The Liga Privada line catapulted Drew Estate into the very upper echelon of cigar brands. They had been very well regarded for their ACID cigars, which showed the cigar...
The Liga Privada line catapulted Drew Estate into the very upper echelon of cigar brands. They had been very well regarded for their ACID cigars, which showed the cigar world that flavored cigars, craftsmanship, and premium tobacco could go hand in hand. But the brand had struggled to break free of their ACID origins and establish themselves as a boutique blender of serious cigars which could go toe-to-toe with other relative newcomers to the premium market like Rocky Patel and My Father.
Then, the Drew Estate team discovered Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers on a purchasing expedition and created the Liga Privada No. 9 with the proceeds of their discovery. Liga Privada became an instant classic and suddenly every blender wanted to use Connecticut Broadleaf on their cigars. Limited supplies made it a rare and sought after blend, and DE launched the Undercrown brand to meet the demand for the flavors of Liga Privada at a more budget-friendly price tag.
To celebrate ten years of Liga Privada, Drew Estate wanted to do something special. Jonathan Drew challenged his master blender, Willy Herrera, to create two blends that would live up to the Liga Privada legacy while also revolutionizing the line. So, the Drew Estate team set about growing new wrapper leaves in the Connecticut Valley to cover their new releases.
They settled on a Criollo-seed Oscuro wrapper, which is featured on the Liga Privada Aniversario 10, and a rare Corojo wrapper which graces another blend called the Liga Privada H99.
The Aniversario 10 is limited to just 1,000 boxes of ten cigars apiece, and while it has become a seriously sought-after collector's piece, it won't be around for much longer. The Liga Privada H99, on the other hand, while still in pretty limited production, is going to be an ongoing addition to the Liga Privada lineup. And a very welcome one indeed!
It is nearly impossible to grow Corojo tobacco outside of the warm climates of Florida, Nicaragua, Honduras, and of course Cuba. But Willy Herrera was determined and developed a hybridized version that could withstand the Connecticut weather and retained all of the delicious Corojo flavors. Herrera's work means that this wrapper is unique in the cigar world, and it's been such a hit that Drew Estate is struggling to increase production to meet the demand. H99 is quickly becoming yet another astounding success in the Liga Privada line.
Willy Herrera paired the dark and sweet Corojo wrapper with a spicy and intense San Andres Otapan Negro Ultimo Corte capote binder to create a truly balanced cigar. Underneath the binder, he rolled a generous helping of Nicaraguan and Honduran tripa long-fillers which add body, spice, and earthy mellow notes to the palate.
The smoke starts off enormously rich and meaty, with plenty of pepper, burnt sugar, and wood. It quickly mellows out while retaining all of its body, as demerara sugar, cocoa, and leather join the palate. These sweet, earthy flavors build during the second third while gaining a mineral complexity. It's earthier than it is sweet but is extremely well balanced. Unlike the Aniversario 10, which becomes even more intense in the last third, the H99 mellows out in the finale. It's still plenty flavorful, and spicier than ever, but the final puffs bring in much-appreciated clove and fig sweetness which perfectly compliment the notes which have dominated the palate since the beginning. A complex, spicy, savory-sweet, and extremely satisfying smoke. We are extremely excited to see more entries to the H99 lineup and couldn't be happier that this one is here to stay.