The other day I swung in to my favorite Cigar Lounge (Governors Cigar & Pipe) and found a T52 waiting on me courtesy of the esteemed gentleman Doug Sevier.  You can find Doug @ssgsevier54 on Instagram if you’d like to join me in thanking him.

Despite the poor glass choice, I’m pairing today’s cigar with the original Bulleit bourbon.

Liga Privada T52

Opting for the trusty V cut today to maintain as much of this luxurious wrapper as possible.  First impressions?  Oh man… perfection.  The sweetness coming off the foot and the wrapper is undeniably  tempting.  A little vanilla, rich tobacco, and a whole lot of something I want to light up and smoke!

Liga Privada T52 3

First light:  Whoa!  Full bodied immediately.  Was expecting something a little lighter in the beginning, but it opens up with both barrels blasting.  Getting dark roasted coffee on the regular pull, and lots of pepper when blown through the nose.

The first 1/2 inch or so has ran it’s course, and the Bulleit is bringing out a little more sweetness from the Liga Privada T52.  Not quite a coffee experience when paired with the bourbon, maybe something a little earthier that I can’t quite put my finger on.

Liga Privada T52 4

I keep expecting a leathery profile from this dark, toothy wrapper.  It’s so dark that it absorbs light (j/k, the pics above have a vignette on them).

Went inside to grab a wheat beer and see how it changes, and was amazed at how damn good it smells on my porch!  To this point, with either the Bulleit or the Goose Island 312, the flavor profile seems a little muted and not as bold as I’ve come to expect from Drew Estate.

Liga Privada T52 Ash2

Now that the first inch is officially ashed, the full-bodied Liga Privada T52 experience is converting nicely to a medium body cigar.  Well, medium in the mouth yet full when blown through the nose.  The coffee is back, regardless of drink, and it’s really reminding me of my favorite drink from those folks with the Sirens:  Grande Iced Coffee with breve.  Or, coffee with Half n Half over ice.

I’m getting just enough roasted coffee with the barest hint of sweet tobacco to make this Liga Privada T52 a great start to my Thursday afternoon.  The smoke is ultra smooth at times, almost like cold smoke.  Good shit.

Liga Privada T52 Ash3

And just as I’m about to write that the flavors are still muffled, I take another deep draw and voila!  Entering the second third opens with sweet cedar on the finish and a hint of cocoa.  Muted cedar and cocoa, but it works!

Getting more and more smoke as I continue burning this Liga Privada T52, something that’s not always common with most of the cigars I enjoy.  Heat is being handled beautifully as not a drop of bitter tar is present after about 40 minutes.

Liga Privada T52 Ash4

We’re approaching the halfway point, and guess what!?  Leather – in spades.  More cocoa, maybe some nutmeg… Not sure.  Reminds me of a certain type of hot chocolate I used to enjoy in Hawaii, and nutmeg was the only part of the recipe that I think it resembles. Retrohaling this cigar now has a dry quality to it that wasn’t present earlier.

[et_bloom_inline optin_id=”optin_0″]

Some additional kitchen spices are becoming apparent, but I’m not capable of distinguishing them just yet.  If you can, please add to the review at the bottom!  Otherwise a creamy latte experience is dominating the second third.

Liga Privada T52 Ash5

Now that it’s ashed a second time, a little pepper is back but it comes and goes.  Just made my first touch up to correct a burn.  More cocoa and more sweetness is prevalent every time the ash falls.

Just disrobed this beauty, and a sharp note bit the tongue.  Usually I’d associate it with bitterness towards the nub, but this time it comes off as sweet.  Boom!

Final thoughts:  it’s hard to rate the value of the Liga Privada T52 as the price and availability blurs the concept.  For instance, when compared with some of the $10 cigars from Warped, RoMa Craft or the My Father line, this cigar has a tough time holding up to ‘value.’  Is it 50% better?  Not really.  And yet, when compared with several other $15 offerings, this cigar has plenty of room to stand on it’s own.  Also, considering I’ve been enjoying it for almost 2 hours adds another level of discernment for value.

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Liga Privada T52 Review
8.8 Reviewer
7.9 Cigar Noise Network (8 votes)
Pros

Complexity

Construction

Endurance

Cons

Somewhat muted flavors

Price tag

Summary
Earth and creamy coffee dominated this cigar, yet it takes several opportunities to switch gears and keep you looking forward to every puff. While pricey, compared to several other cigars in the $12-15 range this cigar is really enjoyable.
Value
Burn
Draw
Flavor
Enjoyment
What Other Folks Are Saying: 8 Make some Noise
Liga T52!
Right away we get the T52 staples: spice, leather and earth. Then before you can blink the chocolate comes in to play, holy moly, this is all it is cracked up to be. Truth time, I have not have one of these that burns as well as other Ligas, this one is not different, it has a very slow burning side, upon inspection, I am not sure why. Sometimes a wonky burn might hurt the experience. Nope. Strong earthy leather abounds, my, oh my this is so very good.

So meaty! As the 2nd third begins, reminds me of black pepper beef jerky. Unfortunately at this time my mother calls to discuss family weekend plans and the cigar goes out.

Upon relight I get tons of unsalted peanut butter. I figured it was just the relight being weird, but 5 minutes later I am still getting PB. Has this happened to anyone, relights causing unexpected flavors? This is my 8th DE cigar so far and the previous 7 bands came off incredibly nicely. This one returns to form and gives me trouble, so much trouble in fact, that it tears the wrapper pretty well. Sad, but I forge on, steadfast and resolute.

