Two new products have come to market in the past year that play off that nomenclature—Angel’s Envy and Jim Beam Devil’s Cut. Both of these products are straight Bourbon whiskeys, which means they have spent not less than two years in barrel as required by federal regulations.
Angel’s Envy ($45 retail) is the more refined of the two products. This Bourbon (86.6 proof) is aged four years in charred white oak barrels and then finished for three to six months in barrels that previously held port wine. It is quite good and designed to be sipped neat or with perhaps a couple drops of water. You might detect burnt orange, vanilla, and a bit of maple. Robust and delicious. Knob Creek fans might be especially beguiled by this whiskey. (Rating ****1/4)
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut ($23 retail) is a 90 proof whiskey that is made by mixing six-year old Bourbon with the Devil’s Cut—that is, with Bourbon that is stuck inside the wood after after the barrel has been emptied.
The cynic might look at this is Beam finding a way to take a loss (trapped Bourbon) and monetize it. The thinking drinker wants to know how the Bourbon is released from the wood and whether these barrels are then scrapped or resold to Scotch whisky-makers.
The casual drinker will care little about any of this and will want to know—is it any good? It is. Devil’s Cut tastes like Beam White label but it is more robust. The Bourbon flavors are more intense, and you can really taste wood. This ornery whiskey is probably best taken with an ice cube. (Rating ***1/2)
If you would like to acquire either of these Bourbons, please consider checking with our retailer.
Angel’s Envy is available in a limited number of states, which you can find listed here.