Drink Review: J R Ewing Private Reserve 4-Year-Old

November 20, 2020
4 mins read

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Named after the eponymous fictional character in US television show Dallas, this has been aged in newly charred American oak barrels for four years. This is sweet with notes of caramel, vanilla and orange.

Jr Ewing Bourbon Review:

Sour, tangy, flamboyant, woody, peppery, black tea, apple, sweet wine graphite and musty oak.

Jr Ewing Bourbon receives 4.5/5 stars.

If you have the opportunity to purchase J R Ewing’s Private Reserve Bourbon, then please do.

Jr Ewing Bourbon Review 1:

J R Ewing Bourbon gets a well deserved 4.5/5 stars from me.

Don’t delay, buy them while you can.

4/5 stars – Let me start by saying that I have tasted this bourbon. This review is for this edition. However, I still tasted the 2015 and it is a very good bourbon. At around 14% this is a full proof bourbon, displaying notes of malt, vanilla, green melon, black pepper and some leather. As always, it’s barrel strength will be important to determine whether or not you enjoy it. I do think this is an excellent bourbon, no question about it. So, that’s where I start.

The wood in the barrel comes from two of the following five kinds of wood. Apple, maple, maple, oak or cherry.

The barrel used for the 2014 edition starts as a freshly emptied barrel in an oak barrel. It’s the third to last to be filled. As well as this, J R Ewing’s barrels are all date stamped, which is a good idea as in a barrel of bourbon aged for three years, one year is wasted. The bourbon is aired before filling.

The new charred barrel is used for only six months maximum. The Ewing family doesn’t actually cut the wick on this barrel and it doesn’t get any more new charred wood.

J R Ewing’s barrels are in fact replenished each year with some of their old stock, meaning the 2014 edition will of course have a unique whiskyscape, while maintaining the general characteristics of mostly oak wood.

Fermentation process is controlled as J R Ewing believes this produces the best results. Adding water to the barrels after aging is permitted. Roughly 5% +/- of the bourbon is added throughout the time it spends maturing in the barrel. Pretty good rates of evaporation occur in the barrels. That means a lot of money goes in to each barrel of whiskey but a lot gets out too, which makes me wonder about quality control.

Jr Ewing Bourbon Review 2:

As I drink this, and continue to do so, I find myself liking it more. It’s not my favorite bourbon, mind you, that’s the Old Fitzgerald, made from rye.

It’s an interesting bourbon, one that you will probably like or not like. I’m finding the sherry notes are coming through more.

There are some folks who drink an American whiskey thinking it’s basically bourbon, using bourbon barrels and adding bourbon mashbill to make bourbon. Correct me if I’m wrong or get it wrong here. I will probably be drinking a bourbon through an apple rather than an American oak barrel. I should probably point out that the bourbon is made in Indiana, where I live. The bourbon is aged in Indiana and Kentucky.

Anyway, I will probably still be enjoying American whiskey until the day I die.

J R Ewing’s bourbon has notes of sherry (of course), apples, oak and vanilla.

On the hunt for a good bourbon for this review, I found the Ewing’s Family Reserve amber bourbon. It’s a bourbon aged in an American oak barrel for four years and is then finished off in an oak barrel where it stays for four years. There is a bit of rye in the recipe and it’s bottled at around 50 drank.

It was really good.

Even though J R Ewing is so prominent in my Kentucky life because of the family name, I don’t actually know that much about them.

I still want to say this is a great bourbon, which is to say, at about 14% this is a great bourbon.

I had a few drams of the 2014 when I was in Tokyo last March. Then in July, as I was in the States, I had a few drams of the 2015 and enjoyed it a a lot.

J R Ewing Private Reserve Review 3:

The J R Ewing Private Reserve 4 Years Old is neither too mild nor too strong. I enjoy this whiskey, no question about it.

I like the finish too, which is soft. This comes from one of two types of barrels used. Many of the barrels used are from barrels which have been used in the boiling of corn to make bourbon mash whiskey. The barrels being used at J R Ewing are new charred barrels, therefore, they will give off a much different flavour to the bourbon that has been aging for four years in an American oak barrel. This is a good thing. I love sherry.

The barrel used is about a third new from a bourbon barrel and two thirds bourbon barrel.

As I sit here and drink this, I’m thinking this is one of the great bourbons.

If you’re a bourbon fan, and you enjoy whiskeys with some sherry mixed in, you will probably like this. I love sherry.

Ingredients:Corn, water, barley, rye, corn, rye, organic cane sugar from Texas, apples, yeast, lactobacillus and naturally occurring botanicals.

Nose:Sour, maple syrup, caramel, lemon, apple, spices, black tea, vanilla, pepper, butterscotch and oak.

Palate:Sweet, sherry, cherry, sweet spices, apple, wood, pepper, wood, oak, chocolate, vanilla and chocolate and oak.

Finish:Sweet, sherry, maple syrup, chocolate, wood and oak.

Overall Review:

A great American whiskey, great for sipping in front of the fire or for adding to a cocktail. This is a good whiskey, one that you will probably enjoy. At around 14% this is a great bourbon, quite similar to the Ewing Family Reserve, except this has a higher proof. If you like sherry and you want to pick up a bottle, you should buy this.

Sour, tangy, flamboyant, woody, peppery, black tea, apple, sweet wine graphite and musty oak.

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