What Is Angel's Envy Bourbon?

Whiskey Perfection in a Glass

Angel's Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels

Louisville Distilling Company

Angel's Envy is a delicious Kentucky straight bourbon produced by Louisville Distilling Company. Launched in 2011, this whiskey quickly won over whiskey lovers and rose to the top ranks of notable Kentucky bourbons. A unique double-maturation process makes it unique. The original expression is aged in both new charred American oak and former port casks, and equally impressive whiskeys (including a rye whiskey) have since been released. This is a bourbon that everyone should try during their exploration of whiskey, and it makes some very fine cocktails as well.

Fast Facts

  • Ingredients: 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley
  • Proof: 86.6
  • ABV: 43.3%
  • Calories in a shot: 
  • Origin: Louisville, Kentucky
  • Taste: Vanilla, oak, port nuances
  • Aged: 4 to 6 years, plus 6 months
  • Serve: shots, straight-up, on the rocks, cocktails

What Is Angel's Envy Bourbon Made From

Angel's Envy started out as a one-bottle brand in 2011. It was designed by Lincoln Henderson, the former Brown-Forman master distiller and creator of Woodford Reserve. Henderson is a legend in the industry with over 40 years of experience, and that is reflected in the quality of this bourbon.

The mash bill of Angel's Envy is made up of 72 percent corn, 18 percent rye, and 10 percent malted barley. Each of the grains is locally sourced and non-GMO. The original expression is aged for 4 to 6 years in American white oak barrels, per the legal requirements for bourbon. The process is unique in that the whiskey is finished in former ruby port wine barrels for an additional 3 to 6 months. Each batch matures at a slightly different rate and is exposed to varying weather patterns, so the aging ranges give the distiller's freedom to taste the whiskey and pull it from the barrel only when its ready. It is bottled at 43.3 percent alcohol by volume (86.6 proof).

The name "Angel's Envy" plays off a term that distillers often use for aged distilled spirits. In the barrel, it's expected that a certain percentage of liquor is lost to evaporation, called the "angel's share." The thought is that this whiskey is so good that the angels are envious that they didn't get more.

What Does Angel's Envy Bourbon Taste Like?

Angel's Envy is a delicious whiskey with a wonderful balance from start to finish. The nose opens up with a soft, seductive bouquet of caramel, praline, raisins, and vanilla. This bourbon's port barrel finish adds sophistication to the palate and finds a balance with the typical flavors found in bourbon. It has a rich mouthfeel marked by the flavors of vanilla, bitter chocolate, maple syrup, and whiskey's signature oaky undertones. The finish lingers and gradually melts away while delighting the drinker with a port-influenced sweetness.

Expressions

The Angel's Envy portfolio has expanded since the initial release of the impressive Port Finish. The distillery in downtown Louisville also produce these bottlings:

  • Cask Strength: A limited run of around 8,000 bottles is regularly released at cask strength, offering the fullest flavored version of Angel's Envy you will find. It is bottled straight out of the port finishing barrel, so the bourbon retains its full 122.4 proof (this can fluctuate). Understandably, the price tag reflects this whiskey's rarity and it regularly sells for well over $150.
  • Rye Whiskey Finished in Rum Barrels: This whiskey is comprised of 95 percent rye and 5 percent malted barley. The lack of corn means that it is not a bourbon. Aged for 18 months in used Caribbean rum casks that initially housed cognac, the whiskey is matured for 6 to 7 years in total. It weighs in at a flavorful 100 proof.

How to Drink Angel's Envy Bourbon

Angel's Envy is not a budget bourbon. Though the Port Cask is reasonably priced for a premium whiskey, you'll still likely want to enjoy it wisely. To pay respect to the craftsmanship that went into making it, tasting it straight is highly recommended. Pouring a shot over a large piece of ice and letting it rest for a few minutes will open up the bourbon and display its wonderful aroma and taste as well.

After experiencing the bourbon in each of those venues, you'll have a good sense of cocktails that are worthy of this fine whiskey. This is not one that you'll want to heavily dilute or pair with strong flavors. Instead, stick to classically-styled recipes with just a few ingredients that enhance, rather than detract from, the bourbon.

Cocktail Recipes

A bourbon of this sophistication deserves to be tasted in the essential whiskey cocktails. Its nuances are utterly enjoyable in the most basic of drinks that are designed to showcase the whiskey. Keep it simple and be sure to try Angel's Envy in: