What is Angel’s Share
What is Angel’s Share?
Angel’s Share is a term used to describe the proportion of liquid, both water and alcohol, that evaporate through the barrel during the aging process of the whiskey. The liquid evaporates into the ‘heavens’, hence the term ‘angel’s share.’
There are a number of factors which impact the amount of liquid lost; climate (humidity and heat), length of aging and barrel composition.
Dryer conditions tend to make a larger proportion of water evaporate resulting in the spirit strengthening, whereas more humid climates have the opposite effect with more alcohol evaporating which reduces the ABV / Proof. Whisk(e)y aged in hot climates such as Kentucky will be subject to more evaporation than that aged in relatively cold Scotland.
Between 2% and 8% of barrel volume can be lost on a year so higher aged products such as Pappy 23 yield just 3 gallons of drinkable bourbon for every 53 gallons distilled, and the 2017 release of Eagle Rare saw a massive 89.5% loss to evaporation.
Oak, being a natural resource, is inconsistent and some barrels are constructed of wood which is more porous than others.