I was lucky enough to smoke today’s review as both a pre-release and actual release and recently there was some conversation about the cigar coming off different. I hope to answer that question today at least from my own perspective of things.
According to Steve Saka, Drew Estate’s President, “At this point, we have made 200 or more Liga Privada blends. There are probably 9 or 10 of them so far that are exceptional, however their blends differ from both the No. 9 and the T52 branded cigars. They’re cigars that work as a particular size, such as a lancero or corona, with the blend being unique to that particular vitola. The ‘Dirty Rat’ is a great example of this, so we have decided to introduce this as the first cigar in the Ünico line.”
The “Dirty Rat” is a stout 5 inch by 44 ring gauge corona with a fan-twist finished head utilizing their Stalk Cut and Cured, Connecticut Sungrown Habana capa, which is the same wrapper featured on the Liga Privada T52. That is where the similarity ends, as this is a spicier, even more peppery blend of primarily Nicaraguan tobaccos from almost exclusively the Esteli Valley. Packed in a 12-ct presentation box with a suggested retail price of $12 per cigar. “We realize this is expensive for a small format cigar, however due to the difficult nature and time consuming task of proportioning five different filler tobaccos and hand bunching such a complex recipe into a corona size the cigar’s price is a direct reflection of what they actually cost to handcraft,” adds Saka. “I personally love this cigar, to me it is a direct reflection, taste and body wise, of the greatest Cuban-made coronas I have ever enjoyed, however it is likely too strong for most consumers and it is definitely not for those who are concerned with stretching their buying dollar. This ‘Dirty Rat’ is intended for the connoisseur smoker whose first and foremost concern is enjoying an unparalleled smoking experience.”
According to Drew Estate this cigar will NOT be a limited release.
Cigar: Liga Privada Ünico Serie “Dirty Rat”
Size: 5 x 44
Wrapper: Connecticut Sungrown Habana
Facebook: Drew Estate
Official Site: http://www.drewestate.com/
Appearance and Construction: Oily! That was my first impression of this well rolled cigar. There wrapper is adorned with tiny magnesium pimples which has almost always translated to a good cigar for myself. The stick feature and nice fan tail cap, but I always thought these cigars should have an actual tail to them. Despite the wrapper being the same as the T52, this one felt thinner to me, and more fragile. Over all a nice looking cigar.
Flavor & Notes: I guess this is where you can tell best if the cigar is the same as the pre-release. The foot of the Dirty Rat served up notes of cedar and spice, while the cold draw offered some cedar and spice with a touch of leather. Once the cigar is lit, there is a substantial amount of spice present as well. The first third continues with a a salty sweetness and some dominant leather notes before some cinnamon develops toward the end. The second third of the cigar the cinnamon continues primarily through the nose as coffee notes with a slight mocha as well. The final third of the cigar the coffee notes continued with notes of cedar and nutty finish.
Smoking Characteristics: The burn of the cigar is crisp and clean from start to finish with a dark ash that holds strong for most of the cigar. The draw was flawless but make sure to smoke these slowly otherwise they tend to burn a little hot due to the size. The cigar produced a nice amount of smoke even in the resting position with a nice spicy aroma.
Conclusion: So the question is are these the same cigars as those that were the pre-release and to be honest only Drew Estate knows the answer to that question. Despite that, I feel confident that this is the same smoke that I sampled back in April due to the similar notes. The Dirty Rat has some nice flavor changes and is a complex smoke. The Dirty Rat is a perfect alternative to a full size of the Liga Privada line when you don’t have the time to devote to the regular release sizes. This stick is very deserving of a box purchase.
Price: $12.00 a stick