Distillery Louisville Distilling Company (Crestwood, KY)
Type Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
ABV 43.3% (86.6 proof)
Age 4-6 years
Summer is nearly over and the Baron has yet to review a bourbon. Simply unacceptable. I present to you a relative newcomer to the bourbon aisle, Angel’s Envy.
This whiskey is the brainchild of bourbon paragon Lincoln Henderson, the not-even-close-to-being-a-newcomer former master distiller of Brown-Forman. To borrow a phrase from the late great Troy McClure, “you may remember him from such bourbons as Woodford Reserve and Old Forester.” Three generations of Henderson’s are involved in the production of Angel’s Envy. They’re like the Kennedy’s, but with more booze-making and less booze-drinking.
Getting back to the actual bourbon, it spends 4 to 6 years aging in the highest level of the barrel warehouse, soaking up that oakey goodness. Lincoln Henderson then personally tastes each barrel, choosing the ones he deems ready. The whiskey in those select barrels is then aged in Port wine barrels for an additional 3 to 6 months. Sure it sounds a little “different,” and it’s unlikely to attract the stereotypical cheap bourbon and coke drinkers you’ll find at your local bar or lounge, but the process renders an incredibly smooth and exquisite bourbon.
(Click to read more about the Angel’s Envy bourbon making process)
- Appearance Angel’s Envy pours a subdued copper color. You can tell this isn’t a high proof bourbon, as the color would be more robust, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This has nothing to do with the actual bourbon, but I find the bottle to be very eye-catching. 8/10
- Aroma There is a lot going on in the nose on this one. Very sweet and enticing aroma of vanilla, caramel, maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, toasted nuts, and dark fruit. It doesn’t get much better than this. 19/20
- Taste Angel’s Envy has a pleasantly sweet taste, with the usual bourbon flavors of vanilla and caramel, as well as brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and spice. The Port influence is evident, but not overbearing. You can taste the notes of raisin and dark fruits, with a slight hint on mint. The finish is medium-long, with the maple and fruit lingering on the palate. I also got an odd hint of chocolate in the finish. So far, no one else I know who has tried Angel’s Envy has tasted this, so feel free to ignore that part. (UPDATE: Chocolate is actually part of Angel’s Envy tasting notes) 38/40
- Palate This whiskey was originally going to be called “Baby Butt Bourbon” but the marketing department felt the name didn’t accurately describe the incredible smoothness this Kentucky spirit. Angel’s Envy is liquid silk, so smooth and gentle on the palate. There is absolutely no burn whatsoever. 10/10
- Value Let me preface this section by saying I paid WAY too much for this. It’s not available in Virginia, so I made the mistake of buying it in DC, paying a good 20% premium over the average retail price. But I won’t punish the bourbon for my lack of price research. You should be able to purchase a 750 mL bottle of Angel’s Envy for about $45-$50, where available. That’s a decent price point for a bourbon of this quality. If I could get it for $40 in my area there would always be a bottle in my whiskey cabinet. 16/20
- Overall 91/100
If you’re a fan of bourbon or craft whiskeys, I highly recommend you try Angel’s Envy. If you’ve read any of my previous bourbon reviews, you know I like big, bold, in-your-face-like-a-starving-zombie bourbons. Angel’s Envy does not fall in that category, but it has become one of my favorite bourbons.
Angel’s Envy Bourbon’s sweet, complex flavor and aroma are excellent in their own right, but its incredible smoothness really puts this straight Kentucky bourbon over the top. There is no need for ice, and absolutely no need for adding water. And please, for the love of God and all that is good in the world, DO NOT USE THIS FOR MIXED DRINKS. Pour it in a glass, admire it, and enjoy it.