Liga Privada T-52 Cigar Review
Anyone who knows my taste in cigars knows how highly I hold Drew Estate’s Liga Privada No. 9 on a pedestal. Pretty much every cigar that I have had since trying my first Liga Privada No. 9 has been compared to it, and seldom come close. Thanks to @sirpantsornot I was lucky enough to get my hands on Drew Estate’s newest venture into traditional cigar manufacturing, the Liga Privada T-52.
The Liga Privada line is extremely exclusive, and sometimes near impossible to get your hands on. Although most cigars that take that road end up selling just because of the hype, the Liga Privada line has the flavor, experience, construction, and overall product to back the hype up and then some.
The Good Stuff:As stated before the Liga Privada line of cigars is extremely exclusive. Drew Estate puts mass amounts of time and effort in each one of their cigar blends, the Liga Privada is the cream of the crop. The Liga Privada was originally created strictly for the sole enjoyment of the Steve Saka, the President of Drew Estate. Steve wanted a blend that he could call his own private reserve, and only cherish for his own personal enjoyment. Each Liga Privada is custom blended to perfection using only the most premium Nicaraguan tobacco farmed from the Drew Estate tobacco farm in Esteli, Nicaragua amongst 6 other regions of the world.. Not to mention each Liga Privada is then hand rolled only by the best hands in La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate.
Up until this point the Liga Privada No. 9 and the T-52 are the same. The main difference between the two lies in the distinct wrapper the T-52 carries. The Liga Privada No. 9 comes wrapped in a very dark, oily Maduro like Oscuro Wrapper, Where as the new T-52 comes wrapped in a stalk-cut Habano wrapper just a shade lighter than the Liga Privada No. 9, making for a much more bold, and robust smoking experience.
If you’d like to find out more on the Liga Privada No.9 feel free to check out the review I did here. It’s an older review, so unlike this one it doesn’t have all the pretty pictures and my pallet was still used to infused, but there is a lot of good research there. From what I can gather unlike the No. 9 the Liga Privada T-52 is only available in Robusto (5 x 52) and Toro (6 x 52). I was lucky enough to get my hands on the toro.
Size: 6 x 52 - Wrapper: Stalk Cut Habano - Filler/Binder: Nicaraguan/Honduran/Dominican - Brazilian Mata Fina
Prelight:The habano stalk-cut wrapper isn’t one that I have encountered often, if not ever before. It is very dark brown with flourishes of cherrywood. The texture is really toothy and rough with many thick veins. It almost looks like a cat’s tongue up close. And the density is beautifully thick, and hard. I don’t think I will have any problems handling this cigar, its far from fragile. The Liga Privada T-52 has a very rounded, tough double-cap. The only construction flaw that I can spot is a thick, bump just before the band of the cigar. Hopefully this won’t hinder the smoking experience. I am a huge fan of the simplicity of the Liga Privada’s bands. The band on the T-52 is almost identical to the No .9 except gold instead of silver. It is all white, with small metallic details and writing. One of the quotes actually reads “Hecho Exclusivament Para El Jefe” or “Made Exclusively for the Boss”. The wrapper gives off a light mossy scent where as the foot of the T-52 smells very earthy, mossy, and cedar-like. The cold draw matched the scent of the foot almost precisely. Very woodsy, almost like sucking on a stick of wet cedar. I will be cutting this cigar with my Palio double bladed cutter, and lighting it with a vector single flame torch.
First Smoke:The Liga Privada T52 took quite a bit of convincing to get lit under my single flame torch. I expected a very small draw due to how tightly packed this cigar is. To my surprise my mouth was soon full of large amounts of thick, heavy smoke with little, to no effort at all. The smoke was very dense, and just kinda hung around with a strong cedar like aroma. I really wouldn’t be at all surprised if me neighbors couldn’t tell the difference between the cigar smoke and an actual fireplace burning. The stationary smoke was incredibly large too, this is something to keep in mind if you plan on smoking the Liga Privada in public places. The flavor the Liga Privada started off with a huge punch of pepper, and then transcended into a very cedar like taste with hints of earthy, mossy flavors and grape. Smoking the Liga Privada T-52 tastes much like sucking on a plank of cedar wood. The burn line started out pretty consistent, and the ash was very tightly packed in its off grey, speckled white color. I got about an inch in a half into this smoke before the ash finally gave way. One thing to note though is the ash fell a great distance before landing in my ashtray. Most of the time when this occurs the ash almost explodes on impact. In the case of the Liga Privada there was almost no destruction to the ash log, it was that tightly packed.
Halfway There:About halfway in I started feeling the nicotine hit me. This is an extremely bold cigar vs. the no.9 which is a good thing. The flavors are still very consistent with cedar taking center stage only to be accompanied by creamy hints of leather, and soft fruit with the great tobacco aftertaste we have grown to love. In the case of the Liga Privada T-52 the after taste wasn’t bad at all, and only lasted a few seconds then disappeared. The burn line is pretty consistent up to this point with a few vein traces here and there.
Finish:Just before hitting the band I reached that thick bump in the cigar that I noted before. This did in fact throw off the burn just a bit, but not enough to require any touch-ups of any kind. Towards the end of the cigar the pepper taste made its return, but not nearly as powerful as it was at the beginning. Outside of the pepper the exact same flavors were picked up all the way through the Liga Privada. Some cigar smokers may frown upon this consistency in flavors but I for one love it. The ash held tightly through the entire cigar only dropping three times, which in my opinion is awesome for a Toro. The final stretch of the cigar packed a bit more punch than expected, again this is one characteristic that sets the T-52 away from the No. 9. The Liga Privada T-52 took just a little over two hours to finish.
Overview:The Liga Privada T-52 was one of the many cigars released in 2009 and it just may be top on my list for the “best of the best”. With its complex profile, bold strength, great aroma, and perfect flavors the Liga Privada T52 is a sure fire winner. Due to the exclusiveness of this cigar if you are ever lucky enough to stumble upon them, buy them! But all of them! and if you aren’t happy with them, rest assured they have a home with me. I would recommend this cigar not only to any aficionado, but to anyone who is blessed with the opportunity to get their hands on them.