Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Wisdom Project’s latest podcast looks back at the Heaven Hill Distillery fire

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History Director Doug Boyd released the latest podcast of The Wisdom Project last week on the 20th anniversary of the Heaven Hill Distillery fire. In addition, he was on WUKY for an episode of “Saving Stories.”

According to the web page notes for Episode #007 Trial by Fire: Looking back at the Heaven Hill Distillery fire, “On November 7, 1996, the Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky experienced one of the most devastating distillery fires of all time. Seven bourbon warehouses were destroyed, 50% of the distilling building, as well the office building and several smaller buildings were severely damaged. Marking the 20th anniversary of the fire, this episode looks back from multiple perspectives, featuring Max Shapira (president), Craig Beam (master distiller), and Maj. Charles “Chuck” Montgomery (firefighter).”

Interviews featured in this episode are from the Kentucky Bourbon Tales Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Full interviews are online:
Interview with Max Shapira:
Interview with Craig and Parker Beam:
Interview with Maj. Charles Montgomery:
Interview with six master distillers (Jimmy Russell, Bill Samuels, Chris Morris, Craig Beam, Jim Rutledge, Marc Coffman) :
View the initial news reporting (WHAS helicopter footage):

The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, a part of UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center, debuted The Wisdom Project podcast in October 2015. The series of history related podcasts come from oral interviews and projects that have been carefully selected from the Nunn Center’s collection of nearly 10,000 interviews.

All of the podcasts are housed at the Louie B. Nunn Center in the Margaret I. King Library on the UK campus. The Wisdom Project is online at and is available on SoundCloud. 

The Wisdom Project podcast is produced by Doug Boyd and Kopana Terry; JD Caruthers is assistant producer of Episode #007. Music by Doug Boyd.

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