When you walk into the small restaurant on Tennyson that houses an amazing Mexican restaurant, your thoughts may turn to the song, “Aye, yai, yai, yai, I want some…bourbon.” Huh? Wait, shouldn’t that be tequila? You can certainly get amazing tequila there like the Don Fulano but El Chingon also has over 20 bourbons. You read that correctly—a Mexican restaurant with a great selection of bourbon.
My curiosity was definitely piqued, so I asked the owner, Lorenzo Nunez, why his tasty little Mexican restaurant has so much bourbon. Being the consummate host, his reply was, “Because my customers like it and just as if they were in my own home, I want them to feel welcome.” Well said, Lorenzo, and even better, you execute it perfectly. It has to be said from the time you walk into El Chingon you are warmly greeted, the food is ah-mazing and the cocktails are tasty.
Let’s get back to the bourbon. Seriously, over 20 bottles that range from Bulleit to Law’s, but today I was interested in the bottle with wings on it—Angel’s Envy. It was inspired from the love of one man, Lincoln Henderson. Mr. Henderson worked for Jack Daniel’s and was the first man voted into the Bourbon Hall of Fame so he knows a thing or two about making whiskey.
Angel’s Envy is hand blended 8-12 barrels at a time and it’s tasted throughout every step of the aging process. Sounds pretty good right?
But wait! There’s more!
Then they age it in ruby port wine casks up to 6 months, sometimes more, just depends on when it’s ready…and of course the angels have taken their share. This actually smooths out that 80 proof and it doesn’t hurt that they age it for up to 6 years in charred New American oak.
Angel’s Envy has the bourbon characteristics you would expect: caramel, vanilla, raisin aromas as well as a little cinnamon and chocolate to add some interest. All of this care and feeding leads to a very smooth bourbon.
Let’s get to the tasting notes…
Neat – very smooth, good balance with a bit of heat
Drop of water – definitely opens up the bourbon and smooths it out
One cube – bolder flavor with a little bite and maintains a good balance
Manhattan – loses heat and melds in with the vermouth and bitters
Overall, I would drink Angel’s Envy with a drop of water. I like how it opens up and still maintains the heat. Besides, as I’m writing this on a plane, the guy in 5F says it’s one of his favorites. You can’t get better than your airplane neighbor endorsing the bourbon I’m writing about.
If you haven’t been to the Tennyson neighborhood in a while, it certainly has grown up and it’s worth the trip if not only to see the growing collection of bourbon at El Chingon. Lorenzo assured me that he is committed to adding more bourbons from all of the country and specifically from Colorado as well (he has a good start with Law’s and Breckenridge). Take a seat on their front porch or their back patio, order the carne asada (because it rocks!) and a glass of Angel’s Envy or the house-made Envidia cocktail, and enjoy a lazy summer afternoon. Chances are Lorenzo will stop by your table to make sure that you’re not only enjoying yourself but that you feel welcome in his home.
El Chingon is located at 4326 Tennyson St. Denver, Colorado