An Early Taste of Angel’s Envy 2023 Cask Strength Rye and Bourbon

It's the first time the distillery's released this style of rye whiskey

The new 2023 Cask Strength releases from Angel's Envy, with two glasses, lying on a pink tabletop
The two new Cask Strength releases from Angel's Envy.
Angel's Envy

Angel’s Envy will soon release not only its highly anticipated 12th annual cask-strength bourbon, but also its first-ever cask-strength rye, with a limited number of bottles set to hit stores on December 1.

Known for its finished whiskeys, the Louisville distillery announced on Thursday both the Angel’s Envy 2023 Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey Finished in Sauternes and Toasted Oak Barrels and Angel’s Envy 2023 Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels (yeah, they’re a mouthful). These expressions mark the first releases under Master Distiller Owen Martin, who came over from Colorado’s Stranahan’s distillery in 2022; Martin was the first appointed master distiller of Angel’s Envy since co-founder and Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson’s passing in 2013.

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“With my deep background in maturing, blending, and finishing whiskey, I’ve been able to share a unique perspective on the Angel’s Envy award-winning Cask Strength program, and am looking forward to this next chapter with the brand,” Martin said in a statement.

This is the brand’s first time releasing a limited-edition rye whiskey at cask strength, and just 5,500 bottles will be available for purchase at select retailers in a few states (KY, NY, FL, CA, TX, IL, OH and TN). The cask-strength bourbon will have 22,656 bottles available in all 50 states; past releases have won numerous awards, with the 2022 edition winning a coveted Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

I was able to taste both expressions, once during a small media preview in September and again this week. Here are my initial thoughts:

Angel’s Envy 2023 Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels: Finished in port wine barrels from (natch) Portugal and coming in 118.2 proof, this one is a dark mahogany in appearance with a powerful burst of dark fruit on the nose. Those juicy, fruity notes continue on the palate, joined by hints of marshmallow, baking spices, oak tannins and caramel. It’ll retail for $229.99 upon release.

Angel’s Envy 2023 Cask Strength Rye Finished in Sauternes and Toasted Oak Barrels: This one’s a blend of rye whiskeys finished in two different barrel types. At 114.4 proof, it is a touch lighter in appearance than the bourbon. It’s a much drier and herbal whiskey with fruit (mainly pears), some Earl Grey tea and plenty of wood and rye spice on the finish. It’ll retail for $269.99


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