- Price: $15.10
- Made By: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
- Factory Location: Estelí, Nicaragua
- Dimensions: 4” x 60 ring gauge
- Shape: Perfecto
- Filler: Honduran and Nicaraguan
- Binder: Plantation-Grown Brazilian Mata Fina
- Wrapper: Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut and Cured Sun Grown Habano
- Cold Draw: Cedar, Black Coffee, Earthiness, Sweetness
- First Third: Black Coffee, Cedar, Earthiness, Sweetness, Leather, Chocolate, Black Pepper
- Second Third: Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Black Coffee with Cream, Lite Black Pepper, Cocoa
- Final Third: Black Coffee, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Earthiness, Wood
Like the Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 cigar, the first thing you’ll notice about the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig, other than its distinct shape, is the band. As a companion cigar to the No. 9 that shares many of the same characteristics, this similar label is on brand. The band is what we see around prototype cigars when blending masters are developing blends, sampling them, passing them around for opinions, and finally working with leadership to select the final blend.
Over a white background, there is a cursive font seemingly written in sharpie that spells out the cigar’s name. The detective work doesn’t end there. “Liga Privada” translates to “private blend,” and the band’s upper section reads “Hecho Exclusivamente Para El Jefe,” meaning “Made Exclusively For The Boss.” Man, Drew Estate knows how to make us smokers feel like part of the family. I can’t wait to burn this private blend cultivated specifically for the man.
The short, plump cigar with a handsome, fun pigtail cap measures in at 4” x 60 ring gauge. Holy smokes, that’s a big ring gauge for such a shorty! Its stunning leathery wrapper glistens with oil. The toothiness and dark shade of the leaf add to the mystery of how it will perform and taste.
Taste & Draw
After a tight cold draw, I was a little concerned about what lay in store for the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig cigar. Luckily, once I lit the thing, there were no issues. The smoke production was impressive, even massive. If you smoke this one indoors, make sure the room isn’t too tight.
The T52 Flying Pig has flavor for days. It’s a complex smoke all the way through. Of course, the master blenders at Drew Estate expertly balanced the blend, and it is smooth. Among the notes you’ll taste are chocolate, black coffee, leather, cinnamon, earthiness, and cedar.
Making up the blend, we have seven types of well-aged tobacco. The long-fillers are choice selections from Honduras and Nicaragua. The binder is plantation-grown Brazilian Mata Fina, and the wrapper leaf is an impressive Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut and Cured Sun Grown Habano. This Habano wrapper is the primary difference between the T52 Flying Pig and the Liga Privada No. 9 blends.
Cedar, Black Coffee, Earthiness, Sweetness
Pigtail caps are so cool. I hate to clip them off. But there’s only one way to smoke this pig. With the cap now removed, I take a few cold draws. The first note I taste is cedar and a lot of it. It brings me back to the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 cigar’s cold draw. I’m tasting black coffee right behind this familiar note, maybe with a bit of cream, but I can’t say for sure.
After a few more cold pulls, I taste earthiness and sweetness. At this point, the draw feels tight, like there’s too much goodness packed into a small, plump package.
Let’s light it up and see if we can work things out.
Black Coffee, Cedar, Earthiness, Sweetness, Leather, Chocolate, Black Pepper
I add fire to the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig. Within a few puffs, I meet a Liga Privada staple—a crazy amount of smoke. It seems like it’s coming from everywhere. Well, that’s what we’re here for, right? Let’s see what these smokey clouds hold.
I’m tasting the black coffee from the cold draw and the cedar, earthiness, and sweetness. Impressive. It’s not every cigar where the entire cold draw carries over. Moving on, I’m tasting leather. It seems to be attached to every note. You can say the same about the chocolate. This flavor is everywhere.
At this point, I can’t taste anything specifically spicy, save some lite black pepper. Sure, it’s a short cigar, but with complexity already at this level, I’m curious to see if this is the ceiling. I doubt it.
