Liga Privada UF-13
Apparently this Liga Privada UF-13 has been on the rage lately. Most of the reviews that I’ve seen have been labeled the as the UF-13 Dark. I’m not exactly sure if the version that I have is the dark version or not. I was gifted this cigar last year sometime by Jon Huber of Crowned Heads fame and fortune. I was in there visiting with them and asked them what he was smoking lately because, I had just smoked the Liga Privada #9 and was a big fan. He said that Jonathan Drew had given him a few of these UF-13s to try, so he gave it to me to let me give it a run. Because this was a over a year ago, I’m not sure if this is the final blend of the UF-13 or if it’s the dark series that has been released recently. So forgive me if I get any of this information wrong, but it’s just hard to be sure what I got since I didn’t purchase it.
After checking out by my boy RobbyRas’ review and gaining some insight (that guy is always in the know) it turns out the UF stands for Unico Fuerte. This particular blend is somewhat of a combination of properties of the Liga 9, T52, and the Dirty Rat. This is the 5th release in the Unico Serie as well. It’s bearing the Liga Privada stamp of approval so I have high hopes for this stick! Let’s just jump on it and get the review going. What do you say?
This Liga Privada UF-13 is similar in look and feel to the others in the Unico Serie. It has a beautiful, dark, oily, broadleaf wrapper that is velvety to the touch. Most of the other UF-13’s that I’ve seen around have a flag cap on the head, but this one in particular does not. That’s one of the reasons I was curious if this was the dark version or not. Because I got the cigar so long ago, I’m thinking that this was a modification they made before final production and release to the general public. I can’t be entirely sure though. That’s my hunch and I’m sticking to it.
The band on this cigar has the M.O. as the other Liga Privadas. The UF-13 looks as if it was written by hand with a felt tip pen. I love the look of this packaging I think it delivers a unique hand crafted quality to the cigar. Of course on the back side of the band there is the ever present golden lion that signifies the Unico Serie membership. Just a great looking product from head to foot on this cigar.
The wrapper on this Liga Privada UF-13 is what sets this cigar and the entire line of cigars apart. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a cigar that has as beautiful of wrappers as these Liga Privadas. The rich oily and velvety characteristics make this cigar stand out and beg to be smoked. Just touching the wrapper I feel like little tiny hairs are reaching out giving this a soft inviting feel to the cigar. Sounds weird doesn’t it? Yeah, it’s kind of weird. Lets move on before I start creeping you guys out.
I’m not gonna lie here, but I was a little disappointed when I went to perform the pinch test on this Liga Privada UF-13. The cigar felt very stiff and almost overstuffed within the filler. Now, obviously I’m not cigar manufacturer so I’m not going to tell them how to run their business, but personally it felt stiffer than I prefer (that’s what she said?…Maybe?, that’s more of Frank’s line anyway).
Once I nipped the cap, now, remember my cigar doesn’t have the super flag cap like others had. I feel kind of left out and not cool because I didn’t get a flag cap. I love having a flag on the cap of my cigars. Oh well, maybe I’ll go track down some new sticks that have the new cap and I’ll enjoy taking them off. Anyway, once I removed the cap I was testing the dry draw and it was quite stiff. So I took a little bit more off the top and the draw was sufficient enough to try and light. So that’s what I did, time to fire up this Liga Privada UF-13 and get it puffing and see what we can find out this stick.
Right out of the gate this cigar took to the flame. I barely toasted the foot and it was taking off. I love the combustion that this wrapper gives off. It lights right away, but doesn’t burn like it’s coated with gasoline. That’s a very good combination if you ask me. From the get go this cigar is burning perfectly straight. The draw is still a little tight during the first third. I’m hoping it’s going to open up soon so that I don’t get a permanent fish face from puffing on this thing. At first I was a little disappointed with the smoke output on this stick, I felt like it didn’t compare to other Liga Privadas that I have smoked in the past. But then I turned on my lamp in the garage and realized that I was surrounded by smoke. In fact it was giving off a ton of smoke, it was just harder to see in the dark… Can’t imagine why.
Just as I had hoped the second third of this Liga Privada UF-13 opened up quite well and the draw was nice and relaxed now. Whew, no, fish face for this guy. I was able to hold the ash for just over an inch and then guess what… Yep, it fell in my lap, I’m surprised I don’t have permanent ash marks on all my pants. I’m actually impressed with the ash though, after hitting my rock hard legs of steel the ash stayed intact as it rolled onto the floor. I would call that a pretty solid ash, wouldn’t you?
For the most part the final third of this cigar continued smoking perfectly and the draw was near effortless. I guess I just had to power through that first third to really get into it. However, there was one part of the final third that cigar just went out on me. I had been puffing along, writing and taking notes and then the next thing I knew the cigar was out. Kind of shocked me to be honest, but I purged it and relit and it was as good as new. Must have hit a weird patch in the filler. I tried asking the cigar what happened, but it stayed mute on the issue…. Cigar jerk. Alright, now onto the ever exciting flavor part of the review!
During the pre light festivities on this Liga Privada UF-13 I picked up a nice sweet scent on the wrapper. There were hints of molasses and wet compost that really hit my senses. When I nosed the foot of the cigar the molasses was more present that before. There was also a hint of spice that followed the sweetness from the foot. I was a little taken a back by this initial spice. I wasn’t quite ready for it.
During the first third, this cigar was very medium body, but it was building up towards the end. My initial reaction was this seems a little light in flavor and body to be a true Liga. However half way through the first third this began to change. I was picking up some nice woody and earthy notes followed with some hints of nuttiness, building into a nice savory flavor. By the end of this initial third the flavors had developed quite nicely and this cigar was rocking and rolling.
The second third of this Liga Privada UF-13 is where it truly began to shine. As I mentioned above the draw opened up and that allowed more smoke to be drawn in and the flavors started flowing in as well. The spice really began to pick up, especially in the retrohale, it came out of left field and left a fiery trail in my nose. The nuttiness has been overtaken by this spice. There is still a hint of sweetness that appears once the spice has dissipated. The earthy note also begins to rear it’s head once the spice is gone. It’s as if all the other flavors are scared of the spice and only appear once it’s gone by the wayside. The sweetness that I’m picking up on reminds me of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce for some reason. I’m not exactly sure why, but that’s taste that got triggered in my brain. By the way if you haven’t tried Sweet Baby Ray’s yet, do yourself a favor and get some the next time you’re at the grocery store, it’ll change your life!
I love how this cigar had a nice bell curve pattern with regards to flavor. It started out mild, then built into a nice full bodied smoke, and now during the final third it’s fading out into a nice peaceful sleep. The spice is beginning to fade away, the earthiness and nuttiness are showing themselves again. Always backed by the hints of sweetness that appear. It’s been a great ride for this cigar to say the least. This has been a very balanced and complex cigar. Personally, I still prefer the Liga 9 to this Liga Privada UF-13, but I definitely wouldn’t turn this one down if someone gave it to me.
Would I Buy It Again?
Absolutely, if I could find them.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Possibly, if you’re rolling in fat stacks or if you have a personal connection to Jonathan drew.
Would I Buy a Box?
Absolutely, just for the packaging alone this cigar is box worthy.
A great all around cigar, which is to be expected considering it’s carrying the Liga Privada name. Great flavors, tons of smoke, even though I had a few issues with the draw and the burn going out in the third. This cigar is definitely expertly crafted. Now I still prefer the LP #9, but I would love to get this Liga Privada UF-13 in more of a steady rotation in my humidor.