All posts by Bourbon Season

Bourbon Hunting is an Extreme Sport

extreme-sportTo someone who’s never been through a bourbon hunt, I can only describe it as one of the most intense, emotional, stressful, rewarding, extreme and exhausting non-contact sports in existence.

Starting in mid-September, bourbon fans across the country begin checking-in daily with local store owners to rekindle lost friendships, lobby for list spots, and work leads on potential delivery dates.  They slowly change their commuting routes to pass a few liquor stores a night, scouting potential new hunting grounds.  To avoid the embarrassment of leaving these scouted stores empty handed, they also start buying stray bottles at each stop.  The debt starts to add up and they don’t even have any of the good stuff yet…but they’re hot on its trail.

Within weeks, they know more about this country’s bourbon inventory than the store owners and distributors combined.

About that same time, a national rinse & repeat headline news story surfaces about the bourbon shortage, the hype surrounding Pappy Van Winkle, how much store owners hate getting bourbon calls, and the insane prices people are paying for rare whiskey.  Pappy renews its reputation as the ultimate accessory and the brand name clothing crew joins the hunt.  The excitement grows.

Then, just before Pappy hits the stores, the news runs a story about a potential lead in the Pappy Van Winkle theft and whips the crowd into a frothy frenzy.  “MUST FIND PAPPY!” they chant as their shivering huddled lines wind through the aisles, out the doors, and around the neighborhoods of potential release sites.

Photos of BTAC and Pappy start popping up on social media with captions like “Look what I stumbled across!” or “don’t like bourbon but heard this was good”.  Hate, jealousy, urgency, and frustration join forces and push the excitement beyond all measurable levels.

Stunned by the level of competition, the bourbon hunters prepare themselves mentally for potential defeat.  They start claiming Pappy Van Winkle is overrated, new bourbon hunters are ruining everything, nobody sells it right, and prices are insane.  They curse the distilleries for not making more, the distributors for favoritism, and the local retailers for ignoring them despite a long history.  Finally, they reach a breaking point, swear they don’t care anymore, and decide to permanently switch to widely available $30 bourbons that are ‘just as good’.

…then they snap back into the game, sneak off to a dark corner of their house, and start calling around for new leads on BTAC and Pappy.

At some point in late October the overwhelming pull of the hunt eclipses virtually everything else and consumes the hunters.  Their normal lives fade into the background as they skitter from store to store and website to website, scanning the aisles for new bottles and the headlines for new leads. Money? Who cares.  Work? Who cares.  Sleep? Overrated.

And then, as if by magic and with a sense of pride that rivals hitting a game 7 World Series walk off home run, they finally find a rare bottle.  They stare at it in disbelief while they slowly swipe the credit card and claim it as their own.  Prize in hand, they shuffle out to the car, buckle it into the passenger seat, and take the long way home…proudly staring at it all the way.  They are emotionally exhausted and utterly amazed at what they went through to reach that point.

When they get home, they take a few bragging photos to post online then immediately hide the bottle away, knowing that it will be a long while before they work up the nerve to open something that took so much dedication, time, and energy to earn.  When the bottle is safely in the bunker, they finally step back, realize how much they missed during the past few months, and swear they’ll never hunt bourbon again.

…and then they get a tip about another bottle.  Game on!

 

Author’s Note: During the fall, we often hear stories about the companies that make the bourbon and the stores that sell it, but we rarely hear about the people who buy it.  I am a bourbon hunter and I thought it would be fun to show another side of the news story.  Enjoy! – Erik

 

Our Best “Ask for Pappy” Store Experiences

It’s a well known fact that most liquor stores hate Pappy season. Starting in mid-October, they get dozens of calls a day from complete strangers asking “is it there yet?”.

It’s also a well known fact that how those stores treat their customers during Pappy season determines how those same customers will treat the stores for the other 11 months of the year.  The stores that see the calls as a chance to build a new customer relationship are getting it right and we want to recognize them.  The stores that see it as an opportunity to make a few extra bucks or express some weird sense of power are getting it wrong and deserve to be called out.

