Liga Privada Velvet Rat. The third cigar from the Liga Privada Year of the Rat sampler for the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat. Ministry of Cigars started the year of the rat with a series of reviews of Year of the Rat cigars. But this sampler wasn’t in our possession back then. It is now, so we will end the Year of the Rat with another series of Year of the Rat cigars. The complete sampler will go up in smoke. The Liga Privada Nasty Fritas went up in smoke earlier, just as the Ratzilla.

The cigar is the exact same size as the Liga Privada Unico Ratzilla, which we reviewed a few days ago. But the wrapper is different, even though it comes from the same area. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is from higher priming, which means, from higher on the plant. And that equals to stronger, as these leaves are smaller and receive more sun during the growing period.

Ministry of Cigars - Liga Privada Velvet Rat

Name: Liga Privada Velvet Rat
Country: Nicaragua
Factory: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Size: 6¼x46
Vitola: Grand Corona
Wrapper: USA (Connecticut Broadleaf from high priming)
Binder: Brazil (Mata Fina)
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Price: € 18
Cutter: Xikar Xi2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: Indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: three hours
Sponsored by Drew Estate

The review

Just at first glance, you know this is a tasty cigar. A thick, beefy wrapper. Dark, toothy, and leathery with plenty of natural oils. The flag tail is a nice finishing touch to the looks. The simple ring allows the beautiful wrapper to be the center of attention. The construction feels good. A little hard, but evenly hard. The aroma is strong but has a surprising smell of an old wardrobe that hasn’t been opened for a few months. Mixed with some cedar that is.

The cold draw is a little on the easy side. It has an earthy flavor with some sweetness. The cigar has a herbal, spicy profile with a reminiscence of stock cubes. Add some white pepper and you’re there. A sugary sweetness is there as well, with some acidity to bind it all together. In the background, an earthy flavor is showing up. Soon to be followed by a hay flavor. The flavor in the retrohale is sweet but dusty. Slowly the cigar becomes more earthy with milk chocolate. But with a nice twang of citrus, balanced out by sweetness.

After a third, the earthiness becomes the dominant flavor. The sweetness grows in strength but there is also some dark spice noticeable. Especially in the retrohale, nutmeg, and cinnamon. That milk chocolate flavor is still lingering in the background. The sweetness is almost raisin-like. The chocolate flavor changes to dark chocolate and becomes stronger. The sweetness turns to vanilla, and the pepper grows in strength. Suddenly there is a honey roasted peanut flavor, unusual but nice. With a balanced dose of pepper. 

This is a Drew Estate cigar so the smoke is plentiful. The draw is great. There is not a single complaint about the straight burn either. The cigar is related to the Ratzilla, with the same earthiness. Yet there are subtle differences and this is more of a velvet smoke. So the name is chosen pretty well. The ash is light-colored. This is a cigar that is medium-full in both body and flavor. The smoke time is three hours

Strength: medium-full
Flavor: medium-full

Ministry of Cigars - Liga Privada Velvet Rat

diagram courtesy of cigarprofiler

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