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Angel’s Envy is looking to capitalize on its growing success in the bourbon world with the annual release of their Cask Strength Port Finished Bourbon. This is the distillery’s third year offering the limited edition bottling, and the past two years gained massive critical acclaim, selling out in short order.
The 2015 bottling became available at the start of November in limited markets across the United States, and with only 7,500 bottles its sure to be in high demand once again.
This year’s expression clocks in at an impressive 127.9-proof – or 63.95 percent alcohol. The color is strikingly darker than the standard Angel’s Envy bottling, with a deep, golden brown.
You can smell the oak immediately, with a much more powerful wallop than the standard bottling, There’s a strong smell of vanilla, followed by caramel and citrus and almonds. The sweet smell of the port barrel is there, but there’s a darker, heavier oak scent on the end. More layered than the usual Angel’s Envy.
Drinking it neat gives the spirit a chance to really stretch its legs. There is a lot of pleasant spice and sweetness, with some hints of sassafras and berries. Unlike the standard Angel’s Envy, the port barrel finish isn’t nearly as present. The Cask Strength offers a darker, heavier, and richer version of the standard AE bourbon. The higher proof comes through on the end, lingering with a nice spice on the end.
On the Rocks
Those layers of sweet, oak, and spice get lost with the addition of ice. The bourbon flattens out, with the vanilla and caramel notes pushing to the top and the spice receding into the background. While this an excellent bourbon on the rocks, you’re going to lose lots of variety if you water it down too much.
People always talk about “Pappy-killers.” This may be one. Hands down, this is one of the best bourbons we’ve ever had the pleasure of testing. It runs the gamut from spicy to sweet, with lots of wood notes. To really open up the flavors, add a splash or two of filtered water. You’re going to get all those flavors to expand and widen. This bottle is worth every penny.
Cocktails, 365 Rating: ★★★★★
More About Angel’s Envy Cask Strength
Suggested Retail: $169.99 for a 750 ml bottle
Proof: 127.9 or 63.95%
Mark Vierthaler is the founder and Editor of Cocktails, 365. His work appeared in The Tasting Panel Magazine, Savvy Host, Liquor.com, and countless other websites and blogs. He is Bar Smarts certified, and works with bars and restaurants in cocktail creation and pairing. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com