J.R. Ewing, the devious oil man memorably portrayed by Larry Hagman on “Dallas” in the 1980s and again on the reboot that debuted in 2012, enjoyed his bourbon. And now he has his very own brand. In conjunction with the start of the TNT version’s third season earlier this year, Warner Bros. teamed with an independent blender to produce J.R. Ewing Private Reserve. The blend of 4-year-old bourbon from an undisclosed Kentucky producer is bottled by “Southfork Distilling Co.,” and the bottle features a screenprinted image of the iconic gate to the Ewings’ Southfork Ranch.

J.R. Ewing

The aroma
Once in the glass, this bourbon is a very light straw
color, and the nose is also light – sweet, with a lot of
corn and vanilla and a note of molasses. Think
candy corn.


The taste
Again, very light and sweet on the front, with a lot
of corn and a little oak and not much else. A mild
tingle on the mid-palate gives way to a short finish.
Simple and basic.


The Burn
First sip hints at sweet vanilla but quickly gives way
to a surprising oakiness that is beyond it’s 4 year
age statement. It’s a very thin bourbon with no
complexity or layers of flavor. There’s also no burn
or lingering finish. Once you swallow all you’re left
with is an overly tannic taste in your mouth courtesy
of unbalanced oak.