Recommended use: Serve neat/with ice and a dash of water
Malt Mileage Rating: ★★★★★
Type: Tennessee whiskey
Origin: Tennessee, United States
Price: AU$200 / US$150 / £140
1. The whiskey
Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select is made with whiskey which has been matured in “Sinatra Barrels”. These “Sinatra Barrels” have deep grooves on the inside of the staves, and this means that the whiskey is exposed to more oak during maturation. With increased interaction with the oak, the whiskey has more opportunity to draw out more flavours from the oak. The result in theory is a more robust, intensely oak flavoured whiskey.
The whiskey which is matured in the “Sinatra Barrels” is then married with Jack Daniel’s Old No 7, and bottled at 45% alcohol by volume as “Sinatra Select”.
2. Tasting notes
Tasted – Neat
On the nose are the usual suspects of virgin charred American oak – brown sugar, caramels, burnt toffee and subtle toasted coconut. Gingerbread and apple bubblegum develop, with hints of bakery spices. On the palate there are pancakes and honey with vanilla ice cream, toasted marshmallows and faint waves of orange zest marmalade. This may sound sweet on paper, but the whiskey is impeccably balanced and smooth. The corn spirit buttresses those toasty, smoky, sugary, syrupy oak notes and warming spices tingle on the palate. The finish is spicy, with honey and vanilla.
Tasted – Sinatra style
According to Jack Daniel’s, Frank Sinatra’s drinking ritual was:
three or four cubes of ice.
in a traditional rocks glass.
Two fingers of Jack.
Lets give it a go.
On the nose, beneath the frosty cold of the ice, the bouquet of honey and caramel is softened and hints of zesty orange emerge. On the palate, the vanilla is amplified; first wood vanillas develop then buttery vanilla flavours intensify with orange peel and toasty wood. The finish presents with enhanced cinnamon, and bucket loads of vanilla with denser lingering wood smoke and burnt toffee. I think Mr Sinatra was onto something here. It is the first time I have actually enjoyed neat whiskey with ice. The ice seems to soften the whiskey, and yet amplify the vanilla, cinnamon and charred wood smoke notes.
Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select is outstanding – smooth as ole blue eyes’ olive oil voice and as bold as an Italian-American (Australian, Canadian) after a Rocky movie. Let’s pay our respects to Mr Sinatra and toast Jack Daniel’s for making a whiskey worthy of his memory. Salute.