About Tom AbkerTom Abker
Founder Ridge Reserve Spirits
With over forty years experience in the liquor industry, it was inevitable that I would develop my own brand. I have been involved in the development of well known brands such as Kahlua, Makers Mark, and George Dickel. These are well known names now, but had little recognitioin when I became involved with their promotion.
My first experience of owning and developing a brand was when I bought Conecuh Ridge Distillery in 2005. The state of Alabama had terminated the company’s right to distribute in the state due to the actions of a former principal of the company.
Conecuh Ridge was at standstill and the State of Alabama confiscated all of the company’s product as contraband because of illegal activities. That is when my partner and I took control of day to day operations of Conecuh Ridge and obtained licenses to distribute in seventeen states. By developing brand name recognition, we increased sales to over one thousand cases per month.
Now I am the owner and founder of Ridge Reserve Spirits, LLC. With one product in the bottle -- a whiskey, and one product in development -- a vodka, It took over four years to develop Ridge Reserve Black Label Whiskey. This time was spent on trademarking, licensing, labeling, and packaging development.
Our uniquely designed taste profile appeals to the desirable 21 year old to 65 year old age group. Ridge Reserve earned a gold medal at the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, producing an exceptional rating and earning 90 points. This prestigious panel of judges from the spirits industry described my whiskey as follows: Amber color. Aromas of fresh roasted cashews, pear brandy, honeyed granola, and cinnamon with a soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming tannic pepper, and apple skin. I currently am licensed in Alabama, Texas, Florida, and Louisiana.