Back in September of 2018, Drew Estate announced the shipment of a shop exclusive cigar known as the Liga Privada Unico Pork Beli. The cigar was made exclusively for Hyde Park Cigars, a string of Chicago area shops. In the announcement, Jonathon Drew, President and Founder of Drew Estate noted:
“Hyde Park Cigars has been an key partner and true friend in Chicago for many years. The Liga Privada Pork Beli is a sizzling mega blend, based on our Feral Flying Pig blend vitola bursts with leveled flavor. I am excited for our people to head to Hyde Park Cigars and get down with this limited yearly release.”
Get down in deed. I was fortunate to receive a special 10 year anniversary Liga Privada sampler box at the 2018 IPCPR Drew Estate Media Event. The sampler included the full line of Ligas including the Pork Beli. Today I would like to offer my review of this. The sampler has been resting in my humidor for over 6 months and this is the first of the samples I am reviewing.
The company notes that the Pork Beli, blended by Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera, is based on the Feral Flying Pig and is described as:
- Wrapper – Connecticut River Valley Broadleaf
- Binder – Brazilian Mata Fina
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The Liga Privada Pork Beli is a short 4.75×50 Belicoso vitola and comes packaged in 10-count soft packs. The have an MSRP of $139.60/pack. As a shop exclusive these are only available at the Drew Diplomat Retailer, Hyde Park Cigars.
As mentioned, this sample is part of the 10 year anniversary sampler and each liga in the box is wrapped in bright blue tissue paper and then an outer 10th anniversary sleeve.
Once I removed the outer wrapping, the Pork Beli is revealed with a dark, reddish brown wrapper leaf that has quite a bit of oiling to it, even before igniting it. There is some significant marbling in the wrapper and it is light on veins. The cigar has a well finished cap and is quite solid to the touch with a decent weight for a small cigar.
The Pork Beli is adorned with a the standard black and white Liga Privada Unico band with the word “Pork Beli” written across it.
I proceeded to run the Pork Beli across the nose to see what it aromas it had. I did not pick up much off the barrel but the foot offered some tasty notes off, including natural tobacco sweetness and fruit. I would describe it much akin to a box of raisins.
With the pre-light examination out the way, I moved on to slicing the cap with a double blade cutter. I chose to cut it about a 1/4 of an inch down to open it up and give it some cold draws. The draw was spot on and presented notes of sweet raisin and spice.
All good cigars need to be turned to ash if we are to fully experience them, though I do enjoy the cold draw on this. I used my Liga Privada double torch JetLine lighter to warm the foot, getting to an even orange glow and take in the first peppery spiced puffs of smoke.
Cigar Review Notes
- Growing pepper spice early in the burn
- Meaty notes join the spice
- BBQ sweetness completes the early profile
- Ash fell after an inch of burn revealing a decent burn cone
- The ash light grey but the burn line is wavy
- Strength kicks up moving into the second third
- Moving through the second third the flavors remain similar to the first third.
- A cherry component starts to appear in the background
- A maple syrup aroma starts to fill the air
- Cinnamon spice enters in the final third
- Getting down to the final, the cigar starts to burn hot to the touch and smoke is hotter than I like
- Medium to Full in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 15 minutes
Overall, the Drew Estate Liga Privada Pork Beli had tasty meaty and BBQ sweetness flavor through a good portion of the cigar. I also picked up some notes of cherry and an always enticing maple syrup aroma. The favors were quite enjoyable but not as complex as it larger cousin the Feral Flying Pig. Burn wise, it was wavy through most of the journey and it did burn hot near the final. There was plenty of oils developing on the wrapper through the burn. I rate this little piggy a 92.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Burns Hot to touch in final third (-2) Smoke is Hot in Final (-1) May buy one
Bonus Points: (+1) Large Oiling During the Burn