First a big shout out goes to Steve Valle who is one of the reviewers over at Smoking Stogie. About a week ago, out of the blue he decided to send me some rarities, including today’s cigar. If you haven’t check out the work they do over there, be sure to visit them. Top notch photography, great reviews and most of all good people.
The “LP L40″ is the latest cigar floating around from the guys at Drew Estate. Last year they let some dirty rat’s float around the cigar community and the feedback pretty much sealed the deal to release them. This year it is the L40, a lancero and the Ratzilla which is twice as long as the Dirty Rat are working the same circuit. I have heard the Ratzilla is 100% confirmed for the release but the L40 doesn’t seem to be 100% official yet.
The LP L40 is a bit of a departure for Steve Saka who is not a big fan of the lancero, and according to him the cigar needed to go through numerous tweaks to reach the final blend. He often feels at times that a lancero can be a little bit one-dimensional and he did not want to fall into that trap with this vitola. In fact, he cheated to a degree by going to a 40 ring, allowing him the chance to add one extra leaf to the mix.
Cigar: Liga Privada L40 (LP – L40)
Size: 7 x 40 (Lancero)
Wrapper: Connecticut Sun Grown Habano
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Appearance and Construction: The one thing I really love about the Connecticut Sun Grown Habano used by Drew Estate is the amount of oils on the wrapper. They just shine when the light catches them and makes this a stunning stick to look at. The wrapper is also top-notch Grade A tobacco with only a few veins, none of which stick out like a sore thumb. For a lancero the cigar is pretty heavy in the hand and a close inspection reveals no soft spots. However, the foot does appear to be a little bit porous.
Flavor & Notes: I was going to pair the cigar with some rum, but since I only had one sample I cleansed my palate with a soda cracker and a small glass of seltzer before getting underway. I turned on some Mumford & Sons who happen to be one of my guilty pleasures of late and prepared to enjoy this smoke. Upon clipping the cap with my Xikar scissors, the draw revealed some notes of cedar, and hay. The foot of the cigar and the wrapper reveal pretty much the same, with a nice classic tobacco to the nose as well. Once the cigar was lit I was very much intrigued, as I picked up a slight sweetness and some slightly bitter leather notes. As we progress into the first third of the cigar the sweetness I experienced on the light is gone, but there is a very enjoyable cedar, coffee and leather going on. As the transition is made into the second third some of that sweetness begins to tease while coffee remains the focal point with a bit of spice through the nose. The sweetness develops into a nice black cherry note which reminds me of a Dr. Browns soda. In the final third, the strength is turned up a notch making it closer to a full bodied smoke then the first 2 thirds. The finish of leather and coffee is long making this an excellent lancero.
Smoking Characteristics: The LP L40 had one minor draw back from making it the best smoking lancero I have had the joy of smoking. It got a little bit soft in the final third, and it is not fair for me to really complain about that as it was based on one sample. The light color ash held on typically for the vitola and by that I mean never more than 3/4″. The burn line varied from crisp to slightly wavy. What really surprised me was the amount of smoke this stick produced and its wonderful aroma.
Conclusion: I’m curious to smoke this one again and I really look forward to picking up a box if the price is right. Lately, there has been a growing trend in high prices in the lancero market. Perhaps, it is because of the market in which I live in with the 75% tobacco tax but with the current state budget having language to drop the tax to a $1.00 cap I will once again be a happy smoker in the state of New York. The LP L40 is as flavorful as they come and the efforts made by Steve Saka and company have really paid off.
Price: To Be Determined.
Disclaimer: Once again, thanks to Steve Valle for providing me with today’s cigar.