October 01, 2017

Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Belicoso Fino (5 x 50)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show Drew Estate debuted a new limited production blend in the Pappy Van Winkle line called the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition. Unlike the first blend, this one is going to be offered to the company’s Drew Diplomat (preferred) retailers.

The Pappy Van Winkle brand was inspired by Pappy Van Winkle’s bourbon and rye products. In 2015, the company launched the small batch project, the Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve Barrel Fermented. That cigar featured Kentucky Fire Cured tobacco and was only distributed through Pappy & Co.

The new Pappy Van Winkle Tradition is a more conventional blend featuring an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, Indonesian binder, and a combination of aged fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The blend started out as a gift by Drew Estate co-founder Jonathan Drew to Julian Van Winkle, President of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. As Van Winkle explained,  “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.”

The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition will be available to Drew Diplomat retailers in the following sizes: Coronita, Robusto Grande, Toro, and Belicoso Fino.  In addition, a Churchill size will be made available to Drew Diplomat Spirits Retailers. There also be will be two “Not for Sale” sizes in the form of Lonsdale and Corona. The Lonsdale will be an event only cigar for Drew Diplomat Rewards Events in October, November and December 2017. The Corona will only be available personally from Jonathan Drew and Julian Van Winkle.

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Indonesian
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Gran Fabrica)

Vitolas Available
Each size is packaged in 10 count boxes. Pricing is based on box price.

Coronita: 4 x 46 (SRP $146.00)
Robusto Grande: 5 1/2 x 54 (SRP $216.00)
Toro: 6 x 50 (SRP $236.00)
Belicoso Fino: 5 x 50 (SRP $246.00) REVIEWED TODAY
Churchill: 7 x 48 (SRP $236.00 – Drew Diplomat Spirits Retailers Only)
Lonsdale: 6 1/2 x 44 (Not for Sale – Drew Diplomat Rewards Events in October – December 2017)
Corona: 5 1/2 x 44 (Not for Sale – Only available from Jonathan Drew and Julian Van Winkle)

Photo by Drew Estate

For an oscuro wrapper the cigar is a light color; medium brown. It has a light feel in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the cap was good. The initial flavors were  cedar, brown sugar, and a lot of sweet cream. There was very good black pepper rated at an 8 1/2. 

About 2 inches in (16 minutes) the ash is long and still intact. The cigar is burning evenly. The flavors are changing a little. You still have the cedar but now there is sweet, tart cranberry attached to it.  There are still brown sugar notes and now the cream is so heavy it reminds me of white chocolate, so I'm going with white chocolate at this point. The pepper remains very good. The finish is a nice, sweet cream with good lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied at most.

Just past the midpoint (35 minutes) the cigar is going along just as before. This is a vast departure from what you know as a Drew Estate cigar. It is medium bodied at most. The cranberry notes are fading but they are still hanging around with the cedar, brown sugar, and a thick cream instead of white chocolate notes. The pepper remains very good although it has toned down a bit. The finish is unchanged.

The cigar lasted 51 minutes. In the final stages there seemed to be a citrus like flavor attached to the cedar. It had notes of orange citrus instead of cranberry. The brown sugar and sweet cream were still in play, along with a nice amount of black pepper. I would not say this cigar has a coffee base. The black pepper is pretty much the base since it's pretty intense. The finish was unchanged. The cigar is medium bodied at best. If you did not know who made this cigar you would never say it was a Drew Estate cigar. While this cigar had nice flavors it had nothing remarkable. This is a nice, sweet, medium bodied cigar. You can give these a try by going HERE.

Score: 91

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