A BOTL Zirotti started a thread entitled “What other sticks give off the voluminous smoke like LPs?” and can be found at:
Within the thread, I ended up posting an interview with Steve Saka, President of Drew Estate, as a quotation, essentially cutting and pasting that interview as found on OLH. Within that interview, something struck me as being extremely interesting. Saka listed the reasons why Liga cigars give off a ton of smoke, but attributed to how the filler is bunched as the “single biggest factor.” The interview can be found at the end of this post.
What I’m Reviewing
I posted this within Domestic Cigar Review section since I want to test Saka’s statement that the bunch technique is the “single biggest factor.” Instead of commenting on a cigar’s taste profile, burn characteristics, aroma, etc, I’ll be purely reviewing its smoke output.
The hypothesis of the bunch technique being the “single biggest factor” will be tested by eliminating the other factors that Saka attributed to Liga’s smoke output, like “Oils in the wrapper,” and “mojo to wet the leaves…” “[during] fermentation in the pilon” from the wrapper and binder leaf. I am going to try to isolate the filler from the binder and wrapper and qualitatively determine how much less smoke the cigar produces by simply asking people’s opinion. Unfortunately, I could not figure out a quantitative way to measure the smoke output differences.
Experiment 1 – Remove the Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper from a Liga Privada No. 9 and replace it with an Ecuadorian Connecticut. Have a BOTL smoke the Ecuador Connecticut and an untouched LP9 of the same size and ask their opinion on smoke output differences.
The goal of experiment 1 is to determine the smoke output differences when the wrapper is replaced.
Experiment 2 – Remove the Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper from a Liga Privada No. 9 and replace it with an Ecuadorian Connecticut; remove the Brazilian Mata Fina binder and replace it with a Brazilian Arapiraca binder. Have a BOTL smoke the Ecuador Connecticut and an untouched LP9 of the same size and ask their opinion on smoke output differences.
The goal of experiment 2 is to determine the smoke output differences when the wrapper and binder are replaced, isolating the filler.
Experiment Preparation Photos and Basic Explanation
For the Experiment 1 cigar, the wrapper is removed from a LP 9. A small amount of water is spayed on the leaf half of an Ecuadorian Connecticut and trimmed using a chaveta. As he is rolling the new wrapper on the bunch, you can see how he stretches the wrapper leaf slightly. I didn’t take any photos of how he prepared and affixed the cap to the cigar.
For the Experiment 2 cigar, the wrapper and binder are removed from a LP 9, which can be seen in the photograph on the left. He put the new binder on the cigar and prior to putting on the wrapper, he places the bunch in a cigar mold for about 45 minutes. The process of putting on the wrapper is similar to the Experiment 1 cigar.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my buddy Dirick for his work in preparing these cigars. There are a few photos comparing the Experiment cigars to their true LP9 counterpart.
Originally Posted by interview with Steve Saka , OLH