In 2018, Drew Estate released Liga Privada 10 Anniversario to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Liga Privada line. While the master blender behind the cigar is debatable, it is a cigar that changed the face of Drew Estate. According to a press release at the time of release, “The hard work began deep in the Valley, hunting for the dense lush leaf required to turn our dream cigar into a reality. This cigar symbolizes the bond of partnership between farmer and manufacturer to grow a Criollo Capa that is worthy of unmatched celebration. Exclusively grown for Drew Estate, I challenged Willy Herrera and the factory team at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate to create the cigar that could live up to the Broadleaf Bully that we have come to love, to celebrate the 10 years of Liga Privada.”
Cigar Review: Liga Privada 10 Anniversario
Size: 6 x 52 (Toro)
Wrapper: U.S.A. (Connecticut Criollo)
Binder:Mexico (San Andrés Otapan Negro Último Corte)
Filler: Nicaragua & U.S.A. (Pennsylvania)
Debut: December 2018
Box Count: 10
The Cigar: I’ve seen multiple releases of the Liga Privada 10 Anniversario since the release and two things have stood out. The first is I have seen wildly different color wrappers, more so than any other cigar I can think of. The second is that the 10th Anniversary might have the best pigtail cap to ever adorn a cigar (see image at end of review). The cigar has a inverse band of the original going with a black background and silver text. Additionally the cigar features a closed foot and a slightly oily wrapper that has a lot of visible vein structure.
The Taste: The cold draw of the Liga Privada 10 Anniversario serves barnyard like notes of hay and earth with a subtle sweetness. The real star of the pre-light ritual is the aroma from the foot which servers up raisins, molasses and a touch of salted cashews. I don’t usually advocate a soft flame lighter for cigars, but the closed foot beckons to be ignited with a soft flame which burns at a lower temperature. Using a soft flame allows one to get the full taste of the wrapper on the first light. Case in point is the first few puffs on the torch lighter showed off an abundance of pepper, while the soft flame lighter allowed notes of dark chocolate to emerge.
As we settle into the first third regardless of the light the cigar serves up notes of cashews, dark chocolate and cloves to start before we even complete the first half inch. It’s important to smoke this cigar slow like sipping a fine cognac to help bring out the flavors. Smoking it fast increases the heat which in turn brings out a strong leather component. Metering your puffs allows the full flavors to permeate the palate. As the first third comes to a close some strong espresso notes begin to develop while the retrohale serves up a subtle vanilla, cashews and oak.
The second third sees the espresso notes really take hold with a subtle but growing red pepper. As the cigar hits the halfway point notes of cashews take hold of the palate as espresso slides into the background. Also present are notes of dark chocolate, earth and a subtle coconut on the aroma of the cigar which is something new for me in a cigar. The retrohale has a nice sweetness to it consisting of vanilla, caramel and a creates a longer earthy finish to the notes of the cigar.
Moving into the last third the cigar remains the same with notes of espresso and dark chocolate. Things are rounded out with some earth and leather flavors. The retrohale has some remaining sweetness to it with offers some contrast of caramel to the long earth finish of the Liga Privada 10 Anniversario.
Conclusion: The Liga Privada No. 9 came along at the right time. A new cigar smoking boom was being seen in the USA where a transition was being made from mild cigar smokers of our parents generation to a new demographic entering the cigar market. People in their late 20s and 30s were looking for something stronger and Liga Privada was able to capitalize on that market. The Criollo wrapper makes this one considerably different then the original Liga Privada No. 9 but it is still a cigar worthy of chasing.
Price: $19.50 (Before any local or state taxes)