Angel’s Envy Bourbon Whiskey Cask Strength

Angels Envy Bourbon Cask Strength
Some time in the 1990s bottles of whiskey finished in flavoring casks first landed at our door. They were Bowmore Scotch whiskies, some aged in barrels that once held Oloroso sherry, others spent time in casks that held port or Bordeaux red wine. (Use our search engine to locate our reviews of Bowmore Darkest, Dawn, Dusk, and Voyage.)

Not long afterward, Jameson 1780 Irish whiskey arrived—it too had been Oloroso cask finished.

Bourbon-makers did not take up finishing until more recently. They were content to leave their whiskeys in charred barrels the full-time. Then distiller Lincoln Henderson decided to finish fine Bourbon in port casks—thus Angel’s Envy was born.

We first tasted Angel’s Envy in 2011—and promptly pronounced it terrific. That was the 86.6 proof (43.3% ABV) version. A couple years later,  another critic declared Angels’ Envy the best booze on earth.

Here we have a monstrous incarnation of Angel’s Envy—a whopping 127.9 proof (63.95 ABV). This whiskey is amber tinted red, and is very palatable at full proof. Adding water releases various notes—honey, fig, nuts, corn… There’s a lot of there there. (Rating: Very Good)

Only 8,000 bottles were released to the world. Get one before it’s gone. You can read more at, and you might be able to source a bottle with


Old Grand-Dad Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (80 proof)


Don’t let the orange and gold retro label fool you—at $22 for a 1.75 liter handle, Old Grand-Dad is a grand bargain.

It is a Bourbon with a higher rye content than most of the other Bourbons on today’s market, which gives it a different and less sweet flavor profile. Those who drop cash on Basil Hayden Bourbon should know that Old Grand-Dad tastes very similar. (Both are Beam products, and the Old Grand-Dad pictured on the label is Basil Hayden.)

Like Buffalo Trace and Evan Williams Black Label, Old Grand-Dad 80 proof makes a fine house Bourbon. (Rating: Good)

To see if our retailer can sell you a bottle, click here. Read more at 


Barenjager Honey Liqueur, Bushmills Irish Honey Liqueur, and Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur

Barenjager LiqueurBushmills Irish Honey LiqueurWild Turkey American Honey Liqueuer

The winter cold season is upon us, and we are making toddies nightly. A measure of booze, a slice of lemon (pestle it in the booze), some honey, and steaming water atop it. Simple.

Some time back, we gave a glowing review to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey Liqueur. It works just fine for toddies.

But, JD is not the only honey hooch worth trying. Here are three other options that we have used lately. All of these honey liqueurs might be purchased through our preferred online retailer.

Barenjager (70 proof; $25  bottle) is a classic. It is a nice mixture of sweet honey and intriguing herbs. (Rating: Very Good) Read more at

Bushmills Irish Honey (70 proof; $24) is a new entrant to the market. It shows mild honey and the unmistakable Bushmills’ grainy flavor. (Rating: Good) Read more at

Wild Turkey American Honey: (71 proof; $22) also is fresh to market. It is the most flavorful of the three, with a fat Bourbon aroma and honey playing a distant second fiddle. (Rating: Very Good) Read more at


Old Weller Antique Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 107 Proof

Old Weller Antique 107 ProofThis is a fine Bourbon, and a great Bourbon for the price. We picked a fifth of it up for a mere $24.

At 107 proof, this wheated Bourbon is not for the novice. It is 107 proof and intense. It does not aim for the sweet and gooey Bourbon profile.

In our experience, Old Weller Antique is best served neat, perhaps two ounces at a time, in a shot-type glass.  Add a few drops of water to cut the oomph.

This whiskey chows notes of caramel, burnt apple or apricot, mild vanilla, and barrel. (Rating Very Good)

Both and spoke well, but not fawningly, of it.

Old Weller is made by the ever-impressive Buffalo Trace Distillery of Frankfort, Kentucky.

You may shop for a bottle online here.



Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Limited Edition 2012

Four Roses Single Barrel Limited Edition 201254.7% alcohol—need we say more? Well, sure, a little.

Despite being 109.4 proof, we sipped this 12-year old Bourbon neat with no water added.

The folks over at Bourbon Blog has happy things to say of this whiskey some time back (here). Much to our sadness, only 4,000 bottles were released. I you can find it, it runs about $75 a bottle—but that price is sure to climb as time passes and it becomes more rare.

This whiskey is big and rye-heavy (20%, according to—which means folks who are used to vanilla-thick Bourbons might find this one a bit unfamiliar. As lovers of Old Forester and other rye heavy whiskeys, we adore this one.

It enters the mouth intensely, then reveals a range of notes—burnt orange, barrel char, pear… Delicious. (Rating: Excellent)




Maker’s Mark 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-Year Old

Scotch whisky often draws cheers for being like wine—incredibly diverse.  Whereas a Highland malt (e.g., Dalwhinnie) might mix smoke and fruity flavors, an Islay whisky (e.g., Laphroaig) will be far smokier and throw in iodine and brackish notes.

Pity that Bourbon is only belatedly getting a similar respect.  Per U.S. regulation, Bourbon must have a mashbill that is not less than 51% corn.  That leaves the distiller free to play with the remaining 49%, using varying amounts of corn, wheat, rye…chicken flesh. (Just joking.)  The result, of course, is Bourbons that taste very different from one another.  Different stills, different stillmen, and different aging add all the more diversity amongst Bourbons.

Take Maker’s Mark 46 and W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-Year Old.  Both are wheated Bourbons.  Yet, they taste very differently.

Maker’s 46 is a significant upgrade from the standard Maker’s Mark.  This wheated Bourbon (92 proof) is big-flavored and tastes of toffee, caramel, and vanilla.  It is delicious.  (Rating ****1/2)

Meanwhile, W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-Year Old Bourbon (90 proof) is utterly different.(1) The wheat flavor is much more pronounced, and it is less sweet than Maker’s 46, and shows a nutty flavor. (Rating ****1/4)

And this example only scratches the surface.  Throw a rye-heavy Bourbon like Old Forester into the mix and the tippler can really begin to appreciate the breadth of flavors Bourbon offers.


(1) Chuck Cowdery reports that this 7-Year Old might be going away, alas.

(2) If you are looking to buy these whiskeys online, try this seller.