Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience Named Global Icon of Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year

— March 29, 2022
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Widow Jane Bourbon named World’s Best Small Batch Bourbon

The Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky awards announced the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience as the Global Visitor Attraction of the Year. The award was announced in London on March 24 at the Whisky Magazine Awards 2022, celebrating the very best people and places in the industry. Widow Jane 10-Year-Old Bourbon also received World’s Best Small Batch Bourbon during the ceremony.

Previously announced as a 2022 American Icon of Whiskey Visitor Attraction of the Year, the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience was voted amongst an esteemed panel of judges to best this year’s finalists. Unveiled on June 14, 2021 as the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience, the expansion and renovation of Heaven Hill Distillery’s visitor center in Bardstown are the culmination of a multi-year $125 million investment in Kentucky’s signature industry and model for the future of tourism since 2018. The state-of-the-art experience received a $19 million upgrade to become an interactive, educational space offering signature exhibits unique to the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience. First opened on Oct. 15, 2004 as the Bourbon Heritage Center under the guidance of the late Harry Shapira, Heaven Hill’s presence as one of the first visitor centers on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail has played an instrumental role in establishing Kentucky as a top tourist destination.

“The Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience is a showcase example of the perseverance and commitment Heaven Hill has made to the future of this industry,” said Jeff Crowe, Director of Kentucky Visitor Experiences, Heaven Hill Distillery and 2022 American Icon of Whiskey Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year. “Our team navigated the last several years with determination and grace to eventually welcome back visitors from across the world to experience the best of Kentucky Bourbon and spectacular Commonwealth. We are honored to be recognized as a leader in tourism.”

As noted by Christopher Coates, editor of Whiskey Magazine, “The global whisky industry has taken the challenges of the past few years in its stride, and the strength of the entries we’ve received to our Icons awards for 2022 reflects this perfectly.”

Widow Jane 10-Year-Old was also recognized as the World’s Best Small Batch Bourbon, previously receiving Best Non-Kentucky Small Batch Bourbon at the American World Whiskies Awards. Heaven Hill Brands acquired Samson & Surrey on Feb. 1, 2022, including its portfolio of brands and facilities like Widow Jane. The acquisition of Samson & Surrey further extends Heaven Hill’s portfolio with six high-growth, super-premium brands in several of the industry’s fastest growing categories.

Several Heaven Hill brands were also recognized during the American World Whiskies Awards and Icons of Whisky presentation. Notable awards include Jeff Crowe named as Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year, Widow Jane 10-Year-Old winning Best Non-Kentucky Bourbon, Widow Jane Oak & Apple Wood Aged Rye winning Gold in the Rye category, and Henry McKenna winning Gold in the Bourbon category. More information, including silver and bronze medalists, can be found at www.worldwhiskiesawards.com.

Heaven Hill reminds you to “Think Wisely. Drink Wisely.”


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Lauren Cherry Newcomb
Heaven Hill Distillery

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