Posts Tagged With: Liga Privada

Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat

Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat. Last year I reviewed another Liga Privada Year of the Rat, but that had nothing to do with the Chinese Zodiac calendar. This one does, as it’s a limited edition specifically created for the year. The original comes from 2016 and has a connection to ice hockey and a Drew Estate Cigar Lounge in a hockey stadium.

The 5½x46 Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat hails from Nicaragua. From La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. It follows the same recipe as the other Liga Privada cigars, yet with different crops, vintages, or different tobaccos. So the wrapper is Connecticut grown broadleaf. The binder is Brazilian Mata Fina. The filler comes from Honduras and Nicaragua. But by using different crops, or different quantities of each kind of tobacco, the blend is unique.

At first glance, there is not a lot of cigar to see. Only the top inch, with the flag tail, is visible. The rest of the cigar, below the classic Liga Privada ring, is covered with gold foil. The foot is covered with a blue and golden Limited 2020 Edition ring. When the gold foil is gone, a very dark, almost black wrapper is shown. Leathery looking with a big vein. The wrapper is oily and delicious looking even though it’s rough. The construction feels good. The barnyard aroma is very strong.

The cold draw is fine, with an earthy flavor. That earthiness, combined with herbs and sweetness, is the first taste after lighting the cigar. This blend is smoother than the ones in the sampler. There is a hint of charred wood. But in combination with earthiness, leather, spices, and a little bit of pepper. The dark spices slowly take control without becoming overpowering. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, those flavors. The flavors are quite smooth and this blend seems more subtle than other Liga Privada blends. After a third coffee becomes the strongest flavor. Sweetness is getting stronger as well. In the final third, there is more strength and character. That comes with darker flavors, such as a hint of dark chocolate, pepper, and dark spices. The finally is more peppery with some nuttiness.

I left my office to grab a bottle of water, and when I looked back I saw the office filled with smoke. That’s what a Drew Estate cigar does. The smoke is thick, white, and plentiful. The draw is smooth and the ash is white. The burn is straight. This cigar seems smoother and more subtle than other Liga Privada cigars. It’s medium to medium-full in body, full in flavor. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? If I could, I would. This is everything I want in a cigar. Flavor, balance, elegance, character.

Categories: 93, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Liga Privada #T52 Flying Pig

Liga Privada #T52 Flying Pig. The fifth and last cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I reviewed a lot of Year of the Rat cigars, but not this sampler. The complete sampler went up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke earlier, just as the Ratzilla, the Velvet Rat, and the #9 Flying Pig.

After the success of the Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig, Drew Estate decided to release the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig a year later. The name comes from Jonathan Drew. When he went to Nicaragua to make cigars, people said “he will be successful when pig fly”. So when Drew Estate was successful, JD named a cigar after the disbelievers. The wrapper comes from Connecticut. It’s a Sun Grown Habano that’s been stalk cut. It means that the whole plant is cut and dried, instead of individual leaves. Brazilian Mata Fina makes the binder. The filler is from Honduras and Nicaragua.

As with the Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig, or for that matter any flying pig in the Undercrown line as well, the cool shape gives the cigar bonus points for looks. Drew Estate makes two Flying Pigs and one Feral Flying Pig for the Liga Privada series. Undercrown has three, Sungrown, Shade, and Maduro. The wrapper is even darker and oilier than the #9, with the same leathery, toothy look. The ring is the same design but the gray is brown and the silver logo is copper now. The cigar feels hard but evenly hard. The aroma is slightly dusty with hay, almost like an empty hay shed after the winter.

The cold draw is fine. Once lit the cigar gives coffee, earthiness, dark chocolate, and leather. Dark flavors. The cigar remains earthy and dark, with a hint of dark chocolate. But some spice and sweetness come in as well. The mouthfeel is warm and pleasant. Comforting almost. The retrohale gives notes of roasted nuts. After a third, there is a slight acidity with the earthiness and coffee. There’s also some pepper, but mellow and in the background. The flavors are complex. There is a slight bitterness that hints at dark chocolate or durian without the dark chocolate or durian flavor. Dark spices and pepper are lingering around the corner. Coffee isn’t far gone either. The mouthfeel is turning creamy. The sweetness gains strength, but smokey with an almost meaty mouthfeel. The smoke feels thick, almost textured. With nice barbecue spices. Near the end, the cigar gets more pepper but with a minty aftertaste.

