Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 6×60
This week we will be taking a first look at yet another size to add to Drew Estate’s Liga Privada T52 portfolio. The 6×60 monster of a smoke. Being that I only had one of these pre-production cigars, this will just be a quick, loose review on my first thoughts of the new size.
The Good Stuff: Royale with Cheese, you heard that right. Drew Estate always has quirky code names for all of their pre-production blends. Will this be the final name of the vitola? Probably not. But the master minds at Drew Estate never fail to surprise me. (EDIT: I was notified by Steve Saka that this is actually NOT the Royale with Cheese! See the comments below for his explaination.)It’s (from what I know) the same blend as the T52. For more information on the T52 blend you can navigate to my review of the toro or my review of the flying pig. Same blend, just in gigantic form. I used to love the hell out of larger ring gauged cigars, but lately I will almost always go for the corona. I just think the smaller ring gauges kick out so much extra flavor. Will the monster size dull-out the massive flavors of the T52? Let’s find out.
Size: 6 x 60 – Wrapper: Stalk Cut Habano – Binder/Filler: Nicaraguan/Honduran/Dominican – Brazilian Mata Fina
Prelight: Quickly touching on the prelight characteristics, they are completely identical to the T52’s, just WAY bigger. Super, super, super oily wrapper. Toothy, and a dark chocolate brown with tons of orange spots. One of two big veins running the length of the body, but nothing too crazy. Nice rounded cap, and the standard Liga Privada T52 band. This cigar is heavy as hell, and carries a very firm, and thick wrapper with absolutely no soft spots at all.
The cigar smells like straight up cedar, a ton of spice, and some nice espresso notes. The foot smells almost identical, only with a much more pronounced aroma. The cap took a bit of convincing from my Liga Privada double-bladed cutter before clipping off. The cut was clean, it just took a bit of extra pressure. The cold draw matched the aromas I picked up earlier to a tee. The only difference was the cedar was much more pronounced and there was a butt-load of pepper in there.
First Smoke: This T52 6×60 took quite a bit to light up using my single flame butane torch. I almost forgot how much work it took to get bigass cigars lit. The cigar didn’t start off with nearly as much pepper as I expected. A lot smoother, with a ton of cedar, espresso, cocoa, and spice. The draw is REALLY open at the start of the first third. It gives out a nice, full mouth of smoke, but takes a few draws to get there. After about a half inch though the foot was nice and ashy and the draw tightened up. And if you thought the normal T52 gave off a lot of stationary smoke, this T52 is like a wildfire. The burn line was perfect and the tightly compacted light grey ash held on for and inch and a half before giving way.
Halfway There: As I thought, the T52 6×60 is a lot smoother, and more open than what I was used to in the other T52 vitolas. Not to say the flavor hasn’t been there, but it’s not as powerful as the other vitolas. The second third flavors match the first only a bit smoother, creamier, and not as strong. The cedar has really taken off though, mixed with a nice, creamed coffee with the spice in the background. The retrohale is good, tons of cedar, but very strong with spice and pepper. I am also already feeling a lot of nicotine from this cigar early in. It’s not for the faint of heart. Burn line is perfect, and draw has been wonderful since it tightened up in the first third.
Finish: The flavors really haven’t changed much into the final third of this Liga Privada T52 6×60. Mainly, the spice and pepper have completely disappeared, but the cedar and the coffee and creamy notes have ramped up as well as the strength of the cigar. This thing really has a bite and I really don’t recommend it if you aren’t one for strong cigars. The ash has been kind of flaky into the final third too, which is strange cause I really didn’t feel any soft spots, nor could I find any mis-construction. The ash seems to fall off at random times too, twice in my lap. But that’s what I get for always waiting for the last minute to tap my ash out. Towards the end there was no harshness at all. I was REALLY surprised with how smooth this cigar faired out from start to finish.
Overview: This is a beast of a cigar. It took me about two hours to take it down entirely. Ever heard the saying “you can never have too much of a good thing?”, this cigar goes to show that you can. At least, in my opinion. This cigar was just too much for me. The flavors where there, the smoothness let me finish it, and the creaminess resulted with no harshness at all. But still, this was just too much cigar for me. Anyone who loves the T52 and is looking for a larger vitola to fit those days when you are just looking for a little more “relaxation” time will find this cigar absolutely perfect. Maybe I’m just not one for the larger sizes?
Pairing: I paired this Liga Privada T52 with a with a beer I absolutely adore. New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Series Dunkel Weiss. Usually I don’t pair the only cigar I have with a beer with so much flavor, but I knew the blend was similar so I already knew that the T52 6x60would pair perfectly with this beer. This Dunkel Weiss if a hell of a flavor-bomb. Really, be prepared for it. It’s not anything like a traditional Dunkel. This thing tastes like just a whole crap load of fruit, apples, berries, plum, tons of banana, mixed with a bunch of malt, caramel, and a VERY strong cinnamon aftertaste. Needless to say this was an absolutely wonderful pairing with the soft fruit notes, espresso, spice, and cedar picked up in this Liga Privada T52 6×60.
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.