Liga Privada Papas Fritas
The Liga Privada Papas Fritas had to be the most anticipated release of 2012. It was the less expensive version of their most popular LP cigar, the #9. If you are a fan of that cigar, and most people are, you had to be counting the days until it came out. Well, there was just one little hitch that made a few fans a little less excited; it is a short filler petite corona that costs $6.
Nonetheless, the Papas Fritas has still been a success for Drew Estate. The shops I see them in around here can’t keep them on the shelves for long. My guess is that even those who have an issue with them had tried them anyway and quickly realized that it is still a high quality cigar despite being mixed filler. In fact, I would bet that if you didn’t know it was mixed filler, you would not be able to tell when you smoked it. Like other Liga Privada products I’ve had, it still has the unique flavor and signature chimney of smoke that are the staples of that line.
The Liga Privada Papas Fritas only comes in the petite corona format. We received samples of it from Drew Estate. While grateful for the samples, their generosity will not be a factor in this review.
The Liga Privada Papas Fritas has a dark chocolate, maduro shade wrapper just like the #9 it mimics. Though it is small, it has a semi rugged appearance. You can see some veins and slightly raised seams. The foot looks to be well packed and doesn’t look like it has short filler tobacco in it. The cap comes to a twist and is also rugged.
The band is the traditional Unicos band with the name of the cigar on it. The band is white with gray and dark blue print on it. The lion logo is featured on the back of the band. Unlike other LP cigars, the band is around the foot of the cigar as opposed to the upper barrel.
The Liga Privada Papas Fritas feels like it looks, bumpy and rugged. It does feel well packed and only has a slight give to it when squeezed. Like the #9, there is a bit of oiliness to it as well.
Upon sniffing the foot, I am greeted with earth and molasses. The barrel is the same, but with a hint of black pepper. I am now looking forward to the pre-light draw!
I clip the cap with my trusty CRA cutter. When I do, there is a bit of loose tobacco that falls out. No real surprise there! The draw is great. I get some faint earth and molasses, just like on the foot.
I fire up the Papas Fritas with my Xikar single flame torch. It is a little cold out that day and I don’t know if that had anything to do with it, but it does take a minute to get it fully and evenly lit. Once I do, the smoke pours out from the open draw. The draw remains excellent for the entire smoke.
With a few Ligas I’ve had, the burn has either been a little uneven or it will go out a time or two. Not the case here! It burns evenly the whole way through with no touch ups or relights needed. And the weather wasn’t that great either. Plus, for the small size, it still lasted almost 1 hour, which is great in my book.
Like the rugged appearance, the ash is not that pretty either. It is gray and black and gets flaky after the first ash. Even though it is mixed filler and a small ring gauge, the ash hangs on for about ¾”. Yet another characteristic that makes it hard to tell it apart from a long filler cigar.
Now for the real test: Will the Liga Privada Papas Fritas really taste similar to the #9? To be honest, I haven’t smoked a #9 in a while simply because it is a little pricey for my budget. Even so, once you smoke one, it is hard to forget it. For this review, I am breaking the cigar into halves since it is rather short. I hope you don’t mind!
The first half starts out with strong black pepper, earth, and molasses. As I puff along, I pick up some coffee and faint cocoa. It is hard to pick up on the cocoa because of the molasses, but it is there. As I approach the second half, the pepper mellows out a little, the sweetness increases, and some wood develops. The retrohale is still pretty spicy.
The second half has a nice spicy sweetness with an increase in wood notes. The coffee and cocoa are still there too. Soon, some savory notes appear. When they do, the pepper and sweetness get much milder, replaced by the savory notes. That is how it finishes out.
The Liga Privada Papas Fritas is medium full in both flavor and strength. It has great development and transition for such a small cigar. Even so, it lasts for just under an hour. I feel like it would still be good if smoked even faster (which is entirely possible).
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
I would smoke one every day for sure.
Would I Buy a Box?
I would get a tin of 4 at a time, but not a whole box.
The Liga Privada Papas Fritas is billed as a short filler version of the #9. I would say that is an accurate comparison. However, since it is smaller than any of the regular #9s, I feel it has more flavor and packs more punch than its predecessor. It actually reminds me of a slightly milder Dirty Rat, which I really enjoy.
If you have a reservation about the price or the fact that it is mixed filler, please put that aside and give the Papas Fritas a try. I admit that I had my doubts once upon a time. I will now say that I am a believer. There just aren’t that many great cigars out there that I can smoke in less than an hour. This is one of the few I can add to that list.