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Angel's Envy Port Barrel Finish

Devil's Delight

0 781

RReview by @Rigmorole

23rd Feb 2013

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    81

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One of the coolest bourbon bottles around, complete with wings on the back. I really like the way this bourbon is finished in port. That is a nice extra touch.

Nose: Artificial cherry flavor, sliced honey ham, oak

Taste: Cherry again, imitation vanilla, maple syrup, sweet white corn on the cob, apricots.

Finish: Fake cherry syrup, caramel, quince preserves.

I was a little disappointed with this bourbon. It features the same heavy chemically derived "cherry" flavor that is a bit overwhelming in most good bourbons such as Maker's Mark. In less expensive bourbons, this cherry flavor goes sour and bitter. That, thankfully, is not the case with Angel's Envy.

My take on bourbon is this: most of them, with the exception of wheat bourbons, taste more similar to each other than single malt scotches, which have infinitely more variation. Then again, I am biased: I favor scotches. They agree more with my stomach and general constitution. More than three glasses of bourbon during the course of an evening invariably will make me feel a little nauseated and weak the next day. Not so with scotch. I can drink 3-4 glasses through the course of an evening and feel fine the next day. In my mind, I equate the next day blues with that sickly sweet cherry flavor, and so this has gradually turned into a slight dread of it since I associate nausea with that flavor and smell.

Angels Envy, while better than most, is also typical of this cherry flavor, despite the fact that it is finished in port wine barrels.

Most reviews of bourbon do not even mention the cherry flavor because it is so ubiquitous.

Rittenhouse rye is a notable exception, as is Bernheim, which is wheated. I like Rittenhouse and would go out of my way to order a glass in a bar. The cherry flavor is more like stewed prunes in a Moroccan chicken dish. Just fine and "deeper" in flavor than the grating high pitched ubiquitous fake cherry that reminds me of cherry flavored soda, which is often made from chemical ingredients designed to imitate the flavor of cherry (badly). The only thing worse than fake cherry flavor is fake water mellon flavor, which tastes absolutely nothing like real water mellon to me.

If Angel's Envy were served to me, I would gladly drink one glass but no more. I will never buy a bottle of it again, but, this said, I will save this bottle. It's way cool.

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7 comments

Rigmorole commented

I'm not saying there is anything artificial or chemically derived in this bourbon. I am merely expressing my opinion that the flavor REMINDS me of artificial cherry additives. It is my opinion that this bourbon is generally over-rated and underwhelming.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

When first opened, Rittenhouse does have the fake cherry flavor. Thankfully, it transforms itself after the bottle has been opened for about two days into something infinitely more agreeable to me.

8 years ago 0

@Pudge72
Pudge72 commented

It's funny that you cite Rittenhouse, as that is the ONLY bottle in my cabinet (off the top of my head, at least) where a cherry note has stood out at all. For me though, the cherry in Rittenhouse 100 Rye is integrated really nicely with the various rye and wood spice notes so that it comes across to me like a soft cherry turnover cookie. Though, as you alluded to, this note was much more prominent when the bottle was first opened a little over a year ago.

All that being said, as I go back through the bourbon portion of my cabinet in the next little while I'll search to see if a cherry like note appears. For me, the ubiquitous bourbon note in most bottles (especially all wheaters, and younger ryes) is variations of orange/orange zest.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Interesting, Pudge. I like your observations. Why not start your analysis with Maker's Mark? Do you taste that cherry-like flavor that I"m referring to? Maybe it's just the way my taste buds interpret the final product of a great deal of sour mash distilling, but not all. Hope you have a great Saturday.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

And when I say "cherry like" again I'm referring to the taste of artificial cherry flavor additives, not real cherries.

8 years ago 0

@Pudge72
Pudge72 commented

Alas, I do not have MM in my cabinet to experiment on (and mass distributed bourbons, like MM and Buffalo Trace basically start at $40 here in Ontario). If there is the presence of an artificial cherry flavour in MM, that would help explain (at least in part) why it seems to be the choice of many bourbon-based cocktails.

I'll have pours of BT and Old Weller Antique 107 in the next couple of weeks and let you know.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I stand by my "cherry" observation. A great many bourbons have it. I am reminded also of cherry Chapstick.

7 years ago 0

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