Liga Privada No.9 Flying Pig

4-30-13 been in humidor since 4-9-10

Liga Privada No.9 Flying Pig (4 x 60)

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro

Binder: Brazilian Mata-Fina

Filler: Dominican, Honduran, Nicaraguan

Blender: Steve Saka, Johnathan Drew

This cigar is basically a Liga Privada No.9 in a limited edition shape with a touch more ligero in it. We all know that the No.9 blend was supposed to be Saka’s personal blend but everyone he handed it to loved it so they released it. That story is very common in cigar reviews of the Liga Privada No.9.

What is a bit less common is how the cigar is designed. According to interviews with Steve Saka the Liga Privada line is designed not to age. It is designed to be smoked as soon as possible. I personally discussed the process of this cigar with Johnathan Drew when I went to visit Drew Estates in 2011. When the Liga Privada line is rolled it is not ready to go. They are placed in the aging room. This in and of itself is not that uncommon among cigar factories. What makes this unique is that at DE they are not placed there for a predetermined amount of time. There is no standard of “X” number of months until the cigar is ready to go. DE will only ship them out if they are ready, and by “ready” I mean, “they taste right” to everyone involved in quality control.

This is why they are not designed to age. When they hit the shelves they are what the blenders and good people at Drew Estates intend them to be. Age will change them from that.

The original line of Flying pigs was released from the aging room in November of 2009 and I picked this one up 5 months later (along with a few of his friends that were since lost in a series of small fires). I found this one in the bottom of my aging humidor a few weeks ago and it needs to be reviewed as a more or less aged product.

This cigar is over three years old and still has a good oily sheen to it. The band seems to have yellowed a bit. The dark brown wrapper looks uneven in tone (a sign that it has not been dyed in any way) and the pigtail cap is unique and fantastic. For the size of the cigar it has quite a bit of heft to it. The cigar is a very stout little guy. Some have claimed that this cigar is reminiscent in shape of the NUB series put out by the Oliva Cigar company. This is not the source of inspiration for this cigar. Steve Saka actually picked the size from a picture out of cigar salesman’s size collections case from 1895. This predates NUB by a few years. One downfall about the size of this cigar is since it is short, the filler leaves are short as well. This means that the potential for complexity over the length of the stick is lessened.


The smell of the cigar unlit is sweeter side of tobacco with maybe a hint of licorice to it. The lick on the cap is strange due to the pigtail but it works. There is a heavy oily feel on the lips left behind. It is fairly sweet.

I light with a soft flame. The first few puffs are fairly muted in flavor. There is a hint of sweet and through the nose a bit of spice. Through the nose there is also a bit of a musk.

As the cigar settles in there is a bakers chocolate note. It is slightly bitter there is an underlying mild earth flavor as well. The finish develops into a distinct coffee note. As the first third moves along it sweetens up a bit but the flavors are still the basic bakers chocolate and coffee on the finish. The earth note is probably better described as a very mild brewing wort flavor. Through the nose there is musk and coffee.

The middle third is pretty much identical to the beginning third with baker’s chocolate, wort, and a coffee on the finish. However, the finish is longer and it is almost meaty. Everything is very balanced much like a fresh cigar from this line, but it is a bit smoother, less spice and a bit muted in flavor in comparison. The burn is perfect and the ash drops ad the mid point. These are both indicators of a good construction. As with all DE cigars, there is a ton of smoke witch is always fun.

The final third warms slightly and that seems to make it a touch sweeter and a bit more spice but the profile really has not changed at all. This is how the cigar finishes.

Time: 1 hour 35min

burn: 10

draw: 10

taste: 8

aftertaste: 8

construction: 10

balance: 9

feel: 8

overall: 9.0

Though this cigar did rate a 9.0 (same as the last time I had a No.9 that was fresh) I do feel that this cigar aged is not as good as fresh. The last No.9 that I reviewed had a few burn issues that brought its rating down. This 3 year old No.9 Flying Pig is past its prime. The flavors are muted in comparison. I agree with Johnathan Drew and Steve Saka that this cigar is best fresh. It is not a bad cigar, it was just better in the past.


~ by kuzi16 on April 30, 2013.

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