Ole Smoky Distillery, one of the nation’s fastest growing spirits companies, announced the launch of their small-batch premium whiskey brand today with their first expression honoring family ties, James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
The 94-proof whiskey is aged in American virgin charred oak barrels and filtered utilizing the Lincoln County Process, passing through sugar maple charcoal before aging. Less than 200 barrels of James Ownby Reserve will be released this month.
The whiskey commemorates the remarkable history and spirit of James Ownby – the 5th generation great-grandfather of Ole Smoky Distillery’s Founder, Joe Baker, handing down a family tradition.
“James Ownby lived a life so epic we still tell his tale. A son of the revolution, a soldier – he was dedicated to his country. He enlisted at 17 and served six tours of duty throughout his esteemed military career. James fearlessly fought for our young country’s freedom, for his beliefs and for a better way of life. His most notable service came as a member of the renowned ‘Overmountain Men’ regiment under the command of Colonel John Sevier in the Battle of Kings Mountain – the battle which Thomas Jefferson fittingly deemed ‘The turn of the tide of success,’ in the Revolutionary War,” said Baker.
In the late 1800s, James set down roots in East Tennessee, just a stone’s throw from where Ole Smoky operates the distillery today on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Ownby family became known as one of the original families who settled in the area and brought their knowledge of distilling.
“James Ownby Reserve pays tribute to my family’s heritage and legacy,” said Baker. “This new brand embodies our creativity and commitment to creating small-batch whiskey and the team at Ole Smoky is proud to bring the product to market.”
The James Ownby Reserve bottle and label design celebrates Tennessee with the state’s three stars found on the Tennessee State Flag, each representing the areas of Tennessee, middle, east, and west. It includes a personal message and signature of Joe Baker as he carries the legend forward through the whiskey created to honor his ancestor’s remarkable life.
James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a rich, warm, deep caramel, easy-sipping spirit with a distinctly southern soul. Enjoyed neat or on the rocks, James Ownby Reserve Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey will be available in major markets and at Ole Smoky’s Barrelhouse Distillery in Gatlinburg and 6th & Peabody in Nashville.