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The Daily Dish Southern Charm

JD Madison Reveals the Touching Inspiration Behind His Gentry Bourbon Business

The #SouthernCharm company is about more than just liquor.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Sorry Craig, JD Is the Boss

The moment we've all been waiting for finally arrived on Monday night's Southern Charm. No, we're not talking about the birth of Kathryn C. Dennis and Thomas Ravenel's second child St. Julien Rembert Ravenel, although that was super sweet to see. We mean the public launch of JD Madison's Gentry Bourbon, which we've seen Craig Conover work on as well this season. 

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Unfortunately, JD has been reluctant to hand over the reigns of his new bourbon business to Craig, much to his chagrin. And even when Craig is involved in the operations, JD hasn't exactly been pleased with his work (clip above).

But there's a reason JD is so hard on Craig. Gentry Bourbon means a lot more to him than just a liquor business; it's all about family for this Southern Charm gent. 

JD explained that his company was named after his grandfather and his grandfather's horse in a video of Gentry Bourbon's national launch party in March posted about a month ago on Vimeo (clip below). John Gentry Madison was a politician and real estate developer before he retired and got into horse racing, according to Gentry Bourbon's website. As he and JD's father Gary Madison picked up prizes for racing horses across the country, they stumbled upon a championship horse whose bloodline could be traced back to Triple Crown winner War Admiral, the website says. He named that horse Gentry.


John dreamed of Gentry racing and winning the Kentucky Derby, but he passed away before he got the chance. Now his memory lives on, thanks to Gentry Bourbon. "It means more to me than anything in the world to see my father's face tonight when I got to toast him and his father looking down on us. Nothing better," JD said at the launch party. 

Gentry Bourbon itself has roots in Kentucky and Indiana as it is distilled in those states before being bottled in Charleston, JD explained in the video. Since the spirit of Charleston is really instilled in Gentry Bourbon, it naturally had its national launch at the Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens in nearby Mount Pleasant, South Carolina . Many of JD's fellow Charmers showed up to help celebrate the bourbon, including JD's wife Elizabeth, Craig, his girlfriend Naomie Olindo, Kathryn, Landon Clements, K. Cooper Ray, Danni Baird, and Jennifer Snowden.

#GentryBourbon official launch @boonehallplantation @jennifersnowden so pretty--great job @lawsonroberts0!!!!

A photo posted by Kathryn Calhoun Dennis (@kathryndennis) on

FAUX Foxy Femme Fatale 💯 #GentryBourbon #RedCarpets #Redheads #CowgirlBootsWalkin #Bye

A photo posted by Kathryn Calhoun Dennis (@kathryndennis) on

🎬 GentryBourbon #SouthernCharm

A photo posted by Kathryn Calhoun Dennis (@kathryndennis) on

#mygirls 💋💋💋 @naomie_olindo @jennifersnowden

A photo posted by Kathryn Calhoun Dennis (@kathryndennis) on


Cheers to a totally glam Gentry Bourbon launch!

Relive more of Craig's business dealings with JD this season of Southern Charm, below.

Craig Goes Into Business With JD
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