Today, Jack Daniel’s announced a nationwide release of their Sinatra Century. The limited release comes from a 100 barrel batch. The distillery is using the same Sinatra barrels, or grooved barrels, they used for the Sinatra Select release a couple of years back. A tribute to Frank Sinatra, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century is also including a CD of a few never before released Sinatra songs in addition to fancy packaging. This one’s a wallet-breaker – the SRP is $499.99 for a liter bottle. Here’s the press release:
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof, the newest member of the Jack Daniel’s family, is hitting shelves August 2015 at a suggested retail price of $65. When I heard the news, I couldn’t wait to try this whiskey. I’m a fan of their Single Barrel, and thoroughly enjoyed their Sinatra Select release. Now we get a single barrel whiskey from them at barrel proof, unfiltered and uncut. This is the closest most of us will ever get to tasting what Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett samples on a regular basis in the barrel warehouses. It’s virtually the same thing he’s tasting.
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.
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.
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.