Review: Joseph Magnus Straight Bourbon Whiskey (2019)

Review: Joseph Magnus Straight Bourbon Whiskey (2019)

In the few short years since its introduction, Joseph A. Magnus has become quite a phenomenon, particularly thanks to its unique Cigar Blend product. We reviewed Magnus’s third batch of its straight bourbon — MGP stock finished in Pedro Ximinez sherry, Oloroso sherry, and Cognac barrels — only two years ago. Today we’re taking another look at the product to see what’s new. Just two years later, Magnus is up to batch #61 (and beyond that by now).

When distilleries put out small batch products, things tend to change quite a bit from release to release. With batch 61, you can really see that in action. Here we have a bourbon that is brooding and rich — in keeping with the Magnus house style — but which comes across as beefy, chewy, with a very savory edge to it. Air brings out some enticing chocolate cherry notes and a touch of cigar box.

On the palate, toasty barrel char dominates, along with a strange peanut brittle character. A complex blend of flavors emerges thereafter: butterscotch, gunpowder, and beef jerky, the whole affair coming off as a bit messy. The finish reprises much of the above, ending on notes of Cracker Jack and barbecued beef ribs. A significant red pepper note lends a surprising harshness to the proceedings.

As we’ve discussed before — during a barrel pick at Joseph Magnus’ warehouse, even — whiskey tends to change dramatically from barrel to barrel, especially as it gets older. For products that release periodically in numbered batches, it pays to remember this truism. Batch 62 may offer a completely different experience — but the only way to know for sure is to get a taste.

100 proof. Reviewed: Batch #61.


Joseph Magnus Straight Bourbon Whiskey (2019)




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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