**This review was conducted by Ian Fallon, a founding member of SWC, and does not reflect the opinions of the entire club**
Angel’s Envy is a bourbon I have been wanting to experience for a while now. It’s about time, pretty much every other blog on the planet wrote their review years ago. And what’s not to like: small batch, barrel and bottle numbers clearly noted, finished in ruby port casks, and created by a Master Distiller by way of Lincoln Henderson. But thankfully interesting doesn’t always mean good. Angel’s Envy claims that it’s product is composed of straight bourbons aged up to 6 years, and then finished in Ruby port pipes for a period of 3 – 6 months.
I am somewhat new to port, but from what I’ve had, I really like. Ruby ports tend to be the sweeter range of the port selections, offering rich decadent fruit flavors of raisins, berries, and plums, to name a few. According to Wes Henderson, the mash bill consists of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 12% malted barley and clocks in at a humble 43.3% ABV. The Henderson family does not distill Angel’s Envy, they purchase the barrels from multiple Kentucky distilleries. Not that there is anything wrong with that, you know.
As a fan of port and sherry finished whiskies, I was ready to fall in love with this bottle. Let’s see how it held up.
Nose: Strong ethanol, hard to get around even after adding water; thick oak, faint whiffs of red fruit. Not detecting the rye here.
Taste: Comes across as a young whiskey; again thick oak; light (and I mean light) red grape; little sweet sugar-water kick; ethanol and oak dominate the palate.
Finish: One dimensional note of wood, hangs out for a fair amount.
Comments: Personally, I had high expectations when purchasing this whiskey. I really wanted to find the fruit notes one would expect. Unfortunately, they were not to be found. Instead, I got young whiskey that while not “bad,” it didn’t deliver anything of real particular interest, and I had to fight through a bunch of ethanol to enjoy!. At $40+ a bottle, there should be more going on here.
Rating: 78 – Perhaps I got weak/bad bottle. If that is the case, I hope someone can give me another go and change my mind on the matter.
Great write up. I do enjoy Angel’s Envy Bourbon, but my one gripe about the whiskey is its lack of consistency. You may have very well landed a not so great batch. I’ve had good ones and I’ve had not so good ones. In my experience, it seems the not so good ones are more of their recent bottlings (past year or so). It may just be me, but they seem to be getting younger and with less of that Port influence, which is exactly the experience you seemed to have had. This is opposite for their ‘Cask Strength’ expression, which seems to keep getting better with each release. I thoroughly enjoy their Rye whiskey, too, which is an interesting pour.
Nice to hear that I’m not crazy. I read up on other peoples experience with the stuff and was ready to be hit with the same “magic”. If the port had made more of a showing and the ethanol toned down I think this would have been a wonderful pour. Perhaps Angel’s Envy is joining the bandwagon of other distilleries in reducing quality to meet the demand…
Hello again, Any chance of a list of high scoring,moderately priced whiskeys for novices like myself? Thanks. Ken
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I’ve had multiple batches and have never had the experience you’ve had. Most certainly not those young ethanol notes (which I hate) that were prevalent in your experience. It’s a shame if their batches vary that badly, because I’ve loved every Envy I’ve tried so far…
This has always been one of my go to bourbons, typically very soft ethanol notes for me. Maybe you did get a bad bottle. I do like ETL better than Angels Envy but I feel AE is better than Makers 46. Thanks again for the great reviews; really awesome