The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, the first “tourist distillery” to open as part of Whiskey Row’s renaissance in downtown Louisville, filled its 1,000th barrel on February 1, 2018. The distillery reached this milestone after producing one barrel per day since production began in September 2013, a small output compared to the 1,300 barrels produced per day at Heaven Hill Distillery’s Bernheim Facility, one more in tune with the facility’s defacto craft distillery scale. The multi-million dollar distillery, immersive tour experience and retail location celebrates is the first official stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
“When the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience opened in 2013, a unique, innovative experience was created where Bourbon fans, historians, and visitors alike could enjoy our nation’s spirit,” said Heaven Hill President Max L. Shapira. “We are proud to celebrate filling 1,000 barrels at our artisanal distillery with the City of Louisville and look forward to sharing product from the first barrels when they mature.”
Evan Williams was not only a pioneer in Bourbon, but also a Trustee of the City of Louisville, wharfmaster, and built the first county clerk’s office and city jail. In honor of Williams’ heritage in Louisville and the milestone achieved by the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, the 1,000th barrel was dedicated to the City of Louisville. The unfilled barrel was displayed in the lobbies of seven downtown partners for one day each before being transported from Mayor Greg Fischer’s office to the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience to be filled. All visitors were invited to sign the barrel on the day of the filling.
“Bourbon is a unique part of both our rich history and our bright future,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Distillery experiences like Evan Williams are part of what we call Bourbonism, creating a great opportunity for our city to become an even more popular tourist destination in the years ahead. And that’s more great news for our economy.”