Frank Sinatra Jr. grew up around Jack Daniels. His father habitually had a tumbler of "his drink" in hand and would share bottles of the stuff with the Rat Pack when they came by to say hello to Nancy and the kids.
"Jack was my father's drink of choice," Sinatra Jr. explains. "My father was the kind of man who liked to hang out. He'd get with his cronies and sit up and sip all night. It helped him keep going."
Sinatra Jr. followed his father into the music business when he was a teenager, learning at the feet of Duke Ellington and Sammy Davis Jr. before playing packed houses in Vegas for decades. But he never became a habitual drinker. Still, being his father's son, he always liked to savor a glass of bourbon. So, when Jack Daniels approached him about creating a blend to honor his family, Sinatra Jr. signed on and headed to Lynchburg, where he was surprised by how old-school the brewing process was – "it's almost archaic," he says.
To make Sinatra Select, the distillers carved cuts into oak Sinatra Barrels to increase surface area and darken the flavor. They then mixed that whiskey with normally aged bourbon. The result has a less spiky flavor than your typical bottle of Jack. Sinatra Jr. compares the drink to the work of Victor Young, the American composer best known for slow ballads and the smooth theme music that ran over the credits of fifties films like 'The Star.'
"It's got a mellower, deeper flavor, the sort of feel that serious drinkers describe as 'going down easy,' " says Sinatra Jr. "It's a gentleman's drink, probably not something that you'd see a woman drinking."
Sinatra Jr. says the new blend fits him perfectly now that's he's got some gray hair and looks more distinguished than the young heartbreaker he once was. He doesn't mind a slightly smokier taste. Yes, he's his father's son, but he's his own man, too. [$154; binnys.com]