Review: Liga Privada MF-13 (Preproduction)

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(Editor’s Note: When Brooks reviewed this cigar, it was known as “MF-13”, which, as he notes at the end of the review, stands for what you think it would. MF-13 was always meant to be an internal name for a variety of purposes. Given the release of the JD4/MF-4 as the UF-4, one would assume that if this does get released (the plan is for a 2012 release) it would be released as “UF-13”, standing for “Único Fuerte.” — el niño diablo.)

About a year ago, I was handed my first Liga Privada Preproduction, a cigar with “MF-4” on the band…I never smoked it (I still have it somewhere) and since then, we have previewed quite a few different LP preproduction blends…

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I happened to be in town when Drew Estates Co-Founder Marvin Samel visited one of the stores in the area (you may remember my Icons™ portrait of him), and he graciously handed me one of the newest preproduction cigars that the LP crew has been working on, dubbed the “MF-13” (the number indicates the number of incarnations that the blend has gone through, obviously)…

Drew Estate President Steve Saka had this to say about the blend:

“MF-13 is an extension of a blend that was developed at the same time as the T52. About a year ago there was an MF-4 blend… well we are up to #13 now… a whole lotta adjusting goes on.. that is the fun of blending.”

Like the JD4 Preproduction, the MF-13 uses the same Stalk-Cut wrapper (and shares quite a bit of the same characteristics) as the much loved T52 blend…

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But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?

Liga Privada MF-13 1.png

 

  • Cigars Reviewed: Liga Privada MF-13
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
  • Wrapper: Stalk-Cut Sungrown Connecticut Valley Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • Est. Price: N/A
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1

The cigar itself has a great looking wrapper (as expected): Dark espresso brown, with a bit of oil (but less than most T52s I have smoked)…Seems extremely well made, and the wrapper smells very “Liga-esque”, with notes of spicy cedar, coffee, chocolate and apples…It is nicely firm when squeezed, and smoothish to the touch…

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The First Third starts with a strong Dark Chocolate note, along with aged leather and wood…Not much spice on the tongue at all, but it is in the background and in the retrohale…A great start (although could have used a bit more pepper or spice)…

Liga Privada MF-13 2.png

The Second Third turns things around, with the profile having more of a Coffee and nutty flavor, and also a bit tart tasting…There is some salt on the lips and tongue, but it actually increases the complexity of the flavors…there is also a small amount of sweetness in the background that tastes just like apples (along with the tartness, it tastes like a green apple, as opposed to a sweeter red one), but that flavor comes and goes…I can sense the strength increasing as well…

Liga Privada MF-13 3.png

The Final Third is definitely stronger (but not what I could consider “Too Strong”), with flavors of leather, coffee, dark chocolate and nuts…Still very little spice except on the retrohale, and that same sweetness remained in the background…A very nice ending…

Liga Privada MF-13 4.png

 

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Final Thoughts:

  • I find it interesting that there is now a new label that is on (some) of these preproduction cigars…If I had to guess, I would say that the specific band (like on this one) will be for cigars handed out at events, while the more low key “Typed” band (like on the L40 so far) are still for internal testing…
  • As mentioned earlier in the review, the MF-13 uses the same Wrapper (“Capa”) as the T52…In terms of pure ascetics, it does look quite similar, but there was noticeably less oil present than on a regular T52
  • Like the vast majority of Liga Privada cigars I have smoked, the MF-13 had perfect construction, perfect burn (I did not have to touch it up even once) and perfect draw….a true pleasure to smoke…
  • There are some thoughts that the “MF” in the name stands for “Mother Fucker”, (presumably to describe it’s strength)…Honestly, while it was a noticeably stronger cigar, it never got above Medium+/Full- for me…Strong (especially at the end), but not so strong that it has an averse impact on the flavors or experience of the smoke…
  • The MF-13 Produces smoke like a wildfire…
  • The Final Smoking Time was 1 Hour and 35 Minutes…

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The Bottom Line: This is what I am looking for when smoking a Preproduction Liga Privada…The complexity, flavors and strength were right on (although I could have used a bit more pepper/spice in the profile)…While it does taste similar to the T52, it is a noticeably different cigar (and one that I actually preferred to the T52)…Was it better than the JD4? Yes. Was it better than the L40? Yes. Was it something I would love to see produced (or at the very least, continued to work on?) Yep…I loved it, and I would suggest going to a DE event and begging whoever is there for one.

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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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