Joseph Magnus


Nose: This has a rich, deep smell, almost like you’re smelling someone burning a bourbon-scented candle. It has your classic caramel and vanilla with some toasted grain and some floral notes. Later sniffs brought out some dark cherry notes and toasted marshmallows. I think you’ll want to sniff this one before every sip. Palate: This has a very nice, rich and velvety mouthfeel. I enjoyed just having it in my mouth even before tasting it. The first sip brought out a lot of dark chocolate sweetness. It is very smooth and has no harshness nor burning. It warms at the end of the mid-palate and into the finish, but it is a very tame warmth. The finish isn’t super long, but it remains consistent the whole way through it. Later sips bring out more sweetness of the molasses and brown sugar variety. Comments: First off….100 proof. You probably wouldn’t guess that if you tasted it blind. It has been a while since I’ve had this. I liked it when I got it, but I think the time in the open bottle has improved it. It is a very nice and pleasant sipper. Particularly, if you like your bourbon on the darker side of sweet. I really enjoyed this one. It may not be a great choice to enjoy at the end of a hot summer day, but during “bourbon drinking season”, this is a fine choice. Now, the bad news. This is expensive. I think I paid $90+ for this. I really had to think long and hard as to whether I would recommend getting it at that price. So….I’ll compromise. I think that if you tried it and REALLY liked it, you probably might not mind spending that for it. Like me, you’re probably not going to use it as an every day drinker, but as a “once-in-a-while” treat. For that, I think you could do much worse at that price. If you try it and it isn’t your cup of tea, then you haven’t spent $90 for something and regretted it. Now, the good news….this seems to be readily available in the PA/MD/VA area. (Total Wine sells it for $99.) If you have a store that does Dollar Days, I think this is a particularly good choice if you could get it for $20 or more less than retail. (At $70ish….this is a no-brainer.) Last note: As I got to the end of the glass, I started thinking to myself A.) I might need another pour of this and 2.) this might have to move up into the top 10. This is an example of sourced bourbon done correctly. Joseph A. Magnus & Co. is a Washington D.C.outfit that puts this out. This is sourced 12 year old bourbon that is then aged in a “triple cask finishing process” using Oloroso Sherry, Pedro Ximenez and cognac casks. It is supposed to replicate a bourbon that a member of the Magnus family found in a 122 year old bottle that his family had put out long before prohibition, from which they extracted some bourbon and then had master distillers attempt to replicate. They also make Murray Hill Club (a blend of 18 and 11 year old bourbon with 9 year old “light whiskey”) and Cigar Blend Bourbon. (I’ve never tried either, but now I want to….) I happened to like bourbons that are finished in Sherry, Port or Cognac casks, so if you do too….give this a try.