Best Small Batch

Heaven Hill Distillery Wins Distiller of the Year, Top Awards from 2023 American Icons of Whisky

February 15, 2023

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof named World’s Best and Best Kentucky Small Batch Bourbon

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Awards announced Heaven Hill as Distiller of the Year at their annual awards banquet in Louisville last Thursday. Heaven Hill also took home top honors for all its nominations including Sustainable Distiller of the Year, Lynn House as American Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the Year, Connor O’Driscoll as Highly Commended Master Distiller, World’s Best Small Batch Bourbon and Best Kentucky Small Batch Bourbon for Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C922. As winners and finalists for these categories, Heaven Hill will be considered for the upcoming World’s Best competition in London in late March.

“This year’s awards were hosted with a difference, bringing the industry’s great and good to Louisville, Kentucky’s The Brown Hotel to announce the winners and commend the people, places and products that stood out from the crowd,” said Phoebe Calver, Editor of American Whiskey Magazine. “It is no mean feat to achieve these accolades and as always it is a joy to share in those moments of success.”

The World Whiskies Awards are the global awards selecting the very best in all the international recognized styles, awarding and promoting the world’s best whiskies to consumers and trade across the globe. In 2022 the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience won Visitor Attraction of the Year along with Director of Kentucky Visitor Experiences Jeff Crowe winning Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year. Brand Ambassador Bernie Lubbers is also a past winner having taken home the prize for American Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the Year three previous times.

Recognized as 2023 American Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the Year, Lynn House adds to her long list of accomplishments in the spirits industry. As Heaven Hill’s National Spirits Specialist and Portfolio Mixologist, Lynn is responsible for supporting the entire Heaven Hill Portfolio with emphasis on on-premise focused brands. Among Lynn’s many awards, last year she was also named “Best U.S. Brand Ambassador” at the 16th Annual Spirited Awards by the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation.

Master Distiller Conor O’ Driscoll was recognized as Highly Commended in the Master Distiller Category. He joined Heaven Hill Distillery as Master Distiller in 2019, then a fifteen-year veteran of Kentucky’s Bourbon industry. Conor leads the distilling and warehousing teams at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, the largest independent, family-owned Bourbon distillery in the world. Conor also oversees Heaven Hill Distillery’s portfolio of historic brands, which reflects the rich heritage and tradition of American Whiskey.

Heaven Hill was also honored with the award for Sustainable Distillery of the Year. Director of Environment and Sustainability Rachel Nally and Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel Jes Pendergrass accepted this exciting award which acknowledged the already impressive strides made towards Heaven Hill’s 2030 Sustainability Goals. These goals will be an integral part of the Heaven Hill Springs Distillery set to open at the end of 2024. The $135 million-dollar, state-of-the-art distillery will augment Heaven Hill’s distilling capacity to meet increased global whiskey demand and marks the company’s return to distilling in Bardstown. It has been designed to create a more environmentally conscious distilled spirits industry and ensure a thriving environment for generations to come. Heaven Hill Springs Distillery has been engineered to minimize water use to below industry benchmarks and reuse certain water streams. The site will use native plants and natural systems to manage stormwater runoff and improve habitat on the property. The distillery will also include a wastewater pretreatment system to ensure discharged water exceeds environmental standards and greatly reduces the load on the city’s treatment plant. Heaven Hill also will plan to utilize energy creation and recovery, lessening the distillery’s demand on the city’s electrical grid.

ABOUT HEAVEN HILL BRANDS: Founded in 1935, Bardstown, KY -based Heaven Hill Brands ( is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and led spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Larceny, and Henry McKenna Bourbons; Rittenhouse Rye Whisky; Deep Eddy Vodka; Admiral Nelson’s Rum; Black Velvet Canadian Whisky; Lunazul Tequila; HPNOTIQ Liqueur; Carolans Irish Cream Liqueur, plus the newly-acquired Samson & Surrey portfolio.  

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

Kaitlynn West
Heaven Hill Distillery
(502) 413-0230
[email protected]

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly