I’m a couple days late but here’s Sample Mountain Week 11 Sixth Street Bourbon featuring Joseph Magnus. I recently acquired samples of 2 12 year old cask strength MGP pick from Sixth Street Bourbon here in Texas and decided that a Magnus pick from another Texas group, DFW Whiskey Club, would be a great benchmark. The first pick is from Liquor Depot in Giddings, Texas which dropped on a Friday morning during a call I couldn’t reschedule or else I would have been there. Thankfully someone from a local group drove out there and did a bottle share. The next pick is Black Cat, I’m sort of unclear who picked this or where it came from, but I got a sample from a friend in Dallas(and drank some from his bottle just to be safe).
Age: Unknown (I believe 12 or 13)
Nose: Leather and oak balanced by brown sugar.
Taste: Lots of oak, baking spices, some leather and brown sugar. Pleasant but unremarkable mouthfeel
Finish: Medium length, slightly dry finish with bitter oak, warm spice and faint brown sugar.
Buy a bottle? No at the retail price of ~120
Age: 12 years
Nose: Herbal notes, especially mint, with a sugary sweetness, warm spices and faint oak in the background.
Taste: Sweet and herbal with more sugar and less mint than the nose balanced with a good amount of oak and subtler spice notes. Average mouthfeel for the proof.
Finish: Long and almost sticky with more sweetness and more mint.
Buy a bottle? Yes - assuming the retail price was ~100-120
Age: 12 years
Proof: 116 proof
Nose: Barrel char, something sweet,
Taste: Charred oak, coffee, sweet caramel, warm spices . Nice mouthfeel and great proof integration.
Finish: Long finish with lots of coffee, spice, oak and some sweetness.
Buy a bottle? Yes - I’d pay more for it but not whatever the crazy secondary on MGP is these days
I am typically a Magnus fan and when I nosed this pick I was very excited but it was a little too dry and bitter for me. Over oaked for my taste. The second Magnus pick DFW Whiskey Club did was significantly better for me. It had similar notes but they were balanced very differently. The second pick dialed down the dry, bitter parts and turned the sweet and spice notes up.
The first Sixth Street pick was nice. The herbal notes remind me a bit of Four Roses F yeast strain and a few other MGP picks I’ve had. I wouldn’t seek it out compared to other 12 year old MGP but if I’d had the chance to grab one I would have. I’ll definitely keep an eye out if Sixth releases more of these nearby.
The Black Cat pick was really off profile. The charred oak and coffee notes were not something I usually get from MGP. Maybe the time(unclear how long) in Texas made a difference? I can definitely see this being divisive if the drinker was expecting something closer to Smooth Ambler or Smoke Wagon. That said black coffee and whiskey are my two favorite drinks so when I get some coffee notes in my bourbon I’m not complaining. This was unique and to my taste so I’d definitely like to get a bottle but MGP prices these days are crazy 🤷♂️
TL;DR: Black Cat > Liquor Depot. The Magnus pick was a miss for me.