Review: Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon – Limited Edition (2014)

angels envy cask strengh 2014

Angel’s Envy remains a top bourbon pick — and cheap, too — but true fans know that something special awaits if they just hang in there. Last year the company released its first Cask Strength Edition of its Port-finished bourbon. Available in an an edition of a whopping 600 bottles, you would probably have had better luck finding bottles of Pappy on closeout. (Whoops: I forgot about the 4,000-bottle 2013 2nd edition release that came out last year as an addendum…)

Well, 2014 is here and Angel’s Envy Cask Strength is back — with 6,500 bottles being released, more than 10 1.4 times last year’s figure. (It’s also $20 more expensive, but who’s counting?)

As I noted last year, this is a very different bourbon from standard-edition Angel’s Envy. Hot and charcoaly with lots of burnt sugar, toffee, and chimney ash, it reveals interesting notes of plum and banana only well into the finish. Water is big help here, bringing down those burnt/blackened sugar and molasses characteristics and revealing more of the essence of wood, cloves, and (very) dark chocolate notes to back it up. Fans of old, heavily wooded whiskeys will naturally eat this up, but those who enjoy a more fruity spirit will probably find something to enjoy here, too. Even more water (don’t be shy) helps to coax out more gentle vanilla, caramel, raisin, and cherry notes — some of the hallmarks of the standard AE bottlings — while still hinting at its burlier underpinnings.

119.3 proof.

A- / $169 / angelsenvy.com  [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

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10 Responses

  1. Soko October 15, 2014 / 6:29 am

    Cheap? ~$50 NAS 86.6 proof. This is cheap now?

  2. Christopher Null October 15, 2014 / 8:00 am

    Perhaps a poor choice of words, but I still count Angel’s Envy among one of the best American whiskeys out there at its price level.

  3. Jack C October 15, 2014 / 11:46 am

    For the money, you can’t beat basic AE. I’d gladly pay $50 for that every day, but my local shop can’t keep it on the shelves! And the AE Rye was the best whiskey I had last year, by a fairly wide margin. I also had all the Pappy and BTAC releases last year, as well as a handful of special release scotches. AE Rye was the bottle I kept coming back to again and again.

  4. Sokojoe October 15, 2014 / 3:44 pm

    Apologies about nit-picking you in that case. To each his own, keep up the great work. I hope the cheat sheet is released soon (unless I missed it) because while definitely know my (personal preference toward) bourbon, always appreciate your guidance with wine.

    @Jack C Haha classic social media brand plug.

  5. Christopher Null October 15, 2014 / 4:28 pm

    Sokojoe – sorry for the delay! We’ll get a new Cheat Sheet up soon!

  6. Austin, TX October 15, 2014 / 5:59 pm

    MGP/LDC sourced whisky again, right? In other words, factory whisky – like factory pigs and chickens. If so, the price is head-shaking.

  7. Chris October 16, 2014 / 9:46 pm

    No, not MGP whiskey, almost certainly Heaven Hill.
    Also, all big brand bourbons would fall under the category of “factory” whiskey. But if you don’t want it, I’ll certainly take your share of ECBP, 4RSB, and BTAC.

  8. Austin, TX October 17, 2014 / 6:42 pm

    ….I meant more along the lines of “out-sourced” factory whisky, and not in-house distilled. Your three examples are excellent in-house factory distilled whiskies.

  9. Christopher Null October 17, 2014 / 6:47 pm

    Well how do you feel about Pappy van Winkle?

  10. Austin, TX October 18, 2014 / 1:14 pm

    ….you got me there Christopher. But I’d argue Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve gets grandfathered in and exempt from todays new startup critique. Pappy came a long way, paid its dues, earned its bones, before charging $100+ per bottle.

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