O’Driscoll steps into master distiller role at Heaven Hill

30th January, 2019 by Amy Hopkins

American whiskey maker Heaven Hill Distillery has appointed Conor O’Driscoll as the fifth master distiller in its 84-year history.

Heaven Hill

Conor O’Driscoll will lead the distilling and warehousing teams at Heaven Hill’s Bernheim distillery

O’Driscoll entered the whiskey industry in 2004 as operations manager for Brown-Forman’s distillery in Shively, later moving to the Woodford Reserve Distillery where he assumed responsibility for warehousing and processing.

Most recently, O’Driscoll headed operations at Bacardi-owned Angel’s Envy Distillery in Louisville.

“Conor is among the finest young distillers in our business and we could not be more thrilled to have him at the forefront of distilling for our historic portfolio,” said Max L. Shapira, president of Heaven Hill Brands.

“In his 15 years in the industry, he’s played a key role in growing production and innovation, with an expectation of quality and a respect for craftsmanship. In that regard, he is a perfect fit for us.”

In his new role at the Heaven Hill Distillery, O’Driscoll will lead the distilling and warehousing teams at the group’s Bernheim distillery in Louisville.

The distillery recently underwent a US$25 million expansion that included the addition of a new still, making it the largest single-site Bourbon distillery in the US.

A native of Dublin, Ireland, O’Driscoll moved to the US in 1989 after completing a degree in chemical engineering at University College Dublin.

He said of his new role: “I’m very proud to be a part of Heaven Hill’s storied whiskey legacy. The trust of the Shapira family is humbling [and] I am excited and honoured to carry on the traditions of the master distillers that helped establish Heaven Hill’s place in the industry.

“I am especially honoured to carry on the legacy of Parker Beam, whose expectations for quality and consistency live on today.”

Heaven Hill’s master distiller emeritus, Parker Beam, a grand-nephew of Jim Beam, died in 2017 after a long battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The firm was founded by the Shapira family in 1935. It produces brands including Evan Williams, Elijah Craig and John E. Fitzgerald Larceny.

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