Monday, November 18, 2013

Angel's Envy Rye

It feels like almost every day brings with it a new rye from Midwest Grain Products (formerly LDI, formerly Seagram's) in Indiana.  Today I try Angel's Envy Rye from the Louisville Distilling Company, the bottler of finished bourbon founded by the late Lincoln Henderson, formerly of Brown Forman.  Angel's Envy is an MGP rye finished in Caribbean rum casks. 

Angel's Envy Rye, Batch 1F, 50% abv ($72)

The nose is pure LDI, mostly mint with that slight whiff of pickel juice and some juniper notes, like a dirty martini made with pickle juice instead of olive juice.  On the palate, I expected the typical burst of rye similar to the nose and readily found in other LDI ryes, but no, something different.  It starts with vanilla, then a touch of mint, and then the rum sets in with fresh cane sugar juice.  The finish is a perfect balance of sweet rum and the briny rye.

This was a really surprising and fun one.  It had all of that LDI brininess but the rum cask influence tempered it and added a sweet counterbalance.  If anything, the rum is maybe a bit too influential, making it a tad too sweet, but all in all, it's a successful and interesting whiskey.


Adam Glaser said...


I like this one too.

It would be great to try a Congac-Rum finish on a none-LDI rye given it's sometimes hard to get past their ubiquitous flavor profile.

Maybe BT, Heaven Hill or Wild Turkey could oblige?

I'm curious if you think there are other wood finishes that might work well for bourbon and rye. While there's some movement in this market, it's incredible to see the variety of different casks appearing in Scotch.

btw, on slightly different note have you tried the Springbank 15 in a recharred sherry cask? It's a really curious hybrid...


Alex said...

Adam, similar to what you're looking for may be the Crown Royal Cask No. 16, although it is getting harder to find. It is Crown Royal, Canadian "rye" whisky finished in french cognac casks. Of course, I don't know what percentage of it is rye whisky.

I believe it was discontinued earlier this year, so there may still be some left in some stores.

sam k said...

This one really turned me off. it tasted almost like rum (in quantity!) had been added to the whiskey. Too much rum influence and too little rye left over for my liking.

Hansell liked it too, so go figure. To each his own.

sku said...

Sam, the rum influence is definitely big in this one.

Adam, I haven't liked most finished American whiskeys. The ones I have liked have been Hooker's House bourbon finished in wine casks and Rye 'n Barrel The Party Source's Buffalo Trace Experimental in which Sazerac Rye was finished in dessert wine casks.

James said...

This smelled like a stack of pancakes, and tasted like a bar shot of inexpensive rum. Very influenced by the additional finishing. I definitely thought it retained too much rum influence, I think cognac/brandy would have been a better finishing agent for a rye. At least AE is pushing the issue though, glad to see innovation,

Anonymous said...

I was put off by the finish, and felt the rum overpowered the rye.

I have to admit, the regular Angel's Envy has been my go-to everyday drink for about six months now. Whoever called it "dangerously drinkable" sure hit the nail on the head. I love that juice.

sku said...

It's funny, I'm actually not a fan of the regular Angel's Envy. Generally, I've liked more finished ryes than finished bourbons. I think the spiciness of rye holds up to finishing better than the sweetness of bourbon.

EllenJ said...

Okay, I know I'm likely to provoke a lot of anger with this, and I really REALLY would have liked for my friend Lincoln and two generations of his offspring to have blown me away with their new whiskey, but... well...

I read all the hoopla about the original Angels' Envy.
Then I went and bought a bottle. The one "finished" in sherry casks.

The emperor has no clothes.

Then the new (and more expensive) rum-ified rye version came out. My friends SWORE I would love this, since I also enjoy rum.

Now the naked emperor is strutting around with a big ol' cone of cotton candy.
It ain't rye.
It ain't rum.
And it ain't for me.

I'm not sure what Wes and Kyle will come up with next, but I'm pretty sure I won't be buying it.