Last week, I attended a media preview and tasting of the latest release from Angel’s Envy: Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish Bourbon. Angel’s Envy is one of those small, family-owned whiskey labels that has a cult following — fans love the unique bourbon and rye whiskeys finished respectively in port wine or rum barrels to provide a gently altered flavor profile. The limited release Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish was a pretty big deal to bourbon geeks: it was the first new Angel’s Envy expression produced since 2013, and the first to be produced without the guidance of famed patriarch and Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson.
Lincoln Henderson was the Master Distiller for Brown-Forman for 40 years; he created the Woodford Reserve and Gentleman Jack expressions while at B-F. Lincoln retired in 2004, but by 2006 his son Wes persuaded him to come out of retirement work on a new, family-owned distillery project. The result was Angel’s Envy, a name paying humorous homage to the fabled “angels’ share”, the portion of the whiskey that evaporates in the warehouse each year. Mr. Henderson passed away in 2013 at the age of 75; Wes Henderson and his sons Kyle and Andrew continue to run the family business with an eye toward their patriarch’s vision.
After a quick tour of the distillery, Wes and sons Andrew and Kyle treated our media group to the first “outsiders’” taste of the new, limited edition bourbon expression, Angel’s Envy Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish.
Nose: Raisin and New Oak
Taste: Sherry, Raisin, and Hazelnut with a secondary toffee note.
Finish: Oak and Floral
This is a really unique expression. I LOVED the nose on this. It was this gorgeous raisin and oak scent that felt like a storybook holiday. The sherry definitely came through on the initial taste; we were told that Oloroso is a drier sherry, specifically chosen to keep the whiskey balanced and not overly sweet. I could see this making a really sophisticated and subtle Manhattan.
This is a very limited run of 3,600 bottles at $199 each. The whiskey will be available at the Angel’s Envy Distillery Store in downtown Louisville and distributed to a handful of Louisville area liquor stores. Public sales will begin on February 15th at 8 am; you can add your name to the VIP Access list by joining the Angel’s Envy 500 Main Club.
After the tasting and lunch, we were treated to a cocktail class with Finishing Room Bar manager Mike Bohn. Mike was so knowledgeable about the history of cocktails and the best ways to coax flavors out of the whiskey. You can sign up here for your own cocktail class.
Thanks so much to Angel’s Envy for the opportunity to sample this new expression!