Drew Estate Liga Privada No 9 Cigar Review 2024

The Liga Privada initiative began in 2006, when Drew Estate President Steve Saka requested a blend that he would like.

Until then, Drew Estate was best known for its flavoured cigars, such as the Acid brand.

The No 9’s first version was blended by Nick Melillo, who currently runs Foundation Cigars, and released in 2007.

It resurfaced as a boutique mix before becoming part of the permanent roster in 2011.

I’ve been discussing various modifications to the direction of this website, and the main one is that I want to make it more of a hard-core website. 

In my opinion, part of achieving this goal is to present a nice mix of modern and old cigar reviews. 

Today is one of those days when I look at a classic cigar review, and this one is one of the best: the Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9.

It’s hard to imagine this cigar has become a classic. 

This cigar has been around for three years. 

This was the first cigar in Drew Estate’s now-popular “Liga Privada” line, which means “private blend.” 

This refers to Drew Estate President Steve Saka’s experimentation and blending of many personal blends.  Saka chose the ninth blend as his favourite, resulting in “No 9” (aka number none).

For the past few years, the Liga Privada T52 and Liga Privada No. 9 have sparked some interesting cigar talks.

1. Price & rating

Price: (Box of 20) – $286.80

Rating: 4.8

2. Specifications

Brand: Drew Estate

Country: Nicaragua

Range: Liga Privada N° 9

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Plantation Grown Brazilian Mata Fina

Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua

Profile: Medium Full

Wrapper: Connecticut / Maduro

Shape: Parejo

Length: 4″

Gauge: 60

Factory: La Gran Fabrica de Esteli, Nicaragua

Handmade: Yes

Body: Full

Estimated Smoking Time: 100 Minutes

3. Vitolas Available

Three are four core vitolas for the Liga Privada No. 9 blend:

Corona Double: 7 x 52

Parejo: 6 x 52

Robusto: 5 x 52

Belicoso: 6 x 52

drew estate liga privada no 9 cigar

4. Cigar Review

A dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper conceals the strong plantation-grown Brazilian Mata Fina binder that ties the Nicaraguan and Honduran filler together.

Although we tried the 4 x 60 Perfecto Gordito Flying Pig, this review is mostly about the 6 x 52 Belicoso.

In both situations, the cigars had a remarkably straight roll with no noticeable soft patches.

The spring is pretty firm, occasionally bordering on the soft side, but still tightly packed.

The wrapper colour is old mahogany, with an oily gloss. I’ve heard that the Liga Privada has a dry appearance, but I don’t think that’s true.

In fact, I believe it is remarkably greasy.

However, the veins are rather rustic, with noticeable veins on the wrapper.

Nonetheless, I would say that it only adds to the overall attractiveness.

Meanwhile, the aromas on the body and feet include tonka bean, acidic cedar (but still cedar), and damp earth.

That being said, while I will discuss the cigar’s full-bodied and flavorful nature later, the aromas on the nose are currently fairly restrained.

Looks & feel

The band may not be to everyone’s taste, but I enjoy the handwritten artisanal back-shop style that has been maintained since 2007.

The box is similarly fashioned, but it has an air of luxury inside.

For example, it’s crafted of solid cedar wood and features dividers and other attention to detail.

Draw Smoke & burn

The cigar’s draw is optimal and constant throughout the experience. Similarly, the temperature remains chilly even when you get down to the nub.

While the first Liga Privada test had some wavy moments, the burn line stayed straight on all subsequent tests.

Indeed, it is extremely spectacular in terms of construction, with an incredible backbone.

The Liga Privada, which was tested and shot for the video review, produced excellent ash that flopped off several times.

However, if you look at the photo here, you’ll notice that I once smoked a Liga Privada all the way down without losing ash!

As a result, whether you enjoy creating enormous ash stacks or resting the cigar on its head after smoking it, the Liga Privada No 9 allows you to do so.

A staple of the Liga Privada line by Drew Estate is flawless construction. 

This carries through to the Liga Privada No. 9.   This cigar gets high marks in burn and draw time and time again – excellent burn and excellent draw.



For this cigar experience, I chose the 6 x 52 Parajo, a traditional toro. 

I put a straight cup in the cap.

