Drew Estate “Dirty Rat” (Preproduction)

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Along with the Liga Privada No. 9, Drew Estate President Steve Saka has been working on a new blend, the result is the so called “Rata Sucia,” Spanish for “Dirty Rat.” This is currently being produced in very small numbers only for Saka and a few lucky people inside and outside of the company.

According to a quote from Saka:

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(The “Dirty Rat” is a) byproduct of a project I was working on with Nicholas (Melillo) to try and recreate that LP #9 flavor in a corona size…which btw we never did get right imo, however while trying to do so Luis (our lead torcedor and gallery supervisor) came up with an amazing blend utilizing the techniques we developed together.

Saka has said in various postings and emails that this is a cigar that will most likely never see regular production, since the corona is made with seven different tobaccos: five different fillers in addition to the wrapper and binder. In fact, it costs almost the same to produce it in a corona as it does to make it in a Liga Privada No. 9Double Corona size, and it apparently needs to be made in the corona size to keep the flavor and strength profile.

Drew Estate

  • Name: Drew Estate “Dirty Rat”
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
  • Wrapper: Stalk-Cut Sungrown Connecticut Valley Habano
  • Binder: Plantation Grown Brazil Mata Fina
  • Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 44
  • Vitola: Corona

The first thing I noticed about this cigar when I saw it, besides the ultra simplistic bands, was the pigtail, which I have always loved on a cigar. The wrapper is a fairly dark chocolate brown, and there is a bit of oil, but not near as much as on the regular No. 9 or the Tatuaje T110. The cigar itself is very firm, but not overly much so, and it smells of pepper, sweet chocolate and cinnamon. The cold draw draw had flavors of pepper and cinnamon as well.

Immediately after lighting it up, I was almost overwhelmed with a bomb of spice on my tongue and the back of my throat. Honestly, it surprised me with its intensity, and I was a bit taken aback by it. The spice did calm down a bit after the first twenty puffs or so, allowing me to taste a bit of chocolate and just a touch of oak.

Drew Estate

As the second third started, the spice calmed down, but only just a bit, and I could still taste it in the back of my throat. However, I also started tasting other flavors: a bit of cloves and cinnamon, but not a sweet taste — more tart than sweet.

Drew Estate

The final third is where this stick shines, the spice came back with a vengeance, like a tidal wave, but interestingly, did not overpower the other flavors like it did in the beginning, just underneath the spice was a very heavy, meaty taste, along with a strong flavor of leather that continued until the end. Also, I honestly did not notice how strong this stick was until about halfway through the last third, and that was where it hit me.

Drew Estate

Final Notes:

  • Make no mistake, this is one strong ass cigar. I was extremely surprised at how the strength in this stick snuck up on me, and I was literally shaking and sweating by the time I was finished. One minute I was checking Twitter posts, and the next I was breathing heavy and sweating like a pig.
  • It reminded me quite a bit of the Tatuaje T110 strength-wise, but the Dirty Rat saves its knockout until the end, while the T110 throws almost everything it has at you in the first half of the stick.
  • The finish on this cigar was also excellent. I could tell that some very high quality tobacco was used to make it.
  • Like all of the new Drew Estate blends, the burn and draw on this cigar was nothing short of astounding. I don’t know what they are doing to make the sticks consistently burn like they do, but whatever it is, it is working.
  • This was a fairly slow burning stick for its size, and the final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes.
0 Overall Score

For the love of all that is Holy Steve, you need to produce this cigar. It is like a crack pipe of spice and flavor that is addicting. The flavors are rich and the spice, while definitely overwhelming at times in the smoke, only adds to the experience. I would give this a very high score and I will be buying more from whoever is willing to sell them to me, although honestly, they are idiots if they get rid of these.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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