Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select Tennessee Whiskey Review

In the Jack Daniel’s family, there’s one ultra premium selection:  Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select Tennessee Whiskey.  It’s their tribune to a long and fruitful relationship with Frank Sinatra.  Before Sinatra, Jack Daniel’s was a small regional brand.  According to the company, Ol’ Blue Eyes held up a bottle of Jack Daniel’s onstage and called it the “nectar of the gods.”  That small Tennessee whiskey company was never the same again.  Sales went through the roof, and to this day it remains the best selling American whiskey in the world.  It’s well known Sinatra loved his Jack Daniels.  He drank it with a couple of ice cubes and a splash of water.  There is even a bottle of Jack Daniel’s buried with him.

Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel's Distillery.

Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery.

Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select starts off with whiskey aged in special grooved barrels, or Sinatra barrels.  They cut deep grooves in oak barrels, exposing the whiskey to more wood.  When it comes to maturation, these special grooved barrels are mixed with barrels from the upper floors of their warehouses usually reserved for Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel.  The intended result is a whiskey that’s bold and smooth – words usually associated with Frank Sinatra.

(Please note:  the Jack Daniel’s Distillery sent me a review sample.)  On the nose, there’s overwhelming oak and vanilla on top of the traditional Jack Daniel’s sweet nose.  Taste-wise, Jack’s always been a sweet whiskey, but here that sweetness is held in check by the oak.  I don’t find it overly oaky, but if you’re not a fan of oak in your whiskey you’re probably not going to like this one.  Look past the initial sweet oakiness and there’s a little fruit and spice.  The finish is no where near as rough as Old No. 7, but is about as sweet.  How should I describe this whiskey?  It’s almost like putting a tuxedo on Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7.  It’s definitely more refined than their standard black label.  However, it’s not a super-complex whiskey…but  I don’t think they were aiming to make a super-complex whiskey.  That being said, there’s lots more happening here than in a glass of their Old No. 7 black label.

Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel's Distillery.

Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel’s Distillery.

My only gripe is the price.  This 90 proof Sinatra Select will run you about $165 for a liter.  This seems unreasonably high to me.  Maybe you’re paying extra for the packaging (which is pretty classy) or the Sinatra name on the bottle.  I’d be willing to pay $75 or even a $100 if I’m feeling generous to myself, but $165 is hard to swallow.

The price sucks, but the whiskey is fantastic.


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