Drew Estate Pappy Van Winkle Tradition + RARE LIGA PRIVADA GIVEAWAY
The giveaway is at the bottom. That being said, I decided to celebrate Fox Cigar’s news by going big! Today’s review is the Drew Estate Pappy Van Winkle Tradition paired with a bottle of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout Regal Rye 2015 Variant.
The Good Stuff:
Drew Estate’s Pappy Van Winkle Tradition is the second release from the Drew Estate/Pappy partnership and made it’s debut at this year’s IPCPR show in Las Vegas. This extremely limited cigar can only be purchased at Drew Diplomat retailers. The Drew Estate press release carried a hefty amount of information on the cigar:
From Kentucky, Julian Van Winkle President of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, “I was invited to Cigar Aficionado’s A Night to Remember by Jonathan Drew in 2016 and was presented with a non-banded, wooden box of cigars with white bands on it that just read “Exclusively for my Friend Julian by Willy Herrera Sincerely Jonathan Drew”. I loved this blend because of its balance, shortly thereafter, my family and I visited La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Nicaragua and I smoked the same blend most of the trip. By the end, I knew this would be the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition.”
Drew Estate is honored to represent the Van Winkle Family with an ultra-premium cigar that reinforces the legacy for one of America’s true living icons, Julian Van Winkle. The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition features an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, Indonesian Binder and aged fillers from Nicaragua and Dominican Republic. From his Wynwood Safehouse, Jonathan Drew President and Founder of Drew Estate notes, “The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition features an ultra-complex combination of extensively aged fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic that are blanketed with a flawless Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. Availability is limited. I am humbled to extend the Drew and Van Winkle friendship, time tested honor, and craftsmanship to Drew Diplomat Humidors across the United States.”
The Drew Estate Pappy Van Winkle Tradition will be offered in seven different sizes: Coronita (4 x 46), Robusto Grande (5.5 x 54), Toro (6 x 50), Belicoso Fino (5 x 50), Churchill (7 x 48), Lonsdale (6.5 x 44), and Corona (5.5 x 44). All except the Lonsdale and Corona come packaged in boxes of 10 running between $14.60 and $25 a stick. The Churchill can only be purchased at Drew Diplomat Spirits Retailers. Both the Lonsdale and Corona are not of sale. The Lonsdale can only be obtained at Drew Diplomat Reward Events in October, November, and December 2017. The Corona can only be obtained personally from Jonathan Drew or Julian Van Winkle. Fox Cigar Bar, a Drew Diplomat retailer, was kind enough to send a few of these our way for review. In case you haven’t heard they recently launched a complete cigar shopping experience on their site! You can check them out and place your orders here. Tell them we sent ya! They should have these in stock as soon as they are released.
Size: 6 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Filler: Nicaraguan / Dominican Republic
Pairing: Goose Island Bourbon County Regal Rye 2015 (Imperial Stout 13.2% ABV)
The Drew Estate Pappy Van Winkle Tradition starts with a gorgeous looking medium/dark brown wrapper. The color is consistent for the most part with small splotches of darker brown scattered throughout the wrapper’s natural webbing in the tobacco leaf. The texture on the wrapper is decently toothy with a bit of grit and a whole mess of oils. The cigar actually leaves a little residue behind as I hold it to examine it. The body of the cigar carries some very mild veins as the wrapper leaf is laid seamlessly over itself leading up to the cigars round, double-wrapped cap. The wrapper feels a bit thing and delicate so I didn’t play with the cigar too much, but it feels firm for the most part with no real signs of soft spots. The cigar is polished off with a red, gold, and white band featuring Pappy Van Winkle’s iconic crest in the front, as well as a secondary band with the word “Tradition” across the front of it.
The wrapper on Drew Estate’s Pappy Van Winkle Tradition gives off some pungent musk, oak, and sweetness while the foot of the cigar carries a bit of dirt, spice, and natural tobacco aromas. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces some soft spice and pepper over honey, grain, and natural tobacco.
