In September 2016, Angel’s Envy Bourbon began distilling for the very first time in its new facility located in downtown Louisville, Ky. The $27.5 million dollar new construction will be downtown Louisville’s only full-production distillery and aims to increase production multifold to alleviate allocation and short supply issues currently experienced due to the former distillery’s smaller size and limited production capabilities. October also saw the release of the Cask Strength Bourbon, produced only once each year, with this year’s batch coming hot off the still at 124.6 proof.
Angel’s Envy may be a relatively new bourbon in terms of American whiskey history, but comes to the market by way of three very talented Kentucky bourbon experts. Lincoln Henderson, the brand’s original master distiller, was a pioneer of premium bourbon having developed brands for Brown-Forman including Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniel’s Gentlemen Jack and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. Retiring from Brown-Forman after nearly 40 years of service, his son Wes Henderson finally convinced Lincoln to create his own label as a personal project, and thus Angel’s Envy was born. Lincoln’s crafted innovation and talent for barrel selection and obsession with perfection brought the brand nearly instant success. Today Angel’s Envy produces three labels: A port-finished bourbon, a rum-finished rye and the annually limited release cask-strength bourbon. All three are heavily decorated with some of the most prestigious awards in the spirits industry including being named 2013 Spirit Journal’s “Best Spirit in the World” award for the cask strength bourbon and a whopping 98 points by Wine Enthusiast to the port finished bourbon, the highest rating ever given to a bourbon, among many other accolades.
In September 2013, Lincoln Henderson passed away at age 75 in Lexington. Wes Henderson was quoted saying, “I lost my dad and best friend today, but I am blessed and grateful that together we created a brand that we’re both incredibly proud of. We will proudly carry on his legacy and keep his memory alive.”
In March 2015, Bacardi Limited purchased the Louisville-based brand for an undisclosed price. In a press release, Bacardi announced that the brand would continue to operate as a stand-alone business with the sale and purchase operating mainly to grant the funding needed for the expansion of the brand and the new distillery construction that will allow Angel’s Envy to keep up with the current consumer demands. It also allowed Bacardi, the largest privately owned spirits company to enter the bourbon market for the first time. In a press release issued by Bacardi, all operations including production, distribution, commercial and marketing activities and the employee base will remain and continue to operate unchanged.
Today the whiskey is made in loving memory of Lincoln Henderson by son Wes, Chief Innovations Officer; Kevin Curtis, Distillery Operations Manager, and grandson Kyle Henderson, Production Manager. The new facility, now in production, will be available for small tours starting in December. And the Angel’s Envy Cask Strength makes for a fantastic holiday gift, that is, if you can find it.
You can follow Angel’s Envy and their new distillery operations via the blog on their website. Warm up this holiday season with a classic Hot Toddy, made better by Angel’s Envy Port Finished Bourbon.