Pinar Del Rio Liga Especial Reserva Superior

Abe Flores and his company Pinar Del Rio cigars have been experiencing great growth over the past 18 months.   The growth has been so steady that over this past weekend, Flores posted some video on Facebook showcasing his brand new factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic.  Much of the past 18 months has been focused around growing the four cigars in the PDR 1878 line.  At the 2011, IPCPR Flores showcased a limited production cigar that is under the Pinar Del Rio umbrella called “Pinar Del Rio Liga Especial Reserva Superior”.   This cigar’s distinguishing factor is not only its striking silver banding, but the fact that it is an all-ligero filler cigar.  Sometimes, I’m a little weary about all ligero cigars, but in the case of the Liga Especial Reserva Superior, I was quite pleased with the final product.   I would even go as far to say as this is one of the better products I’ve seen from Pinar Del Rio cigars.

From what I have heard, the Liga Especial Reserva Superior will be an limited production cigar on an annual basis.   I’ve heard reports of around 600 boxes have been made.   While Pinar Del Rio cigars have been increasing in retailers’ humidors, I imagine this particular blend will be limited to Pinar Del Rio’s premier accounts.

Part of why I am used weary of all-ligero cigars is that they tend to emphasize strength over flavor.  The other part is that all-ligero cigars tend to burn poorly.  This is often due to the slow burn rate of ligero tobacco. In the case of the Pinar Del Rio Liga Especial Reserva Superior, while the cigar did burn slow, I felt it provided solid flavors and a pretty decent burn for an all-ligero cigar.

Let’s take a closer look at the Pinar Del Rio Liga Especial Reserva Superior and see what it brings to the table.

Blend Profile

The all-ligero filler is a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos. In addition to its all-ligero filler, the Pinar Del Rio Liga Especial Reserva Superior uses a double binder.

Wrapper:  Dominican Habano
Binder: Brazilian, Nicaraguan
Filler: All-ligero: Esteli, Jalapa, Dominican

Vitolas Available

At the time of this assessment, the Pinar Del Rio Liga Especial Reserva Superior is available in three vitolas.

Robusto: 5 x 52
Torpedo: 6 1/2 x 52
Gran Toro: 6 x 54

The vitolas feature a covered foot.

Covered Foot – Pinar Del Rio Liga Especial Reserva Superior

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For this cigar experience, I sampled the Robusto vitola.   After I placed a straight cut into the Liga Especial Reserva Superior, I commenced with a pre-light draw.   The dry draw flavor notes I detected were were leather, espresso, and some pepper spice.  I was expecting more spice on the pre-light, but was also pleased this wasn’t the case.  I was now curious to see what the Liga Especial Reserva Superior would bring to the table once lit.

Flavor Profile

For the most part, the flavor notes from the pre-light draw continued on the initial draws.  I did get more pepper on the start of the Liga Especial Reserva Superior, but it quickly moved to more of a background spice early in the smoking experience.  The flavor notes of leather and espresso were also joined by some classic chocolate notes early on.

By the midway point of the cigar, the chocolate and espresso notes diminished significantly.  The leather notes were still very much primary.  The pepper notes were more present in the second half, but the nice thing was that this never became a spice bomb.   Overall, while this wasn’t the most complex smoke, the flavors that were produced were very good.  The finish was smoother than I would expect from an all-ligero cigar.  The nub was soft, but yet it didn’t burn hot.

Burn and Draw

As I mentioned above, often a problem with all-ligero cigars is that the slow burn results in a bad burn.  This typically leads to some harsh flavor notes. The burn temperature seemed fine throughout, but the cigar – true to its all-ligero form did burn slow.  At the same time, I didn’t find the slow burn to have any adverse impacts on the flavor profile.  With the Pinar Del Rio Liga Especial Reserva Superior, the burn did require several touch-ups.  The touch-ups did keep the burn on-track and straight.   If you mind doing several touch-ups, then you probably won’t be happy with the burn.  I personally did not have a problem with this.

As for the draw, I was very satisifed with it.  Normally, I have found many Pinar del Rio cigars to have a loose draw, but this one was ideal.

Strength and Body

An all-ligero cigar usually means a lot of strength from a nicotine profile.  In the case of the Pinar Del Rio Liga Especial Reserva Superior, there is no doubt – this is a full-strength cigar.  If you are looking for a buzz, you will feel it.  As for the body, this has just enough depth on the flavors to be considered full-bodied.   Surprisingly, while there may be more strength than body on this cigar – there was enough balance between the two to make this a satisfying smoke.

Final Thoughts

Overall I like a lot of what this all-ligero smoke brought to the table.  It wasn’t the most complex, but it still did provide some very good flavors.   While this is a strong cigar, it is not one of those cigars that will provide a “buzz” and nothing else.   This is not a cigar I would recommend for a novice enthusiast.  As for experienced cigar enthusiasts, I would limit this to folks who do like a full-strength cigar.   I personally think this is one of the better blends by Abe Flores and Pinar del Rio.   This is a cigar I wouldn’t mind smoking many more of.


Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Low
Strength: Full
Body: Full
Assessment: Nice to Have

Source: This cigar was gifted to me by an authorized representative of Pinar del Rio Cigars.