Today we will be taking a look at a much anticipated prerelease cigar, the Liga Privada L40. Liga Privada cigars have always been known to float around in prerelease form for quite some time now. It’s a wonderful chance for people to sample blends that will be made in the future and sometimes blends that will never see the light of day. It’s become a huge reason to attend a Drew Estate event. Jonathan Drew and Steve Saka have even gone to the point where they have made actual prerelease bands that look very similar to the Liga Privada band instead of having that computer made band we have all come to recognize.

As far as what went into the blending of the L40 and why it’s called the L40, Drew Estate President Steve Saka explained it this way:

“The Lancero blend was one we struggled with for well over a year. It is probably one the most tweaked of all the LP blends to date in its final phase… it was a real challenge to make something that was IMO LP-worthy in this format. What LP-Worthy means, is that I personally love the blend and will smoke it regularly by choice.

That is kind of tough when I am not really much of a Lancero fan myself. My issue with Lanceros is that they basically come in one of two varieties: Mild or Strong and in both cases, with very little depth. I am not saying I can not appreciate a Lancero on occasion, but the LP line has always been about it being a cigar that I would smoke back to back to back – something that I really enjoy.

The LP Lancero blending after about the sixth month kind of broke up into two distinct directions – one being a real peppery blend, the other being a more balance nuanced blend. Ultimately I abandoned the ultra peppery version, not because it was bad, but it was falling into that single note trap I mentioned before and it wasn’t nearly as good as a Dirty Rat or if I wanted something longer, a Ratzilla… so we began to focus on making it more elegant, balanced with more complexity. Now don’t get me wrong the L40 is not a mild cigar, on a strength scale I would put it at a 7 out of 10, but it certainly isn’t as peppery as the DR.

Now what it is though is very complex and nuanced, there is a lot going on in this Lancero, more than I have experienced in any other. Now I will admit I had to cheat a little bit… instead of it being a 38 ring, it is a 7 x 40 ring – yes that little bit of extra girth afforded me one more tobacco in the recipe. Hence the moniker “L40” “

We have been told the L40 will be available fairly shortly. If I had to guess I would say this summer sometime after the IPCPR we will see these on the shelves, although that is always subject to change, of course.


Lets get to it shall we?

Liga Privada Único Serie L40 1.png

  • Cigar Reviewed:Liga Privada Único Serie L40
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
  • Wrapper: Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Sun Grown Habano
  • Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
  • Size: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • Est. Price: Unknown
  • Date Released: Unreleased
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

Visually this cigar is everything you have come to love from Liga Privada. It has an extremely dark chocolate colored wrapper with lots of oils. The wrapper feels tacky like sand paper with minimal veins and a seamless wrap. The cigar is very firm and well packed.

The pre-light aroma is full of deep tobacco it almost smells like a tin of tobacco, like Scoal or something, very rich. There is also a distinct barnyard aroma it smells of aged wood and hay. The foot smells very earthy with smooth tobacco and a bready like doughy aroma that I have found to be unique to most Liga Privada blends.

The pre-light draw is mild with cedar, hay and hints of leather.


Starting off in the first third I get a blast of Liga Privada, woody, spicy, peppery with lashes of leather and coffee. While I am a true Lancero lover I have to say the beefed up 40 ring gauge feels nice. The draw is perfect and the finish is nice and long with pepper all over the tongue.

Liga Privada Único Serie L40 2.png

Coming into the second third the cigar mellows out in terms of pepper and spice, profile is very earthy with rich tobacco notes. Coffee and leather are still the main attraction but without the pepper and spice I feel the balance is off a bit. Towards the end of the second third the cigar gets a little creamy and there is a nice touch of black cherry on the finish that is indeed pleasurable. The burn gets a little hairy at times and the cigar wants to go out and tunnel if I don’t puff on it a lot. This requires some touch-ups.

Liga Privada Único Serie L40 3.png

Finishing up in the final third the cigar doesn’t change a whole lot from the last third, still very earthy, lots of tobacco, coffee and leather with bit of dark chocolate. Unfortunately the spice and pepper doesn’t return from the first third and that is my biggest disappointment thus far. However I am still able to nub it in true Liga Privada fashion.

Liga Privada Único Serie L40 4.png


Final Notes:

  • I really loved this cigar but I don’t find it to be all that different than the rest of the T52 line. I would still grab the Double Corona any day over this but this is still a fabulous cigar. I think they need a Lancero because that T52 wrapper is special, and it needs to shine. I am definitely going to do a Redux Review as I think these will benefit from some time in the humidor.
  • I found the burn to be a bit problematic. Now I know that can change cigar to cigar, but I am thinking maybe that this Liga blend is a bit too heavy for this vitola. Perhaps it was just the samples I smoked, but both of them had some minor burn issues.
  • Also, and this is VERY minor, I was kind of hoping this Lancero would have a pigtail. I know, I know, who gives a shit, right? Well I do! LOL I just think a pigtail on this Lancero would look AMAZING! So if Steve or JD is reading; PIGTAIL PLEASE :)
  • The Final Smoking time was 1 hour 27 minutes.


The Bottom Line: I enjoyed this cigar a lot but I was honestly expecting a bit more. Perhaps it was just me having high expectations for a vitola I truly love. I found this cigar to be on par with all the other T52 wrapped cigars but certainly nothing special like the Dirty Rat. I am however very pleased that they have created this cigar because I have been thinking for a while now that they need a Lancero in their lineup…everyone does especially these days when we are surrounded by monster ring gauges. If you love Liga Privada you will love this cigar, simple as that. That’s good enough for me.


Final Score: 85

(Brooks’ Note: I totally agree with Steve’s review and final score after smoking a couple of L40s, and I find it interesting that we, that is, the collective “We”, as connoisseurs of cigars, are always clamoring for a Lancero vitola in any blend of cigars, but that it is possible that what makes a cigar great in one size might not translate as well into the Lancero format. The L40 is a very good cigar, and a no brainer purchase, but it is a very different cigar than most of the other Liga Privada sticks in terms of the overall profile.)

Steve Valle

Steve Valle wrote for Smoking Stogie, a precursor to halfwheel, from 2010-2011.