The annual Cask Strength release of Angel’s Envy bourbon came and went last fall, but it took us a bit to run down a sample. Apologies for our tardiness, but if you’re a fan of this one, you already know it’s best to buy this bottle if and when you see it because it seldom sits on the shelf long. As with all previous iterations, this is just Angels Envy Bourbon Finished in Port Barrels, but it’s as close to drinking the stuff straight from the barrel as you’re going to get. The release has generally impressed us over the years, with 2019 being the best we’d come across since the late Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson first launched the limited edition back in 2012. Let’s see how the 2020 stacks up, shall we?
At least from the nose, this is another winning year with a sultry mix of barbecue, baking spice, and dark red fruits, raspberry and sour cherry leading the way. On the palate, those fruits are bright and syrupy with a sweetness that balances well against the generous warmth and woody spice of the cask strength whiskey and rich barrel notes of chocolate biscuits, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and burnt toast. The midpalate sees that toast slathered with all-berry jam as decadent dark fruits become the real curtain call flavor, dissolving into lingering, still warming notes of dark currants and sweet pie filling. That’s two in a row now for these Cask Strength releases where the oak isn’t overly drying, and everything really seems to have struck a great balance.