According to the Drew Estate website, the Flying Pig is a “complex marriage of seven distinct aged tobaccos handcrafted by only our absolute best torcedores.” Just like the Liga Privada No. 9 recipe. Now we’re talking. There are indeed some differences between these two blends, which we’ll discuss later. For now, let’s jump into the second third.
Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Black Coffee with Cream, Lite Black Pepper, Cocoa
Okay. This plump little stick is going off. I’m waiting for the flavor notes to slow down or at least subside, but it’s just not happening. It’s as if I’m watching clowns pour out of a clown car and swear there can’t be any more in there, but there’s always one more, two more, three more. Trust me—I’m not complaining.
Crossing the line into the second third, I’m picking up a cinnamon note which lends the smoke a minor Ramon Allones Specially Selected cigar vibe. That note is in the back somewhere, but I feel its influence growing.
The chocolate from the first third has taken on a dark chocolate flavor, and the black coffee, now with cream, runs the show. The lite black pepper flavor is still there. There is a new cocoa note that is a welcome addition. I have noticed a dramatic retreat of the formerly omnipresent leather note, surprising considering its former dominance.
Let’s finish this Flying Pig off.
Black Coffee, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Earthiness, Wood
As we round the turn into the final third, the Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig cigar is as flavor-packed as ever. There is no cream for the black coffee in this third, but that black coffee note still leads the charge in a big way. The black pepper and cinnamon notes have picked up steam for this final showing and added a nice spice to the mix. I’m also tasting earthiness again and some sort of wood.
Overall, I have to say that this cigar was a treat. The unique shape was fun to smoke, and puffing on a once clandestine blend gives the experience an air of being let in on something secret.
With a cigar company like Drew Estate, where everything they touch pretty much turns to gold, it makes sense that the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig is such a banger. From first sight to the cold draw until the cigar hit the ashtray, there was never a dull moment. Of course, the short and plump presentation is a winner, and so is the way this format performs. Cigars like these with large ring gauges tend to be more complex and flavorful. That is certainly the case with the T52 Flying Pig.
Cigar Aficionado gave this cigar a well-deserved 90 rating. I mean, the pigtail alone deserves a boatload of points. Seriously, though, once I had this stick burning, it was flavor city.
With many of the cigars we review, notes come and go, and a lot of them don’t come back. That wasn’t the case with the T52 Flying Pig. The notes kept stacking atop one another. Sure, there was shifting in which note was king, but overall it was a full-on flavor charge.
Throughout the cigar, I tasted a ton of leather and chocolate. There was also black coffee, cinnamon, and various levels of black pepper, among other notes. It was a fine smoking experience which I highly recommend to anyone looking for a uniquely shaped stogie.
Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig Cigar Pairing Notes
- Winchester KY Double Oak Bourbon Whiskey
- Bell’s Expedition Stout
- Grangestone Bourbon Cask Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky
- Lagunitas IPA
- Dr. Pepper
- Chestnut Farms Bourbon
Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig Cigar History
Drew Estate developed the Liga Privada T52 blend over two years. The goal was to create a humidor companion premium enough to rest next to the widely celebrated Liga Privada No. 9 cigar. While the majority of the two blends are the same, they differ in the wrapper leaf.
Drew Estate stated that during a trip to Connecticut to acquire a barnful of Connecticut Broadleaf, they came across a farm growing Broadleaf, but also Stalk Cut Tobacco. “American Habano” is how the farmer referred to the leaf. The Drew Estate team inspected the tobacco for some time. They were impressed and excited since this “American Habano” wrapper had everything they sought.
The team attempted to hide their excitement, but it wasn’t necessary. The farmer stated that he wouldn’t grow the crop after that year unless he secured an ongoing buyer. While many loved its taste, he said it simply cost too much. The Drew Estate team saw the value and rolled the dice.
After seven test versions of the T52 blend, the team chose a hybrid of two. They chose well because this blend is out of this world.