Here’s the thing with bourbon — it’s not scotch. Wild revelation, I know. But aside from the grain, barrels, country of origin, etc. bourbon has always been a (generally) more affordable spirit. Unless you’re talking about Angel’s Envy, of which I tried the Port Finish. I will admit to loving the name. The “Angel’s Share” is the moisture that evaporates during the distilling process. What remains in this case must be the “Angel’s Envy.” Clever.

Of course, at the tippity top of bourbon mountain (here’s looking at you Pappy) there are enormously expensive offerings. But (in Canadian dollars anyways) really damn good Bourbon can still be bought for less than $50. For an equivalent quality scotch, $70 is pretty much the starting line and it goes way up from there. And that’s my main issue with Angel Envy Bourbon — it’s priced like a scotch, but doesn’t surpass it’s more affordable bourbon bretheren.

Here’s what I thought:

Angel's Envy Bourbon

Angel’s Envy Bourbon Review

One word you’ll come across if you look at tasting notes for Angel’s Envy is “subtle” and “clean”. Nothing wrong with either of those descriptors, but when I turn to bourbon — a grain liquor made of corn and kept in charred barrels, often distilled to 45 ABV or higher — subtlty is rarely what I’m after. Again, not inherently bad, but if you’re going for refined, you better bring the goods.

In my opinion, Angel’s Envy falls a bit short. At 43.5% ABV, it’s a bit stronger than your stock standard liquor, but short of other bourbons like Knob Creek or Buffalo Trace. The nose is nice, with very little alcohol fumes distracting from a kiss of vanilla, and little nuttiness. Subtle is a damn fine word for it, but there’s nothing unlikable here.

The taste and texture are — nice. It tastes the way “nice” describes something. It’s inoffensive but a bit shallow. Sweet and easy drinking with a remarkably light body, very little if any of the “port finish” makes its way through for me. There’s the vanilla, and a bit of breadiness that rears its head as you’re about to swallow. The finish actually lingers a bit and fades into pure brown sugar. It’s NICE ok?

Here’s the thing — if you’re going to drop Angel’s envy prices, you may as well pick up a more interesting whiskey. If you’re new to bourbon or love very subtle spirits (and have cash to burn) this might be a great bottle for you. If you’re like me and want a bourbon with a little more brashness, I’d look elsewhere and save your dough.


Final Verdict

Angel's Envy leans too heavily into subtlty but brings too little personality to the party.