Whiskey

Pappy Van Winkle Tradition

Pappy Van Winkle TraditionAs someone who drinks bourbon on a daily basis the idea of the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition cigar was an exciting event for me. Whether it had anything to do with the whiskey itself really didn’t matter it was the idea that a blend had been made for us whiskey drinkers and gotten the seal of approval from Julian Van Winkle himself. I might have been a little over zealous in texting photos to everyone I knew once I got them using the unicorn emoji and #bejealous but like I said I was excided. (What can I say, my friends and I are all immature.)

Willy Herrera made this particular blend during his tour of the Drew Estate factory in Nicaragua while deciding to join the Drew Estate team. Several other blends where given to Julian to sample and ultimately this was the one he found himself going back to and like that the Tradition was born. Now that we have the quick history behind it, on to the important stuff.

Construction of the cigar is solid as is the case with pretty much anything you get from Drew Estate. The seams on the wrapper are tight and even and the feel of the cigar throughout the body is full with no dead spots. The wrapper itself has very minimal veining giving it a smooth complexion. The color is a light roasted coffee bean with a just a hint of the oily sheen you’d expect from an Oscuro. The feel of the cigar is full but yielding to pressure between the fingers

The smell from the body is woodsy and semi-sweet. From the foot there is the distinct smell of raisins, leather and, perhaps it’s my imagination because of the excitement but bourbon as well. I choose a straight cut for this cigar and the cap comes off easily and has no effect on the integrity of the cigar. The pre-light draw is firm but not to the point that you feel you’re fighting with it. The pre-light flavor is that of fresh brewed tea and hay.

It lights easily and burns evenly as it starts with mild resistance on the draw. The cigar produced plenty of smoke that had a light mouth feel and had a nice sweet scent. The initial flavors to me were spice and pepper with a citrus finish but remained mellow making this an easy to smoke cigar and paired well bourbon. This flavor carries on for the first half of the stick.

The second half of the smoke shows the peppery flavor becoming slightly more prominent with the taste of fresh bread and hints of leather nudging its way on to the pallet. The ash was light grey and held tightly for the duration of the smoke, only falling off when requested. The burn stayed consistent and even through the duration of the cigar.

The overall construction of this cigar was top notch and the Belicoso size was perfect for me. The flavors were fantastic and were blended to the point that none of the flavors were overpowering but mingle together to as a great smoke. This made for a rich, complex smoke that you could either pay attention to all of the subtle nuances or just sit back and relax and enjoy. Not surprisingly this cigar paired very well with bourbon but could easily be enjoyed with coffee or sparkling water. If you happen to come across these pick up whatever you can because you will not be disappointed.

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro

Filler: Indonesian and Dominican

Sizes: Coronita 4 x 46, Robusto Grande 5.5 x 54, Toro 6 x 50, Belicoso Fino 5 x 50

Also available in these sizes but only available in certain ways.

Churchill 7 x 48: Exclusively available at Drew Diplomat Spirits Retailers

Lonsdale 6.5 x 44: Box Exclusively at Drew Diplomat Rewards Events in October, November and December 2017

Corona 5.5 x 44: Available exclusively from Jonathan Drew and Julian Van Winkle

Price: $21.00-$26.00

Website: Drewestate.com

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints

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Texas Chapter CATS Fest Meet Up

img_0032Heck yeah! If your in Texas or even close to the state you won’t want to miss this one. Texas is having their official annual meet up this year at CATS Fest V in Bulvetde, TX (that’s basically San Antonio). Will be kicking things off Friday May 26th in the evening at the CATS pre-party and of course we’ll really be getting things going on Saturday May 27th at the event.

As usual the La Quinta is home base for everything and where the majority of us will be staying. Information on tickets and booking a hotel are available at the CATS Fest website: Catsfestival.com

For specific information contact your chapter officers and they will give you all the details on when and where we will all be meeting. Hope to see a ton of us out there this year!

The address for the event is:

401 Obst Road Bulverde, Texas 78163

Florida DR Crawfish Boil 2017

Mark your calendars everybody because it’s almost that time of year again. The time for the DR crawfish boil. This year its happening on April 29th at DR HQ S&M Smoke Shop in Fort Pierce. It starts at 5:00 and goes until we feel like stopping. As usual we’ll be supplying the food you bring the booze!

This year we are happy to have Moya Ruiz to be the cigar sponsor for this event and Nelson himself just might be stopping by to party with us. As always there will be great cigar giveaways, raffles and discounts on products. Last year was a great event and we are hoping to make this event even better. Look forward to seeing you all there again.

As always there is a ton of space at Steve and Missy’s and the humidor is always stocked for us!

