HDW CLIX is named for two vital components of the project. "HDW" represents Harlen Davis Wheatley, Master Distiller at Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Harlen led a small team of specialists throughout the decade-long process of producing the first batch of HDW CLIX – from seven years of design, planning and installation of a specially-constructed series of copper and stainless steel stills, cookers and fermenters, to the final distillation which resulted in only 2,000 bottles of this unique craft vodka. "CLIX" or "159" in Roman numerals, represents the 159 separate distillations that were required to produce the initial bottling of HDW CLIX.