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Angel’s Envy vs Woodford Reserve Bourbon Differences (2023)

Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Welcome to another battle between two of the favorite bourbons— Angel’s Envy and Woodford Reserve.

If you’re torn between these brands, let’s make or break your decision by discovering the differences between Angel’s Envy vs Woodford Reserve.  

What are their positive points? Which can deliver a great drinking experience? And which is the best bourbon overall? Let’s find out, along with some interesting facts.  

Angel’s Envy & Woodford Reserve In-Depth Comparison 

Angel's Envy and Woodford Reserve Bottle with glasses and ice

Angel’s Envy delivers a distinct flavor profile, while Woodford Reserve is a truly good bourbon. 

Woodford Reserve embodies what an excellent bourbon should be– high in proof, the oak and vanilla notes are there, with creamy, balanced body, and a lingering, warming finish. 

Angel’s Envy, has an unusual sweetness that we can’t find in any other bourbon. Although it’s low-proof, we like its nice body and savory flavors that are very easy to drink.  

Although they share the same mash, and their age statements are undisclosed, we prefer the alcohol proof of Woodford Reserve.

But we also like the flavor profile and uniqueness of Angel’s Envy.  

Quick Comparison

DifferencesAngel’s EnvyWoodford Reserve
Average PriceAround $49.99Around $34.99 
Alcohol Proof86-proof90.4-proof
Age StatementNAS (rumored to be 4 to 6 years old)NAS (rumored to be 6 to 7 years old)
Mash Bills72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley
Still White oak barrels finished in Port wine barrelsNew charred oak barrels

Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon 

Close Up Shot of Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Bottle

Crafted at the Woodford Reserve Distillery, it undergoes aging in new charred oak barrels for around 6-7 years.

The spirit underwent heat cycling (cooling and heating air) to meticulously control aging.

Bottled at 90.4-proof (45.2% ABV), it delivers an exceptional bourbon whiskey experience, which we found a good balance of flavors and a smooth finish.  

Nose Aromas of citrus, honey, mint, and vanilla
PalateFlavors of cinnamon, mint, ripe fruit, and slight oak sweetness
ColorBrilliant honey amber
FinishLong, smooth, and creamy 
How It’s ServedNeat 
Comparable ToBuffalo Trace, Knob Creek, and Maker’s Mark

Fun Facts 

  • Although it’s produced at the Woodford Reserve facility, it is owned by Brown Forman, who also owns Old Forester and Jack Daniel’s. 
  • Won the Double Gold and Gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
  • Won the Gold Medal at the Whiskies of the World Awards in 2014 and 2016.
  • The Woodford Reserve Distillery is now considered a National Historic Landmark in Kentucky, USA.   
  • Woodford Reserve uses corn locally grown in Shelby County, Kentucky, USA.   
  • In 2017, Woodford Reserve announced that it’d be the new sponsor of the Kentucky Derby [1]. 

Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon 

Bottle of Angel's Envy

Produced beyond the usual process of making bourbon, Angel’s Envy is aged 4-6 years and finished in Ruby port wine barrels at the Angel’s Envy Distillery of the Louisville Distilling Co.

“After tasting our finished whiskey, Lincoln joked that we’d finally gotten a better deal than the angels. And so Angel’s Envy was born.”

— Angel’s Envy.

Bottled at 86-proof (43% ABV), it offers unique flavor nuances, which we find an improvement of a typical bourbon. 

Its profile and character are unusual and intriguing, suitable to anyone who wants to explore diverse flavors of whiskey.  

Nose Scent of chocolate, coconut, and vanilla
PalateFlavors of bread, caramel, maple syrup, and vanilla
ColorReddish gold
FinishLong, smooth, and sweet with oak and baking spice
How It’s ServedNeat
Comparable ToFour Roses Small-Batch and Buffalo Trace

Fun Facts 

  • Each of the grains used in the mash bill is sourced locally and non-GMO.
  • Its name, “Angel’s Envy,” is a term used by some distillers for aged distilled spirits. 
  • Every year, 5% of the spirit is lost during barrel aging, referred to as the “Angel’s Share.”
  • Angel’s Envy has planted more than 200,000 trees since 2014, aiming to create a more sustainable industry for bourbon in the future [2].
  • Angel’s Envy, a small-batch whiskey, is produced by the Louisville Distilling Co., a subsidiary company of Bacardi Limited.
  • Since Prohibition, the distillery of Angel’s Envy has been the first fully operating facility on Main Street.  

 Angel’s Envy vs Woodford Reserve Price

Woodford Reserve Bottles on a Store Shelf

As you can see, Woodford Reserve is cheaper than Angel’s Envy.

Although Angel’s Envy is on the pricier side, it’s well worth the price. The uniqueness of Angel’s Envy and the experience it provides make it a great value for money.  

Angel’s EnvyWoodford Reserve
Average Price$49.99$34.99

**Prices are based on the MSRP per 750ml, which may vary in stores. 

FAQs 

Is Angel’s Envy a better cocktail mixer than Woodford Reserve?

Both Angel’s Envy and Woodford are decent cocktail mixers. However, both are light, which other cocktail ingredients might overpower. You can use cheaper alternatives to use as a mixer. 

Which is a better everyday bourbon, Angel’s Envy or Woodford Reserve?

The better everyday bourbon is Woodford Reserve. It features a good profile and character you might be looking for in good spirits. 

Final Verdict 

Although Woodford Reserve is a good bourbon that everyone can surely enjoy, we prefer Angel’s Envy not just for its unique character but also for its mellow notes and savory flavors. 

While Woodford Reserve is cheaper, the price point of Angel’s Envy is reasonable; that’s well worth the money as it lets drinkers experience unique notes that you can’t easily find on other bourbons. 

References:

  1. https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2023/01/11/2587423/12388/en/Woodford-Reserve-Extends-Partnership-with-Churchill-Downs-as-Presenting-Sponsor-of-the-Kentucky-Derby.html 
  2. https://www.wired.com/sponsored/story/the-future-of-sustainable-bourbon/ 

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