We just want good smokes, right? Is that too much to ask?
Well, the thing is, these guys are experimenting all the time to produce high-quality blends and products, and it can help you decide what to buy if you know what grouping they’re working on. So each of the cigars in this article is a product of the great continuing project known as Liga Privada—here is how to tell them apart!
It was only supposed to be a nice little private blend for the house. But the problem is, some products are just too good to keep a secret. So when the world found out that the Drew Estate team had a glorious private stash cigar that they couldn’t stop smoking day and night, the world wanted in.
If there is one thing you should know about the original Liga Privada seven-tobacco blend, it’s that it is satisfying. This smoke satisfies, every time. The problem is, you can never find it. Only four pairs of torcedores are allowed to make it, and they can only make 250 each day.
Ironically, this amount is never enough to satisfy.
The Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 was made to be stronger than its Liga Privada brethren—and it is!
As the story goes, the Drew Estate boys went up to Connecticut, looking for a barn of Broadleaf, and stumbled upon some unique stalk-cut tobacco. The farmer called it “American Habano.” And because it looked so nice and had the thickness the boys were after, they decided to commit to buying crops of it.
But that’s not the end of things. Broadleaf, can be a pain to process. You see, most tobacco is primed (taken off the plant a few leaves at a time for processing). Stalk-cut tobacco on the other hand (like Broadleaf), is lopped off at the stalk, with the leaves still on it. It’s left out to wilt in the sun a bit, and then it’s speared on lathes and hung. While there, it continues to draw nutrition from the stalk, which gives it the qualities for which it is prized.
It takes a month to go from green to brown. However, it’s not over yet!
Like a good wine, it has to ferment to become the rich delicacy we know and love. Here’s another big difference between Broadleaf and other tobaccos: while more delicate leaves might ferment for a few months, Broadleaf can take years, often with rounds of aging in between.
It sure is a labor of love, that many would not even bother with. The result, however, can be an exquisite treat, as in the case of the T52, and very much worth the wait.
Now the next time you light one up, you’ll know how much love and care went into making your smoke.
A cigar this good had to be celebrated, and the 10-Year Anniversario is an evolved take on the same Connecticut River Valley leaf that makes Liga Privada so special.
Master blender Willy Herrera was tasked with putting a fresh spin on it. What he came up with features a “San Andres Otapan Negro Último Corte” capote (this cigar is a mouthful even in written form, in addition to smokable form), along with a “core blend of well-aged Nicaraguan and Honduran tripa leaf.”
As each crop is worked with, the team continues to improve its methods. One false move during the long process can ruin the crop, so the 10-Year Anniversario is the result of a vast amount of experience working with this particular leaf.
We will wait with bated breath for the 25-Year Anniversario (and hope to be lucky enough to get our hands on a few dozen boxes)!
This version has a Corojo wrapper, but still one grown in the Connecticut River Valley. It’s quite hard to grow outside of its home climates of Florida, Nicaragua, and Honduras, but with hybridization, anything is possible! The end product is a red, oily wrap that conceals inner leaves that produce a sweet tobacco spice with dense earthy layers to produce a luxurious and rich smoke.
So hopefully, that clears things up. Pick one that you can get a stick of, kick back, and puff away on the fine tradition that makes up the Drew Estate Liga Privada differences.
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