Unveiled at the 2018 IPCPR and shipping now to retailers across the country, the Drew Estate Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo is part of the 10 year celebration of the Liga Privada series and joins the Liga Privada No. 9 and Liga Privada T52 on the shelf.
As part of the unveiling, Jonathan Drew, President and Founder of Drew Estate stated:
“Following the revolution in Cuba, the Corojo seed took roots in Florida, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Growing Corojo in new climates produced mixed results and much heartache for those who chose to grow it. By creating hybrids of Corojo the leaf was reborn keeping all of its spice and potency intact. Hibrido or Hybridization is a farm-level process utilized for decades to create tobacco that is disease resistant, but also to display the qualities of an unmatched capa.”
Drew Estate describes the Liga Privada H99 blend as:
- Wrapper (Capa) – Connecticut Corojo
- Binder (Capote) – San Andres Otapan Negro Último Corte
- Filler (Tripa) – Nicaraguan and Honduran
Drew Estate Master Blender, Willy Herrera, describes the process used to select the leaf to blend the Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo:
“We started the process of fermenting Connecticut Corojo alongside Connecticut Criollo tobacco at the factory. The factory team and I conjured up numerous blends but ultimately, we selected the blend featuring the Otapan Negro Ultimo Corte capote for its spiciness that pairs with the sweetness of corojo. Our job now is to continue working with the farmers to increase the wrapper yield with each harvest year over year. It’s been long hours preparing for the national release. This leaf is unique.”
The Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo is currently only available in a single 6 x 52 toro vitola, packaged in a 24-count box. Drew Estate has stated that additional sizes are planned for future release. The MSRP is set at $343.92 per box which equates to $14.33/cigar.
I received a couple of pre-release samples of the Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo at the 2018 IPCPR and this review is based on those I received.
To start things off, I would like to note that the Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo has a bit of a rustic look to it. The reddish brown corojo wrapper is toothy to the touch and there are a few noticeable veins. There is a decent amount of marbling through the wrapper leaf and the seams are noticeable due to the color variation of the wrapper leaf. The presentation is complete with a wide double cap.
There is a single band that adorned the cigar which declared this as a pre-release. The final artwork has since been revealed and it conforms to the standard Liga Privada band but uses a red lettering that cites this as the Liga Privada H99. The back of the band also uses a red and gold Liga Privada logo instead of the standard blue and gold.
The pre-light aromas on the H99 are inviting me to just dig into this cigar with a knife and fork. It has meaty and toasty nut aromas off the foot and a natural tobacco sweetness along the barrel. Man, what is cooking in Willy’s kitchen this time?
After breathing in the captivating pre-light aromas I needed no convincing to see what the cold draw would offer. I chose to go with a simple straight cut to open the cap. It should be noted, there is plenty of leaf wrapped around the shoulder of the cigar so you could cut a little deeper than normal without having to worry about the head of the cigar unraveling. After a few cold puffs, I am even more intrigued. My taste buds awaken with a tasty butternut component delivered through a perfectly crafted, lightly restricted draw that brings the flavors to you on every cold puff.
Cold puffing is fine, but the real identity is unveiled once it is ignited. The H99 takes nicely to the heat of my Liga Privada dual flame torch lighter. I guess they were made for each other. The journey begins with thick tasty smoke filling the mouth with notes of pepper, fruit, and cream.
Cigar Review Notes
- Medium peppery spice along with fruit and cream starts the journey
- White ash evolves on a medium char line
- Meaty and toasted caramel notes join the mix
- The burn line gets thicker as the ash falls early, revealing an off centered burn cone
- Chocolate notes enter near the end of the first third
- There is a tasty butter-cream finish
- Fruit becomes dominant moving into second third
- Earthy aromas start to fill my nostrils from the air around me
- Chocolate and spice move up in the profile
- Strength starts to ratchet up midway
- Sweetness builds as the spice pulls back on the finish
- Burn has corrected nicely entering the final third
- Finishes at a full strength with a notes of chocolate and spice
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 Minutes
Overall, from a flavor perspective, I really enjoyed the Liga Privada H99 Connecticut Corojo. It is a welcome addition to the Liga Privada line offering a flavorful smoking experience that not only highlights the company’s agricultural experience but also the exquisite blending skills of Willy Herrera. I am sure this blend will get even better year after year as the H99 tobacco strain matures. As far as construction, the cigar did have some burn issues, primarily in the 2nd third, and that is where I have deducted points. But in the final analysis, the Drew Estate H99 Connecticut Corojo scores a 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Off Centered Burn Cone; (-1) Off Burn in 2nd third; (-1) I may buy another – it is a pricey cigar.