It’s hard to keep the cigar lit in the beginning. But that gets better after half an inch. But once the cigar is burning, it is on. The smoke fills the office and the extraction fan works overtime. The draw is great. The ash is dense and firm. This is an interesting cigar with complex aromas. It is full-bodied and full of flavor. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I smoke this cigar again? I prefer a slightly thinner ring gauge.

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Liga Privada Velvet Rat

Liga Privada Velvet Rat. The third cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I smoked a lot of Year of the Rat cigars during the Year of the Rat. But this sampler wasn’t in our possession back then. It is now, so the complete sampler will go up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke earlier, just as the Ratzilla.

The cigar is the exact same size as the Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla, which we reviewed a few days ago. But the wrapper is different, even though it comes from the same area. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is from higher priming, which means, from higher on the plant. And that equals to stronger, as these leaves are smaller and receive more sun during the growing period.

Just at first glance, you know this is a tasty cigar. A thick, beefy wrapper. Dark, toothy, and leathery with plenty of natural oils. The flag tail is a nice finishing touch to the looks. The simple ring allows the beautiful wrapper to be the center of attention. The construction feels good. A little hard, but evenly hard. The aroma is strong but has a surprising smell of an old wardrobe that hasn’t been opened for a few months. Mixed with some cedar that is.

The cold draw is a little on the easy side. It has an earthy flavor with some sweetness. The cigar has a herbal, spicy profile with a reminiscence of stock cubes. Add some white pepper and you’re there. A sugary sweetness is there as well, with some acidity to bind it all together. In the background, an earthy flavor is showing up. Soon to be followed by a hay flavor. The flavor in the retrohale is sweet but dusty. Slowly the cigar becomes more earthy with milk chocolate. But with a nice twang of citrus, balanced out by sweetness. After a third, the earthiness becomes the dominant flavor. The sweetness grows in strength but there is also some dark spice noticeable. Especially in the retrohale, nutmeg, and cinnamon. That milk chocolate flavor is still lingering in the background. The sweetness is almost raisin-like. The chocolate flavor changes to dark chocolate and becomes stronger. The sweetness turns to vanilla, and the pepper grows in strength. Suddenly there is a honey roasted peanut flavor, unusual but nice. With a balanced dose of pepper.

This is a Drew Estate cigar so the smoke is plentiful. The draw is great. There is not a single complaint about the straight burn either. The cigar is related to the Ratzilla, with the same earthiness. Yet there are subtle differences and this is more of a velvet smoke. So the name is chosen pretty well. The ash is light-colored. This is a cigar that is medium-full in both body and flavor. The smoke time is three hours

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I love this Liga Privada Velvet Rat

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla

Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla. The second cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I reviewed a series of Year of the Rat cigars. But this sampler wasn’t in my possession back then. It is now, so I will smoke this Drew Estate Liga Privada series of Year of the Rat cigars. The complete sampler will go up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke a few days ago.

The cigar is a 6¼x46 Corona Gorda. The wrapper comes from the Connecticut River Valley. It is grown under the full sun, making it a broadleaf wrapper. But as with any Liga Privada, the harvesting and curing of the tobacco are far from ordinary. Instead of each leaf picked by hand, the whole plant is chopped down. And then hung to dry. This method is called stalk-cutting. The binder is a sweet Brazilian Mata Fina. The filler comes from Nicaragua and the neighbor to the north, Honduras.

The cigar looks good. A thick, leathery, dark, and toothy wrapper. The flag tail is a nice finishing touch. The classic Liga Privada ring is simple yet tasteful. The construction feels good. The cigar has a slight wooden aroma, like fresh sawdust.

The cold draw is fine, with a mild spicy taste. After lighting, the cigar gives sweet coffee with red pepper. The flavor palate evolves to leather with cedar, mildly sweet yet with a spicy edge. Complex and interesting. The cigar is surprisingly mellow, with hints of gingerbread. It’s not a Liga Privada powerhouse, even though it’s not tame either. The base flavor turns to earthiness. The sweetness tastes almost like honey. After a third, there is more earthiness with milk chocolate, slightly creamy. The flavor profile remains a mixture of earthiness, leather, wood with some spices and pepper. In the final third, the sweetness gains some strength. But it’s still a very earthy cigar. Coffee makes a comeback though. Earthiness is by far the prominent flavor, without overpowering the dark spices, sweetness, leather, and pepper. The balance is great, resulting in a smooth smoke. The final puffs have a little more sweetness and a little more pepper.

