In 2019, Angel’s Envy launched the Cellar Collection, a new line in its portfolio to house experimental, limited edition releases. The first bottle in the collection was an oloroso sherry-finished bourbon, which was a bit of a departure from its standard, Ruby Port-finished offering. This year’s Cellar Collection seems more in line with the standard profile, at least on paper. It is also Port-finished, but uses older Tawny Port barrels (6 years on average). The bourbon itself is also considerably older at 10 years and 10 months (standard Angel’s Envy bourbon is 4 to 6 years), making this the oldest product the distillery has released to date.
The nose on this one is impressive. It’s deeper and richer than your classic Angel’s Envy, evolving in the glass from saddle leather and old wood to fresh dark berries. A bit of baking cocoa arrives in time, as well, and those fresh fruits eventually dry out, baked in a warm tart with plenty of pie spice. It’s a nose you can, and should, spend some time with. The Tawny shows itself immediately on the front of the palate with a juicy dark raisin sweetness, but it isn’t jammy or cloyingly sweet and doesn’t overtake the more delicate elements. In fact, all the flavors here are impressively balanced with fresh peppercorn and cinnamon bark arriving on the mid-palate to mingle with the dark berries and a unique stone fruit note that adds a bit of bright complexity to an otherwise sultry dram. The finish is long and honeyed, with a touch of dark chocolate.
I didn’t get the opportunity to taste the first oloroso sherry-finished Cellar Collection last year, but I’m told there are more bottles available in this release. That’s a good thing because it’s certainly worth picking up if you’re lucky enough to find it on the shelf.