Forums » Batch Release Info - All Bourbons / Ryes

Murray Hill Special Release Batch & Release Dates

    • 195 posts
    June 3, 2020 5:32 PM PDT

    Murray Hill Special Release Batches

    Murray Hill Club, one of three main whiskey expressions from Jos. A. Magnus Distillery, got an extension in early 2018 with a small "Special Release" bottling to showcase the exceptional blending and finishing abilities of JA Magnus’s master blender and industry stalworth, Nancy Fraley.

    The first Special Release - Batch 1, Batch 2 that were finished (unknown time) in Pineau des Charentes (regional French aperitif consisting of Congnac and grape must) casks from France. 112 proof MSRP:149.99

    Their second Special Release - Batch 3 - finished in casks from Virginia Distillery Company. Cider barrels previously used to make that distillery’s well-received Cider Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky were then used once again to finish (for 8 Months) Magnus’s blend of 10 to 20 year old bourbons that are finished in cider and malt casks.  110 proof MSRP:169.99

    The third Special Release -


    Batch Proof Release Date #Bottles
    1 112  Dec 2017  639
    2 112  2018  700
    3 110 Feb 2020 1,211


      Nancy Fraley commented in detail at Straight Bourbon thread:

    So, the Magnus Murray Hill Club Special Release batch #1 is finished in Pineau des Charentes casks. For those not in the know, Pineau des Charentes is a type of fortified wine made in the Cognac region of France. It is made from grape juice, or partially fermented grape must, then it is fortified with Cognac eau de vie to about 16 to 21% ABV and then aged. Since I originally come from a brandy production background (Germain-Robin) and have a passion for all things brandy-related, I wanted the first Special Release to be finished in these casks.


    Don’t know how much you know about the MHC Blended Bourbon, but for that bourbon, I take about 20% to 29% of a 9 year old light whiskey (these days more at 20%), and then the majority of the blend has 11 and 12 year old 21% MGP bourbon, with a bit of 19 year old bourbon to give it some depth. I use this same “recipe” for the Special Release.


    This particular batch came from the 2nd coupe mere (“mother blend”) of Murray Hill Club, which would have been originally blended back in November 2016, if I recall. I held some of it back in stainless until mid-June 2017, and then put it in the Pineau casks. It was harvested and bottled the beginning of this past December.


    I’m probably not the one to ask, since I’m admittedly quite biased about it, but I absolutely love the Special Release with the PdC finish. It is bottled at cask strength at 112 proof, which to be honest, I think that is a little high for it. It is still fairly smooth and round at that strength, but if I had done a very small reduction in the cask to say, 106 proof, or even 103 for a few months, I could have rounded it out even more and pulled out a few more water soluble wood sugars from the cask. I think that would have really made it that much better. Oh well, c’est la vie!


    With both the Cigar Blend and the MHC Special Release, since they’re my pet projects, I like to make something that appeals to my own palate, which usually involves some sort of brandy influence such as Armagnac, etc. When the MHC-SF was first released last December, I was finding a lot more of the Cognac fruit type of aromas in it, with some “grape juice” such as apricot, orange citrus, some grilled nuts, and brown baking spices. Now, perhaps because it is spring and the weather is warming up, I’m still getting the nuttiness/”rancio,” but also some dark dried fruits like fig and date, as well as dried apricot, prune, candied tangerine peel, cacao, and a lot more of the brown baking spices such as cinnamon, allspice, mace, nutmeg, etc. Thus, it seems a little “deeper” and more integrated, but definitely a little spicier.


    Back in January, I got another coupe mere together for MHC-SR in order to do one more release of the Pineau des Charentes cask finish. This will be the last time I do this particular cask finish. I’ve made a few subtle changes in it. For one, I only use about 20% of the 9 y.o. light whiskey in the initial MHC blend, so this will give a little more of a pure “bourbon” note to both the regular MHC and the Special Release. Also, assuming that the sales & marketing department doesn’t force my hand before I deem it ready, I’d like to let this stay in the finishing cask until December 1st before release. That is of course assuming the cask don’t give too many unwanted tannins or other undesirable new extractives that have to oxidize out.


    At any rate, if you manage to get ahold of batch #1 of MHC-SR in Pineau des Charentes, please post your tasting notes! I’d sure love to have some feedback. Hope you enjoy it, and whatever other type of bourbons you enjoy!




    This post was edited by admin at June 9, 2020 11:46 PM PDT