Published on January 22nd, 2013 | by Siz20
- Kind of Spirit:Bourbon
- Distillery:Angel's Envy
- Age:4 Years
- Alcohol Percentage:43.3
- Color:Amber, Copper
- Aroma:Vanilla, Maple Syrup
- Average Price:$50
Traditionally, every distillery owes a percentage of the bourbon to the angels. This agreement is known as the Angel’s shares. But when Lincoln Henderson created a bourbon with exquisitely subtle “expressions” that came from joining bourbon tradition with port wine heritage, they felt they should have gotten a bigger share. And Angel’s Envy was born.
Wow, talk about a way to introduce a bourbon to the world! That story will stand up and get your attention. This is a nice story that plays on the tradition of the Angel’s share idea that all bourbon manufacturers have to deal with. Jim Beam created something similar called “The Devil’s Cut” which is a little bit on the darker side of the story.
To me Angel’s Envy has a very interesting manufacturing procedure. You’ll notice on the bottle it says “Finished in Port Wine Barrels”. This finishing experimentation is increasing all across the bourbon industry. I think it’s a great innovative way to create some new takes on the old libation. So what do they mean when they ‘finish it in Port wine barrels’?
After 4-6 years of aging in a New Oak barrel, the Henderson family hand select barrels they believe are ready for bottling. Once those barrels are selected they are transferred into 60 gallon Ruby Port barrels shipped directly from Portugal. Then Angel’s Envy is finished for 3-6 months. After another tasting to determine the readiness of the bourbon they blend 10 barrels at a time together instead of a traditional 100+ barrels. All of this time and effort is something that would surely make the angels envious above.
A great back story is only half the battle, you have to have a good product to back it up. So let’s see what this bourbon has in store for us tasting wise.
As I’m sure you know, I’m a huge sucker for great packaging. I love the way this Angel’s Envy bottle looks. It’s tall and elegant. It has angel wings printed on the back of the bottle. They shine through the beautiful copper glow of the bourbon. The side of the bottle has a label that tells you the Batch Number & Bottle Number of this bourbon. It even has a space for you to write down the day you uncorked the bottle!
This Angel’s Envy bourbon has a beautiful appearance. It’s a brilliant amber color, in certain light you get glimpses of gold shining through. It almost has a red copper-ish color contained in this slender sloping bottle. Again, I’m a sucker for this superb packaging.
Immediately when I open this bottle of Angel’s Envy I’m hit with some pretty intense notes. Right away I pick up on the traditional Vanilla flavor found in nearly all bourbons. The second note I’m hit with comes from Maple Syrup and I’m instantly whisked away to sitting around the kitchen table eating belgian waffles hot off the waffle iron at my grand father’s house. The maple syrup notes make my mouth salivate waiting in anticipation of the first sip.
As soon as I take the first sip of Angel’s Envy I noticed the maple syrup notes even more. It’s something I just can’t away from. The Vanilla is there, but to me the maple syrup is the dominate flavor. It leaves me asking the question, I wonder if I could pour this on my belgian waffle and how delicious that would taste? … Ok I probably wouldn’t do that, but hey you always have to ask the question.
I love the finish of this Angel’s Envy. It’s so clean and clear. It has a lingering sweetness to it. I pick up the vanilla notes, but there are hints of citrus as well. The vanilla has a nice slow fade to it. There’s a nice even burn on the tongue, it’s not overpowering, just smooth and delicious!
Angel’s Envy: 10/10
To me this is an obvious 10 out of 10. This might be one of my new favorite bourbons. I know it had a lot of hype coming out of the gate, but to me it lives up to the hype. I’m a huge fan. Obviously, the port barrel finishing brings a new dimension of flavors to the bourbon, but I’d be interested in seeing what it tastes like before the finishing. Chances are I would enjoy that just as much! So if you haven’t picked one up yet, go grab a bottle of this and try it out. I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed.