Group Review: Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Box Press (Corona Cigar Exclusive)

The Liga Privada No. 9 Cuadrado is a box-pressed version of the No. 9 that is available exclusively through Corona Cigar Company.  Back in September, Drew Estate sent out a press release announcing the exclusive box-pressed series.  The following cigars are included:

  • Tabak Especial Negra (Soft Press) Exclusively for Drew Estate Lounge at Corona Cigar
  • Tabak Especial Dulce (Soft Press) Exclusively for Drew Estate Lounge at Corona Cigar
  • Natural (Soft Press) Exclusively for Drew Estate Lounge at Corona Cigar
  • Herrera Esteli (Box Press) Exclusively for Drew Estate Lounge at Corona Cigar
  • Liga Privada No. 9 (Box Press) Exclusively for Drew Estate Lounge at Corona Cigar
  • Undercrown (Box Press) Exclusively for Drew Estate Lounge at Corona Cigar

Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Box Press (Corona Cigar Exclusive)

Size: 6 x 50

Vitola: Cuadrado - Box-Pressed Toro

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf #1 Darks

Binder: Plantation-Grown Brazilian Mata Fina

Filler: Select Honduran and Nicaraguan Cuban Seed

MSRP: $10.00

Samples smoked for review: 1

Cigars for review were provided by Drew Estate

Note: We used the CigarFederation Rating System

Robby's Rating: 90 AKA "Box Split"

Pre-Light:  The cigar featured the same Liga Privada No. 9 band as the regular regular release along with a secondary band stating its exclusivity.  The press was sharp and square which seemed to cause few issues for the cap on my sample, but the cigar was quite smokable. 

The wrapper gave of strong floral notes along with some black pepper and earth.  The cold draw was loose and offered a few jammy stone fruit notes along with notes of sweet tobacco.

Beginning:  The No. 9 started off with the richness I've come to expect from this blend.  There was a nice black pepper spice on the retrohale as well.  Rich tobacco notes with some notes of leather and mild sweet cream. 

Middle: Folks love Ligas for a reason!  The profile is full of rich notes of leather, tobacco and sweet cream.  The black pepper spice has mellowed a bit, but still offers enough to balance things out.  The strength bumped up to a solid medium-plus and everything was lovely.

End: The profile got a bit smokey on the tongue, but the main flavors held strong.  

Final Thoughts:  I really dig this cigar.  I like the box-press from a comfort standpoint.  I don't want to compare this to a standard No. 9, but on its own it's a great stick.

Surgeon's Rating: 92 AKA "Box Split"

The nose on the Liga No. 9 Box Press is leather, earth, barnyard, aged wood. On the foot I get a lot of dry hay. I used a v-cut and it made a fairly shallow cut in the cap. Even with the shallow v-cut the draw is in the ideal zone.

First third opens up with leather, spices and creaminess. There's a nice balance of spices and pepper on the retrohale, and I find it subdued compared the regular production No. 9. As with all Drew Estate cigars there is a ton of smoke production. As the first third settles in there's some leather lingering post draw, along with some creaminess to balance it out. I find the leather subdued compared to the regular No. 9. There's some spicy clover honey coming through at approximately the 27 minute mark.

The middle third has all the flavors continuing in great balance. I find on the regular production No. 9 there's a blast of earth and leather, so the Box Press is quite balanced in comparison. The retrohale is rich and complex with varied spices and a rich sweetness at the end. At about the 1 hour 15 minute mark earthiness starts to push through and along with leather becomes more pronounced. The final third shows pepper lingering between draws and at about the medium level on the retrohale. The leather is a constant presence between draws.

The Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Box Press is fantastically balanced and the box press is a fantastic addition to the vitola lineup.

Pairing Recommendations:
The great thing about a full bodied cigar and a Broadleaf wrapper is that you have a wide variety of pairing options. Root beer, Dr. Pepper, Coke, rum, bourbon, scotch, porters, stouts, you could even try an IPA.

Matt's Rating: 87 aka "5-Pack Purchase"

The first thing you notice when you pick up the Liga No9 Box Press cigar is that this might be the most boxy box-press cigar you've ever seen. It is like a perfect square unlike anything I've ever seen. The wrapper is a shade lighter than the other Liga 9s I have in the humidor, but otherwise looks much the same. There is, perhaps, some minor flaws caused by the box-press, but they don't change the appeal - we'll see if they cause issues in the smoke. The band is your typical Liga Privada No9 with a secondary band that is standard for all the Corona Cigar Co Drew Estate Lounge Exclusives. I still can't get over this box press. I clip the cap with my Drew Estate Bulletproof cutter and take some pre-light draws that are earthy and have significant spice along with some hot chocolate like flavors.

I light up the cigar and take some initial draws that are heavy on the earth with some subtle chocolate notes and spice on the retrohale. I smoke a lot of Ligas and, while this cigar is good, I find it to be a tad different than Ligas I've smoked in the past. The cigar has a great draw and is giving off volumes of smoke in typical Liga fashion, but the burn line is slightly wavy. Nothing that requires correction, but something to note.

The ash held on for a solid inch and a half before I had to knock off the ash and relight. The flavors are holding very consistent - a woody, earthiness with some spice on the retro though that has died. I'm firmly in the middle and the wrapper has exploded a bit, but it doesn't appear to be causing issues. The cigar itself is still giving off a ridiculous amount of smoke, and I'm enjoying it, but the whole time, I can't help but to think something is missing.

In the final third, the spice is pretty much non-existant, but there is a bitter, roasted coffee flavor that has become very pronounced. This seems to be the story of the final third until I nub it. Construction was very good throughout and the smoke output, in typical Liga fashion, was massive.

In the end, I'm still left thinking this cigar never entered 5th gear. I don't know why - this is a good cigar, but just didn't satisfy me the way I expected it to. I'm going to immediately pick a Liga No9 Toro out of the humidor to see if my memories of this cigar have just changed reality, but, while a very good cigar, I didn't think this ever met the standards I have for Ligas. We'll keep this at a 5-pack buy, 87.

Cigar Federation Group Rating: 89 aka "5-Pack Purchase"

Views: 425

Comment by Seth's Humidor on December 14, 2015 at 5:38pm

I'm with Matt ... kind of. Still think that 87 is generous. 

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on December 14, 2015 at 6:05pm

I think if you like Liga 9s you'll like this cigar. If you don't like Liga 9s ...

Comment by Charlie on December 14, 2015 at 7:02pm

Been wanting to try this smoke....I'd like to do what Matt mentioned...smoke one of these and compare it to a Liga from years past, if I get my hands on some of these I will try it for sure.

Comment by Matt Ross on January 26, 2016 at 9:00am

Very interesting scores.  I'll tell you, I don't think we've heard the last of this cigar!


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