Brand: Drew Estate Country: Nicaragua
Size: 4 1/2 x 44 Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Price: $5.99 (Buy) No. Smoked: 2
The Label Factor:
I think the majority of Papas Fritas marketing money went to the kick-ass packaging as opposed to the somewhat subdued label. That’s not to say the label is ugly; it’s not. It just doesn’t quite live up to the awesomeness that is the rest of the Liga Privada line.
What We Liked:
Speaking of the label: Yes. I moved it up. I’m sorry, but I prefer smoking a cigar with the label on. This makes me happy so I’m going to keep doing it. Stop judging me! I can feel your hatred burning holes in my soul.
The french fry starts with a bunch of spice and bit of an unpleasant cardboard. Thankfully, the cardboard is literally just a few puffs and it’s gone. In fact, you could say the cardboard is the Papas Fritas equivalent to Keyser Söze. I’m honestly a bit shocked it took me this many reviews to work in a reference to The Usual Suspects. If you haven’t seen that movie you should. Finish reading this review first, of course, but then go watch it.
Once that cardboard subsides, a more Liga-like profile begins to develop, but with an interesting note of wood and earth that isn’t always as prominent. There is still a sweetness present, but it’s more generic than that of the Dirty Rat or L40. The pepper from the start never dies but becomes a pleasant background note to the wood, earth and sweetness the rest of the way out.
As always with Drew Estate sticks, the Liga Privada Papas Fritas construction left nothing to be desired. Straight burns with the trademark insane smoke output made the 30-40 minute smoke as relaxing as can be.
What We Didn’t Like:
As much as I enjoyed the pair of Papas Fritas I smoked for this review, I have a fairly easy time saying it’s my least favorite of the Liga Privada line that I’ve had the pleasure to smoke. Being a smaller size, it doesn’t have the same opportunity for diversity of flavors as other big boy sticks. And, when compared against the similar price point of the Undercrown Corona Viva or the recently released Nica Rustica, the $6 Papas Fritas starts to look a little expensive. I’ll definitely pick them up again down the road, but not as often as the aforementioned cigars.
Should You Try/Buy It:
The Papas Fritas has had a bit of controversy regarding the fact that it’s built from short-filler tobacco, a.k.a left over tobacco from other Liga Privada sticks. I can only sort of understand the argument that a short-filler cigar shouldn’t cost $6. I would argue that not all short-filler cigars are made of high quality tobacco like the Papas Fritas. And besides, if the flavor delivers, who really cares what’s inside? It’s like when you see somebody on TV eat something they love only to freak out when it’s revealed they are eating goats blood or something. Who cares!? Drink that blood! It tastes great! Obviously, I wish the sticks were a bit cheaper, but I can say that about every single cigar I’ve ever smoked. Grab a tin and see what you think. I doubt you’ll be upset you did.
Interested in trying the Papas Fritas? You can purchase them here.