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A Q&A with Andrew Borenzweig, The Beverly High Rye’s Founder & CEO.
Founded by Andrew Borenzweig, a Los Angeles entrepreneur and whiskey enthusiast, The Beverly High Rye is the ultimate whiskey of today, drawing its inspiration from Beverly Hills and Californian high living to evoke American luxury in name and spirit.
Born in Los Angeles, and crafted in the American heartland, The Beverly High Rye just released their whiskey this May, after several years of careful development.
Tell us a little about The Beverly High Rye and the team behind it.
The Beverly High Rye evokes American luxury in name and spirit. I wanted to create an American whiskey with a fresh look and feel. It is an exceptional sipping whiskey. We won two Gold Medal at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. You can drink The Beverly High Rye at places like Nobu, NeueHouse, Waldorf Astoria, Wally’s and The Beverly Hills Hotel.
I was born and raised in Malibu, and I have lived in Los Angeles my entire life. I drew inspiration from Beverly Hills for the vision behind the brand. To me, Beverly Hills represents the pinnacle of high living, where you can experience the best of the best. I wanted to capture that ethos. It shines through in the product, from design cues with palm fronds on the label to a richness you can taste.
What first got you interested in whiskey and what inspired you to start The Beverly High Rye?
I have always had a passion for fine spirits and luxury brands. Before creating The Beverly High Rye, I worked for a different whiskey company for many years. It was a unique opportunity to participate in the iteration process that goes into developing a product and to experience an extensive array of whiskey in general. I fell in love with whiskey during that time and I was eager to take my passion to the next level by making my own.
What’s the philosophy behind the brand and what makes your product unique?
We strive for mastery in craftsmanship and design. Everything from our blend to bottle is designed with intention and attention to detail. The bottle is distinctive yet timeless. I truly believe that it belongs on every bar cart. The whiskey is a unique blend of straight rye and straight bourbon — rye tends to be spicy, and bourbon tends to be sweet — so we achieve a delicious marriage between the two with balance and finesse.
To produce your whiskey, you partnered with an award-winning craft family-owned distillery. Tell us more about this partnership and take us behind the scenes of the production process.
It was very important to me to partner with a craft distillery to produce an authentic, artisanal whiskey. I was immediately drawn to Cedar Ridge Distillery’s heritage and commitment to quality. The team is incredible. I have been impressed by the passion, knowledge and joy that goes into their craft from the first time I visited in 2020.
Murphy Quint, Head Distiller at Cedar Ridge, and I worked together to design the blend. We went through an exhaustive process. Everything is done by hand, so each recipe was crafted by manually by blending whiskey from hand selected barrels in a variety of formulations. We tasted each recipe at cask strength first, before narrowing down our favorites, and then evaluating them at different proofs. The recipe was perfected on a warm Iowa day in Barrel Shed #7 at Cedar Ridge last summer.
The Beverly High Rye collaborated with Jeffrey Morgenthaler – a world-renowned mixologist and author – to design an exclusive collection of signature cocktails. What was the idea behind this collaboration?
Jeffrey is a world-class bartender and an expert on all things related. I have had the great privilege of becoming friendly with him. The idea was to design a collection of cocktails that let our whiskey shine. These cocktails can be crafted by the professional bartender and home enthusiast alike. The collection is well-rounded with cocktails ranging from the spirit-forward to the citrusy and refreshing. My personal favorites are Sunset on Sunset, Marmalade on Rye and Beverly Highball.
You’re a relatively new brand; what obstacles have you had to overcome during your entrepreneurial journey so far?
There have been many obstacles. Each stage presents new challenges. In the creative development phase, we took our time to perfect every detail. Being a new brand, you often have to work overtime to show people why they should care about you — and to convince them to try something new. On the other hand, meeting people who are eager to try our whiskey, learn about our story, and be a part of what we’re building from the beginning has been one of the most rewarding experiences so far.
What public figure, past or present, do you feel best represents the brand?
Cary Grant. There is something gentlemanly and classic about Grant. He is a true style icon, and an all-time great actor, who starred in some of my favorites, like North by Northwest.
For each bottle of whiskey sold, a tree will be planted by Trees for the Future. Tell us more about The Beverly High Rye’s commitment to supporting our planet.
We plant one tree for every bottle that we sell with Trees for the Future, which is an amazing organization. We believe it is important to be environmentally conscious and to give back to the community. In addition, we work with an eco-friendly, carbon-neutral distributor to minimize our impact on the environment across the supply chain.
Leave us with a motto that the company will always believe in.
“Exceptional Sipping” is our slogan. “Exceptional Living” would be our motto.
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