Henry McKenna Single Barrel Awarded ‘Best in Show Whiskey’ at 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

March 26, 2019

Heaven Hill Distillery takes home numerous medals across the historic American Whiskey portfolio


BARDSTOWN, Ky. – Heaven Hill Distillery’s Henry McKenna Single Barrel Bourbon was announced as the “Best in Show Whiskey” at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, only the second time a Bourbon has won the top prize amongst all whiskeys from around the world, including Scotch. The only other Bourbon to win was the 2008 Parker’s Heritage Collection 27-Year-Old, a testament to Heaven Hill Distillery’s dedication to the craft of producing quality American Whiskey since 1935.

Consistency, a hallmark of Heaven Hill Distillery, is on full display for the award-winning Henry McKenna Single Barrel. The Bottled-in-Bond, 10-year-old Bourbon also received Best Single Barrel Bourbon and Best Bourbon, the exact award designations the brand received just last year in the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Given the barrel to barrel nuances that come with the single barrel designation, maintaining the incredible taste profile year in and year out demonstrates the expertise of Heaven Hill’s master tasting team.

According to editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ Magazine, Wall Street Journal best-selling author and San Francisco Spirits Captain Fred Minnick, Henry McKenna scored higher than the best Single Malt Scotch, Irish Whiskey, and Single Malt Whiskey, products that range in retail price from $70 – $150 per bottle. Henry McKenna is an unbeatable value as a world’s best whiskey, one Minnick describes as “delicate, complex and an extraordinary Bourbon whiskey.” For insight on the controlled blind tastings used in the judging process, Minnick chronicled Henry McKenna’s path to Best in Show Whiskey on Forbes here.

“Quality and consistency are two values that have persisted across Heaven Hill since our company began distilling American Whiskey in 1935,” said Heaven Hill President Max L. Shapira. “Henry McKenna, and our entire American Whiskey portfolio, is a shining example of the tradition instilled by our late Master Distiller Parker Beam and carried forth by our unrivaled team at Heaven Hill Distillery. While we certainly enjoy the recognition of our passion, it is the commitment of our people who bring these products to life that gives us the most satisfaction.”

From every day Bourbons, to special releases, to Kentucky-only products, the art of selecting the right barrels from more than 1.5 million in inventory requires tremendous experience and awareness of warehouse locations and the resulting impact on flavor. Across the portfolio, Heaven Hill also took home several other medals from the premiere tasting competition:

  • Double Gold, Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel Bourbon
  • Double Gold, Old Fitzgerald 9-Year-Old Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon
  • Double Gold, Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Double Gold, Larceny Barrel Proof Small Batch Bourbon
  • Double Gold, William Heavenhill 6th Edition 16-Year-Old Bourbon
  • Double Gold, Evan Williams Master Blend Bourbon
  • Gold, Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
  • Gold, Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2011 Bourbon
  • Gold, Rittenhouse 4-Year-Old Bottled-in-Bond Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Gold, Evan Williams 12-Year-Old Bourbon
  • Gold, Heaven Hill Select Stock 18-Year-Old Wheated Bourbon

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition was founded in 2000 and has become a premiere tasting competition judging more than 3,000 spirits this year. All spirits were tasted over four days through a controlled blind tasting by expert panelists. No information on brand, producer, or price point is given out prior to tastings to ensure each is judged fairly and without bias. For more information on the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, check out the website at https://sfspiritscomp.com/, as well as the August 2019 issue of the Tasting Panel Magazine.

ABOUT HEAVEN HILL DISTILLERY: Founded in Kentucky by the Shapira family in 1935, Heaven Hill Distillery continues its legacy as one of the foremost American Whiskey producers. Heaven Hill has cultivated the traditions and history of America’s Native Spirit with its fierce independence, passionate family ownership, dedication to quality, and thoughtful innovation. Today, Heaven Hill Distillery maintains over 1.5 million barrels aging in 57 warehouses throughout Nelson and Jefferson Counties. It is home to an award-winning collection of American Whiskeys including Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky and Parker’s Heritage Collection. Heaven Hill Distillery currently holds the title of 2018 San Francisco Spirits Best Bourbon, 2017 Whisky Advocate Whisky of the Year, and previously held the titles of 2016 Whisky Magazine Distillery of the Year, 2016 Whisky Advocate American Whiskey of the Year and 2016 Rye Whiskey of the Year from “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.” For more information, please visit www.heavenhilldistillery.com.


Lauren Cherry
Heaven Hill Brands
(502) 413-0217
[email protected]

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