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Angel's Envy—A Bourbon Finished in Port Casks

Jack Bettridge
Posted: December 7, 2012

(continued from page 1)

While Henderson oversees aging of the whiskey, he currently does not distill the new-make spirit. That is done at an undisclosed distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky, a town often referred to as the capital of Bourbon. He does, however, set the standards by which the spirit is made. He has kept the same mashbill that he used for Woodford Reserve and Old Forester: 72 percent corn, 18 percent rye and 10 percent barley.

Maturation is performed in Indiana, but the source of the new barrels used in the process is another a throwback to his earlier career; they come from Brown-Forman's Bluegrass Cooperage, which he feels offers the best uniformity from barrel to barrel. Barrel consistency, he says, is especially important for small-batch producers as they don't have as many casks with which to achieve blend consistency.

Eventually, Angel's Envy will be distilled in Louisville Distilling's own facility on Louisville's Main Street, a thoroughfare once called Whiskey Row because of the number of whiskey-makers located there. Recently, Michter's announced it would open its own distillery and visitors' center there, and the city has renamed a section of the street Bourbon Row. The road also contains the Louisville Slugger factory and a Triple-A baseball stadium and so is becoming a tourist attraction of its own. Henderson sees the development of a sort of "Urban Bourbon Trail," which will rival the rural Bourbon Trail, which stops at many of the largest distilleries in the state, but is more far flung. He envisions the new facility having a 55-foot-tall column, which travelers will see as they cross the Ohio River on their way from Indiana. "It's a very exciting time for us."

Angel's Envy (86.6 proof or 43.3 percent alcohol by volume, about $44.99)

APPEARANCE: Light yellow, almost Champagne pink, medium-speed, thick legs

NOSE: Beguiling on the nose with a tantalizing mix of red berries and floral notes with vanilla, caramel, maple and topped with a slight, spicy cinnamon scent.

PALATE: Similarly sultry in the mouth as the red berries go to work on the palate, but then the whiskey relinquishes caramel and toffee notes with maple sugar candy, licorice spices and, finally, black tea.

FINISH: The end is long, but with no sting at all—just nuts, fruits and vanilla. Perhaps a quarter of an hour later it delivers a taste of tangerine

CIGAR PAIRING: La Unica No. 100 ($6.84, 8 1/2 inch by 52 ring gauge Double Corona) A well-balanced cigar with an earthy character. It has such sweet spice flavors as nutmeg and a pleasant and nutty component. The cigar and the whiskey balance out perfectly in body, while the flavors offer agreeable contrasts. The La Unica's nutty and spice content complements the fruit of the Bourbon, drawing out the licorice notes from Angel's Envy. The cigar tastes sweeter in the deal. Both gain extra depth.

Partagas 1845 Robusto ($7.70, 88 points, April 17, 2012 issue of Cigar Insider) This dark, rustic-looking cigar is finished with a bumpy head and sandy wrapper. Primarily earthy in character, each puff also carries black pepper and woody flavors. The Partagas with its coy flavors makes the Angel's Envy seem downright heavy duty, and surprisingly the lack of balance is a plus. All the notes of the Bourbon come to the forefront and slowly the cigar begins to harmonize with it, building its own style of savoriness and kicking out toasty, nutty depth.

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Comments   1 comment(s)

George C — Commack, NY, USA,  —  January 24, 2013 10:01pm ET

Thanks Jack. Love reading your reviews on Bourbon.

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