Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Angel’s Envy. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
It’s always a special treat to be able to sample an Angel’s Envy limited-edition whiskey, and the Angel’s Envy 2022 Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels is a truly exceptional release. This is the eleventh in the series of cask strength bourbons from the popular brand, and the first from new Master Distiller Owen Martin. Finished in an extensive process in Port wine barrels from Portugal, the bourbon is a highly anticipated annual release that quickly sells out, and so I consider myself lucky to be able to review it for the second time. And I’m even happier to say that this year left me in much higher spirits!
Angel’s Envy pulls the selected barrels from their notorious rickhouses, adhering to the strict rules of a “straight” bourbon, requiring at least two years of aging in new American oak barrels. The finish in the Port wine barrels is what really raises the quality and originality of Angel’s Envy, offering a dryness from the port that balances well with the subtle sweetness of bourbon. I don’t often get a tannin feel from bourbon, but when tasting the Angel’s Envy 2022 Cask Strength, I do get a different flavor profile than in other more straightforward bourbon whiskeys.
This expression is aged for an additional fourteen months in the port wine casks, a notable extension in the finishing process, and is selected methodically to offer only the highest quality whiskey for their limited release. Angel’s Envy has long been a reliable brand when choosing exceptional bourbon, and as recent as 2021 has received multiple awards for their Cask Strength series, including a Double Gold from The San Francisco World Spirits Competition and 92 points from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
In the growing world of bourbon, it is nice to have a small company like Angel’s Envy who embraces their reputation and strives only to produce the best quality whiskey for those of us who embrace reliability and familiarity. Angel’s Envy does this while still managing to create unique flavor profiles in what I consider to be a bourbon that is accessible to drinkers at every level of consumer taste and maturity.
Tasting Notes: Angel’s Envy 2022 Cask Strength
Vital Stats: Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey finished in Port wine barrels from Portugal. Limited run of 16,980 bottles sold at a SRP of $299.99/750 ml bottle. 119.8 Proof (59.9% ABV).
Appearance: A beautiful reddish amber.
Nose: The whiskey presents maple, dates, and clove right away, with the slow show of Luxardo cherry and allspice as the nose opens.
Palate: There is a powerful punch at the top with fig, maple, bitter melon, and black tea notes that present throughout the tasting. I got an oily mouthfeel with essences of bacon, celery seed, and sweet syrup — the taste of brunch.