Review: Liga Privada Ünico Serie Feral Flying Pig (Prerelease)
In 2009, Drew Estate introduced the Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig, the vitola of which Steve Saka picked the shape from a photograph of an 1895 cigar salesman’s size-selection case, to impressive reviews. The T52 Flying Pig was released in 2010 to rave reviews as well.
Unlike the No. 9 and T52 Flying Pigs, which each had 2,050 boxes of 12 and 3,000 boxes of 12 respectively, there are going to be quite a few of the Feral Flying Pigs with 4,500 boxes of 10 released as part of the initial launch. It is an overall different blend from both the No. 9 and T52 Flying Pig, but does share a wrapper similar to the No.9, only one stalk position lower, according to Nicholas Melillo, director of tobaccos for Drew Estate.
Says Steve Saka, President of Drew Estate, on the blend and release of the Feral Flying Pig:
IMO this is by far and away the best Flying Pig blend – the taste and proportions are just perfect. It is a unico blend, entirely unique for its vitola, but yes it does feature the same capa as the original FP. The blend is so righteous we are right now working the tobacco schedule to see if there is anyway to make the FFP an ongoing vitola even if it is in a really limited capacity.
It will be released in waves of about 800 – 1000 boxes a month for the next 4 months or so as they age/taste right. We have decided to NOT make this a one-time batch release like the previous FP releases – rather we will continue to make it in small lots like we do Dirty Rats.
Here are some photos of the Liga Privada Único Serie Feral Flying Pigs being rolled at the La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate:
Feral Flying Pigs in Molds:
The Rolling of the “Bun” (i.e. cap) of the Feral Flying Pig:
Finished Feral Flying Pigs in Bundles:
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Liga Privada Único Serie Feral Flying Pig
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Viso
- Binder: Plantation Grown Brazilian Mata Fina
- Filler: Nicaragua (5 Leaves)
- Size: 5 3/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 60
- Vitola: Figurado
- MSRP: $14.95 (Boxes of 10, $149.50)
- Release Date: December 2011
- Number of Cigars Released: 4,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (45,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
The cigar itself is a sight to behold. It’s quite a bit longer than its Flying Pig counterparts and covered in a seamless, yet quite toothy, dark espresso brown wrapper that glistens with oil. The Feral Flying Pig is very hard when squeezed, just short of rock hard. The wrapper smells like a combination of spices, apples, leather, chocolate and coffee. Also like its Flying Pig brothers, it has the same bun on top that really sets off the look of the entire cigar.
The first third starts with classic flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, leather and cedar. There is a bit of spice on the tongue, but not an overwhelming amount and there is also a touch of black pepper on the retrohale that comes and goes. It is a solid medium-strength wise at the end of the third.
The second third has much of the same profile as the First, but less spice — almost totally gone about halfway through the smoke. There is more pepper on the retrohale and it is more consistent than the first third, but the big change is the strength. From all of JD’s comments, I knew this was a strong cigar. I was expecting it to pick up, but by the end of the second third, it was literally taking my breath away, hitting a solid full range in what seemed like a span of about ten puffs. However, along with the increase in strength was a great undertone of sweetness that really stood out and continued to get stronger as the second third progressed.
The final third had cedar, espresso and leather as the dominant flavors, still with that great sweetness underneath, but also turned just a bit creamy as well. Nothing huge, but enough to take notice. The strength stayed at (VERY) full until the end as well.
- An interesting fact is that there are only three pairs of rollers/buncheros in the factory capable of rolling this vitola of cigar. Saka indicates that is a relatively new news, as just a few months ago there were only two pairs.
- I have never cut or punched one of the FP or FFP variety, as that is really unnecessary in my mind. Just (CAREFULLY) pull off the “bun” on top, and you will have a perfect opening to draw from. Trust me.
- The construction on both samples I smoked was perfect. Perfect burn and perfect draw for the entire smokes.
- One of the (few) problems I had with both the No. 9 and T52 Flying Pigs was that the vitola, while cool looking, was quite awkward to hold and smoke. I am pleased to say that the Feral Flying Pig fixes that in spades. While it is a large cigar, larger than my normal sized smokes by a mile, it is easy to hold and feels great in your mouth.
- Make no mistake, this is a STRONG cigar. In both samples I smoked, it took a while to get going. I remember thinking: c’mon dude, I thought this was going to be strong! But, by the end of the second third, it was firmly in the full category. It may be the strongest Liga Privada I have smoked. DO NOT smoke this before breakfast like my dumb ass did, unless you like that kinda feeling. (Sources tell me that while this is the strongest Flying Pig ever released, it is not the strongest Flying Pig ever made. Allegedly, there are a few test vitolas of the Flying Pig vitola that were made to be as strong as possible.)
- Like all Liga Privadas I have ever smoked, this cigar produced smoke like a house on fire.
- The final smoking time for both samples was right at one hour and 55 minutes.
The Bottom Line: Like me, your first question when hearing about the Feral Flying Pig was most likely: Wow, do we really need a BIGGER Flying Pig? This was followed closely by: How does it compare to the No.9 and T52 Flying Pigs? Well, at this point in its life, I thought the Feral Flying Pig was better than the T52 version (easily), but I am going to stop short of calling it better than the No. 9 version. While they share many similarities in flavor, the FFP is quite a bit stronger in body, just a bit more muted in flavor and not quite as complex as the No. 9 FP. Having said that, the construction was excellent in both samples I smoked, the flavors were wonderful and distinct, and with the strength that is present, I have a feeling these will age very well. I will be picking up multiple boxes to smoke and age, if I can find that many.
Final Score: 91