The cold draw is fine, with a mild spicy taste. After lighting, the cigar gives sweet coffee with red pepper. The flavor palate evolves to leather with cedar, mildly sweet yet with a spicy edge. Complex and interesting. The cigar is surprisingly mellow, with hints of gingerbread. It’s not a Liga Privada powerhouse, even though it’s not tame either. The base flavor turns to earthiness. The sweetness tastes almost like honey. After a third, there is more earthiness with milk chocolate, slightly creamy. The flavor profile remains a mixture of earthiness, leather, wood with some spices and pepper. In the final third, the sweetness gains some strength. But it’s still a very earthy cigar. Coffee makes a comeback though. Earthiness is by far the prominent flavor, without overpowering the dark spices, sweetness, leather, and pepper. The balance is great, resulting in a smooth smoke. The final puffs have a little more sweetness and a little more pepper.

The draw is great and the smoke, well, it is a Drew Estate cigar. The burn is beautiful and slow. This cigar is medium-full. Both in flavor and body. It is well balanced. The light-colored ash is dense. The smoke time is three hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I love it

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada Nasty Fritas

Liga Privada Nasty Fritas. The younger sibling of the Papas Fritas. And part of the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. I reviewed a lot of the Year of the Rat cigar releases, but not this sampler. Time to do so.

The cigar is a medium filler. Made from leftover tobacco and clippings of the Liga Privada T52 and Liga Privada #9 production. In that way, this is very similar to the Liga Privada Papas Fritas but in a different vitola. In a cone-shaped 4×52 Pyramid to be precise. The wrapper is from Connecticut and it’s broadleaf Oscuro. The binder is Brazilian Mata Fina. The filler consists of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos.

This is a funny looking cigar. The shape was clear even though the cigar is covered in blue wax paper. But once unwrapped the cone shape with the short, yet stubby, antenna of tobacco at the head makes this cigar sort of a gimmick to see. The construction feels good. The ring is similar to all Liga Privada rings. Small, simple, with the Liga Privada logo and the name of the vitola. Nothing more, nothing less. The wrapper looks leathery and the aroma is leathery too. The closed foot fits the look of the cigar.

Even with the closed foot, the cold draw is easy. The first puffs are confusing. Leather with cayenne pepper. But also sweetness. And a dry, almost dusty mouthfeel. The flavor in the mouth is nice, but the retrohale gives a dry, yet musty wood flavor in the nose. The cigar doesn’t really develop. Once the first dust is settled, it’s mainly spice with leather and wood. Halfway there’s wood with a mushroom flavor, mild leather, some spice, and some pepper. And it’s all tied together with a mild citrus flavor. But everything is mellow, muted. Nothing like any other Liga Privada. The finale is pure and strong leather with sweetness and white pepper.

The draw is very good. And the smoke, well, this is a Drew Estate cigar so the fire brigade probably had a few calls due to excessive smoke clouds over our office, The burn is great too. The light-colored ash is dense and firm. The smoke time is one hour and thirty-five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I rather pay a little extra for a #9 to T52

Categories: 88, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Liga Privada 10 Anniversario

Liga Privada 10 Anniversario. A cigar released late 2018, which actually makes it the 11th year of Liga Privada as the first boxes were sold in 2007. But the packaging changed to the well known 24 count boxes in 2008. Plus new sizes were added that year. For two years, the cigar was a hidden gem, but then it took off to become the household name it now is. With many offsprings to come. T52, Unico series, Undercrown, Undercrown Sun Grown, Undercrown Shade. And that’s without going into all the different blends in Flying Pig sizes, a vitola reinvented by Drew Estate for the Liga Privada series.

Not being based in the United States, we never expected to be able to smoke this cigar. Only 1000 boxes of 10 cigars were released. Yet when we met up with Jonathan Drew in The Netherlands, he passed us a few cigars to smoke. And that included this unicorn. Made with a Criollo wrapper grown in the Connecticut River Valley. The binder is a rare Mexican San Andres Otapan Negro Último Corte. The fillers come from Honduras and Nicaragua. The cigar measures 6×52.

When it comes to looks, this cigar is a perfect 10. A dark, smooth, and oily wrapper. The closed foot. The unique cap, which is a hybrid of the classic pigtail and a flag tail. Add a skinny, contemporary, and slick black and silver ring and you have the best-looking cigar possible. The construction feels great too. And the aroma, it’s like walking into a leather store. Not overwhelmingly strong, but undeniably a leather aroma.