After taking some dry draws on the pre-light draw, I noticed cocoa powder with a tinge of pepper.

drew estate liga privada no 9 cigar

Given the Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper‘s deep, rich colour, these flavour notes were not surprising.

I then roasted the foot and prepared to savour the cigar.

One of my favourite features of Belicoso is the ability to modify the cut to the desired draw.

If you want something a little tighter, simply cut the tip. Otherwise, you can go a little further down to open it up, but not beyond the cap.

The tastes aren’t particularly rich on the dry draw either.

Tonka bean reappears, as does dark chocolate and olibanum or myrrh with a hint of vanilla.

First third

Within minutes, you will observe an astonishing amount of smoke.

Similarly, the cigar’s body proclaims its strength early on in the experience.

However, the flavour is more subdued and less prominent.

The draw is ideal for the first third. In fact, a delicate draw reveals an abundance of smoke on your palate.

Swirling it around and exhaling through a retrohale is a very enjoyable feeling.

The most prominent flavour is fresh walnut.

You may also say that brazil nuts have a faint bitterness.

You may also notice a trace of cacao nib.

Despite the sweetness, this is not truly dark chocolate. Then there’s sweet cedarwood, which provides contrast to the aforementioned gourmet flavours.

Second third

The transition into the second third was modest and muted.

You may argue that the body and flavour have barely changed.

Nonetheless, I believe that there have been some small adjustments.

First and foremost, the walnut, while still there to some extent, has a woodier character. I’d compare it to rosewood instead.

Meanwhile, the cacao nib will be more similar to dark chocolate or even espresso, with a thicker texture and higher levels of sweetness and bitterness.

Meanwhile, the cedar has mostly disappeared, leaving us with black pepper.

The burn has improved overall. It fixed itself with no need for touch-ups.

Final third

The final third has a noticeable change that comes with a wallop.

Indeed, the body grows dramatically, as does the flavour profile.

On this occasion, we’re met with some leather, a hint of espresso, and the black pepper from the second-third, which lasts throughout the cigar.

The body is excellent, however it is not advisable to smoke a Liga Privada No 9 on an empty stomach. Similarly, it is not ideal for beginners.

The total intricacy isn’t as sophisticated as you may think.

When it was first released, the tobaccos utilised were at their peak, and some believe that with age, their tastes have begun to fade.

Overall experience

Nonetheless, the mouthfeel is extremely smooth, agreeable, and velvety, with a thin texture on the palate.

The astringency is well-balanced, and light salivation occurs at the rear of the palate.

Overall, palate stimulation is well-balanced over the palate, with no areas of high flavour concentration.

Meanwhile, as the second third chugs along, the lifetime provides a reasonable progression in flavour.

The finish is really prolonged. If you enjoy a palette cleanser after a cigar, I strongly recommend espresso.

Finally, despite its high smoke output and rich content, the Liga Privada leaves a lovely residual aroma in the room after use.

Final puff

If you prefer a full-bodied cigar, the Liga Privada No 9 provides one of the best experiences available.

While it lacks nuance, it is sumptuous and full of flavour. However, if you’re prepared to mature your cigars, you’ll probably be rewarded with increased complexity.

The quality and flavours of Liga Privada No. 9 cannot be underestimated. 

This cigar also has a high level of complexity.

While these are currently a core Drew Estate product line, the tobaccos utilised in these cigars are limited, therefore it is not uncommon to find them on back-order.

Still, this is a unique cigar that will appeal to both novice and veteran cigar fans.


Why is Liga Privada No 9 so hard to find?

The Reasons Why Liga Privada Is So Scarce Cloudy skies, heavy rain, hail, and even tornadoes have recently destroyed little tobacco leaves, making them unsuitable as wrappers. Furthermore, Drew Estate only uses the plant’s most top leaves, resulting in an average of one to two leaves per plant.

What is the rating of Liga Privada No 9 Toro?

Cigar Aficionado awarded Liga Privada No 9 Toro an 89-point rating.

What is the flavor profile of Liga Privada 9?

Lush, earthy, and espresso-like with an extremely dense body. Cigar Style: The ultimate smoking experience for the enthusiast.

What pairs well with Liga Privada No 9?

Pair with Bourbon, Tequila, or Rum.

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