 2005, the thriving Bourbon segment has been demonstrating even faster growth on the value side, with key players across the industry raising prices and releasing a wide array of trade-up options. According to Impact Databank, the Bourbon category rose 4.5% to 16.7 million cases in the U.S. last year, matching its global growth rate. In the 52 weeks through September 14, Nielsen data shows the segment up 11% by value in the U.S., significantly outpacing its 7% volume advance over the same period. Full story

The bourbon family tree

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Kentuckians like to tell you that 95 percent of the world’s bourbon comes from their state. What they won’t tell you is that pretty much every last drop of that bourbon comes from a handful of conglomerate distilleries. In this chart—excerpted from The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining, on shelves now—the guys behind Brooklyn’s oldest craft distillery parse out, once and for all, the complicated kissing cousins of the bluegrass state’s bourbon industry. Full story