The Drew Estate Pappy Van Winkle Tradition starts out with a very natural-forward flavor profile full of honey, spice, oak, earthiness, some soft black pepper, and just a hint of cherry. I am really digging the starting profile of this bad boy. The draw is absolutely perfect as each tiny puff kicks out a huge cloud of thick, white smoke while the cigar pours out stationary smoke like a chimney as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is razor thin, and dead even leaving behind a very tightly compacted trail of white, and light gray ash which held on just over an inch before giving way.
Into the second third of the Drew Estate Pappy Bank Winkle and the flavors have remained consistent for the most part. The spice, honey, and oak lead the charged backed by earthiness, cherry, and even slight hints of pine. The beer I decided to pair with really helps bring out the sweetness and oak. The retrohale is phenomenal as it coats my nasal passage with straight up honey and oak and I find myself doing it more often than any cigar in my recent memory. The burn line is rock solid as I close out the second third with nothing in terms of a nicotine kick.
In the final third of the Drew Estate Pappy Van Winkle Tradition the cigar really takes off. It’s strange saying that as the cigar has been stellar up until this point, but this is the sweet-sport of an already glowing cigar. The cigar has now reach the Medium/Full bodied point and the flavors really start to surround the oak. Oak forward backed by honey, pine, cherry, sweetness, musk, earthiness and natural tobacco. It took me 2 hours to smoke this cigar down to the very tip of the nub. My hands were burning, while my heart was burning for more. I experience no harshness, no extra heat, and only the slightest of a nicotine kick.
Its no secret that I have been a longtime fan of Willy Herrera’s blends, and in all honesty I think the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition is right up towards the top of my favorite cigars that he has made. The flavors are solid, meticulous, complex, and so well balanced without hitting you in the face. That’s something I have always been able to appreciate with his blends and why he fits right in and Drew Estate. The Pappy Van Winkle is an exclusive, limited, and expensive cigar which fits right in with the Pappy branding. In all honesty, I think this cigar is worth the coin. I dropped so much money on the La Palina Goldies and I can easily see myself buying a box of the Traditions as well. If you find them, buy them. They won’t be around for very long. Again, hit Fox Cigar bar for yours. They should be releasing soon.
By now I think that we are all aware of the incredible Bourbon County Brand Stout produced annually, released on Black Friday by Goose Island Brewing in Chicago, Illinois. The Regal Rye variant is the same Imperial Stout, coming in at 13.2% ABV aged in Rye Barrels with Blackberries, Candied Cherries, and Sea Salt Added. The result is a boozy, sweet, sticky, tart, flavor profile with lots of berry, malt, bourbon, oak, and chocolate with an extremely heavy mouthfeel before finishing with more sweetness, tart berry, malt, vanilla, and chocolate. As the beer warms more and more of the berry and booze sneak out. This beer is fantastic and easily one of my favorite variants yet. The beer really helped bring out the cherry, oak, and sweetness in the cigar without overpowering it.
Anyone who has been following our blog for sometime now knows that we have a very strong relationship with Fox Cigar bar in Arizona. Fox Cigar has two locations, one in Gilbert, and the other in Scottsdale. While Jeremy and I make sure to stop in and stock up on cigars whenever we are in town, Fox recently launched a full-on mail order cigar and accessory site. To celebrate, we teamed up with Fox to bring you one hell of a contest! Big thanks goes out to them for sending all these goods our way, to give to you. Up for grabs is:
Drew Estate Ashtray
Liga Privada No. 9 fitted Hat
Liga Privada No. 9 Cutter
Liga Privada L40 Lancero – review here
Liga Privada Dirty Rat – review here
Liga Privada Velvet Rat – review here
My Father Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial The Fox – review here
The giveaway will run between now, and Monday, August 21st when the winner will be announced. It’s a quick one so get on it ASAP! You can enter using the widget below. Must be 21 and over, and located in the US only. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway