Whiskey Review: Angel's Envy Bourbon

Whiskey Review: Angel’s Envy Bourbon

Angel's Envy BourbonEditor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

Storied whiskey industry vet Lincoln Henderson achieved much in his lifetime, including time as Master Distiller at Brown-Forman. He also had a hand in the creation of iconic brands such Woodford Reserve, Gentleman Jack, and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel.  But what has gained him much buzz—now posthumously—is Angel’s Envy. Released in 2010, Angel’s Envy has risen quickly to be a bourbon superstar.

Due in part to the complete creative freedom given to Henderson in its creation, Angel’s Envy occupies a unique spot on the American bourbon spectrum. Finished in port casks, the sourced whiskey claims to upset traditional views of what bourbon truly means. Their advertising campaign – seemingly against themselves – proves as much. In this tasting, I set out to discover if Angel’s Envy lives up to the hype.

Appearance: Golden brown in the glass, Angel’s Envy looks bourbon-y enough.

Nose: On the nose, dark cherry and licorice mingle with star anise and brown sugar, all surrounded by a notable dark wood scent. Hearty and balanced, the nose emits the perfect amount of spice and pepper. After a little time to open, the dram emits heavy black pepper and sweetness.

Palate: Astringent, but with a rich mouth feel, the whiskey manages to be both velvety and biting. Dark cherry again, but with a syrup note emerging, as does brown sugar and leather. A touch of baking spices and orange oil lend a depth likely taken from the Port wood finish, balancing the sweetness. Lacking in bitterness – but not bite – Angel’s Envy has an impressive consistency from nose to palate.

Finish: The finish is medium, warm. Reminiscent of snickerdoodles, the finish leaves the drinker wanting more of the same.

Angel’s Envy is an incredibly easy drinking whiskey, with a slight astringency that made me feel tough as I drank it. Without a doubt, I understand the meteoric rise of this bourbon. Although the bottle design feels eerily similar to something Ed Hardy might design in a drunken haze, it does stand out on a crowded shelf. Angel’s Envy is a legacy whiskey that proves more than the sum of its parts; entirely satisfying and approachable, it lives up to the hype. At about $50 a bottle, it’s not an unreasonable addition to anyone’s whisk(e)y collection.

I give Angel’s Envy Bourbon a score 91 pointsHere is a list of online liquor retailers who are selling a bottle of it if you wish to buy one.