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Random quote: I would smoke a cigar once in a while, but mostly cigarettes. I was lucky. I just stopped smoking cigarettes and went back to cigars. - Raul Julia
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An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9
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Adwinistrator
Posted 12/31/2018 10:47 AM (#760921)
Subject: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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After reading Tom's thread about comparing aged vs. recent CC's, I decided to try the same with some a Liga Privada No. 9 Belicoso I've been holding onto for over 4 years.

I read a lot of people making 2 claims:

  1. Liga Privada's don't age well
  2. Liga Privada's have changed/gone downhill since Swisher bought DE.

Even though the new LP9 I purchased was a different vitola (robusto), I figured I could still compare and contrast, and learn something from smoking them back to back.

Here are my observations:

  •  The recent production LP9 was very different than the LP9's I remember from a few years ago.  Lots of herbal, anise, and potpourri flavors were dominant from the second 1/3 onward.  It reminded me of a Joya de Nicaragua Antano Dark Corojo in many ways.  Not the creamy, coffee, chocolate LP9 I remember having from years ago (I don't know how aged that one was).
  • I picked the wrong LP9 to age...  There were construction issues which caused tunneling for the second half of the stick, which definitely ruined the taste and flavors that were present.
  • The aged LP9 was VERY muted in flavor, medium at most, and not very complex.  Coffee, cedar, and leather, until the tunneling caused hot spots which overpowered what flavors there were.  To me, the boldness of flavors that make LP enjoyable was missing.
The Reviews:
 
Drew Estate Liga Privada #9 Belicoso (1458 days)
I've had this cigar in my humidor for about 4 years, and smoked in after a recent production LP9 Robusto.  I wanted to compare how age affected a LP9 (many say poorly), and also wanted to see if, like many say, the new LP9's are different than their original production...

Medium dark, oily, and smooth wrapper.  Very muted smell, some hay and tobacco, great draw.

First 1/3 - Very muted flavors, but good smoke output.  Picked up some coffee, cedar, leather, and some woody and nutty notes, just a slight hint of anise.  Burn was uneven and required some touch-ups.  Medium body and strength.

Second 1/3 - More touch-ups required for uneven burn.  Some tunneling happening.   Getting more charred campfire flavors.

Final 1/3 - Even more tunneling.  Getting some herb and spice flavors, smoke feels oily.  Black pepper retrohale, a hint of sourdough.

Conclusion - Long aging did not do this cigar any favors, but I also picked a cigar with poor construction to age.  From the second 1/3, tunneling was an issue and affected the burn and flavor.  Could have been a smoother and more complex LP9, but for me, I like the boldness of the LP line.  I have one more aged LP9 to try and, hopefully it burns better and I can get a better sense of how this line can benefit from aging.
 
 
 
Drew Estate Liga Privada #9 Robusto (15 days)
This is a recent production I purchased to compare to the earlier production LP9's I have smoked.

Nice dark and smooth wrapper, perfect construction, good cap.  Pre-light notes of coffee and leather.  Draw was somewhat tight.

First 1/3 - Started with leather and coffee.  Draw was too tight for me, so I used a poker to loosen up near the head.  Near the end, started to get some notes of anise, herbs, and floral potpourri, very similar to a Joya de Nicaragua Antano...

Second 1/3 - Picked up some grapefruit hints on the retrohale.  More anise and herbs.  Feeling like full body and strength.  Spices picked up later with a cayenne retrohale.  Starting to get notes of char.

Final 1/3 - Having some issues keeping it cool, most likely due to the loosening of the head from earlier.  Getting more black pepper and herb, and spicy retrohale.

Conclusion - This LP9 was very different than the LP9's I remember from 4 years ago.  Instead of the coffee, chocolate, and cream, I tasted herbs, spices, and floral potpourri as the main notes.  Very similar to the JdN Antano, which is also made by DE...  Still an enjoyable cigar, which might have been made better by some age.
 
