Published on December 11th, 2013 | by Siz0
Angel’s Envy Cask Strength
Sometimes there are overhyped bourbons, and sometimes there are bourbons that aren’t hyped enough. My initial review of the standard Angel’s Envy offering falls into that category of not hyped enough. I rarely hear whiskey connoisseurs praising Angel’s Envy. I’m not exactly sure why, because to me it’s one of the best whiskies available out in the marketplace. So when I was offered the chance to try out this Angel’s Envy Cask Strength you bet I took the opportunity!
One day I get an email out of the blue from my pal Art who works at my local liquor store. He tells me that he bought a bottle of this bourbon and he wants me to come review it! I was like well what is it? He told me it was Angel’s Envy Cask Strength they only got a few bottle at the shop and he was able to snag one. So I went by one evening and he gave me the wooden box with this rare bourbon inside. I brought it home to snap some pictures for this review and to do my tasting rituals. I honestly couldn’t be more excited. I remember it was a crappy rainy day when I picked it up. My wife was with me and I made her carry the box out to the car while I held up the umbrella to make sure rain didn’t touch the box (and her I guess). I was treating it like a new born baby, in fact I probably treated it better than that because, it wasn’t my box. It was someone else’s that they entrusted to me, talk about pressure! I made it home safe and sound and I was ready to learn all about this bourbon and taste it, oh was I ready to taste it!
After reading through the backstory about this whiskey on their site, the people at Angel’s Envy seem to be very patient. That was the sentiment I got and one that they purposefully stated on their site. None was more patient than the late Lincoln Henderson, who we sadly lost earlier this year. He was honestly a bourbon and whiskey genius and pioneer. This year’s Angel’s Envy Cask Strength was one of the last things that Lincoln gave his approval on before bottling. So I feel like this bottle has even more sentiment attached to it. I believe the best way to honor such an amazing individual is to enjoy his creation. So let’s crack it open and pour a dram or two.
This Angel’s Envy Cask Strength has the exact same bottle shape as the original Angel’s Envy. The only difference is a beautiful silver plate towards the bottom of the bottle that includes all the pertinent information about this cask’s strength. It’s a very subtle difference in design, however the real difference lies inside the bottle!
Also, you might remember earlier that I mentioned this bottle came in a box! That’s right, an actual heavy wooden box. Not your typical balsa wood box that I’ve seen other whiskies come in. This box is like a hardened oak, very dense and heavy. When I opened it up I got a huge waft of woody notes that hit you right in the face. It’s a very rustic look to the overall packaging. The outside of the box has a set of wings burned into the wood and a silver clasp locking it shut. This same logo that’s on the back of all the AE bottles. I couldn’t take a good picture of the box because it’s too large to fit inside my magic photo booth. So you’re just going to have to imagine it. Besides, that’s not what really matters, it’s all about the bourbon anyway! It’s the stuff inside that I’m most excited about!
Speaking of the stuff inside, I just want to stop and take notice of how dark and rich this bourbon looks. This Angel’s Envy Cask Strength has a beautiful dark reddish amber hue to it. It’s gorgeous looking through the bottle. In fact I think it is a great contrast in visuals with the silver plate and this dark colored bourbon. The mixture is incredibly easy on the eyes and it makes me want to tear into it and pour a dram! I think that’s what I’m gonna do!
Now sometimes with a cask strength I would be tempted to cut it with water. However, I’m not about to do that to this bourbon. It’s a rare hard to find bourbon and I’m going to soak it in for everything that is has to offer. Because honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to taste it again! As soon as I pour a dram into my Glencairn whiskey glass I’m hit with a beautiful bouquet of aromas. It has a big beautiful nose that is dominated by vanilla spice. Behind the spice like a big brother standing watch is this dark hearty wood aroma. The nose is incredibly complex and offering all levels depth. Once I get passed the vanilla and wood offerings I start to pick up on some more subtle notes like a dark fruit and some light spices. There is even a hint of chocolate notes in there. This Angel’s Envy Cask Strength might have one of the most complex noses from a bourbon that I’ve ever experienced before.
Taking the first sip I’m entranced with what I’m experiencing. Again, just the depth and complexity of this bourbon is incredible. Initially I picked up this very dark fruit note, I can’t quite pinpoint it though, maybe plum? Then the next note I picked up was this incredible chocolate flavor that swirled throughout my mouth. It’s like my tongue was flowing along the chocolate river from Willy Wonka. It wasn’t an overly sweet chocolate note, but it was more of a slightly earthy chocolate. The sweetness had levels on top of levels of sweetness and spice that ebbed and flowed throughout. It took me on a wild ride throughout the tasting. I kept encountering one flavor and I would chase it down the rabbit hole to try and determine what it was and while I was on that journey I would come across other flavors that stole my attention. Again, this Angel’s Envy Cask Strength is delightfully complex and incredibly satisfying.
We’re two for two right now with Nose & Palate, but I personally believe that the finish separates a good bourbon from a great bourbon. The finish on this Angel’s Envy Cask Strength starts out very warm and coating. In fact after you swirl it around and let it coat your mouth you can feel the legs rolling down the inside of your mouth and it’s leaving behind this delicious layer begging you to let it sit and stay awhile. Then it brings the heat, it’s a slow warming heat that stays in your mouth and doesn’t burn all the way down your chest like a fiery trail of indigestion. There is a good dose of spice left in the wake that tingles your senses begging for another sip. The finish slowly dissipates as your mouth is left
salivating drooling for more. Honestly, you couldn’t ask for a better finish than what this bourbon has to offer. It literally forces your taste buds to demand another sip until you’ve emptied your glass to satisfy the craving.
Angel’s Envy Cask Strength: 10/10
I’m going to use a description right off of the Angel’s Envy Cask Strength web page, this ” is unlike any other bourbon you’ve ever tasted.” I couldn’t agree more. I honestly can’t remember tasting anything close to this bourbon. The original Angel’s Envy isn’t even comparable to this masterpiece. I have never tasted a bourbon with so much depth and complexity to it before. There are so many flavors that you experience with subtleness and balance it’s absolutely incredible. For me personally, this has set a new standard for all other bourbons to be measured on.