Every year, Angel’s Envy drops a barrel proof version of its iconic Port-finished bourbon, and while the proof changes slightly from one year to the next, the overall through-line doesn’t vary all that much. 2022’s release is no surprise, its burgundy-hued color a treat for the eyes, before you ever dip into it.
Big and fiery on the nose, the whiskey has more of a smoldering quality than I typically get from Angel’s Envy. A hint of smoke informs notes of gingerbread, walnuts, and racy cinnamon — the iconic fruit of the whiskey tempered beneath. The palate is immediately focused on sweetness, with notes of orange marmalade, strawberry jam, and cherry compote making for an opulent entree to high tea. Cola notes are a nice counterpart to all the fruit in the mix, with a classic Port-driven raisin character coming up strong as the finish builds. There’s a lot of woody barrel influence here, a common encounter with Angel’s Envy, and water is helpful at tempering the burly heat, giving the finish a brighter cherry note, touched just so with notes of lemon.
As is almost always the case, it’s fine stuff — and a lovely holiday splurge for any fan of the standard-strength Angel’s Envy.