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At Heaven Hill, Bourbon's Still in the Family

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At Heaven Hill, Bourbon's Still in the Family

Business

At Heaven Hill, Bourbon's Still in the Family

At Heaven Hill, Bourbon's Still in the Family

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The aging barrels of whiskey in the background underline Parker Beam's deep ties to the bourbon business. He's related to James Beauregard "Jim" Beam. Jack Speer, NPR hide caption

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Jack Speer, NPR

Bourbon aficionados from all over the world are in Bardstown, Ky., this weekend. They've come for the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and a chance to sample their favorite spirits.

Lynn Grant stands in front of a wide variety of potent potables at the Heaven Hill gift shop. Jack Speer, NPR hide caption

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Jack Speer, NPR

Bardstown is home to the Heaven Hill distillery and master distiller Parker Beam. A descendant of Col. James Beauregard Beam — yes, the Jim Beam — the 63-year-old Parker Beam has been making whiskey for decades, and can trace his family's whiskey-making roots for generations.

Heaven Hill is the only remaining family owned distillery in Kentucky, a state with more than 200 years of bourbon-making history.