Bourbon Breakdown: Angel’s Envy Bourbon

September 26, 2023

Relatively speaking, Angel’s Envy Bourbon is a young brand having only appeared on the market since 2011. Of course having Lincoln Henderson, Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Famer, co-founding the brand with his son Wes was going to give the brand instant clout in the whiskey world. Lincoln had already accomplished so much in his career to hang his hat on — like developing the Woodford Reserve and Gentleman Jack brands during his time working at Brown-Forman. But he came out of retirement for Angel’s Envy and we’re so glad he did.

When Angel’s Envy Bourbon first launched, it was rare to see the use of secondary barrels in bourbon maturation. Of course, today it is quite common to see bourbon finished in all sorts of barrels like sherry, port and more. But in 2011, the practice was really more associated with Scotch whisky. The Hendersons experimented with different secondary barrels before finally settling on ruby port wine barrels and the rest is history.

Lincoln passed in 2013, but the brand carries on. In 2022, Owen Martin — former Head Distiller at Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey — was appointed Angel’s Envy Master Distiller. He leads all aspects of production and oversees innovation for the brand, including annual Cask Strength program and its limited release Cellar Collection and Founder’s Collection programs.

While this is a focus on bourbon, we’d be remiss not to mention Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey Finished in Caribbean Rum Casks. This and the core Angel’s Envy bourbon offerings are widely available. However, thanks to the brand’s popularity the limited edition releases are a bit tricky to find at their suggested retail prices. If you can swing the price, they are well worth the purchase.

Below you’ll find a few basic facts about the Angel’s Envy Bourbon bottles along with some tasting notes. If you’ve had the opportunity to taste any of the Angel’s Envy whiskeys, go ahead and add your ratings to the listings.

Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels

Kentucky straight bourbon is aged up to six years then it’s further aged for 3-6 months in French oak ruby port barrels.

What to Know:

While it is quite common for other bourbon brands to batch hundreds of barrels for one batch, Angel’s Envy only uses 8-12 barrels for each batch.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Like a NYC street cart filled with sugar-roasted nuts, caramel-covered raisins and vanilla.

Avg US Price: $51
ABV: 43.3%

Angel's Envy Bourbon Finished in Port Wine BarrelsAngel’s Envy Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Barrels /Photo Credit: Angel’s Envy

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels

Like the brand’s flagship bourbon, this cask-strength version spends up to 6 months in ruby port barrels.

What to Know:

Released annually, each year’s batch is unique and bottled around (60% ABV) 120 proof.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

It’s reminiscent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich along with lots of barrel spices and oak.

Avg US Price: $533
ABV: ~60%

Angel’s Envy Cellar Collection

The Cellar Collection is a series which features experimental, limited edition bourbon or rye whiskeys. The first bottling in this annual series was released in 2019.

What to Know:

Thus far, each release has offered a unique barrel finishing like oloroso sherry, tawny port or Madeira casks. They’re also bottled at a proof higher than the flagship bourbon.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

It’s delightfully rich with notes of plum, pipe tobacco, and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon; an excellent sipping whiskey.

Avg US Price: $455
ABV: 55.8%

Ready to do your own Angel’s Envy Bourbon comparisons?

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