Show cover of Tales from the Hill

Tales from the Hill

Heaven Hill Distillery has been distilling and patiently aging American Whiskey for more than eight decades. Now, it's time to share the stories behind those whiskeys and the people who make them on "Tales from the Hill." Must be 21+ to listen.


Tales from the Hill - A New Podcast from Heaven Hill Distillery
The story of American Whiskey is as spirited as it is varied... full of history, a few tall tales, and plenty of colorful characters. In Tales from the Hill, we dive deep into the heritage of Heaven Hill Distillery and reflect on our legacy with the people who know it best. 
01:31 7/5/19
Introducing “Tales from the Hill”
There are stories inside every bottle of whiskey, and for the first time, Heaven Hill Distillery is sharing some of our favorites. From our early days after the end of Prohibition through today’s Bourbon boom, we're proud to be a part of American Whiskey history. Our podcast begins with the five Shapira brothers, who began as investors in a small distillery, and grew to become one of Bourbon’s leading families. Historic audio used from the National Archives, Universal City Studios, Universal Newsreels Production Company, 1933. Donated into the public domain in 1976 by Universal Studios.
14:25 7/16/19
Caretakers of the American Spirit
The history of American Whiskey lives in every one of our barrels. From the tradition established when Elijah Craig first used charred oak barrels for Bourbon, to Evan Williams founding the first licensed distillery in Kentucky, or the preservation of historic styles with Larceny or Rittenhouse can't discuss American Whiskey without Heaven Hill.
29:36 7/16/19
The Spirit of the Distillery
A Bourbon rickhouse is a magical place; one where wood, the elements, and time interact to take raw spirit and turn it into whiskey. The rickhouse is also where Heaven Hill’s whiskey makers watch over barrels of maturing whiskey over the years as each one reaches its fullest potential. There’s a connection across the generations at Heaven Hill, and those bonds have been tested in both good times and bad over the decades.
30:09 7/23/19
It Starts with the Grain
For decades, we distilled, matured, and bottled our whiskeys in the city where we were founded—Bardstown, Kentucky. But after a 1996 fire devasted the campus, we moved distilling operations to the modern Bernheim Distillery in Louisville. We share what that fire meant to our history, and then check in with the team that makes every drop of our whiskeys to learn just how grain, water, and yeast come together in the distilling process. Master Distiller Conor O’Driscoll takes us on a tour of the Bernheim Distillery.  
20:02 7/30/19
The Hands that Craft the Spirit
Consistency has always been a hallmark for Heaven Hill, from our first Bourbon distilled in 1935 to our full portfolio of award-winning American Whiskeys. In this episode, we meet the expert tasting team in Bardstown, who explain how barrel placement is key to developing flavors across our different rickhouses and locations. They invite us into the tasting lab and show how they use those different barrels to find the exact flavors they’re looking for, mingling them in the small batch process to create our signature balanced and smooth taste profiles.
25:22 8/6/19
The Experience of American Whiskey
Heaven Hill Distillery proudly offers two award-winning visitor’s centers in the heart of Bourbon country. In this episode, we learn how a passion for whiskey knowledge and education evolved into the Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown. Then, we visit the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, the first-of-its-kind destination on historic Whiskey Row that paved the path for redevelopment of Bourbon tourism in downtown Louisville. Jodie Filiatreau takes us behind-the-scenes at the artisanal distillery there, which produces one barrel of whiskey per day.
20:12 8/13/19
Preserving Traditions, Pioneering the Future
The Shapira family reflects back on some of their favorite stories from growing up in the Bourbon business. Then, we take a look into how the industry is evolving, and hear how educated enthusiasts are helping us grow and innovate the future of American Whiskey. We explore what it means to be continually expanding our rickhouse facilities to keep up with demand, and go all the way back to the seed for our pioneering “Grain to Glass” project.
20:09 8/20/19
Introducing "Tales from the Hill" Season Two
Tales from the Hill is back for season two, taking you on a Bourbon adventure which explores how the people who make Heaven Hill’s award-winning portfolio—including Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Old Fitzgerald, & Larceny—are shaping the American Whiskey experience.
09:22 9/1/20
Grain to Glass: Born to Be Bourbon
Terroir... the element of Bourbon that reflects the environment where it is crafted. For Heaven Hill, this is where tradition meets innovation. The Grain to Glass project begins with a collaborative approach among three historic family businesses, who set out to create, farm, and distill unique mashbills that are maturing into Bourbons unlike any other.
28:22 9/1/20
The Handshake Barrel
In 1986, Max Shapira and Leroy McGinnis shook hands and made a deal for Bourbon barrels. Today, McGinnis Wood Products still makes barrels for Heaven Hill, and that handshake still binds the partnership. In this episode, we’ll take a closer look at what goes into making a Bourbon barrel, and why responsibly-sourced, carefully-selected American White Oak trees make excellent Bourbon barrels.
31:50 9/8/20
Life in the Rickhouse
Eight men and women. 66 barrels full of “new make” spirit are rolled into the rickhouse in a ballet of steel-toed boots and work gloves. Before day's end, the same amount of mature Bourbon barrels will be rolled out of the warehouse and loaded up to be readied for bottling. Heaven Hill’s warehouse teams don’t just roll barrels for work - they also do it for bragging rights each year at the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.
33:46 9/15/20
Vintage Inspiration
Had it not been for Heaven Hill’s desire to preserve the heritage of American Whiskey, many of America’s historic Bourbon and whiskey brands would have faded into history years ago. The legendary Old Fitzgerald is just one of the brands given new life under Heaven Hill’s stewardship, with “Old Fitz” serving as the inspiration for the modern legacy Bourbon.
27:06 9/22/20
Lifting Spirits, Community Connections
Whiskey brings people together, and those connections matter when times get tough and a community faces a crisis. As Kentucky and the world dealt with the impending realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, Heaven Hill lent its Bardstown bottling lines, the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, and other facilities to aid in the making and distributing of hand sanitizers. Those efforts are part of Heaven Hill’s tradition and commitment to being a good community neighbor and help Kentucky grow — both economically and in equality.
45:20 9/29/20
The Meaning of Craft
There’s been a debate among whiskey lovers for the last few years over what defines a “craft” whiskey. At Heaven Hill, expertise, attention to detail, and innovation steeped in tradition combine to create quality whiskies consistently from batch to batch…especially when you’re doing it at one of America’s largest Bourbon distilleries.
27:42 10/6/20
The Whiskey That Stole the Show
In 2020, something historic happened. Whisky Advocate named Larceny Barrel Proof (B520) “Whisky of the Year.” But this isn’t the first Heaven Hill brand or mashbill to be recognized by a major competition, so why is this win so special? It’s because Larceny Barrel Proof is the first wheated Bourbon to ever receive the title. In this episode, we are diving deep into the Larceny vault to discover the folklore of John E. Fitzgerald, details on how it's crafted from our Master Distiller, and even inspiration on how to best enjoy Larceny Barrel Proof.
22:16 5/12/21
The Magic of Mellow Corn
One of the most unique whiskeys in the Heaven Hill portfolio is having a moment. Whether it’s the one-of-a-kind label, the rare style of Straight Corn Whiskey, or its position as a historic 75-year-old brand, you just can’t find another whiskey like Mellow Corn. Join us for a roundtable discussion as we dive into the long (and a little weird) history of Mellow Corn.
53:45 6/29/21
An All-New Experience
If you’ve ever made a trip to Kentucky, and decided to sample some of America’s native spirit, there’s a good chance you visited a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®. We’re proud to have not one, but two prominent visitor experiences on the trail. And after several years of anticipation, the newly renovated Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience™ officially opened its doors in June of 2021. In this episode, we tell the story of how our Bourbon-filled experiences came to life.
20:05 12/16/21
Let's Talk Bourbon Bunkers
The popularity of whiskey collecting has grown immensely in the past few years. Some collectors are going for sheer numbers while others are stocking their collections with every type of Bourbon possible. And whether you’re a seasoned collector or someone looking to get started, there’s always something new to learn. In this episode, we ask a panel of experts to share their thoughts and have some fun learning more about their impressive collections. 
56:28 2/17/22
125 Years of Bottled-in-Bond
On March 3, 1897, the Bottled-in-Bond Act was signed into law and an important part of whiskey-making history was born. Now, 125 years later, it’s a tradition we’re proud to preserve. On this episode, we sit down with Heaven Hill Brand Ambassadors and Bottled-in-Bond Enthusiasts Bernie Lubbers and Jack Choate (as well as a couple of special guests) to discuss the legacy—and the future—of this American Whiskey tradition.
48:07 3/1/22
The Women of Whiskey
At Heaven Hill Distillery, we believe in preserving the traditions of Kentucky's native spirit. But we are equally committed to innovating the art form, finding new opportunities for flavor and shaping the future of American Whiskey. That’s why we wanted to sit down with some of the people defining that future at Heaven Hill and beyond. Specifically, the women leading the charge. In this roundtable discussion, five women from across Heaven Hill discuss their unique roles, backgrounds and thoughts on what’s ahead for women in the industry.
39:42 3/17/22
Back to Bardstown
By now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the big news. Earlier in 2022, we broke ground on a new, $135 million distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. It’ll be a few years before everything is up-and-running, but that hasn’t made the announcement any less exciting. That’s why in this episode we're sharing the story of Heaven Hill Springs Distillery—both the new and the old—and giving you more details on our exciting return to distilling in our hometown. 
43:32 9/8/22
A Sustainable Future
At Heaven Hill Distillery, it’s our job to make sure there’s enough quality whiskey to be enjoyed for generations—which is why we’ve partnered with Independent Stave Company to invest in logger education and certified sustainable forestry. In this episode, learn all about this partnership, from how it first began to why it’s important for the future of American Whiskey.
37:09 12/9/22
The Waiting Game
It’s no surprise that aging is a key component of crafting high-quality American Whiskeys. And at Heaven Hill Distillery, we take aging seriously. In this episode, we explore the process behind our extra-aged releases and hear from the experts on why they’re so special.
37:22 6/12/23
Rolling for Glory
At Heaven Hill Distillery, we take barrel rolling seriously. And each year, our barrel rolling teams compete at the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay. Learn more about this sport—from our teams to how it’s judged—on our new episode.
28:53 8/14/23
From Bark to Bottle
At Heaven Hill Distillery, we strive to be stewards of natural resources—which is why cork is crucial to our products. In this episode, we dive into the details, discovering how cork is grown and harvested, how we use it to craft our iconic bottle stoppers, and more.
46:14 10/2/23