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.