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Envious no more

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Angel’s Envy: One of the more heavenly bourbons you’re ever likely to try.

One of the great—and simultaneously not so great on your wallet—things about being a bourbon fan is wanting to try EVERYTHING out there. After all, as I was quick to discover, every bourbon product has its own unique characteristics. (Sometimes, even different bottlings from the same distillery can taste completely different.) So I’ve been hard at work amassing everything I can get my hands on. Expensive, hell yes, but also extremely rewarding.

Except when you really want something that’s not available in your state.

I had the opportunity recently to try a sip of a bourbon called Angel’s Envy at Adam Carmer’s Freakin’ Frog. Adam, as most longtime Las Vegans know, has the country’s (perhaps the world’s) largest selection of whiskeys. His bourbon collection takes up almost half of his space, so that gives you a small idea of how many different types are out there.

Anyway, the Angel’s Envy clicked with me immediately. It was extremely light, but still had a nice “bite” to it. Unfortunately, a sip was all I got. Turns out Angel’s Envy isn’t available in Nevada, and Adam’s supplies were limited.

So, naturally, I became obsessed with finding my own bottle, and not just because the bottle itself is a work of art (the etched angel’s wings on the back are absolutely stunning, and the elegant curved shape of the bottle just screams, “Buy me, now!”)

I got my chance to go hunting on a recent trip to Los Angeles. I was there primarily to go to the F**k Yeah Festival, but on day two I was feeling quite fatigued, so I bowed out, preferring instead to go on a tiny tour of the immediate area. Turns out there was a BevMo! Nearby, so I checked it out.

And there, behind a lock-and-key cabinet, it was. Not cheap by any means, mind you (You’ll probably be looking at a price tag of roughly $50-$60), but when something has been this hard to find, who cares?

Here’s the skinny on Angel’s Envy: Lincoln Henderson, a retired master distiller for Woodford Reserve, started his own operation with his family. (Three generations are involved with this product, and how cool is that?) Here’s the twist you get with Angel’s Envy: After being aged for at least four years, it’s finished in port wine barrels, giving it a fruity quality you won’t find in nearly any other whiskey.

Now, I can hear some of you saying already, “Fruit? Screw that!” But I’m here to tell you, this is still a bourbon at its heart, and a truly solid one at that. At 86.6 proof, it’s extremely easy to sip, and the entire experience—nose, taste, finish—is enjoyable. I would love to share this whiskey’s complexities with others, but until I can find another bottle, the one I have is off limits. Well, maybe if President Obama stops by. But that’s it.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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