This @josamagnus Cigar Blend was opened purely to share a sample before I ever had a chance to try it myself! I'm correcting that tonight and finally giving this the full tasting it deserves. I've really been liking a lot of the things I have been trying from Joseph Magnus lately. I just recently finished my bottle of the flagship triple cask finish batch 100 which actually got better and better with air; I think I'd have bumped that previous review score if it had been later on in the bottles maturity. Let's see how the "James Bond" batch of cigar blend stands up tonight!
Company on Label: Jos. A. Magnus & Co
Whiskey Type: Finished Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed
Age: NAS (13 to 20 years)
Further identification: Batch 31, "James Bond"; Bottle 322/375.
Nose: Meaty, salty and briny. This reminds me of Booker's Country Ham on the first nosing. High level there is a significant influence from either the Armagnac or the cognac cask finishes. I noticed it as soon as the bottle opened - it was an intense wave of dusty oak. Still so savory and robust. There's some deep, worn leather notes rested well. This has a really heavy nose-feel to it. It sits in the glencairn and doesn't want to move much. Now some sherry tannin shows up and brings forth some other jam-ready fruits like fig and raspberry. Butter and pepper. Cloves and copper. Very dusty and the proof makes itself apparent on deep inhales. This definitely has quite a bit of oak, but it's many different kinds mixing together, so it doesn't come across as overbearing necessarily. Let's see how a sip opens things up. The herbal side of thing opens up well now with tobacco also coming through. The copper metallics from earlier are also more pronounced and the meaty barbeque quality is also there. Brown sugar. Malt and vanilla. Late in the glass a lovely honey thick sweetness has formed on the nose. Confectionary sugar and a very unique vanilla mixed with some light herbal notes form a lasting impression of something fresh and new.
Palate: Whew! A creamy mouth feel at first is immediately followed with some intense cherry hots spice. There is strawberry jam and loads of caramel coming across my tongue now. It then settles into a nutmeg and vanilla spiced banana dessert I can't quite place as being something that exists in common use. Plum, clove, allspice, leather, molasses and date jam are a wholesome medley of quite robust flavors. Chocolate lingers long on the back end of my last sip. Mmm this is definitely one you love coming back to as each sip is just as intense, building and rising as the last. Quite a bit of fruit sweetness continues to proliferate throughout this glass. Now the creamier side of things is developing with vanilla extract and pear going much easier on my tongue. Suddenly this feels more elegant than it started. The legs are impossibly long on the side of the glass; holding on all the way up to where they left my lips. The last sip is a bittersweet farewell to cinnamon, plum, and vanilla.
This pour accomplishes exactly what it set out to do: provide a robust, exotic and enjoyable whiskey experience. I have certainly never tasted anything quite like it and revel in my opportunity to enjoy it with good company moving forward! If you have a cigar pairing idea for this one, please drop it in the comments!