Drew Estate’s Liga Privada series of cigars celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018 with a special 10-Year Aniversario release that was created from a Criollo-seed blend originating in the Connecticut River Valley. While you may be able to find those cigars if you look, this stick — the H99 — was the other one of two finalists to be chosen for the Aniversario. Although it wasn’t selected, the head honchos at Drew Estate felt it was too good to be kept away from the general public; thus, in 2022, it got its very own production release.
The “H” in the H99 stands for “hybrid,” which comes from the fact that the blend used for the wrappers of these full-bodied cigars utilizes a Habano/Corojo-seed — also from the Connecticut River Valley — that’s undergone the Hibrido (hybridization) process that enabled these originally Cuban seeds to become more disease-resistant while retaining their prized potency. According to Jonathan Drew, co-founder of Drew Estate, the H99 is one of the finest, most alluring hybrid blends yet created.
Underneath the Connecticut-cultivated wrapper, a Mexican San Andres Otapan Negro Último Corte capote (binder) sits atop a core blend of well-aged Honduran and Nicaraguan tripa (filler) leaf inside. Recognizable notes in these sticks include cherries, dried cranberries, peppercorn, and beef jerky. The contrast between the sweet Habano/Corojo wrappers and the spicy capote gives the H99 cigars a complex, rich flavor that grows with every puff on these luxurious, medium-strength, medium-to-full-bodied smokes and delivers a magnificent finish. This Robusto vitola of the H99 measures five inches in length, with an ample ring gauge of 54. Pick up a box of two dozen today, and see why J.D. gives these smokes such well-deserved praise.