The Drew Estate Liga Privada 'Surgeon' Safari Blend came from a blending session during the Drew Estate Cigar Safari in April 2013. I had the chance to speak at length with Willy Herrera who gave me lots of pointers on what leaves and proportions to blend for my flavor goal.
A light barnyard with some cedar notes. I'm actually underwhelmed from the nose here and hoping that the flavors don't disappoint.
The Drew Estate Cigar Surgeon blend is Toro sized with a red fabric cigar band. Originally I was hoping for a 5.5" torpedo or perfecto vitola but unfortunately there were a lot of unique vitolas being requested (pig-tails, FFP shaped, etc) so there wasn't a blender available to make that specific size. There is tooth present over about 1/3 of the dark wrapper.
The first starts off with a perfectly balanced combination of sweetness and a spicy pepper combination. I find it very similar to the T52 which was the blend I was trying to build off of. There is a lot of lingering pepper present after every draw. The pepper was intense enough that I was reaching for water several times here.
About 15 minutes into the first third the spice dies down and the prominent flavors are sweet tobacco with a hint of leather.
At the halfway point of the first third the flavor profile transitions to a balance combination of cedar and leather with the sweetness now just a lingering flavor after each draw.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the first third I can't help but feel the cigar would benefit from another few months of age.
The spice intensity has continued to fall from the first third to the middle and becomes more balanced in intensity with the rest of the flavors. The sweetness that fell to the background comes back in line here. The earthy notes that are often present in a lot of Liga Privada blends is nowhere to be found here.
The first third was great but the second third is just completely balanced with no particular flavor dominating.
As the middle third closes down the spice and pepper intensity comes roaring back. There's some leather and earth present as a lingering flavor after the draw.
The strength of the blend is starting to hit home now. The pepper intensity has carried into the last third. There are additional flavors of lightly roasted nuts and charred cedar.
This cigar had a great draw from start to finish. The burn was nice and even. Total smoking time was approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Value is a tough thing to gauge when you're talking about a one of a kind blend. If I could buy boxes of these I absolutely would and I would set the price point around $15 per single or a 22 count box for $289.
As it is, if I want to blend more of these I'll have to do so when I fly back to Nicaragua in February 2014.
I was extremely pleased with the way this custom blend turned out. Most of the credit would have to go to Willy Herrera as I thoroughly relied on his expertise to get to the final blend I was looking for. I realize that my review might come off as shameless self promotion, but my goal was really to hit a specific flavor profile and I feel I managed to exceed my expectations. There is no question in my mind that if these were available for sale I would have at least 2 boxes in my humidor.