Angel's Envy Port Finish Review

“Liquid Panettone”

Country: USA
Brand: Angel's Envy Port Finish
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Barrels. 
Age: NAS (4-6 Years)
ABV: 43,3 %
Sample Provided By: Derek, USA. Many Thanks!  
Date: 21/04/2014

Colour: Golden Amber

Nose: Sweet and at the same time slightly Sour because of the combination of familiar Bourbon aromas like Vanilla, Caramel, Corn Syrup, Oak, Brown Sugar, Nuts, Buttered Toast, Cinnamon, Mint, Tangerine or Orange and some Red Fruit like Grapes and Berries. I also get impressions of the Italian Sweet Bread called Panettone that is very popular here in Brazil at Christmas time. It is filled with Candied Fruits and Raisins. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. Good balance between American Oak and Port Pipe. The Port Finish certainly creates Aromas you wouldn't normally find in standard Bourbons.

Palate: The Red Wine influence is slightly stronger here but still not overly dominating. I also find Vanilla, Syrup, Caramel/Toffee, Oak, Brown Sugar and Spices like Cinnamon, Pepper and Nutmeg. A bit of Orange and Berries as well. 

Finish: Middle-Long and (slightly Bitter) Sweet with lightly Charred Oak, Vanilla, Corn Syrup, Orange Marmalade, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Mint and a soft Red Wine Note.

The Angel's Envy does not improve with added Water. In fact I believe a slightly higher ABV of around 47% would have greatly benefited this Bourbon.

Rating: 83.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21

Derek's Bottle and the Sample!

General Remarks: Angel's Envy is distilled/distributed by the Louisville Distilling Co. and was designed by the late Lincoln Henderson, the former Brown Forman Master Distiller and creator of Woodford Reserve. It matures in American White Oak Barrels for around 5 years before being finished for 3-6 months in Ex Port Wine Pipes. The packaging is certainly different from what we're used to. It sort of reminds me of a large bottle of Perfume. The sample I'm tasting today hails from Batch 3E, Bottle # 1708. The Port Finish sells at around 45 US Dollars.   

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: We should certainly give credit to the Distillers of Angel's Envy for experimenting with other Wood Sources for Finishing their Bourbon. There also exists a Rye whiskey with Rum Cask Finish from Louisville Distilling Co. Finishing has become quite common in the Scotch Whisky Industry but in the USA it's still the exception rather than the rule. The combination between American Oak and Port Pipes works well here. As a result the Angel's Envy is quite balanced on the Nose. On the Palate, the Red Wine influence becomes a tad stronger. All in all it's a pleasant and different kind of Bourbon. But I don't think Angel's Envy is sufficiently exciting. Would improve with a higher ABV in my opinion. Good Price/Quality Ratio though.

Jan van den Ende                                                                    April 2014

Tomintoul 1969 KIW Review

“Walking on the Moon”

Country: Scotland 
Region: Highlands - Speyside
Brand: Tomintoul 1969 (KIW - Kintra Whisky)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 42 Years
ABV: 44.3 %
Date: 16/04/2014

Colour: Amber

Nose: At first I get loads of Sweet Fruit and assorted Fruit Candies. I find Banana, Orange, Orange-Melon, Papaya Cream, Pineapple and Maraschino Cherries. But it doesn't take long before Oak, Dried Apricots, light Honey, Toffee, Vanilla, Orange Marmalade, Tangerine and Buttered Toast arrive to take control. Hints of Wood Polish and Heather. The Alcohol is beautifully integrated. The ABV is just about right. The Nose of this Tomintoul could have been truly great if not for the fact that some of the Fruit Flavours are a bit artificial. Still, very Fresh and Lively for its age. Well Done!

Palate: Not at all as interesting and balanced as the Nose. Oak, Caramel and Spices are the main flavours. I find White Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Mint and Dried Ginger Powder. Some of the Fruit is still there, mainly Apple, Orange Marmalade, Ice Tea Lemon and Tangerine. Hints of Mint and Walnuts. On the Palate, the many years in the Cask begin to tell!

Finish: Middle-Long, Spicy and (Bitter) Sweet with Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, White Pepper, Citrus, Maraschino Cherries and light Licorice. After a while a hint of Pine Needles. The Nutmeg and Cloves flavours are very clear.  

I added a bit of Water that enhances the Fruit on the Nose. On the Palate and in the Finish it does not do a lot of good as the original ABV is almost spot on. Better sip it neat. 

Rating: 85

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: The Tomintoul we are tasting today was distilled on the 26th of February 1969 when the Distillery was still owned by Hay & MacLeod & Co. It was bottled at Cask Strength by Independent Bottler Kintra Whisky (Deventer, the Netherlands) in January 2012. It matured in a Bourbon Hogshead with Cask # 1196. The whisky has not been chill-filtered and is 100% naturally coloured. It costs around 240 US Dollars. I'm not sure whether it's still available. I got a sample at Whiskybase in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The Tomintoul distillery is located in Ballindalloch, Banfshire and was founded in 1964. Since 2000, the Distillery is in the hands of Angus Dundee Distillers PLC who also own Glencadam.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: It is not everyday that I get to drink a whisky that was distilled in 1969 when Zager & Evans ruled the Charts with "In the Year 2525", when the world saw three days of Love, Peace, Music and Mud in Woodstock, when Armstrong supposedly walked on the moon and when I was "Only Sixteen"! It was certainly an interesting Tasting Session that started off well with the very nice Nose despite some slightly artificial Fruit aromas. But on the Palate and in the Finish the years began to tell and Oak and Spices became very dominant. I'm sure lots of people would love that but I believe that this Tomintoul did overstay its time in the Cask somewhat. The Nutmeg and Cloves on the Finish are quite remarkable and seem to linger on forever. If Palate and Finish would have followed up the Nose with some nice Fruit I would have been glad to pay 240 US Dollars for this dram. As it is however, I'm glad I only bought a sample!

Jan van den Ende                                                                 April 2014