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Heaven Hill Distillery plans Kentucky Bourbon visitor centre

US whiskey brand Heaven Hill Distillery - a family-owned maker of Kentucky Bourbon that was founded shortly after the end of prohibition in 1935 – has revealed plans for a large scale expansion of its visitor centre.

Heaven Hill is the last remaining family-owned producer of Kentucky Bourbon, and the second-largest holder of aging Bourbon.

The centre, in Bardstown, Kentucky, has been redesigned by Solid Light. The consultancy specialises in planning, designing and building visitor experiences. It has worked on previous Heaven Hill projects. Its latest plans involve creating a centre that will tell the story of Kentucky Bourbon, Heaven Hill, and its founders, the Shapira family, through an immersive and hands-on experience.

Heaven Hill is investing $17.5m in the project. New features will include a rooftop bar, and educational experiences dedicated to two Heaven Hill brands that played an integral role in Kentucky Bourbon history – Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Larceny Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Tasting rooms, a new retail space and a ‘You Do Bourbon’ experience – which lets guests bottle their own whiskey – will also be introduced. New display and multimedia technology will be used throughout the centre, creating activities for novice tasters and whiskey enthusiasts. Branded merchandise, speciality food products, locally-crafted gifts, and premium Heaven Hill products will all be available to purchase.

“Through innovative design and state-of-the-art experiences, Bourbon fans from across the world will be delighted to taste, learn, and do Bourbon in new ways,” says Heaven Hill president Max Shapira.

“One of the most exciting elements of this expansion is that we’ve taken a truly wholistic approach to Bourbon education and telling the Heaven Hill story,” says Solid Light owner and president Cynthia Torp. “Not only have we drawn on the science of how people process information and developed the design of the visitor center to enhance their understanding, but every element from the retail space to the rooftop bar is also an extension of the story and Bourbon experience.”