I don’t think I’ve reviewed this cigar. It’s been out a long time. So long, that most reviewers sites no longer have access to their reviews any longer. The reason I looked for the cigar is to find out how long other reviewers allowed the cigar to rest before smoking it. Unfortunately, very few reviewers disclose that information; so no harm, no foul.
The blend is considered one of the crowning glories of Drew Estate. I’ve allowed it to humidor rest for almost 6 weeks which should give me some solid insights.
DE emphasizes the stalk cut nature of the wrapper. This means that at time of cutting the plant, the leaf and the stalk are cut as one. And then hung to dry by the stalk. It has an impact on the color of the wrapper which gives it a dark reddish tinge. Very close to the Colorado wrapper.
Liga Privada means “Private Blend” in Spanish. The rollers, in essence, designed this blend to smoke while they rolled. Drew liked it so much that it became a cigar he could market and sell. In fact, a lot of DE blends started this way. Probably frustrating the hell out of the rollers as they had to keep inventing new blends for themselves.
There are two camps. One prefers the T52 and the other the No. 9.
I think someone sent me this stick so I actually don’t really know how much humidor time it had before it got to me.
Construction is gorgeous although I wish the cigar’s wrapper had more oil to shimmer in the sunlight.
Instead, it has more of a matte finish. The wrapper is a dark coffee bean color; almost Oscuro in color.
Seams are invisible with a modicum of veins. The triple cap is a work of art. There is tooth in some places and very smooth in others. This is one of the most articulately constructed cigars I’ve seen.
I clip the cap and find aromas of BBQ meat. Fire cured oak. A strong hickory smell along with a nice brown sugar sweetness. The aroma is so strong that as I began typing this, the aromas wafted gently up to my nose causing me to look down at the cigar I was reviewing. Methinks that the generous person that gifted me this cigar had it stored with Drew Estate MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured cigars.
The hickory collection of aromas overwhelms any other nose sensory elements.
Time to light up.
The cigar storms out of the gate with a complex list of flavors: Leather, spice, coffee, lemon citrus, caramel, and sweetness.
The char line starts out wavy. But no need to panic yet.
The cigar is jammed to the gullets with tobacco. And hence, a very slow smoke. As this is not an inexpensive cigar, I do expect a lot from it. I hope it proves my theory wrong about money over substance in the mystical land of DE. I’m pulling for ya’ buddy.
The char line needs a touch up. Apparently, razor sharp has come and gone with this particular stick.
The black pepper starts its descent to the near bottom of the list. But the flavors of meatiness and burnt oak remain a high point. The sweetness slips a couple notches as well; allowing the earthiness of the cigar to be the tip of the spear.
The crisp burn line returns. Ay, lads…Me hopes it stays this way or some poor bloke will walk the plank.
I have about an inch of sturdy black and gray ash that needs a punch in the face before ti will let go.
Flavors are added and more crystallized: Sweetness, earthiness, cocoa, coffee, cream, burnt oak, spice, citrus (both lemon and orange), and leather.
I gently tap the ash but it will have none of that. It intends to stay right where it is.
Nearing the end of the first third, the cigar explodes into flavor bomb status. Creaminess leads the pack while accentuating the other wonderful flavors. The smoky hickory flavor is gone now. And the spiciness has disappeared. Too bad, I like my cigars with a bit of oomph right to the end. Maybe it will make a comeback in the last third.
1-3/4” of ash gently disembarks the mother ship quietly into the ashtray.
Both my patrons, Atlantic Cigars and BestCigarPrices.com do about the same in terms of savings with about $1.50 from the retail price. CI and Cigar.com are right at the MSRP retail pricing. And being a VIP Club member with Atlantic gets you no additional discounts. DE has made sure that supply and demand run wild on this blend. Keep the quantity low and the demand high; along with the price.
The second third begins. It is a truly spectacular cigar. And all because of the rollers on the factory floor who devised this cigar.
This is truly a high premium cigar. Is it worth almost $15? Of course not. I’ve smoked some great $7-$9 cigars that are just about as good as this stick.
I begin the halfway point. Flavors are subtle now. The spice is gone. The citrus is at the end of the list. The most potent flavors are creaminess, earthiness, sweetness, cocoa, coffee, wood and leather. Not the kitchen list of flavors but absolutely perfect. This is as close to a perfect cigar as I’ve ever smoked.
The strength has been medium bodied from the start.
With 2” to go, there is a flavor explosion. The strength moves up to medium/full bodied.
If any of you dear readers find a place that this cigar can be had for a more reasonable price, please post a link to the store that carries them in the comment section below. We will all thank you.
