Monday, March 10, 2014

Angel's Envy Cask Strength: The Angels Can Have It

Angel's Envy Cask Strength was one of the most popular releases of last fall's bourbon season, at least on Facebook bourbon pages.  It is a casks strength version of the Angel's Envy port finished bourbon.  As with the regular 86 proof version, it has no age statement and is made by an undisclosed distillery.

Angel's Envy Cask Strength, Batch 20, bottled 2013, 61.5% abv ($150)

The nose is very similar to the regular Angel's Envy with sweet corn notes and some chemical notes.  The palate starts out with nice caramel but it quickly develops a burning plastic note, sort of similar to sulfur that you'd get in a sherried malt (maybe the port barrels were sulfur treated?).  It's quite hot and needs a dash of water, but even then, that burning chemical note is quite strong and off-putting.  After taking notes, I looked at Tim Read's review on Scotch & Ice Cream (and thanks to Tim for this sample), and he describes the off note as a hair salon smell which is a perfect description; it's like burning hair.

While this starts decently enough, it quickly goes down hill, and fast.  There are different batches of this bourbon so there may be some batch variation, but I certainly wouldn't recommend this one regardless of what you read on Facebook.


Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

The release parties were for anyone who bought a bottle. The ticket came in the wooden box with the bottle. Also, you MUST have been drinking something totally different than what I had. (As you mentioned, maybe another batch.) After tasting mine all I could think was that they shouldn't water down the regular version. Unlike the standard release, which I find too mild, the CS was rich and wonderful. Lots of caramel leading into wood and then dark fruits. I wish that I had an open one to send you another sample from.

Anonymous said...

IMO batch 2 was just okay. Definately not great, definately way too expensive. But I'm not wild about standard AE bourbon either, so not terribly rational to have gambled on cask strength improvement.

tanstaafl2 said...

It seems there must be some real variation in the batches. The bottle I have from the second bottling was excellent to me. Not a burnt hair to be found! But the multiple reports of this being bad seem too frequent to be accounted for by the variance among a few palates. I can only take solace in the fact that I like the one I have and in the end that is all one can really rely on!

Rich Thomas said...

I adored the AE Cask Strength, but the stuff I got was from the first batch, first release. So, about this stuff I really can't say. That is the thing about limited releases: on top of different folks, different strokes, you've also got an inconsistent product. Perhaps more than a little inconsistent. I know I've had some installments of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection that, while still likable, were far apart.