We call hundreds of stores throughout the US and visit a similar number of New England stores in person during bourbon season to get the inside scoop on Pappy, so I think we officially qualify as one of those crazy callers.  We never identify ourselves as phantom finders for BourbonSeason because we want to get the same experience that anyone off the street would get.  In our phantom role, we’ve experienced just about everything.  We’ve had a store owner laugh in our face and we had another one offer us a blind taste test of Pappy next to a few other bourbons to help us evaluate the bourbons for flavor alone.  With all the hype around Pappy in recent years, the market is getting more competitive.  It’s bringing out the best and the worst in the stores we contact.

For now, we’ll highlight a few of our best  “call and ask” experiences for 2014, as calling ahead is the most popular method for hunting down a bottle.  When we get a chance, we’ll talk about some of the best “in-person” experiences too.  And we’ll eventually share a few of the worst experiences that have pushed us to remove the stores from our Pappy hunting grounds entirely.

Here is a running list of our best “call and ask” experiences. 
Hats off to these stores.  They’re doing something special.  If you have any good or bad experiences of your own, please post them in the comments section below too.  Thanks!

 1.  Table & Vine in West Springfield, MA – This was one of the best phone discussions we’ve ever had with a liquor store about Pappy Van Winkle during Pappy season.  Table & Vine is listed as a vendor on the ORVW retailers list (under an older store name) and likely gets many calls about Pappy.  Our initial call was transferred to someone specializing in spirits (off to a good start!) who was very welcoming and eager to help us find a good bourbon.  They took the time to help us understand the Pappy market and spoke honestly about the allocations that they may  or may not receive this year.  They also walked us through their process for selling Pappy if they happen to get it, highlighting that they’ve been looking for a way to give everyone the chance at owning it through raffles, drawings, etc.  We then went on to discuss other bourbons that they do have, highlighting a few good ones and letting us know that they have Michter’s 10yr and Parker’s Heritage Collection in stock right now.  Our phantom finder absolutely loved how this store handled the question and Table & Vine is now on our road trip list to see in person.
A+ for honesty, helpfulness, and service

2.  Ball Square Fine Wines, Somerville, MA – This is a close second for incredible customer experience.  Our phantom finder called Ball Square on rumors that they might get an early allocation of Pappy (they did).  The owner (we think) answered the phone and was more than happy to talk with us.  He said that he only got a few bottles of Pappy and had already sold it on a first come / first serve basis, but he followed that up by explaining the Pappy flavor profile and suggesting that there are many other bourbons that are just as good, and not nearly as hard to find. This little bit of follow-up turned this from an average call into an incredible call.  I can’t tell you how rare it is for a store to engage our callers to help them actually find good bourbon.  This store did, and they did it right.  Ultimately, he narrowed down a recommendation to Prichard’s Double Barreled and suggested that we try it, noting that many good liquor stores carry it all year long.  No heavy sales push.  Just an honest attempt to help us find good bourbon.  All that emerged from a simple “do you have it yet” phone call.  And to be honest, we were aware of Ball Square as a wine store before our call, but they weren’t really on our radar for bourbon.  Believe me, that has been corrected and they’ve now earned a big spot on our hunting grounds list.
A+ for honestly trying to help us find good bourbon.

3.  To be continued…we’re only halfway through the season

 

ABOUT US: BourbonSeason.com started as an underground mailing list shared between a few bourbon lovers who enjoy hunting unique bourbons. We shared tips on store inventories, release dates, events, and prices around New England and the US. Word about our mailing list got out and we started adding more folks (everyone is welcome!).  Eventually it became a little too much to handle as a mailing list so we decided to open it up to the world and created this website to meet new hunters and share our hunting guides with a larger audience in a better way. We’re still building out this site and before too much longer we’ll post all of our full store notes, ratings, statistics, etc., but for now we just have time to share a few highlights.  We do this for fun with no sponsorship.  Nothing you read here is paid content and the stores or bourbons we mention have earned our comments on their own merits, not through any sort of paid endorsement or affiliation.  So…that’s us.  Welcome to our humble little part of the whiskey world and “Welcome to the hunt!”

