We all know about the angel’s share…. the portion of whisky that evaporates while quietly maturing in barrels – typically 5% a year in the case of Kentucky bourbon.
The brand “Angel’s Envy” is a multigenerational affair – Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson came out out retirement from a lifetime in the whiskey industry to collaborate with his son, Wes, on a bourbon finished in Port barrels. Wes’s son Kyle then also joined the family business.
The story goes that after tasting their inaugural whiskey, Lincoln joked that they’d “finally gotten a better deal than the angels.” Hence Angel’s Envy brand was created by Louisville Distilling Company, now a subsidiary of Bacardi Limited.
After Bourbon finished in Port, they turned to Rye finished in Rum casks and Cask strength series finished in Port. Our host selected the Rye finished Rum… and this is what we found…
Angel’s Envy Rum Barrel Finished Rye 50% Batch I0T, Bottle 291
- Nose – A very strong unmistakable burnt caramel, treacle, maple syrup, bananas and cream, some salted caramel, coca cola, rich, sugary and creamy
- Palate – Like a fine rum… it was one of those drams we can call “desert in a glass”, bread pudding, nutmeg, coconut cream
- Finish – Sweet spice that lingers
There was zero question the rum had a strong influence here. And no ordinary rum – this was clearly quality stuff. We thought of rums like Criterion and others Lucas has introduced to the world such as Long Pond.
I have to admit this was unlike any rye I’ve ever tried. It was simply sinfully sweet… and yet when it came to the cigar, wasn’t happening. The very elements that made it so unique, were the same elements that prompted us to steer clear of pairing with a cigar. This Rye demands to fly solo, no accompaniment.
I stumbled across this insight from the folks at Flaviar:
Angel’s Envy Rye starts life as a quality, but rather traditional mix of 95% Rye and 5% malted barley. Bulleit, Dickle… a lot of the top guys use this mix because it works well. This is where Angel’s Envy works their magic. First, they age it a full six years in medium-char American oak. Then they finish it for an additional 18 months in Rum casks, but not just “any” Rum casks. These are “THE” Rum casks from Plantation Rum… the ones that started as Cognac casks from Maison Ferrand. So Angel’s Envy Rye is third in a line of super-premium awesomeness in those casks, emerging 7 1/2 years old. No more sales pitch, you just think about that for a minute and get back to us.
What the makers of Angel’s Envy share as their tasting notes?
- Appearance – Crystal clear quality with a rich, reddish amber color
- Nose – Aromas of citrus, caramel candy, maple sugar, vanilla, oak, hazelnut, spice, and sherry wood
- Palate – Sweet rum, sherry wood, and soft oak
- Finish – Both sweet and dry, as well as quick and easy
What else did we try in our Kentucky Rye evening?
- Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye 40% – Partnering Kentucky straight rye with Canadian rye whiskey and port
- New Riff Kentucky Straight Rye 50% – New kid on the block with one of their early batches, aged at least 4 years
- Wilderness Trail Single Barrel 15017 Kentucky Straight Rye 56.5% – Not just from a single barrel but also a small batch that produced only 203 bottles at cask strength!
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