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Angel’s Envy vs Elijah Craig Bourbon: Which is Better? (2024)

Angel's Envy vs Elijah Craig

Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Small batch bourbon is great for premium purchases as it offers a more consistent flavor, quality, and authenticity. 

Here’s our in-depth comparison of Angel’s Envy vs Elijah Craig to help you decide which is the better small batch bourbon. Read on. 

Angel’s Envy & Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Battle 

Angel's Envy and Elijah Craig Bottles with glasses

Elijah Craig is a small batch bourbon whiskey, while Angel’s Envy is not your typical small batch bourbon because it is twice blended and finished in port wine casks. 

Elijah Craig boasts higher alcohol content than Angel’s Envy; however, Angel’s Envy contains higher rye content on its mash bill. 

Heaven Hill Distillery produces Elijah Craig, while Louisville Distilling Company crafts Angel’s Envy. In addition, Angel’s Envy is more expensive than Elijah Craig. 

Angel’ Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon 

Angel’ Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky Bottle and a man on the back
Nose Brown sugar, vanilla, coconut, toasted nuts, and maple syrup
PalateLight, silky, sweet, caramel, vanilla, 
ColorGold with reddish amber hue
FinishBrown sugar, oak, lingering sweetness, 
How It’s ServedNeat and on the rocks
Comparable ToBuffalo Trace, Jack Daniels, and Woodford Reserve

Angel’s Envy is a small batch bourbon, but unlike the standard and typical bourbon whiskey, it undergoes blending twice, before and after the port wine barrels finish. 

“By applying this familiar technique to our bourbon [secondary finishing], we’ve been able to create a whiskey that has already gained huge popularity in our home country,”

– Wes Henderson, Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer of Angel’s Envy

The bourbon whiskey is made using 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley and features 43.3% ABV (86.6 proof). 

As we opened Angel’s Envy, the chocolate and coconut aroma welcomed us, along with some vanilla and toasted nuts hints. 

We like the slightly spicy kick up-front, followed by caramel, baking spice, and maple syrup. The finish is moderately sweet, with hints of oak and spices. 

Angel’s Envy is a smooth and interesting pour but feels light and lacks texture.

However, price is a sticking point for many bourbon lovers, and many find it too expensive for its taste. 

Fun Facts

  • Bacardi Limited owns Angel’s Envy [1]. 
  • It is American-made, but Scotch inspired. 
  • The brand has Whiskey Guardians that educate communities about bourbon, specifically Angel’s Envy. 
  • The brand uses ruby port wine casks to add distinct flavor and enhance the taste of the whiskey.

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey with liquor on the background
Nose Oak, chocolate, vanilla, sweet fruit clove, and cinnamon 
PalateWarm, oaky, with accents of nutmeg, chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla
ColorBurnished copper
FinishSurprisingly long, slightly sweet, and toasty, with black pepper
How It’s ServedNeat, with a splash of water, on the rocks, in cocktails
Comparable ToWoodford Reserve, Buffalo Trace, and Knob Creek

Elijah Craig is crafted using the mash bill of 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley. 

The distillery blends not less than 200 casks aged for at least eight years to achieve a consistent palate profile. 

The bourbon offers nice oak notes, followed by cinnamon, clove, and chocolate.

It has slight bitterness on the palate, but the butterscotch, vanilla, chocolate, and citrus are noticeable too. 

With a splash of water, it becomes sweeter and loses some peppery bite. It has nice warmth on the finish and goes down nicely. 

For many, Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon is a go-to bourbon because of its price point and tasting notes.

Indeed, bourbon does not need to be expensive to be this good. 

Fun Facts 

  • The Elijah Craig Small Batch previously carried a 12-year age statement, but in 2016, it was removed to extend its stocks. 
  • It is widely acknowledged in international spirits competitions for its tasting notes.
  • Elijah Craig is known to be the first distiller to use heavily charred casks for the bourbon aging process [2]. 
  • Heaven Hill Distillery crafts all of the Elijah Craig bourbons. 

Angel’s Envy vs Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Price

liquor bottles on a store shelf

Angel’s Envy is more expensive compared to Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon

Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight BourbonElijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
Average PriceRoughly $54.99 Roughly  $34.23 

*Average prices are based on Drizly. Prices may vary in local liquor shops.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is a better sipper, Elijah Craig small batch or Angel’s Envy?

Elijah Craig makes a better sipper than Angel’s Envy. 

Elijah Craig features a rich and complex aroma and palate, with a smooth texture that makes it a highly enjoyable bourbon to sip and savor. 

Is Angel’s Envy bourbon aged longer than Elijah Craig small batch?

No, Angel’s Envy is not aged longer than Elijah Craig small batch. While both bourbons do not bear an age statement, Angel’s Envy is rumored to be aged around four to six years. 

On the other hand, Elijah Craig was previously aged 12 years, but the distillery dropped the age statement and aged the bourbons for eight to twelve years instead. 

Is Elijah Craig whiskey any good?

Elijah Craig is widely regarded as an exceptional bourbon, known for its rich and complex flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of spice. Its smoothness and well-balanced character have earned it praise among whiskey enthusiasts, making it a popular choice for those seeking a high-quality bourbon experience.

What is special about Angel’s Envy?

Angel’s Envy stands out for its unique finishing process, where the bourbon is aged in port wine barrels, adding a layer of complexity and richness to the final product. This innovative approach imparts subtle fruity and wine-like notes, distinguishing Angel’s Envy from traditional bourbons and contributing to its reputation as a premium and distinctive whiskey.

Is Angel’s Envy a good beginner bourbon?

Yes, Angel’s Envy is often considered a good choice for beginners due to its approachable and smooth flavor profile. The port wine barrel finishing imparts a touch of sweetness and complexity without overwhelming the palate, making it a welcoming introduction for those new to bourbon. Its well-balanced and nuanced character can appeal to a broad range of whiskey enthusiasts.

Is Angel’s Envy a sweet bourbon?

Yes, Angel’s Envy is known for its sweeter profile, attributed to the port wine barrel finishing. The additional maturation in these barrels imparts subtle fruity and dessert-like notes, enhancing the bourbon’s sweetness. This makes Angel’s Envy a delightful choice for those who enjoy bourbons with a touch of sweetness and a unique flavor dimension.

Is Elijah Craig rare?

Elijah Craig offers a range of bourbons, and while some expressions may have limited availability or special releases that are considered rare, the standard Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon is generally accessible. Its popularity and consistent quality contribute to its widespread availability, making it a sought-after but reasonably obtainable bourbon for enthusiasts looking to enjoy its distinctive flavors.

What whiskey does John Wick?

In the John Wick film series, the character John Wick is often seen enjoying Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon. Blanton’s, known for its iconic horse-shaped stoppers and single barrel releases, is a high-quality bourbon with a rich and full-bodied flavor profile that complements the sophisticated taste of the fictional assassin.

Why is Angel’s Envy so expensive?

The higher price tag of Angel’s Envy can be attributed to several factors, including its unique production process. Angel’s Envy undergoes additional maturation in port wine barrels, contributing to its distinctive flavor profile. The use of these special barrels, limited releases, and the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality all contribute to the elevated cost, making Angel’s Envy a premium and sought-after bourbon.

Where does Angel’s Envy rank as a bourbon?

Angel’s Envy is widely regarded as a top-tier bourbon, consistently earning high praise for its innovation and exceptional quality. The brand’s commitment to craftsmanship, coupled with the port wine barrel finishing, places Angel’s Envy among the elite bourbons. It is often celebrated for its complexity, smoothness, and unique flavor profile, solidifying its position as a standout choice in the world of premium bourbons.

Is Angel’s Envy a good sipping whiskey?

Absolutely, Angel’s Envy is considered an excellent sipping whiskey. Its smooth and refined character, influenced by the port wine barrel finishing, makes it an ideal choice for savoring neat or on the rocks. The nuanced flavors, including hints of fruit and sweetness, create a delightful sipping experience that appeals to both seasoned whiskey connoisseurs and those exploring the world of premium bourbons.

What is the smoothest bourbon?

Determining the smoothest bourbon is subjective, as it depends on individual taste preferences. However, bourbons renowned for their smoothness include Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, Maker’s Mark, and Buffalo Trace. Pappy Van Winkle, in particular, is celebrated for its velvety texture and well-integrated flavors, earning it a reputation as one of the smoothest and most sought-after bourbons in the market. Exploring different bourbons and finding one that aligns with personal taste is key to discovering the smoothest bourbon for individual enjoyment.

In A Nutshell 

It was a very close fight between Angel’s Envy and Elijah Craig, but we’ll go for Elijah Craig Small Batch for its price and tasting notes. 

Angel’s Envy is easy to like if you are not a fan of bold bourbons. However, we find it too watered down, too thin, and does not shine, especially for its price. 

Elijah Craig, on the other hand, has a nice amount of kick for its alcohol-proof and does an amazing job, especially when consumed neat and with a splash of water.


  1. ANGEL’S ENVY® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels Launches in Berlin, Paris and Rome
  2. Tippling Point | The story of Elijah Craig, the father of bourbon
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