The Making of the Perfect Blend (Part 1)


At Pappy & Company, we're always on the hunt to bring you new, high-quality bourbon-inspired goods. And for many, the best companion to their bourbon is a fine cigar.

So when a mutual friend Jeff Mouttet, owner of Riverside Cigars and Match Cigar Bar New Albany, introduced the Van Winkle sisters to Jonathan Drew (JD) of Drew Estate Cigars, they were thrilled.

Jeff recalled, “When the Van Winkles' asked me to try to help them find someone to partner with them on cigars, there was really only one answer.” However, JD has quite the personality. Jeff told the sisters, “Ignore the gold grill, the three hats on his head, and the massive amounts of silver all over his neck and fingers. Concentrate on his message and accomplishments, which includes completely revolutionizing the entire cigar industry.” 

When the sisters met JD, they hit it off instantly. Drew Estate is a leader in the industry for using American tobacco straight from Kentucky. With their mutual love of fine bourbon and premium handmade cigars, the Van Winkles' ask JD to create a artisanal craft cigar exclusively for Pappy & Company. Like their Pappy, the sisters' standards were high, but JD accepted the challenge.

Handcrafted With an Artisan's Expertise

When blending the Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigar, JD decided to use Kentucky seed and Kentucky grown tobacco for their rich flavor and as an homage to Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon. JD's team ships the Kentucky tobacco wrapper down to Louisiana where they use innovative, pressure-barrel fermenting to produce the unique and refined wrapper for this, special gift-worthy cigar.

Once fermented, the wrappers are sent to Esteli, Nicaragua, where JD himself oversees the blending process. He personally selected the Nicaraguan fillers blended to stand on its own unique flavors and to also pair with fine bourbons (more of that in Part 2).

In the end, with a tapa-negra Kentucky wrapper, combined with an underlying Mexican San Andres wrapper, JD created a cigar with its own charred-oak flavor complex –enough to satisfy the Van Winkle sisters' standards.

Through a shared journey of passion that spans from Kentucky to Nicaragua, Pappy & Company and Drew Estate stand together with their line of Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars. We are so grateful for this partnership!