The cigar ends as it began with tons of flavor melding perfectly and really pulling the room together. These cigars are all so darn good, I was contemplating putting the Month of Drew into a ranking system, but I would most likely go mad trying to rank these fantastic sticks. Drew Estate does very good work.
December 15, 2016, 1:17 am
Value7.4
Burn8
Draw9.1
Flavor9.4
Enjoyment9.1
0
0
An old standby/favorite
So somehow I started this thing with /u/Twisted_Einstein where he was celebrating something - the birth of the child before this new current one? - and was celebrating with a T52, so I said what the hell, I hadn't chosen a cigar yet for that day/evening, let me fire up a T52 and have a virtual long-distance herf with him. Then he bombed me, and I bombed him back, and then it went another round or two, and meanwhile, it's led to a friendship.
So as I believe everyone knows, he just had (well, his wife did, but I assume he had something to do with it) another baby this current week, and even though he was celebrating with some fake Cuban he got from Rico on the beach, I went ahead and fired up our traditional T52.
It's difficult for me to review a cigar that I smoke pretty regularly, as opposed to a cigar that I'm trying for the first time, but doing a review made me actually pay attention to the cigar.
I chose a robusto, at 5x54; it had a medium to dark brown Sun Grown Habano wrapper, with a few veins, one of which came into play later (album to follow Nah, here it is: http://imgur.com/a/0UdJB).
After several nights of pepper bombs, it was a nice change to NOT get a pepper bomb in the first third.
The cigar started out with a coffee flavor, and very quickly a chocolate flavor joined. I had had this combination before, and it soon dawned on me when and where: for last month's (two months ago?) coffee pairing contest, I don't drink coffee, so my girlfriend made me this concoction of powdered chocolate mix, powdered milk, and sugar, to mix into the coffee and make it palatable for me. The cigar replicated that mixture: coffee, chocolate, milk, and sugar.
Unfortunately - or fortunately since I liked the flavor - I didn't get much of a change in the second third or the third third, it stayed pretty much that coffee/chocolate flavor. Occasionally, mostly in the second third, I'd get a brief taste of peanuts or pretzels - but still chocolate; chocolate covered peanuts and/or pretzels.
The cigar burned pretty well, with a pretty even burn, except for one large vein that caused a side to burn slower. I had to do a touchup or two to coax that side into keeping up with the rest of the cigar. The cigar never went out, and therefore required no relights. It held a pretty nice ash; firm and formed.
So anyway, congratulations to /u/Twisted_Einstein, and thank you for making me smoke these good cigars instead of hanging onto them for who-knows-when.
Pics/album: http://imgur.com/a/0UdJB
January 31, 2016, 11:23 pm
Value5
Burn9
Draw9
Flavor9
Enjoyment9
0
0
Eh. I wouldn't buy it again.
I must admit that I was disappointed in this cigar. Yes, it was full strength right away, but it seemed to be a bit overwhelming. I couldn't pick out any specific flavors that I enjoyed. I found what I would call black licorice. I don't like black licorice much. For some reason I expected something similar to a Liga 9, but was disappointed for sure. The construction and burn were just fine.
January 24, 2016, 4:50 am
Value2.1
Burn9.1
Draw8.4
Flavor2.5
Enjoyment0.6
0
0
Enjoyed best with single malt Scotch
Found this one a bit too peppery for my taste buds. However, I always have one of these on hand to smoke with a glass of Scotch single malts...someyhing that needs a tasty cigar, without overpowering the taste of the Scotch.
January 22, 2016, 1:01 pm
Value8.7
Burn9.3
Draw9.3
Flavor8.8
Enjoyment8
0
0
Very good cigar, never burns right.
Some spice, wood, leather with a light earthiness in the background and tingling pepper on my lips. Then as I get about half an inch in I get that slightly bitter cocoa, I do like this cigar. The flavors somersault around in strength over the course of the cigar, but all of them are always present in one form or another, the cocoa dies to next to nothing by the end, but stays around long enough to be reckoned with. I’ve never had a T52 beli before, and now I know why, it’s nowhere near long enough. By the time this ended I wanted another.
January 20, 2016, 8:34 pm
Value5.7
Burn4
Draw8.7
Flavor9.3
Enjoyment8.7
1
0
good not great
I was expecting a very full bodied well balanced earthy cedar flavor for the T52 and I was wrong I got the full bodied right but everything else I was way off very full bodied well balanced heavy leather with cocoa sweetness, some pepper, and a spice I couldn't figure out. not the best from drew estate but still a good sick
January 20, 2016, 4:06 pm
Value8
Burn8.5
Draw8
Flavor8.5
Enjoyment8.5
0
0
Liga Privada T52
Still determining which I would prefer, T52 or No. 9. For my thoughts on the T52, I would have to say Drew Estate makes many other fine cigars that I am drawn to that are just as good as the T52 for a cheaper price. The taste seems to be smoother than those other DE sticks I like but flavor across the board is remains on the same level.
December 4, 2015, 12:11 am
Value7.9
Burn9
Draw8.9
Flavor8.5
Enjoyment8.9
0
0
Great palates in progress think alike!
I can honestly concur with every thing Dave said in his review. The only caveat I would have is that I tend to find the cigar creamier at the start!
November 11, 2015, 11:45 pm
Value8
Burn9
Draw9.6
Flavor9.3
Enjoyment9.5
0
1
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Dave West

Editor and Contributor at CigarNoise
Identifying as a Cigar Enthusiast more than an Aficionado, I enjoy trying new cigars and attempting to annotate my experience. Disclosure: As of June 2017, I began writing for SmallBatchCigar.com and will no longer be reviewing SBC exclusives
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