Less than three weeks after offering the Ratzilla for sale for the first time at a Casa de Montecristo event, Jonathan Drew of Drew Estate confirmed a small quantity of cigars from a 2011 batch will be shipped out to various retailers across the country, including over 100 bundles for an event at Jeff Borysiewicz’s Corona Cigar Co.

As was mentioned when Brooks reviewed the Ratzilla a few weeks ago, tobacco problems forced Drew Estate to abandon its intention of releasing the cigar last year. Drew told halfwheel there was only one issue, “we kept waiting for the tobacco to turn.” The Connecticut River Valley Habano wrapper is not only used on Ratzilla and its smaller brother Único Serie Dirty Rat, but also on Drew Estate’s regular Liga Privada T52 line.

The batch that is being released, which contains roughly 500 bundles of 12, or 6,000 total cigars, was rolled in January of 2011, before Drew Estate’s infamous T52 shortage.

An abnormally thick crop of wrapper left T52 virtually extinct last year. “We waited the normal two years for the wrapper, then another three months, then we’d wait six months,” said Drew describing the situation with the wrapper. “Its very important to keep the brand true to its fundamental leaf construction and not mess with the raw materials.”

After the wrapper delay began, the company placed the project on hold, which is where Ratzilla sits currently.

“We made the decision to put our energy into rebuilding the supply of T52,” said Drew. He added that Dirty Rat’s production has recently resumed in small quantities and the Único Serie L40, which was introduced in late 2011 using the same Connecticut River Valley wrapper, is being rolled at even smaller quantities.

Despite having no timetable or immediate plans on Ratzilla as a formal addition to the Único Serie line, Drew Estate made the decision to release the January 2011 rolled Ratzillas before the cigars began to lose strength and body. Drew reiterated that when Ratzilla returns, which will presumably after Drew Estate stabilizes its T52 supply, the blend will be the same as the 2011 rolled versions.

The distribution of the 500 bundles is as follows:

  • 50 Bundles for the Casa de Montecristo BOTL.org 7th Anniversary on June 23. (Sold out.)
  • 100 Bundles for Corona Cigar Co.’s “Ratzilla Day” on July 21. (These will be available in store only.)
  • 100 Bundles for Drew Estate Use. Drew said these will be for friends, family and military heroes, i.e. not for sale.
  • 250 Bundles to be split up amongst 87 retailers. Most retailers will receive between two and three bundles. Drew said the retailers were chosen randomly by a computer program amongst Liga Privada accounts.
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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.