Tag Archives: fall

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

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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)