This week we are photographing and smoking one of the latest projects out of the Drew Estate stable – Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘L40.’ This long time coming lancero has been dreamed and talked about in many cigar lounge circles. Looking horizontally and vertically across Liga Privada brand, including core as well as Unico Serie, a lancero was the next logical, in my opinion, project to be tackled by the creative minds of the Drew Estate. As per cigar spec sheet located on the Drew Estate blog, ‘L40′ refers to the slightly larger ring size than your typical lancero. The additional girth was necessary to accommodate the desired blend of 5 tobaccos. The ‘L40′ recipe was in development for 2+ years prior to release.
One has to appreciate the look of the full box of Liga Privada. The ‘L40′ lancero is not any different. Fifteen well rolled, shiny, oily, veinless, full of aroma cigars are gracing the Unico Serie box. The selected specimen had few visible seams but overall excellent construction and well applied cap. After clipping it, excellent draw. There is nothing more annoying than plugged and excessively soft lancero, fortunately ‘L40′ had scored highly against those two requirements. In flavor department, a spice bomb out of the gate on the first few puffs. Definitely black pepperish lingering in the back of the throat. Mixed with the spice were hints of coffee, chocolate and clearly noticeable (periodically) sweetness. That intense spice level had cooled off in the second / third part of the cigar. Toward the end, coffee / chocolaty / sweet flavors were replaced with wood and cedar. Burn line was relatively acceptable, considering it was lancero. It was wavy but no manual intervention was required. Ash – surprisingly flake-less but DIRTY and when I say dirty, I mean exactly that. The color of the ash looked like someone dipped the tip of the cigar in the mud. Having said that, who cares ! One can not complete a review of the Liga Privada without talking about the smoke, the cloud, the atomic bomb mushroom cloud ! Like the rest of the Liga Privada, especially No9, ‘L40′ produced a ton of smoke which made photography session that much more enjoyable.
Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘L40′ was definitely an enjoyable experience. I have not had a chance to sample the pre-release so I can’t comment on improvements, if any (* check Tony Casa’s thoughts on the pre-release at
casasfumando). If you enjoy lancero vitola, I would recommend searching them out and experiencing it for yourself. I understand both Jonathan Drew & Steve Saka of Drew Estate have stated that Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘L40′ is a unique blend, differing from other Liga Privada blends. I can appreciate that statement but I can not look at the Liga Privada brand and not compare Unico Serie ‘L40′ to my favorites: Unico Serie ‘Dirty Rat’ or LP No9. I think we, the mainstream cigar smokers, often fall in the trap of forcing already excellent projects into other vitolas. Many of us love corona gordas, coronas, lanceros without fully appreciating the existing work. In my humble opinion, Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘L40′ is another well executed project but when it comes to the Liga Privada brand, my go-to will continue to be No9 toro and Unico Serie ‘Dirty Rat.’ In that order.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Habano Leaf
Binder: Plantation-Grown Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: 3 Extra-Choice Nicaraguan Cuban Seed
- click on photographs (slideshow / EXIF)-