August 16, 2021
Liga Privada Year of the Ox. Three Drew Estate joined the group of cigar manufacturers that create cigars for the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. A fitting year, as it was the year of the pig. And how could a company that makes Flying Pigs cigars pass the opportunity? There wasn’t a year of the pig release, but there was a Year of the Pig sampler with several flying pigs from Drew Estate in special packaging. Last year there was a Year of the Rat sampler with the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig, Liga Privada No.9 Flying Pig, Nasty Fritas, a Velvet Rat, and a Ratzilla. There was also a Liga Privada Year of the Rat release. These Liga Privada Year of the Chinese zodiac calendar are exclusive releases for Cigars of Habanos.
This year we haven’t seen a sampler, but there is a Liga Privada Year of the Ox. This is a 6½x54 Toro. Willy Herrera and his team of blenders follow the Liga Privada recipe. That means an American stalk-cut Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over a Brazilian Mata Fina binder. The filler comes from Honduras and Nicaragua. Yet the percentages and varieties of the tobacco changes with every Liga Privada Unico blend, so there are differences although every single blend is recognizable as part of the Liga Privada family.
Name: Liga Privada Year of the OxCountry: NicaraguaFactory: Gran Fabrica Drew EstateSize: 6½x54Vitola: ToroWrapper: USA (Connecticut Broadleaf)Binder: Brazil (Mata Fina)Filler: Honduras, NicaraguaPrice: €17.50 (converted from USD)Cutter: Xikar Xi1 CutterLighter: Single JetSmoke conditions: Indoors with airconditioningSmoke time: two hours forty-five minutes
You can hardly see the cigar. Only the top part is naked, less than an inch. Then there is the famous Liga Privada ring with the year of the ox written on it. The rest of the cigar is covered with gold foil and a purple foot band. Once those are all removed, the cigar looks impressive. My son, who was with me while reviewing the cigar said “wow, that is a dark cigar”. And it is, the Connecticut Broadleaf is dark and oily. There is one big vein giving the wrapper the mean look it deserves. The construction feels great and the aroma is medium in strength and slightly sour. Barnyard with some sourness.
The cold draw is fine, with a spicy raw tobacco flavor. The first flavors are hay with leather, coffee, and a bit of spice. The start is milder than the other Liga Privada cigars. Then there is a peppery muddy flavor. Then there is chocolate with coffee and some sweetness. That muddy chocolate is the flavor in the mouth, but the retrohale is spicy.
The second part starts with more sweetness and the muddy chocolate is less muddy. There is also a hint of wood. With a mild nutty flavor under the chocolate and spice. There is balance and character. The final third sees the chocolate disappear but the wood gets stronger. Pepper gets stronger too. The dark chocolate returns near the end with a dose of pepper. The last puffs are coffee and pepper.
The draw is great. As well as the smoke, but what else can you expect from a Drew Estate cigar? Thick, white, full, and there is plenty of it. The salt & pepper-colored ash is firm and dense. It’s a stack of dimes. The burn is fantastic. This is a bit milder than the average Liga Privada, yet still medium to full in body and full in flavor.
Strength: Medium-fullFlavor: Full
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