 


Edited by Adwinistrator 12/31/2018 11:05 AM
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shakinghorizons
Posted 12/31/2018 11:50 AM (#760922 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Excellent post and very detailed, thank you!
I prefer medium bodied smokes, so I was never a fan of LP when released. I still have a few around, I will have to see if they are in my wheelhouse now, lol.
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headfirst
Posted 12/31/2018 1:38 PM (#760924 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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The muted flavor thought resonates with my one LP experience, just plain earthy tobacco. I found I'm not much of a Drew Estate fan overall. There are a couple that are pretty good, but nothing by DE has ever knocked my socks off.
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shakinghorizons
Posted 12/31/2018 2:48 PM (#760925 - in reply to #760924)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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headfirst - 12/31/2018 12:38 PM

The muted flavor thought resonates with my one LP experience, just plain earthy tobacco. I found I'm not much of a Drew Estate fan overall. There are a couple that are pretty good, but nothing by DE has ever knocked my socks off.


Couldn't have said it better myself!
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Chefjohn
Posted 12/31/2018 3:57 PM (#760927 - in reply to #760925)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Great post Ryan. As a rookie I greatly value the insights of more seasoned veterans like yourself. I have a couple of LP9’s that are at the 125 day mark. The only DE Ive has is the Undercrown Shade which while not spectacular was good.
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Murphy223
Posted 12/31/2018 6:57 PM (#760932 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Awesome post. I really appreciate the time and detail here and may actually try something similar in the future.

Thanks for sharing
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DonM
Posted 1/2/2019 6:40 AM (#760968 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: RE: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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I smoked a #9 robusto yesterday hanging out in my buddy's swimming pool over cocktails. It was actually very good, from a box I purchased 2 years ago. I haven't bought any recently so I wonder what the change if any is? You know, tobacco crops change year to year and eventually there has to be a change somewhere affecting the flavors of the cigar

Just using this as an example, I used to smoke DPG Blue Labels a lot. The ones you get today are not like the ones that you used to get. They are still a good cigar, don't get me wrong

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weeqi
Posted 1/2/2019 9:28 AM (#760981 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9


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I find that Liga Privada with as much as year is not optimum. Given DE's presence as an infused cigar producer, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that LP is infused in some way, and that the chemicals used to do that don't settle well over time. Just a guess though. I have to admit, I like a no 9 from time to time.
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Brlesq
Posted 1/2/2019 9:37 AM (#760982 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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I've got a couple dozen of the LP#9s from 2008, and they are an entirely different cigar (much better) than stuff released after around 2012. I can take or leave the new ones myself.
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Cigary
Posted 1/2/2019 9:41 AM (#760985 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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There are obviously a lot of fans of the LP#9 and while CC's tend to rest/age better over the years NC's don't have that same experience and tend to get muddled with more than a year on them. Tastes differ and it's always with great interest that I read reviews as to what is gleaned from experience. Full bodied and complex cigars tend to rest well and retain a good level of taste while medium bodied cigars are going to lose their character over time....which is why Cuban Cigars tend to be popular as they can age for decades. Something to consider with cigars as a rule....the older we get the more of a decline in our taste buds and their ability to distinguish flavors and Cuban Cigars definitely come into play here....that special taste ( twang ) is absorbed by our taste buds in a very positive way which is what makes them so popular. The taste isn't intensified as much as it is richer which coincides with the soil the tobacco is grown in...there is a convergence of things that make them special.
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Silverstix
Posted 1/2/2019 2:54 PM (#761005 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Interesting read, thanks Ryan for sharing your experience.

After I did my review, the one thing I would change would be doing them blind - having my wife or a buddy give me the cigar without me knowing which was which so that I could review each cigar on it's own merits without any preconceived notions about how good or bad an aged cigar is supposed to be.
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Cigary
Posted 1/3/2019 5:43 PM (#761070 - in reply to #761005)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Silverstix - 1/2/2019 3:54 PM Interesting read, thanks Ryan for sharing your experience. After I did my review, the one thing I would change would be doing them blind - having my wife or a buddy give me the cigar without me knowing which was which so that I could review each cigar on it's own merits without any preconceived notions about how good or bad an aged cigar is supposed to be.

