The Liga Maestra 3 aka Master Blends 3 is the third permutation of this wildly successful series, utilizing solely Cuban seed grown Nicaraguan tobaccos which make up the wrapper, binder, and fillers, all of which are selected, sorted and fermented by Gilberto Oliva Jr. The Master Blends 3 series made their debut in 2006, with a total one time production of 15,000 sticks in all, across four faces; the robusto, double robusto, Churchill, and torpedo. These were all box pressed, and packaged in ornate twenty count hinged boxes. The torpedo weighs in at 6×52 and is practically an extreme box pressed cigar, as its 52 ring-gauge is wide and thin; it’s also a full strength cigar, with a body that leans towards medium-full.

The wrapper has a fine grained tooth, and smells of hickory and molasses; the wrapper also tastes of cashews, cedar, leather, paprika, and tarragon.

Off of the toasted foot, there are hints of ginger, mesquite, nutmeg, and vanilla. The draw is both tight and effortless in duplicitous nature.

From the lit foot, the palette is rife with hints of butter cream, cashews, cedar, cream, a demitasse of espresso, leather, mesquite, and vanilla. The ash rings in two millimeter bands; of a salt and pepper complexion, and quite rigid. The smoke though supple, is of a cloud white color. Every so often there are brief hints of cracked peppercorns and whipped butter on the tongue of this full strength and full bodied cigar. Off of the nose I smell milk chocolate and white peppercorns.

A slight but subtle canoe has taken up residence on the foot, and while type this out, it too has begun to subside at the first half-inch mark. Caramel, cashews, cream, licorice, and thyme are rising on my palette. The intricacies of blend are truly unique, as the transitions of dimensionality weave subtly into one another, almost seamlessly.

Thirty minutes in and roughly five inches remain, as a hint of paprika wafts past my nose; which leaves the imprint of a full bodied cigar.

The quintessential cone of ligero on a recently tapped foot reveals the potency of the blend. New hints of Cuban coffee, hickory, jalapeño peppers, mahogany, and oak are rapt upon my palette, roughly forty minutes in.

At the four and three-quarter inch mark I’m left tasting cinnamon, licorice, mesquite, and vanilla extract; and caramel and cracked peppercorns across the nose. I cannot adulate further as to how remarkable the Master Blends 3 series is, it’s just that damned good, and oh so well worth savoring if you’re able to find them, then do by all means pick a few of them up.

At this point (this point being four inches left and an hour and twenty minutes in) the rings are banding in one millimeter thin bands, Maestra Liga indeed!

Purchased from Humidor Cigar World in Newport, RI on July eighth for 12.50$ before tax.

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