One of Drew Estates’ new introductions at the IPCPR 2012 trade show is the Liga Privada Papas Fritas. The Liga Privada Papas Fritas is actually a short filler hand made premium cigar, which seems like a bit of a contradiction. The idea behind it is that due to the immense popularity and demand for the Liga Privada lines, and the lack of tobacco available to produce the cigars, nothing should be wasted. The Papas Fritas, or french fries, use the left over cuts from the other Liga Privada lines. Here is a quote from Steve Saka of Drew Estate:
4.5 x 44 Tripa Corta (Short Fill) BUT this is NOT your father’s short fill – it is made exclusively of 2nd cuts of No. 9 capa and is filled entirely with the table trimmings from the production of all the other LP cigars being made. We actually hand sort the tuck and chaveta cuts by pieces into their original leaf varieties and thicknesses and then create their exact filler blend from scratch. And like all LP, we only allow our best pairs to handcraft them. To my knowledge no one has ever done this before – the result is a rich, super consistent petite corona that provides a 40 minute smoke and even holds an inch plus ash – will be packed in 4-ct tins – MSRP $23.95 – the name stems from my fat guy love for French Fries and just as I can’t eat just one, I can’t stop myself from smoking these…
This reminds me a bit of the idea behind the Undercrown, which was to create a cigar from different primings of the same tobacco used for the Liga Privada lines to help meet the demand. While I was at the 2012 IPCPR I was lucky enough to be able to check out the Drew Estate booth, see the new Papas Fritas, and was even provided with a sample.
Here are some shots from the Drew Estate/ Joya De Nicaragua booth:
Jose Blanco, Cigar Craig, and myself
Size: 4 1/2 x 44
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Capa No. 9 second cuts
Strength: Medium to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The Liga Privada Papas Fritas come in a four-pack tin within a nice attractive box. The cigar itself has a very dark brown wrapper, nearly black, with moderate veins and plenty of oil. The Papas Fritas has a small straight pig tail and a foot band which has the Liga Privada logo on one side, and says Papas Fritas on the other.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Liga Privada Papas Fritas has notes of sweet cocoa, coffee, and a bit of spice. The foot has a scent which is a blend of hay, spice, mineral, and cocoa. To prepare smoking the Liga Privada Papas Fritas, I simply tear off the pig tail, since it is the intended way to smoke the cigar. On the cold draw there are flavors of spice, cocoa, coffee, and a bit of earth.
Smoking Characteristics: The draw Liga Privada Papas Fritas starts out a bit tight, but provides a full body of smoke. The initial notes are of sweet cocoa, leather, spice, earth, and some coffee. The draw opens up pretty quickly. Each puff provides a full body of thick, rich, cool, complex, smooth smoke. The burn line is sharp, nearly razor sharp, and the ash is holding very well for a short filler, almost to the inch point.
Into the second half of the Liga Privada Papas Fritas, the spice really picks up and becomes the primary note. The flavors of sweet cocoa, light coffee, leather, and earth all remain, but are secondary to the spicy notes. The strength is in the medium to nearly range, and closer to the fuller side. The blend of flavors is excellent, and reflective of the other Liga Privada line cigars. The draw remains excellent, with a very full body of rich, thick, cool, smooth smoke on each puff. The Liga Privada Papas Fritas smokes cool the nub, with minimal burn issues.
Conclusion: The Liga Privada Papas Fritas is an excellent cigar for the Liga lover. I know many big Drew Estate fans who lament they can never get enough Liga, they pick up boxes when ever they can find it, and clean out the last sticks when a box isn’t available. Honestly I may not of known this cigar was a short filler cigar if no one had told me beforehand. The burn wasn’t quite perfect, but it performed better than expected. The flavors were wonderful, completely comparable to the Liga Privada No. 9, and if this will allow people more access to these cigars, I think this is going to be a home run for Drew Estate.
MSRP: $5.99 ($23.95 for a 4 pack)