2019 Louisiana Barn Smoker Recap
This past weekend we held the 3rd Annual Louisiana Barn Smoker in Convent, Louisiana at L.A. Poche Perique Tobacco in Convent, LA. It was a tremendous event with a crowd over 500 eager to learn the secrets of Barrel Fermentation that make Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve special.
The event started the night before with a VIP dinner hosted by Jonathan Drew at Frenier’s Landing. Guests enjoying freshly shucked oysters, a full course meal and a trio of very special cigars while dining on the waterfront. One lucky guest went home with a gorgeous Pappy Van Winkle Mega Standing Ashtray!
On the day of the event, attendees checked in and received their killer Barn Smoker event bags and swag. Our VIP attendees received their upgraded package including some graciously donated items from our friends at XIKAR. They were able to grab a morning coffee and Tabak Especial at the Tabak booth as they made their way to the main tent. After a rousing speech from Jonathan Drew and crew, guests broke off to the educational seminars.
The first station featured L.A. Poche owner, Mark Ryan, along with Carrie and Louise Van Winkle, owners of Pappy & Co and daughters of Julian Van Winkle. Together they shared the history of perique tobacco and the unique history of barrel fermentation as it evolved and eventually came to be used for the Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Barrel Fermented. Next up, attendees were given a live barrel fermentation demonstration with Jonathan Drew and farm employee Shine. Shine is one of the fastest tobacco strippers in the world, and he showcased how the Dark Fire Cured tobacco from Kentucky is packed into torquettes, small bricks, and placed under immense pressure by railroad jacks in oak bourbon whiskey barrels. Thousands of pounds of pressure are applied, and the tobacco is turned 2-3 times over the course of 18 months before it is sent to La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate to be rolled into the Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve. The final station featured Pedro Gomez walking everyone through the process of frog stripping tobacco, which involves taking out the central vein so the tobacco is split into 2 that are used in making the cigars.
After the stations, guests were treated to a catered lunch of Bayou favorites, and a variety of liquor sampling including an Old Fashioned made from Buffalo Trace and Pappy & Co’s Old Fashioned mix. Guests also could attend a variety of stations including brands such as Undercrown, Herrera Esteli, a nightclub showcasing ACID and finally a rolling demonstration hosted by Ventura Cigar Co.
Barn Smokers not only serve as a method to raise awareness of the American Tobacco Experience but serve as the major fundraiser for Cigars for Warriors. A non-profit 501c3 whose mission is to send cigars to deployed men and women all over the world. In total, we raised over $13,000.00 for Cigars for Warriors! Thank you to all the attendees!
About Drew Estate
Founded in New York City in 1996, Drew Estate has become one of the fastest growing tobacco companies in the world. Under their mantra “The Rebirth of Cigars”TM, Drew Estate has led the “Boutique Cigar” movement by innovating new elements to the tobacco industry with their unique tobaccos and blending styles that have attracted new and traditional cigar enthusiasts. In their Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, the Nicaraguan headquarters, Drew Estate produces a variety of brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Herrera Estelí Norteño, Isla del Sol, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Larutan by Drew Estate, Nica Rustica, Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigars, Tabak Especial, Undercrown, Florida Sun Grown, and Java by Drew Estate.