Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon is the latest innovation from the late master distiller, Lincoln Henderson. It follows the brand’s trend of producing double-aged spirits (the Cask Strength is finished in port barrels, like the original Angel’s Envy Bourbon, while Angel’s Envy Rye is finished in rum barrels.) The Cask Strength was originally released in limited quantities in late 2012 and sold out in weeks, so this marks the whiskey’s first availability in 2013.
Lincoln aged the Cask Strength expression in American white oak for up to eight years until it reached his desired level of richness and maturity. He then blended that bourbon into a single batch and aged that in hand-selected port casks for up to three more years. The result: well, for starters, it was recently named the “best spirit in the world” by F. Paul Pacult in the Spirit Journal. So there’s that.
The bourbon pours a dark brown with amber hues. On the nose, it’s fiery, but full of rich vanilla cream, dark chocolate and oak. Let it sit for a few minutes in the glass, and things become clearer, with some tobacco and caramel shining through. Drink up, and it’s lush and complex. There’s a lot going on here — from vanilla and baking spices to dried fruits and fudge-like dessert. The mouthfeel is very substantial, with a rich and supple character that grips your mouth and never lets go. It finishes bone dry.
Wow. It’s a lot to take in. From start to finish this is a big whiskey that walks the line between brash and elegant. It’s intensely flavorful, and the port barrel aging is very apparent. It’s surprisingly well-balanced considering the melange of flavors and the high proof. We might prefer the standard Angel’s Envy for everyday drinking, but this one’s a prime candidate for impressing your whiskey aficionado friends. Hats off to Lincoln Henderson for crafting such an intriguing spirit.
Angel’s Envy will only release 350 9-liter cases of the Cask Strength Bourbon. You can find it this October in select markets, including California, Illinois, Kentucky, New York and Texas. The suggested retail price is $149.
– 60.5% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★