Drew Estate – Liga Privada Unico Feral Flying Pig
So I know that I am behind the times with this review and just about every other blog has one up by now. It’s better late than never tough right? I hope. While Daniel is getting his butt introduced to the married life I was home firing up Liga Privada Unico Serie Feral Flying Pig.
I contemplated even doing a review for this cigar. Not cause it was bad, but strictly because I am a bit partial to a lot of Liga Privada blends. It’s not secret how fond I am of the number nine, but the more I smoke the Feral, the more I realize just how different the blend is. That being said, I will, as always, be as open and honest as I can about this and ever cigar we review on the site.
The Good Stuff: Anyways, lets get into this. The Feral Flying Pig is one of the newer releases in Drew Estate’s Liga Privada Line. Taking a seat in the Unico Series, the Feral flying pig is quite a departure from the No.9 and T52 flying pigs of the past not only in terms of size, but blend as well. This beast of a pig is actually a completely different blend then any of the Ligas currently in Drew Estate’s portfolio. Jonathan Drew and Steve Saka have both stated that the Feral is significantly stronger than it’s old brothers. Saka also mentioned that in his opinion this is the best flying pig to leave the Drew Estate factory to date. These cigars come in boxes of 10 and run $15 a stick.
Size: 5 3/8 x 60 – Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Madruo – Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina – Filler: Nicaraguan – Body: Full – Strength: Full
The Feral Flying Pig starts out with a very, very, very dark brown, oily wrapper. Seriously, this cigar is as close to black as it gets. Unlike the No.9 and the T52, the Feral’s wrapper is just perfectly consistent as each and every inch of the cigar matched the next. The Feral Flying Pig starts with a tapered, perfecto style foot which leads through a beefy body up to a tapered, circular, pig-tail style cap. There is only one medium sized vein through out the body of the cigar.
One thing I’d like to mention is that this cigar is incredibly thick, and heavy. There has to be tons of tobacco stuffed in this thing. You could club someone with this cigar and do significant damage to them. I can only hope that this won’t lead to a plugged, or tight draw. The band on the Feral matches the rest of the Liga Privada line Identically with one exception, this is the first, released band that isn’t employing a handwritten typeface. Instead the word “FERAL” is printed in a nice, bold, Serif typeface. Interesting. The wrapper of the Feral gives of just a really strong, really bold, cedar and sweetness aroma. Although getting a whiff of the foot was a little tricky, the action paid off as I was greeted with a whole lot of spice, sweetness, and cedar. I didn’t really pick up any of the stronger tobacco or earthy aromas I was expecting. The Feral clipped very easily despite being packed with tobacco using my double bladed Palio cutter.
First Smoke: The Feral Flying Pig was a breeze to light up using my single flame butane torch. I was really expecting this cigar to start off with a crazy flavorful and pepper filled profile, oddly enough it had neither. Instead, the Feral Flying Pig started out incredibly smooth with nothing more than a coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavor. As I smoked on bits of cherry and cinnamon started to work it’s way in, but I was still blown away with how smooth this cigar started off. It was very different than the usual In-Your-Face Liga Privada experience that I have grown to expect. After I got about halfway through the first third a little bit of black pepper started to sneak it’s way in. This was a crazy start to a cigar. Let’s hope this cigar keeps throwing curve balls my way. I was worried about the draw being too tight but I am glad to report that it was the opposite. At first the draw was actually a bit loose but as the foot fully toasted the draw became spot-on filling my mouth with thick, white smoke with every little puff. As with every cigar in the Liga Privada line, there is just a massive amount of stationary smoke given off white this cigar sits in my ashtray. I’m always scared how the burnline will pan out with perfecto format cigars but the Feral is burning super thin, and dead even leaving behind a trail of semi-flaky white and light grey ash which held on for an inch and a half before giving way.
Halfway There: Into the second third of the Feral Flying Pig and the black pepper has complete faded away. This is probably the one Liga Privada that I can recall that has the least amount of pepper. The flavors are still a creamy mixture of dark chocolate, coffee and cherry with some nice cedar, cinnamon and a nutty flavor on the aftertaste. The retrohale is interesting as the only flavors I could really pick out was a very strong and sharp cedar along with some soft coffee notes. The burnline is still dead even and I am actually feeling a bit of nicotine already.
Finish: Interesting enough there is a crazy moss/woodsy/earthy flavor sneaking it’s way into the final third of my Feral Flying Pig. This is a flavor that I usually tie to Davidoff and AVO cigars. It’s a very good, and interesting flavor and added a nice mix-up to the profile of this cigar. There cherry is still there but it has become very tart while the creamy coffee, nutty, chocolate flavors have simmered down a bit. There is still not any pepper. One other reason the absence of pepper strikes me as off is while we were at the Drew Estate factory a while back Jonathan Drew actually had us light up Ferals as they were just bunched, before they had wrappers, and before they went into the molds. The one thing I remember was how much pepper the blend had. It’s interesting to see how much the wrapper and final blend changes. This cigar took me two hours to take down and hats off to the Drew Estate team as the cigar required no touch-ups, or relights the entire time. That’s unheard of for a perfecto/double figurado. I left this cigar with a very nice little nicotine kick. It’s got some strength that’s for sure.
Overview: Steve Saka mentioned that he though this was the best Flying Pig they have created to date. Do I agree? Nah. But with reason, and a very biased reason at that. I am a No. 9 guy and the No. 9 flying pig is still my favorite pig out of the bunch with the Feral in a close second. What I do really like about the Feral Flying pig is the difference in blend. It’s much closer to a T52 blend to a No.9 but is hardly comparable. Although it is full-bodied, and full-strength the Feral is much smoother with an overall deeper, richer composition. It’s a total diversion from the other cigars in the Liga Privada line. Now is it worth the $15 price tag? To me, it is. I would even go as far as saying this is very box worthy. It’s complex, well constructed, and an overall great experience. I would choose this cigar over most Davidoff, AVO’s, and other cigars in the $15 area. But then it comes down to cigars with lower price points. While I enjoyed the Feral I truly think I would take a No.9 Robusto or a Dirty Rat over the cigar almost any day of the week.
Pairing: Here is the classic example of a pairing gone wrong. Flying Pig, Bacon Maple Ale? Sounds like a match made in heaven no? It couldn’t have been further from that. 99% of the time I have already drank the beer and smoked the cigar that I am pairing it with. This time I ventured out with something that worked well in theory and got caught slipping. The Rogue Voodoo Doughnut ale starts with some very slight maple sweetness which is quickly overcome by nothing but charcoal and ash. Seriously, it tastes like I put my cigar out in this beer. I probably would have liked this beer if there was in fact more sweetness, or more of a maple flavor. That chary aftertaste just ruined it for me. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of people bashing me who actually like this beer, and that’s fine. It just does nothing for me except rape my wallet at $14 a bottle. After the second third of the cigar I actually put the beer down and switched to iced tea which is a proven perfect pairing with almost any cigar.
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.