After a long, five-year wait, fans of Angel’s Envy have been teased with a new release from the Louisville-based bourbon distillery on its social media outlets. What they said was that it’s coming soon, and it’s an extremely limited release.
To put it mildly, anticipation is high.
At a media event on Tuesday, Angel’s Envy founder Wes Henderson and his sons Kyle (product manager) and Andrew (lead distillery operator) pulled back the curtain on exactly what the new release will be, and it’s been a challenging three days trying to keep it a secret.
The new product is Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks and will be the first in the company’s new Cellar Collection. It’ll be released in limited quantity — only 3,600 bottles total — beginning in mid-February and retails for a steep $199.99.
Wes Henderson said they’re always experimenting with different barrel finishes, which is what Angel’s Envy is built upon, and this one, in particular, they specifically chose because of the rich and nutty characteristics of Oloroso sherry.
Oloroso is a type of fortified wine made in Spain that typically ages in casks for decades.
Some Scotch distillers have been finishing their whisky in Oloroso barrels for years, so it’s only natural it would find its way to bourbon. In fact, Wild Turkey was one of the first to finish a bourbon using Oloroso casks with their Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival in 2018.
Henderson explained that Angel’s Envy purchased some used Oloroso barrels from Spain, put the bourbon in them and basically pushed them to the back of the warehouse, almost to the point of forgetting about them.
The Hendersons would check on them from time to time, and late last year they realized the bourbon had reached its sweet spot. The result is a soft, rich bourbon with notes of raisin, fruit and hazelnut, and the sherry manages to smooth out the edges of the 100-proof whiskey.
“It’s all about subtly,” said Wes Henderson about the finishing process.
He also added that the Cellar Collection will allow them to come out with all kinds of interesting finishing experiments — as long as they pass the family’s quality standards — and they’re not sure yet what or when the next release will be.
Insider was fortunate to try a sample of the product on Tuesday, and we picked up right away on the raisin and nutty notes. It definitely does not have a harsh finish that some 100-proof bourbons do, and it leaves your mouth with a delightfully sweet aftertaste.
Angel’s Envy’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks will be released at the Main Street distillery and in select retail outlets on Feb. 15.
It’s bottled at 100 proof and will be sold for a suggested retail price of $199.99.