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Liga Privada Único Serie Dirty Rat

15 Mar

The Cigar Sasquatch likes things big, and at 5×44, the Liga Privada Único Serie Dirty Rat fits nicely into that ideal.

Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. The Dirty Rat is a MASSIVE cigar. How else could a cigar feature 7 different tobaccos unless it was absolutely enormous? And that’s not all that’s big about the Dirty Rat. The flavors….

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Photo of Liga Privada Unico Serie Dirty Rat

Liga Privada Único Serie Dirty Rat (5x44)

It’s hard to talk about the Dirty Rat without first understanding the concept behind the Único Serie. Único is Spanish for Unique, or more precisely, Single. Unlike the previous Liga Privada blends, the Único Serie are cigars that work in a single vitola, in this case, a Corona, and though they’re not intended to be “Limited Edition” cigars, don’t expect to find them in a range of sizes. The Dirty Rat is a blend and size unique unto itself. Likewise, one can only expect future releases in this series to be unique… in a similar sort of way.

So what makes a cigar “big”? Ring gauge and length, right? Tell that to the Cubans, who’ve spent the last thousand years or so cramming so much flavor into Coronas that the rest of the world has had to go to Robustos, Toros and Churchills to keep up. There’s something magical about the Corona, especially one like this.

The composition of the Dirty Rat is somewhat of a mystery. Drew Estate’s official literature describes a blend of mostly Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, almost exclusively from the Esteli Valley. This is a clever bit of vaguery; other sources describe a component of Honduran filler and a Brazilian Mata Fina binder, though I can neither confirm nor deny those rumors. But I don’t doubt it, nor do I doubt the legend that there are 7 (yes, SEVEN) different kinds of tobacco in this cigar. But what isn’t a mystery is the Connecticut Sun-grown stalk-cut Habano wrapper, the same as that on the irresistible Liga Privada T52.

The first thing you notice about the Dirty Rat is the construction. It’s solidly rolled, and finished in a roguish little fan-shaped pigtail (or should I say Rat tail) cap. And that stalk-cut wrapper is positively dripping with oils. But before you do anything else, close your eyes and smell this thing. The bouquet is overwhelming, a luscious blending of floral and herbal scents to delight the nose and entice the palate; a real joy to savor. I almost didn’t want to light it. Almost.

The first flights of flavor are front-loaded with spice, but there is no disguising the rich floral and fruit layers, coupled with a healthy dose of robust, savory oak. Despite the solid roll, the draw is open (+2) from a cap cut, producing a large smoke volume (+2) of above average strength (4).

By mid-way, the flavors have developed in richness, showing an earthy depth, tempered by a subtle smoothness, presumably from the Mata Fina binder. This cigar is intensely flavorful. It’s complex, heady, and constantly changing in character. The burn is straight, and the light gray ash is flaky and well-formed, holding to well over an inch. By the end, the depth and richness have continued to evolve, showing hints leather, with a roasted, caramelized sweetness, and a long finish. It smokes to an inch and a half nub in no less than 70 minutes.

The Liga Privada Único Serie Dirty Rat is a supreme expression of the art form of cigar blending and rolling. It’s a massive cigar in disguise, packing towering pillars of flavor and more than an hour of smoking pleasure into a diminutive parcel, and supplying a nicotine kick to rival that of many cigars twice its size. It’s a feature of the vitola, that it concentrates and funnels the essence of the blend, delivering unmatched clarity of flavor and remarkable depth.

I have been a connoisseur of the Liga Privada line since my first No. 9 some years ago. Given my overwhelmingly positive experience with the No. 9 and the T52, I’ve been eager to test the Dirty Rat for many months now. I am pleased to say that it easily met or surpassed my greatest expectations. I give it a rating of 9.4, and encourage you to seek out this unique cigar for yourself.

Until next time, this is the Cigar Sasquatch saying, “Love what you smoke, and smoke what you love.”

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