I am no high minded bourbon purist. I certainly do not think I am some sort of gatekeeper of the tradition or Keeper of the Bourbon Quaich, judging what one can and can’t do to their bourbon whiskey. I don’t think I need to be, bourbon is well regulated legally already and folks seem to like it just fine the way it is. That said, I have never emerged as a staunch advocate of bourbons, or even less rye, finished in sherry/rye/rum barrels. For me, they don’t seem to work. Ever. It also seems wrong. Bourbon doesn’t need to do what Scotch does, sometimes leaning on (yes, I said it) finishing. It all came crashing down one day when the resident rich dentist of the group opened up a port finished Beam bourbon and passed around a few pours. It was so good I considered stealing it, surely sleeping just fine when I got home. Since then, I have kept an open mind.
So today we look at Angel’s Envy Finished Rye with our eyes wide open. Or throats, depending on your perspective. Or noses wide open. I can’t decide. The base 6-7 year old rye is MGP’s famed 95% rye that we have tasted 907 times before with other brands, except this time time Lousiville Distilling Company, now owned by Bacardi, finished the rye for a further period of up to 18 months in Caribbean Xo Rum Casks that previously held Congac. Bottled at 50% ABV this rum finished rye will run you around $80 per bottle, released in ongoing limited quantities. The price has kept me from the brand thus far and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Nose- Big vanilla sweetness with the rye visible underneath. Nutmeg and cinnamon. Maple sugar. Clove. Big and robust.
Taste- Gingery and vanilla bean sweetness translate to a nice mouthfeel. Black pepper. More rum-ish.
Finish- Dark, fruity finish. Medium length. Burnt sugar.
Comment- Well color me surprised, this stuff wasn’t weird at all. The rum doesn’t over power and the rye shines through just enough. Unique and recommended.
SWC Rating- 86/100
Agree? Disagree? You can comment below if you answer the question: why is the rum gone?