Shortly after Prohibition ended in the United States, Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., was founded
in Bardstown, Kentucky by the Shapira family to produce and market Bourbon and premium
American Whiskeys. At the time, it was as speculative a new business venture as the dot com
start-ups of the 1990s - a company founded with no brands, no available stocks of Whiskey, and
at the height of the Great Depression. Today, the company is the largest independent, familyowned and operated distilled spirits supplier in the country. According to industry analysts,
Heaven Hill is now the fifth-largest spirits supplier in the United States and second largest
holder of aging Bourbon Whiskey in the world with an inventory in excess of 1,900,000 barrels.
In 1996, a fire resulted in the loss of the distillery, seven rickhouses and almost 100,000 barrels
of whiskey. After the fire, Heaven Hill moved distilling to the historic Bernheim Distillery in
Louisville. However, the bottling and aging of whiskey along with other functions proudly
continued in the Bardstown area where they remain today. In addition, in 2004, the company
dedicated its first visitor center in Bardstown—most recently expanded and renamed to the
Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience—which has become an award-winning focal point for the
region’s bourbon tourism and has greeted millions of visitors over the years.
In 2014, the company changed its name to Heaven Hill Brands. The name and logo capture the
company's evolution from a leader in American Whiskey production - a position it continues to
hold today - to the nation's fifth-largest distilled spirits supplier. Over the last three decades
Heaven Hill has built on its foundation of American Whiskeys to become a broadly diversified
supplier of Whiskeys, Liqueurs, Vodkas, Rums and other spirits. Heaven Hill's portfolio includes
the world's second-largest selling Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon alongside dynamic brands
including Deep Eddy Vodka, Lunazul Tequila, Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, and category
leading brands Burnett's Vodka, Black Velvet Canadian Whisky, Christian Brothers Brandy,
Carolans Irish Cream, and Admiral Nelson's Rums. Above and beyond its core group of products,
Heaven Hill Brands is recognized as an innovator with products designed to fill growing
segments of the on- and off-premise market like Hpnotiq Liqueur, Larceny Bourbon, Domaine
de Canton and Rittenhouse Rye Whisky.
The most recent expansion of the portfolio includes the acquisition of Samson & Surrey,
including its portfolio of brands and facilities, extending Heaven Hill’s portfolio with six highgrowth, super-premium brands in several of the industry’s fastest growing categories. Included
in this acquisition were Tequila Ocho, Widow Jane American Whiskey, Few Spirits, Brenne
French Whisky, Bluecoat Gin, and Mezcal Vago.
In June 2022, Heaven Hill broke ground on Heaven Hill Springs Distillery, a $135 million facility
in Bardstown – with a name paying tribute to the family-owned company’s original distillery
which burned down in 1996. The new, state-of-the-art distillery located in Bardstown, is
expected to be operational by the end of 2024. Initial production is slated for 150,000 barrels a
year, and, over time, will have capacity to ramp up to producing 450,000 barrels annually. This
will be in addition to the company’s distilling that occurs at the historic Bernheim Distillery in
Louisville, which will continue to operate at full capacity of 450,000 barrels annually.
As of September 2022, Max Shapira assumed the role of Executive Chairman with the
appointment of Kate Shapira Latts and Allan Latts to the roles of co-Presidents. Since joining the
company in 2001, Kate and Allan have been transformational leaders driving Heaven Hill’s
accelerated growth. In their new roles as co-presidents, they will continue to pursue Heaven
Hill’s strategic growth plans and corporate vision, working collaboratively on all key decisions.
Max will transition day-to-day operational oversight of the business to Kate and Allan.
Since 1935, Heaven Hill has retained its commitment to independence and family-ownership
grounded in a mission and core values suited to building for the long term.