Exclusive First Look: Angel’s Envy Launching Private Selection Single Barrel Program

Angel's Envy Henderson Brothers. Courtesy Angel's Envy
Angel's Envy Henderson Brothers. Courtesy Angel's Envy

Angel’s Envy will debut a limited Angel’s Envy Private Selection barrel program this year. The Bourbon Review got an exclusive first look.

The coveted Cask Strength Angel’s Envy bourbon won’t necessarily be a once-a-year experience anymore, as the Louisville-based brand will begin offering Angel’s Envy Private Selection single barrels later this year. 

In an exclusive interview, Angel’s Envy gave The Bourbon Review a confirmation that we’ll begin seeing a limited supply of single barrels this year.

“Yes. Yes it’s coming,” said production Kyle Henderson in a call. “We’ve already built some relationships with some retailers and some on-premise accounts,” he explained. “Likely in the next couple of months it’ll be in market.” Henderson referenced now-approved TTB listings.

Henderson also shared some details about what an Angel’s Envy single barrel will look like.

For the moment, the offerings will be limited to select retail and on-premise partners, and not all products. “Right now,” Henderson says, “ just port barrels.” That means Angel’s Envy Rye is not yet on the table.

From what Henderson says, they’ll offer a surprising number of options with regards to the bourbon.  “We’ll bottle it at a designated proof,” he explains. “We’re giving them a range of proofs to do, so little bit of flexibility just to see how the market takes it.”

Port barrels, in addition to making for a tasty finishing vessel, also afford Angel’s Envy another layer of uniqueness to their liquids: multiple uses. Port barrels are often used two or three times to finish Angel’s Envy bourbon, because those different life cycle points create different flavors. 

Henderson says that’s part of the offering. “We give [private barrel customers] a few samples of different port barrels, whether it’s once used, twice, three times used, different finishing times and lengths.”

Working with fewer accounts initially means that Henderson can make for more customization—and also provide thoughtful guidance on things like proofing.

“What we have provided to our customers so far is… we’ll basically do whatever you want. So if they want cask strength, we’ll do that. We’ll work with our customers for what’s best for them and what’s the best profile for the whiskey as well.”

One of the biggest questions about any private barrel program is whether the purchaser will have control over the proof. Many brands have stricter proofing guidelines according to their labels. Recently brands like Old Forester and Weller have added additional products to the portfolio to create the space for more variety. 

Henderson shared a few examples from a barrel selection he was working on that day. “I’ll actually put a note on [each sample] and say, “personally I prefer this at 107, or this one at 117,” just to give them an idea of, if we were to [bottle ourselves], here’s probably what we’d do with it. If they want to do something different, they can go with that, that’s fine. But we give the recommendations in a range.” That means a custom version of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon is on the table now.

Henderson didn’t mention pricing, and there are plenty of reasons to suspect that prices will vary greatly between bottles, but you can assume that Angel’s Envy Private Selection bottles will fall between the $50-ish standard bottling and the $200 average price for the annual Cask Strength release.

There’s no word where we’ll see these releases first, so keep an eye out (and if you come across one, please send me a message).

G. Clay Whittaker
Clay is Editor at Large of The Bourbon Review. He has written about whiskey, food, drink, and culture for Esquire, Playboy, Men's Journal, Popular Science, Southern Living, Maxim, among others.