To celebrate the premiere of the third season of the re-launched Dallas television show, Warner Brothers commissioned the production of a bourbon whiskey worthy of one of television's most conniving and devious characters, J.R. Ewing. The studio engaged the Southfork Bottling Company for the project, and in February 2014, the company released J.R. Ewing Private Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a whiskey the fictitious oil baron most assuredly would have enjoyed.
To be candid, there's a natural tendency to be apprehensive about a celebrity lending his or her name to a certain product—even if it's a factitious name at that. The worry being is the added star power meant to obscure shortcomings in the product. Not to worry in the case of J.R. Ewing Private Reserve Bourbon because it's absolutely splendid.
The 80-proof bourbon is crafted in Bardstown, Kentucky, from a mash bill of premium corn and rye. The grain is milled, mixed with Kentucky limestone-filtered water and allowed to ferment. The fermented wash is then twice distilled in a pot still and matured in charred, new American white oak barrels for not less than 4 years.
Had he been an actual person, J.R. Ewing would have thoroughly enjoyed his namesake bourbon. The whiskey has a burnished copper color, a velvety textured, medium-weight body and Texas-sized, semisweet nose. Its initial entry is gentle and quickly expands bathing the palate with the flavors of vanilla, cherries, baking spice, caramel and zesty citrus. The finish is long and spicy warm.
Here's a bourbon you can drink everyday and never grow tired of, especially if it's served with a splash of spring water. J.R. Ewing Bourbon is also a perfect candidate to feature in a classic Manhattan.
"You don't need to be notorious to appreciate this exquisite bourbon," says Mike Howard, CEO of parent company Prairie Creek Beverages. "The whiskey is superbly balanced and brimming with flavor. What's not to enjoy?"