We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Borenzweig and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I wanted to change the face of American whiskey. Before creating The Beverly High Rye, I worked for a high profile whiskey company for several years. I really fell in love with whiskey, and I have always been drawn to brands that capture and influence culture — I wanted to do something different.
We draw our inspiration from American luxury, more specifically Beverly Hills, which to me, as a Los Angeles native, is the pinnacle of aspirational living. Our whiskey is equally as luxurious. It is an exceptional sipping whiskey that has been recognized with two Gold Medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Beverly High Rye is an ultra-premium whiskey I launched with my partners at Cedar Ridge Distillery on World Whiskey Day in May 2022. Our goal is to change the face of traditional whiskey, so we created an inviting, luxurious spirit that everyone can enjoy. The whiskey is a unique blend of straight rye and straight bourbon, leveraging the best qualities in each for a delicious marriage of spicy and sweet, with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar coming from the rye, paired with a rich, viscous mouthfeel, and a touch of sweetness from the bourbon. Our recipe is the result of years of development, working closely with Murphy Quint, Cedar Ridge’s Head Distiller, who is a master in his craft and a world-class whiskey expert. The final product offers a complex profile — a bright harmony of flavors with balance and finesse.
We are only in the beginning of our journey, but it has not been easy getting here. Fortunately, with experience at a startup in the industry previously, I had the opportunity to be a part of developing and launching a brand, and I learned a lot of lessons along the way. Each stage presents its own challenges. It may be cliche, but I think perseverance — and surrounding yourself with people who support, motivate and inspire you — is everything. As long as the product is good too. We also think it’s important to give back and be good global citizens, so we use an eco-friendly distributor, Amroth, and for every bottle sold, a tree will be planted by Trees For the Future.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My partners from Cedar Ridge Distillery were recently in town from Iowa, and I had to take them to Wally’s Beverly Hills. There is an endless supply of incredible things to experience at Wally’s. From the wood oven baked brie and steak tartare to the wine selection, and of course, The Beverly High Rye, everything is world-class. There will also be at least two Nobu visits. Anyone visiting with me is having our signature “Smoke Over Beverly” cocktail at Nobu Los Angeles and lunch at Nobu Malibu. I love to lounge and enjoy a cocktail at La Peer Hotel. We’re also going to hike Runyon — West Ridge — with my dog, Nala, and grab a breakfast burrito at Cofax after. Another of my favorite things to do is to catch a show at Los Angeles State Historic Park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to give a shoutout to Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Growing up in Malibu, my first experience with fine dining came at Nobu Malibu. The taste, attention to detail, and the way they cultivate a “Nobu family” among staff and guests left a lasting impression on me. Nobu san has been very supportive of our whiskey in the early days, which I will never forget. Beyond his skill, vision, and success, he is a kind person, which I deeply admire.
Andrew Estrada / Wally’s Wine & Spirits Rebecca Peloquin Photography