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Four Roses Small Batch Select vs Angel’s Envy: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Four Roses Small Batch Select vs Angel’s Envy in this head to head comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Four Roses Small Batch Select

NoseCaramel, cinnamon, vanilla, oak
PalateCherry, cinnamon, oak and butterscotch
FinishCaramel, baking spice and charred oak
Alcohol content104 proof (52% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toSmall Batch, Four Roses Single Barrel

The Small Batch Select is made from the same mash as the regular Small Batch but is bottled at a higher proof and is not a chill-filtered bourbon.

The process of chill-filtering is made to prevent the bourbon from becoming hazy but some people complain that it removes precious flavors from it.

Select is an emboldened version of the Small Batch, as they share tasting notes in common just that this is more tasty, yet a bit warmer due to the higher proof.

Excellent nose rich in caramel, with a dash of cinnamon, vanilla and a bit of oak coming behind.

On the palate, Small Batch Select offers a generous amount of caramel sweetness, cinnamon and nutmeg and a faint oaky hint.

The finish is long, pleasantly warm, rich in baking spice and charred oak.

Overall, the Four Roses Small Batch Select is a very good pour, quite smooth and sweet with very little burn despite bottled at 104 proof.

It has a nice buttery feel and pleasing tasting notes that make you keep coming back for more.

This bourbon provides more warmth and oak than the Small Batch but nothing that a drop or two of water can’t tune-down.

Hard to tell if it’s worth the upcharge over the regular Four Roses but look into my post: Discover the Best Four Roses so you consider further options.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Small Batch Select:

  • Aged for a minimum of 6 years.
  • This bourbon is a blend of Four Roses’ 10 Bourbon recipes.
  • Introduced in 2019 making the first new brand extension for the brand in 12 years.
  • The Four Roses brand belong to the Kirin Brewery Company headquartered in Japan.

Angel’s Envy

NoseCoconut, chocolate, vanilla
PalateBread, maple syrup, caramel, vanilla
FinishToasted oak, baking spice
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toWoodford Reserve, Basil Hayden’s

Angel’s Envy is not the typical bourbon as it finished it’s aging in port casks. Port is a strong, sweet, typically dark red fortified wine, originally from Portugal, typically drunk as a dessert wine.

The nose has hints not typical of bourbon such as coconut and chocolate followed by vanilla.

On the palate, the Angel’s Envy feels a bit thin lacking in texture. Taste is a little spicy up-front like a red wine, followed by maple syrup, caramel, vanilla and baking spice.

The finish is long and easy, moderately sweet, with hints of toasted oak and baking spice.

Angel’s Envy is an interesting pour. This is different to the hundreds of bourbons I’ve sampled so far. Very smooth with very little to no burn with a maple breakfast vibe and a tad of spice.

Having a bit more proof would make this bourbon a 5-star pour but it’s quite enjoyable as is.

I suggest looking at the Angel’s Envy Rye which is richer and tastier, but pricier.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Angel’s Envy:

  • Aged for 4 to 6 years.
  • Mash bill is comprised of 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malted barley.
  • Earned 98 points from the Wine Enthusiast.
  • Earned five stars from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal.
  • This brand is owned by Bermuda-based Bacardi Company along Grey Goose, Patron Tequila, among several others.

Four Roses Select vs Angel’s Envy: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Four Roses Small Batch Select$60
Angel’s Envy$37

Four Roses Small Batch Select vs Angel’s Envy: Which is better?

Angel’s Envy is sweeter and smoother

WhiskeyAngel’s EnvySmall Batch Select
  • The Angel’s Envy is unique as its tasting notes are uncommon to bourbon due to the finish in Port Wine barrels.
  • It lacks in proof and body, but it’s super smooth and sweet making an easy drinker.
  • Small Batch Select is a proper bourbon, it hits with rye spice but is nicely balanced against caramel and oak notes providing a solid experience from nose to finish.
  • Choose your warrior based on your preferences, a sweet and easy drinker or a spicy and punchy full flavored bourbon.

Personally, I would take the Four Roses as I’m not that fond of sweet drinks and I also like to endure a bit of warmth.