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Heaven Hill Embassy Program to ‘go bigger’ for 2023

Elijah Craig producer Heaven Hill Distillery will be bringing its Embassy Program back for 2023, with a vision to ‘go bigger’ by offering more support and prizes for its entrants.

Blind Pig Heaven Hill Embassy
London’s Blind Pig won the inaugural Heaven Hill Distillery Embassy Program

The Heaven Hill Embassy Program aims to support on-trade accounts that want to champion the American whiskey category.

For more than 85 years, Heaven Hill has devoted itself to the craft of fine American whiskey.  Its portfolio boasts some of the world’s biggest American whiskey brands, including Evan Williams, Rittenhouse Rye, and Elijah Craig. 

In the first year of the programme, Embassies were selected across the UK with a view to championing and educating customers on the American whiskey category.

A selection of high-quality point of sale (POS), event creation, and trainings all featured as part of the programme, with Embassies competing against each other, measured by various criteria. 

This month it was revealed that Blind Pig in Soho, London, was crowned the winner of the inaugural Heaven Hill Distillery Embassy Program.

The bar’s prize includes a trip for two to Kentucky to visit the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in Bardstown, winner of Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year in 2022, along with the award-winning Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in Louisville.

They will also enjoy ‘true Kentucky style entertainment’.

“It is a great honour for our team to receive the first Embassy Program award,” said Warren Deroche, groups bar manager. “We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year and we couldn’t be more delighted to achieve this goal. We can’t wait to travel to Kentucky and live the Heaven Hill experience.”

With the help of Heaven Hill’s two newly appointed brand ambassadors, Chris Smith and Tim Ward, the distillery is now looking to invest in the on-trade channel, and build upon last year’s success. 

Smith joins Heaven Hill as an established American whiskey ‘aficionado’, having worked for a decade at the Lexington, before moving to GraceLand Group to open and set up the Bethnal Green Tavern. 

Meanwhile, Ward has been embedded in Newcastle’s cocktail scene for the last 16 years and will build the Heaven Hill brands in the north of the UK. 

Bars or pubs that apply to become an Embassy account do not have to be a specialist Americana or whiskey venue, rather Heaven Hill actively encourages any account that ‘truly wants to get behind the category and educate their consumers’ to enter. 

By becoming an Embassy account, the venues will receive ‘first-class training’ including participation in ‘The Evolution of Bourbon’ session, which covers corn and rye whiskey, wheated Bourbon, and aged Bourbon, among others.

The venue will also get access to limited edition lines of Heaven Hill’s whiskeys, bespoke branded glassware, a Heaven Hill Embassy-branded barrel top, and brand ambassador-supported consumer events.

In addition to the two new ambassadors, Heaven Hill Distillery has further invested in the UK market with the appointment of Jonathan Zammit-Tabona as marketing manager.

Zammit-Tabona brings a wealth of experience towards accelerating the Heaven Hill portfolio in the UK.

For further information on stocking Heaven Hill Distillery brands, or for venues interested in becoming an Embassy, please contact or your local Proof Drinks representative.

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