Heaven Hill Remembers 1996 Distillery Fire with Select Stock 20th Anniversary Edition
Heaven Hill Distillery has announced the release of Heaven Hill Select Stock 20th Anniversary Fire Edition, a 20-year-old bottling produced at the original distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky that commemorates the perseverance of Heaven Hill after the 1996 fire. The limited edition bottling made from only four pre-fire barrels will be available on the anniversary of the fire, Monday, Nov. 7, at the Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown and at limited Kentucky retailers.
On the afternoon of Nov. 7, 1996, a fire started at Heaven Hill’s Warehouse I. Fueled by 75 mph winds, the rapidly growing fire ravaged the warehouse, with flames reaching heights of 350 feet. A river of fire spread downhill towards other warehouses and the distillery as the warehouse collapsed from the heat. Flaming Bourbon crawled across the Heaven Hill campus and through a nearby creek, burning seven warehouses, the original Heaven Hill distillery and several other buildings in its path. Over 90,000 barrels of Bourbon were lost, two percent of the world’s whiskey at the time.
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On Nov. 8, 1996, Heaven Hill resumed business as usual, with no lives lost in the fire and no employees losing their job. 20 years later the company has undergone tremendous growth and still commits to the same time-honored values that stood through the fire two decades ago – a dedication to quality, independence and passionate family ownership. The historic Bernheim Distillery was purchased in 1999, where Heaven Hill now produces its Bourbon and American Whiskey in downtown Louisville. The company recently filled its 7.5 millionth whiskey barrel, is undergoing an $80 million expansion, and is run today by the second and third generations of the Shapira family, which founded the company in 1935.
“As we move forward into the next decades of our company, we’re reminded of the over 80 years of perseverance that marks Heaven Hill’s heritage,” said President Max L. Shapira. “We remain just as committed to our employees and the spirits industry as we were through the days after November 7, 1996.”
Bottled at 96 proof (48% abv), in honor of the 1996 fire, this Bourbon aged in Warehouse V for 20 years, just adjacent to the site of the fire. A small batch blend of four pre-fire barrels, this historic Bourbon celebrates the persevering spirit of the Shapira family and Heaven Hill Distillery. Packaged in a 750 ml bottle, the Heaven Hill Select Stock 20th Anniversary Fire Edition is available for a suggested retail price of $199.99.