Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Tuesday, Jul 21 2009 

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Drew Estates’ Liga Privada No. 9 has received a fair amount of hype.  Know mostly for flavored and infused cigars, when Drew Estates ventures into more traditional lines of cigars it always raises some eyebrows and draws attention.  Their Liga Privada line of cigars seems to be their best received offering of traditional smokes.  The T-52 is a new cigar in the line that hasn’t even been released yet.  It is set to be released at this years IPCPRA convention.  T.G., a very generous brother at The Herf Hut Cigar Forum, offered to share one of these new cigars that he was lucky enough to get his hands on a little early.  Thanks T.G., I really appreciate it.

The really special thing about this new cigar is the wrapper.  It is a new, never used before and exclusive wrapper that the folks at Drew Estate has dubbed “Stalk Cut Habano”.  Rather that trying to tell the story myself I’ll just quote the information that T.G. sent me that he got from Jonathan Drew.  In this explanation the wrapper is referred to as American Habano, but apparently they have changed their minds a decided to refer to it as Stalk Cut Habano.  Read on… (more…)

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Rocky Patel Sun Grown Toro Thursday, Jul 16 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Brazilian, Dominican, and Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5″ x52 ring
Courtesy of CigarsDirect.com

Rocky Patel’s Sun Grown has been around for a while now.  It is unique in my opinion because it seems to be  universally respected among cigar smokers as a good, tasty, quality cigar.  Yet it doesn’t have any of the hype or pomp and circumstance around it that other widely respected cigars have, like the VSG or even the Oliva Serie V just as an example.  It seems to fly just below the radar, but ask someone about it and you will almost always here “That’s a great smoke, one of my favorite Rockys!”  Don’t ask about it, and you’ll probably never hear it mentioned.  That just strikes me as odd an unique.

This specimen sports a handsome looking, rustic, rosado colored wrapper.  It has a toothy, dry look to it.  Now, the RP Sun Grown Petite Corona is my hands down favorite vitola in this line.  I think is is an excellent smoke.  A robust, powerful little spice bomb.  I have enjoyed them so much over the years that it wasn’t until now that I have ever bothered to try another vitola, but this time I am smoking a toro.  It starts off with a bit of black pepper and a spiciness that is reminiscent of the Petite Corona only not quite as sharp or robust.  The flavors seem to be muted or muddled in the translation to the large ring gauge.  I get hints of the coffee, earth, and spice that I love in the Petite Corona, only they are faint and muddy and not as pronounced.  I was a bit disappointed with this one.  It seems to me the blend does much better in a smaller format.  Still it was an enjoyable cigar even though it didn’t live up to the standard set by its little brother.

Rating – B

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Redux: Olde World Reserve Corjo Toro by Rocky Patel Thursday, Jul 9 2009 

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Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: Toro 6.5″ x 52 ring

My first try with Rocky’s Olde World Reserve Corojo was not the best of experiences.  An insanely loose draw and a hot burn ruined it for me.  Because of that I decided to hold off assigning a rating to the cigar.  I know a lot of people like to make a point of smoking two or three of a particular cigar before writing a review on it. They do this to try and normalize the experience so that they aren’t underrating it because of a fluke with a bad stick, or even overrating it because they happened to get an above average sample.  It is a valid and thorough approach, but one that I don’t use myself.  I take a different tact.  For me first impressions are king.  There are so many cigars out there to choose from and to try.  I give most cigars one shot to sell themselves to me.  Some might think that’s not particularly fair.  After all, cigars are hand made products and there is bound to be an occasional bad stick.  This is true and I try and account for that in a less systematic way than sampling multiple cigars for a review.  The Olde World Reserve Corojo is an example of this.  Normally, I’d have a bad experience, write off the cigar and move on.  But in the case here, I felt I obviously had an unusually bad specimen for my first review.  There were obvious construction issues and I also felt that the cigar showed some promise hidden behind the problems I was having with it.  So for that reason I felt I should give this cigar one more shot.  Another bad sample and I’d write it off as a poorly made line of cigars.  However, that isn’t what happened here.

My second try with Rocky’s Corojo version of the OWR was much better than the first.  The draw was 100% better this time around with just the right amount of resistance and the cigar had a very good even burn.  It burned a lot cooler this time as a result and I could now actually taste the flavors of the tobacco instead of just tasting the harsh heat of an overly hot burn.  The OWR Corojo started off smooth and mild with notes of nuts and coffee.  About a third of the way into it, the cigar developed more body and a slight edge.  The flavors were a bit muddled, mostly leather and earth and a peppery finish.  It never really changed again after that.  I found it to be a decent smoke but not really all that engaging.  It is a lot like the OWR Maduro in that respect.  I feel comfortable giving the Corojo a “B” now that I have smoked one sans construction issues.

Rating – B

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