Here’s the address and phone number for the event:

1001 S US Highway 1
Fort Pierce, FL — 34950
772 801-5104

Turks Take on The Perdomo 12 Year

IMG_2655-2Greetings Distinguished Ruffians! Turk here to give you my two cents on Perdomo Cigars double aged vintage 12 year. The folks over at Perdomo describe the line of cigars as “ A blend of Perdomos finest and most cherished 12 year old fillers, binders, and wrappers, carefully bale aged for ten years and then barrel aged for an additional two years”. That’s right, they barrel aged them in bourbon barrels. This both surprised and intrigued me because I personally had never heard of doing such a process, maybe with beer, but with cigars? Two words came to mind, GAME CHANGER. Enough small talk, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this review, shall we?

The cigar comes in three different wrappers, Sun Grown, Connecticut, and Maduro and also four different sizes, 5×56 Robusto, 6×56 epicure, 7×56 Churchill, and the 6.5×60 Gordo extra. I myself went with the Connecticut 5×56 Robusto. The IMG_2656construction of the cigar was very smooth, with little to no veins and a tight wrap. Before I lit up I gave it a good sniff.  I got scents of bourbon ( of course ) and a very faint almost creamy caramel smell from it, but it still smelled like a “ normal “ cigar as well, meaning that the sweet and bourbon like smell didn’t overpower the tobacco. We all know that some cigars smoke differently.  Some cigars can start out great then get an uneven and difficult pull.  Some cigars can fight you the whole way through. Then there are some that just pull perfectly. This definitely fell into category 3.  It didn’t take much to get the cigar lit, or to keep it going.  Sometimes I would have five-minute intervals between puffs and it would cherry up with no problem. The amount of smoke that I got from just a regular puff was amazing and caught me off guard initially.  Say what you want about me, but I absolutely love a huge cloud of smoke bellowing around me while I’m partaking in a cigar. The flavor of the cigar was equal parts smooth and stout with just enough sweetness for one to notice, I actually was expecting it to be much sweeter than it was and was oh so delighted that it wasn’t. I’d have to say the flavor stayed the same all the way thru the cigar ( I actually nubbed it! ).  It was a pleasant surprise that is tough to find in a lot of cigars.

Overall, I could easily and without a doubt say that the Perdomo 12 year is a “go to“ cigar for when you are in a hurry to get out the door and need to grab a stick, it is guaranteed to please both the novice and seasoned smoker alike. It’s sure to pair well with your favorite beer, wine, or spirit, and for me was a pleasant post meal smoke. It truly stunned me at how versatile this stick is. So if you’re lucky enough to come across one of these bad boys at your local smoke shop go ahead and pick one up. The price is around $11.00 for one stick (price varies slightly depending on size and wrapper) and about $264.00 for a box of 24. I am certain you won’t be disappointed.

Turk signing off, and as always ladies and gents, stay Distinguished but… be a Ruffian. Cheers.

 

Brand: Perdomo Cigars

 

Website: www.perdomocigars.com

 

Rating: 4.5 pints out of 5

Alibi American Whiskey: Good to the Last Drop

IMG_1171Greetings my fellow ruffians, today I’ve decided to give a quick review on one of my favorite libations…WHISKEY! Alibi whiskey to be exact.

For my birthday I was given one of few gifts a man can give another and surely be spot on, a bottle of Alibi whiskey. This instantly became one of my favorite go to drinks. If you are in need of a good three finger beverage to accompany your pipe or cigar or to just tune out the daily grind, then you should consider seeking salvation in this spirit.

When I first cracked the bottle open, I do what I always do and gave it a good sniff. It seemed to me that initially you get a light citrus like aroma along with just the right amount of sweetness and then BAM, the whiskey punch that we all know and love. I always make it a point when trying a new whiskey to put it on the rocks to help open the flavor of the liquor. With that being said the makers of Alibi surely did not disappoint nor did they skimp when it comes to taste.

The taste seemed to be the reverse from the smell, I got the nice whiskey punch with the sweet citrus on the back end, and to me it had just the faintest taste of raisin which threw me for an unexpected (but oh so delightful) loop. I typically save my whiskey drinking for the evening but Alibi could easily be a refreshing daytime cookout beverage. Personally, I feel you can’t go wrong with three parts Alibi and one part cranberry for a great cocktail that is both easy and delightful to drink.

The makers of Alibi truly held to their slogan that “Alibi American Whiskey is a smooth 90 proof American whiskey that is easy to drink, any way you want to drink it.” I will caution you ladies and gents, IT IS RIDICULOUSLY EASY TO DRINK! So as always, partake responsibly and enjoy.

If this review has peaked your interest and you’d like to pick up a bottle, head on over to your local wine and spirit store and treat yourself to a bottle, it’s very reasonably priced at $23.99 per bottle. Cheers mates

Brand: Alibi American Whiskey

Web Address: www.Alibiwhiskey.com

ABV: 45%

Rating: 4.75 pints out of 5