Raising a Glass to Ol' Blue Eyes

By Vanessa Butler

<p>We head to the launch of Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select. It was ... interesting. <br></p>

Everyone has their drink of choice. Frank Sinatra, The Voice, did it his way with a glass of Jack Daniel’s and three ice cubes. Myself, I usually take my No. 7 with a sloppy pour and a slice of pizza, but to each their own. It was funny to be attending a tasting to “celebrate a legendary friendship that lasted more than half a century” (that would be Jack’s and Frank’s friendship) when I’ve been celebrating my own relationship with Jack Daniel’s all this time (we’re at our ten-year, or tin anniversary), but I was there to learn how to drink a snifter of good old No. 7 Tennessee whiskey properly in the name of Ol’ Blue Eyes.

Sinatra Select is aged in specially designed “Sinatra Barrels” that have been toasted and etched with grooves to allow for more barrel-to-whiskey contact. The result? A “bolder, oakier version of Jack Daniel’s with an incredibly smooth vanilla finish and a bottling at 90 proof.”

I talked for a while with Jack Daniel’s representative John Breckon, who quickly became the 21-and-over Bill Nye the Science Guy after I motioned to my partner and said that he enjoys home-brewing. “The process is all very personal, that’s the magic of oak!” said our Sinatra Select representative. His voice was hoarse from the constant city-to-city traveling he does, launching the premium whiskey over and over again. Once the conversation reached optimum geek, turning to molecules and barrels swelling and contracting under certain circumstances, my mind wandered into the bottom of my glass. Their brewing method is incredibly old school, almost archaic, and that’s something Frank Sinatra Jr. appreciated when he visited the brewery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, and it spurred the partnership for the creation of the high-end whiskey.

“Dad would be very flattered by the association,” said Sinatra Jr. “This fine Tennessee Whiskey, or Old No. 7 as he referred to it, was a favorite part of my father’s life, and he loved both sharing it with his friends and introducing it to new acquaintances.” He added, “I’m very pleased to continue to be a part of the Jack Daniel’s family and feel the introduction of Sinatra Select is an appropriate tribute as we near my father’s 100th birthday in 2015.”

After schmoozing with the beautiful people of the Jack Daniel’s utopia and eating a cracker topped with duck mousse and a cube of Jack Daniel’s–infused orange Jell-O, I wondered if Sinatra would’ve enjoyed his Jack Daniel’s party. Would he have gotten his shoes shined by the dapper young gentleman stationed directly beside the jazz band who made me wish I had brought my leather boots, still all scuffed from last year’s winter? I don’t think so. I think he would’ve been at the bar outside the room being the life of the party.

Sinatra Select has a limited run, but you can purchase the flashy orange bottle and limited edition box until the batch runs out (Sinatra himself designed the Jack Daniel’s Country Club logo). Anyone who buys a bottle, which goes for upwards of $300 (the price of a nice Lagavulin 21 scotch) will be inducted into the Jack Daniel’s Country Club.


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