Angels Envy Cask Strength Bourbon 2023 Review

The 2023 release of Angels Envy Cask Strength Bourbon clocks in at 118.2 proof and it is the 12th edition of their high-end version of their flagship bourbon. Similar to the regular version, the cask strength version is finished in port wine barrels for up to 14 additional months. But rather than adding water to make it the standard 86.6 proof, the special limited-release cask strength version enters the bottle with no added water, i.e. cask strength (or barrel proof). I’ll grab a Glencairn and get to work on this Angels Envy Cask Strength Bourbon 2023 review.

In 2023 Angel’s Envy took on a new Master Distiller named Owen Martin, so this is the first release under his watch.

From Owen Martin, Master Distiller at Angel’s Envy:
We are always looking to push the boundaries of innovation at ANGEL’S ENVY. It was thrilling to kick off my journey with the best-in-class team at the distillery on the 12th Annual Cask Strength Bourbon and the first-ever limited-edition Cask Strength Rye Whiskey. With my deep background in maturing, blending, and finishing whiskey, I’ve been able to share a unique perspective on the ANGEL’S ENVY’S award-winning Cask Strength program, and am looking forward to this next chapter with the brand.

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon is created by the distillery team hand selecting notable barrels of their Kentucky Straight Bourbon (aged 5 – 9 years) from its various rickhouses to be finished for an extended period in port wine barrels from Portugal. And each year’s expression offers a new tasting experience with the familiar base-line flavors, but also, nuances of flavors that are unique to each new release.

What’s notable about the 2023 release is that the bottle itself has received an upgrade in design, but the beautiful wood box that previous releases were sold in is no longer part of the packaging.

For reference and credit to the Angel’s Envy team, the 2022 edition received a Gold from Fred Minnick’s ASCOT Awards, a Double Gold from The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and a Platinum Award and an Innovation Award from the SIP Awards.

Series: Cask Strength series #12 (annual release)
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Finished in: Port Wine Casks
Age: NAS but 5 to 9 years according to their website
Proof: 118.2
Proof Designation: Cask Strength
Filtered Status: Non-Chill Filtered
Mash bill: 72% Corn, 18% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Barrel Char Level: 3
Barrel Entry Proof: 125
Distillery: Undisclosed Distillery(ies) in Kentucky
Company: Louisville Spirits Group
Parent Company: Bacardi Limited
Distilled/Aging Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Master Distiller: Owen Martin
Release Date: 2023
Bottle Count: About 22,656 bottles
MSRP: $230
Secondary Market: $250 – $350
Availability: Low/Rare

Angels Envy Cask Strength Bourbon 2023 Review
Angels Envy Cask Strength Bourbon 2023 Review

My tasting reviews are unique in that I include the notes of several well-known whiskey critics. The hope is that this format will help me and others to explore and expand their tasting experience. After you have taken your own tasting notes, read the reviews and see if there is a flavor note that others discerned that now you can detect as well.


The legs take about 15 seconds for the beads to form, 31 seconds for the first legs to form, and about 64 seconds for the first legs (tears) to fall to the bowl.


Dominate fig, butterscotch, toffee, mocha, ethanol, a hint of Granny Smith apples and apricot, tobacco.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Bourbon Junkies: Smells really bright and clean, grape jelly, toasted oak, wood sugar, a black coffee note, plum, toasted caramel, a light spice or holiday spice. Smells amazing.

Whiskey Raiders: Heavy caramel candies and figs on the nose, this is everything your regular Angel’s Envy is reminiscent of but dialed waaaaay up. Lovely and sweet, with heavy, balancing, spice.

The Whiskey Wash: Oh, this is nice. Warm aromatics of butterscotch, chocolate, vanilla, Cracker Jack and brown sugar.


On the palate, baking spices hit first with notes of cinnamon and white pepper. It is semi-dry with hints of cedar and oak, followed by sweetness in the form of brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, hint of butterscotch. There is a dominate fig note (which I like!) with cocoa, tobacco, coffee.

The baking spices are the dominate flavor profile.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Bourbon Junkies: Grape jelly, dark fruits, baking spices. It coats the entire inside of the mouth. This is really good, nicely balanced. The 2023 is way better than the 2022 version.

Whiskey Raiders: The palate is viscous and rich, natural and complex. With the bump in proof, the viscosity of this whiskey actually settles out nicely, feels more natural and presents tons of fruit and spice blossom. Honey, caramel candies, rich plum and fig, tobacco and cracked pepper jump on the palate.

The Whiskey Wash: This is the stuff made for cold nights. Chestnut, earthy funk, vanilla, oak, sweet toffee, warm spice and pumpernickel bread combine for a decadent taste that lingers into a long, meandering finish to keep your mouth watering.


Long, semi-dry finish with baking spices, black tea, brown sugar, a hint of port.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Bourbon Junkies: Chocolate, grape, plum.

Whiskey Raiders: Long, rich finish. Full again once more with luxardo cherry, bold oak, sweet cream and more baking spice. Really balanced finish that hangs for ages.

The Whiskey Wash: na


The mouthfeel is very nice. It coats the tongue in a silken manner like a beurre blanc sauce, but not creamy like a cream sauce, or full mouth like olive oil (think Jack Daniel’s Coy Hill)

The Burn

4 out of 5. This means that the burn from the alcohol is a bit lower (5% to 9%) than what I would expect it to be. I would guess this to be around 110 proof, not 118.2 proof.

My Rating

Note: This is my rating for my flavor/experience preferences…yours will probably be different! Ratings for each row are 1 – 10. For reference, my current highest rated whiskey is George T. Stagg 2022 at 9.7.

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon 2023 Rating
Nose Punch8
Nose Complexity9
Palate Punch8
Palate Complexity8
Palate Balance7
Finish Punch8
Finish Complexity7
Finish Balance9
Score: 8.0
Tasting Summary

Overall, the Angels Envy Cask Strength Bourbon 2023 release is a very nice pour. For me, it is just slightly spice-forward with the sweetness following the spice and I prefer it the other way around. But that’s just me, and I do still enjoy the bourbon.

Would I purchase a back-up bottle at MSRP of $230…no. For my wallet and flavor preferences, it’s worth the price once.

My Tasting Notes

A blank version of this tasting notes wheel is available in both a color and a black & white version in the member’s area.

Angels Envy Cask Strength Bourbon 2023 Tasting Notes

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