Drew Estate – Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla
This week I take on a cigar that’s been in my rotation, but has escaped being review. Drew Estate’s Liga Privada Ratzilla paired with a bottle of Evil Twin’s Imperial Doughnut Break.
The Good Stuff:
This is an oldie, but goodie and it’s finally come time to review Drew Estate’s Liga Privada Ratzilla on Casas Fumando. The Ratzilla is the older brother of the long time favorite Dirty Rat. Both blends fall in the Unico category of the Liga Privada series and are known to be some of the strongest cigars out there. The cigar originally made its debut in 2012, but has come in and out of the scene over the past few years. It’s a rare cigar, but there are plenty of them out there. While the blend is almost identical to the Dirty Rat, the Ratzilla is slightly tweaked to match it’s format. The blend starts with a Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder, and filler tobaccos for Nicaragua and Honduras while coming in a single 6.25 x 46 format which runs $14 a stick.
Size: 6.25 x 46
Wrapper: Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Pairing: Evil Twin Imperial Doughnut Break (Imperial Porter 11.5% ABV)
The Ratzilla starts out with an absolutely gorgeous dark brown wrapper. I have to say, the Liga Privada series have always had the most beautifully wrapped cigars. Anyways, the wrapper is a very dark brown with lots of areas of darker brown and orange scattered throughout the cigar. The texture is extremely toothy and extremely oily as oils actually get transferred to my skin as I inspect the cigar. The wrapper feels very dense and tough while the cigar as a whole is packed very, very tightly and is as hard as a rock. There as some very small veins as the wrapper is laid seamlessly over itself leading up to the round, pigtailed cap. The cigar is polished off with the standard Liga Privada band with the word “Ratzilla” sketched across the front. I’ve always been a huge fan of how simple and elegant these bands were.
The Ratzilla’s wrapper gives off a very bold musk aroma surrounded by a lot of sweetness while the foot of the cigar is mostly spice and tobacco with some sweetness sprinkled in there. The cap of the cigar cut clean and easily using my double bladed Xikar cutter. The cold draw is very bold with lots of spice, pepper, black cherry, cedar, and musk.
The Drew Estate Liga Privada Ratzilla didn’t start out with the pepper bomb I was expecting, in fact, there wasn’t much pepper at all. The cigar started out with some bold spice and sweet cedar over brown sugar, black cherry, and musk. It’s bold off the bat, but not as bold as the Dirty Rat is. The draw is perfect, despite being packed so tightly each little puff kicks out massive clouds of thick, white smoke. The cigar also unleashes a ton of stationary smoke as the oils burn off the wrapper while the cigar rests in my ashtray. The burn line is razor thin, and dead even leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted, medium gray ash which held on for about an inch before falling into my ashtray.
As I make my way into the second third of the Ratzilla, a really bold floral flavor begins to coat the flavor profile. Its real deep, and almost blends in with the musk that was already present. The brown sugar, sweet cedar, and spice are still main contenders in the flavor matchup backed by the black cherry and a bit of cocoa and coffee. The retrohale really brings out the cedar and spice. The burn line is still dead even and I close out the second third with a slight little nicotine kick already.
The strength has really ramped up into the final third of the Liga Privada Ratzilla. It started as a medium/full and was well into the full section by the second third, now it’s way, way up there. That being said, I don’t feel overpowered by strength. If this started as strong as the Dirty Rat did I would be on my knees by now. The flavor profile is now leading with cedar, musk, spice, and cocoa with mild coffee, black cherry, and the floral flavors have all but washed out. It took me almost 2 hours to smoke this bad boy down to the nub and I experienced no harshness, no extra head, and a great deal of nicotine so be ready for it.
I am a huge fan of the Liga Privada lines, especially the Dirty Rat and No. 9. The Ratzilla fills the gap for when I am craving a Dirty Rat, but have more time to enjoy a smoke. It starts out smooth and light before finishing with a knockout flavor profile and tons of strength. This cigar is incredible and quite honestly one of the absolute best cigars I have smoked in a while. Too bad I only have a few left, but like I said earlier, they are still out there.
Yup, another Evil Twin. Who cares? I don’t. I love this brewery and all of it’s offerings. The Imperial Doughnut Break is a 11.5% ABV Imperial Porter loaded with glazed doughnuts. I’m not even joking. The Imperial Doughnut Break leads with a ton of sweetness, brown sugar, cocoa, light coffee, roasted malt, and spice with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing with a ton of malt and cocoa backed by light coffee, sweetness, sugar, and spice leaving behind a ton of sweetness on the aftertaste. The flavors were almost identical to those in the Ratzilla. At one time I thought that the sweetness in the beer may actually overpower the sweetness in the cigar, but the Ratzilla stepped up to the plate and really offered a powerful sweet flavor in it’s profile as well.