As mentioned in our previous blog post regarding Batches #189-194, Master Blender Nancy Fraley is very happy to be “back in the saddle again” and writing tasting notes for Jos. A. Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon. The “With a Little Help from My Friends” batches continue here with tasting notes for Batches #195-200. These batches are a blend of 9-year-old 36% MGP and 21% rye bourbon, 16-year-old Barton’s rye bourbon, and 20-year-old MGP 36% rye bourbon. The 9 year-old components were aged in a cool and damp area of the warehouses, so while the color isn’t as deep as some Cigar Blend expressions, they offer a bit more roundness and finesse on the palate in these batches. For enhanced enjoyment of each batch, Nancy recommends opening the bottle and taking a small pour off the neck in order to allow the bottle to aerate for an hour or more to fully appreciate the intensity and complexity of the dram.
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #195: Whiskey Uncensored
The name for Cigar Blend batch #195, aka “Whiskey Uncensored,” was suggested to us by Benjamin Taublib, whiskey YouTube content creator of the show “Whiskey Uncensored” and known on Instagram as @Bour_ben. This batch is a citrus lover’s dream, as the first impressions on the nose offer delightful notes of orange cream soda, carrot cake with cream cheese icing, and Twining’s Earl Grey Bergamot tea with sweet condensed milk. After the initial orange citrus notes have made their grand appearance, the chocolate mousse, caramel macchiato with whipped cream, and S’mores with milk chocolate Hershey’s bars and caramelized marshmallows kick in. All of these notes carry over to the palate with further flavors of old-fashioned egg custard topped with nutmeg, buttery croissants with Seville orange marmalade, sticky cinnamon and white icing-coated Monkey Bread, and honey-balsamic fig compote. If you’re looking for an honest and authentic pour, this batch lives up to its name!
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #196: Tuff Gong
Cigar Blend batch #196, aka “Tuff Gong” was the celebrated Jamaican musician and songwriter Bob Marley’s nickname and also a cult hero to our Master Blender Nancy Fraley. This batch hearkens back to many of the flavors and aromas found on Jos. Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon cult favorites, batch #25 (“The Pirate Cask”) and batch #38 (“Exodus,” after a Bob Marley & the Wailers song) with lots of Caribbean inspired notes. The initial nose is quite sweet, with an abundance of tropical fruit notes featuring pineapple upside down cake with maraschino cherries, mango cheesecake and sweet and tangy papaya-coconut cake. The palate offers all of the same tropical fruit notes which the nose promises with developing flavors of Jamaican rum cake with allspice, banana pancakes drizzled with maple syrup, sweet potato pie filled with warming baking spices, brown butter, candied ginger and rich molasses cookies. The finish is quite long with whispering accents of candied fruits, citrus blossoms, and dark brown sugar. For the Cigar Blend lover who is fond of the fruitier, tropical batches, this batch delivers in spades. “Yeah Mon!”
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #197: Sunday Sundae
Cigar Blend batch #197, aka “Sunday Sundae,” comes to us from Cigar Blend batch name contest winner Ben @griswold.drinks on Instagram. Ben’s superlative batch is the epitome of a rich ice cream sundae enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon with super sweet notes of warm chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, real whipped cream, maraschino cherries and roasted peanuts over French vanilla ice cream. The palate delivers what the nose promises with even deeper aromas of banana pudding with ‘Nilla wafers and vanilla pudding, French toast with maple syrup, Cherries Jubilee, salted caramel pudding, and cinnamon sugar toast with honey butter. The finish offers all of the above classic ice cream dessert notes with an additional and very unexpected note of pine flavored beer hops with candied ruby red grapefruit peels. A very traditionally sweet yet intensely complex whiskey! Slàinte!
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #198: Magnus Opus
The name for Cigar Blend batch #198, aka “Magnus Opus,” was brought to us by Whiskey Instagram influencer Keith Norton @bourbon.rye.guy. This batch offers up a plethora of fruity cherry and red berry notes with Kirschwasser (German unaged cherry brandy), creamy Chocolate Raspberry Trifle, Black Forrest cake and old-fashioned Christmas Icebox Fruitcake with a Graham Cracker crust. The flavors diversify significantly on the palate while still retaining some red berry notes with poached pears in a ruby red Port reduction, gooey Southern drop biscuit cobbler with cinnamon apples and cranberry walnut pumpkin spice bread. The finish harkens back with waves of spice and more red berries with more German influences such as Rote Grütz (red berry pudding) packed with red currants, cherries, raspberries, strawberries and a blast of warming allspice, cloves, and cinnamon. This delectable work of art will have you seeing many shades of red!
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #199: Fraley’s Comet
Cigar Blend batch #199, aka “Fraley’s Comet,” comes to us from Bourbon connoisseur and Instagram influencer Mike LaVita at @BourbonApprentice. This starry batch is reminiscent of some of Master Blender Nancy Fraley’s favorite aromas and makes a spectacular appearance on the nose with sweet, buttery notes of Scottish shortbread, prunes in Armagnac syrup, fragrant Black Watch pipe tobacco, sticky toffee pudding and citrusy candied tangerines. The palate sweeps in with bright, heady notes of Turkish delight with not-so-subtle scents of bergamot orange, pistachio nuts, chopped Medjool dates, spice honey cake, dried apricots, green cardamom pods, Southern buttermilk Chess Pie and a sweet and sour pomegranate syrup. Be on the look-out for this exotic batch since Fraley’s Comet only comes by once in a lifetime!
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #200: The Bicentennial
The name for Cigar Blend batch #200, aka “The Bicentennial,” was suggested to us by guitarist, Jos. Magnus Bourbon fan and Instagram influencer Kyle Wipert @kyle_wipert. In celebration of Jos. Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon’s 200th batch, this unusual offering packs a solid punch with strong aromas of Werther’s Original Caramel Chews, pumpkin ale with brown baking spices and sage ravioli covered with cinnamon brown butter sauce. The palate offers up a cornucopia of more caramel-inspired flavors beginning with British plum pudding with brandy sauce, malty notes of toasted barley, sticky toffee pudding, dark brown Muscovado sugar, molasses on buttered biscuits and blood orange caramel tarte tatin. For lovers of the autumnal flavors of caramel, candied orange peels, pumpkin pie and brown baking spice notes, this batch will be your jam!
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.