The cold draw is actually pretty good considering the closed foot. The flavors are toasty and spicy. Once lit, it’s coffee. Strong, black coffee, almost like espresso. But there is some leather too and some earthiness. There is a salty undertone. Slowly but surely toast and cedar comes through as well. The coffee remains the base flavor of the cigar, but now with some green herbs as well. Wood and sweetness get stronger, the mouthfeel becomes buttery. There is also a strong dark chocolate flavor. In the second third, the chocolate becomes stronger, it’s smooth, creamy, yet with spice and pepper. The final third still have that chocolate, with some earthiness. But it’s no longer creamy. There is a mild pepper, some spice, some wood, and a little hay. The wood is slowly taking over, but with sweetness. Suddenly the coffee returns, with dry wood, and spices. Sweetness and pepper completely disappeared.

It is a Drew Estate cigar so the smoke is copious. Thick, full, and voluminous. The draw is great. The white, dense ash is firm. The burn is sharp. The flavors are full and strong. The cigar is strong too. But it’s complex, intense, balanced, and full of character. A testament that full body and full-flavor can still be smooth. The smoke time is four hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? That’s impossible

Categories: 94, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat

Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat. Although this is a special one and not released because of the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. This cigar was released in 2016. And it is made for the lounge that Drew Estate opened that year at the BB&T Center in Sunrise Florida. The BB&T Center is the home base of the Florida Panthers, an NHL team. And this Liga Privada Year of the Rat is a commemorative cigar for the 1996 Championship. In 1996, the Florida Panthers won the Stanley Cup, the most prestigious prize in ice hockey. And according to the legend, one of the players killed a rat with his stick in the dressing room before the first match of the season. And then scored two goals. The rat became a good luck talisman for the season, and 1996 was ‘the year of the rat’ for the Florida Panthers.


The 5½x46 Grand Corona was given to us a few years ago by Jessi Flores. Back then, Flores was still part of the Drew Estate family, before venturing out on his own. At one of the Intertabac Trade Shows, Flores shared a few Liga Privada Unico cigars with us. This Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat is made at the famous Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. For the filler, tobaccos from Nicaragua and Honduras are used. The binder comes from Brazil. The wrapper is the famous Connecticut Broadleaf that Drew Estate loves to use. The cigars were sold for $14 per piece and were packed in boxes of 10.


The cellophane was starting to turn yellow by the oil in the wrapper. The cigar looks great, dark and oily. The wrapper looks thick, yet the veins are thin. The cap looks odd, it has a flag tail but the cap is prolonged and looks like a hat on top of the cigar. The regular Liga Privada ring is used, but as always with the Unico series, the text has been altered. This says Year of the Rat. The construction feels flawless. The aroma is strong, oak and roasted coffee beans.


The cold draw is perfect with quite some pepper in the flavor profile. A little salt as well. Once lit there is coffee with a slightly salty flavor. Then there is dark chocolate, the 80% pure type accompanied by some leather and cedar. There is some sweetness, nuttiness, and a mild buttery mouthfeel. After a while, a mild black pepper shows up as well, with some grassy flavors. The flavors then evolve to black coffee, leather, soil with a mild peppery aftertaste. The nut flavor is making a comeback, with the pepper and some sweetness. In the last third, the flavors are pretty much the same. Leather, coffee, wood, dark chocolate, and pepper.


The draw is flawless. The smoke is a classic Drew Estate smoke. Thick, full, white and there is plenty of it. The ash is white and nice. The burn is pretty straight. Because the cigar has aged, the flavors are well rounded while still packing strength. Both in flavor and strength. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I would

number91

Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

Liga Privada Unico Feral Flying Pig

Liga Privada Unico Feral Flying Pig. Ever since the launch of the Flying Pig series, the cigars have been extremely popular. So popular that they became a regular production cigar. It started with the Liga Privada #9 Flying Pig, then the Liga Privada T52 Flying pig and in 2012, Drew Estate released a bigger version. That’s the Liga Privada Unico Feral Flying Pig. A 5⅜x60 version of the Flying Pig with a blend of his own. That’s why it’s part of the Unico series. Unico cigars are Liga Privada blends, tweaks from the #9 and T52 blends but still belong to the Liga Privada family.


Nowadays, almost all Drew Estate blends come out with a flying pig. The three different Undercrowns have Flying Pigs. I reviewed the Undercrown Shade, Sun Grown and Maduro Flying Pigs. But there are Flying Pigs for the Kentucky Fire Cured series and Herrera Esteli blends as well. But there is only one Feral Flying Pig, all the others are much smaller than this Feral Flying Pig. There’s only one illusive Feral Flying Pig Basher, which is a regular Feral Flying Pig with a different ring. That one was released for the wedding of Marvin Samel, one of the Drew Estate founders.

