Solid Light and Heaven Hill Distillery to Create New Visitor Experience Showing What it Takes to ‘Do Bourbon’ – American Whiskey News


Solid Light and Heaven Hill Distillery to Create New Visitor Experience Showing What it Takes to ‘Do Bourbon’

BARDSTOWN, Ky. — November 16, 2018 — Heaven Hill Distillery and Solid Light, a full-service firm that plans, designs and builds exhibits and visitor experiences, announced plans today for a multimillion-dollar expansion and rebranding of Heaven Hill’s Bardstown Visitor Center. The expansion will weave the story of Kentucky Bourbon, Heaven Hill and its founders, the Shapira family, into an immersive, hands-on visitor experience.

Planned, designed and built by Solid Light, the expansion will include a rooftop bar, interactive, educational spaces 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.

The expansion will also include enhanced tasting rooms, retail space and a “You Do Bourbon” experience where guests will have the opportunity to bottle their own Bourbon. In addition to being inspired by Kentucky Bourbon history, Solid Light’s design is based on visitor experience research and survey data from Kentucky Bourbon Trail locations.

The $17.5 million new visitor center expansion is the latest project Solid Light has worked on with Heaven Hill since 2000 and demonstrates the company’s commitment to growing tourism, educating the public and sharing the history of Kentucky’s signature industry. Previous work with Heaven Hill—founded and owned by the Shapira family—includes the design and build of the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience and enhancements to the current Bourbon Heritage Center.


“Our dedication to excellence and passion for our home state of Kentucky and bourbon make working with the Shapira family on the Heaven Hill Distillery Bardstown Visitor Center an incredible opportunity to share the history and craft of Bourbon with visitors,” said Solid Light Owner/President Cynthia Torp. “When it opens, guests will have a truly comprehensive and immersive experience that tells the Heaven Hill and Kentucky Bourbon story and gives them a taste of what it takes to ‘do Bourbon’.”

Solid Light will infuse state-of-the-art technology and design elements throughout the visitor center, including multi-media components and hands-on activities to engage and educate both the novice and most sophisticated Bourbon enthusiast. Drawing on the latest industry trends, the retail space will be an extension of the overall immersive design approach, offering branded merchandise, specialty food products, locally-crafted gifts and Heaven Hill’s premium Bourbons and American Whiskeys.

“We are excited to once again partner with Solid Light to bring to life the history of Heaven Hill Distillery and the Shapira Family,” said Heaven Hill President Max Shapira. “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.”

The second-largest holder of aging Bourbon, Heaven Hill was founded in 1935 and remains a family-owned and operated, independent Kentucky company—the last remaining in the Bourbon business today.

“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,” Torp said. “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.”


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