Congratulations. You’ve finally made it to Whiskey Friday! This week we’re checking out the new Angel’s Envy Rye, an inevitable limited release cousin of Angel’s Envy Bourbon. When was the time you had whiskey aged in Caribbean rum casks? Probably never.
Five years ago, there were only a handful of rye whiskeys on display at Whiskeyfest. Now you won’t find a table without them. That’s why it didn’t surprise me when Lincoln Henderson decided to dabble. Angel’s Envy Rye’s mashbill is 95% rye and 5% malted barley. I’m always a fan of 100% rye if for nothing other than continuity, but I trust the guy in the Bourbon Hall of Fame more than my random ideas. So what’s it like?
It took a minute for the aroma to open up, but once it did there was maple syrup everywhere. I feel as if I just had a chug-off against 3 out of 4 Super Troopers. There’s a feint trace of alcohol and some caramel, but it’s mostly just maple. When it comes to the palate though, the maple nearly disappears. The spiciness of the rye quickly coats the mouth. It’s dry and has a slight burn, but the sweetness from the Caribbean rum barrels balances the heat perfectly. What you’re left with is a spirit that’s sweet, spicy, and incredibly easy to drink for something that’s 100-proof.
Speaking of the Caribbean rum barrels, these aren’t just any mediocre casks used to snatch a little sugar. 100 different rums were sampled (rough job) and barrels used for Plantation Rum XO 20th Anniversary were eventually selected. After all of the accolades that Angel’s Envy Bourbon received, it seems fitting that they chose a rum that has been equally as honored. The spirit spends up to 18 months finishing in these barrels, and to say they add complexity would be an understatement.
At the end of the day, Angel’s Envy stands out in a shelf full of rye whiskeys. It’s not necessarily head and shoulders above the competition, but it’s quite unique. To find something that’s both a great spirit and genuinely interesting can be rare. The only downside is the $70 it will cost you to get your hands on a bottle. Only 2,500 cases will be released, so it’s a completely reasonable price. Unfortunately that might be out of many people’s budget. If you can come up with any excuse to buy it though, do it. Father’s Day is coming up, so you might want to pick it up then to celebrate another year of not getting anyone pregnant.