Report Your 2014 Pappy Purchase for a Chance to Win Pappy Gear!

UPDATE: This contest has ended and winners have been notified.  Thanks to everyone who participated!

We need your tips to improve our Pappy forecast and help other bourbon lovers find Pappy
Please help us out!  Getting details about where, when, and how people are buying Pappy is critical to the accuracy of our Pappy Van Winkle forecasts.  Please share your story with us.  Every bottle you report earns you an entry in a raffle for original Pappy merchandise.  3 Winners will be selected from all entries received between now and 12/31/2014.  Full details and rules below.  NOTE: This is our way of rewarding bourbon lovers who help us out…Old Rip Van Winkle isn’t associated with this in any way.

pappy-merchandise

Please submit one entry per bottle.  Each bottle you buy and report will get you one more entry in the drawing.

Here’s how it works (official rules also provided below for those who love reading lots of rules).

  1. You hunt down and buy Pappy during the 2014 fall Pappy season
  2. You report the purchase using the form above
  3. We pick 3 random winners on December 31, 2014 from all the submissions using random.org
  4. Each of those winners gets their choice of a free Pappy Glencairn Tasting Glass, a Pappy Trucker Hat, or a Pappy Key Chain (one prize per winner)

…oh yeah…and we don’t ever use your email address for anything other than contacting you if you win. We’re also not affiliated with Old Rip Van Winkle in any way and they have nothing to do with this contest.  You must be 21 and a resident of the United States to enter. Prizes are subject to vendor availability and we may need to pick another prize of similar value if needed.  Prizes will only be shipped to locations within the continental United States.  And please, no false entries – we really know this industry and we’ll catch you. 🙂

Please submit one entry per bottle.  Each bottle you buy and report will get you one more entry in the drawing.

 

OFFICIAL RULES

  1. We will randomly select three submissions to win of Rip Van Winkle merchandise with a collective value not exceeding $100.
  2. Submissions that were not randomly selected will not be compensated or awarded in any manner whatsoever, but we will be jealous of their Pappy purchase.
  3. It is only open to those complete the submission form on bourbonseason.com and who are 21 as of the date of entry. The promotion is only open to legal residents of  United States and is void where prohibited by law.
  4. By participating, you agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and you represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements set forth herein. In addition, you agree to accept the decisions of a BourbonSeason.com representative, as final and binding as it relates to the content.
  5.  Entries will be accepted online starting on or about 11/01/2014 and ending at 12/31/2014. All online entries must be received by 12/31/2014 11:59PM EST.
  6. How to Enter: The promotion must be entered by submitting an entry using the online form provided on this site. The entry must fulfill all promotion requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are not complete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of BourbonSeason.com.  You may enter only once per bottle purchased and you must fill in the information requested. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If you use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of BourbonSeason.com
  7. Prizes: Winners will receive their choice of either a Pappy Glencairn Tasting Glass, a Pappy Trucker Hat, or a Pappy Keychain with an approximate retail value not exceeding $40.  Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by the Sponsor. No cash or other prize substitution permitted except at Sponsor’s discretion. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes shall be the sole responsibility of the winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by winners is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for BourbonSeason.com to use winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.
  8.  Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  9. Winner selection and notification: Winners of the promotion will be selected in a random drawing on Random.org under the supervision of the Sponsor. Winners will be notified via email to the email address they entered the Sweepstakes with within five (5) days following the winner selection. BourbonSeason.com shall have no liability for a winner’s failure to receive notices due to winners’ spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for winners’ provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If the selected winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 15 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and releases as required, prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.

The receipt by winner of the prize offered in this Sweepstakes is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal and state laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY ANY WINNER (AT SPONSOR’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN SUCH WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE PROMOTION AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.

