Thursday, July 17, 2014

Angel's Share Trapped in a Bottle - Review of Angel's Envy Port Finish Bourbon

The birth of Angel's Envy was in the spring of 2010 and their opening spirit was the Angel's Envy Port Finish Bourbon.

The name Angel's Envy derives from the term “Angel's share”.  Angel's share is what distillers have called the evaporation of bourbon that is lost through the aging process.  On average, depending on the rick house, geographic location, and movement of a barrel, 4 to 5% of bourbon is lost per year to the angels.    

Angel's Envy currently produces three varieties of their craft.  The port finish bourbon, the rum finished 95% rye whiskey, and the cask strength bourbon (finished in port barrels as well).  We were fortunate enough to review the port finish and hope to see the rye and cask proof in the future.

 Like many young bourbon and whiskey companies, Angel's Envy is not distilling their own product.  However, recently they have finished a 100,000 square-foot production facility in Louisville, KY to handle the whole process on their own. 

Coming in at 86.6% proof, the bourbon is finished in the French oak barrels that were once used for aging port. These additional steps give the bourbon its smooth vanilla flavor complemented by a slightly sweet finish.  I believe this final process softens much of the alcohol “punch” one would get in a young bourbon like this.

Angel's Envy Port Finish Bourbon is a small batch that comes from 8 to 10 aged barrels at a time.  The average age is 6 years, but no age stamp is present.  Once the selected bourbon is ready, it is then finished in 60- gallon ruby port barrels made from French oak, which are imported from Portugal.  Angel's Envy will let the bourbon age an additional six months in these casks to create this unique flavor. 

Appearance - Gold color with a light reddish amber hues
Nose - slight vanilla, maple syrup and with a hint of almonds

Palate - Vanilla, maple syrup
Finish - Light Oak finish, little to no burn

Angel's Envy Bourbon Whiskey (750 Ml)
Retail Price: $46.99 - 49.99
Proof:  86.6

The Four Barrels Final Review - 3 out of 5 barrels

Overall, it's a good bourbon, but with its low proof and young age, it does not carry a rich complexity that a bourbon enthusiast would be looking for.  You get a hint of the port finish in the appearance but there is a strange absence of its aroma and character on the palate. 

Distillery: Louisville Distilling Co.

Website: Angel's Envy

Notable comments:  Awarded 98 points, by Wine Enthusiast