“Justified,” the FX show about a U.S. marshal keeping the peace by whatever means necessary in Harlan County, Ky., returns for a fourth season tonight at 10. I’m not sure what U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant, above) will be up to this season, but it’s a pretty sure bet that somewhere along the way, bourbon will be involved. And helping to keep that bourbon real is Amy Preske, PR manager for Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Preske provides the show with bottles of the distillery’s brands for use in various scenes. I caught a glimpse of the distinctive Blanton’s bottle in one scene last season; Preske said she also sent bottles of Elmer T. Lee when her contact asked her for suggestions about what a certain character might drink. There it is next to Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough), member of a crime family from Detroit, below.
“It’s pretty common to be asked to supply product for a show or a movie, at least once a month, probably more,” Preske said. “We’ve sent empty Pappy bottles to ‘Justified’ and other productions, which we advise them to fill with tea. I just sent one empty and one full bottle to the producer of a movie called ‘Growing Up and Other Lies’ (scheduled for release this year), and they sent me pictures of it being used on set. I sent 200 empty E.H. Taylor Jr. bottles to the HBO set of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ (see still below); they reproduced the old label, which I also sent them pictures of.”
Buffalo Trace isn’t the only distillery placing products in film and TV productions, of course. Preske said she’s also seen Wild Turkey on “Justified,” for instance. “My contact said they try to keep it spread between all the distilleries so it’s fair. I would imagine that it’s fairly common. I’m not sure we’re doing anything that’s unique!”
Maybe not, but I think it’s still pretty cool – and I’ll bet Raylan Givens would drink to that. Right, Raylan?