Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Review

Jack Daniels Old No. 7

 

Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Review

Distillery: Jack Daniels
Expression: Old No. 7
Category: Tennessee Whiskey
Region: Tennessee, USA
ABV: 40%

Jack Daniels Old No. 7 is one of the most widely distributed whiskeys in the world.

Back in the day, it was bottled at 46% alcohol.  For a while their slogan actually used to be “We will always be 46.”

When cocktail drinking went into a tailspin and people started mixing anything with everything, the Jack and coke became an immensely popular drink.

At that point some slick willy at Jack Daniels decided that they might as well bring the alcohol content in line with the competition and lower it to 40%.

Nevertheless, JD #7 still stands out as a iconic whiskey with a smooth pull and straight up sour mash.

An excellent mixing whiskey which still stands as the best example for what a Tennessee whiskey should be.

If you’re a fan of Old No. 7 (or even if you’re not) be sure to check out some of JD’s other offerings such as the Silver Select, Sinatra limited edition, and Gentleman’s Jack which all make for some fine sippin’ whiskies and are just as tasty as any high-end bourbons on the market.

Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Tasting Notes

Nose: butterscotch, wood, toffee
Palate:  oily mouthfeel. maple-vanilla, toasted oak, corn syrup, 
Finish: Short and oaky with light pepper.

Score 74 / 100

Jack Daniels Sinatra Select: A Frank Review

sinatra-select

Jack Daniels Sinatra Select

Distillery: Jack Daniels
Expression: Sinatra Select
Category: Tennessee Whiskey
Region: Tennessee, USA
ABV: 45%

sinatra-pic

Frank Sinatra was a sharp fella known for his impeccable taste.

So it may come as a surprise that his favorite whiskey in the world was Jack Daniels Old No. 7 and not some wildly expensive limited edition 50-year old single malt.

The Chairman of the Board even had his own pet names for his beloved spirit calling it “nectar of the gods” and “gasoline” for its ability to keep his engine roaring through the show.

When he was laid to rest someone slipped a JD-filled flask into his coffin so he could swig some booze en route to that great gig in the sky.

In cooperation with his estate, Jack Daniels decided to pay tribute to “Old Blue Eyes” by giving him his own JD special expression: Sinatra Select.

To provide some extra flavor and a bit of flair special “Sinatra Barrels” were employed in the maturation process. The Sinatra barrels had small grooves carved on the inside of the cask to expose the spirit to more wood thus providing more spice and oak flavor.

Sinatra Wood

We got a chance to sample this baby and flip through the packaging courtesy of the folks at Ounce, Taipei.

It’s certainly one of the boldest expression of Jack Daniels available.

At 90 proof, it’s the same strength that Old No. 7 was back in the days when Frankie was drinking it.

The Packaging

sinatra-select-packaging
In a word: outstanding …

Sinatra Select comes in a sharp-looking black box which contains a nifty little booklet about Frank’s career and his 50-year love affair with Jack Daniels.

The iconic Jack Daniels bottle got a little makeover as well. It’s sleeker and has an orange (Frank’s favorite color) icon of a fedora on the neck.

For the time being, Sinatra is only available at select duty-free shops and a few high-end retailers, but it may be more widely distributed in the near future.

Conclusion

My first inclination was to give Sinatra Select “the business” for being a bit over-hyped and overpriced.

But at the end of the day, Sinatra Select is one of the finest Jack Daniels expressions available and it’s presented in a really well-crafted package.

If you’re a curious Jack Daniels lover who’s comfortable dropping US$150 on a bottle, go ahead and give it a go. But if you’re on a budget, you might take a pass and opt for the Single Barrel or Silver Select which offer better value.

Either way, you can start spreading the news that Jack Daniels Sinatra Select is a fine whiskey and a must-have collector’s item for all of his fans.

Jack Daniels Sinatra Select Tasting Notes

Nose: Damp wood, berries and ripe McIntosh apples floating in on the Summer Wind.
Palate: Potent oak meets spice like Strangers in the Night. Chewy banana notes and hints of cherry.
Finish: Long, dry and warming finish that will get under your skin but doesn’t overheat the taste buds.

Score: 89 / 100

Penderyn Madeira Finish

 

Penderyn - Madeira-cask

Penderyn Madeira Finish Review

Distillery: Penderyn
Expression: Madeira Finish
Category: Single Malt
Region: PenderynCynon Valley, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales
ABV: 46%

This delightful dram was matured in bourbon barrels and finished in Madeira casks. If you drank it without any price indication, you could easily mistake it for a more pricey whisky. To top it all off, at 46% it’s a bit stronger than your run-of-the-mill, entry-level single malt.

Penderyn Madeira Finish Tasting Notes

Nose: White sesame, cumin, plum, raisin
Palate: Sherry. Nice interplay of sweet/dryness
Finish: Short and shy finish. Vanilla with a tad of heat. Leaves you clamoring for a bit more.

Score 82 / 100

Hellyers Road Distillery Original Review

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Hellyers Road Distillery Original Whisky

Distillery: Hellyers Road Distillery
Expression: Original (5 years)
Category: Single Malt Whisky
Region: Tasmania, Australia
ABV: 46.2%

When I came across a bottle of Hellyers Road in Taiwan at Jason’s Supermarket I was immediately intrigued.

It was the first whisky I had ever seen from Tasmanian, but other than that, I couldn’t find too much information on it.

Apparently even the legendary dram drinking Jim Murray hadn’t gotten his mitts on it because there was no rating for Hellyers in his Whisky Bible.

Nonetheless, I decided to roll the dice and pick up a bottle.

At home, I took out an ole’ Glencairn glass and poured myself a wee dram.

And then another.

and another.

About a quarter of a way through the bottle it was obvious that I had stumbled across a real winner.

Hellyers is made from Tasmanian barley and it delivers the ultimate cereal whisky experience like no other.

There’s nothing overpowering here, but every nut, berry, bushel of wheat and honey drop does exactly what it’s supposed to–they work in unison to please the palate.

It’s like a Greek goddess pouring a goblet of golden nectar down your gullet.

There are plenty of  US$200 bottles of Scotch that can’t hold a candle to this whisky.

Fantastic stuff.

Epilogue

The next day, I went back to Jason’s and picked up another three bottles.

Better safe than sorry.

Hellyers Road Distillery Original Whisky Tasting Notes

Nose:  Delicate grains, mild citrus
Palate:  A mouthful of warm wheat cereal followed by honey.
Finish:  Wide, expansive, clean, pure, and comfortable.

Score 87 / 100

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