Kentucky

Brush fire contained after breaking out near Heaven Hill, Maker’s Mark bourbon warehouses

A brush fire broke out Friday afternoon near warehouses storing bourbon for two of Kentucky’s biggest distilleries. But by 3:30 p.m., the fire was under control with no injuries or major property damage.

Firefighters from the Bardstown Fire Department remained on the scene near Cox’s Creek and were not able to be reached for comment immediately on the cause of the fire.

“The brush fire is contained and there is no threat to any property,” said Josh Hafer, spokesman for Heaven Hill. “We are keeping people on property to monitor it overnight.”

According to Hafer, the fire near Deatsville, between Bardstown and Shepherdsville, broke out about 2 p.m. on a property with four bourbon rickhouses on one side of Ky. 523 and seven on the other.

The property is the site of the former T.W. Samuels Distillery, the precursor to the Maker’s Mark Distillery, he said.

Hafer said that some of the warehouses hold Heaven Hill bourbon, including one that aged the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof that won Whiskey of the Year in 2017.

Other warehouses hold Maker’s Mark bourbon, Hafer said.

No one from Maker’s Mark was immediately available for comment.

It’s been a rough year for Kentucky bourbon: A Jim Beam Bourbon warehouse in Woodford County apparently was struck by lightning in July, setting off a massive blaze that burned for days and resulted in a fish kill in Kentucky creeks.

Heaven Hill Distillery was the site of one of the biggest disasters in modern bourbon history: In 1996, seven warehouses and the distillery itself burned, igniting a tornado of fire. More than 90,000 barrels of bourbon were lost.

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