Team Cigar Review: Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Toro

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Cigar Details: Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Toro

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
  • Binder: Indonesia
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
  • Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
  • Blender: Willy Herrera
  • Price: $23.60
  • Release Date: October 2017
  • Source: Drew Estate

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is medium brown and has a couple of decent sized raised veins present. The seams are almost invisible as they are smooth and well blended. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. There are two bands with the primary having the iconic image of Julian Van Winkle, Sr. along with gold borders and a red band. The secondary band carries the line name in white with gold bordering on a red band. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of earthiness and light hay. The foot brings a mix of leather and sweet hay. The pre-light draw is a mix of hay and leather along with a mild spiciness on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

Drew Estate’s Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Toro is a great looking cigar. I admit, a part of it is due to my love for good bourbon. But the bigger part (and more technical part) is the look of the cigar. Medium brown wrapper showing great oil content reflects off the Pappy 20 year style bands very well. Seams are tight and veins well pressed. Bunch and roll feels great as there is a uniformed firm give throughout. The head is finished off with a well adhered thick double cap. Nosing the wrapper gives namely barnyard and cedar. Nosing the foot tells dry white pepper and mixed nuts. Cold draw reveals cedar and sawdust.

First Third

The cigar begins with a really interesting mix of wood and spices. At a half inch in, the spices mellow quite a bit as the wood gains a slight char to it. At an inch in, the char goes away and pockets of young/green wood are present which are actually quite pleasant as they are not bitter at all. There is also an underlying creaminess to the whole profile that is very subtle. The retrohale also carries a slightly green wood note. As the third comes to a close, some char returns to the wood. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third has good and fairly generic flavors of cedar, black pepper and faintly creamed mixed nuts. Retrohaling brings forth amplified versions of black pepper, creamed mixed nuts and a slight citrus tang. The finish is on the shorter end of the spectrum with a quick fading black pepper and cedar. Strength and body is a solid medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the slightly charred wood note continues along with some subtle spices and creaminess. The retrohale is still carrying the slightly green wood note. At a quarter inch in, the creaminess goes away and the profile becomes a bit dry. At an inch in, the wood note goes back to the slightly green profile and is not as drying. As the third comes to a close, the wood note loses the greenness again. The strength in this third remained right at medium.

Second Third

The first third’s generic term mentioned takes a turn for the worse, as the profile is now just a generic black pepper and dry wood. There are other notes of semi-sweet creaminess and dried nuts but I have to dig pretty deep to find those notes. Retrohaling is once again the same generic black pepper and dry wood (just elevated versions). Strength and body remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the slight char comes back to the wood while there is still a subtle spice in the background. At a half inch in, the char increases a bit along with some bitterness joining. At an inch in, I begin to get the pockets of the green wood notes and charred notes intermingling. This is how the cigar finishes out. The strength in this third remained right at medium.

Final Third

The last third is the same as the second third. Generic mouth draw notes of black pepper and dry wood. Retrohaling giving intensified versions of the mouth draw flavors. Short finish with namely dry wood. Strength and body is unchanged at medium.

Burn

The ash was pretty flaky throughout the cigar. It also required a touch up in the first third as half of the wrapper didn’t want to burn in a half inch section. The ash held on in one inch increments.

Burn

Burn performance was perfect. Tight ashes averaging 1.5 inch self tapped increments, cool and slow burn, no re-lights or touch-ups sums up the perfection.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar started off with a nice wood and spice combination. As things progressed it settled into a standard woody profile with some char and alternated between this and a slightly green wood note. All in all, it was a pretty standard profile that was enjoyable. While price doesn’t factor into the review score, it warrants mentioning as these cigars carry a price point of $20+. I can only imagine a lot of that is licensing costs back to the Old Rip Van Winkle brand. I would say it’s probably worth giving one a try to see what you think, but in my opinion, the price point is a deal breaker in regards to what the cigar delivers. As always, you really need to make this determination for yourself though.

Aaron
Jiunn
Good Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Good
Average Second Third Average
Average Final
Third
Average
Good Burn Amazing
Amazing Draw Amazing
Average Overall Average

Draw

Just like the burn, the draw was also perfect. Perfect balance of air flow and resistance.

Overall

The Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Toro was overall an average flavor experience centered around too many generic notes (black pepper and dry wood). I remember smoking this exact format earlier this year at IPCPR and enjoying it (although all cigars smoked in the desert heat is heavily discounted). But given proper rest and smoking the samples for review yielded just an average experience. On a side note, I wish I had some Stitzel-Weller Pappy 20 to enjoy. Oh wait I do (sorry, that was sort of mean).

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.90

Cost/Point

$4.00

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.10

Cost/Point

$3.87

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Toro
Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Pappy Van Winkle Tradition Toro

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