I was quickly spoiled in the bourbon world since Angel’s was one that I tasted pretty soon after I became interested in whiskey. Angel’s Envy is absolutely one of the smoothest out there. And when I say smooth, I mean not just taste but how it feels. The first time I sipped it, I said it felt like velvet on my tongue, though I think silk is a better word. I have yet to find anything that compares.
A Little History
Lincoln Henderson developed well-known brands such as Gentleman Jack and Woodford Reserve. He was a master distiller, and after he retired, his son Wes approached him about starting a family business. Dad agreed, and the business became Angel’s Envy.
The distillery in downtown Louisville, Kentucky is the youngest and opened its doors in 2016. Don’t let that fool you though. The distillery is young, but Angel’s Envy is steeped in Kentucky Bourbon history.
Have you ever wondered how Angel’s Envy gets its name? The alcohol that evaporates as the bourbon sits in barrels for years is traditionally called the “angels’ share.” What’s left is then the envy of the angels.
How It’s Distilled
They say Angel’s Envy is Scotch-inspired and American-made (with a dash of rebellion). I say it’s the perfect combination.
Like Scotch, Angel’s Envy uses a secondary barrel finish, but not just any barrel — ruby port wine barrels. That’s where the rebellion comes in. Angel’s Envy was among the first to use such a cask to finish a bourbon. Bourbon and port wine are introduced to each other, and the reaction is the sweetest, velvety perfection you’ve ever met.
Oh by the way, the distillers of Angels’ Envy are pure perfectionists and take their craft seriously, tasting every barrel before we consume it. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
After aging for 6 years, the bourbon spends 6 months in the port casks. What’s left are some of the world’s most beautiful notes:
- The color — golden amber
- The aroma — caramel, maple syrup, nuts, and vanilla
- The palate — creamy vanilla, tangerine, slightly smokey
- The finish — hints of Madeira (Portuguese wine), smooth, silky, it lingers on the tongue
How To Enjoy Angel’s Envy
With its list of smooth, almost sensual notes, certainly, Angel’s Envy needs no additions to make it enjoyable. If you haven’t found a bourbon you enjoy or are new to bourbon, I think it’s the perfect one to try. Angel’s has considerably less “burn” than some bourbons. But be warned, you’ll compare everything else to it and it’ll be tough to beat.