Alright, so we wanted to take a second look at a bad first impression. As everybody has always chased that allusive Pappy Van Winkle, one of the hosts had luckily won a bottle during Indianapolis Bourbon Fest last December. As a true gentleman and whiskey drinker, he gave that bottle of Pappy Van Winkle to his co-host and buddy. Yes, you are reading that correct. As a gift, gave the bottle of Pappy to his co-host.
So, Rob and Eric went through the normal reviews of their bottle of Pappy Van Winkle. We tried to straight, we tried it with whiskey stones and we tried it with local ice. The verdict, pure disappointment. We couldn’t believe the unicorn of whiskey in our eyes was just that much of a disappointment. Did we set our expectations too high? Could we believe that we couldn’t do any wrong with it? Were we just drunk and stupid? Well any of those could probably be the right answer. Never-the-less, the bottle of Pappy has sat in our recording studio since that faithful day.
Well, we decided that it was time to break out the bottle of Pappy Van Winkle on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and fire it up with a cigar and give it a second chance. No microphones, no true review conversations just two pals arguing about Cubs and Cardinals while drinking some whiskey and smoking a cigar. Let us set the mood. We are smoking an Isla del Sol from Drew Estates (we are at Rob’s house and that is one of his favorites), we have Pappy Van Winkle (12 year) sitting at room temperature sitting in our beautiful Glen Cairn whiskey glasses and the sun is shining. Can we pick a better day for a whiskey and a cigar?
As I said, we were smoking a pair of Isla Del Sol “Robusto” Cigars from Drew Estates. If you had drank with Rob in the past, we are sure you would have found a few of these in his traveling humidor. Reason being, they have a great sweet taste on the light and mellow out completely over an hour or so smoke. Burns fast but keeps a great flavor during the entire burn of the cigar. We thought this might help the pairing of the Pappy during this review. Of course, we could completely be wrong yet again and be disappointed with the whiskey.
Now, bring on the pappy. This wasn’t going to be watered down, this wasn’t going to chilled down with whisky stones but it was going to be poured and drank how it was meant to be.. That and honestly, we didn’t want to do a full review on the whiskey. We just wanted to try the whiskey again as normal, everyday guys but weren’t trying to do a review. If we keep saying that, it might be true. Well on the pour, we had that perfect caramel look of the whiskey in our glasses. The same great look that we had the first time we went down this road. We noticed that it did have some great hints of spices when we gave it a spin. Almost the same comment we made before when we tried it out but made the mistake of saying it was almost like a “Rye” because of the spices. Mistake #1 because we both love spices.
Now it is on to the face that the Cardinals are in first place for a hot minute and the Cubs are barely over .500 and we are just sipping and arguing like two guys would do at the sports bar. Touching back up our cigars while we are going through our first round with honestly a different sort of response and approach with our Pappy this time. When you are just drinking with your friends, you don’t overly care what you are drinking and when they are talking a bunch of crap, you need that extra alcohol to tolerate their constructive criticism on your favorite baseball team. What we did agree upon, the whiskey wasn’t as bad as we remembered. We aren’t changing our disappointment level by anymeans but we are willing to give it a second chance.
That second chance made us look past that spice flavor that we smelled upfront, it made us look past the iconic name in whiskey and honestly it made us look past our humbled ways and enjoy the whiskey for what it is.. Charred and aged barreled whiskey produced in the United States. As we said, we aren’t going to give you a review on the whiskey but set a story. Maybe in the future, we will talk more about this story and give you a full review on our second chance at Pappy Van Winkle.