The cigar looks great. The shape is amazing and the pigtail finishes the cigar in style. A thick, oily, toothy, Colorado Maduro colored wrapper with a simple yet clear ring. Just a simple white with light gray backdrop for a dark gray FERAL print. Simple, effective, stylish. On the back of the ring, the Liga Privada logo is printed. There are also a few veins on the backside of the cigar. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is medium in strength. Dark wood, sawdust, and some dark chocolate aromas are coming from the cigar.

The cold draw is great. The flavors from the cold draw are raw tobacco and dark chocolate. At first, the mouthfeel is dry. The bitterness of coffee and soil, with some acidity. The coffee gets stronger while the mouthfeel gets a bit creamy. The Nicaraguan pepper shows up too. Once the burn passes the thinner part of the foot, other flavors start to emerge. The coffee and pepper remain, but there are hints of wood, leather, spices, and sweetness as well. After an inch, a metallic flavor shows up with leather and pepper. The flavors then evolve to oak, leather, tobacco, and coffee. And a slight hint of chocolate in the background. After a third, a mild sweet candy flavor is noticeable for a little while. A rare flavor that I never tasted in cigars before. It’s hard to pinpoint what it resembles, but puffy rice candy comes close. That flavor disappears soon though. Halfway it’s back to espresso, leather and some sweetness. The coffee, leather, and pepper remain the same until the end. The sweetness slowly turns into marzipan.

The draw is great. And the smoke is Drew Estate famous. Thick, full, copious amounts. The burn is pretty straight. The light gray ash is quite firm, yet a bit flaky. This is a full-flavored, full-bodied cigar. But balanced, so it’s not overpowering. The smoke time is four hours exactly

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

number92

Categories: 92, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Liga Privada #9 Belicoso

I remember getting my first Liga Privada, that was back in 2009 on a road trip along the east coast. We had a herf at every stop and one of the guys in Fayetteville, NC, handed me a Liga Privada and said it was one of his favorite cigars. I saw ‘Drew Estate’ on the ring and said NO! NO! but he persuaded me, said it wasn’t infused and a great stick. I smoked it and loved it, a lot. Although it seems that the flavor and quality changed a little over the years due to different years of crops.


There are only a few pairs of rollers that are allowed to roll these cigars and only in a limited quantity per day. If you have been to the Drew Estate factory you probably have seen them sitting in a room apart from the main factory floor. That room is only used to roll the Liga Privada #9 and T52. The #9 is made out of Nicaraguan and Honduran filler, a Brazilian binder and Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The Belicoso is 6×52 sized.


The wrapper looks amazing, dark, oily, leathery, its just a pleasant cigar to look at. The ring is simple yet tasteful, on one side there is the lion shaped Liga logo in silver on a black background while the rest of the ring is off white with gray lettering saying Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and then in a curly, almost hand written, font in black letters Liga Privada #9. The cigar feels well constructed and the shape is beautiful with a little flat head on the belicoso shape. The aroma is unique, its like a fence that has been tarred a week ago, you still smell a bit of the tar but it’s not overpowering anymore.


I cut the cigar, the cold draw is great, spicy and peppery. The first flavors after lighting are coffee and cocoa. After half an inch the cigar is spicy and meaty. The flsvors are dark with a little red pepper. After a third I taste meaty wood with some sweetness, spices and pepper. The cigar taste different than how I remember Liga Privada. A title chocolate shows up too. Halfway the cigar tastes like cedar, herbs and peppery, just like I remember. The final third is cedar, herbs, pepper and carrot. The pepper fases away.


The draw is great and the smoke, I don’t know what Drew Estate is doing to their cigars but they are all smoke bombs, thick, full and white. The dense and firm ash is white as can be. The burn is pretty straight. This is a full bodied, full flavored cigar. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I have some stashed away

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Liga Privada, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

The mancave

I mentioned my mancave a few times, in posts about the swag I received for example and when I showed off my lancero humidor and a few people reached out to me to show the mancave.

The last two days I’ve been rearranging all the swag because I needed to give Cornelius & Anthony the proper prime real estate after the bomb they send me. And because now everything is nice and tidy I took the opportunity to make a little video and shoot some pictures.

Categories: Misc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.