Today, I am reviewing a bourbon that a good number of folks have asked me about – Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Angel’s Envy is at the edge of mass marketed finished bourbons. In whiskey language, “finishing” a whiskey means aging the whiskey in some type of wood other than its principle barrel before bottling in order to add another dimension of flavor. Scotch distilleries have been finishing their whisky for some time, but it has only recently caught on in the bourbon world. Parker’s Heritage Collection bottled a limited release cognac-finished bourbon in 2011, Big Bottom has released a Zinfandel-finished bourbon and a port-finished bourbon, and Hooker’s House is a bourbon finished in Pinot Noir casks. Needless to say, there are not a ton of distilleries finishing their bourbons.
In the case of Angel’s Envy, the bourbon is supposedly around 5-8 years old, and finished in port wine barrels. Angel’s Envy comes out of Louisville Distilling Company, which has since released a barrel-strength version of Angel’s Envy and a Angel’s Envy Rye (finished in Rum casks). Angel’s Envy is bottled at 86.6 proof (43.3% abv). At present, the bottle I am reviewing is bottle 1,860 from batch 4G, and what a beautiful bottle it is! https://bargainbourbon.com/2012/07/29/top-ten-bourbon-bottle-designs/
On the nose, Angel’s Envy is soft, sweet, and seductive. There are notes of craisins, vanilla, honey, toffee, and candied pecans. The palate is light-bodied and insatiably drinkable. It is sweet, with notes of honey, sultanas, and vanilla. There is a bit of a tannic grip, along with some warm, summer florals. The finish is medium-short, and rather dry (similar to the way a nice, old port can be). I taste the port mostly in the finish, where honey, tawny port, and oak tannins combine together for a delicious experience.
Overall, I do like Angel’s Envy. It is a bit sweeter than I like, but I know my good friend, William, over at A Dram Good Time was a huge fan. If you love Speyside single malts, then I think Angel’s Envy has the potential to become your favorite bourbon. Personally, I can’t wait to find a bottle of the Angel’s Envy Rye up here in Boston. Nevertheless, Angel’s Envy bourbon offers a sweet flavor profile in a bourbon that is delicate enough for a Speyside drinker’s palate. This bourbon is a notable and rare achievement, even though it isn’t really my thing. My Grade: B. Price: $45-50/750ml. This is a fine, unique bourbon that will win a lot of converts over to the bourbon community.