Angel’s Envy Distillery on Whiskey Row in downtown Louisville, Kentucky has hired its first Master Distiller since its founding when the late Kentucky Hall of Famer and Angel’s Envy Co-founder and Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson started the company in 2010. Sadly, Henderson passed away in 2013 just a few months prior to the official ribbon cutting of the Angel’s Envy Distillery.
There are two things that stand out about this hire. First, Martin does not have a typical Kentucky distilling pedigree that you might expect for a distillery the size of Angel’s Envy. Instead, Martin started in the craft world as Lead Distiller at Rock Town Distillery in Arkansas. After a couple years he moved West to Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey (owned by Proximo Spirits since 2010) in Denver, Colorado where he’s been for the last six year. Most Master Distiller hiring announcements go the other way where a Kentucky distiller goes West.
The other thing that makes this interesting is that the only thing Stranahan’s makes is 100% single malt whiskey. Single malt whiskies continue to grow across the country though the bulk of distilleries dabbling in single malts tend to be in the West, not all but a lot of them. Could we one day see an Angel’s Envy single malt whiskey?
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Owen Martin will be joining the company as Master Distiller beginning on October 17. He will lead all aspects of production and oversee innovation for Angel’s Envy, including its annual Cask Strength program and limited release Cellar Collection and Founder’s Collection programs.
“Angel’s Envy has always strived to revere tradition while embracing progress, so when looking for our new Master Distiller, we knew we needed to find someone who fully embodied that philosophy and innovative spirit,” said Gigi DaDan, General Manager of Angel’s Envy.
“Owen’s experience in product development and experimentation and his progressive outlook regarding what’s next for the industry, as well as the leadership he has demonstrated throughout his career in defining and championing American whiskey categories, make him a perfect fit to lead Angel’s Envy into our exciting future.”
Martin will lead Angel’s Envy’s production team as it remains dedicated to bringing new and innovative finished whiskeys to fans while continuing to produce its core offerings – a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Barrels and a Rye Whiskey Finished in Caribbean Rum Casks.
“Angel’s Envy has been a trailblazer in redefining the finished whiskey category in the US, and the chance to be a part of the next chapter for a young brand that has already made such a large impact on the industry is truly the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Martin. “I look forward to bringing my knowledge of secondary cask finishing and unique perspective of European and American production techniques, as well as my expertise in product development and passion for experimentation, to the foremost secondary-finished bourbon and rye producer in the country.”
Martin’s love of finished whiskeys was born while studying at the prestigious Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and throughout his career, he has continued to gain a unique knowledge of whiskey maturation techniques from across the country and globe.