Editor’s Note: The Whiskey Wash acquired this whiskey as an independent review sample not supplied by the related brand. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review, our site receives a small referral payment, which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
One of the more fascinating sub-categories of whiskey these days is the so-called “cigar blend.” Though one can pair many whiskeys with a good cigar through trial and error, the brands/distilleries behind this type of expression purposely craft offerings, usually through cask finishing, that are specifically paired to go with a cigar.
One of the gold standards in this niche is the Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon, finished in ex-sherry, ex-Cognac, and ex-Armagnac casks. Other brands in this group often use some combination of that cask mix, though different variants are also out there. One of the more recent offerings to come to market is the Wheel Horse Cigar Blend Bourbon, which is the focus of my review today.
As noted in 2020, Wheel Horse Whiskey is produced at the historic Green River Distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky, for Latitude Beverage Company. The cigar blend offering, released last November, was a limited edition expression of just 3,000 bottles nationwide, priced at $40. It was first aged over four years in its original oak barrels and then finished in a combination of Sherry, Port, and Armagnac casks for approximately 6-8 months.
Wheel Horse noted that the barrels “were married, and the whiskey was bottled at 101 proof (50.5% ABV), non-chill filtered.”
“While there is no official definition for a ‘Cigar Blend,’ there is history to the term,” said Terry Lozoff, Spirits Director at Latitude Beverage, owners of the Wheel Horse brand, at its debut. “In American whiskey, Cigar Blends have typically involved a combination of finishes, with Armagnac and/or Cognac being a favored choice.
“For Wheel Horse Cigar Blend, we are using Armagnac-finished Bourbon as the base, but this is complemented by a smaller amount of Sherry and Port-finished Bourbons to create a profile that we believe is balanced, flavorful, and perfectly paired with a fine cigar.”