  1. Rights Granted by you: By entering this content you understand that BourbonSeason.com, anyone acting on behalf of BourbonSeason.com, or its respective licensees, successors and assigns will have the right, where permitted by law, without any further notice, review or consent to store and use the data submitted.  Once submitted the information provided becomes the sole property of BourbonSeason.com.
  2. Terms: BourbonSeason.com reserves the right, in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Promotion should (in its sole discretion) a virus, bugs, non-authorized human intervention, fraud or other causes beyond its control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or proper conduct of the promotion. In such case, BourbonSeason.com may select the recipients from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by BourbonSeason.com . BourbonSeason.com reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the promotion or website or violates these Terms & Conditions.

BourbonSeason.com has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the promotion, to void votes for any reason, including, but not limited to; multiple entries from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer in excess of that allowed by sweepstakes rules; or the use of bots, macros or scripts or other technical means for entering.

Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the promotion may be a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, BourbonSeason.com reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

  1. Limitation of Liability: By entering you agree to release and hold harmless BourbonSeason.com and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from (i) such entrant’s participation in the sweepstakes and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof, (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware or software; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.
  2. Disputes: THIS PROMOTION IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF the United States of America AND the Commonwealth of Massachusetts WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Sweepstakes, participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Commonwealth of Massachusetts having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Promotion), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

Pappy Van Winkle 2014 Release Forecast

pappy-map-13THIS IS OUR FIRST SHOT AT THIS.  PLEASE GO EASY.
As you may know, we track tons of stats, reach out to industry insiders, stalk stores, and crawl the internet to collect data to help regular whiskey lovers find great bourbon at retail prices.  We’re working diligently to add all of our data to the website and although this map isn’t quite done, we figured we’d post it given that we’re in November.  The map is intended to help people get a ballpark guess about when Pappy will arrive so they can prepare their campouts.  We should also note that this is our first time ever publishing this map, so please take it easy on us, as we’ll probably miss the mark on a few key forecasts.  It’s a lot like sports betting.  We’re playing the odds, but reality doesn’t always match up.  In any case, we’re sharing our guesses.  Good luck!

THIS IS EXTREMELY EXPERIMENTAL.  READ THE WARNINGS FIRST.
WARNING #1 – This is based on real data, but we run that data through our voodoo mathematics calculator  (where we consider things like shipping days, population sizes, bourbon consumption volumes, previous release dates, control state status, overall liquor sales, demographics, discussions with psychics, etc.) to get a likely release date range.  So, much like the weather prediction, we’re probably going to miss some…and we’ll likely improve the forecast as the dates approach.

WARNING #2 – This is our first year publishing this forecast map outside of local friends and family, and frankly, there’s not enough data to make our guesses statistically valid…yet.  In future years, we expect to have enough data to refine our forecast.  In any event, we’ve used it in previous years for personal predictions and it was about 60% accurate so we figured we’d share it.

WARNING #3 – This is not based on any actual data from Buffalo Trace or ORVW.

WARNING #4 – I should also note that the # of cases per state is our best guess based on bourbon consumption, sales, and population in each state.

So…there you have it.  Now on to the details of our forecast.  The blue lines represent the likely date ranges for the release of Pappy.  The red dots show the actual release dates.  States with missing historical data are blank or listed as not having enough data.  If anyone has any additional data or information to help us improve our maps, please let us know!  As new data comes in, we’ll refine the forecast.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE FORECAST

(the release map will open when you click the link above.  You may need to click again on the image to zoom in to a level where you can see your state.)

UPDATES
11/3 – We will likely be pushing a few states out a week.  The North Dakota launch was odd and caught us off guard so we’re adjusting this years model.  We’re trying to get a few more sightings to help us make the tweaks.

11/4 – We hit on Kentucky and South Carolina, but missed on Kansas.  Sorry Kansas!

11/5 – We hit on Tennessee and missed on Arizona.  Sorry Arizona!  The Arizona delivery is Young’s Market – probably means California and Washington come in a little earlier too.  We’ll monitor and update if it looks like it’s heading that way.

11/6 – We hit on DC (barely!) and New Hampshire.  We’re pulling in the MA dates too.  Note: New Hampshire is waiting list only – you won’t see it in the state-run stores.  But they did confirm it’s in central warehouse.  If you’re in New Hampshire, the Exit 6 store in Nashua maintains the list.  You can join in person or over the phone.  List is full for next year too, but might be able to get some the following year.

