Team Cigar Review: Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020

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Cigar Details: Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020

  • Vitola: Corona
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Brazil
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Honduras
  • Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $15.99
  • Release Date: May 2020
  • Source: Drew Estate

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

There is a lot going on with the presentation of the Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020. The primary band is the traditional Unico design and has the line name on the front. There is gold foil that runs from that band all the way to the foot band which is blue and gold and designates Limited Edition 2020. After sliding off the foil sleeve, a toothy, rustic and marbled dark brown wrapper appears. There are a few raised knotty veins. The seams are easily visible as they are slightly raised while the head is finished with a slightly twisted flag. The aroma from the wrapper is slightly damp cedar while the foot aroma reminds me of spice cake. The pre-light draw consists of light wood and a very subtle amount of the spice cake. There is a decent spiciness present on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020 is beautiful in presentation, The gold foil over the dark oscuro wrapper is a nice touch and the fantail cap is fantastic. The cigar is firm throughout and the wrapper is coarse in texture with some tooth present. I am picking up aromas of rich earth, dark cocoa, stone fruit and sweet spices. The wrapper is delivering this mellow marshmallow aroma on top of those notes. Very nice.

Pre-light Experience

The Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020 pulls out all of the stops. To start with, the cigar sports a fan-style cap, a primary Year of The Rat band, gold foil underneath the band that extends the length of the cigar and a Limited 2020 Edition foot band. The cigars wrapper is a dark chocolate color, and is fairly smooth throughout. Aromas from the cigar included a malty sweetness, leather, cedar and hints of citrus underneath. From the foot, a mild wood is all I was able to pick up.

Pre-light Experience

The Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020 has an oily near oscuro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and the flared head has a good multi-wrap. Aromas from the wrapper and foot tell assertive cedar, barnyard, minerals and baking spices. Cold draw gives namely cedar and baking spices.

First Third

The cigar begins with some dark wood, cinnamon and light mustiness. At a half inch in, the dark wood and mustiness are even while the cinnamon is light in the background. Black pepper has become present on the finish. The retrohale starts with musty wood and then a black pepper zing takes over. At an inch in, the cinnamon is gone and the black pepper has creeped into the background. At an inch and a half in, the wood loses the darkness and becomes more defined as oak. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The first third opens up by delivering sweet spices, rich earth, chocolate cake, dark cherries and roasted coffee flavors. There are some gentle marshmallow cream qualities present as well and the cigar is smoking between a medium and medium-full level. Fantastic start to the cigar.

First Third

The first third opens up the flavor profile with dry cedar and light earth. Toasted baking spices are present on the retrohale. Almost immediately, toasted sweetness and minerality also join the retrohale. Overall, my initial impressions are a lot of dark and toasted flavors to start. Some post draw leather settles in as the cigar progresses. Cocoa joins the baking spices on the retrohale as well. Sweetness steps up to medium strength on the retrohale with some earth and coffee accents. By the 45 minute mark, earth moves into the post draw.

First Third

The first third is intense with sweetness and creaminess. There’s a viscous and chewy type of structure to the smoke. Tagging along are also minerals and baking spices. Roughly an inch in, cherry cordials joins. Retrohaling brings the spice in baking spices and a rougher sharp cedar up close. The finish is fairly lengthy with slightly bitter dark chocolate. Strength and body is medium-full.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the oak and mustiness remain up front as some creaminess joins the profile and the black pepper is light in the background. At a half inch in, the creaminess and black pepper both drop out. The retrohale is musty oak. At an inch and a quarter, some light barbecue smokiness joins the profile. The strength in this third remained at slightly below medium.

Second Third

The second third delivers a flavor profile of sweet spices, touches of red pepper, and some earth and stone fruit qualities. There is dark cocoa powder flavors present as well, and like before the cigar is smoking between medium and medium-full.

Second Third

Sweet leather and some earth combines and carries into the post draw. Lingering toasted earth sits on the palate between draws. On the second cigar I smoked, there’s more baking spices in the center of the profile, as well as a creaminess on the retrohale. The first cigar was more earth and leather forward, while the second one had similar flavor components to the first third.

