Angel In The House.

Angel’s Envy Straight Bourbon Kentucky Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels

Louisville Distilling Company

There isn’t a shortage of angels.  There’s Angel Falls, the Anaheim Angels, Hell’s Angels, the (amazing hair) band Angel,  angel hair pasta, etc.  Whisky has the Angel’s Share – the term used for whisky evaporating from the barrels towards the heavens.   Today, we’re adding another angel to the whiskey firmament – Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Port barrels.

 Angels Envy is produced by the Louisville Distilling Company and was started by former Brown-Foreman master distiller, Lincoln Henderson and his son, Wes.  What’s interesting about this Port Cask finish is that it is made in small batches.  Typically, “small batch” is a coy marketing term; however, in this case the Port barrel finish is made from batches of 8 to 12 barrels.  (My bottle is from Batch 76R and bottle number 1382).  It’s aged anywhere from 4 to 6 years in new charred oak barrels then spends the last six months in French oak casks that once had ruby port as a tenant.

Don’t expect a typical everyday bourbon experience with this Angel’s Envy.  The port influence can be seen immediately in the richer chestnut sherry colour.  Baking spices and cinnamon notes are present, but they aren’t in your nasal face.  They ride along the coattails of dry raisins and berries.  Your bourbon heat is being shaded by the port sweet.  It isn’t a cloyingly unctuous sweetness – this is more like a continental bourbon – it’s not aggressive.  It does have some spiciness but it’s more suggested and whispered.In the mouth, there’s a little more zing and pepperiness to Angel’s Envy.  This gets delivered by a smidge over 43% abv so again – it’s not a punch to the shoulder, more like a good pat on the back.  Port wine notes mixed with dry raisins are very much front and centre yet baking spices and brown sugars are right alongside for the ride.  Where this Angel’s Envy bourbonizes this tasting is in the finish… it takes its time fading away like a sunset slipping under the horizon.

While it isn’t available in Ontario yet, Angel’s Envy Port barrel finish has a cask strength expression.  Now that one, I’d love to try.  As for this one, I found this to be a bourbon wearing a port coat.  If you want that bourbon heat and in your face approach, this may not be your first pour of choice.  However, if you want to explore something that is familiar yet different at the same time… this would be a tasty place to start.  Cheers.

Tasting Notes

Colour:  Chestnut Sherry.

Nose:  Cinnamon, vanilla, dry raisins, brown sugar, baking spices, and berries.

Taste: Brown sugar, port wine, baking spices and dry raisins.

Finish:  Long.