Papas Fritas translated from Spanish means French fries, and as much as I enjoy French fries I am not planning on talking about them today. I want to look at the tasty offering from Drew Estates that they call Papas Fritas.
The Papas Fritas is an interesting concept for a cigar. These are part of their Unico Series of Liga Privada cigars. The Liga Privada line is one of the highly rated and most sought after cigars and produced in very limited quantities. Like all cigars that are hand rolled there are some leftovers of tobacco after rolling and trimming and these leftovers are some super high quality leaves that were originally part of a high end cigar. Not wanting these high quality trimmings to go to waste they decided to take these leftovers use them in what is essentially a scaled down version of a Liga Privada. The filler on the Papas Fritas is known as “tripa corta” or basically short filler. Definitely not short filler like one may find in a value priced bundle cigar, but high end short filler packed into a smaller format smoke. This filler is then wrapped in a similar fashion as Liga Privada #9 with a Brazilian Mata Fina binder and a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. And what you have is not your average short filler cigar but a high end quality smoke!
So how does this cigar compare to its big brother Liga Privadas? I pop off the cute little pigtail cap and notice right away that the aroma and wrapper remind me of a Liga #9. The first few puffs opened up with the usual pepper, rich coffee, and leathery notes I come to expect with the Liga #9. For a short fill smoke I was pleased to not find the usual little scraps of tobacco that are always present and was pleasantly surprised to find the burn was perfect and never needed a touchup. Flavors were consistent throughout the smoke and built up just a tad in intensity. Overall I would say it was medium in strength and bordered on full in terms of body and flavor. Peppery notes stayed in the forefront along with the rich dark coffee flavors and hints of earth and leather. This truly was a smaller vitola of a high end cigar.
This is just an outstanding little smoke when you want quality and don’t want to spend 2 hours with a larger cigar. All the characteristics of the Liga Privada series are present and at an affordable price. This is a great cigar to pick up a handful of next time you go shopping to keep in your humidor. I was extremely impressed.
Steve Mungeer, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits category manager: premium cigars and craft beer, Certified Retail Tobacconist
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