Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon finished in Armagnac, Sherry and Cognac Casks

- $150
- 127.02 Proof
- Batch No. 33
- Indiana

The Joseph Magnus line certainly intrigues me.  They seem to get at least decently aged MGP whiskey and finish them with the types of finishes that I generally like, often with sherry or cognac. From what I've had so far, I've enjoyed those deep, rich flavors that those finishes impart. However, I've always been turned off a bit by the steep price tag. After all, their standard offering along will set you back $100.

This past year the Cigar Blend, which I've never had before, hit one of my main stores two different times. It was offered to me the first time, and I was very much on the fence given the $150 price tag. Ultimately I passed, and then, of course, I kept coming across review after review telling me how good it was. Talk about instilling FOMO! So, when it became available again just a couple months later, I didn't consider passing on it a second time. I will say, I'm glad I made that decision!

The nose, not unexpectedly, was full of rich fruits. I was getting a healthy amount of dried apricots as well as baked pears with cinnamon. It also had a bit of a blackberry note to it as well. Layered under all those fruit notes was a nice, earthy nutty note, like almonds. Yes, this smelled fruity and nutty, and it was delicious.

The flavor on this bottle really seemed to develop and change over time, and the last 5-6 pours were incredible. The first half of the bottle wasn't so bad either. I was getting super rich notes of cinnamon baked pears, almond and walnut. It was like a biscotti with pear. It also had this nougat note to it that added some sweetness as well as almost a creaminess that I really enjoyed. 

I also got some light anise notes to add a bit of punch to the flavor. The only thing that was missing was the blackberry that I was getting on the nose. The alcohol was strong (as expected given the proof), but the flavors were even stronger, to the point that the kept the high alcohol at bay, making this very drinkable. 

Towards the end of the bottle, the Armagnac and Cognac finishes really seemed to take over. While it was still nutty with notes of baked pears, it was those nutty notes that took center stage, as I was getting a rich mix of almond and walnut. I also got some sweeter notes of fig and raisin. It was almost like a minced meat pie (the kind that's not actually made with any meat). It even had a bit of a grapey sweetness to it. 

I really liked the first half of this bottle, and I absolutely LOVED the last few pours. It's been a while since I had a bottle open up this much, and it was such an enjoyable experience. I'm certainly glad I went ahead and grabbed this one, and I won't be passing on a bottle of this again.

Grade: A

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