Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve by Drew Estate, Robusto

Pappy Van Winkle, Family Reserve by Drew Estate

Robusto, 5.25 x 52
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: USA/Kentucky Fire Cured, Mexican San Andres


Review date 9/30/2015
Reviewer Doc (
Overall 92.4
Review # 1135
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BACKGROUND: The “Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve” cigar is a long-filler, premium hand made, small batch cigar created at Drew Estate in Estelí, Nicaragua. This historic cigar features two distinct wrappers: a Kentucky Fire Cured over a Mexican San Andrés base wrapper. All of this covers a filler and binder of well-aged Nicaraguan leaf. As the name suggests, this cigar was made for pairing with any of the Van Winkle bourbon and rye products, or, in my opinion, with most any bourbon or rye whiskey.

The cigars are available exclusively from Pappy & Co., and come in two sizes. The cigar I’m reviewing is the 5.25-inch by 52 ring gauge Robusto.

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve

TASTING NOTES: On the palate, the Pappy Reserve presented with roasty, toasty, fire-cured goodness. There was plenty of spice including notes of rye and mesquite wood and there was a long, smoky barbecue finish. Retrohaling provided a peppery blast that rocked my nasal mucosa. In lighter doses, the retrohale provided fresh cut oak wood and vanilla notes.

The cigar developed a ratty, uneven burn line that I didn’t fuss about because I attributed it to the breezy, gusty winds outside. Other than that, the construction seemed solid and the draw was ideal.

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve

FINAL THOUGHTS: The Pappy Family Reserve is a great smoke with a lot to offer in terms of complimentary flavors to lovers of fine bourbon and even craft beers. I love the earthy, rustic character of the smoke, which reminds me a lot of the original Nica Rustica (the one that didn’t make it to the retailer’s shelves).

At $13 a stick, this is a pricey cigar, but I believe it is definitely one that all whiskey lovers should have in their humidors. The Pappy weighs in at medium-full in body, flavor and strength and is a cigar with a unique flavor profile from Drew Estate.

I also think the Pappy Reserve will be a good archive selection purchase and should perform well with a few years of aging.

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve

Final verdict: Buy and smoke now or buy and hold. Either way, dram it up with your favorite bourbon or rye whiskey and enjoy the day or evening.



These cigars are resting in their original box inside my Aristocrat M+ cabinet humidor. The active humidification system is set at 68% and the past few months have seen average temperature around 68°F. This is the first of two written reviews of these sticks, which have been resting comfortably for a total of 8 months and 24 days.


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