Following the popularity of the T52 and No. 9 cigars of Drew Estate’s Liga Privada line, came the notion of a cigar that smoked exceptionally in one, singular size. Thus began the Liga Privada Único Serie. Former Drew Estate honcho, Steve Saka described the Único Serie, “They’re cigars that work as a particular size, such as lancero or corona, with the blend being unique to that particular vitola.” The series started in 2010 with the release of Dirty Rat, then followed at the 2011 IPCPR with a small pre-release of this review’s featured cigar – Ratzilla. There are now many vitolas included in the Único Serie line of cigars.
Ratzilla is the same basic blend as Dirty Rat, just massaged a little for the size difference.
- Wrapper: Stalk-cut Connecticut Habano
- Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
- Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran
- Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate (Estelí, Nicaragua)
- Production: Seasonal
- Vitola: 6-1/4″ x 46 Corona Gorda
- Price: $14
As with the majority of Ligas, Ratzilla is a rustic looking cigar. I guess that goes for any cigar with Connecticut or Pennsylvania Broadleaf (or in this case, stalk-cut Connecticut Habano) wrapper. The Habano wrapper glistens with an oily sheen that helps distract attention away from the veiny, thick skin of Ratzilla, smelling of hay and coffee. Deep, dark coffee and wood is the predominate theme with this cigar. Throughout the smoke, both these flavors play in and out of the flavor profile. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the white pepper. Through the first half, it was as strong a pepper spice as I can remember from any cigar! It burned through my sinuses like strong horseradish or Chinese mustard. And it intensified and lingered even after the smoke had cleared my palate. I like a spicy cigar, but this was intense – fortunately, the pepper backed off in the second half.
The cigar was dry and oaky to begin with and got sweeter as the cigar progressed. But even when a hint of dark molasses began to creep in, it held to its core flavors of coffee and wood.
As with every other Liga or UC I’ve smoked, the cigar just billows smoke like an 1870s freight train! The strength wavered between just under a medium to a rock-solid medium, finally getting down to business with a medium-full strength toward the end. The draw was excellent; resistively open, I guess I would frame it as. It burned evenly and the dark grey ash came off in well-formed 1” to ½” chunks.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Nope (that is, if I had to track one down and pay for it). Not my style of cigar and they’re damn spendy. Though I’d surely smoke this if it were gifted to me…
Until next time…Dojo Mojo, Ya’ll!!
- It developed a pleasant sweetness the further I smoked into the stick
- The fantail cap is just plain cool
- Dry (flavor) and astringent to start