Lets get into a pour, shall we? The first giveaway that this is not an older bourbon is the color. Super light and almost thin. I had my pour in a rocks glass and the nose was elusive at best. You will pick up some light fruit (surprise, surprise) giving away the types of barrels used to finish the bourbon. My guess is these are young tawny barrels, since older Ports can be a little less fruity and a lot more funky.
Along with the fruit wafting out of the glass, you will definitely smell the “youth” of the bourbon. I got new wood and young white corn. Nothing that would excite a seasoned bourbon drinker. There is the sweet vanilla and light maple that you would expect from any bourbon, given the aging process, but again – nothing exciting.
The first sip is true to nose – cherries up front with a neat floral bloom, subtle sweetness, and then…rye. A surprising amount of rye flavor. The Angel’s Envy mash bill is a traditional 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malted barley. That 18% there WILL catch you off guard and changes the profile in the middle of the tasting from light cherry to tart cranberry. I didn’t pick up on that until I added a few drops of limestone water. You can do the same or drop a nice fat ice cube in there as well.
Another surprise is the char. Whereas I was not turned off by the rye, the char was a little unwelcome. In a bourbon as light as this one, heavy char can dominate the flavor. The char and rye gave the finish a woody, spicy character. Not unpleasant, but not notable as well.