Thankfully, the jam packed cigar has taken me a good 90 minutes to get to the last third. And now I am just sitting back and enjoying it. And so far, no nicotine.
I highly recommend this cigar. The price point is my only hesitation. Cigar Federation has a cigar made for them by Ezra Zion called The Collective that is a better cigar. The price is $10. If you join CF, you are entitled to different discounts from month to month. For the month of June, it is a 10% discount.
If $15 is too much, I strongly recommend The Collective. Joining CF is free. Right behind The Collective is a brand called “Dante.” Another superb cigar in the $10 region depending on size.
And now for something completely different:
I used to drive Curved Air nuts over this. I would wait for the right moment during a concert and would interrupt the whole thing. I approached the chick’s mic center stage and asked the audience to participate in some fun.
It was called, “Name this Bass Line.” Back in the 60’s and 70’s, bass riffs were more an integral part of a song. And made the song very definable.
So I would play a long list of riffs from “Dazed and Confused” to the Cream’s “Badge.” I must have played two dozen riffs. I could see Darryl’s beet red face on the side of the stage. And afterwards, I got a dressing down from the man, “Who the fuck do you think you are?” That sort of thing.
But next thing I knew, the music papers were writing about this weird phenomena on stage with Phil Kohn the bassist of Curved Air.
The audiences loved it. It gave Sonja a chance to rest her voice. And the others a break. Our manager, Miles Copeland came to see us when we played near London to see for himself because Darryl complained about me to him.
Copeland was in awe how I grabbed the audience…and how the audience went nuts. So he told Darryl to pound sand and to leave me alone. One more nail in my coffin.
Word got out about this little game I played with the audience which took about 10 minutes. After the second song of the night, the audience would chant my name and the music papers gave it a name: “Bass Riff Trivia.”
Oh man, this infuriated Darryl. The other members of the band got a kick out of it and our drummer, Stewart Copeland, got into the swing of things by playing background to my bass riffs.
I became the highlight of the performances. And the longer it went on, the more stage confident I became. The main roadies got behind this and threw tchotchkes into the audience to the first person they perceived as getting the name of the song right first. It was like a bloody carnival.
Miles told us that some of the biggest acts in England were now asking for us specifically to open for them because of my little act. Deep Purple, Pink Floyd (Just once), Caravan, Supertramp, ELP, Uriah Heep, Soft Machine, King Crimson, Camel, Focus, ELO, and Derek and the Dominos…to name a few. Why? Because all of their bassists wanted to get in on the fun.
I never had so much fun on stage..ever. But things got away from me after a while. Other members of the band jumped in ruining the whole thing. They thought they were helping and being cool at the same time. But their over-enthusiasm finally led to the demise of my game.
Darryl, the violinist, and Mick the guitarist egos couldn’t stand to be left out so by now they knew my bass riffs and played along with them totally stealing my thunder.
The whole thing lasted maybe a month before I shit canned it. It had run its course and now back to the regular set list. Which ended, of course, with Darryl playing the band’s theme song: “Vivaldi.” Named after Darryl’s favorite composer. In the middle of the song, we would leave the stage and the putz would do a nauseating solo using every foot pedal at his disposal to make it a “Freak Out” display of ego.
Stewart and I used those 10 minutes or so to go backstage where our most trusted roadie, Beric Wickens, had a pipe full of hash ready to go for us. So Stew and I went back on stage totally fried.
What made it really crazy was that Darryl would now play the song at double time. It was made up of a circle of fifths and if you missed one or got lost, you were fucked. For Stew on drums, it made no difference; but for me on bass it created havoc.
For those interested in what a circle of fifths is, here is a great explanation:
Answer: The circle of fifths is a pedagogical device that illustrates the order in which key signatures add flats or sharps. It could as easily be drawn in a straight line, actually. Starting with C major the key signature has no sharps or flats. Go up one perfect fifth to G and the key of G major has one sharp. For each fifth you ascend from C another sharp is added to the key signature: D major has 2 sharps, A has 3, etc. When you reach C#, though, you need to stop because you now have seven sharps and that’s as far as we go. In the other direction, go down a fifth from C and the major key on that note, F, has one flat. Another perfect fifth downward brings you to Bb major, which has two flats, and so on as before: Eb has 3, Ab has 4, etc. The downward direction ends at Cb with 7 flats.
Tonic note: Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F C G D A E B F# C#
Key signature: 7b 6b 5b 4b 3b 2b 1b 1# 2# 3# 4# 5# 6# 7#
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS