Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson and his son, Wes, set up a base station at Westport Westport Whiskey & Wine at 1115 Herr Lane in Louisville. They were signing bottles of their recently released Angel’s Envy bourbon.
I stopped by to see what they’ve been up to and hear what others were saying about the product.
Father and son let me in on some other news too.
There was quite a crowd at the shop and many were stopping by to chat with the Angels’ team. Both men and women who sampled the bourbon remarked how smooth it was. And many were having the father-son duo sign the bottles.
The elder Lincoln took some time to chat up some women with wine glasses, trying to convince them his was no ordinary bourbon. It seems he had one of them convinced, but I did not stay long enough to see if he closed the deal.
Angels Envy is a new product by a relatively new company, Louisville Distilling Co. Lincoln retired from Brown-Forman where he had many roles in the whiskey business. He said he was instrumental, for example, in the development of Gentleman Jack, a double filtered Jack Daniels that makes the product much smoother.
Angels Envy is bourbon with a final step added to the aging. After the bourbon has aged in the required charred new-oak barrels, the bourbon is aged another 4-6 months in ruby port barrels.
Wes, who has also worked in the spirits industry and coaxed his father out of retirement to help with the start-up, says the company is looking at three downtown Louisville locations for a permanent distillery operation. He said they expected to have their own place by the end of the year.
Right now the company is contracting with another distillery to produce Angels Envy using Lincoln’s formula and under their supervision.
When Wes had the idea to start the company, “I told him he was crazy,” Lincoln said.
Wes has a number of ideas already for other Angels products. Once they have their own place, they could more easily produce small-batch whiskies or other spirits, he said. One idea might be to produce a brandy.
But the next product you’ll likely see under some form of the Angel label is a 122 proof whiskey. Wow, you may be thinking.
The sample I tasted may change your mind. I was expecting something with lots of alcohol bite. Nope. This whiskey is being aged strictly in port wine barrels. It is therefore, not a bourbon.
Wes is trying to figure how to package the product in the current Angel’s Envy bottle for sales around the Christmas holidays. He says he is considering some special labeling and extras possibly around the neck of the bottle.