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A blend of whiskeys aged 11 to 18 years old, this is the 2023 release of Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend. The blend, once constructed by Nancy Fraley, is finished in Armagnac casks and bottled at cask strength. These have become tougher and tougher to track down in recent years, but I remember enjoying the early batches. Let's see how this newer batch — the 161st — compares. Let's dive in.
The nose is punchy but packed with leather, tobacco, caramel, baking spice, ginger, clove and a dash of pepper.
The palate is moderately rich but full of ethanol. Punchy on the heat element but full of caramel candies, toffee, praline, butterscotch and creme brulee. Light on oak, surprisingly, but well balanced. If the ethanol was reduced a bit, this machine of a pour would be singing a tune.
Long, full of rich cherry cordials, passion fruit, candied ginger, spicy clove and pepper, some nutmeg and more ethanol. It's punchy and spritely, but fans of bold ethanol may be turned off.
This is really bold, interesting, punchy and full of flavor. It's not as rich as something like Booker's where punishing ethanol meets a viscosity like few others, but there's a ton of complexity, paired with a good deal of ethanol. If a punchy pour doesn't scare you, this is sure to be up your alley.