Saturday, September 13, 2008

Liga Privada No. 9

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How many times have we heard it before? A cigar made just for the owner of the company that is now available for sale to the general public. Makes you want to question the story's authenticity. But in the case of the Liga Privada No. 9, I am inclined to believe it. If I was president of a cigar company, I wouldn't mind having this cigar as my private stash.

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The wrapper is a USA Connecticut Broadleaf. I'm not sure if it's maduro or oscuro, but it sure is dark. I've seen some ugly Connecticut Broadleafs lately, so I was surprised to find that this one was more "Brad Pitt" than "Steve Buscemi" in terms of looks. (My apologies to Mr. Buscemi, I love your movies!) The cigar had nice oils and a dark toothy appearance. It was neatly rolled and looks hefty with dark ligero centered perfectly at the foot. The binder is a Matafina from Brazil grown by Jose Fuego, father of Jesus Fuego creater of J. Fuego cigars and Defiance cigars. The filler is aged long leaf Cuban seed tobacco from seven different farms in Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

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Steve Saka, President of Drew Estates and the person whom this cigar was created, said they created ten different basic blends each with it's own four different blends for a total of forty. They tried all of them. It wasn't until they got to #9 that he found a blend that he liked.

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The Liga Privada No. 9 is a corona gorda measuring 52 ring gauge by 6 inches. This cigar has a nice rich cedary and dark earthy aroma. The retail price is between $9 and $11.

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I clipped the cap with a Palio cutter and found a perfect draw with slight resistance. The tobacco taste was both sweet and spicy. The cigar lit easily and evenly while the draw produced incredible amounts of creamy full bodied smoke.

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This cigar wastes no time displaying it's complexity. It starts off with notes of dark chocolate and charred wood. Then creaminess sets in with spicy roasted nut flavors. Then the chocolate turns into espresso and combines with wood to make up the body. Sweetness on the finish was a late bloomer but developed more as the cigar progressed. Notes of cinnamon and flashes of cherry were detected before the one inch point. I was truly impressed with the flavors of this cigar.

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After the one inch point I started getting leather and an extra dash of pepper which tickled the back of my throat. The cigar stays balanced with creamy roasted nuts and caramel sweetness on the finish. The second third showed a decrease in sweetness while the leathery body got "chewier".

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The final third is rich and earthy. The pepper is at it's maximum but not excessive. The flavors of smoky leather, nuts, spice and caramel are all in harmony right through the long finish.

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Overall, I was really wowed by this cigar. It was satisfyingly complex and smoked with true elegance. The burn line was even, the draw was perfect and the smoke was luscious. Even the ash was attractive and matched the cigar's light gray and black cigar band. Speaking of cigar band, the only negative was that it was a little hard to remove.

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This is a cigar I think everyone should try at least once. It truly is the complete package.

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10 comments:

acigarsmoker.com said...

wow you got one of these, im jealous... the local drew estate rep promised to send me some 3 weeks ago but they were back ordered. I got an email from him 2 days ago saying they are coming to me this week...

StogiEvangelist said...

Excellent review Lisa. Liga Privada No. 9's are very good cigars. I've been following your reviews for a couple of weeks now and find your writing excellent and your insight immensely helpful.

Lisa B. said...

acigarsmoker- you are going to love this cigar, it's well worth the wait.

stogievangelist- thank you so much, it's responses like yours that keep me motivated to keep going.

TriMarkC said...

I gained one of these just before they were released from our local Drew Estates rep. I still have it resting in my humidor. But your review is tempting me to pull it out soon!

Steve Saka said...

Wow... what a review! I glad you liked the smoke as I find it to be exceptional myself. Then again, I am kind of biased...

In the interest of full disclosure, I personally am not as pleased with robusto size. I find the shorter length paired with the extra ligero backfill allowed by its girth results in a slightly harsh smoke. That being said, it is the most popular selling size. Go figure.

I would love to send you a few of our Liga Privada T52 blend to try out. If interested, please send me your snailmail.

And thanks for the kind words!

Steve
saka@drewestate.com

Steve Saka said...

ps: We actually made closer to 50 or so blends before I was satisfied. We started by making 10 BASE blends and #9 happen to be the one from which we then tweaked and developed. The actual final blend was coded: LP9-PV-14a... not a very good name so it was truncated back to just plain ol' No. 9.

And yes, it really was made originally exclusively for me as my daily and on average I smoke at least two of them every day. Somedays I smoke 5 or more of 'em.

That being said, we are always working on different blends out of curiousity, desire, just cause it is fun.

There are actually another three finished "Liga Privada" blends that to date are exclusively made for our humidors:

"T52": Like the No. 9, a very complex, balanced blend but spicier, more pepper, less earth - it sports an amazing stalk cut, river valley grown Habano capa grown exclusive for us. We have been fermenting this leaf since Sep 2006 - not aging, fermenting! It has been a ball breaker, but the result has made it worth it - imo.

"R-4": Unlike the No. 9 & T52 that use some very difficult materials to secure and work, this blend was created with the concept of wanting to satisfy two needs: My desire for a good no fuss no muss strong smoke using leaf that is not typically in short supply, costs a fortune and/or requires endless years to work. This was probably one of the most difficult cigars I have ever blended - it is makes me really appreciate what a luxury it is when you have your pick of crop to work with. Anyhow, this is my "chili dog" cigar - yes I love lobster and prime rib, but sometime you get a hankering for a good ol' sloppy, fatty delicious chili dog!

And finally, there is a vitola specific blend we affectionately call the "Dirty Rat". It is a powerhouse gem of a corona that I am absolutely addicted too.

Good thing I get the cigars at an extra great price!

Sorry to be so longwinded - and thanks again for the review - it is nice to read that other serious cigar junkies appreciate the brand.

Steve

Troy said...

Discovered the LP-9 last June in Deadwood, SD. It quickly became my favorite regular smoke. I have smoked more LP-9's over the last 14 months than any other single cigar by a factor of at least 3 to 1. I regularly have others admire the looks of the cigar and am not bashful about letting them have one to try. No one has ever not liked it. I am really looking forward to the T52, R-4 and dirty rat.
Troy

Karl P said...

My daughter got me one of these for Christmas, she knows I like to try "new" maduros. I finally had the time and company to light it up. Everything this review says is true, an outstanding smoke. Now to find a local source. Gotta put a few of these in the humidor!

Mr. Easter said...

I love your review. I like this cigar a lot. The local shop I hang at has these in stock - thank god, but I find that a lot of people try nitpicking on the perfection. Its nice to find someone who enjoys it as much as me

Martin said...

Great review and awesome picture of the ash!

I really enjoyed the Liga Privada No. 9 Corona Doble. Really well constructed and it didn't over power me. The taste was really good with some robust flavors of front and a really smooth creamy finish. You can check out my review at:

http://wp.me/pSZbU-9F