Joseph Magnus is a DC-based distillery best known for their Joseph Magnus Bourbon, the focus of this review. To cut to the chase, Joseph Magnus Bourbon is a 100 proof bourbon (probably sourced from MGP) and finished in oloroso sherry, Pedro Jimenez sherry, and cognac casks. While I know nothing about the lengths of the finishes or the percentage of the blend from each type of finish, I do know a little something about what the finishes may bring to the bourbon.
Oloroso and Pedro Jimenez sherries are both intensely sweet fortified wines (the oloroso is a little less sweet) that often provide dark and dense grape, prune, honey, nutty, and sometimes savory and funky aged cheese characteristics. This is because the grapes are initially sun dried to concentrate the sugars before being turned into wine and barrel aged for a number of years, with exposure to the air inside the barrel creating some of that savory and wacky funk. I’m not as well versed in cognac, but I do know that Armangac, a similar French grape spirit, can provide a lot of dark fruit, dried citrus, candied fruits, spiced ginger, and oak notes. With that brief lesson in mind, let’s learn more about the whiskey itself in this Joseph Magnus Bourbon review.