$$ — 50% ABV — 7.5 years
The late, great Lincoln Henderson has left us unquestionable proof of his skills as a cellar master in Angel's Envy and those willing to take a chance on his rye have not been disappointed. The only downside is it's a little too 'complete' to stir a Manhattan unless it's stirred dry. Really. That's the worst that can be said.
Like Bulleit rye, this product was distilled by the MGP company. Since most MGP-derived products are bargain-priced, the large cost of Angel's Envy's rye will be a huge turnoff for some. But as it's been said before, there are huge decisions to be made post-distillation, and Angel's Envy shows that in spades.
The main cost difference is in the finishing barrel: this rye sits for 18 months in barrels previously used by Plantation for their XO rum, and originally used for Pierre Ferrand in their cognac cellars. And this spirit is all about the barrel. The cinnamon-orange marmalade flavor of the rye comes through, with a huge maple note jockeying for the front. Then there's a rum-like note of coconut as well as a cognac-like note of raisin, all stacked on top of each other as if assembled by a master perfumer. It's very astonishing!
Either Plantation barrels are immensely expensive (not unlikely) or this doesn't entirely explain the cost difference. The brand's bourbon runs a fair deal cheaper; usually a label's different grains aren't this disparate in price. But the question that stabs at the heart of the matter is whether the product is similar in quality to others in its price bracket, and it really is.
Louisville Distilling is located in Bardstown, Kentucky in the Southern United States. Established in 2010 by Lincoln Henderson, it remains an independent producer. Angel's Envy Rye is distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana by MGP.