A look at last year’s Angel’s Envy pop-up bar on Main Street.

Angel’s Envy, a super-premium bourbon brand produced by Louisville Distilling Company, is bringing back its popular “pop-up bar” for Derby Week.

The bar will be staffed with bartenders from (the currently idled) craft cocktail lounge Meat, who have produced a one-off list of crazy-good drinks for the week.

The bar is located at 400 E. Main St.,  directly across from Slugger Field, and will open tonight at 4 p.m.

(Its schedule the rest of the week is: Wednesday, closed for a private engagement; Thursday 4-9 p.m.; Friday through Sunday 5 p.m.-12 a.m.)

The 2,000-square-foot space is outfitted like a modern lounge with a central bar lined with stools and flanked by cushy seats throughout.

The pop-up’s central purpose is to give whiskey lovers an early taste of the new Angel’s Envy Rye, which will be released only in small quantities in less than a dozen states next month. The whiskey was created by master distiller Lincoln Henderson, and is born of a mash of 95 percent rye and 5 percent malted barley.

It’s aged at least six years in new, charred American oak barrels before a final, 18-month rest in Caribbean rum casks originally used for Cognac.

According to a news release, the “mingling of raw, spicy and earthy rye notes paired with the sweetness imparted by rum finishing, results in an ultra-smooth and accessible ultra-rye whiskey, even at 100 proof.”

Whiskey Geek Alert: Here are the tasting notes:

Appearance: crystal clear, slight reddish amber

Nose: citrus, caramel candy, maple sugar, vanilla oak, hazel nut, spice, sherry wood

Palate: sweet/dry, rum sherry wood, soft rum sweetness

Finish:sweet/dry, rum, soft oak, quick and easy

Only 2,500, 9-liter cases of the rye will be released. Suggested price: $69.95.

The custom cocktail menu for Derby Week. Click to enlarge.

“Dad always says he’s not trying to fix bourbon, he’s just fine tuning it,” Wes Henderson, chief operating officer and master ambassador, Angel’s Envy, stated in the release.

“We’re proud to be trailblazers and feel fortunate to have hit the sweet spot again with Rye.”

But back to the fun part: If you’re familiar with Meat, the avant garde cocktail lounge located above The Blind Pig in Butchertown, you may know bartenders Marie Zahn, Julie Ragan, Reina Shannon and Bradley Hammond.

If you’re familiar with the ongoing dispute between Meat and its landlords, you know the bar is closed—hopefully, temporarily—and its employees are currently furloughed.

With a bit of time on their hands, the quartet are in action for Angel’s Envy during Derby Week.

Angel’s Envy spokesman Aaron Brost said Lincoln Henderson and his two sons will make unscheduled visits to the pop-up bar to mingle with guests and talk about their whiskies. He also said in addition to drinks aplenty, there will be some light bar snacks served.

All patrons, he added, must be 21 or older to enter. There will be no cover charge.

Proceeds from the pop-up bar will be donated to the Kentucky Bourbon Historical Society, which wants to open and operate a bourbon museum in downtown Louisville.

Steve Coomes

Steve Coomes

Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 24-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Louisville magazine, Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass and Food & Dining Magazine. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.