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Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks Review

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“We chose this release for the tenth anniversary because my dad, Lincoln Henderson, 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.”Wes Henderson, cofounder and chief innovation officer, Angel's Envy
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ANGEL’S ENVY MIZUNARA CASK BOURBON


  • DISTILLER:  Released by Angel's Envy.
  • MASH BILL: N/A
  • Cooperage: Aged initially in new charred American oak barrels then finished in new charred Japanese mizunara oak barrels for two additional years
  • AGE: Blend of 4- and 9-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbons
  • YEAR: 2020
  • PROOF: 97.8 (43.9% ABV)
  • MSRP: $350.00
  • BUY ONLINE: Not available online. Available Sept. 1st at 8 am at the Distillery and at select Kentucky retailers while bottles last.

NOSE: Clover Honey | Honey Dew Melon | Toasted Oak

TASTE: Honey | Graham Cracker | Roasted Tropical Fruit | Whiff of Smoke

FINISH: Completely clean and disappearing, and pleasantly so. Smoke appears with subsequent sips.

SHARE WITH: Anyone who enjoys bourbon and would appreciate a unique experience.

WORTH THE PRICE: Bottle, and here’s why: This is pricey at $350. But when I consider the mindboggling sums people pay for whiskeys not even close to this in uniqueness and quality, it’s worth it. It would make a stunner of a special occasion gift—wedding, 50th anniversary, retirement, etc.—or just a gift to yourself.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle. Not only are you getting rare whiskey, you’re getting it in a gorgeous crystal decanter whose labels are designed for removal.

OVERALL: For 10 years Angel’s Envy has produced delicate, rounded and balanced bourbons finished in second-use casks—port, tawny port, sherry and rum (for its rye). Now we have a first-use mizunara oak barrel from Japan, which makes this bourbon markedly different from its predecessors.

This is brand new, imported cooperage that is pricey, porous (I was told the angel’s share was huge) and took a long time to make its impact on the liquid. The end result is one I’d never have recognized as Angel’s Envy without being told. That doesn’t make it the family’s wild child, but it’s a child with strong opinions, and I love what it has to say.

I don’t recall drinking a whiskey—or possibly any spirit—that hits the palate so cleanly. Even at 97.8 proof, this is a bourbon you can let languish behind your lips for long moments—that is if you can resist swallowing it. This unique wood, which takes 200 years of growth to mature, hones the whiskey to a silky smoothness while still leaving its flavors well defined and sharply pronounced. It is a whiskey that should be sipped in a quiet place where it can be studied and savored slowly.

Learn more about Steve’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

ANGEL'S ENVY® RELEASES LIMITED-EDITION ANGEL’S ENVY KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON FINISHED IN JAPANESE MIZUNARA OAK CASKS FOR PRESALE IN CELEBRATION OF THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BRAND’S FOUNDER’S DAY

LOUISVILLE, KY (August 19, 2020) - ANGEL’S ENVY®, the Louisville-based craft distiller that produces small batch, finished whiskeys, opened presale today for its Founder’s Day 10th Anniversary release, ANGEL’S ENVY Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks.

ANGEL’S ENVY Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks 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. This release is the first in ANGEL’S ENVY’s Founder’s Collection, which exclusively includes releases commemorating brand anniversaries, special events and milestones.

“Ten years ago today, my dad Lincoln and I filled our first port barrels with the bourbon that would eventually become Angel’s Envy. 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,” said Wes Henderson, ANGEL’S ENVY Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer. “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.”

Beginning today, ANGEL’S ENVY 500 Main members can purchase a bottle ahead of the general public for pickup at the Louisville distillery. ANGEL’S ENVY fans can sign up for 500 Main here – in addition to the opportunity to pre-purchase Mizunara, members will also be the first to learn about all of ANGEL’S ENVY ’s special announcements and will receive access to exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes videos and Q&As with whiskey experts.

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 in downtown Louisville and select retailers in Kentucky. There will be a one-bottle limit per customer.

ANGEL’S ENVY Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks is 97.8 proof. On the nose, it offers notes of smoky wood, sandalwood, banana bread, cherry and ripe apples. 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.

Once this rare release is enjoyed, the empty bottle – crafted from premium, lead-free crystal – is meant to be stripped of labels and reused as a decanter.


Disclaimer: Angel's Envy provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

About the Author
Steve Coomes

Steve Coomes

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Steve Coomes is a Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer. In his 27-year career, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. As a spirits writer, Steve's byline can be found in Whisky magazine, Bourbon Review, WhiskeyWash.com and other publications. In 2014, he authored the book, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and has authored other titles as a private ghostwriter.

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