September is Bourbon Heritage Month and the challenge is to consume 30 bourbons in 30 days. Since this is not possible with our budget, we celebrate with either bourbon straight or the occasional bourbon cocktail.
For this review, we are cracking open a bottle of Angel’s Envy. Angel’s Envy was a creation of Lincoln Henderson and his family. Lincoln was a pioneer in the bourbon industry and Master Distiller at Brown-Foreman Corporation and helped develop well known Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniel’s “Gentleman Jack”, and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. He came out of retirement in 2006 to start Angel’s Envy with his son, and later with his grandson, to make bourbon the old fashioned way – with some science, art, and luck. They experimented with many different recipes and finishing processes including using barrels that were formerly used for sherry, rum, tequila, brandy, and port. For all he has done in the industry, Lincoln was one of the inaugural inductees into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. Sadly, he passed away in 2013 at the age of 75. Interestingly, his grandson, Kyle, dropped out of medical school to pursue the life of creating bourbon and still became an MD …….Master Distiller.
Angel’s Envy is a Kentucky bourbon whiskey finished in port wine barrels and is from the Louisville Distilling Company; a subsidiary of Bacardi Limited (www.angelsenvy.com). The bourbon itself is a mash bill of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley and is barreled in new #3 charred white oak barrels at 125 proof. Each bottle is from a small batch, meaning that only 8 to 12 barrels, aged up to 6 years, are mixed at a time. Once this small batch is mixed and watered to desired proof, it then is aged in ruby port wine casks for 3 to 6 months. These barrels are made from french oak imported from Portugal making the bourbon smooth and sweet. The bourbon is then bottled at 43.3% APV (86.6 proof) in a very cool looking bottle.
The bottle’s back has a pair of angel wings. When bourbon is barreled and stored for the aging process, some of the bourbon is lost due to evaporation or leakage. They refer to this as the “angels’ share”. So, with this being called ‘Angel’s Envy’, obviously, the Angels wish they could get their hands on this liquid!
We are using Glencairn whiskey glasses for the tasting. In sampling bourbons, we utilize the bourbon flavor wheel as a reference and also the bourbon tasting sheet from breakingbourbon.com. Let’s sample it!
Appearance: Beautiful dark gold to light amber liquid. The bottle shape is quite distinctive.
Nose: I have to be honest; I do not have a great nose for picking out and identifying scents. Shelley notes that there is mild ethanol on the nose with very pleasing notes of apricot, butterscotch, and leather.
Taste: Apricot, butterscotch, nutmeg, pepper, allspice, and oak. Very smooth and sweet. Light to moderate heat.
Finish: Surprisingly, the finish lasted longer than I thought it would for being 86 proof bourbon. I liked it. The burn was not too terribly strong and gave me a happy feeling.
Price Range: $48-$55. This bourbon is readily available at most stores we have visited in the northeast US. Harder to find is the Angel’s Envy Rye ($99-$130) and Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon ($230-$400).
Overall Recommendations: Overall, I thought Angel’s Envy was very good. It was smooth and an easy drinker, though I do prefer higher proof bourbons with longer finishes and more flavor. This is a sipping bourbon to be enjoyed neat or with a splash of water. I do not recommend this bourbon for mixing cocktails though, for at approximately $50 per bottle I would much prefer to buy something less expensive for mixing. I have read that some sample their bourbons with cheese, such as sharp cheddar, but I have not tried this yet. Pairing Angel’s Envy with cheese or maybe even a dark chocolate could bring out more flavors on the palate. Shelley states that amaretti cookies pair very well with this bourbon! She said “just smelling this particular bourbon makes me smile!” (I think she likes it…. and our daughter Hannah does too.) Since I know Shelley really likes this bottle, it probably will be on the shelf with all the other bourbons on a regular basis. There is the saying “happy wife…… then she is not sad or angry!”; because isn’t that really what ‘happy’ means? Duh
Alcohol is never the answer … but it does make you forget the question.” ~ unknown
So what do you think? Have you had this bourbon before? Did you like it? And is there something you want us to try? Please feel free to comment and let us know. There is quite the variety of unopened bourbons and ryes on our shelf for future reviews. Check back to see what we review next!
Cheers! ~ Brian
Editor’s note: How great is it to get paid to review bourbon and also get it free of charge! For certain, that would be awesome, but that is not the case here. We are not paid by any organization, distillery, liquor store, and in no way do we profit in the review of products we post about. Nor do we get the products for free. Our opinions are just that – opinions. Everyone’s taste is different so while we may recommend a product, it might not be to your liking and vice versa. And in fact, Shelley and I differ between our own opinions as well. But I will say, that if anyone reading this wants to send us free products to sample and review, we certainly would not object. Checks can be made payable to me and credit cards are accepted for funding more reviews ….. I might not give them back though! LOL