Interview with Bernie Lubbers

“Bourbon Whiskey History Episode #19”
ABV Network 

  • He was a comedian on Bob and Tom radio show and had a bit about his dad drinking a quart of Heaven Hill 90 proof every day whiskey drinker and a rep from Jim Beam asked him to say Beam instead. In 2005 he started doing conventions for them talking about what is on the labels.
  • 2006 he started working with small batch products.
  • 2013 he started working at HH
  • Wrote the book: Bourbon Whiskey Our Native Spirit
  • He is now brand ambassador at HH
  • 1935 the 5 Shapira brothers started the distillery. 
  • Their father came over from either Russia or Lithuania. 
    • He was a door to door salesman
    • He was successful and opened a store
  • Each son opened a store either called Louisville store or Peoples store up until the 1990s
  • Investors: bought out their investors in 1936
  • They filed for their name and the filing office put in a space it was supposed to be “Heavenhill”
  • Bourbon Falls, 2 year old was their first Bourbon
  • 1939 Old Heaven Hill they launched
  • Ann Shapira lived until 103 dying in 2017-18

Interview Conor O’Driscoll
Bourbon Pursuit Episode #231

  • Conor is the 7th Master Distiller to have worked at HH
  • Grew up in Doublin, Ireland
  • Chemical engineer
  • Started with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
    • They sent him to Terre Haute, IN out of college
    • They were making cheese using a synthetic yeast
    • 6 years he worked there
    • He had friends in Louisville and that helped keep him there
  • Drove a Harley motorcycle for 11,000 while in Terre Haute around the US
    • Followed route 66
  • He got tired of the engineering side of fermentation and looked at getting into Bourbon
    • In 2002 he started looking at getting into bourbon seriously
    • It took him 2 years of knocking on doors and then Leo Rengier (?)  from Brown Forman
    • Spent 5 years in Shively running the distiller
    • 2008-9 they sent him to Woodford
    • From 2009-2017 he was at Woodford
    • When they left they were shipping 1 million barrels a year
  • A former Woodford college called him and told him that they might have an opening at Angles Envy
  • So he worked there and made rum for Bacardi
  • Then HH called and he turned them down but then they called back and talked him into it
  • They make 5 mash bills
  • Their top spirit is HH Reg their Rye bourbon
  • Evans Williams is 2.7 cases/year and is 2nd selling bourbon in the world
  • 2 weeks after he started Henry McKenna won best whisky in the world but he had nothing to do with it he laughs
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