photo credit: Angels Envy
ANGEL’S ENVY CASK STRENGTH BOURBON
Age: < 7 Years
Distillery: Louisville Distilling Company
Master Distiller:Wes Henderson
Season: Late Summer/Early Fall
Price: $349.99 Per Bottle
Angel’s Envy is one of the most sought after bourbons on the market today, and with good reason! The company has a great story, their flagship bourbon appeals to a broad segment of new bourbonites, and the brand shook up the bourbon market with its port barrel finished whiskey.
Business has been good for Angel’s Envy. Its sales in 2014 doubled from the year before, and it is positioned to be among the top U.S. craft distillers. It also recently broke ground on a 100,000-square-foot production facility here in Louisville where it will be distilling its own whiskey.
When Lincoln Henderson launched Angel’s Envy back in 2010, he sourced whiskey from other distilleries, hand-blended batches of eight to twelve barrels at a time, and created what he called Expression 10/10 — aging the first releases in oak and finishing it in ruby Port barrels.
In 2013, Lincoln Henderson passed away leaving his son Wes to take charge and carry on his legacy. Not only has Wes kept the brand alive, it has thrived – evident in the accolades that Angel’s Envy has piled up. In 2013, Spirit Journal ranked Angel’s Envy Cask Strength bourbon as the “Best Spirit in the World” out of ALL SPIRITS (!)
Although I love Angel’s Envy as a brand, I was still skeptical. Time to put it to the test!
ANGEL’S ENVY CASK STRENGTH BOURBON TASTING NOTES
For starters, this is a ‘cask strength’ bourbon. What does cask strength mean, you ask? Cask strength, aka barrel proof bourbons come straight out of the barrel and into the bottle. Unlike other bourbons, no water is added to cask strength bourbon meaning the proof can be substantially higher. For this tasting, our bottle displayed a proof of 123.
That’s flavor country, baby!
The nose is promising – to be a cask strength bourbon, there is little ether in the glass. Dont get me wrong – you can smell the heat! But some higher proof bourbons tend to give you more of a warning in the nose. Instead, there is a floral bloom that’s heavy on the citrus and spice. Its a pleasant surprise that I didn’t see coming from a 123 proof pour.
The first sip burned in a great way, and was all fruit, flower, and spice rack. Cherries, oranges, and honey brings the bourbon to life. Wild herbs add a character that compliments the light body of Angel’s Envy CS.
This is an interesting bourbon, but a little ill-structured. For instance, tar seems to hover in the background of my palate. The finish is long and pleasant, but strangely reminiscent of blackberries. It’s heavy on the wood, light on the body, spicy like crazy, and sweet in a way that leaves out flavors like toffee. Awkward description for an awkwardly structured bourbon.
As always, it could be me. I had bar-b-que for lunch. But all in all, I found the cask strength interesting and moderately flavored with a kick. I give Angel’s Envy Cask Strength bourbon a B-. See if you can find it in a bar before you fork over $350 for a bottle of the 2018 version. Even if you don’t drink it, it would make a nice addition to the collection.
Definitely not the best whiskey in the world. I would reserve that title for Angel’s Envy Rye. Stay tuned for the review on that one!
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