 This is the ultimate test and I've challenged my fair share of hobbyists who feel that they are able to appraise cigars in a positive way.  Most fail....and that's the surprising thing about our hobby because as a 45 year hobbyist I have failed miserably myself in comparing cigars.  Unless you smoke certain brands and know them like the back of your hand....you're gonna fail, too.  I have a 25 cigar rotation and 5 of them I know blindfolded...but if you put one of the rotations against some other brand I'm gonna be a bit nervous.  I've given out super premium cigars and then took off the band....then had them compare it to a $3 cigar that looked just like the Premium and 50% of the Reviewers chose the cheaper cigar and when I told them what they smoked....they were pissed.

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Brlesq
Posted 1/3/2019 8:17 PM (#761077 - in reply to #761070)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Cigary - 1/3/2019 6:43 PM
I've given out super premium cigars and then took off the band....then had them compare it to a $3 cigar that looked just like the Premium and 50% of the Reviewers chose the cheaper cigar and when I told them what they smoked....they were pissed.



I bet they were pissed because you sold them both cigars st the super premium price.

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Longhorn
Posted 1/3/2019 9:43 PM (#761081 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Liga Privada No.9's are yard gars. Just say'n.
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Adwinistrator
Posted 1/4/2019 9:47 AM (#761098 - in reply to #761070)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Thanks for all the kind words! This was a lot of fun to do, and I plan on doing a few more like this. I have 4 different Partagas D4's from across 3 years, so I'll have to do a blind test on those.

Cigary - 1/3/2019 6:43 PM

Silverstix - 1/2/2019 3:54 PM Interesting read, thanks Ryan for sharing your experience. After I did my review, the one thing I would change would be doing them blind - having my wife or a buddy give me the cigar without me knowing which was which so that I could review each cigar on it's own merits without any preconceived notions about how good or bad an aged cigar is supposed to be.

 This is the ultimate test and I've challenged my fair share of hobbyists who feel that they are able to appraise cigars in a positive way.  Most fail....and that's the surprising thing about our hobby because as a 45 year hobbyist I have failed miserably myself in comparing cigars.  Unless you smoke certain brands and know them like the back of your hand....you're gonna fail, too.  I have a 25 cigar rotation and 5 of them I know blindfolded...but if you put one of the rotations against some other brand I'm gonna be a bit nervous.  I've given out super premium cigars and then took off the band....then had them compare it to a $3 cigar that looked just like the Premium and 50% of the Reviewers chose the cheaper cigar and when I told them what they smoked....they were pissed.



Yeah, if I had been able to grab a new Belicoso LP9, I would have done the test blind, but frankly, the results were SO different it would have made no difference in this case...
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gitfiddl
Posted 1/4/2019 12:43 PM (#761111 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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"Very similar to the JdN Antano, which is also made by DE". This is incorrect. DE is only the US distributor of Joya de Nicaragua. DE is not involved in JdN production.
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Adwinistrator
Posted 1/4/2019 1:01 PM (#761115 - in reply to #761111)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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gitfiddl - 1/4/2019 1:43 PM

"Very similar to the JdN Antano, which is also made by DE". This is incorrect. DE is only the US distributor of Joya de Nicaragua. DE is not involved in JdN production.


Thank you for correcting me! I had assumed there was production sharing between, my bad...

I might have to look up the details on the leafs used for both those cigars, because the only other time I'd gotten such heavy herbal and anise flavors was with the JdN.
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gitfiddl
Posted 1/4/2019 4:31 PM (#761128 - in reply to #761115)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Adwinistrator - 1/4/2019 2:01 PM

gitfiddl - 1/4/2019 1:43 PM

"Very similar to the JdN Antano, which is also made by DE". This is incorrect. DE is only the US distributor of Joya de Nicaragua. DE is not involved in JdN production.


Thank you for correcting me! I had assumed there was production sharing between, my bad...

I might have to look up the details on the leafs used for both those cigars, because the only other time I'd gotten such heavy herbal and anise flavors was with the JdN.


