Angel’s Envy bourbon takes flight nationally

The Kentucky-based distiller will enter the market as a challenger with a campaign focused on its unique finishing process.

ANGEL_S_ENVY_ANGEL_S_ENVY__KENTUCKY_STRAIGHT_BOURBON_WHISKEY_IS (1)After limited availability, Angel’s Envy premium bourbon is expanding its Canadian footprint as a permanent offering.

In 2020, the bourbon brand was available in select on-premise accounts in Vancouver and Montreal.

Angel’s Envy is now available in North America and several other international markets, and is produced by Louisville Distilling Company, a subsidiary of Bacardi.

Originally, the brand was seeded in Canada in allocation and only made available at limited consumer touchpoints, explains Fernando Martinez, brand manager at Bacardi Canada. That first phase of the launch became a success thanks to “Canadian consumers’ inherent interest in bourbon.”

“They’re excited to explore innovations in the space,” Martinez says, adding that this prompted the opportunity to launch the brand nationally with broader availability and increased presence in liquor stores across the country.

Martinez tells strategy the spirit is launching a Canadian marketing campaign by the end of August, with a focus on digital: social, OLV and whisky forums, alongside a public relations campaign. Global creative is going to be adapted to meet Canadian requirements.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based distiller is among the first American whiskey producers to employ a secondary finishing process broadly across its portfolio – aging the product in port wine barrels for months before blending it again.

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To differentiate the product against entrenched category players like Woodfood Reserve, Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek, Martinez says the port barrel secondary finishing – considered a radical concept when the product was first introduced - is a process that adds distinctness and complexity to its flavour profile.

Angel’s Envy was co-founded in 2010 by the late Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson and his son Wes Henderson. The elder Henderson was known for creating notable brands such as Woodford Reserve and Gentleman Jack, the premium version of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey.

According to Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS) data, between between 2018 and 2021, American Whiskey exports to Canada increased by nearly 36%.

Its latest insights reveal Canada is a top bourbon export market for the U.S., ahead of Japan and the UK. The organization’s VP of international trade, Rob Maron, says that he expects the trend to continue as Canadian consumers gravitate to small batch, premium offerings as we emerge from pandemic lockdowns.

This June, DISCUS again invited Canadian bars and restaurants to celebrate National Bourbon Day on the 14th of the month, and in its second iteration, claimed a boost in participation year over year from 200 to 500 registered establishments.

The brand is being supported by Veritas’ Meat & Produce creative division.