Angel’s Envy’s First Japanese Cask Finished Bourbon Is a Stunner

It took Angel’s Envy‘s Kyle Henderson fifty percent a ten years of asking about, doing the job the telephones, and crossing his fingers to eventually get his arms on just a handful of Japanese Mizunara oak casks. “It took a great 5 many years from the notion to truly receiving ahold of the barrels and receiving them to the U.S.,” he suggests, ticking off the difficulties that make this coveted wooden so tricky to get. “It’s so controlled, the development of the trees is so slow, it does not like to develop straight, it’s porous as heck so there’s a ton of difficulties with constructing [the barrels]…”

Operating with Mizunara oak (when you can get it) presents a quantity of troubles, in other words. So when Henderson, output manager for Angel’s Envy distillery, managed to land a few brand name new Mizunara oak barrels from a cooperage in Japan, he and his colleagues—two of whom materialize to be his father, Angel’s Envy Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer Wes Henderson, and his brother, Direct Distillery Operator Andrew Henderson—knew they had to make something unique with it.

The resulting whiskey, thoroughly titled Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Completed in Japanese Mizunara Oak Casks, is a mix of four-yr-old and 9-yr-old bourbons concluded for two many years in Japanese oak before bottling. On its deal with, that could audio unremarkable, as cask concluded whiskies—those that commit a small time in barrels that formerly held other liquids—are very a great deal en vogue these days. But Mizunara oak barrels are no common casks, and Angel’s Envy is not in the pattern of turning out common whiskey.

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

A ten years in the past Wes Henderson and his father Lincoln—an marketplace legend by any telling—introduced their first batch of bourbon into employed port barrels, a practice deemed not only unconventional but rather heretical at the time. Angel’s Envy was born, and port finishing became something of a signature for the brand name even as it continued to drive boundaries with other experimental cask regimens. This hottest bottling is a tribute to the two the legacy of Lincoln Henderson (who passed away in 2013) but also to Angel’s Envy itself, which celebrates 10 many years to the working day due to the fact Wes and Lincoln loaded that first port barrel with bourbon on August 19 and set the tone for a ten years of forward-imagining experimentation.

The use of Mizunara oak to complete this bourbon nods to a custom of carrying out what is tricky in the pursuit of great whiskey. Mizunara is very old-development oak—a a hundred and fifty-yr-old tree would be considered younger for harvesting—that is hugely controlled by Japanese forestry authorities. As Kyle Henderson notes, it grows crooked and porous, making it frustratingly tricky for coopers to craft into watertight barrels. As such, Mizunara casks are unusual, high-priced, and notoriously tricky to occur by even for Japanese distillers. You’ll be even extra really hard pressed to come across American distillers holding Mizunara barrels in their warehouses.

Older wooden also requires extra time to impart taste to a whiskey, even if the barrels have in no way held whiskey before. Ending a whiskey in European oak casks that when held sherry or port wine will take just a few small months. Mizunara requires a great deal extra time and endurance. Two many years would make for a very extended cask complete, but as the Hendersons’ perseverance in the two procuring and deploying these barrels demonstrates, great items genuinely do occur to people who wait.

Likely into the bottle at ninety seven.eight evidence, their Mizunara cask concluded bourbon comes out of the bottle with aromas of toasted sandalwood, slash purple apples, and a whiff of fruit-loaded, frosted breakfast pastry. On the palate occur oaky notes of vanilla and spice, but also caramelized banana, cinnamon, apple, that give way to a complete that is peppery, flippantly smoky, and pleasantly extended. Nevertheless rich in entire body and rather decadent in taste, there’s a specified lightness and liveliness to it, closing the loop concerning resource liquid and finishing vessel.

Unfortunately, the shortage of great Mizunara casks begets a shortage of Mizunara cask concluded whiskies, something that would make this restricted tenth-anniversary providing from Angel’s Envy special but also probably as tricky to get as the barrels them selves. Associates of the distillery’s 500 Major supporter club can obtain a pre-sale of the 1,200 out there bottles—which occur packaged in a crystal decanter—starting August 19 for $350. After that, remaining bottles will be out there at the distillery and pick shops about Kentucky.



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