This holiday season, up your gift-giving game with unique bar cart must-haves, or give the gift of one-of-a-kind spirits to the whisky and cocktail aficionados in your life. Whether you’re bringing the host-with-the-most a thank you gift or shopping for the at-home bartender in your life, there’s one spirit that should be at the top of your shopping list.
Angel’s Envy first came to Canada with a limited-run offering of its Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Barrels. Following the overwhelming success of the launch, the company, founded by master distiller Lincoln Henderson and his son Wes Henderson, decided to set up a permanent residency in Canada. So, in August 2022, Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Barrels became widely available on shelves across Canada.
What set this whiskey apart is its secondary aging process. Angel’s Envy is aged twice using the classic charred new oak containers and then spending another four to six months port barrels sourced from Portugal. It’s a must-have on any bar cart or cocktail shelf this holiday season and beyond. Bourbon can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks with a single large ice cube, or mixed into cocktails like whiskey sours and hot toddies. Its versatility adds to its elegance and the luxury feeling of the spirit as its possibilities are endless. Not only does it make for a delicious dram to sip, it can also create a warm, inviting cocktail that’s perfect for sharing as a group serve at festive gatherings and holiday parties.
The legal requirements surrounding bourbon elevate the spirit in its umbrella family of whiskeys, as only water can be added to the original creation (which must be made of a grain compound that’s at least 51% corn). And, the water can only be used to lower the proof (which is, effectively, the doubled alcohol volume). Also, the new charred oak containers ensure a sweet flavour that is not obligatory in most whiskeys. Most of the requirements ensure that more flavours and notes are apparent, which is a necessary character trait for bourbon.
Bourbon must also be made in the United States, where Kentucky is a main hub. Angel’s Envy, for example, produces its spirit in Louisville, where it operates out of an impressive Brand Home and the first full-production whiskey distillery in the city. The space was opened in 2016.
Of course, the richer and more nuanced flavour profiles of bourbon allow it to elevate traditional cocktails, adding a more well-bodied flavour and more complex notes to cocktails. In the case of Angel’s Envy, eggnogs and whiskey Collinses get notes of raisins, subtle vanilla, port, toasted nuts and bitter chocolate, with mixing ingredients pulling from each of these core flavour profiles. But, it also offers a more rounded experience when sipping the drink, as the port notes appear at the finish and slowly fade away. In fact, the entire experience from nosing to sipping to finishing is a journey through a complex flavour profile that comes up and fades at different times throughout the drinking experience.
Bourbon is the perfect gift for the whiskey lover in your life and makes for a fantastic holiday host gift. And, with Angel’s Envy relatively new to Canada, it’s sure to turn heads and impress at any event.
Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Barrels is available at LCBO and across Canada for $79.95 (prices may vary by province or retailer).
In collaboration with Louisville Distilling Co LLC