The spring series of Jos. A. Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon comprises two larger “coupe meres,” or mother blends, of 30 bourbon barrels ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old, which then go into twelve 300-liter Armagnac barrels. These two coupes make up batches #85-90 and #93-98. While both coupes are very well-balanced, batches #85-90 have more rye and barrel spice, while batches #93-98 are on the sweet and fruity side.
For enhanced enjoyment of each batch, Master Blender Nancy Fraley recommends opening the bottle and taking a small pour off the neck. Allow the bottle to aerate for an hour or more to fully appreciate the intensity and complexity of the dram.
Cigar Blend Batches #85-90
Cigar Blend Batch #85: “Cigar Blend Blues”
“Cigar Blend Blues,” is by far the “bluest” and most berry-forward of any Cigar Blend batch to date. The initial palate comes in with sweet, juicy notes of blackberry cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream, blueberry pancakes with rich maple syrup, and jelly doughnuts with powdered sugar. More dark berry notes race on the palate, with Cherries Jubilee, boysenberry crisp topped with cinnamon, raspberry tart, together with almondy flavors of biscotti dunked in creamy cappuccino and marzipan. The finish is long and luscious, with echoes of rye spice coupled with the intense dark berry notes. This dram will leave you feeling blue in the happiest of ways!
Cigar Blend Batch #86: “Treasure Chest”
“Treasure Chest,” offers a cornucopia of interesting and unique flavors and aromas. While having a deep underlying sweetness that it shares with the other batches from this coupe mere, it is a little more rye-forward with notes of dark pumpernickel bread with caraway seeds, old cedar chest, black currant jam, and apple strudel with vanilla sauce. The palate offers earthy, herbal, overripe tropical fruit flavors of rhum Agricole in a “Ti-punch” (short for Petite Punch) cocktail with lime juice and cane syrup, coffee cake, and root beer float. The lengthy finish is a perfect match of sweet, savory, and spicy notes which undulate on the palate. Fans of Cigar Blend Batch #19 (aka “Soda Fountain Root Beer Float”) and Batch #30 (aka “Kokomo”) should be able to find some similarities between those batches and Batch #86.
Cigar Blend Batch #87: “Frida & Diego”
Much like the bohemian lifestyle and unconventional artistry of the famous couple, artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Cigar Blend Batch #87, exhibits great passion and creative tension. The nose is sweet, with notes of s’mores, Tres Leches cake, French toast, and buttery croissants with orange marmalade. While the initial palate entry maintains that base sweetness, the temperamental, fiery quality of this batch quickly makes itself known, showing off intense flavors of the rye and Armagnac barrel spices with waves of Mexican hot chocolate, churros and chocolate, rum raisin ice cream, flan with caramel sauce, and chili with smoky chipotle and dark chocolate. Like a work of art that is as challenging as it is harmonious, Batch #87 is a dram that celebrates the contradictions found in great art.
Cigar Blend Batch #88: “The Comfy Southerner”
With a panoply of aromas that are reminiscent of the Southern United States in the springtime, Batch #88, offers Cigar Blend fan’s notes of sweet iced tea with a lemon wedge, grilled peaches, buttered biscuits drizzled with molasses, Virginia pipe tobacco, and the rich chocolate and walnut flavors of Kentucky Derby pie. The palate offers a little blast of rye spice, showcasing notes of mint julep and brown baking spices, hot cherry cobbler with vanilla ice cream, together with peanut butter brittle and banana pudding with lemon meringue topping. Highly recommended for a lazy, hazy late-spring or summer evening spent relaxing with friends and family on the porch.
Cigar Blend Batch #89: “Leather & Lace”
“Leather & Lace,” delivers exactly what its fanciful name promises. The nose exhibits lofty aromas of an old leather sofa, pipe tobacco, along with lacy white flower blossoms such as orange and jasmine, with additional notes of butternut squash ravioli smothered with brown butter sauce and a hint of Jamaican allspice. The leather and lacy white flowers follow through to the palate, where additional notes of pear liqueur, cloves, and real Cherry Coke present themselves. The finish is long, with spicy rye and leathery notes that ride on top of salted caramel pudding.
Cigar Blend Batch #90: “Hot Rod”
Arguably the ‘baddest’ batch of bourbon that hails from this coupe. “Hot Rod” is a spirited batch that takes off on the nose and palate with all the speed and vigor of an old flathead Ford V8 engine. Intense aromas of old leather books, cigarillos, cinnamon rolls with white icing, and piña coladas fill the nasal cavity. The palate races in with notes of pineapple upside down cake, toasted coconut flakes, hot coppa salumi and other smoked meats, together with the prunes-in-syrup and dried apricot coming from the Armagnac barrel. The finish is spicy, sweet, and smoky, and glides into a big, warm “Kentucky hug.” For the more adventurous Cigar Blend fans out there, don’t let this batch pass you by!
