On last day of IPCPR we alway make the rounds one last time in hopes of grabbing some time with people we’d missed. One of those people was Willy Herrera, the man behind Herrera Esteli. After some quick banter, Willy gets us back on track by telling us about the new Pappy Van Winkle Tradition, one of Drew Estate’s three show highlights. There’s a good story behind the cigar. The blend was actually created by Willy while he was on a tour of the Drew Estate facilities down in Nicaragua, well before he started working for Drew Estate. Unlike the original Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve, which is only available via the Pappy & Co. website, the Pappy Van Winkle Tradition will be available in limited quantities through Drew Diplomat Retailers. It will be released once a year (to coincide with the annual release of the bourbon), and the first release will only be 2,300 boxes of each size. Four sizes will be available at DDRP retail accounts: Coronita (4 x 46), Robusto Grande (5.5 x 54), Toro (6 x 50), Belicoso Fino (5 x 50). The cigars will retail from $14.60 to $25, plus applicable taxes.
Willy gives us his take on the journey of the Florida Sun Grown (FSG). Willy created two blends for this cigar, one limited version in a single size, and the other blend, being showcased at the trade show available in four sizes. Though it’s the same Corojo-99 that grows all around Nicaragua, the FSG tobacco is both difficult to work with and distinctive, owing part of it’s uniqueness to the higher sulphur content of the soil in which it is grown. (If you didn’t see our interview with Jeff Borysiewicz make sure you check that out too.)
And then it’s on to the new Undercrown Sun Grown. Willy has been wanting to with Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and the Undercrown Sun Grown was his chance to do just that. This cigar was a team effort to create a blend that could fill the space between the original Undercrown and the Undercrown Shade. In addition to a Sun Grown Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, the blend features a Connecticut Stalk Cut Sun Grown Habano binder and Nicaraguan filler.