Cigar Review: Liga Privada No. 9


Size: 5×52, Robusto Oscuro

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Brazilian

Filler: Honduran and Dominican

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 24, $212

Grade: 9.0

Drew Estate is no stranger to the cigar business, though he is a fairly new heavy player in the non-flavored arena. Drew’s story is a great one and you should definitely check out his website and read the story. Drew started his company in 1998 by leaving New York for Esteli Nicaragua with the desire to break into the cigar world. His first cigar was the non-flavored La Vieja Habana, released in 1998; this line was put on hold when Hurricane Mitch destroyed much of Nicaragua. And so Drew quickly turned this attention to the Acid line after meeting Scott “Acid” Chester, an artist in the Manhattan and Brooklyn area.

With all the new legislation against flavored cigars, I’m glad to see Drew giving some more attention to other ventures after the great success of his ACID and Natural lines.

The Liga Privada is one of Drew Estate’s newest creations and was originally designed to be a private blend for company president Steve Saka. The blend used for this cigar is very eclectic, with tobaccos from Connecticut, Brazil, Honduras, and the Dominican. This line of cigars is only somewhat limited, with an estimated run of 80,000 per year.

This Drew Estate creation caught my eye at a B&M in Marietta, GA. The wrapper and band were very appealing and drew me in as I was made my way around the humidor.

You can learn more about Drew Estate on their website which is very interactive and you can follow them on Twitter.

Now, let’s get toasted!

Appearance, 1.8:
The first thing that caught my eye on this smoke was the wrapper. Dark brown, minimal veins, and very inviting—it really made this stick appealing. The simple label was engaging as well and complemented the cigar. The cap was little sloppy but the weight was good and the cigar was very firm to the touch. The pre-light aroma was of sweet tobacco and leather with some spice at the foot. The cold draw was very similar but I did pick up a touch of cinnamon in the nose.

Burn, 1.8:
The cold draw was excellent and the characteristics continued throughout the smoke. The medium to light gray ash held well past one inch before I knocked it off and continued to hold well throughout the smoke.  The highlight of the burn to me was the nice even temperature this smoke maintained throughout the first two thirds—very pleasant. It did heat up in the last third but that is to be expected.  No re-lights or touch ups were needed on the Liga Privada at all.

Flavor, 2.7:
The Robusto produced notes of tobacco with a sugary finish on the first puff; the No. 9 is very lively for such a dark smoke. The first third was very smooth with notes of caramel, a hint of pepper, and roasted nuts. The second third continued the nutty flavor but also introduced a cocoa note here and there. My favorite part of the second third was the very full finish, which was almost meaty at times. The No. 9 kept the above profile into the final third but the spice picked up a bit. I was hoping for a more complex transition but it never developed.

Overall, 2.7:
Drew Estate has a good cigar here in my opinion, even with the $9 price point. The cigar is full bodied but will not knock you down in that regard. The nice burn, coupled with the aesthetic qualities and flavor make this one you’ll want to try.

(Total: 9.0)