Cigar Blend Batches #93-98
Cigar Blend Batch #93: “Psychedelic Summer II”
“Psychedelic Summer II,” is reminiscent of its sweet and fruity predecessor, Batch #46. This batch displays notes of mango lassi, coconut cream pie, grilled figs with an aged balsamic vinegar reduction, cane syrup, and oatmeal cookies. The palate even shares some of the same notes as Batch #46, with rice crispy treats, crème de menthe, Ben & Jerry’s Cherrie Garcia ice cream, and old fashioned Tutti Frutti ice cream with pineapple, raisins, cherries, black currants, and grilled nuts. With its kaleidoscopic range of flavors, this batch promises to be yet another groovy dram!
Cigar Blend Batch #94: “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”
“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” ventures out into aromatic territory that references both rugged parts of Italy and the American Wild West. The nose is rooted in vanilla gelato and salted caramel pudding, with top notes of sage blossom honey, spearmint, and a whiff of barrel smoke. The palate delivers on the nose’s sweet, smoky, and nutty promises, with notes of Italian wedding cookies, pine nuts, almond biscotti, mesquite smoked figs with goat cheese, and rich tiramisu cake. The finish rides off into the sunset with lingering grilled nuts and coconut cream pie. This batch is recommended to be enjoyed on a Sergio Leone movie night!
Cigar Blend Batch #95: “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas”
“What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” aromatically expresses the sentiment behind the famous phrase, which is ultimate freedom! This scandalously delicious dram boasts notes of ice cream sundae with hot fudge sauce, whip cream, and maraschino cherries, port-infused pipe tobacco, caramel macchiato, and prunes in Armagnac syrup. The palate gets even wilder and lets loose with flavors of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, Medjool dates, and gooey cinnamon rolls dripping with orange icing. The finish is long and decadent, with cascading notes of candied orange peels, spice cake, and chocolate covered cherries. So go ahead, have another pour, we promise not to tell!
Cigar Blend Batch #96: “Spring Back”
“Spring Back,” has competing flavors that both celebrate the arrival of spring but also harken back to the winter wonderland. The nose introduces aromas of angel food cake topped with strawberries, white icing, candy cane, toffee pudding, and the sweet, woody essence of wintergreen oil. The palate introduces further notes of sweet potato pie with light brown sugar, coconut pecan frosting, white citrus blossoms, and lemon blueberry tart. A hint of rye spice creeps in to the finish along with a healthy dose of flan with caramel sauce. A perfect dram that delivers the flavors of two seasons!
Cigar Blend Batch #97: “Butter Bomb”
Fans of everything that is buttery will love “The Butterscotch Bomb.” The nose emanates with delightful notes of butterscotch pudding, bourbon-infused pecan pie with chocolate chips, dates in syrup, filo dough, and Crackerjacks. Some palate introduces more fruity aromas while still maintaining the buttery goodness, with notes of oaky Chardonnay, brown butter sauce, French toast with brioche bread and bananas foster topping, grilled peaches with mint leaves, crème brûlée, and a hint of polished leather.
CIGAR BLEND BATCH #98: “Cuckoo’s Nest”
For fans of the nuttier Cigar Blend Batches such as Batch #16 (aka “Cigar Blend Gone Nut ”), Batch #35 (aka “The Nutcracker”), and Batch #42 (aka “Brown Sugar”), Batch #98 should not disappoint. Notes of Bon Bons, marzipan, and Spanish almond nougats fill the nasal cavity. This batch also exhibits a lot of “rancio” notes. Rancio is a much-prized yet elusive nutty aroma found particularly in high end Cognacs, Armagnacs, and other brandies, which comes from the oxidized esters of fatty acids. This note most likely came from the brandy that was previously in the particular Armagnac barrel which also housed Batch #98 during its cask finishing. The nuttiness follows through to the palate, together with deep flavors of Lipton’s sweet iced tea with a lemon wedge, tobacco leaves, and pistachio baklava drizzled with honey. If you’re feeling a little nutty, then this batch is certainly for you!
Fine retailers in Michigan who offer the full collection of Joseph Magnus spirits will be among the first to receive an allocation of this very limited batch. Be sure to reach out to retailers in your area to inquire about our Cigar Blend Bourbon or use the Store Locator on our website to find a retailer near you.