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

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