There is a Liga Privada cigar out there that people have been talking about and some have even had the opportunity to be given one by Steve Saka, Jonathan Drew or Marvin Samel. But like many hard to find cigars including this, people don’t usually like smoking it because they usually only have one. The production Ratzilla will be a 6 x 46 vitola with the same blend as the Dirty Rat. However, the prototype Ratzilla that I am reviewing is much larger. After smoking this prototype, I went online to compare reviews and noticed that the flavors were somewhat different from other reviewers. I thought this could be because of the cigar having much more time to develop since some of the reviews were over a year old.
Size: 7 x 44 Vitola: ?
Smoke Time: 1hr 45 min Drink: Water
Location: Tasty Tobacco Shop
This prototype does not have a pigtail but it still have the same appearance as the Dirty Rat with a little bit more of a rugged look. It has a nice feel when squeezed and it does not have any tears or holes on the wrapper. If they had gone with this version, Ratzilla would have been a nice fit for this vitola. The wrapper is rich and oily and Liga Privada excels at producing. The band was made with a label machine stating it is a “Ratzilla” and even though this was a prototype, I feel that the cigar could have been rolled slightly better. However, this doesn’t even concern me to the least bit.
After making a clean cut across the head with my Xikar, I took a cold draw and noticed that it was slightly tight. This is sometimes typical of smaller ring gauge cigars and at 44RG, I did expect the Ratzilla to have a tight draw that would open up once lit. The cigar let me know that it was from Liga Privada as the Ratzilla gave off plenty of smoke on the initial light with an awesome burn. The almost pure white ash lasted around 1.5 inches throughout the review and I really didn’t want to tap it into the ashtray because it was beautiful. The smoke filled the lounge even with smoke eaters running but I am used to this when reviewing Liga Privada cigars. The Ratzilla was burning slightly hot in the last inch but I refused to put this cigar down until the quarter inch “nub” mark.
The wrapper reminded me of cinnamon and very sweet cedar while the foot had notes of chocolate and nuts. Now this is the section where the Ratzilla made me shake my head in disbelief thinking to myself, “Did I just taste that?” The cold draw tasted like this amazing sweetness similar to brown sugar and the initial draw was delicious. I detected chocolate, nuts and brown sugar and the first third continued with sweet mocha and a light pepper finish. Now, this is what I tasting from the cigar but even the guys in the lounge were telling me they could smell brown sugar and chocolate in the air.
The second third continues with that sweet flavor which is a combination of brown sugar, mocha and nuts. Even though there isn’t much of pepper, the flavor profile is so unique that I am enjoying the experience. The aroma is reminding me (and the other guys) of pipe tobacco aromatics. The last third continues with brown sugar but now I am picking up dominant notes of wood and earthiness. However, the finish is very sweet on the lips with some pepper. The most impressive thing about this is that the flavors never heated up but were very consistent.
So what was this cigar?
After confirming with Johnny Hart of Drew Estate cigars, it turns out that this is not a Liga Privada Ratzilla Prototype as many may have thought. It is in fact, a Drew Estate Natural Dirt in a 7 x 44 size. But because cigar smokers don’t like smoking one of a kind cigars this information has not been circulating to the greatest extent. In fact, many Liga Privada fans that have this cigar in their humidor most likely are not aware that it is a Drew Estate Natural Dirt. While I found the cigar more enjoyable than I would have expected, I’m glad I was given the opportunity to smoke the cigar. I didn’t question the information that was out and about in regards to the “Ratzilla” so I would never have thought it was a Drew Estate Natural Dirt Prototype. It just goes to show you that one should let their taste buds doing the talking and not the label on the cigar.
Rating: 91 (Score was given prior to finding out this was a Drew Estate Natural Dirt and based upon the fact that natural unflavored tobacco was used)