Second Third

The second third loses out on the sweetness but it is still a chewy smoke similar to a full body milk texture. The profile highlights more dark chocolate, baking spices and minerals. Strength and body remains medium plus.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the barbecue smokiness departs and a light floral note joins in. The retrohale is musty oak with a light floral note. At an inch in, the profile is maintaining the musty oak with light floral note. The strength in this third dropped down to mild-medium.

Final Third

The final third shows some transitioning and I am getting a flavor profile of sweet spices, red and black pepper, dry earth and herbal qualities. There are hints of cocoa present on the finish, but nothing to what was present before. In terms of flavors, strength and body, the cigar is smoking at a medium level.

Final Third

Sweet cedar and earth linger between draws, and gain cedar not long after the last third starts. Dry cedar moves into the middle of the flavor profile. The post draw settles into a leather and earth combination.

Final Third

The final third is very similar to the second third. Medium-full strength and body with good viscosity and flavors of dark chocolate, baking spices, minerals and creamy bread.

Burn

The burn was quite frustrating as the cigar went out six times, requiring re-lights.

Burn

Fantastic construction from start to finish.

Burn

Both cigars had a similar burn performance with a relatively straight burn to begin, along with a bright, white ash. The burn becomes lop sided in the second, self correcting. The burn is offset in the last third requiring a touch-up.

Burn

Near perfect burn performance with some issues of uneven burn. The burn overall was cool, ample DE style of smoking like a chimney and fairly tight ashes.

Draw

The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with some dark wood, cinnamon and light mustiness. Some black pepper joined in and the cinnamon departed. As the third came to a close, the dark wood transitioned to oak. The second third saw some cream join in for a short bit and then it and the black pepper dropped out. Some barbecue smokiness joined in as the second third was wrapping up. The final third saw the smokiness leave and a light floral note join in. The burn was atrocious while the draw was perfect. Strength was slightly below medium most of the way. The Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020 started out with a nice combination of flavors but dropped down in the second third as some components dropped out. The final third picked back up even though the profile was pretty basic. I’m sure the constant re-lights took a toll on the flavor profile, but overall, the cigar was still good. I’m interested to see what experience the other guys had, but I’m open to coming back to this to see what a better burn does to the overall experience.

Draw

The draw was great from beginning to end. Well rolled with a nice level of resistance.

Overall

I really enjoyed the Year of the Rat and I tend to enjoy any release from Drew Estate that revolves around a rat. Dirty Rat, Velvet Rat and Ratzilla. The Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020 was a rich cigar that had a lovely strength and body level to go with the flavors delivered. The first third was fantastic, and if it smoked at that level from beginning to end the cigar would have done much better. With that being said, this was still a good cigar. I loved the marshmallow cream, sweet spice and cocoa flavors, and the corona gorda offering did a lot for the binder and wrapper flavors. I highly recommend. This will be a success for the company on many levels.

Draw

The draw on the first cigar was quite tight, roughly 3-1/2 to 4 notches resistant. The draw on the second cigar was resistant, but only 2 to 2-1/2 notches.

Overall

The Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020 was enjoyable and should deliver on both presentation and flavor to satisfy regular customers and fanboys alike. The flavor profile leaned more towards the dark and toasted flavor components of the Liga Privada No. 9, or the Dirty Rat, than the sweeter and spicier Liga Privada T52, which I personally prefer. Burn performance was very good, while the draw had some resistance to it (which some might prefer in the smaller ring gauge). Total smoking time was a fairly brisk 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Draw

The draw on the other hand was flawless, striking the ideal air flow.

Overall

I never had the chance to smoke the original Year of the Rat, but honestly it doesn’t really matter because this Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020 was great. Therefore, I don’t feel like I necessarily missed out on the original. Absolutely loved the chewy mouthful with ample sweetness, cream, cherry cordials, dark chocolate and good backing of spices coming from baking spices and minerals. The want to chain smoke these is high and I look forward to the next one.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
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AmazingPre
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GoodFirst
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Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$2.73

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

6.92

Cost/Point

$2.31

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.42

Cost/Point

$2.49

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.42

Cost/Point

$2.16

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Year of the Rat 2020

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