Liga Privada: The Dirty Rat Hype? Or Legend?

  • Ring: 5×44
  • Tobacco:
    • Wrapper: Stalk Cut Connecticut Habano
    • Binder: Nicaraguan (some say Brazilian)
    • Filler: Blend of Five Nicaraguan tobaccos
  • Acquired January 28th, Aug 5th, 2015
  • Smoked January 28th, Aug 5th, and Aug 9th, 2015
  • Price: $12.00 SRP
  • Beverage: None
  • Cut Method: Cutter
  • Puff Rate (estimate): 1 puff approx every 25 seconds
  • Method of lighting: Triple Torch Lighter
  • Smoke Time: 1.25 hours (+/-)
  • Times Ashed: Average 4 to 5 times
  • Twitter Name: @drewestatecigar
  • Official Website:

Initial Thoughts:

In 2010 Drew Estate released their Dirty Rat which is an extension of their Unico Line.  I am a huge fan of the T52 and #.  This cigar comes as a 5×44 Corona in boxes of twelve. Due to the apparent difficulty in obtaining the “exclusive” tobacco used in this cigar the Dirty Rat has become an elusive cigar to obtain. A lot of shops across the country have been sold out for quite some time and order fulfillment is constantly in limbo.  However, those who have obtained them have ignited the blogosphere with orgasmic praise for this cigar.  Thanks to two fellow Brothers of the Leaf Skip M. (@chiefhava) and Darrell D. (@dadoramus) I was able to get my hands on three of these cigars.  For this review I have smoked all three and this review is a compilation of all three smokes.  The three cigars were smoked on different dates, times, and in as neutral conditions as possible. As a reviewer of cigars one of the biggest challenges reviewing a hyped cigar is not allowing the hype to influence the facts. On the flip side of the same coin, you don’t want the high expectations to unjustly disappoint.  So to aid in combating these biased factors I took extensive notes, took my time in smoking the cigar from foot to cap, and once done sought out the advise of fellow Brothers and Sisters of the Leaf and reviewed my conclusions.

This cigar sports a very smooth, even colored, almost flawless, near-oscuro wrapper.  The wrapper leaf is saturated with oil and the body is very uniformly dense.  Small veins are noticeable but are few in number. No blemishes could be found on any cigar. The cigar presents with a strong tobacco odor with hints of cinnamon. The foot is even and the cap is seamless. The cap is topped off with a well done fan-tail.  Lastly, no glue from the wrapper band sticks to the wrapper leaf. Overall, this cigar is very well presented and appears to have flawless construction.

Due to the smaller ring gauge I opted to use a cutter for all three smokes. All three smokes presented with a near effortless cold-draw.  Flavors of nuts dominated with hints of  black pepper, and leather.  With the cigar burning the first half was dominated with intense spice, especially on the retro-hale.  The spice level of this cigar is off the charts. It is akin to snorting chili powder and then setting your nose on fire. To me this is not a bad thing, as I am a big fan of spicy smokes. However, if you do not like spice this cigar may not be for you.

As the cigar progress into the first half the spice dies down somewhat and flavors of dark chocolate is well balanced with cedar/wood and Earth notes.  The flavors are very dynamic and flow very well.  This cigar has a clean finish.  The cigar presents with a crumbly ash and presumably because of the high oil this cigar was a challenge to keep lit. The burn line through the first half was even and no wrapper issues occurred.

The second half is where I lose this cigar. To me, the first half is so intense and unique that when the second half presents with lack luster, one-dimensional flavors, it disappoints.  The second half is still strong in terms of nicotine power, but the flavors meld into a smokey, Earthy, mess and that one-dimensional disaster continues to the end of the smoke.  The intense spice which just totally dominated the first half goes away almost completely.  When compared to the T52 or #9 which have dynamic robust flavors from start to finish the lack of consistency in this smoke really left me questioning my sanity.  However, all three smokes which came from different boxes don’t lie. 

The results are in!

After writing this review I read other blog reviews on this cigar and all of them had high praise. I am at a loss. This cigar, in my opinion, would be phenomenal if the robust, spice dominated, dynamic flavors continue throughout the smoke.  However, the last half just proves strong and lacks the same kind of intense flavors as the first half. My only conclusion as to the blog disparity is the apparent difference in review style. Most blogs seem to only have reviewed one stick whereas I reviewed three.  In addition, most reviews I read seem to have been authored right after the release when anticipation was high and given the phenomenal first half perhaps the second half was over looked. I just don’t know but can only speculate.  

Cigar Rant’s Rating: Good

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