Friday, March 1, 2019

Joseph Magnus Triple Cask Finished Straight Bourbon Whiskey

- $100
- 100 Proof
- Batch No. 54
- Indiana

I can't say for sure that I ever would have gotten around to purchasing a bottle of Joseph Magnus myself. I've had pours in the past, and while I liked it then, it just didn't do enough for me to justify the hefty price tag. It just didn't move the needle enough.

However, following a great outcome at work, a happy client sent me a bottle, which I was more than happy to accept and enjoy. After all, the fact that it's MGP bourbon finished in two different sherry casks and cognac casks alone piqued my interest, and I was very excited to give this whiskey full consideration.

The nose was full of aromas, probably more than I was even able to pick out. This really had a lot going on before I even took my first sip. It had bold and rich notes of plum and almond which hit the olfactory senses like a brick. I also got some raspberry notes, which I usually get from any sherry finished whiskeys. These dark fruit and bright berry notes were delicious smelling and were layered over an underlying vanilla note that made this come across as very dessert-like.

The palate was a bit different than expected given the nose, however.  Rather than the raspberry notes that I expected, I got orange peel and dark fruits. The plum came through but also some blackberry or even dark cherry. Those fruit flavors had a bit more tartness to them than I expected.

It also had some savory notes as well. I got some dark chocolate, that worked really well with the orange peel flavors. It also had a certain nutty quality to it. At first I had pinned it as a cashew note. However, the more of this I had, the more that note seemed to turn into an almond flavor, and it really took over the flavor profile. It was almost as though someone had taken a bit of amaretto liqueur and added it directly to my bottle. It was that strong of a note, and, unfortunately, it pushed the other good chocolate, vanilla and dark fruit notes to the background.

Throughout this bottle, with each pour, I got a slight but off-putting flavor that seemed to not belong in this whiskey (or any other whiskey for that matter). It took me some time at first to figure out what I was tasting, because it wasn't strong. As soon as I placed it as a burnt rubber note, however, I found that I just couldn't get past it. I don't want to say that it ruined it for me, but I certainly feel that I would have enjoyed this whiskey much more had I been able to get past that. It was a really bad note, even if it were subtle.

And that was really the only thing subtle about this whiskey. This is a bold, in-your-face-with-flavor whiskey, which I'm guessing is what they were aiming for. However, certain notes, like the strong amaretto flavor, were just too strong, and I think in the end it had too much going on. I'm guessing this is probably what resulted in what I was tasting as an off-note. For the price, it just didn't live up.

Grade: B-

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