Date: May 2024
Author: Inspector X

After a hiatus or a year-and-a-half, Drew Estate’s Liga Privada Year of the Rat has returned to stores.

Like its predecessors, the newest Year of the Rat is a 5 1/2 x 46 corona gorda, featuring a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper over a Brazilian binder and filler tobaccos from Honduras and Nicaragua. However, the price has increased from $17.12 per cigar in October 2022 to $20 per cigar, making a 10-count box now $200.

“The premium cigar industry has a culture of storytelling at the brand and personal level, but it should never override the fundamentals of quality, consistency, and flavour profile,” said Jonathan Drew, co-founder and president of Drew Estate, in a press release.

The Year of the Rat was first introduced in 2016 as an exclusive release for the Drew Estate Lounge inside the BB&T Center, home to the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers. This cigar commemorated the 20th anniversary of the team’s only appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals, a season dubbed the Year of the Rat. This nickname originated when a rat entered the Panthers’ locker room and was killed by player Scott Mellanby with his hockey stick, which he then used to score three goals in the same game. This event led goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck to create the term “rat trick,” a twist on the hockey term “hat trick” for scoring three goals in a game.

The Year of the Rat has seen periodic releases in 2020, 2021, May 2022, and October 2022. While the original 2016 version did not include gold foil, all subsequent releases have featured it. The latest press release from Drew Estate described this shipment as the “Spring Release,” hinting at the possibility of another release later this year.

Drew Estate no longer discloses the production numbers of its limited-edition items. This release is restricted to stores that are part of the Drew Diplomat Retail Program, and boxes began shipping to retailers on May 1.

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