ABOUT PAPPY CIGARS
The Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented cigar is a 100% long-filler, premium cigar made totally by hand in very small batches at Drew Estate in Estelí, Nicaragua.
In November 2014, we announced the partnership with Drew Estate for this new Pappy Van Winkle barrel-fermented, premium, handmade cigar. This partnership allows both bourbon fans and cigar connoisseurs to experience a flavor combination that is unique and that will remain consistent throughout each small batch.
Although it is perfect for pairing with any bourbon or whiskey, Drew Estate’s favorite match is with the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye from our family’s Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. The spice notes from the rye bring out the pepper and smoke notes in the cigar.
The strength level of this cigar line is “Medium Plus,” which allows both new smokers and experienced aficionados to enjoy the blend. It’s a well-rounded, sophisticated cigar with body and a hearty expression.
These cigars are sold exclusively by Pappy & Company. Each order features 10 cigars nestled in a lined, custom wooden box. Please be advised that the seal may be cut as they are randomly selected while going through customs. They are hand-rolled and shipped from the Drew Estate factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
FROM SEED TO SMOKE: PAPPY CIGARS PRODUCTION
Drew Estate is known for passion and innovation. Making premium cigars is their “raison d’être” (reason to be). The Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigar is truly a showcase of their expertise.
The story of this historic bourbon-barrel-fermented cigar starts, where else, but in Kentucky, USA. It features Kentucky seed and Kentucky grown tobacco.
Once grown, the tobacco leaves — harvested and carefully selected for the blend — are cured in the traditional Kentucky style via fire curing. We then ship the leaves, used as the wrapper, from Hopkinsville, Kentucky to Saint James Parish, Louisiana. This is where the tobacco undergoes barrel fermentation.
Tobacco produced for premium cigars generally ferments in pilóns, a thick pile of cured tobacco stacked on boards. Instead, our alternative barrel-fermenting process uses car jacks to compress up to 500 pounds of tobacco into a 53-gallon barrel.
The intense pressure is what ferments this Kentucky seed. When you walk into the rooms of the barrel-fermented tobaccos, you immediately smell something very similar to the yeasty smell of a distillery. Once fermented and properly packed up, it's then shipped to the factory in Nicaragua.
Three unique sizes of these handmade premium cigars are produced at the La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. A select team of Drew Estate rollers meticulously craft each cigar 100% by hand.
The Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigar has two wrappers: the Kentucky grown leaf blended over a Mexican San Andres leaf. Jonathan Drew, founder of Drew Estate, calls the process of blending wrappers "tapa negra."
The binder and filler of the cigar are made up of all-Nicaraguan tobaccos, personally selected by Jonathan himself.
Once complete, the cigars are packaged in custom, ten-count, lined, wood boxes and shipped back to Pappy & Company. The final blend is the perfect compliment to any bourbon and a reason in itself to celebrate.
THE VAN WINKLE’S TRIP TO NICARAGUA
In early 2017, our family traveled to Estelí, Nicaragua, home of La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate factory. We were invited by founder, Jonathan Drew, to their annual “Cigar Safari,” a four-day, three-night trip and factory tour. It was so much fun to meet the staff and watch our Pappy Barrel Fermented Cigars being handmade and rolled right before our eyes at their majestic factory.
Drew Estate was a gracious host, and it’s clear that its employees are true artisans. We definitely appreciate all of the work and craftsmanship that goes into each cigar.
Reflecting on our visit, we are so proud to continue this partnership. Both of our companies are dedicated to high-quality, handmade products, and this trip confirmed it for us. The finished cigar is a perfect pairing for our family’s whiskeys, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do.