Early this year, cult favorite whiskey Angel’s Envy was released in a super-rare cask strength edition. The catch: a whopping 600 bottles were made and released only in Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee.
Now the company is back with another cask strength released, and this time it won’t be quite so scarce, with about 4,000 bottles released in California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, and Texas. That said, considering this is the final project completed by recently deceased Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson and that Paul Pacult just named the 2012 Cask Strength bottling his #1 spirit of the last year, I’d expect this bottling to vanish just as quickly.
For those unfamiliar, Angel’s Envy is a bourbon made from 4- to 6-year old stock, finished for 3 to 6 months in Port barrels. Normally an 86.6 proof whiskey, this cask strength release hits 123 proof (1% hotter than the 2012 version, which is pictured above).
I think this is a touch better than the 2012 bottling. There’s so much depth of flavor here and so much to explore. First comes a very deep sweetness, driven by burnt sugar and deep raisin notes. (Of course, there’s plenty of alcohol to work your way through, too.)
On the palate, the whiskey takes on deeper, more nefarious notes. Heavy wood char, prune, roasted nuts, and a lasting, wood-driven finish. It really spins the AE formula on its head. In the standard bottling the wood comes first, the raisiny sweetness after. Here it’s sugar, then wood. How does that happen? Ah, what a country.