Rich Meade via the Stogie Review Fan Forums
Today I’m doing the Liga Privada No. 9 by Drew Estate.
Drew Estate is synonymous with infused cigars. But the Liga Privada is a far cry from the fruity, herbal concoctions that the company is most known for.
This cigar was created for the President of Drew Estate, Steve Saka, During the creation of this cigar, 10 starting blends were created, then expanded to 4 unique blends within each starting blend. For you math majors out there thats a total of 40 blends. Sanka didn’t find what he was looking for till they got to blend #9 (after 32 different cigars).
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf (ligero)
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Hoduran and Dominican
Size: 6 x 52 Belicoso
Drinking: Sweet Tea and Water
The cigar is dark, oily and lumpy. I believe DE classifies this as an Oscuro wrapper. Its well made, and is tightly packed with no soft spots. You can clearly see the ligero in the filler with the naked eye. There are a couple veins that protrude slightly, but I don’t expect them to be a problem.
The wrapper has a sweet syrupy cedar smell to it, and the foot as well, but adds a touch of smokiness. The cold draw is quite firm, and gives me hints of cumin, maple, and the smokiness I mentioned earlier.
The first couple puffs are smooth, and fruity. The smoke is slightly sweet on the tongue and the finish lingers for a bit with more of the sweet flavor. There are some fruity notes to start, along with a toasty tobacco flavor. The flavors are what I would call delicate. They aren’t hammering the palate but are easily found. Through the sinuses is fairly easy, with only a slight burn, and give notes of cherry, and occasional nutmeg.
The sweetness of the smoke seems to have increased slightly, leaving a thick syrupy finish. Flavors are maintaining the fruity characteristics with what I would now call raisins, or more specifically dates. The character is still silky smooth, with little spice on the palate. There are occasional notes of coffee and chocolate, but they are easy to miss. The burn line is has nothing to complain about. Its not super sharp, but really has no significant issues. The ash really very strong, but a clumbsy maneuver on my part caused it to shift into a wonky position (see photo).
The draw is still a little tight, but I think is helping slow down my rate of consumption, which is probably a good thing considering I feel a slight buzz coming on already.
The flavors have changed up slightly since the 1/3. There is a little more chocolate and coffee to be found, as well as a more distinct cherry note. The smoke is still pretty sweet on the tongue, and is remaining oh so smooth and creamy. The finish is pretty much the same, with a little bit of bitter cocoa thrown in. The burn has been fantastic, not needing any touch ups, and the ash is maintaining it strength. The body of the cigar is what I would call medium-full, leaning more towards the full spectrum. The strength of the stick is definitely in the full range, as per the nice euphoric buzz I have.
Last Bit (1:15):
The after the 2/3 the cigar started to heat up a bit. Because of the tight draw I had to work a little harder to get more smoke. Things turned a little bitter as a result. The flavors really remained consistent from the 2nd 3rd, as well as the character. The cigar did pick up a little spice near the end, but not sure if that is due to the excess heat or not. I went ahead and called it quits with around 2 inches to go, as I’m feeling pretty loopy, and am essentially content with the cigar thus far.
I liked the Liga Privada. Its overriding characteristic is its sweetness. The smoke on the tongue coupled with a nice fruity overtone made for a pleasant experience. The cigar was very smooth throughout and only showed a hint of spice near the very end. The strength of the LP was clearly evident to me, not only did I feel it only after a third, but it was ultimately the deciding factor in me calling it quits earlier than I usually do.
The cigar reminded me of a sweet version of a 601 Green label. It had a lot of the same characteristics, but was decidedly sweeter, no doubt due to the inherent sweet nature of the Maduro wrapper, Brazilian binder, and Honduran filler. Its almost like this cigar was built to be sweet.
Sweet! (as if saying it 8 times already wasn’t enough)
Liked it: Yes,
Buy it again: Yes, I’ll keep a couple around for when I’m in the mood for a rich desert.
Recommend it: Sure, I think most people can enjoy this one, tho it may be a bit strong for some.