The act of aging or finishing any kind of whisk(e)y in rare Japanese Mizunara oak casks has become something of a badge of exclusivity for certain brands over the years. Typically taken from oak trees that are at least between 100-150 years of age, there’s obviously a finite amount of this resource floating around, which in turn can drive up somewhat the prices of certain expressions.
Popular Kentucky bourbon label Angel’s Envy is the latest to ride the Mizunara oak cask train, with plans to unveil in August a new “Founder’s Day 10th Anniversary” release known as Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished In Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks.
This new bourbon, according to the brand, is a blend of four year old and nine year old Angel’s Envy bourbon that’s finished for an additional two years in “hand-selected, charred, new Japanese Mizunara oak casks.” It marks the first release in the distillery’s new Angel’s Envy Founder’s Collection, a higher premium line which will include bottlings “commemorating brand anniversaries, special events and milestones.”
“Ten years ago today (August 19th), my dad Lincoln and I filled our first port barrels with the bourbon that would eventually become Angel’s Envy,” said Wes Henderson, Angel’s Envy Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, in a prepared statement. “In celebration, we wanted to release something special to honor my dad’s incredible legacy, how far Angel’s Envy has come and our exciting future ahead.
“We chose this release for the tenth anniversary because my dad, having taken on several consulting roles in Japan during his career, always had a deep appreciation for the country and its distilling community. This release, finished in Mizunara casks made from this rare, 200-year-old wood, felt fitting for such a special milestone for Angel’s Envy.”
Plans call for just 1,200 bottles of Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished In Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks to be released, bottled at 97.8 proof and priced at around $350 per 750 ml bottle. Members of the distillery’s 500 Main fan club will have first shot at pre-orders come August 19th, followed by a general release of the American whiskey at the beginning of September at the distillery and also “select retailers in Kentucky.”
Official tasting notes are below from Angel’s Envy. As a side note regarding the bottle this bourbon comes in, it was stated by the distillery that “once this rare release is enjoyed, the empty bottle – crafted from premium, lead-free crystal – is meant to be stripped of labels and reused as a decanter.”
On the nose, it offers notes of smoky wood, sandalwood, banana bread, cherry and ripe apples. On the palate, notes of vanilla, oak, rich chocolate, banana, cinnamon, apple and light black pepper are present, along with floral and fruity notes and a hint of coffee. The finish is slightly dry with hints of toasty oak and a lingering smokiness.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...