The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition from Drew Estate features a blend created by Willie Herrera years ago when he was deciding on which cigar would bear his namesake of Herrera Esteli. The Tradition was on of three unique blends that he created during that period and is what Julian Van Winkle fell in love with when he visted La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. Unlike the previous Pappy Van Winkle offerings from Drew Estate, the Tradition is neither fire cured nor barrel fermented.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Vitola: Event-Only Lonsdale (6 ½ x 44)
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Production: Limited Supply
Purchase Link: Pre-Release
Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Review: Oregon
Summary: This long, slender cigar looks and feels like a premium cigar with quality exterior appearances and a good weight for the size. The nose is a combination of baking spice, graham cracker, and dry hay. Flavors of cinnamon, mild cedar, banana nut bread, and tangerine peel all made an appearance early on.
The room smoke from this stick is heady and wonderful. Imagine slightly burned cinnamon raisin toast mixed with aromatic cedar. Later in the cigar, barely detectable chocolate notes arrived followed by a hint of sweetness. The smoke output is very good with a great feel and smell. The burn, while wavy, was still razor sharp. I had to forcibly knock the ash off the cigar, supporting my theory behind the quality.
If You Like That, You Might Like This: If you like this then you like hot cocoa made with Mexican chocolate.
Pairing Suggestion: I'd pair this with a multitude of drinks and think they'd all work. Try water, root beer, a thin stout brew, black coffee or a chocolate milkshake.
Purchase Recommendation to a Friend: BOX. Period.
Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Review: California
Summary: First few puffs: grilled chicken, red pepper, coconut, and corn flakes. Two inches down and there isn't anything exciting happening with this stick. It doesn't taste bad, the flavors are just mundane. The red pepper transitions to a hot sauce on the finish.
Starting the second third and it tastes like chalky chocolate. If anyone wants to use that as a rapper name, just, throw me a shout out or something. Actually it's more like "Mexican Hot Chocolate Lite" because I'm tasting some warm spices in the mix. Ash and burn are top-notch. Oooooooo Butterfinger, now we're talking. I just wish it wasn't so subtle.
My wish was somebody's command because now the Butterfinger is ramping up.
Beginning the final third, Butterfinger went backstage but popcorn has entered the building. I'm thinking I need to eat out more often so that I'm not always likening cigars to junk food. Meh. Maybe if I find a sugar momma. This cigar finishes as it started but with added strength.
If You Like That, You Might Like This: Yoga classes. Sure they're relaxing, but I'd rather hit the weights.
Pairing Suggestion: I have a feeling that a chocolate stout would really knock this out of the park.
Purchase Recommendation to a Friend: Single. Not a bad cigar by any means. But it's like a first date with a nice girl who doesn't have any quirks.
Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Review: Wisconsin
Summary: This smoke started out with subtle notes of nuts and graham cracker, with sweet cream and pepper on the finish. The flavors were delicate and were joined by salt, raisin, earth, leather, and milk chocolate at times. It had a sort of Jekyll & Hyde thing going on: if I smoked slowly (which I usually do), I got interesting and delicate flavors. It was easy to take this smoke too fast though, and that gave a more overwhelming pepper and hints of grass that overshadowed the more subtle notes. I find that to be the case for many cigars, but it was particularly noticeable with this one - it likes to take things slow.
Near the middle, a nice cereal note appeared. Baking spices, oak, cedar, and some mesquite flavors joined the party, too. Flavor-wise, I found this cigar interesting, if finicky.
In terms of construction, the ash just wouldn't fall off. Take this cigar to your next long-ash competition. Or if you want Instagram photos of a long ash? This cigar will have you covered. The draw was good. The burn got pretty uneven several times, but corrected itself.
If You Like That, You Might Like This: Subtle, delicate flavors. Or a bunch of pepper if you're a fast smoker.
Pairing Suggestion: Tea or rum. Maybe a dry white wine.
Purchase Recommendation to a Friend: I'd like to smoke a fiver of these. I found it to be a unique experience.
Participants in this blind review were completely unaware of the cigar they were evaluating until all submissions were received and processed. Each participant was asked to answer a summary paragraph, an if/than statement, a pairing suggestion, and a purchase suggestion. Cigars were provided by Small Batch with only the expectations of candid responses. All pictures, information, and formatting were completed by a Coordinator outside of the reviewing process.