Drew Estate is one of the very best when it comes to Connecticut tobacco. Not the light and smooth Connecticut shade wrappers that most people think of, most of...
Drew Estate is one of the very best when it comes to Connecticut tobacco. Not the light and smooth Connecticut shade wrappers that most people think of, most of which are grown in Ecuador. Drew Estate discovered and championed the tougher, intense Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco which has become a standard for powerhouse premium blends from all of the leading brands.
How did a company best known for its intriguing, but still mostly mild or medium ACID cigars become famous for spicy and powerful blends?
It all started with a buying expedition a decade ago. The folks at Drew Estate had been scouring the world for the perfect wrapper for their next release. They happened upon a farmer in Connecticut who was growing tough and heavily veined tobacco which he called Connecticut Broadleaf. It was extremely labor-intensive and expensive to raise and he had not found a market for the leaves, so he was on the verge of giving up on the crop. The Drew Estate team, however, immediately realized they had found something special and bought his entire stock. They spent months formulating the right combinations of binders and fillers to complement the unique wrapper and eventually came out with the Liga Privada no 9. It was an instant success that raised Drew Estate to true cigar legend status.
It's been ten years since Drew Estate first released Liga Privada No. 9 and so they celebrated in style by releasing the Liga Privada Aniversario 10. This extreme small batch release comes exclusively in boxes of 10, with each masterpiece cigar nestled in its own tray. The boxes are truly striking with their white Liga Privada lion crest and weathered black backdrop.
The initial production was kept down to just 1000 of these boxes. Quantities are so limited that Drew Estate raffles off batches of just 4 boxes each to retailers around the country once a month. For that reason, the Liga Privada Aniversario 10 has become one of the most prized collector's items in the cigar world over the past year. Connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike are eagerly snapping up every box that they can find.
What makes the Liga Privada Aniversario 10 so irresistible to cigar smokers, apart from its rarity?
The most remarkable thing about this cigar is its wrapper. It is the first cigar to use a Criollo seed wrapper grown in the Connecticut valley and fermented until it is nearly Oscuro. The wrapper is dark, even for a Liga Privada, nearly as black as the cigar box and band. Drew Estate was so proud of their wrapper leaf that they wrapped it around the foot to create a rare closed-foot and twisted it off into a fantail cap.
Underneath the wrapper is a San Andres Otapan Negro Ultimo Corte capote binder leaf which adds a hefty dose of spice to the palate and ensures an even burn. The binder holds together a flavorful blend of spicy Nicaraguan and mellower Honduran long-fillers. Like all entries in the Liga Privada line, the Aniversario 10 is satisfyingly firm and burns surprisingly well given its toothy wrapper.
Toast the foot, light 'er up, take a puff, and sit back for the ride. This is a serious cigar that is not for the faint of heart. The initial palate is intense black pepper which threatens to overwhelm the base notes of earthy leather. But the pepper quickly fades to the background and the smoke becomes quite smooth, allowing you to settle into the smoke and enjoy the building flavors of leather, earth, coffee, and dark chocolate. It reaches an intense full-bodied crescendo in the final third, but not thanks to the pepper: the finale is all coffee and leather. It's roasty, flavorful, and delicious from first puff until you burn your fingertips. A true treat, if you can get your hands on one.