Bourbon By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / October 7, 2021 For those that love bourbon with cask finishes, some of the whiskeys released from Jos. A. Magnus & Co. out of Michigan are definitely ones to consider for consumption. Their flagship Joesph Magnus Bourbon, for example, is finished in Oloroso sherry, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and cognac casks. The pick of the litter here, however, is their Cigar Blend offering, which includes the cask finishes just mentioned plus some time in decadent Armagnac casks. Batches of Cigar Blend typically sell out quickly, and can command decent money on the secondary market. Magnus Master Blender Nancy Fraley has now helped the brand release six new batches of this expression, #53-#58. It is perhaps the latest one which may be of most interest for high proof lovers, as it clocks in at 132.34 proof (66.17% ABV), which is the highest proof to date for this bottling. More official details on each of the new batches can be found below. It is noted in general by the distillery that “this autumn series of Jos. A. Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon is comprised of batches #53-58 and part of a larger ‘coupe mere,’ or mother blend, of 16 bourbon barrels ranging in age from 14 to 20-years-old. Cigar Blend Bourbon (image via Jos. A. Magnus & Co.) CIGAR BLEND BATCH #53: “ROCK THE CASBAH” 64.26% ABV Cigar Blend Batch #53, aka “Rock the Casbah,” offers a delightful return to the heady influences of North Africa and Persia found in Batches #37 and #40 (aka “A Night in Tunisia” and “Persian Poet,” with sweet and savory aromas of Moroccan B’stilla chicken pie loaded with cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar, and colorful Souk market spices such as paprika, Spanish saffron, coriander, cardamom, powdered ginger, mace, and mint tea. These spice notes commingle together with sweetness on the palate and further development of orange blossom water, almond cookies, Medjool dates in syrup, and pistachio baklava. Read More Whiskey NewsDoc Swinson's Whiskey Is Cask-Finished FunCIGAR BLEND BATCH #54: “WEE HEAVY” 64.26% ABV Cigar Blend Batch #54, aka “Wee Heavy,” takes the connoisseur on a journey not found in any previous Cigar Blend Batches. One is taken on an aromatic journey in the cool, damp environs of Scotland, with warming notes of black currant scones, buttery shortbread cookies, and creamy oatmeal porridge sprinkled with raisins, honey, and cinnamon. The palate is quite sweet, with flavors of rich malt and caramel-forward Scotch ale, sticky toffee pudding, treacle, holiday fruitcake, and a final whiff of barrel char reminiscent of crackling fall fires in a cozy cottage. For lovers of a sweet, boozy dram, Cigar Blend Batch #54 will certainly deliver the goods. Slàinte Mhath! CIGAR BLEND BATCH #55: “LA DOLCE VITA” 64.45% ABV While all Cigar Blend batches are designed to celebrate “The Sweet Life,” Batch #55, aka “La Dolce Vita,” does so with a particularly tailored Italian flair. Notes of crumbly almond biscotti dipped in a rich Tuscan Vin Santo can be found on the nose, with its characteristic aromas of hazelnuts, red berries, ripe tropical fruit, honey, and creamy caramel. The palate lingers further with Italian wedding cookies covered with powdered sugar, caramel macchiato, dried apricot, fruity pipe tobacco, Anisette liqueur, orange cream cake, and tiramisu loaded with creamy mascarpone cheese and rich espresso. Cigar Blend Batch #55 is truly an expression for those who squeeze sweet nectar out of life and live boldly! CIGAR BLEND BATCH #56: “THE TOBACCONIST II” 64.22% ABV Fans of previous Cigar Blend Batches #22 and 39 (aka “The Gentleman’s Study” and “The Tobacconist”) should find plenty of mutual aromas to love in Batch #65, with leather, spice, and everything nice! The nose offers an abundance of old Chesterfield leather sofa notes, Earl Grey black tea leaves, cigar humidor, and sweet smokey barrel char. These notes carry through to the palate, where additional flavors of Root Beer float and sassafras tea, nutty “rancio,” Stilton cheese, brandied cherries, prunes in Armagnac syrup, maple syrup over pancakes, brown baking spices, vanilla custard, and red rope licorice complete the picture. The finish is long and luxurious, and perfect to pair with an after-dinner cigar. Read More Whiskey NewsTexas Hill Country’s Sisterdale Distilling Debuts New Straight Bourbon WhiskeyCIGAR BLEND BATCH #57: “CHARCUTERIE BOARD” 65.92% ABV For such a high proof, Cigar Blend Batch #57 has an amalgam of complex aromas and flavors, with grilled Black Mission fig drizzled with aged balsamic, and dark dried fruits steeped in an old vintage Armagnac. There are primary aromas of charcuterie plate with pungent hard and soft cheeses, cured meat flavors of Spanish jamon Iberico, with its characteristic flavors of acorns and chestnuts, plus toasted walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts, dark pumpernickel bread, floral grapes, and blackberry pollen honey. Rye spice kicks in on the palate, followed by more sweet waves of German chocolate cake with coconut icing, plum pudding, and fig and dried apricot torte with salted caramel ice cream. Cigar Blend Batch #57 aka “Charcuterie Board” could be a whiskey and food lover’s complete meal in one dram! CIGAR BLEND BATCH #58: “DARTH VADER” 66.17% ABV Clocking in at a hefty alcohol by volume of 66.17%, Cigar Blend Batch #58, aka “Darth Vader,” is both the highest Cigar Blend Batch to date and also has the darkest personality of all the batches. With its deep copper and mahogany color, Batch #58 boasts rich and bold notes of Russian Imperial Stout beer, English Christmas cake filled with dates, black currants, and figs, and thick black strap molasses. The palate is further emboldened with notes of dark roasted espresso beans, dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, old leather-bound books, dried Mirabelle plums, mint simple syrup, Royal Navy Black Strap rum, and Black Forest cake with dark cherries. A few drops of water help release some of the oils and wood sugars, with notes of grilled nuts and caramel candy. Batch #58 is not for the faint of heart.