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Joseph Magnus Bourbon Review: Your Quick Guide to Tasting Excellence

thewhiskylady - 2023-05-03
Coopers Craft Bourbon Review
Joseph Magnus Old Fashioned

When I first came across Joseph Magnus Bourbon, I was intrigued by its unique barrel-finishing process and the promise of a flavor profile that sets it apart from traditional bourbons. As a bourbon enthusiast, I was keen to explore how the triple-finished bourbon, aged in Cognac, Oloroso Sherry, and Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, would fare against other brands in the market.

In my quest to review Joseph Magnus Bourbon, I delved into its history and discovered that the recipe is a re-creation of a legendary bourbon crafted by Joseph Magnus himself, more than a century ago. The contemporary rendition gained its esteemed reputation as a result of the intricate blending process and its rich flavor nuances captivating both novice and experienced whiskey drinkers alike.

During my tasting session, I found Joseph Magnus Bourbon to be a well-balanced symphony of flavors. I enjoyed the initial notes of honey, ripe grapes, and dates, followed by a cascade of vanilla and the tantalizing aromas emanating from its triple-cask finish. The question that arises for prospective buyers concerns the price tag; at a range of $80-100, is this premium bourbon worth the splurge?

Joseph Magnus Bourbon Overview

Product History

Joseph Magnus Bourbon is a well-known product from the Joseph A. Magnus & Co. distillery. Located in Washington D.C., this distillery was founded in 2015, drawing inspiration from the original Joseph A. Magnus Distillery that operated during the pre-prohibition era. The founder, Joseph Magnus, had a rich history in the whiskey industry, and his legacy has been revived with this exceptional bourbon.

Joseph Magnus Bourbon is a straight bourbon whiskey, meaning it contains at least 51% corn and has been aged in new charred oak barrels. The distillery sources its bourbon primarily from MGP, a prominent distillery in Indiana, with ages ranging from 8 to 18 years old, depending on the batch.

One unique aspect of Joseph Magnus Bourbon is their cask finishing process. The bourbon is finished in Oloroso sherry, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and cognac casks, resulting in a complex and rich flavor profile.

Price Range

The Joseph Magnus Bourbon has an MSRP of around $80, and it is released as an ongoing product. The bourbon is offered at 100 proof (50% ABV), which emphasizes the delicious flavors and aromatics found within this spirit.

The Magnus brand also offers a special Cigar Blend that is particularly sought after and respected among bourbon enthusiasts. This blend is created to complement the flavors of fine cigars, resulting in a sophisticated and enjoyable pairing experience.

In summary, Joseph Magnus Bourbon is a well-regarded, straight bourbon whiskey with an impressive history and unique cask finishing process. With a moderate price range and a variety of products, including the coveted Cigar Blend, it’s definitely worth trying if you’re a whiskey enthusiast like me.

Joseph Magnus Bourbon Reviewphoto source:

Tasting Notes


Upon nosing Joseph Magnus Bourbon, I immediately notice the rich and deep notes of aged oak, mingled with hints of sweet honey. The influence of Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks is evident, as I also detect notes of dried fruits such as figs, dates, and caramelized apples. A subtle touch of orange and vanilla adds to the complexity of the aroma, inviting me to take a sip.


The first taste of this bourbon reveals an impressive array of flavors. I can sense the smooth and delicate vanilla, followed by dark chocolate and brown sugar. The dark stone fruits, characteristic of sherry casks, come through beautifully. I also experience distinct layers of cherry, caramel, and cinnamon. The cognac casks contribute a hint of old wood and brandy, which perfectly complements the fruity and herbal notes, creating a harmonious and complex palate.


The finish of Joseph Magnus Bourbon is warm and lingering. I can taste the aged oak barrel, with a hint of leather and a whisper of dried grapes. The blending and finishing techniques, which involve Oloroso sherry, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and cognac casks, have added depth and character, making for an incredibly enjoyable experience.


Criteria Score
Nose 9/10
Flavor 9/10
Finish 8/10
Overall 26/30

After taking into account the nose, flavor, and finish of Joseph Magnus Bourbon, I would give this whiskey a rating of 26 out of 30 points. It is an exceptional bourbon, well-crafted and exhibits a notable complexity and depth, thanks to its unique aging process in sherry and cognac casks.

Mixing and Pairing

Best Mixers

When it comes to mixing Joseph Magnus Bourbon, I find that the rich flavors of vanilla, citrus, and dark chocolate pair well with a variety of mixers. Here are my top recommendations:

  • Ginger ale: Adds a spicy kick that complements the bourbon’s sweetness.
  • Club soda: Enhances the bourbon’s lighter notes while providing a refreshing effervescence.
  • Cola: Classic pairing that brings out the caramel and darker flavors of the bourbon.
  • Orange juice: Enhances the citrus notes while adding a fruity element.

Cocktail Suggestions

As a fan of bourbon-based cocktails, I have experimented with Joseph Magnus Bourbon to create some delicious concoctions. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Joseph Magnus Old Fashionedphoto source:

Joseph Magnus Old Fashioned:

  1. Muddle 1 sugar cube, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, and a splash of water in a glass.
  2. Add 2 oz of Joseph Magnus Bourbon and stir.
  3. Add ice, and garnish with an orange peel and cherry.

Joseph Magnus Manhattanphoto source:

Joseph Magnus Manhattan:

  1. In a mixing glass, combine 2 oz Joseph Magnus Bourbon, 1 oz sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.
  2. Stir with ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a cherry or lemon twist.

Food Pairings

Considering the complex profile of Joseph Magnus Bourbon, with notes of vanilla, citrus, dark stone fruits, and a warm finish, it can be paired with a wide variety of dishes. Here are some food pairing ideas:

  • Desserts: The sweet and fruity notes make it a great match for chocolate-based desserts, such as a rich chocolate cake or brownies.
  • Charcuterie: The combination of flavors in the bourbon works well with a variety of meats and cheese, such as prosciutto, salami, aged cheddar, and gouda.
  • BBQ: The bold flavors of bourbon can stand up to smokey, grilled meats, and the sweetness can help to cut through the richness of BBQ sauce.

By experimenting with these mixers, cocktails, and food pairings, I’ve discovered that Joseph Magnus Bourbon can be a versatile and delicious addition to any occasion.


In my experience with Joseph Magnus Bourbon, I find it to be a captivating and unique spirit. The bourbon’s foundation of 8 to 18-year-old sourced bourbon from MGP in Indiana adds depth and character to the flavor profile. With its aging in new charred oak barrels and additional finishing in a combination of unique barrels, it brings a notable complexity to the whiskey.

I particularly enjoy the rich and sweet flavors that the aged brandy imparts, giving this bourbon notes of honey, ripe grapes, and dates. Additionally, the warm vanilla flavor that lingers on the palate is reminiscent of honey-drizzled apples, and it’s a detail I keep coming back to in my tastings.

While I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into this spirit, I recognize that not everyone may be a fan of barrel finishes. For some, the additional layers of flavor may feel straightforward or too experimental. As with any whiskey, personal preferences will play a big role in determining whether or not Joseph Magnus Bourbon is the right choice for your palate.

The higher price tag for this non-age-statement (NAS) sourced bourbon may also be a roadblock for some consumers. However, I believe that the unique barrel finishes and enticing flavors are worth exploring if you’re curious about trying something new in the world of bourbon. In the end, it’s up to each individual whiskey enthusiast to decide for themselves if Joseph Magnus Bourbon is worth the investment.

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