11/7 – We got Ohio right.  Delaware is out so we updated our forecast for New York and Minnesota

11/10 – We got Rhode Island right but were a little early on Michigan.

11/15 – We missed by a tiny bit on Michigan and Mississippi and by a lot for Missouri (sorry guys!).  We shifted Colorado and Iowa out.  We hit on Maine, Alabama, South Dakota, and New Jersey

Thomas H. Handy

rye whiskey BTAC Thomas HandyThis uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey is part of Buffalo Trace’s popular Antique Collection (BTAC) and although it is still hard to get a bottle, it is generally easier to find than the other offerings in the BTAC lineup. That said, you will need to work for this bottle.  It’s rare to wander into a store and find this on the shelf.  It is typically reserved in back rooms for well known customers, included in rare whiskey raffles, or posted on Facebook and sold immediately.  They generally release between 8,000 – 11,000 bottles a year, allocated by state and then distributed to retailers.  Some states and retailers hold on to the bottles until Pappy releases and then offer them for sale to Pappy raffle winners.  Early release bottles (2006 – 2008) and the 2013 world whiskey of the year winner tend to be the most prized in this lineup.

Producer’s Description: Named after the New Orleans bartender who first used rye whiskey in the Sazerac Cocktail, this uncut and unfiltered Straight Rye Whiskey is bottled directly from the barrel, just as it was over a century ago. Full of rich flavors, this authentic American rye whiskey is a symbol of the timeless history of New Orleans and the legacy of Thomas H. Handy.

Producer:  Buffalo Trace Distillery
Release Category: Premium, Limited-Edition
Release Frequency: Annual
Releases to Date:  10
Release Season:  Fall
Release Volume:  8,000 – 11,000 bottles annually
Release Region: Primarily US
Sell Out Timeframe:  Immediate (usually waiting list or lottery, but occasionally shows up for sale in some smaller stores)
Bottle Size:  750ml
Nickname: THH, “Handy”
Avg. Price Retail:  $100
Avg. Price Among Whiskey Traders:  $175 – $250
Avg. Price on Secondary Market:  $250+
Trading Value:  High

Releases
2016 – 11,945 bottles produced  (release letter)
2015 – 10,825 bottles produced (est.); 4,000 – 5,000 bottles remaining (est)
2014 – 8,304 bottles produced (est.); 4,000 – 5,000 bottles remaining (est)
2013 – 8,364 bottles produced (est.); 2,000 – 2,500 bottles remaining (est)
2012 – 8,688 bottles produced (est); 1,000 – 1,500 bottles remaining (est)
2011 – 7,332 bottles produced (est.); 750 – 1,250 bottles remaining (est)
2010 – 10,704 bottles produced (est); 750 – 1,250 bottles remaining (est)
2009 – 9,408 bottles produced (est); 250 – 750 bottles remaining (est)
2008 – 4,080 bottles produced (est); < 100 bottles remaining (est)
2007 – 3,372 bottles produced (est); < 100 bottles remaining (est)
2006 – 4,464 bottles produced (est); < 100 bottles remaining (est)

Awards
2014 World’s Best Rye Whiskey – World Whiskies Awards
2014 Best American Rye Whiskey – World Whiskies Awards
2014 Gold Medal, American Rye Whiskey 7 Years and Under – World Whiskies Awards
2013 World Whisky of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
2013 Rye Whisky of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
2013 Best Rye – No Age Statement – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
2013 Liquid Gold Award – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
2012 Rye of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible`
2012 Rye of the Year – No Age Statement – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
2012 Gold Medal – 94 rating – BTI International Review of Spirits
2011 Double Gold Medal – Best Rye Whiskey – Best in Show – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2011 Excellent
2011 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
2011 Whisky Advocate Magazine rating: 93
2010 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2010 Excellent-Strong Recommendation – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
2009 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2008 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2008 Gold Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition
2007 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2007 Gold Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition

Notice a Mistake?
Let us know!  Submit a comment with your suggested correction.

angels envy cask strength

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength

Angels Envy BourbonIt’s very hard to get your hands on a bottle of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength bourbon, as there aren’t many bottles in circulation and those that are only make it to a few select states.  It’s typically released in October/November/December and available in November/December/January for a suggested retail price around $170, although we’ve seen retailers charge as much as $300.  It’s one of those bourbons that often goes to a store’s best customer or into raffles in popular bourbon areas, so you’ll need to put in the legwork to earn this bottle.  If you’re in a lukewarm bourbon state, you may find a bottle or two sitting on store shelves into late January.

It’s relatively rare to find a prior batch bottle due to the extremely low release volumes, although they do surface occasionally in the secondary market.  The First Edition (2012) is considered a unicorn bottle.  The Second Edition (2013) and Third Edition (2014) are a little less valuable, but still in demand.  Signed bottles and bottles in well preserved cases have more value to collectors.  Splitting was relatively common on the collectible case that accompanied the bottle in 2014 and is not an indication of mishandling.

The 2015 bottle is considered the best tasting release so far, but it also marks a shift in opinions for this rare bourbon.  In early 2015, Bacardi Ltd. purchased Angel’s Envy, taking this from a boutique brand associated with the famed Lincoln Henderson to a corporate brand with no ties to bourbon history. The hard core bourbon community’s enthusiasm for this brand dropped significantly when this happened, as did the secondary value of these bottles.  While this is still a great tasting bourbon that is actively hunted, it isn’t as prized as it once was.

Producer’s Description: “The world’s highest rated bourbon.  Period.”  Perfection is a patient man’s game. So we waited until Angel’s Envy reached the perfect level of maturity. It can take years for a barrel to reach our Cask Strength standards. Then we aged the spirit in ruby port wine casks until we tasted a previously undiscovered sweet spot. Finally we stopped waiting and started enjoying. Angel’s Envy Cask Strength is unlike any bourbon you’ve ever tried. We judge only a handful of barrels exceptional enough for our lengthy ruby port cask finishing process, and we only release it at the end of every year. The result? Even at 123 proof, every sip is rare and worth savoring. A remarkably complex and unfiltered bourbon, we suggest you enjoy it neat or with just a splash of water to release the flavor nuances, and perhaps with a few friends who appreciate outstanding bourbon. Angel’s Envy Cask Strength was worth waiting for. Now it’s worth sharing.

Producer:  Louisville Distilling Company (now owned by Bacardi Ltd.)
Type: Non-Producer Distiller (NPD)
Age: Made from 4 – 7 year old sourced bourbons (finished in port barrels)
Release Category: Super-Premium, Limited-Edition
Release Frequency: Annual
Releases to Date:  4
Release Season:  Fall
Release Volume:  6,000 – 7,000 bottles
Release Region: Select US States
Sell Out Timeframe:  Immediate (typically pre-sold/pre-claimed/one day on shelf)
Bottle Size:  750ml
Nicknames:  AECS, Angle’s Envy CS, AECS w/ Release (ex. AECS2), AECS w/ Date (ex. AECS 2013 or AECS13)
Avg. Price Retail:  $180
Avg. Price Among Whiskey Traders:  $180 (no box) – $250 (with box)
Avg. Price on Secondary Market:  $250+
Trading Value:  7/10 (first release is 9.5/10)
TTB ID: 15070001000122
DSP Codes: DSP-KY-20022
UPC Code: 00850047003058
Mash Bill: 70-73% corn, 15-20% rye, and the balance malt
Finish: Finished in 59 gallon ruby port casks

Releases
2014 – 6,500 bottles produced, MSRP $169, 15 US states (CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MI, NJ, NY, OR, TN, TX, WA)
2013 – 4,200 bottles produced, 100 – 500 bottles remaining (est), MSRP $149, 8 US states (CA, FL, IL, KY, MA, NY, TN, TX)
2012 – 600 bottles produced,  < 50 bottles remaining (est), MSRP $149, 2 US states (KY, TN)