The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2015

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Page 82 of 120

82  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2015 I t's one of those auto-audial associations: The instant we hear the words "Blue Ridge," our minds tune in to the dulcet tones of John Denver singing, "Almost heaven, West Virginia; Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River . . . ." Between Denver's mournful voice as he longs for country roads to take him home and his moody descriptors of the land around him, we can practically see the misty rise and fall of the Blue Ridge range. Atlanta, GA–based Blue Ridge Spirits is equally evocative of place, with the busi- ness's name designed to reflect the "beauty of the area," according to Carlos Carreras, Chief Executive Officer for the two-year-old company. And with two distinct brands in its portfolio, one based in Asheville, NC, and the other based in Houston, TX, the spirits in the Blue Ridge arsenal tell a story of people and place. "The spirits that come from both Asheville Distilling Co. and Yellow Rose Distilling have been created and cultivated with a lot of TLC," continues Carreras. "Asheville Distilling is owned by Troy and Charlie Ball, and they have a great story for their brands; it is a very family-oriented story. Yellow Rose is another great brand, and the founders are very passionate about it. One thing I love about the Yellow Rose portfolio is that they have a line of whiskeys including bourbon, rye and blended whiskey. You BLUE RIDGE SPIRITS OFFERS BRANDS WITH SOUL AND STORY by Rachel Burkons / photos by Vanessa Rogers A Sense of People and Place Rene Armas, VP of Sales, Blue Ridge Spirits (left) and CEO Carlos Carreras (right) talk to longtime customer and friend Eddy Cruz, owner of Jensen's Liquor in Miami, FL. "Working with longtime partners like Eddy will be a key to success for our brands," says Carreras.

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