Back in 2009, Drew Estate released the first example of a brand new vitola in its resume, the Flying Pig, a 4 1/8 x 60 ring gauge perfecto with a pigtail cap. While a new size for Drew Estate, it was not entirely new as the company actually based the shape from a photograph of an 1895 cigar salesman’s size-selection case. 

While the No. 9 was the first blend to be released in the Flying Pig vitola, the T-52 Flying Pig came out the next year, followed by the Undercrown Flying Pig in 2012. Last week, it was announced that the MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured Flying Pig would be available at the IPCPR convention and show in July.

While the original release in 2009 consisted of only 24,600 cigars for retail, the Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig is still being made in small quantities, including as one of the cigars given to attendees of Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari program.

Here is what I said in my original review almost five years ago:

If you can find one (or more) of these cigars, I suggest you buy them, at the very least to try. The price is great for what you get; a spicy yet complex bomb of flavor that is never overwhelming and it is a great stick to look at as well.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
  • Size: 4 1/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 60
  • Vitola: Flying Pig
  • MSRP: $12.00 (Boxes of 12, $144.00)
  • Number of Cigars Released: 2,500 Boxes of 12 (24,600 Total Cigars)
  • Date Released: November 2009
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Redux: 1

The Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig vitola has always been one of Drew Estate’s more unique releases with a slightly bulbous middle, two perfecto ends and a coiled pigtail on the cap. The wrapper is a dark espresso brown that still exhibits a tiny amount of oil and is extremely toothy to the touch. While the cigar is a touch more spongy than I would like when squeezed, aroma from the wrapper is a combination of creamy leather, baker’s spices, dark chocolate and cedar. 

After pulling off the pigtail on the cap and lighting up the foot, the Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig starts off with fairly basic flavors of aged cedar, dark cocoa, leather, hay and a bit of floral every once in a while. The profile is creamy overall, and it has a great slightly bitter espresso bean base that combines well with the rest of the notes that are present. There is also some nice black pepper on the retrohale that gains in strength until about the halfway point, then starts to recede after that, although it sticks around until the end of the smoke. The second half of the Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig features many of the same flavors, with a rich dark cocoa note dominant until the end, as well as leather, creamy cedar, coffee beans, and even a little bit of malty sweetness that comes and goes. I am able to smoke the cigar down to less than a half inch without the nub getting bitter or hot, which is not always the case on such short, large ring gauge cigars.

Liga Privada No 9 Flying Pig

Construction-wise, both the burn and draw are phenomenal throughout the length of the cigar, with the draw being the standout after I did nothing more than pull off the pigtail on the top of the cap. Smoke production is enormous as expected, and billows off the foot of the cigar like a grass fire even when resting in an ashtray. Overall strength is a solid medium almost from the start, budging very little from that point.

Drew Estate previously sponsored halfwheel this year. The cigar for this review was purchased by halfwheel.

87 Overall Score

It has been said on this site before that for the most part, Liga Privada blends are not meant to be aged, a thought I agree with. I was extremely interested to see how the nearly five years of aging had changed the profile of the Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig, and the answer is basically what I expected: while still a very good cigar, the age has really mellowed out the profile, and more disappointingly, significantly dulled the flavors that make a Liga Privada No. 9 blend what it is. The core notes are still there, but instead of an amazing pop every time I took a puff, I was rewarded with more standard — albeit very good — combination of flavors. Construction was superb overall and the smoke production was enormous as expected but at this point, the Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig is well off its peak both in terms of complexity and distinctness of flavors.

Original Score (August 2009)
Redux Score (June 2014)

Brooks Whittington

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.