Cigar Review: Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Velvet Rat

Initial Thoughts:

When I set out to do a cigar review today, I was somewhat disappointed when I remembered I didn't have a Liga Privada to smoke. However, my sadness was immediately expunged when I saw the Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Velvet Rat on the shelf of my humidor. Not only is the Velvet Rat a Liga Privada, but it's also a part of the elite Unico Serie that's supposed to be some of the best cigars Drew Estate makes.

The Liga Privada Unico Serie Velvet Rat is a great, but somewhat rugged-looking, cigar. It's got a pigtail tip and a dark, Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper that is marbled like a prime steak.

After cutting the end, the draw was perfect and the cold draw flavors were like a roasted cocoa.


CigarScore ratingCigarScore rating

Brand: Drew Estate
Line: Liga Privada, Unico Serie Velvet Rat
Size: 6 1/4 X 46
Cut: Guillotine
Light: Torch
Price: $16.70
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: United States Connecticut River Valley stalk-cut & cured Habano
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoke Time: 65 minutes

If there was a CigarScore Zero, this cigar would have earned it in the first third. There were multiple hollow spots that led to a terrible draw and almost no smoke.

The entire first half of the Liga Privada Unico Serie Velvet Rat was a bad experience for me. Even the flavors were mediocre, and I could barely tell this was even a distant cousin of a Liga Privada cigar. As disappointing as the first half of the Velvet Rat was, I think I got a lemon.

Final Thoughts:

The first half of the Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Velvet Rat I reviewed sucked. It was terrible, and, I hope, a fluke. The second half, however, was not so bad.

In the final third of the Velvet Rat, the burn evened up, the draw opened up, and the flavors came back into the realm of what could be expected in a cigar of this brand and at this price point.

Overall, the flavors I could get out of this cigar were kind of bland. The cigar was riddled with hollow spots and plagued by a bad draw. Had I not smoked and reviewed other Liga Privada cigars that I enjoyed, based on this stick alone, I'd never come back to the brand.

However, I know Drew Estate can make better cigars. I plan on coming back to the Unico Serie Velvet Rat and reviewing it again in a series called “Second Chance Cigar Reviews.” But today, the Drew Estate Liga Privada Unico Serie Velvet Rat earns a CigarScore 2 and probably should've gotten a 1.

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