While down in Nicragua for Cigar Safari at Drew Estates, Brian and I were handed a bag of cigars which contained some rare releases and prototype blends made by Drew Estate. One of those cigars was the Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Velvet Rat. Described as a larger, smoother Dirty Rat, the Velvet Rat is in the pre-production stages with a limited release at Tesa Cigars in Chicago, IL late last year. As Brian and I lit up the cigar, we were amazed at how chocolaty the cigar tasted. A nice creaminess soonjoined the chocolate note along with some nutmeg spice. An oakiness was intermingled within the other notes, but nothing was as dominate as the chocolate note. Around the mid way point, the cigar developed an espresso flavor to add a bit of bitterness as the creaminess faded away. This cigar was amazing….until we got to the end. The final third of the cigar developed a sour note that, to us, was very distracting. It killed the other luscious flavors, which was a shame because the cigar’s flavors up to that point were epic. I ask Nick Melillo, Grand Poobah of Tobaccos at Drew Estate, about this and he believes the cigars were too humid. I tend to agree. We did received these in Nicaragua, but we did let them sit for about a week in our humidors. Probably should have been longer, but when Drew Estates gives you a rare cigars from their stash, its hard to wait. I’m really looking forward to revisiting these again if they, God willing, come to market. Two thirds of the cigar was absolutely amazing, enough for me to say it would be my favorite Drew Estate cigar. Plus, the size is right up my alley. Chunky lonsdale? Yes, please!
PS – A very special thank you to Nick Melillo for giving us the very informative intro to the review and being a fountain of knowledge for us!