Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie UF-13: Cigar Advisor Review Panel
Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie UF-13
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 5½" x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Select Honduran and Nicaraguan Cuban-seed
Binder: Plantation-grown Brazilian Mata Fina
Presentation: Boxes / 5-packs / Singles
The UF is a good-looking cigar right from the get-go: I actually had difficulty finding the seams on the dark, impressively even-hued Connecticut Broadleaf wrappers, and the cap was flawlessly applied with a fanned-out pigtail flourish.
The cold draw produced an agreeable sweetness. After a short toast, it was producing ample smoke of medium flavor intensity, strength, and body. One thing that really stuck out was the surplus of smoke coming from the foot, even at rest.
On the retrohale, there is black pepper and what I consider to be "dark" tobacco flavors, including sweetness encased in charry, woodsy flavors, and an earthy dustiness. That charred wood note also characterizes the UF-13's room note. The finish reveals semi-sweet chocolate notes mixed with the mouth-tingling presence of chilies.
By an inch into the cigar, its body, strength, and flavor intensity have ticked up to full. The burn is not perfect, but is razor-sharp and self-correcting.
Midway, the smoke takes on a creamy texture and a leathery aroma. The sweetness picks up fleeting, subtle dried fruit notes. Just when you think it can't get any stronger, it does, complete with an increasing tingling in the back of the throat. Another cigar recommended for experienced smokers only, as I get the feeling it might leave a newbie green-faced on his ass.
* * *
J-Dizzle did it again! The UF-13 is the perfect addition to the wildly successful Unico Series that has been a massive hit throughout the industry and promises to live up to that reputation.
The cigar starts out bold with a bit of spice which mellows dramatically through the first inch. Once you start getting into the sweet spot, the cigar takes off. In almost every draw in the sweet spot I tasted a rich, creamy, sweet smoke that is simply outstanding, along with subtle undertones that come and go almost at will, all with a full-bodied punch.
A lot of cigars I smoke are rather one dimensional so I don’t pay attention to it while I’m here at work, but this certainly put a dent in my productivity, and because of its long smoke time (1 ½ hours!), lets just say my supervisor will be looking over my shoulder for the next few days - ha-ha-ha. Anyway, good job on this one.
* * *
When you smoke a cigar with a Drew Estate Liga band on it these days, your expectations are a bit higher than usual. As I picked up my Unico Serie UF-13, I admired its oily Maduro wrapper and fancy pigtail at the head. It's one of those cigars that's so aesthetically appealing, you almost hate to set fire to it. Additionally, the cigar was well-packed with no soft spots along the barrel.
I twisted the tail off exposing a respectable cold draw with sweet tobacco and pepper notes. The cigar lit evenly, quickly producing lots of thick, creamy smoke. The first few puffs were very rich in flavor with a note of sweetness in the mix and a peppery retrohale.
During the first act, the cigar offered a smooth, medium-bodied, earthy-woody flavor that surprisingly faded into hardly any flavor at all. But by the halfway mark the cigar bloomed into a full-bodied smoke revealing woody-charry flavors with hints of sweet spice and pepper on a long, earthy finish. The flavors ebbed and flowed, but I liked wondering what was coming next. Frankly, the UF-13 is not my favorite of the series (I'm more of a Flying Pig guy). But for all you other Liga fans, especially if you liked the Dirty Rat, go for it!
* * *
Construction and Overall Appearance: Nice and dark. Felt a little dry, but no real issues. Twisted cap reminded me of an exploding belly button with that crazy fantail. A few veins, but overall nice. Nice big cap – more like a ski mask.
Draw: Nice and easy.
Pre-light flavor: Had very mineral-like elements.
Toasting & Light: A bit harsh to start; again, very mineral-laden, but it mellowed out to the point of mild, almost zero flavor.
Base flavors: Hay, followed by grilled meat and cinnamon raisin toast. Seriously!
Aroma: Pleasant, especially toward the second half
Burn / Ash Quality: White as a ghost. A beautiful ash that would tap-off at about an inch. Burn line was so sharp I could split wood with it like a goddamn lumberjack.
Balance: First half didn’t have much flavor to speak of, yet as flavors came to life in the 2nd half it was very well-balanced.
Consistency: What I finished with was not what I started with – a bit of a rollercoaster.
Not much to it in the first 1/3 to half. Went out on me, but when I relit, WHOA. Round, medium, and wholesome with thick smoke you'd need a machete to cut through. When I smoke a Liga I always get this recurring steak sensation – which gets me hungry. Eventually tapered-off to a smoke that was more medium, like my steak was magically transformed into beef pot pie.
* * *
So it’s another bold statement from the minds of Jonathan Drew and Steve Saka - another in the Liga series to drive you full bodied freaks to the pinnacle of good taste. Let’s not beat around the tobacco bush, people, I loved this oily little bastid from the moment I set it a blaze.
I haven’t heard too many people say this, but I think the UF-13 is kind of a cross breed between the Liga #9 and the T52 as far as flavor and strength are concerned. And since I am in lust with both of those sticks, it’s obvious that I find this cigar to be most desirable for my discerning Polack palate.
For me, it started off on the medium side, then the flavors started to intensify turning this stick into a full bodied beauty. One of the clear tastes that jumped out at me was cinnamon, along with a woody, slightly charry element. The roll is impeccable, the draw is perfect, and the smoke pours off this thing like a fire on a deep sea oil rig.
Did I mention I love this cigar? Just wondering if it was obvious.
* * *