Dirty Rat (Corona), 5 x 44
Wrapper: USA/Connecticut Habano Sun Grown
|Cigar age||1 yr. 6.6 mo.|
BACKGROUND: This postscript review is on the Liga Privada Dirty Rat, which I first featured in Episode 260 of the Stogie Fresh 5 podcast on Sunday, February 20, 2011. These stogies have been resting in their original wooden box in my humidor for 1 year, 6.6 months and I pulled out two more samples for this postscript review.
Drew Estate officially released the Liga Privada “Dirty Rat” in September of 2010. It was the first cigar released within the Unico Series. Unico, which translates from the Spanish as "unique," is a group of special cigars that don't fit the existing blend and flavor profiles of either the No. 9 or T52 Liga Privada lines.
According to the company, they have made 9 or 10 blends of exceptional flavor that are based on the Liga Privada blends, but that differ from both the No. 9 and the T52 branded cigars. They are cigars that are blended to work specifically as a particular size, such as a lancero or corona, with the blend being unique to that particular size.
The Dirty Rat was the first example of what will be a continuing series of vitola-specific blends. The Dirty Rat is a blend of primarily Nicaraguan tobaccos from almost exclusively the Esteli Valley (some Honduran in the filler). For the wrapper the Dirty Rat sports a stalk cut and cured, Connecticut sun grown Habano leaf, which is the same one featured on the Liga Privada T52.
Stalk cutting is a different process than that used on most tobacco, which is primed, or picked, 2 leaves at a time, separated by about a week between primings. The individual leaves are sewn together and hung on poles up in a curing barn until they changes color from green, to yellow to brown.
Stalk cutting, on the other hand, involves cutting down the tobacco plant at ground level and then hanging the entire stalk upside down to cure the leaves.
Packed in a 12-count presentation box with a suggested retail price of $12-$13 per cigar, the "Dirty Rat" is intended for the connoisseur smoker whose first and foremost concern is enjoying an consummate smoking experience.
This postscript review features the 5 inch by 44 ring gauge corona.
TASTING NOTES: From the outset this cigar was huge in flavor. The Dirty Rat put me into sensory overdrive as my palate exploded with oak wood, espresso, roasted meat and pepper spice. Throughout this profile ran a darkly sweet undertone and the entire effect had me salivating like a faucet.
The burn and draw on this Corona was near perfect. I can't imagine a cigar drawing any better than this one. It had the perfect amount of resistance and allowed plenty of smoke with each draw without drawing too easy and burning hot. The burn line was dead even and the dark gray ash was deeply striated.
I might mention that while I was in Nicaragua visiting Drew Estate, I smoked a few of these Dirty Rats and I also smoked experimental blends called the Black Rat and the Big Black Rat. I also smoked the Liga L-40, the UF13 and numerous Undercrown's. It's worth noting that Drew Estate makes a lot of cigars that use the same basic tobacco framework, but with minor tweaks. For example, the Dirty Rat has the same basic blend as the Ligo No. 9, but swaps out the US/Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper for a US/Connecticut Habano. And, there are many more offshoots of the Liga No. 9 that are made using the same basic tobacco, but changing the ratio of leaves from different parts of the plant. So, the blender might use a bit more ligero and less viso if they want a stronger cigar, or more seco and less ligero, if they want a cigar that burns better and is not as strong. There is nearly an infinite variety of blends you can construct using the same tobacco. This has been a winning strategy for the company and will likely continue into the near future.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Liga Privada Dirty Rat is one of my favorites in the Liga lineup. It is lean and mean and chock full of complex flavors. The Rat is medium to full in body and strength and full in flavor. The earthy character is lip-smacking good and displays coffee, dark chocolate, oak wood and a natural tobacco sweetness that ties it all together.
The only drawback for some will be the price: at around $13.00 per stick this cigar is not for the faint of pocketbook. Nevertheless, this is a great smoke and one to savor on a special occasion. The Liga Privada Dirty Rat is a clean winner.
These cigars come in a box of 12, sans cello. I have left them in their original box, which is contained in my Aristocrat M+ humidor. They do not come with cellophane wrappers, but in their box of 12 cigars, they benefit from a small and independent microclimate.
This is the second and final postscript review of these cigars, which have been resting in my humidor for a total of 1year, 6 months and 20 days.
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