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Angel’s Envy Bourbon Review (2024 Edition)

Angel’s Envy Bourbon Review

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Bourbons with double maturation, especially finished in port wine barrels, are huge in the whiskey market right now—and Angel’s Envy is taking one of the top spots.

Angel’s Envy made a suitable introduction to bourbons finished in port barrels. This brand paved the way for barrel-finished products to be recognized by whiskey drinkers.

But are these port-finish bourbons better than traditional bourbons? Let’s find out here in our Angel’s Envy bourbon review.

Overview of Angel’s Envy Port Cask Finish Bourbon 

Bottle of Angel’s Envy

Angel’s Envy Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey has a distinct expression of bourbon finished in port wine casks.

Its flagship name originated from the ‘Angel’s share.’ [1] A former Brown Forman master distiller and his sons—Lincoln Henderson and Wes Henderson founded it.

The bourbon’s additional finishing procedure in port wine cask creates a distinct flavor profile resulting in a unique sweetness and unprecedented smoothness.

Quick Facts 

DistilleryLouisville Distilling Company
Classification & RegionBourbon, Kentucky, USA
Alcohol Proof86.6-proof (43.3% ABV)
Release Date2011
Mash Bill72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Age StatementNAS (typically aged between 4 to 6 years) 
ColorGolden with copper hues
Average PriceAround $55 for 750ml (Drizly)

What’s Angel’s Envy Port Cask Finish Bourbon? 

Angel’s Envy Port Cask Finish is a Kentucky straight bourbon that uses ruby port barrels in its second maturation. 

The port barrels are made from French oak, imported directly from Portugal, but produced in Angel’s Envy Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Angel’s Envy uses a traditional mash bill similar to Old Forester and Woodford Reserve. This handcrafted bourbon is blended in small batches and is bottled at 86.6-proof.

Tasting Notes 


Angel’s Envy bourbon whiskey port finish starts with a light floral aroma, sweet ripe fruit notes, cherry, maple syrup, nuttiness, and creamy vanilla.

It has an inviting aroma with a hint of light oak and spices mingled with sweet syrup. But after swirling, there’s another layer of citrus hints, orange flavor, and mint on the nose.


This spirit has a sweet taste up front, and the vanilla and oak flavors you get from the nose continue in the palate with a hint of cinnamon.

Angel’s Envy has a medium mouth feel and sweet-forward notes. There’s a subtle taste and heat of rye and nuttiness, but it is not overpowering.


It has a medium finish that starts with heat and lingering charred oak notes, vanilla, and a bitter chocolate taste. The flavors are mingled well, creating a satisfying finish with fading spice.

Our Thoughts

First Sip

Angel’s Envy gives a clean and light texture as we savored it neatly in a Glencairn glass without dilution. It is oakier and has more heat of rye spice than we expected. 

The notes of vanilla and oak are present with more sweet notes from the port finish. At 86.6-proof, the rest of the sip is sweetly interesting, leaving us wanting more impact.

Second Chance

We tried adding drops of water for our second sip, which opened new layers of aroma. The flavors are unexpected and are not as sweet as the aroma.

“We only wanted [the] port to soften the overall bourbon character and not to drive the overall flavor”

Lincoln Henderson, Angel Envy’s Master Distiller

But the heat is lightly mellowed, allowing the fruity notes to take over our palate.

Why We Like It 

angel's envy bourbon review
  • It is flavorful and has present layers of sweet fruit notes.
  • It has a smooth texture, making it an excellent sipping whiskey. 
  • It is an ideal entry-level bottle for those new to bourbon whiskey.


  • It lacks sweetness from the port cask finish.
  • The flavors are not as sweet as the aroma.
  • It is not too complex and has a soft easy-feel profile (that rye whiskey lovers might not appreciate).

Uniqueness & Value 

Angel’s Envy Port Cask Finish Bourbon  Cap

Angel’s Envy is finished in port wine [2] cask and is beyond the usual bourbon drink. It is a well-made bourbon somewhat revolutionary from the traditional bourbon-making process.

Its finishing procedure adds layers of flavors, making it enjoyable to drink. At around $55, a bottle holds a delicious and sippable bourbon.

The Rating on Angel’s Envy Port Cask Finish Bourbon

We’re giving a 4-star rating for this drink. Angel’s Envy is a great start compared to other finished bourbons on the marketplace.

Its finishing process makes it more like a premium bourbon, although we expected more port influence from the bourbon and heat from its proof.

It could be a daily sipper, but for around $50, it is a mid-expensive price. 

Is Angel’s Envy Bourbon Worth It?

Close Up Shot Angel’s Envy Port Cask Finish Bourbon, angel's envy bourbon review

Yes, Angel’s Envy bourbon whiskey is worth it, especially if you’re new to bourbon. Compared with other bourbons/spirits, it has a smoother profile, making it approachable to the palate.

But if you’ve tried a bottle of Angel’s Envy, here are some great palatable bourbon from other brands:

  • Rye & Sons Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Breckenridge Port Cask
  • Thomas S. Moore Port Cask
  • Isaac Bowman Port Barrel Finished

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Angel’s Envy Bourbon Whiskey good?

