Released earlier this year, Angel's Envy has been on of the most touted new bourbons of the year. The brainchild of Lincoln Henderson, formerly of Brown-Forman's Woodford Reserve, Angel's Envy is a Kentucky Bourbon from an unnamed distillery finished in port casks.
Wine finishing is huge in Scotch but still relatively rare in bourbon. Jim Beam tried it about ten years ago with a few, very expensive special releases, Woodford Reserve finished one of their Master's Collection bourbons in chardonnay casks, a few of the Buffalo Trace Experimental Collections have included wine finishes, and the upcoming annual release of Heaven Hill's Parker's Heritage Collection will be a Cognac finished bourbon. As far as I know, though, Angel's Envy is the first bourbon to be finished in port pipes since the Beam releases a decade ago (independent bottler Big Bottom now also appears to have a port finished bourbon). How does port interact with bourbon? Let's see.
Angel's Envy, 43% abv ($42)
The nose is full of sweet, floral notes. It's like a rose garden. The palate is also very floral and perfumy. There's a very light character to it. The port is most evident in the late palate and into the finish, which is where it really shows, so much so that the finish recalls port finished Scotch.
This is a decent enough bourbon, but I don't think it lives up to the hype. I should admit that light and floral are not my favorite notes, so in part, this just isn't my style of bourbon. Beyond that though, it's not particularly complex. If you like light, floral and sweet, give it a try.