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Rittenhouse Rye Whisky Named "North American Whiskey of the Year"

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FOR RELEASE: Immediate Release

Rittenhouse Rye Whisky wins prestigious “North American Whiskey of the Year”

trophy at San francisco world spirits competition

Brand that has been in distribution for years trumps costlier, boutique bottlings

BARDSTOWN, Ky. – In what can only be termed an upset of Final Four proportions, Heaven Hill Distilleries’ Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond Rye Whisky was named “North American Whiskey of the Year” at the recently-completed 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The annual competition is among the most prestigious spirits competitions in the global distilled spirits industry, judged by a panel of industry luminaries.

In capturing the trophy for top North American Whiskey, Rittenhouse first had to be judged a double gold medal winner in its Rye Whiskey class, meaning it was unanimously awarded gold medal by all judges in a blind tasting. It then had to top all other double gold medal winners in the North American Whiskey category, including Bourbons, Canadian Whiskies, and a number of artisinal spirits made by smaller “boutique” micro-distilleries. And the Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond, a traditional rye made in a time-honored method, left these much more heavily advertised and merchandised whiskeys in the dust on its way to the title.

“Historically, rye whiskey has been the ultimate expression of classic American whiskey style, and we at Heaven Hill Distilleries were one of only three remaining producers to keep the style alive during the lean years when rye was overshadowed by Bourbon and Scotch and Irish Whiskeys ” said Kirstin Jackson, brand manager, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky. “As the desire for a broader selection of styles and flavors grows in the American Whiskey category, it is only natural that rye whiskey should reclaim its former position of prominence, because it is generally regarded as the most flavorful of the <country-region w:st="on">

United States</country-region>’ whiskey styles. This award properly affords rye whiskey the recognition it deserves, and for Rittenhouse to have bested such highly-regarded competition is a tribute to the fact that things don’t necessarily have to be ‘new and improved’ to be judged the very best.”

Rittenhouse Rye Whisky was originally launched upon the repeal of Prohibition by the Continental Distilling Company of <city w:st="on">

Philadelphia</city>, and was subsequently acquired by Heaven Hill Distilleries, the nation’s largest independent family-owned spirits producer and the second largest holder of aging American Whiskey in the world. Heaven Hill continued to produce the brand during the years when rye whiskey went largely ignored, despite its historic role in the Whisky Rebellion of 1791 and the iconography of Mike Hammer and The Thin

<state w:st="on">Man</state>. Now available in limited supply in select areas of the <country-region w:st="on">

United States</country-region>, Rittenhouse Rye was also named “Whiskey of the Year” for 2005 by Wine & Spirits Magazine, and last summer Esquire called it “one of the best American Whiskeys at any price”.

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the first comprehensive, international spirits judging event ever held in the <country-region w:st="on">

United States</country-region>, annually. Founded in 2000 by Anthony Dias Blue, the Wine and Spirits Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine and Carol Siebert, the Managing Director of the San Francisco International Wine Competition, the Spirits Competition continues to grow each year in the number of participants as well as in stature and integrity within the industry.

Founded in 1934, Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. (www.heaven-hill.com) is the nation's largest independent, family-owned marketer and producer of distilled spirits products. Aging in its facilities is the second largest holding of American whiskey in the world. Heaven Hill's diversified portfolio includes: the full line of The Christian Brothers Brandies; Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey; HPNOTIQ Liqueur; Whaler's Rum; Burnett's Gin and Vodka; Dubonnet Aperitif; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur; Scotch Whiskies; Canadian Whiskies; vodka; gins; rums; tequilas; cognacs; liqueurs; cordials; and dessert wines. Heaven Hill is based in

<city w:st="on">Bardstown</city>, <state w:st="on">Ky.</state>

# # #


Larry Kass

Director of Corporate Communications

Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc.

(502) 348-3921


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