A grand opening is a time for new beginnings, a time for joy and a time for celebration. After 10 years in the planning from a Saturday morning conversation between a father and a son the new Angel’s Envy Distillery celebrated its grand opening this week. Angel’s Envy is a premium bourbon and rye whiskey brand started by father and son team that includes the legendary Master Distiller and Kentucky Distillers’ Association Hall of Fame member Lincoln Henderson and his son Wes Henderson. The distillery officially opens for public tours on Saturday, November 19, 2016.
The Angel’s Envy brand hit the market in March 2011 with bourbon and rye sourced from other distilleries. What the Henderson’s did that made the whiskey their own was they finished their product in previously used barrels. Their Kentucky Straight Bourbon is typically aged 4 to 6 years then it spends an additional six months finishing in Ruby Port Wine Casks made from French oak and imported from Portugal. They also bottle a cask strength version of their bourbon. And its Rye takes a similar finishing path but in this case it spends up to 18 months finishing in Caribbean rum casks.
A Grand Opening Celebration
The Angel’s Envy team brought together a group of about 200 people this week to celebrate the opening of the new distillery. It was a joyous yet bittersweet day for the family. In what started out as an idea between a father and son duo ended up as a father and son duo only the people shifted around a bit. Like all good whiskey, there’s a story. You see the father and son duo that started the idea was between Wes and his Dad, Lincoln. Unfortunately, just three months after the ground breaking for the distillery in 2013 Lincoln Henderson passed away. So now, the father and son duo at this opening includes Wes and his son Kyle Henderson, Angel’s Envy Production Manager. Wes has six sons so you can expect to see more Henderson’s taking part in the business through the years.
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Four Generations – Angel’s Among Us
Lincoln Henderson’s Grandsons images adorn the wall at the Distillery.
In a kind of strange way the location of the distillery was meant to be. As Lincoln visited the dilapidated building that sat vacant for 30 years he realized he had been there before. It turns out his dad used to work at this building and he used to take him there when he was a young boy. Whiskey tales, ya gotta love’em.
An Emotional Unveiling
Wes Henderson and some other guests spoke before the unveiling of the new 35 foot copper column still hiding behind the black and white curtain covered in Angel’s wings. We’ve highlighted a few of his remarks here and you can watch the video below to hear all of what he and some other guests had to say about the joyous day and legendary Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson.
“Does anybody remember growing up where maybe you went to Grandma’s house and she was baking Apple Pie or something like that? Does everyone remember that? Smelling those comfort aromas? Every time I step into this distillery I think about coming to work with my Dad when I was a kid at Brown-Forman. This is my comfort aroma, fermented mash. It’s one of my most distinct memories I have as a child.”
Distilled spirits have been a part of society for thousands of years. They were created to enhance our social experiences together. We know bourbon is used toasting special event, toasting birthdays, toasting promotions, toasting wakes or deaths as people move on to the next world. Beginnings and endings and everything in between. What bourbon is all about is the stories. Stories that are told at those times and places that we gather. And guess what, there are stories inside that bottle of Angel’s Envy, waiting to be shared. And I encourage everyone in this room to continue being part of those stories. And lastly, Dad, I love you babe.”
~ Wes Henderson
And with the drop of the curtain, the Angel’s Envy Distillery is now officially open.
A Day of Tributes Honoring the Past and Celebrating the Future
A Few Photos from the Grand Opening
Slide the arrows below left to right to see the rebirth of the building before and after the renovation. Photos courtesy of Joseph & Joseph Architects.