Angel’s Envy’s First Japanese Cask Finished Bourbon Is a Stunner

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It took Angel’s Envy‘s Kyle Henderson half a decade of asking around, working the phones, and crossing his fingers to finally get his hands on just a handful of Japanese Mizunara oak casks. “It took a good five years from the concept to actually getting ahold of the barrels and getting them to the U.S.,” he says, ticking off the issues that make this coveted wood so difficult to obtain. “It’s so controlled, the growth of the trees is so slow, it does not like to grow straight, it’s porous as heck so there’s a lot of issues with constructing [the barrels]…”

Working with Mizunara oak (when you can get it) presents a number of challenges, in other words. So when Henderson, production manager for Angel’s Envy distillery, managed to land a few brand new Mizunara oak barrels from a cooperage in Japan, he and his colleagues—two of…

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