Angel’s Envy Bourbon Whiskey is widely regarded as an exceptional spirit among bourbon enthusiasts. Its unique finishing process in port wine barrels imparts distinct flavors that set it apart from traditional bourbons.

Many appreciate its smoothness, complex flavor profile, and balanced sweetness.

The careful craftsmanship and attention to detail in its production contribute to its high quality. Overall, Angel’s Envy is considered an excellent choice for both casual drinkers and connoisseurs alike.

How does Angel’s Envy rank?

Angel’s Envy consistently ranks highly among bourbon brands, often receiving accolades and awards from industry experts and spirits competitions.

Its innovative approach to bourbon-making, particularly its finishing process in port wine barrels, earns it praise for its distinctive flavor profile. Additionally, its smoothness and balance contribute to its positive reputation.

While individual rankings can vary depending on personal taste and preferences, Angel’s Envy generally enjoys a favorable position within the bourbon market, often regarded as a top-tier choice for whiskey enthusiasts.

Is Angel’s Envy a sweet bourbon?

Yes, Angel’s Envy Bourbon Whiskey is known for its sweeter profile compared to traditional bourbons. This sweetness is partly attributed to its unique finishing process, where the whiskey spends time aging in port wine barrels. During this phase, the bourbon absorbs some of the residual sweetness and fruitiness from the port wine, adding layers of complexity to its flavor profile.

While it retains the characteristic oak and caramel notes typical of bourbon, Angel’s Envy often exhibits additional nuances of dried fruits, vanilla, and honey, contributing to its overall sweetness.

This sweetness, however, is usually well-balanced, complementing the whiskey’s other flavors rather than overpowering them. As a result, Angel’s Envy is favored by those who enjoy bourbons with a slightly sweeter profile.

What’s the best way to drink Angel’s Envy bourbon?

The best way to drink Angel’s Envy bourbon ultimately depends on personal preference, but there are several popular methods to enjoy its flavors fully.

One common approach is to sip it neat or on the rocks, allowing you to experience the whiskey’s complexity and nuanced flavors without dilution.

If you prefer a slightly chilled drink with a touch of dilution, adding a single ice cube or a splash of water can enhance the tasting experience by opening up the flavors further.

Additionally, Angel’s Envy can be a fantastic base for classic bourbon cocktails like Old Fashioned or Manhattan, where its unique characteristics can complement and elevate the drink. Experimenting with different serving methods is encouraged to find the style that best suits your taste.

Is Angel’s Envy a good beginner bourbon?

Yes, Angel’s Envy is often considered a good option for beginners exploring the world of bourbon. Its smoothness, balanced sweetness, and approachable flavor profile make it more accessible to those who may be new to whiskey tasting.

Additionally, its unique finishing process in port wine barrels adds complexity and depth to the flavor without overwhelming novice drinkers.

Angel’s Envy provides a pleasant introduction to bourbon appreciation while still offering enough complexity to satisfy seasoned whiskey enthusiasts, making it a versatile choice for drinkers at all experience levels.

Can you drink Angel’s Envy straight?

Absolutely, Angel’s Envy can be enjoyed straight, either neat or on the rocks. Drinking it straight allows you to fully appreciate the whiskey’s rich flavor profile, including its subtle notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and the unique influence of the port wine barrels.

Sipping Angel’s Envy neat allows you to experience its smooth texture and complex flavors without any dilution or interference from other ingredients.

It’s a popular choice among whiskey connoisseurs who prefer to enjoy bourbon in its purest form.

However, if you find the straight whiskey too intense, adding a splash of water or an ice cube can help mellow the flavors and make it more approachable. Ultimately, the choice of how to drink Angel’s Envy straight depends on personal preference and desired tasting experience.

What makes Angel’s Envy special?

Several factors contribute to what makes Angel’s Envy Bourbon Whiskey special and distinct:

Unique Finishing Process: Angel’s Envy undergoes a finishing process where it’s aged in port wine barrels, which imparts distinctive flavors not typically found in traditional bourbons. This additional step adds complexity and depth to the whiskey’s flavor profile, setting it apart from other spirits in the bourbon category.

Craftsmanship and Attention to Detail: The production of Angel’s Envy involves meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail at every stage, from sourcing high-quality grains to the hands-on approach of its master distiller. This commitment to quality ensures a superior product that appeals to discerning whiskey drinkers.

Smoothness and Balance: Angel’s Envy is renowned for its smooth texture and well-balanced flavor profile. Despite its complexity, the whiskey maintains a level of smoothness that makes it approachable for a wide range of palates, from novice drinkers to seasoned connoisseurs.

Innovation: The brand’s willingness to innovate and experiment within the bourbon category has contributed to its uniqueness. By incorporating non-traditional aging techniques and exploring new flavor profiles, Angel’s Envy continues to push boundaries and challenge conventions in the whiskey world.

