Cigarro: Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig (Original Release)
Fábrica: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Capa: United States (Connecticut Broadleaf)
Capote: Brazil (Mata Fina)
Tripa: Nicaragua & Honduras
Dimensions: 4.125 x 60
Vitola: Butifarra "Flying Pig"
Production: Core Line/OR - Limited Edition Vitola
MSRP: $12.00 USD
Released: OR - NOV 2009
Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig; in the cigar world, this was once considered a unicorn along with the T52 of the same vitola. Released in a very small number in 2009, these were sought after by many DE/LP fans and cigar geeks alike. Drew Estate decided to rerelease quite a few limited releases during the summer of 2016, including the No. 9 Flying Pig. As I had been holding on to this for quite some time, I felt the time had come to see what this cigar had to offer. This original release sample was obtained from a person formally employed with Drew Estate, though it was received on my behalf during their tenure with the company.
"Before The Flame"
First thing, the aroma. The moment the cigar is removed from the cellophane there is a strong scent of kombucha tea, a fermented tea which originates from East Asia, and prunes. The wrapper is a medium dark brown with a slight red tint and a fair amount of mottling. Seams are tight and there are a few veins that wrap around rather than run the length. Also worth mentioning, there is a dried substance in a few areas. I wasn't able to determine if it was oils, glue, or both. Any decent "Flying Pig" should have a good pigtail, and this one does. I clipped the head right as the pigtail began, exposing enough filler without cutting the cap clean off.
1/3 "The Appetizer"
The Flying Pig begins stimulating the palate with chocolate, cedar, dried fruit, and earth. A few puffs later and pepper enters the picture. It has an undeniable cane sugar sweetness that feels like it's an upfront flavor due to its heft, but I believe it to be more of a secondary flavor. There is a flavor of roasted nuts along with a meaty and vegetal mix that reminds me of being inside a Golden Corral restaurant. Once the burn has passed the tapered foot the chocolate has been relegated back and earth, pepper, cedar and spice are the headlining things. Clay like notes join the earthy notes. It's really a great combination of flavors. Chocolate moves a little forward and the spice fluctuates in intensity. I taste tea leaves.
2/3 "Main Entrée"
Floral notes and mocha greet the senses as the 2nd begins. The profile would remain as is until the halfway point, where peanuts can be tasted. Nearing the end of this third the flavors start to get muddled to a degree.
While there weren't any new additions to the profile, the last third had notes of earth, floral, coffee, and cedar.
This cigar was medium-full strength, with the flavor and body coming in at full.
The draw was a little tight but once it got over the tapered foot it opened up to a good level. Smoke production was above average. Combustion was good and the burn line stayed its course. The ash held on exceptionally. Actually this was the first time I've ever smoked a cigar without one ash falling. As a matter a fact, I placed the nub with ash attached on a gutter splash block, a few days later I picked it up and the ash still remained intact.
Whenever I light up a "unicorn/rare/htf/limited/super-premium" cigar, I feel both excited and wary. Will it perform and bring the experience that my mind wants to associate with such a stick? Will it at the least be better than just mediocre? Or will it let me down so much so that I regret smoking it that day? Or even worse, bad construction to the point that I'm pissed off. While it didn't knock my socks off, the No. 9 Flying Pig was a good stick that performed better than average. The first half was great, and if it could have kept that momentum going, it would have been one of those elite cigar experiences that one has every now and then. Unfortunately, the halfway point was the plateau and soon after the descent. I am glad I finally made the decision to smoke this cigar. If you are holding on to any (that you plan on smoking at some point), the time to smoke it is now. These have certainly reached their aging potential, and I can only see them declining from here.