The Reason All Angel's Envy Bottles Have Corks Out Of Date

Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson could've quietly enjoyed his retirement. After all, he'd created brands like Woodford Reserve and Gentleman Jack during his tenure at Brown-Forman, as well as being honored by his induction into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame and receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from Malt Advocate. Henderson wasn't built that way, though. Instead, he and his son Wes created a new bourbon brand that would become the envy of even divine creatures. 

Angel's Envy was a flight of fancy before it was a brand, as Lincoln had long wanted to experiment with aging bourbon in port casks. When it came time for the brand to roll out the first run, the release date was set: October of 2010. Bottles were designed, labels printed, blends tweaked — all the typical stuff that precedes the release of a brand new spirit, including the designing and printing of corks. As the date approached, Lincoln tasted the whiskey and determined that it wasn't ready and needed a further six months of aging. But what about all those corks printed with 10/10?

The corks are still labeled 10/10 to this day

Rather than throw out perfectly good, if slightly outdated corks, the first bottles of Angel's Envy were sealed using the 10/10 corks when the bourbon hit the market in 2011. The whiskey's maturation in French ruby port barrels leaves a distinctive mark on the bourbon, and Distiller described it as tasting "like an NYC street cart filled with sugar-roasted nuts, caramel-covered raisins, and vanilla."

As far as the corks, you'll still see that they're marked 10/10 on current releases, and Angel's Envy has preserved the marking as a reminder that Lincoln Henderson was "never satisfied with 'good enough.'" Great whiskey requires tremendous patience, and it's not done until it's done, however long that process takes. Though a new generation of Hendersons — Kyle and Connor — now manage the production and aging of Angel's Envy, the 10/10 corks remain to remind fans of the Henderson family's commitment to quality.