The Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro Corona Cigar Company Exclusivamente is a shop exclusive cigar by Drew Estate to Corona Cigar Company in Orlando, Florida. Back in 2014, it was announced that Corona Cigar Company’s Sand Lake location would become a Drew Estate Lounge. As a part of the package, Corona Cigar Company would be the recipient of several shop exclusive cigars. Late last year, it was announced that six box-pressed toro-sized offerings would be exclusively offered at Corona Cigar from some of Drew Estate’s most popular offerings. One of those lines would be Liga Privada No. 9, the brand that put Drew Estate on the map in terms of premium traditional cigars. Recently I have had an opportunity to smoke the Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro Corona Cigar Company Exclusivamente. Typically with box-pressed editions of tried and true blends, I find it to bring a nice twist. The Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro is no exception as it delivers an excellent cigar experience.
Liga Privada No. 9 was the inaugural cigar in Drew Estate’s Liga Privada brand. The name Liga Privada translates to private blend. The origin of the name goes back to when former Drew Estate President Steve Saka began experimenting and blending a private blend for himself. The “No 9” (aka number none) resulted when Saka selected the ninth blend as his favorite. Eventually this cigar would go to market and the rest is history.
The six cigars in the Corona Cigar Company Exclusivamente are split among Drew Estate’s traditional and infused lines. The traditional offerings (which include the Herrera Esteli) are square-pressed while the infused lines are soft-pressed.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The original Liga Privada No. 9 blend consists of tobaccos from seven different farms.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate SA)
For completeness, the following are the frontmarks of the Liga Privada No. 9.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper has a coffee bean color to it. Upon closer examination, there is some darker marbling on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper’s surface also has a light coating of oil on it. As mentioned, this cigar has a pure square box-press to it. There are some thin visible wrapper seams, but the cigar is void of any major visible wrapped seams.
There are two bands on the Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro. The primary band is the same one that is common across all the whole Liga Privada No. 9 line. This band is features the black and silver Unico lion logo. On the band, Liga Privada No. 9 is in a large “handwritten style” text on gray dotted field. At the top of the band is the text “HECHO EXCLUSIVAMENTE PARA EL JEFE… PAREJO OSCURO” (which means made exclusively for “El Hefe” – a.k.a. Steve Saka) along top row. On the bottom row in a larger gray font it says “LA GRAN FABRICA DREW ESTATE S.A” – the name of the Drew Estate factory.
The secondary band is common to all of the Corona Cigar Company Exclusivamente releases. It is maroon in color with silver trim along the top and bottom. On the maroon portion is the text “EXCLUSIVAMENTE” in large white font. Just below it is the text “DREW STATE LOUNGE” in a smaller white font. To the far right is a white Drew Estate logo. On the upper silver trim is the text “CORONA CIGAR CO” in a curved maroon font. On the lower silver trim is the text “ORLANDO FLORIDA” in maroon font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Given this square press had a very flat cap, I went with a very thin cut and gently removed the cap. Once the cap was successfully clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw was both classic Connecticut Broadleaf and classic Liga No. 9 as I detected notes of earth and cocoa along with a slight cherry and slight cedar note. Overall I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro and awaited what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro started out with notes of earth and cocoa. In the background I detected an espresso note along with a mix of cedar and white pepper. The cedar and white pepper combination was also quite prominent on the retro-hale. This flavor profile continued throughout the first third.
During the second third, I found a similar flavor profile, the earth and cocoa notes continued be the primary notes. In the background the espresso and spice notes remained. The one difference was the emergence of a licorice note in the background. As the Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro moved into the second half the chocolate notes receded into the background leaving the earth notes in the forefront. At the same time, the cedar notes increased.
By the last third, I found the cedar notes took control as the primary note, but there still were plenty of notes in the background with the earth, cocoa, espresso, licorice, and pepper still present. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro performed quite well. Overall the cigar maintained a straight burn path and never was in danger of tunneling or canoeing. There was a slight jaggedness on the burn line, but this did warrant a significant increase in touch-ups. The resulting ash had a silver gray color to it. It wasn’t the tightest ash, but it wasn’t a loose or flakey ash. The combustion to this cigar was excellent as the cigar maintained an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature from start to finish.
The draw to the Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro also performed well. This draw was not too tight, nor too loose. This was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
The Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro starts as a medium strength cigar. I found the strength level remained medium for the first two thirds. By the last third, there was a slight uptick in the strength and that was enough to push this cigar into medium to full territory.
The body of the Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro also started out medium. As the smoking experience progressed, I found the flavors built up more depth and by the second half, the cigar had moved into medium to full-bodied territory.
When it came to strength versus body, I gave a slight edge to the body.
For a long time, I wondered what the Liga Privada No. 9 blend would be like in a box-pressed. With the release of the Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro Corona Cigar Company Exclusivamente, I got my opportunity to find out. While this isn’t a cigar that is going to eclipse the Parejo Oscuro (rounded Toro), it still is going to provide a nice spin on what now has become a classic blend on the market.
Liga Privada No. 9 is a blend that I usually smoke it sooner than later. My gut tells me to do the same thing with the Box Pressed Toro. The samples I smoked had 12 to 14 weeks in my humidor, and right now I think they are smoking at their peak. This is a cigar I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast or a novice looking to graduate to something “medium plus”. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again – and its worthy of a box split.
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (First Half), Medium to Full (Second Half)
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
News: Drew Estate to Release Six Box-Pressed Cigar as Lounge Exclusives for Corona Cigar Company
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 166, Episode 175
Stogie Feed: Liga Privada No.9 Box Pressed Toro Corona Cigar Company Exclusivamente (Paul), Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 Box Pressed Toro Corona Cigar Company Exclusivamente (Will)