September 21, 2013

Angel's Envy Cask Strength Bourbon

This limited edition bourbon release from Louisville Distilling Company was sold last year in Kentucky and in Nashville, YN, on a test basis. It sold out on two weeks.

If you liked Angel's Envy, you'll probably love Angel's Envy Cask Strength Bourbon. The only problem is that the national release consists of a mere 350 total 9-liter cases.

It was released this month, a followup to a test release last year restricted to Nashville, TN, and Kentucky that sold out in two weeks. This time, in addition to Tennessee and Kentucky, it is for sale in limited venues in New York, California, Florida and Texas. 

Cask Strength -- which in this case is 61.5% abv (123 proof) -- is the last product from Lincoln Henderson, the master distiller who died earlier this month after copming out of retirement to create the original Angel's Envy. The noted spirits expert Paul Pacult rates the new product as tied for No. 1 "Best Spirit in the World" in his Spirits Journal. (The other No. 1 is Highland Park 25 Year Old Orkney Islands Single Malt Whisky, at 48.1% abv and $250 a bottle).

This iteration of the super-premium Angel's Envy bourbon used Kentucky limestone-filtered water and locally-sourced grains. Henderson let it magture up to eight years in the usual American white oak charred barrels. He then blended those barrels iunto a single batch in port casks up to three years.

The port wood is a genius touch, adding a silkiness to the finish -- especially after a few drops of water are added to coax the spirit into opening up. There is a butterscotch and vanilla quality, abetted by the boldness of the abv, as well as a savoriness that suggests sipping the spirit with a hearty, crusty roast or fudgy chocolate dessert. 

Suggested retail price is $149 for a 750ml bottle.

Oh, the name? In the whiskey industry, the part of the alcohol that evaporates during aging is known as "the Angel's share." This is a takeoff on that, referring to what's left behind.

Go to Dowd's Spirits Notebook.

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