Angel’s Envy Cask Strength was named the “best spirit in the world” by Spirit Journal. That’s clearly subjective, but it’s not difficult to make the argument.
Legendary master distiller Lincoln Henderson passed away in September. It’s always too soon, but he did manage to go out on top. He capped his prestigious whiskey career – elected in the inaugural class of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame and recipient of Whiskey Advocate’s lifetime achievement award – with a passion project. Angel’s Envy was a collaboration between he and his son in which they had complete freedom to create a spirit as they saw fit. There wasn’t a distillery profile into which it had to fit or some new trend they needed to ride. It was truly the whiskey he wanted to make.
It shouldn’t be surprising that a man who spent a lifetime making incredible whiskey would have a few ideas tucked away for himself. Those came to fruition with Angel’s Envy, which ages for 4-6 years in new American white oak barrels and then spends an additional 3-6 months in port casks. The standard product is a respectable 86.6 proof, but Cask Strength really lets the spirit shine.
At 123 proof, Angels Envy Cask Strength packs huge flavor. It smells like vanilla, chocolate, and pipe tobacco, which is a oddly alluring aroma. The taste is deeply complex and seems to change throughout. It’s silky smooth on the tongue with prominent vanilla and spice flavors. It also lingers seemingly forever. If there was one complaint about the standard Angel’s Envy it was that it was slightly too viscous or syrupy for some. Somehow that is entirely gone in Cask Strength, which seems somewhat counter-intuitive.
The downside to Cask Strength is its limited availability. It sold out quickly last year, and only 4,200 bottles are being released this year. It also costs $149, which is out of the price range of most normal drinkers. For those of you with money to spend though, start making phone calls. Angel’s Envy Cask Strength is a must-own for anyone with the means to do so.