Angel’s Envy Wants You to Replant Kentucky Forests and #ToastTheTrees

Angel’s Envy Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Casks.
Angel’s Envy Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Casks.

For the month of September, Angel’s Envy will plant a tree for every social media post with the hashtag #ToastTheTrees as part of their campaign to replant forests in Kentucky.

You have until the end of the month to participate by posting on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, with a picture of an Angel’s Envy bottle or cocktail. For each post, they’ll plant a tree next spring in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Last year, Angel’s Envy planted 12,000 trees. This year they’ve set their sights much higher, at a lofty 20,000.

While bourbon may be the big industry in our state these days, strip mines still scar the hills from the time when coal was king. An oak tree can take 70 years to mature, but will plant its own acorns along the way. Older trees need to be responsibly harvested to encourage new growth, and the distillery wants to ensure that bourbon lovers will have enough barrels to make their favorite spirit for years to come.

Since 2014, Angel’s Envy’s Toast the Trees program (in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation) has planted a total of 25,000 trees across the Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest.

Deforestation is an important issue for whiskey makers. By law, anything labeled “bourbon” must be aged in a new charred oak container. When bourbon is booming (as it is right now), this means a lot of new oak needs to be harvested. Cooperages like Independent Stave Company and East Bernstadt have been busy–and Angel’s Envy wants to make sure they stay that way.

The distillery reports that they use 15-16,000 barrels each year–and at two barrels a tree, this means close to 8,000 oaks are harvested each year for Angel’s Envy alone. “We put in more than we take out,” said Production Manager Kyle Henderson of last year’s efforts, stressing the company’s sustainability.

Join Angel’s Envy fans for the last days of September and post your #ToastTheTrees photo on social media. Who knows: in 50 years, you could be toasting with bourbon aged in a barrel you helped grow.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.