You're quite welcome. And I didn't mean my post to sound as scolding and condescending as it did when I just reread it. I, too, was under the impression for a long time that JdN was a DE brand, that Drew had purchased the "label", etc, and was doing blending and manufacturing. I found out a couple years ago that JdN is its own deal, and that, as I said before, DE just handles their US distribution and some marketing. Honestly, while I do have an occasional "jones" for a Kuba Kuba, I'm not a big DE fan. I much prefer a JdN over DE's non-infused cigars like the LPs.

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Longhorn
Posted 1/4/2019 5:37 PM (#761135 - in reply to #761098)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Adwinistrator - 1/4/2019 10:47 AM

Yeah, if I had been able to grab a new Belicoso LP9, I would have done the test blind, but frankly, the results were SO different it would have made no difference in this case...



You would be right.

You'll find the construction on the newer bell's to be sub-par: Take one and, without cutting, draw on it. I've managed to light and partially smoke one before cutting.

You can't do that with an LP9 prior to the Swisher acquisition.

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toby2
Posted 1/4/2019 9:12 PM (#761146 - in reply to #760921)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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go figure, a company that could care less less about quality screws up a premium cigar. say it ain't so. never saw that coming! they bought DE for ACID's. Saka's little project means nothing to corporate dick heads....
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Cigary
Posted 1/5/2019 5:58 AM (#761174 - in reply to #761077)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Brlesq - 1/3/2019 9:17 PM
Cigary - 1/3/2019 6:43 PM I've given out super premium cigars and then took off the band....then had them compare it to a $3 cigar that looked just like the Premium and 50% of the Reviewers chose the cheaper cigar and when I told them what they smoked....they were pissed.

 

I bet they were pissed because you sold them both cigars st the super premium price.

 

 Lol.... I used to do this a lot in the last decade where I sent out premium cigars and then send a mediocre cigar to people I knew well....( for free ... they willingly accepted the challenge )  one challenge was a LP#9 vs Puro Huerfanos 681 which was touted as the "copy" of the LP#9 for half the price and I held the same opinion.....as it turned out the test subjects thought the PH681 was the better cigar.

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DonM
Posted 1/5/2019 6:04 AM (#761175 - in reply to #761174)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Cigary - 1/5/2019 9:58 AM

Brlesq - 1/3/2019 9:17 PM
Cigary - 1/3/2019 6:43 PM I've given out super premium cigars and then took off the band....then had them compare it to a $3 cigar that looked just like the Premium and 50% of the Reviewers chose the cheaper cigar and when I told them what they smoked....they were pissed.

 

I bet they were pissed because you sold them both cigars st the super premium price.

 

 Lol.... I used to do this a lot in the last decade where I sent out premium cigars and then send a mediocre cigar to people I knew well....( for free ... they willingly accepted the challenge )  one challenge was a LP#9 vs Puro Huerfanos 681 which was touted as the "copy" of the LP#9 for half the price and I held the same opinion.....as it turned out the test subjects thought the PH681 was the better cigar.



Yes, that Puros Huerfanos Blend 681 was a nice cigar for the money for sure!

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toby2
Posted 1/5/2019 9:11 AM (#761185 - in reply to #761174)
Subject: Re: An Experiment: Aged vs. Recent Production - Liga Privada No. 9



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Cigary - 1/5/2019 6:58 AM
Brlesq - 1/3/2019 9:17 PM
Cigary - 1/3/2019 6:43 PM I've given out super premium cigars and then took off the band....then had them compare it to a $3 cigar that looked just like the Premium and 50% of the Reviewers chose the cheaper cigar and when I told them what they smoked....they were pissed.

 

I bet they were pissed because you sold them both cigars st the super premium price.

 

 Lol.... I used to do this a lot in the last decade where I sent out premium cigars and then send a mediocre cigar to people I knew well....( for free ... they willingly accepted the challenge )  one challenge was a LP#9 vs Puro Huerfanos 681 which was touted as the "copy" of the LP#9 for half the price and I held the same opinion.....as it turned out the test subjects thought the PH681 was the better cigar.

wasn't from Famous? a house brand? i have a few still. 

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