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Bob Dylan to open whiskey distillery

Heaven’s Door Whiskey, co-founded by Bob Dylan, will open a distillery in Pleasureville, Kentucky, in September.

Heavens Door Distillery
The Heaven’s Door Distillery has been under construction since 2017

The new distillery is situated on a 160-acre plot located along Six Mile Creek, and has been under development since 2017.

“This is a momentous occasion for Heaven’s Door,” said Marc Bushala, co-founder and CEO of Heaven’s Door Spirits. “We selected this location for its remarkable natural beauty and unique ecosystem that has enabled us to make exceptional Bourbon and create an unrivalled visitor experience.

“We are committed to the art of craft whiskey and honour the legacy of the many pioneers who have helped make Kentucky Bourbon what it is today. We are thrilled to have Heaven’s Door be part of this storied tradition.”

The distillery has been producing small batches of Bourbon on its custom still since 2018, after Ken Pierce was brought on as master distiller to lead the project from design through to distillation.

Pierce began his career with Barton Brands Distillery, initially working as senior chemist to director of distillation, and eventually becoming master distiller.

Pierce said: “The Heaven’s Door Distillery has been an incredible project, from inception to production of our first barrels. For me, this is a living legacy of my 40 years in the industry and my passion for making great whiskey.”

The Heaven’s Door Distillery will feature two separate still houses, each in its own towering western horse barn; a visitor centre with tasting rooms and lounges overlooking the valley and Six Mile Creek; an 18th-century grist mill; two 18th-century cabins and a Moravian barn, all of which have been ‘painstakingly’ restored.

Heaven’s Door said it was ‘proud to lead the way in sustainable distilling’; the new site will utilise two underground aquifers to access limestone water for its distilling, as well as geothermal heating and cooling of the buildings.

Heavens Door Distillery
The new site utilises two underground aquifers

Furthermore, the distillery will cultivate its own heirloom grains and recycles protein-rich mash from the fermentation process as feed for cattle on surrounding farms.

It is said the project will help drive economic growth and opportunities in the county by creating more than 50 jobs and bringing tourism to the area.

The distillery also plans to work with local farmers to source ingredients for its spirits, further strengthening its ties to the community.

Heaven’s Door Distillery plans to open its doors to the public in September 2023.

Brand experience

In addition to its Pleasureville distillery, Heaven’s Door will open a brand experience in a former church in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

The brand experience will house a small live music venue, a private event space, and a restaurant and bar featuring one of the largest selections of American whiskey in the country.

The Heaven’s Door brand centre includes plans to construct a new 15,000-square-foot immersive art experience adjacent to the church that will feature a collection of Dylan’s critically acclaimed paintings and metalworks, as well as curated exhibitions of other artists.

The brand had previously said it intended to open a showcase distillery and brand centre in a 160-year-old church in Nashville, Tennessee, which it acquired in 2016.

“With our distillery opening in Pleasureville, having our brand experience in Louisville made more sense,” said Bushala.

“We will use the Nashville property as the seat of The Heaven’s Door Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, which supports charities for the arts.”

Yesterday, Bushmills Irish Whiskey unveiled its new £37 million (US$46m) Causeway Distillery.

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