An unprecedented four batches of Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon were shipped to retailers and restaurants nationwide last week and will be available starting today.
Cigar Blend Batches #15 through #18 derive from the same “coupe mere,” or mother blend, which consists of 13 barrels ranging from 11 to 20-years-old. The coupe mere was created on June 12, 2019, and was put into freshly dumped Armagnac barrels which had been recoopered by the highly esteemed cooperage, Tonnellerie Vicard, from Cognac, France.
Check out tasting notes from Master Blender Nancy Fraley below:
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #15 — The Spice Bomb
Batch #15 is perhaps the spiciest batch of Cigar Blend released to date. It spent 5 ½ months in a 300 liter freshly dumped Armagnac barrel, so it has picked up a considerable amount of barrel spice and tannin content. On the nose, it offers notes of intense brown baking spices such as allspice, clove, cinnamon, and mace, with black licorice and old saddle leather. On the palate, notes of cracked black, white, and chipotle pepper are supported by salted caramel pudding, bittersweet dark chocolate, caraway seed, and pumpernickel bread drizzled with sweet orange blossom honey on top. The finish is semi-dry, with lots of rye spice, caraway seed, and Nutella.
For those who want to pair this batch with a fine cigar, we recommend pairing it with one that is a little sweeter, silkier, and softer on the palate for a pleasant aromatic experience.
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #16 — Cigar Blend Gone Nuts
Fans of Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend who like nutty aromas will be particularly fond of Batch #16, which has taken on a lot of “rancio” notes on the nose and palate. Rancio is a much-prized yet elusive aroma found particularly in high end Cognacs, Armagnacs, and other brandies that were distilled with a lot of fatty acids. The aroma of “rancio” is technically the oxidized esters of fatty acids, of which Cigar Blend Batch #16 seems to have in abundance. It seems that this particular barrel was previously filled with an Armagnac that exhibited a lot of these type of notes, and so it has imparted these notes into the bourbon.
In this batch, which was finished in a 400 liter freshly dumped Armagnac cask, we find a lot of fruity top notes of with Medjool date and California Mission fig, stewed prunes in Armagnac syrup, along with ginger snap cookie, orange marmalade, Tawny Port, dark dried fruit notes of stewed prunes. There is also a tang of Roquefort cheese with a touch of Atlantic ocean brine, graphite from pencil shavings, and Turron de Alicante (Spanish almond nougat). We find this batch to be one of the most complex barrels that we’ve had to date, with an exceedingly long finish.
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #17 — Perfumy with Fruit and Floral Notes
Batch #17 spent its cask-finishing life in a 400 liter freshly dumped Armagnac barrel, much like Batches #16 and #18. However, this batch is quite “perfumy,” with a lot of fruit and floral notes. We find a significant amount of top notes which are supported by deeper, darker aromas. Aromas of grilled ripe peach, dried apricot, cherry pie with a buttery crust, lime blossom, and wild prunes are omnipresent on the nose. On the palate, the fruity notes on the nose remain and are enhanced by flavors of old cedar chest, chocolate mousse, and sandalwood incense. A complex and aromatic bourbon whiskey.
Cigar Blend Bourbon Batch #18 — Balanced with Fruits, Nuts, and Spice
We find Cigar Blend Batch #18 to be the most balanced of all the Armagnac-finished barrels from this coupe. It has a lot of caramelized wood sugars coming from the barrel, exhibiting notes of toffee, vanilla bean, red and black berry compote, orange blossom honey, croissant with melted butter, and bitter-sweet chocolate. The palate offers flavors of sweet and sour pomegranate juice, a touch of almond paste, aromatic pipe tobacco, and brown baking spice notes of allspice and cinnamon.