Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig
So here we go. First beer that I have had in weeks! The gout is still there, but it’s only bad at night. I probably shouldn’t even be having a beer, but you know how it is. I can’t hold out any longer.
This beer will be paired with a cigar that I have waited far too long to review. Drew Estate’s Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig. I reviewed the No.9 flying pig sometime ago and you can view the review here. In any case, I finally decided it’s time to tear through this review.
Again, if you know me, you know how much I love the Liga Privada line. I could smoke these cigars back to back, day after day. My poison is the No.9 Robusto. Needless to say, this may sound a bit biased, but I am always 100% honest. If a cigar sucks, then it sucks. And if a cigar is great, I have no problem boasting. I smoked a ton of these prior to doing the review and I can already tell you (and apologize for the spoiler), but there won’t be any “sucking” this time around.
The Good Stuff: The Liga Privada line is very exclusive. It originally started as a private blend created solely for the smoking enjoyment of Drew Estate’s President, Steve Saka but due to pressure from the Drew Estate staff, was finally released to the public. At that time, the only blend available was the No.9 which consists of 7 different tobaccos including an absolutely beautiful, Oscuro Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. That wrapper is one of the main reasons why Drew Estate was forced to create a new, similar blend using a different wrapper. The wrapper in question is the Stalk-Cut Habano and the blend is called the Liga Privada T52. The wrapper on the No.9 is very expensive, and very rare. In order to fulfill demand Drew Estate created the T52 which is more of a permanent addition to their portfolio. I personally enjoy the No.9 more, but the cigar community is split right down the middle. The Flying Pig size was originally released in the No. 9 blend and limited to only 2,000 boxes of 12 ever to be released. Because of the difficulty in rolling these cigars the T52 Flying Pig will be limited as well to 3,250 boxes of 12, and run about $12 a stick. I’m not sure if they still have them, but I picked mine up over at Bonita Smoke Shop. These cigars were released in November of 2010 so I highly doubt there are very many left on shelves. Get them while you can!
Size: 4.25 x 60 – Wrapper: Stalk-Cut Habano – Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina – Filler: Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan – Body: Full
Prelight: The Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig is a strange looking little cigar. The obvious shape is the real story here. It’s a very short, very stout, very chubby perfecto cigar. It starts with a small point which quickly grows into a very large ring-gauged body filled with a very dark brown and orange, toothy wrapper. This cigar feels like sandpaper. The wrapper is very thick and tough showing only little veins throughout the entire body. After the thick body, the cigar begins to taper off, much like the foot, into a very small point only to be capped of by a nice, spiral pig tail style cap. This is a crazy looking cigar, and despite it being so different that I am used to, it feels a little strange holding it in my hand. It’s not uncomfortable, but it’s not comfortable, if that makes any sense. Not to mention this cigar is so heavy due to being so jam-packed with tobacco.
The wrapper gives off a very, very woodsy aroma with just a bit of grass mixed in, while the foot smells just like my humidor, very cedary with only a slight bit of spice.
Clipping the Flying Pig was a breeze using my double bladed Palio Cutter. The cold draw seemed a bit loose, providing me with a very bold, in your face cedar mixed with a ton of black pepper.
First Smoke: The Liga Privada T52 lit up nice and easy with my triple flame torch. Usually I have problems lighting the tips of perfectos evenly, but none of that this time. The draw on this cigar is beautiful. It’s so smooth, without being too open, pumping out this massive cloud of thick, lingering smoke. The Flying pig also lets loose this huge trail of stationary smoke. You can see the oils just burn off this wrapper. The smoke smells sooooo good! Very cedary with some sweet spices in there. But it’s probably not something you’d want to smoke around people who can’t stand a lot of smoke. The flavors were interesting. I was really anticipating this huge pepper punch right off the back, but I didn’t get it. There was only slight pepper notes mixed into the very bold, woodsy cedar, nutmeg, and a bit of prune. The burnline is a bit thick and probably as even as I could have hoped for from the start of a perfecto. The ash left behind is this very tightly compacted white ash with dark grey mixed in.
Halfway There: Going into the second third of this Liga Privada Flying Pig T52 I started to get this neat little bready taste. It’s still just an afterthought compared to the strong cedar, cinnamon, and slight plum flavor but it’s bringing in a very nice little balance to an otherwise bold cigar. This thing is a smoke machine. I can’t stress that enough. You could use a few of these in place of a fog machine at a dumb little emo-goth rock concert. The retrohale is a bit sharp for my liking, but I find myself throwing a few in every here and there just cause I love the strong cedar coating it gives me. This is a strong cigar no doubt. It’s about noon here and I haven’t eaten in a couple of hours. Needless to say I’m already feeling a bit of a nicotine buzz off of this stout little cigar. The ash held solid until I accidently knocked it off while trying to remove the band after the second third. If you check out the picture on the Flying Pig No.9 review, the ash actually held on until I could no longer keep the cigar in my hand before burning my fingertips.
Finish: Despite taking my time on this cigar there was still a bit of harshness into the final third. I guess that’s expected with a cigar this size. Outside of the harshness the cedar has really been the dominant flavor in this cigar. Towards the end all the other flavors really faded out letting that cedar flavor really take off. The body on this cigar is just ridiculous. It’s not for the faint of heart. I got a very mean nicotine kick within the hour it took to smoke this cigar. Make sure you have something to eat before decided to take this cigar on!
Overview: Although I really enjoyed this cigar, the No. 9 will always have a special place in my heart. That blend is just, perfect. The T52 flying pig is a great cigar. Very strong, flavorful, and interesting. My only gripe is that harshness. I don’t remember that in my No .9 pigs, and I encountered it on just about every one of the T52 pigs that I have smoked. The other sizes in the T52 lines don’t produce it either. It’s probably just the size. Either way, these are still an awesome cigar to have around. The price is a bit steep, but anyone who smokes, and appreciates the Liga Privada lines are already expecting to shell out top dollar for each of their cigars. I do, and I don’t mind the prices at all. I think ever one is well worth it. If you find these, grab them. They won’t be around for very long.
Pairing: FINALLY! This is my first beer in almost 3 weeks. I know I pre-empted a little bit and I am hoping that I don’t pay for it later, but I needed it. As winter is coming to an end, I wanted to get this pairing out of the way before it was too late. I paired my T52 Flying pig with some of Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome ale. This is another one of my favorite winter seasonal ales. This brew was brewed in Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (Tad caster) in England. It’s a bubbly orangish amber ale producing a very smooth, lightly floral, sweet ale. The pairing really helped bring the body of the T52 down and smooth it out. I wouldn’t suggest anything too strong with the T52 as it’s already a strong cigar to begin with. Sweet Tea is the perfect, ideal pairing with this cigar, but apple juice, or any sweet brown ale would go perfectly as well.
Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.