Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf “High” Mediums
Binder: Plantation Grown Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduras & Nicaraguan
Size: 6.25 x 46 “Lonsdale”
Today we take a look at the legendary Liga Privada Único Serie Velvet Rat.
Many thanks to Drew Estate for the samples.
I read that DE stopped selling the cigars in cellos. Why? The little fan tail had a tendency to come off during the removal of the cellophane. Mine were delivered in cellos and sure enough…one of the fan tails came off.
I have two sticks. There is a definitive difference in color between the two. One is a very dark coffee bean color. The other is more of a medium brown with hints of a caramel hue.
I shall review the darker of the two.
Very nice looking stick. Smooth to the touch. Invisible seams. Very few veins. I don’t know what you call the cap the Liga Privada Único Serie Velvet Rat has. I don’t see striations showing multiple caps. Just seemingly one cap that looks like a beanie with the fan tail. The photo above shows it on the lighter colored stick. It is more visible on this cigar…the difference in colors between the wrapper and the cap.
The cigar is very solid with the proper amount of give.
The cigar band is simple and all DE.
The footer which I could not find on any other reviews says Drew Diplomat. Back in July of 2014, DE announced that “….the “Drew Diplomat” Consumer Loyalty Program, which includes a mobile application for all smart devices, as well as a desktop version. This exclusive new program provides members with the ability to earn Points by checking-in Drew Estate Cigars and attending events at retail locations throughout the world, as well as social networking functions and unparalleled access to La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate.”
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweet paprika, spiciness, chocolate, and cedar.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell more sweet paprika, spiciness, cocoa, cedar, heavy on the cumin, cinnamon, and some sort of fruity sweetness.
The cold draw presents flavors of spiciness, chocolate, paprika, cumin, clove, cedar, and fruit.
The draw is spot on. A ton of smoke fills the room nearly blinding me.
Loads of red pepper. Love it.
Immediately, a slew of flavors: Chocolate, sweetness, creaminess, espresso, caramel, dried fruit, Chinese spices, and some undefined flavors because in the first few puffs, the Liga Privada Único Serie Velvet Rat is super complex. That’s a record in my book.
I don’t know if this cigar has been sitting in a DE warehouse since its release in 2012 but it sure tastes like it. Perfectly aged.
The char line is wavy and I give it some assistance.
Every flavor is very intense. No fooling around happening here. We are dead serious.
The char line is now dead nuts perfect.
Holy shit. This is my first Velvet Rat. This is something the gods smoke.
I’ve never had a cigar start out with such fanfare…no pun intended…and it blasts away at my palate like a 105 cannon.
I bow to the DE organization.
I’ve been careful to review the DE cigar blends I knew I would really like. I did review the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig by Drew Estate (2010) and the Herrera Esteli Norteño. The latter being my fave DE blend. I reviewed several others as well and dug all of them.
Strength is just noodging medium/full body.
The malts shine like a bright star…Coffee Malt, Chocolate Rye Malt, Cara Vienna Malt, and Flaked Rye Malt. (See Malt Chart).
The char line remains perfect. Meanwhile, the filler is packed solid allowing for a very slow smoke.
Transitions are going nuts. I wasn’t expecting this. I knew it would be good. But if it were a current blend, it would be in my Top 25 Cigars of 2015. Which reminds me. I need to compile my list. That will be a bear. A lot of great cigars came out this year.
Smoke time is 30 minutes.
Complexity mixed with a cornucopia of transitions and bold flavors makes for an exciting cigar to smoke.
The undefined flavors from earlier now disclose themselves: floral notes, cappuccino, roasted nuts, charred oak, raisins, black licorice, maple frosting, butterscotch, marzipan, and shaved coconut.
I wish I had a Way Back Machine. Back in 2012, I probably could have afforded a box of these cigars.
Strength is a solid medium/full body.
The spiciness is strong throughout.
But the bus is being driven by the chocolate, creaminess, malts, and the espresso.
Construction is on the money and the char line is just fine. Perfectly rolled.
Age has done wonders for the Liga Privada Único Serie Velvet Rat. While most blends succumb to a world of indifference and tastelessness, this blend has improved exponentially. A rare bird.
I reach the halfway point. Smoke time is 40 minutes.
So this is how rich smokers live. Must be so nice. Before the recession hit in 2008-2009, and I had a high paying gig, I’d spend well over $1000 per month on cigars. I certainly took that for granted.
Now..I rely on the kindness of strangers. I meant to say my readers. But I somehow wanted to get a movie quote in there, Rhett.
This is a true masterpiece of blending. I can’t recollect smoking a cigar this wondrous in ages.
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
I’m going to save my other stick for New Year’s Eve. Now that Charlotte and I are old, we don’t do shit that night. I usually make a nice meal.
This year, we are splurging. There is an upscale Italian restaurant, Casa di Giorgio, we love but can only afford to visit once a year. And that’s what we will be doing this New Year’s Eve. Damn the torpedoes and the hell with the money. We can easily live on Top Ramen for the following week.
The Liga Privada Único Serie Velvet Rat provided me with a helluva cigar experience this morning.
I am so grateful to the folks at Drew Estate for sending me a Christmas present of cigars and a nice ball cap. But especially, two Liga Privada Único Serie Velvet Rats.
There are so many flavors floating in this pool that I now find it indescribable.
The cigar finishes beautifully. No harshness, heat or bitterness. And remains firm to the last drop.
I wish I could direct you to an online store that carries them but, alas, it will take an act of God to find any.
Final smoke time is 85 minutes.
I wrongly accused Jon Huber of making nasty comments on my Las Mareas review. Someone used his email address. Whether he got hacked or not, I will leave that up to him
So sorry Jon.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS
Katman, it’s comments like those from the Crowned Headcases that make me both really skeptical of the idea of “BOTL” that circulates around the Internet, but also really appreciative of those brave few (such as yourself) who call it like they see it. I really do believe that you’re correct in your assessment of Jon and Wes, and I think they (somewhat) stand out from those in the business in how they choose to go after dissenters. Regardless, keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll read as long as we’ve both got the minds for it! (I go through bouts of anxiety and depression and get the same amount of clarity and relaxation as you do from cigars…but I have the added benefit of reading your reviews! Thank you!