The mid-winter series of Jos. Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon – Batches #72-77 and #78-83 – is comprised of two larger “coupe meres,” or mother blends, of 32 bourbon barrels ranging in age from 14.8 to 20 years old, which then go into twelve 300-liter Armagnac barrels. While both coupes are overall well-balanced, batches #72-77 feature rye spice, while batches #78-83 are a bit on the sweeter side. The Michigan only batch, #84, is a separate coupe made up of 3 bourbon barrels of the same age range.
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 #72 – 77
Cigar Blend Batch #72: “The Citrus Grove”
The first luscious sip of this very citrus-forward batch of Cigar Blend is akin to biting into a fully ripe, juicy orange. Notes of fresh, sweet Satsuma, clementine, tangerine, and other mandarin orange varieties wash over the senses and palate, together with cookies-n-cream, high quality milk chocolate candies, and caramel-covered apples. There are also top notes of lime and apricot blossom which are known to come from the Armagnac barrel influence, together with some rye and barrel spice on the long finish. Batch #72 responds particularly well to a large, slow-melting ice cube, revealing more fruit notes that reach beyond the citrus grove to tropical fruit such as mango, grilled pineapple, papaya, and toasted coconut. Although we don’t claim that this dram is loaded with vitamin C, the fruity and floral notes can certainly help cure the wintertime blues!
Cigar Blend Batch #73: “Return of The Dark One”
Fans of Cigar Blend Batch #20 aka “The Dark One,” Batch #47 aka “Beatnik Breakfast,” and Batch #58 aka “Darth Vader,” will be drawn to the darkness of Batch #73. Much like these three batches, Cigar Blend Batch #73 is a dark-flavor lover’s delight, with many of the same kind of notes: ice cream sundae drizzled with hot chocolate syrup, dark chocolate-covered cherries, Royal Navy Blackstrap rum, and Black Forest cake with cherries. In addition, this new batch also carries aromas of a banana split, barrel-aged Balsamic vinegar, dark chocolate fudge, and black currant jam. Thick legs dribble slowly down the sides of the glass, exposing the rich viscosity and length that is so prominent on this dram. For devotees of the deep, dark flavors, this dram is calling your name!
Cigar Blend Batch #74: “Barcelona Boqueria”
For anyone that has had the aromatically overwhelming and unforgettable experience of tackling the Boqueria Food Market on the Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, this batch is right up your alley! Fans of Cigar Blend Batch #16 aka “Cigar Blend Gone Nuts,” Batch #42 aka “Brown Sugar,” and Batch #57 aka “Charcuterie Board” will recognize many of the same flavors and nutty “rancio” aromas in this batch. It features notes of Turrón de Alicante (Spanish almond nougat), a tang of Roquefort cheese with a touch of Atlantic ocean brine, light brown sugar glazed over baked sweet potatoes, dry-cured ham flavors of Spanish Jamon Iberico from acorn and chestnut-fed Black Iberian pigs, Manchego cheese with membrillo (quince paste), almond paste, and dried fig, with a generous heap of hearty patatas bravas (Spanish spicy potatoes) filling the nose and palate. ¡Salud!
Cigar Blend Batch #75: “One Mint Julep”
Taking its cue from the lyrics of the 1952 song “One Mint Julep” recorded by The Clovers, Batch #75 boldly declares that one mint julep is the cause of it all! The nose on this batch quickly exposes aromas of grilled peaches muddled with spicy, earthy spearmint, dark pumpernickel rye bread smothered with melted butter, pumpkin pie with brown baking spices, hot buttery croissants, and that infamous but delicious cocktail which hails from Kentucky, the mint julep! Rye fans will observe the savory dill and brown baking spice notes on the nose and palate that delicately dance on top of the sweet toffee and vanilla crème flavors from the corn. For those that like higher rye spice in their bourbon and also enjoy having a mint julep or two, this one’s for you!
Cigar Blend Batch #76: “The Spirit of ‘76”
Cigar Blend Batch #76 aka “The Spirit of ‘76” embodies the spirit of individual liberty and self-determination that made the Declaration of Independence of 1776. This batch expresses its own aromatic independence with notes of plum pudding, nutty Madeira wine, sweet and sour notes of cranberry sauce with candied orange peel, steaming hot apple pie with a cinnamon crust covered with vanilla bean ice cream, dark rye bread with butter, dates in syrup, and sugar cookies with sprinkles. Dark chocolate pudding, Boston crème donuts, and pumpkin pie spice underlie the top fruity and floral notes. With loads of aromas and flavors that draw their inspiration from the American historical recipe play-book, this batch is dedicated to our brave troops past and present who embody the Spirit of ‘76, whose self-sacrifice, moral fortitude, valor, and courage allow us to freely enjoy this dram today!
Cigar Blend Batch#77: “Free Bird”
This batch celebrates one of Master Blender Nancy Fraley’s foremost creative influences, the 50+ year old Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd from Jacksonville, FL. Their music has served to inspire and inform many of her Cigar Blend Bourbon batches. Batch #77 offers deep, rich aromatic notes of Tawny Port-flavored pipe tobacco, old Chesterfield sofa leather, stewed prunes in thick Armagnac syrup, English Christmas cake, Jamaican allspice, and dried dates and figs. In addition, the palate offers flavors of bubbling-over blackberry cobbler with a buttery cinnamon-crusted biscuit, French vanilla bean ice cream, dark rye bread with melted butter, blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup, dried apricots, almondy and nutty “rancio” notes, and naturally, a sweet and tangy Florida key lime pie. For fans of “swamp music” and steamy Southern rock-n-roll, this batch is dedicated to you!
Cigar Blend Batch #78 – 83
Cigar Blend Batch #78: “Tutti Clafouti”
Cigar Blend Batch #78 takes its fanciful name “Tutti Clafouti” from a French dessert called clafoutis (pronounced “klafuti”). Clafoutis is essentially a cobbler made from black cherries with their pits, placed in a buttered dish and covered with a thick pancake-like batter, and then baked and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. And Batch #78 has the notes of baked ripe cherry in spades! Just as the cherry pits give the clafouti dessert almond notes, this batch is teeming with nutty, almond-like aromas and flavors of marzipan and biscotti. Fans of Cigar Blend Batch #46, aka “Psychedelic Summer,” might particularly enjoy this batch, as they share the same type of fruity notes of black currants, raisins, grilled pineapple, Tutti Frutti ice cream, and dried apricots. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy sounding name, as this batch is guaranteed to take the connoisseur on a long, flavor-filled journey of fruit-forward goodness!
Cigar Blend Batch #79: “The Sweet One II”
Cigar Blend Batch #79, aka “The Sweet One II,” harkens back to its predecessor, the much-beloved Batch #27, the original “Sweet One.” It takes on similar aromas of English Christmas cake and plum pudding soaked in brandy sauce, rum raisin ice cream, and buttered croissant with fig jam. Batch #79 has a little less rye and barrel spice than Batch #27, and also a bit more of the sweetness that comes from the caramelized wood sugars that derive from the Armagnac barrels. Additionally, there are notes of cookies-n-cream, sweet corn notes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes with whole milk, and cinnamon rolls with orange glaze topping. This batch should pair well with a drier, spicier cigar that needs a little extra sweetness from the Bourbon barrels.
Cigar Blend Batch #80: “Marrakesh Express”
Although Cigar Blend Batch #80 exhibits a fair amount of sweetness like its brother and sister batches from the same mother blend (Batches #78 – 83), this batch additionally exhibits more savory notes of bouquet garni, sweet green tea with a sugar cube, Moroccan chicken and dates tagine, a Moroccan b’stilla pigeon pie with cinnamon and buttery, flaky filo dough crust, floral potpourri, and a deep dark fruit note of dates in syrup from the Armagnac barrel. Cigar Blend fans who enjoyed the flavors of Batch #28 aka “The Amalgam” and Batch #37 aka “A Night in Tunisia” should find some commonality with this batch. With all the exotic aromas and flavors of a Souk in the ancient city of Marrakesh, this batch should please the aromatically adventurous!
Cigar Blend Batch #81: “Super Freak”
As a wink to the 1981 song by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist James Johnson, better known as Rick James, this batch is most definitely a dram that packs a solid punch! Notes of Fig Newtons and chocolate chip cookie dough in vanilla bean ice cream covered with dark chocolate syrup hold down a steady bass groove. Wilder aromas of roasted Southwestern desert pinyon pine nuts, Southern sweet black tea with muddled spearmint leaves, spicy Jamaican jerk seasoning with lots of allspice, fresh lime blossoms, creamy banana pudding and ‘Nilla Wafers with thick lemon meringue topping, and Indian chai tea with cream hang on to the melody. Batch #81 is such a freaky scene, yet is guaranteed to be tasty enough to bring home to Mother or anyone else!
Cigar Blend Batch #82: “Haute Couture”
In the 19th century, Paris became the epicenter of haute couture and has been the established center of high fashion ever since. In the same spirit of custom, hand-crafted, haute couture style, Cigar Blend Batch #82 is a unique blend that has been shaped to stand out from the other batches of its mother blend. This batch is quite perfumy and floral, with heady notes of early spring orange blossom honey, jasmine and Meyer lemon blossoms, real maple syrup over blackberry pancakes, accompanied by muddled wintergreen mint in simple syrup, mint chocolate chip chocolate fudge brownie, and green cardamom pods. Batch #82 “Haute Couture” is a custom-tailored blend beautiful on its own or with a special cigar.
Cigar Blend Batch #83: “St. Valentine’s Dram”
Batch #83, “St. Valentine’s Dram,” offers a cornucopia of sweet, floral, fruity, and nutty notes! While not overbearing, the Armagnac cask influence definitely shows itself on this batch, with flavors of Medjool dates, pipe tobacco, potpourri, and prunes in Armagnac syrup. Salted caramel pudding, peanut butter brittle, candied orange peels, baklava drenched in honey, and cinnamon swirls fill the mouth cavity, leading to a long, luscious finish. A perfect well-balanced, mid-winter dram to share with beloved friends and family alike!
Michigan-Only Cigar Blend Batch #84
Cigar Blend Batch #84: “Vol. 3”
Batch #84 is the much-anticipated 3rd release of the Michigan-Only Cigar Blends, which was specially blended to celebrate the deep agricultural heritage and fruit growing history of the state. Composed of just three barrels that are then put into an Armagnac barrel for finishing, this batch is intense and complex, with notes of citrusy Earl Grey tea with cream served with blackberry scones, cherries jubilee, mincemeat pie, Sanders Chocolate Fudge Bumpy Cake (as we said, only in Michigan!), and pumpkin pie spices. The palate offers all the above plus notes of apricot and blueberry tart, sticky toffee pudding, and roasted chestnuts, with a long, fruity finish. Michiganders, this one’s specially made for you!
Fine retailers across the nation who offer the full collection of Joseph Magnus spirits will be among the first to receive an allocation of these very limited batches. Be sure to reach out to retailers in your area to inquire about our Cigar Blend Bourbon or use the Store Locator to find a retailer near you.