By way of background, I am a huge Buffalo Trace Antique Collection fan. In my humble opinion, there is no finer group of Bourbons and Ryes on the planet. I tend to like the barrel proof versions but I really love them all. The craftsmanship of these elixers is unmatched in the spirit world. Unfortunately, they no longer sit on the shelves for months. They are near impossible to get (thank you hipsters!) I was lucky enough to stumble across 5 bottles of the EH taylor Barrel proof and jumped on them. Boy am I glad. I had read that this is very close to the George T. Stagg (not the Jr). I tend to agree. This was perfect. It had such a refined and smooth character. You barely could tell it was north of 129 proof. It did not club you over the head like some higher proof offerings and it was not too heavy, which is my biggest complaint for the Stag, Jr.
This Bourbon offered rich carmel with vanilla undertones. There are hints of orange liqueur. Nose of strong licorice This stuff is so good. A+
I was not sure I was going to pull the trigger on this bottling because of the high tariff ($150). I had read that it was distilled in Indian and put into casks in Kentucky for 7 years. Then they were finished off in more special casks for 3 months. These special casks were used casks from the production of Curacao (an orange liquor). This had me intrigued. Orange and rye has always been a nice combination. So despite the very high price for a 3 month finish, I bit the bullet and made the purchase just before the store closed Christmas eve.
This offering was 103.4 proof, a little less than their normal Rye. My first reaction was too much orange. I did not think it was well integrated with the Rye. I had one of those “why did I buy this moments.” This was just too unbalanced. My next thought was what cocktail can I make with this? Of course that is a lot of money for a cocktail rye. Ouch.
All I could think when I first sipped this High West offering was yum. This Rye based whiskey is very different from all the others. This is not a traditional whiskey having spent time in port barrels. It screams out dessert. It reminded me of a liquid bread pudding with cherries, cinnamon and all spice. Lots and lots of cherries. Some may find it not too their liking or too sweet. I liked it’s uniqueness and pictured sipping this after a large holiday dinner. If you are fortunate enough to track this down, enjoy!
I just opened a bottle of this last night. After a month or so of drinking big bruisers like Stagg, Jr., Whistle Pig and Bookers, Angels Envy was a nice change of pace. I had asked a source to get the special cask strength bottling but I got the regular bottling instead. I am not disappointed. This is a really well made elegant bourbon. There was a smokey earthy element to it that most bourbon’s do not have to go along with a brown sugar and molasses profile. The finish was nice and long. Angel’s envy was not filtered. I like that. Filtering can remove some of the taste and color. .