Time flies when you have wings. What seems like yesterday was actually 10 years ago. It was August 19, 2010 when long-time Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson and his son Wes Henderson filled their first port barrels with the bourbon that would become known as Angel’s Envy. Fast forward 10 years and a lot has changed. The Angel’s Envy bourbon brand is now known around the world, it has multiple versions of its small batch, finished whiskeys and it was the first post-Prohibition distillery and homeplace to open on Louisville’s Whiskey Row.
To celebrate their 10th anniversary Angel’s Envy Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky is releasing a limited-edition Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon finished In Japanese Mizunara oak casks. This new small batch release is a blend of four-year-old and nine-year-old Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon that is finished in hand-selected, charred, new Japanese Mizunara oak casks for an additional two years.
“Ten years ago… my dad Lincoln and I filled our first port barrels with the bourbon that would eventually become Angel’s Envy,” said Wes Henderson, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer. “In celebration, we wanted to release something special to honor my dad’s incredible legacy, how far Angel’s Envy has come and our exciting future ahead.
“We chose this release for the tenth anniversary because my dad, having taken on several consulting roles in Japan during his career, always had a deep appreciation for the country and its distilling community. This release, finished in Mizunara casks made from this rare, 200-year-old wood, felt fitting for such a special milestone for Angel’s Envy.”
What is Mizunara Oak (学名, Quercus crispula)
Quercus crispula or Mizunara, (scientific name: Quercus crispula) is native to China and Japan and is a deciduous broad-leaved tree in the family Fagaceae. It grows naturally in the mountains of Hokkaido to Kyushu in Japan. Because it contains a lot of moisture, it is difficult to burn and has strength. The leaves are egg-shaped and have serrations at the edges of the leaves. The leaves are green at first, but yellow in autumn. It is hermaphroditic. Flowers bloom in the spring and become windy flowers. The fruits are acorns, but they are sour and not edible. Lumber is used for high-end furniture, whiskey barrels, high-grade charcoal, and firewood for cultivating shiitake mushrooms.¹ Watch the video below on the making of these barrels in Japan.
Angel’s Envy Finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks Tasting Notes
Tasting notes provided by Angel’s Envy say it offers notes of smoky wood, sandalwood, banana bread, cherry and ripe apples on the nose. On the palate, notes of vanilla, oak, rich chocolate, banana, cinnamon, apple and light black pepper are present, along with floral and fruity notes and a hint of coffee. The finish is slightly dry with hints of toasty oak and a lingering smokiness.
The new release will go on pre-sale as a part of the distillery’s 10th Anniversary celebration beginning August 19, 2020 to members of Angel’s Envy 500 Main fan club (which is free). Members can purchase a bottle ahead of the general public for pickup at the Louisville distillery. Members also receive special announcements and access to exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes videos and Q&As with whiskey experts.
Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks is bottled at 97.8 proof (48.9% ABV) with a suggested retail price of $349.99 for a 750mL bottle. Following the 500 Main presale, the limited run of just 1,200 bottles will be available for public purchase beginning on September 1st at Angel’s Envy’s Distillery and select retailers in Kentucky.
This is the first in Angel’s Envy’s Founder’s Collection, which exclusively includes releases commemorating brand anniversaries, special events and milestones.
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Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks
Mizunara Oak Barrels Made by Ariake Cooperage in Japan
¹Source: Flowers DB
Photo Credit: Bottle shots courtesy of Nathan Pedigo for Angel’s Envy