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.
Angel’s Envy is the rabble-rouser of the bourbon industry. The distillery launched in 2011 and broke from tradition with its flagship bourbon double-matured in new American oak and former ruby Port casks. In more recent years, finished bourbons have become readily available. Angel’s Envy added to its collection with a tawny Port barrel finish, a Mizunara cask finish, and now a Madeira cask finish. Barrel finishes give extra depth to a whiskey. Many already consider Angel’s Envy their favorite whiskey, so continuing with experimental finishes is a way for the brand to stay relevant.
Madeira is a fortified wine. Madeira, like Angel’s Envy, is something of a rebel in the wine industry. The process for making it defies what other wine regions do. For example, Madeira gets its flavor from exposure to heat and oxygen–two things traditional winemakers usually avoid. Wes Henderson, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, said in a prepared statement about the release, “We took a trip to the island in 2015 and tried more than 30 varieties until we found the perfect casks that would lend both the dryness of a good sherry and the richness of tawny port to our bourbon.”
The Angel’s Envy Madeira Finish is part of the Cellar Collection, and produced 3,360 bottles. It was released for Father’s Day, and 600 bottles were allocated to a lottery for the 500 Main members club. Of the Cellar Collection, the Madeira Finish is priced at $230. Even though it is the third release in the collection, the price point falls in between the Oloroso Finish ($200) and the Tawny Port Finish ($250). While Angel’s Envy acquired international distribution in 2020, the Madeira Finish is going to be a unicorn whiskey with its limited distribution in a handful of states.
Tasting Notes: Angel’s Envy Madeira Finish
Vital Stats: 50% ABV, 100 proof. Kentucky straight bourbon finished in Madeira casks. Limited release of 3,360 bottles in KY, NY, CA, FL, TN, IL, and TX. 750ml $230.
Appearance: Tawny with glints of rose gold.
Nose: The aroma of bananas foster immediately greets the nose. It has a touch of acetone, but it is not off-putting. Cinnamon raisin mingles with flossed sugar. Lastly, I get some marzipan with dried cherries.
Palate: The dram starts off sweet, reminiscent of Fee Brother’s Plum Bitters. However, the palate moves through a smoky haze and super dark chocolate. Near the finish, leather reveals itself. Dried black cherry and toasted oak linger on the tongue. Overall, the Madeira lends a nice dryness and spice. It is complex, but yet it seems effortless.
As a Madeira drinker, I was looking forward to this Angel’s Envy release. It did not disappoint. The Madeira works well with Angel’s Envy bourbon, especially with the spice and dryness. Nothing about this whiskey is too bold or underwhelming. It is balanced with its complexities. I highly recommend finding a bottle, and I can only hope Angel’s Envy Madeira Finish is a permanent fixture in their line-up.
User Review5 (1 vote)
Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...