Cigar Review: Liga Privada Único Serie Papas Fritas
Liga Privada Único Serie Papas Fritas
Size: Petit Corona (4 1/2″ x 44)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Price: $5.99 MSRP
The Papas Fritas is the latest edition to the Unico Serie, Drew Estate’s limited small batch line that includes such legendary cigars as the Dirty Rat, Ratzilla, the L40, and others. The Papas Fritas is a Petit Corona sold in four count tins. The Papas Fritas is a mixed filler cigar made entirely of the trimmings of the tobaccos used in the Liga Privada brand which are then resorted and cut to uniform size for being wrapped in a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and the same Broadleaf wrapper found on the Liga Privada #9. The writing on the back of the Papas Fritas tin says it all:
Handcrafted entirely from only the chaveta cuts of our extra dark Broadleaf capa and the rare, Grade A1 filler tobacco trimmings created by the production of our famed Liga Privada blends, these coronas are arguably the finest “tripa corta” cigars ever made. What they may lack in beauty they more than make up for in satisfying flavor and aroma. Spicy, rich and delicious, they are named in honor of one of El Jefe’s favorite foods: French Fries!
I was lucky enough to get a few from friends at IPCPR, but they were so good I went through them too fast and it wasn’t until their release in the last week that I was able to smoke a few for review.
But enough about that, let’s toast the foot!
Pre-Light: (1.8) The dark broadleaf wrapper has a few prominent veins and a bit of tooth. The seams are tight and the Papas Fritas feels tightly packed when squeezed. The Papas Fritas features a pig tail at the head. There is no primary band, however there is a foot band with the Unico logo and “Papas Fritas” in font. Despite the mixed filler, I had no issues with filler fall out when removing the foot band.
The scent off the foot very earthy with cocoa , espresso, cherry twang, and a rich barnyard scent. Sweet scent comes off the whole wrapper.
Pre-light draw is really interesting with flavors of aged tobacco, vanilla, nutmeg, oak, and wine….all over the place, not what I expected or remembered from the samples I had at IPCPR.
Burn: (1.9) Burn, draw, and construction are terrific. The ash is terrific and easily holds well past an inch despite the mixed filler. Smoke pours off the small ring gauge cigar. On one of my samples the wrapper peeled at the head a little. The Papas Fritas burns cool to the nub, and it is a smoke well worth nubbing.
Flavor: (2.8) At first light there is good bit of pepper, some cedar, espresso, and a tingly spice. After a few puffs a mild dry cocoa on the appears on the retro-hale. Earth, leather, spice, and espresso all appear in the first inch. Soon after I pass the inch mark I start tasting that charred cherry note that I get from the Liga Privada #9 that I love so much.
Smoking through the second third and the flavors are so rich and defined there are varying amounts of earth, dry cocoa, espresso, pepper, spice and charred cherry, and a moderate spice rests on the palate with the finish. The spice softens up through the second third. The retro-hale, much like the body of the smoke, is jam packed with good flavor.
In the final third the flavors stay rich and the spice continues to recede. The dominant flavor is an rich earthiness along with the intertwined charred cherry, espresso, and a faint dry cocoa. Smoking into the nub the earthiness is the front and center.
Overall: (2.8) The Papas Fritas is a great quick smoke. It offers all the rich flavors and dynamic complexity found in it’s bigger cousins. As a lover of the leaf who often has time restrictions I am really glad that Drew Estate developed and released this blend and I really hope that it’s production level will facilitate regular availability once the initial rush of a new release tempers.
The biggest thing that I keep hearing regarding these cigars, and apparently a point of concern from Drew Estate is how well is a $6 mixed filler cigar going to go over. Frankly, In my opinion, if you are stuck on this idea you are missing the point!
The Papas Fritas is a fantastic mix of all the great flavors found in the Liga Privada line at 1/2 the size, allowing 1/2 the time commitment, and available at 1/2 the price. Well done Steve Saka, Johnathan Drew, and Nicholas Melillo. Well done. If you are a lover of Liga Privada, as I am, you will love these. They are my favorite release since the Dirty Rat, hands down!