It has taken a little while, but recently I was able to cross Drew Estate’s Liga Privada Unico Serie L40 off my shopping list. (Provided I don’t smoke all of them for this review.) I thought about setting these aside for a while and letting them rest before reviewing, but then I decided we’ve waited long enough already. And the last thing I want to see is a Genghis Cruz video of them now that an L40 Tower of Burn is in sight.
The L40’s background has been covered at length all over the cigar interwebs, so we’ll just touch on the basics here. (For the official in-depth scoop, check out the L40 Spec Sheet on the Drew Estate Blog. You’ll see where the ornate wrapper, binder and filler descriptions below come from.) The name, L40 is an abbreviation of the size’s name, “lancero” and its ring gauge. It is also an acknowledgement that the cigar exceeds the traditional 38 ring gauge girth of a lancero. The additional size was needed to house the five tobaccos required to give the L40 the flavor profile desired.
If you have the good fortune to find them at your preferred puro provider, the L40 will be in boxes of 15, running somewhere around $13 per stick, plus applicable taxes. And that about does it, let’s smoke the skinny thing already.
Size: 7 (177mm) x 40
Wrapper: CT River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Habano Leaf
Binder: Plantation-Grown Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: 3 “Extra-Choice” Nicaraguan Cuban Seed
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $13.00
When I got a closer look at the L40, I noticed it wasn’t quite as uniform in appearance as some of the other Liga Privadas I’ve seen. The wrapper had oily, toothy, veiny and rustic look to it that seemed somehow appropriate, and dispels any notion of aftermarket cosmetic improvements. The cigars were also heavier than they look, feeling firm and consistent. I didn’t pick up much of an aroma off the wrapper, faint compost and cedar, but the cold taste had an enticing chocolate, molasses and earth flavor. In short, the cigars looked like they had character, not flaws.
Generally speaking, the L40 performed well in the burn department. Solid, white ashes, even burn lines, good draw and few, if any, touch ups or relights were required. I did have an issue with wrapper cracking in the first third of one cigar, but once past the problem area, the other two thirds smoked just fine. As it was just one case, and considering that I was nearly smoking these right off the truck (and it has been very cold and dry here in Atlanta), it seems fair to give it a pass.
In the first few puffs there was a great savory, aromatic quality to the profile, which consisted of meaty, earthy and chocolate flavors. As the cigar warmed up, the an the dominant earth component developed a pleasant lingering creaminess. At points I picked up pepper, a little char and subtle sweetness.
Creamy earth continued into the second third, and at times it had a bit of a gritty or dusty mouth feel. The profile seemed to get creamier along the way and a little sweeter. Coffee and milk chocolate made appearances, and I noticed a growth in spice.
The L40 was spicier, more savory and meatier toward the end, but the earthiness didn’t going anywhere. As expected, it was the consistent thread that tied the cigar together. There was a sweetness to the spice that I particularly enjoyed as the cigar burned to its conclusion.
The price seems to be in line with all things Liga Privada and I didn’t have any problem laying my money down.
I love just about everything about the L40. I love the flavor, I love the size, I love the look, and I’ve even come to enjoy the river of smoke that pours off the foot while it burns. (You never have to wonder if the cigar has gone out or not.) I don’t even mind the price, which is at the top end of what I’d ordinarily pay for a cigar. The only thing I can think of that I don’t like about the L40 is the difficulty in finding them. If you enjoy Drew Estate’s other Liga Privada offerings, and you like small ring gauges, this is a cigar you should try. If not, please leave them for those of us who do.
Liked It: Yes, box-worthy
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn. (Featuring the Liga Privada River of Smoke!)