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Anna Marie

Learn, Taste, and Shop at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in Bardstown, Kentucky

"Experience the history and tradition of Kentucky's native spirit." Travel with PullOverandLetMeOut to stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail for a one-of-a-kind sampling and educational opportunity at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in historic Bardstown, Kentucky.
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Hi, I’m Anna Marie. I’m a wife, mother, Irish dancer, and pug mom living in North Carolina. I also love to travel. Come along for the ride! If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Pull over and let me out.’

A trip to Kentucky wouldn’t be complete without sampling some bourbon. The distinctive American whiskey that is almost exclusively associated with Kentucky has contributed significantly to the history and economy of the state. Whether you are a connoisseur or a teetotaler, learning about this iconic beverage makes an outstanding itinerary item when visiting the Bluegrass State. If you’re over 21, come along with me and see why you should visit the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in storied Bardstown, Kentucky, to learn, sample, and shop.

Bardstown: The Bourbon Capital of the World

According to Kentucky Tourism, 95% of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky. With 11 distilleries within 16 miles of its downtown, Bardstown holds the bragging rights to being the Bourbon Capital of the World. This charming small town in the heart of Kentucky is the ideal destination for a bourbon adventure and the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience is the perfect destination for both bourbon experts and bourbon newcomers.

Located just outside of the historic downtown area, Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience is an impressive, welcoming, and enjoyable attraction for learning about and sampling bourbon.

Step inside the visitors center and you will be transported into the world of Kentucky bourbon. And it is fascinating! Designed with tourists in mind, this is a place to spend as much time as your schedule will permit exploring the premises.

entrance to Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience
Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in Bardstown, Kentucky

The Museum

The Family Gallery is a highlight of a visit to the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience. Guests can travel the photographic timeline and learn all about how Heaven Hill Bourbon came to be.

Founded in the 1930s by five brothers, this renowned beverage has been an important part of the community, the state, the country, and yes, the world. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time reading the exhibits and gaining an understanding of Heaven Hill’s past. We also got a small sample from a friendly staff member seated just outside of the gallery. A tasty touch!

If you are arriving prior to a scheduled tour, make sure to allow time for visiting the Family Gallery. You will gain tremendous insights that might not be covered on the tour.

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Learn the story of the Shapira brothers in the Family Gallery
a photo display in a museum
Visitors learn the story of Heaven Hill
two bottles of bourbon in front of a woman
A tasty sample outside the Family Gallery

Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience Tours

Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience offers several tours that suit a variety of visitors. Tours include Magic of the Mashbill Tasting, Whiskey Connoisseur Tasting, You Do Bourbon (A Bottle Your Own Experience), and Bottled-in-Bond Tour and Tasting. Additionally, each summer they host a popular concert series on the premises.

The price of the tours ranges from $18 to $40 depending on which tour you select. For our visit, we opted for the Magic of the Mashbill Tasting. The 45-minute tour begins with a brief but educational film shown inside of a bourbon barrel (no, it isn’t a real one). It is followed by a sampling and an educational introduction to Heaven Hill’s line of beverages.

Our guide, Debbie, is outstanding and makes the tour interesting and fun. I discovered how something as simple as adding a drop or two of water can alter the flavor and make the drink smoother. I also enjoyed the piece of bourbon chocolate we got to sample. This was the perfect introduction to bourbon for us since we hadn’t had much experience with the beverage before arriving. The samples were small yet large enough to get a nice taste of the flavors without getting tipsy.

Although the tour is perfect for newbies, many tourists with more bourbon experience made it one of many stops along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I did mention there are 11 distilleries in and around Bardstown, didn’t I?

a bar with bourbon samples set up on it
Magic of the Mashbill Tasting
a row of bourbon bottles
A sampling of Heaven Hill beverages
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Because Kentucky sits on top of a massive limestone shelf, the water flowing through our Commonwealth is naturally filtered and packed with the minerals yeast need to thrive. Many believe our pure limestone water is the secret to making the world's best Bourbon.

Shop at Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience

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Food, beverages, clothing, and various bourbon-themed souvenirs are available.

Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience boasts an incredible gift shop. Naturally, it’s possible to purchase the beverages you’ve sampled during the tour. However, the selection of souvenirs doesn’t end there. You name it, from bar ware to clothing to bourbon infused sauces, foods, candy and more, this gift shop has it all. You will want to leave enough time for shopping and finding the perfect memento to take home. We bought a bottle of their Elijah Craig Rye that came with a stainless steel jigger and a small bottle of their Old Fashioned mix. I will let you know hit that works out. 🙂

Tips for Planning Your Visit to Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience

Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience as mentioned, is perfect for beginners and bourbon enthusiasts alike. If you know your plans in advance, I suggest booking your tour prior to your visit. That way you are assured you and your group will be able to take the tour that interests you.

Its proximity to Bardstown’s historic downtown area is handy if you’re staying nearby, especially if this is your only bourbon tour. We stayed at the Historic Old Talbot Tavern so it was mere minutes from our B&B.

In addition to the tours, tastings, and shopping, there is a bar open daily beginning at 11 am. Located upstairs, you will find Five Brothers Cocktail Bar. Whether you’re touring or not, this is a terrific spot to try a flight or a straight bourbon.

Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday 9:30 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Day. The summer months are typically busiest and the Kentucky Derby in May draws larger-than-usual crowds so you will want to take that into consideration when planning your travels.

an overhead tv screen with a list of tours
Select the tour that suits you and your traveling party.

Parting Thoughts

I knew we couldn’t visit Kentucky without at least sampling Kentucky Bourbon. That being said, I didn’t realize the significant role bourbon plays in the state’s heritage and economy.

Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience gives a glimpse into this consequential beverage and provided us with the perfect overview during our visit. Although I’m not a bourbon enthusiast, I can now see why so many travel to this part of the United States to tour the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The beverage and its story is truly captivating.

We were able to learn, taste, and shop. Best of all, we made memories and came away with a delicious story of time spent at Heaven Hill in Bardstown, Kentucky  — The Bourbon Capital of the World.

Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience

1311 Gilkey Run Rd.
Bardstown, KY 40004

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Learn, taste, and shop at Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience

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Learn, Taste, and Shop at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in Bardstown, Kentucky

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