Living in New York at the time that Liga Privada No. 9 came out; I remember how the cigar set the world on fire so to speak. Limited to a certain amount of accounts they became the holy grail of cigars for cigar geeks such as myself. A couple of years later Drew Estate would release the Liga Privada T52 and it would surpass the No. 9 for me in terms of a cigar I reached for on a regular basis.
After smoking the No. 9 for review back in April and seeing how it changed for me from years past I decided it was time to pick up the T52 and see if that changed much as well.
According to the Drew Estate website, “Meticulously blended over a period of two years to be a worthy humidor companion to our much heralded Liga Privada No. 9 recipe. With notes of black pepper and spice, it is our choice when desiring a stronger, more robust smoke. Like its predecessor, it is a complex marriage of seven distinct aged tobaccos handcrafted by only our absolute best torcedors. Each cigar is guaranteed to be flawless in construction, flavor and character…without exception.”
Cigar Review: Liga Privada T52
Size: 6 x 52 (Belicoso)
Wrapper: Stalk Cut American Habano (Connecticut)
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Source: Two Guys Smoke Shop
The Look (8 / 10): A chocolate colored wrapper with some brindle like effects adorns the Liga Privada T52 that is seamlessly rolled with some significant oils visible. The band is brown and white with the words Liga Privada T52 in black. While simple, the band is part of the Liga charm. In the hand the belicoso feels incredibly light but firm with a well packed foot.
The Notes (33 / 35): The cold draw of the cigar has some sweetness to it, and a touch of earth. There are elements of bread (rye) and raisin while the foot of the cigar tingled the nostrils with notes of cedar, dirt and a slight spice.
Once the cigar is toasted and lit there is a subtle spice that is trumped by notes of chocolate and cedar. Through the nose the pepper is dominant but it doesn’t detract from the overall sweetness of the cigar and its aroma. As the first third comes to a close the cigar begins to lose the sweetness as a charred wood note becomes the focal point.
Around the half way point the sweetness comes back and cocoa becomes the primary note with a touch of molasses and cinnamon with wood notes on the finish. Through the nose the cigar serves up elements of wasabi that makes my eyes water but the sweetness on the palate remains dominant on the moderate finish.
The last third of the cigar starts to lose the sweetness again as the cigar becomes heavy on wood, and the wasabi through the nose starts to transcend into the aroma of the cigar as well. The finish is earthy and moderate in length as it was in the second third of the smoke.
The Burn (32 / 35): The Liga Privada T52 is a cigar that needs to be smoke slow or it has a tendency to burn hot and get soft in the middle. The burn which was off center never needed to be touched up and revealed a white ash that held for more than half the cigar from its thin combustion line. The draw of the cigar was pure perfection and it remained lit from first light to last puff with a ton of smoke even in the resting position.
The Finish (17 / 20): The Liga Privada T52 feels like it hasn’t changed much since 2009 when the cigar was first released. A nice balance of sweetness and spice the cigar doesn’t feel as new as when it first came out. While it was nice to visit this old friend, I feel like we don’t have much in common anymore. I’ll hang out with the T52 again, just not as often as in the past until we can find something to spark our friendship again.
Price: $16.19 at Two Guys Smoke Shop
- There was a period of 2 years where I smoked this cigar every day; but when I moved to Miami I totally stopped as it wasn’t as available or popular in the Miami market or at least where I spent my free time.
- Drew Estate cigars seem to smoke themselves leaving one to believe the cigars are treated in such a way to make that happen.
- Despite the above statement I love the look of a cigar that produces a lot of smoke.
- The cigar was my first smoke of the day.
- I went back and looked at a review I wrote in 1999 for the T52 after I wrote this and they were very similar.
- I paired the cigar with Cuban coffee
- Smoking time was 1 hour 50 minutes