9 Apr 2013
Though it probably wasn’t clear at the time, Liga Privada No. 9 was Drew Estate putting the cigar community on notice. Before that, the company was primarily identified with infused cigars, and while it continues to sell lots of infused sticks, ever since LP No. 9 new releases from Drew Estate have been highly anticipated and well-received.
Outside the core Liga Privada blends, No. 9 and T-52, Drew Estate has also created the Único Serie, featuring unique blends in one particular size. According to the company these cigars were created as test blends (of which Drew Estate makes hundreds), but were deemed exceptional enough to warrant a wider release. Last month, the fifth Único Serie cigar was released, the UF-13 Dark. It joins the Dirty Rat, L40, Feral Flying Pig, and Papas Fritas.
The cigar features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with a “Dark Medium” designation for the color and priming. The binder is “Plantation-grown Brazilian Mata Fina” and the filler consists of “select Honduran and Nicaraguan Cuban-seed” tobacco. (Drew Estate “Jefe” Steve Saka got into UF-13’s origins, and it’s relationship to other Liga smokes, here.)
The cigar comes in cabinets of 12 and sells for $13.95. It’s a parejo (5.5 x 52) with a unique pigtail cap that has a fan of wrapper leaf sticking out (though pre-release versions used a standard cap). It’s a deep mahogany wrapper, but not as oily as either of the core No. 9 wrappers.
The cigar boasts dark flavors with charred oak and lots of powdery earth. The initial draws were smooth and medium-bodied, but it pretty quickly ramps up with peppery spice that comes and goes throughout. The finish lingers with more earth and unsweetened chocolate.
“UF” stands for Único Fuerte (“13” for the factory muestra number), and it’s certainly a little stronger than the standard Liga Privadas, more in line with the Dirty Rat in terms of being full-bodied. (Though it lacks the raisin/dried fruit notes I sometimes pick up in other LP blends.)
Drew Estate has set a high bar with its Único Serie cigars, and the UF-13 Dark meets them, including Drew Estate’s standard flawless construction in each of the two samples I smoked. Even though I prefer the Dirty Rat for it’s combination of power and finesse, and the Velvet Rat for its sweetness and balance, the Liga Privada Único Serie UF-13 Dark still earns a formidable rating of four and a half stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys