Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon is back for 2019, marking the eighth year for the brand’s annual high-proof release.
“Our annual Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon release started in 2012 with my father Lincoln, my son Kyle and me, and it has gone on to become a tradition in our family,” said Wes Henderson, Chief Innovation Officer and Co-founder of Angel’s Envy.
Angel’s Envy Cask Strength begins with the standard Angel’s Envy bourbon, made with a mash bill of 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley, aged first in new charred oak barrels and finished in barrels that once held port wine. As these barrels are tasted throughout the year, a few are set aside to age longer and be bottled at full proof for the special annual release.
This year’s Cask Strength will clock in at 122.4 proof, relatively low for the line, but Henderson stresses that the bourbon is something unique each year.
“We don’t set out with guidelines, just pull exceptional barrels throughout the year to set aside… if you look back chronologically over the years, each expression is different,” explained Henderson. “I don’t think the expressions evolve from one year to the next, cause that implies that it needs improvement. But the blend evolves as we put all the little pieces together.”
The 2019 Angel’s Envy Cask Strength had more pieces than ever, with seven different ages of Port Finished Bourbon (6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, and 15 year) mixed to create the final blend. Henderson admits the blending has become more difficult as the years have gone on and the bourbon in their warehouses ages.
“We have more whiskeys in inventory to use, so there’s more pieces to choose from, and the more pieces you have, the more exciting and difficult the puzzle,” he analogizes. But he didn’t go to the table planning to use some of the 13-15 year whiskey in the blend.
“I wanted to hold that older stuff, but it worked so well that we had to use it,” he explained. “I’m not a fan of just an age statement that convinces people something is better, so I got over the thought of saving it cause its old – it just worked so well.”
The Henderson family offers tasting notes of “honeyed apple, peach, apricot and overripe banana… along with black tea, toasted oak with a slight char and faint floral notes” on the nose, “honey, apple, butterscotch, toffee and mellow vanilla, as well as hints of oak and toast” on the palate, and a “medium-length finish [of] pleasant tannin… trailing into black tea.”
Like most previous years, the bottle will come packaged in a wooden Art Deco style box, making it perfect for gifting – even if you’re just treating yourself.
About 14,000 bottles of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength 2019 will be hitting shelves in early November in AZ, CA,CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NV, NH, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, TX, WA, Washington D.C. and at domestic military bases for a suggested retail price of around $200.