Joseph A. Magnus is an “upstart” in the bourbon world with a high opinion of themselves… an opinion that’s justified. I don’t pay too much attention to critics’ scores of booze; they are good for separating average from good from really good but beyond that it’s too subjective – you have to try for yourself. That said, I am always wary of newer products that are substantially higher priced than comparable products I know that are rated higher by experts. There is no reason to believe that a 98 is definitively better than a 93 for everyone – but someone thinks that 98 is pretty close to perfect, so it’s worth figuring out why the lower rated product would charge 60% more (that’s the high opinion I was speaking about).
I’ve determined it’s all about character. For me, character wins over perfection, and J.A.M. has plenty of character and deserves top-shelf placement (and a spot in your cabinet).