Are Angels truly envious of this fine bourbon? Let’s find out together in my review of the popular Angels Envy Bourbon Whiskey.
First a wee bit of back story as to why Angel’s Envy is called Angel’s Envy. No it’s not just to be clever, though it does sound clever, it actually has meaning; known as the “angel’s share”. The angel’s share is the portion of alcohol which will evaporate from the cask during aging. It’s not much that evaporates, between one and three percent depending on how hot the barrel house is. But this amount of alcohol is for the angels, as the story goes. Angel’s Envy derives its name from the fact that they finish aging their bourbon in Ruby port barrels from Portugal, making the angels truly envious.
The bourbon is aged between four and six years inside new oak barrels. Once the distillers taste the bourbon and decide that it is ready for bottling they place it in batches into sixty gallon Ruby port barrels and there they finish maturing for an additional three to six months. Then they are bottled in their fancy cool bottles and go to the store and then I buy one and taste it and review it, get it?
Without the cool tradition and back story does the bourbon hold up just on its own? In this writer’s opinion, yes it is really quite good. The label on the side of the bottle has a space for you to write down the exact date you opened the bottle, which is pretty cool. I wish that label was on other bottles though, Angel’s Envy doesn’t leave an impression quite strong enough to relish the day you opened the bottle and proceeded to ascend to heaven. The label seems a slight bit pretentious.
The nose is everything that you would expect. Vanilla is extremely prominent, but in addition to that you can detect some obvious maple syrup, and some brown sugar undertones which is my favorite part of the nose, I am a sucker for brown sugar. Then you have no choice but to take a drink.
Upon gracing your mouth with its presence you are really hit with the syrup flavors and the vanilla takes a back seat. I can detect the brown sugar and it is enjoyable but it’s not as prominent as I would have thought from the nose. What strikes me about Angel’s Envy is its simplicity, it’s not convoluted with needless flavors to try and be cool and hip. This bourbon gets its confidence from its simplicity.
It is short and sweet. Not lingering and long. There is some sweetness that persists but it is smooth and ends rather quickly. I tasted the bourbon uncut and without ice (neat). However drinking it later, I added some ice and found that I enjoyed it much more cold and refreshing. I find that its simplicity doesn’t lend as much to being consumed neat, rather ice added. I wouldn’t drink it cut as it would dangerously dilute the bourbon.
Angel’s Envy gets a 7.8 out of 10 Noses. I find that it being aged in the port barrels doesn’t really add anything to the flavor of the bourbon and sounds cooler than it is. I say this because the price point of around fifty dollars ($50 US 750ml) is a bit high for what you get. If you have the chance to try it, do. But I wouldn’t run to the liquor store to buy a bottle either.