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Bernheim Distillery History
Isaac Bernheim was born 1848 in Schmieheim, Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1867 arriving with $4 in his pocket. He originally worked in New York City. However, the company went bankrupt.
Having to find work elsewhere he became a "peddler" travelling throughout Pennsylvania on horseback selling household items to housewives from which he made a respectable living. However, he was forced to stop peddling when his horse died.
Bernheim relocated to Paducah, Kentucky where he found work as a bookkeeper for the liquor company, Loeb, Bloom, & Co.
He quickly moved on, and with the help of Nathan Uri and his brother, Bernard Bernheim, was able to open up his own liquor sales firm called Bernheim Brothers & Uri in 1872. This business grew rapidly due to the proximity of large waterways providing good transport links
Bernheim Brothers & Uri relocated from Paducah to Louisville in 1889 and purchased a distillery in New Haven.
In 1896 Bernheim Brothers & Uri bought the Pleasure Ridge Park Distillery and renamed it Bernheim Distillery Co. From this distillery, they began the production of a premier whiskey brand called I.W. Harper.
The success of his distillery and distribution business helped to consolidate the Louisville area as a major centre of Kentucky bourbon distilling.
Bernheim sold the company to the Schenley Distilling Corp in 1937.
During 1999 Heaven Hill acquired the Bernheim Distillery, and the Old Fitzgerald Bourbon brand.
Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey.
Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whisky represents the first truly new American whisky style to be introduced in many generations. Whereas other whiskeys contain primarily corn, barley or rye in their recipes, Bernheim is the only type of straight whiskey, which uses soft winter wheat.
The result is a full-bodied, sweet, yet smooth whiskey that is produced in small batches and aged to perfection in traditional open rick warehouses.
A straight wheat whisky must contain 51% of a single type of grain in the case of Bernheim Wheat whiskey it is soft winter wheat plus a combination of other grains. Additionally it must be aged a minimum of 2 years in a new charred white oak barrel.
For a whiskey to be called a bourbon it must contain 51% Corn
The difference between Bernheim Wheat whisky and wheated bourbons such as Makers Mark and Old Fitzgerald is that the latter two adhere to the requirements covering bourbon and use a small amount of wheat instead of rye in their mashbill.
Bernheim Whiskey Awards
2005 Pioneer Whiskey of the Year – Malt Advocate Magazine
2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – Silver Medal
2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – Bronze Medal
2008 Whisky Magazine World Whiskies Awards—World’s Best Wheat Whiskey
2009 International Spirits Challenge --- Gold Medal
2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – Silver Medal
2009 Whisky Magazine World Whiskies Awards – World’s Best Wheat Whiskey
2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – Silver Medal
2010 WSWA Spirits Tasting Competition – Silver Medal
2011 – “Top 50 Spirit of 2011” – Wine Enthusiast Magazine.