Thursday, March 21, 2013

Angel's Envy Bourbon Whiskey Review:

Produced by the Louisville Distilling Company, Angel’s Envy is simply a brilliant product. What you get when you buy a bottle is a small distillery production without any of the hype from the micro industry and one which is constructed by a first-class master distiller, Lincoln Henderson. His experience being intensive, Lincoln put small-batch bourbons for Woodford Reserve on the map while he also played a large part in the development of Jack Daniels’s “Gentleman Jack” and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. Along with two younger generations, the Henderson’s have created a great product with a modern edge. Aged at least four years, the liquid is then transferred and finished in port pipes for four to six months, lending them to label their product as a “Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Barrels.”

Angel's Envy Bourbon Whiskey Review:

Price: Around $45.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Packaging/Labeling: Some comments have been made that the label is a bit much, and I agree that it does at least toe the line. But the in the end the design is clean and elegant with a beautiful wooden cork stopper. The label details are clear and concise. On a side note their website provides great clarity to their product. Exactly what I like to see.

Alcoholic Content: 43.3% abv, 87 proof. The only issue, though minor, is the abv. Could have been higher, and with the flavor profile it would have added a great compliment. More reason to get excited about trying the cask strength version.

Nose: The nose is a wonderful delight. Supersweet corn and honey.Tropical notes. Some Kiwi and tangerine coated in sugar cane juice. Mint, vanilla, toffee, and wood in the back.

Palate: Balanced and complex corn and rich toffee flow into sweet honey and mulling spices. Spicier than other reviewers led me to believe, Angel's Envy has a tactile palate imparting you with orange zest and fresh oak in the back. What you are left with at the end is the port pipe sweetness. Very well rounded. The dram will slowly open up into more maple sweetness on the finish.

Conclusion: When the product was first released in 2011 there was a New York Times article written by Frank Bruni who stated that “[after drinking Angel's Envy] I missed the rough edges of other bourbons and the way they can burn slightly in the back of the throat. When I drink bourbon, I like the sense that I’m playing with fire.” An opinion no doubt and one cannot simply state it is wrong, but I feel like he simply missed the point: that the intrinsic quality of the whiskey is simply different than what he prefers. And that’s the problem. His “review” wasn’t a review, it was an opinion peace. He is practically stating that Angel's Envy is a tempered product for a wider audience, as if a fruitier and more drinkable 86.6 abv bourbon is somehow less to write home about. When tasting spirits one always needs to remove themselves from the current trends and look only at the intrinsic quality. Funny as it may seem Bruni’s article makes a great point: many people who look at American spirits today and do not see them as somehow relating to or holding an aesthetic quality of a “down to earth” and “humble” product simply disregard it. As I said at the beginning, Angel's Envy actually appears quite different from the micro-guys (aka different from current trends in one respect). I agree that it is a modern product, yet one which is expressed clearly, tastefully (aesthetically speaking), and it is superb bourbon to boot. Let’s shelve the idea that good product should be above the need for marketing, while never succumbing to the idea that it really matters. Diversity in the industry, if it be a real quality product, is needed. Angel's Envy is a product I would recommend.


  1. Just had the pleasure of trying this stuff. I've gotta agree that the ABV could be a little higher and it's missing a bit of bite, but goodness is that a solid bourbon. My biggest problem with it is that it may be a little too easy to drink... a bottle would not last long in my home.

    1. Agreed! At 45+ a bottle we should start to expect something more with the abv, but the stuff is soo good that it is only minor. Very easy drinking indeed - something many people today take for granted in a good whiskey I think.

  2. Just sampled this in a loosely organized private bourbon blind tasting. After 1st taste all 5 members felt that there was a "dirt" taste that persisted into the aftertaste. Tasting it again later it one palatable but it still placed last place in seven bourbons.