Michel de Nostredame, or as we have come to know him, Nostradamus, wrote in his work Les Propheties:
When fat pigs fly
And the people rejoice
This is a quatrain derived from the legend of Carcassonne, France, a city that dates back to 3500 BC. I know this, because I once visited the ancient, yet still operational city years ago, while on a business trip to Toulouse, France.
Bear with me, as I tell you a little story about Flying Pigs
The city Carcassonne rests atop of a hill in southern France with the Aude river flowing at the bottom of the hill. A kindly resident of the city told me the story that over the millennia, Carcassonne was regularly besieged, and eventually the city was walled then double walled in to protect them. The problem was, the water was outside of the city walls so the sieges kept coming.
As the city legend goes, the last siege occurred in 795 AD, five years before Charlemagne became the Holy Roman Emperor, who laid siege on the city. At the time, the city was ruled by Dame Carcas, a Saracen princess. The siege lasted for months and it was expected that the city would fall due to lack of food and water. To Charlemagne’s surprise the villagers under order of Dame Carcas, fed their last pig the remaining grain and then catapulted it over the wall, where it landed and burst open spewing the grain.
When Charlemagne and his troops saw this, he decided that the city must have plenty of food and supplies if they could fly fattened pigs over the wall and they retreated. So the bells rand and the city celebrated. And that my friends is where the term “When Pigs Fly“comes from.
In fact, there is a stone plaque, known as the Siege Stone”, mounted to the wall of Basilica of Saint-Nazaire and Saint-Celse, a Cathedral built around 1000 AD, that tells the story in the stone relief.
Now, I would ask Steve Saka, “Was this his inspiration for the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig?”. I ask, because Steve created this Flying Pig vitola when he was at Drew Estate. It was signature cigar, and as you will read, the T52 explodes with flavor.
So let’s talk about this revered cigar from Drew Estate.
The Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig is a Drew Estate Undercrown brand, that was introduced in 2010, following up the famed Liga Privada 9 the year before. Steve Saka created the vitola, which is a short perfecto measuring 3 15/16 x 60. It is an impressive cigar to look at, with a waxy, oily, dark brown wrapper and finished with a long and curled pigtail cap.
The blend of the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig is described as:
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano
- Filler: Nicaraguan and Brazilian Mata Fina
The Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig comes packaged in 12-count boxes and retails for about $13.00 each or $156.99 a box. This may seem like a lot for such a short cigar, but when you learn that it will burn for 80 – 90 minutes, without issue, and full of flavor, you will agree it is well worth the price.
Cigar Review Notes
- Short stubby cigar with a gorgeous oily, dark brown, wrapper
- Curled pigtail cap
- Pre-light aromas bring earth and pepper on the foot and syrupy sweetness along the barrel
- I chose to slice the cap instead of biting it off since I unraveled the tail to show it giving it a more open draw
- Cold draw offered crushed red pepper, malt, and an exotic spice
- Initial puffs hit you with a white pepper to the throat and spice
- Even with the open draw, this cigar is a slow burner, wafting enormous smoke off the foot that has an aroma of sweet fruit and floral
- Pepper fades quickly opening up to notes of wood joined with a plum like fruit on the finish
- I just love how it just exhausts its sweet smoke in the air around me
- Syrup enters halfway
- Solid well-formed, medium grey, ash which I had to tap off to relight at the half-way mark.
- The burn is perfectly centered
That is the half way mark, now this is where it gets fun!
- Cocoa enters and the smoke is ultra smooth, almost ingestible.
- Peppery spice emerges that morphs into a black licorice note.
- The wrapper is really oiling up at this point
- It is maintaining the fruit aroma
- This is too good to put down – I am pinching the side just to keep drawing on it!
- A touch of toast is coming in as the flavors are all blending well
- Finishes with chocolate and spice down at a sliver of the nub
- Solid Medium Strength and Full Body
- Total Smoking Time – amazingly 80 minutes – I would think more if I cut it less
Overall, Drew Estate Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig is just simply an amazing cigar delivering a complex blend of flavors through a pristine burn from foot to nub. Steve Saka no longer works for Drew Estate. He now owns Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust, but his Legendary Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig lives on to tell his tail just as the Siege Stone lives on to tell the legend of Flying Pigs and the city of Carcassonne, France.