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.

Ratzilla Breakdown

  • 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
The initial full release of Ratzilla was scheduled for 2011, but when the time came, the cigars were not ready. Drew Estate co-founder, Johnathan Drew addressed the delay by saying, “It (the wrapper) needed more time to cure.” Add to that the immense popularity of Dirty Rat at the time, and the fact that both Únicos used the same wrapper as the heralded T52, it just made sense to wait on Ratzilla. Overall, the crop of Connecticut Habano they were working with was being stubborn. It got to the point even T52s were hard to find. Again quoting Drew, “We kept waiting for the tobacco to turn.” Adding, “We waited the normal two years for the wrapper, then another three months, then we’d wait another six months.” However, perseverance reaps its own reward, and in 2012 Ratzilla was finally released in a truly limited manner of 500 12-count bundles. And that was the last we heard from Ratzilla until 2014, when the good people at DE finally rereleased the cigar for the 2014 holiday season. From that batch I managed to get my hands on one.

Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla cigar

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.

Liga Ratzilla cigar review

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!!

Liga Privada Único Serie Ratzilla
To me, it was a dry, oaky spice bomb to begin with, getting more complex and smooth as it went on.
  • 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
89%Horseradish Zing
  • Cigar Wars cigar ratings
  • Steve Saka Cigars
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