Angel’s Envy Is Dropping Its First Bourbon Without a Cask Finish

Angel’s Envy is a Kentucky distillery that is known for doing one thing really, really well—finishing its bourbon in port casks for a secondary maturation period after initially aging it in new charred oak barrels. The latest release, however, is a first for the distillery—it does not get the cask finishing treatment, and it’s also a bottled-in-bond whiskey. The only catch is that you’ll have to travel to Louisville this week to get your hands on a bottle.

The core Angel’s Envy bourbon is aged for four to six years and then finished in port barrels for up to six months before being bottled at 86.6 proof, imbuing the whiskey with defining notes of dried fruit, fresh berries, and spice. The new Cask Strength Bottled in Bond, however, was aged for almost six years and bottled at 100 proof—remember, the rules for a bottled-in-bond whiskey state that it must be at least four years old, exactly 100 proof, and the product of one distillery and one distilling season. The fact that this is a cask-strength bourbon that is exactly 100 proof might seem a little odd, but Angel’s Envy master distiller Owen Martin explained how this came about in a press release. In the spring of 2018, before he was with the distillery, the team placed barrels filled with lower entry proof whiskey (103 proof) in a cooler warehouse. “Instead of withdrawing them at 100 proof, we let them mature further to prioritize flavor,” he said. “We drew the barrels at 98 to 99 proof and blended 27 low-proof barrels with two high-proof barrels from the same season to reach exactly 100 proof, creating Cask Strength Bottled-In-Bond.”

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Given that the identity of Angel’s Envy is based on cask finishing, I was curious about what spurred the decision to release this new whiskey. According to a rep for the distillery, it was based on feedback from Angel’s Envy fans over the years. “The distillery and production team have been meticulously exploring ways to introduce a bottled-in-bond whiskey that upholds the brand’s unwavering standards,” she said. “The Cask Strength Bottled-in-Bond bourbon represents Angel’s Envy’s unique approach to fulfilling this request, not only presenting an unfinished whiskey but also intertwining two innovative mechanisms–bottled-in-bond and cask strength finishing.”

We were not able to sample this bourbon for ourselves, but the official tasting notes describe it as follows: caramelized sugar and vanilla wafer on the nose, followed by banana pudding, honey latte, light fruit syrup, and toasted oak on the palate. As mentioned before, this is a distillery-exclusive release that will launch this week on June 14. 12,000 smaller 375-ml bottles will be available to purchase at the distillery, located in downtown Louisville, for $55 each. There’s a good chance these will show up on the secondary market at some point, as limited-edition whiskeys are wont to do, so keep your eyes peeled if you’re not planning on heading to Kentucky anytime soon.

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