The Reason All Angel's Envy Bottles Have Corks Out Of Date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 successful brands like Woodford Reserve and Gentleman Jack during his tenure at Brown-Forman, was honored with an induction into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Malt Advocate. The master distiller 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 Henderson 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 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, Henderson 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

The Hendersons were anything but wasteful; rather than throwing out perfectly good, if slightly outdated corks, the first bottles of Angel's Envy were sealed using the now out of date corks when the bourbon hit the market in 2011. So that explains the first batch, but why are the corks used in bottles of Angel's Envy still marked 10/10 for current releases?

Angel's Envy shares a slightly sentimental reason for preserving the marking: the 10/10 date serves as a reminder that 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.