Overall, it’s this combination of innovative techniques, meticulous craftsmanship, and exceptional flavor that makes Angel’s Envy special and highly regarded among whiskey enthusiasts.

Is Angel’s Envy a good sipping whiskey?

Yes, Angel’s Envy is widely regarded as an excellent sipping whiskey. Its smooth texture, complex flavor profile, and balanced sweetness make it well-suited for enjoying neat or on the rocks.

The whiskey’s unique finishing process in port wine barrels adds layers of depth and richness to its flavor, enhancing the sipping experience.

Whether you’re a casual drinker looking to unwind or a seasoned whiskey enthusiast seeking to savor the nuances of a fine spirit, Angel’s Envy is often considered a top choice for sipping and savoring.

Is Angel’s Envy bourbon smooth?

Yes, Angel’s Envy Bourbon Whiskey is renowned for its smoothness. Despite its complexity and depth of flavor, the whiskey maintains a silky texture that glides smoothly across the palate.

This smoothness is partly attributed to the careful aging process and meticulous attention to detail during production.

Additionally, the influence of the port wine barrels in which the whiskey is finished contributes to its velvety mouthfeel, further enhancing the overall drinking experience.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, Angel’s Envy is prized for its exceptionally smooth character, making it a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts.

Is Angel’s Envy a bourbon or whiskey?

Angel’s Envy falls under the category of whiskey. While bourbon is a type of whiskey, not all whiskeys are bourbons. Bourbon must adhere to specific regulations, including being primarily made from corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, and produced in the United States.

While Angel’s Envy meets some of these requirements, it deviates in certain aspects, leading to its classification as whiskey rather than bourbon.

Why is Angel’s Envy not a bourbon?

Angel’s Envy differs from traditional bourbon production in several ways. While it does contain corn as a primary ingredient, a requisite for bourbon, it undergoes additional steps that set it apart.

After aging in new charred oak barrels similar to bourbon, Angel’s Envy undergoes a finishing process in port wine barrels, imparting distinct flavors.

Additionally, bourbon must be aged for a minimum of two years to meet legal requirements, whereas Angel’s Envy often exceeds this timeframe. These variations from conventional bourbon-making prevent Angel’s Envy from being classified as bourbon.

Why is it called Angel’s Envy?

The name “Angel’s Envy” stems from a whimsical aspect of whiskey aging known as the “angel’s share.” During maturation, a portion of the whiskey evaporates from the barrels, deemed the “angel’s share.” The addition of “envy” to the name implies a playful notion that even celestial beings might covet the exceptional quality of the whiskey aging within the barrels. It embodies the brand’s ethos of crafting premium, sought-after whiskey that transcends expectations.

Angel’s Envy represents a blend of tradition and innovation within the whiskey industry. Its distinctive production methods and commitment to excellence result in a whiskey experience that defies categorization.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, Angel’s Envy invites enthusiasts to explore its complex flavors and appreciate the craftsmanship behind each bottle. So, next time you indulge in Angel’s Envy, savor not just the whiskey but also the rich narrative encapsulated within its name.

What can I mix Angel’s Envy with?

Angel’s Envy, with its rich and complex flavor profile, can be mixed with various ingredients to create delicious cocktails. Its smoothness and notes of caramel, vanilla, and fruit make it a versatile spirit for mixing. Some popular options include:

Old Fashioned: Mix Angel’s Envy with a sugar cube, a dash of bitters, and a splash of water. Garnish with an orange twist and a cherry.

Whiskey Sour: Combine Angel’s Envy with fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and a dash of egg white for a frothy texture.

Manhattan: Mix Angel’s Envy with sweet vermouth and a few dashes of aromatic bitters. Serve it up in a chilled glass with a cherry.

Boulevardier: Combine Angel’s Envy with Campari and sweet vermouth for a bittersweet and complex cocktail.

Angel’s Envy and Ginger Ale: Mix Angel’s Envy with ginger ale for a refreshing and simple highball.

Experiment with different mixers and flavors to find your perfect Angel’s Envy cocktail.

What type of bourbon is Angel’s Envy?

Angel’s Envy is not classified as a bourbon; it falls under the broader category of whiskey. While it shares some characteristics with bourbon, such as being primarily made from corn, it deviates from bourbon production in significant ways.

For example, Angel’s Envy undergoes a finishing process in port wine barrels, which imparts unique flavors and sets it apart from traditional bourbon.

Additionally, it may be aged longer than the minimum requirement for bourbon aging.

These variations from standard bourbon production prevent Angel’s Envy from being categorized strictly as bourbon.

Final Verdict: Angel’s Envy Bourbon Review

If you haven’t tried and explored barrel-finished bourbons yet, Angel’s Envy bourbon whiskey is an ideal introductory whiskey. 

It is an award-winning spirit and deserves credit for being one of the originally finished bourbon whiskeys on the market. 

It isn’t the cheapest bourbon in the market within the same category, but it is worth buying for its price and taste profile. So, if you can find a bottle, grab it up.


  1. Angel’s Share
  2. Port Wine
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