I received a bottle of Angel’s Envy as a holiday gift two years ago. It was pretty good, as is most bourbon that doesn’t come in a plastic bottle. However, the novelty of Angel’s Envy is in its creation. According to the company’s website, Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon is made in small batches of eight to ten barrels at a time, which is aged for up to six years, presumably in normal casks. During the aging process, approximately 5 percent of the liquid evaporates, which is known as the Angels’ share, hence the name. The whiskey is then finished for three to six months in port barrels “made from French oak and imported directly from Portugal.” They also produce a Rye Whiskey which is finished in Rum casks. Nothing on the website mentions the Rye being from Kentucky.
Now Kentucky Straight Bourbon is like Champagne in that there are rules. To be called Champagne, a sparkling wine must come from Champagne and be produced under certain rules. To be called Bourbon, 27 C.F.R. 5 requires that bourbon made for U.S. consumption follow be produced in the United States, be at least 51 percent corn, aged in new, charred oak barrels, and various proof requirements. For rye whiskey, the whiskey must be at least 51 percent rye whiskey, which is why bourbon is sweeter than rye whiskey.
Last year, Mario Aliano and his restaurant, Due Fratelli, Inc. filed suit against Louisville Distilling Company alleging that the company falsely advertised the product as being produced in small batches in Kentucky. According to Plaintiffs, who have also sued Tin Cup Whiskey and Titos Vodka, Angel’s Envy Finished Rye is neither small batch, nor actually made in Kentucky. According to Plaintiffs, the rye whiskey is made in Lawrenceburg, Indiana then finished in rum barrels in Kentucky.
While, I don’t support misleading or false advertising, I do support brown liquor. So in my opinion, the best resolution involves someone getting a couple of free bottles of Angel’s Envy.