Pairing Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

Published on December 16th, 2013 | by Siz


Liga Privada T52 Paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

Eric Scism

Reviewed by:
On December 16, 2013
Last modified:December 16, 2013


This Liga Privada T52 Paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon was a phenomenal cigar and bourbon pairing. The flavors that developed along the way were incredible and very enjoyable.

Pairing Method

I keep mixing it up with my pairing methods. Sometimes I’ll take an academic approach, other days I’ll take a random approach. Today, I’m taking a slight hybrid approach. I knew I was going to be smoking the Liga Privada T52so I knew I wanted to pair it with something that could stand up to the flavor but not overpower it. My first thought was I should stay away from bourbon. However after looking at my liquor cabinet, I realized I didn’t have anything, but bourbon available. So I reached in for this Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. I remembered that this bourbon had a big nose and a very approachable palate. So I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be too overbearing with its flavors for this pairing. Therefore I figured it was perfect for this cigar. Alright, enough jibber jabber, let’s get into it!

Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

First Third


If you’ve never experienced a Liga Privada T52 then by God you’re missing out on a great cigar. The smoking experience of this stick is absolutely phenomenal! It lights right up when putting the torch to the foot and begins burning perfectly down the barrel. The smoke just rolls off this cigar and permeates the entire garage. My wife actually comes and tells me that now the house smells like smoke… So that’s kind of a bummer and I’m sure I’ll be in trouble for that for awhile, but I think it’s a great testament to this smoke and most other Ligas for that matter.

Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

I decided to cut this Old Forester Birthday Bourbon with some ice. It was coming out a little hot from the bottle and I didn’t want to fry my taste receptors for this pairing. I don’t usually put my spirits on ice for the tasting review, however I do find that it helps open them up while doing a pairing. Right from the start these two are working hand in hand on this pairing. Neither one is overbearing with its flavors and they are flowing in and out of each other which is exactly how I prefer my pairings to react.


Right off the bat, the flavors that I picked up were dominate notes of chocolate. It’s like a flowing chocolate river that has overtaken my mouth. There is sweet creaminess that I pick up from the T52 and when combined with the spice from the bourbon it forms something magical. It’s like a smooth smokey chipotle pepper sitting on my tongue. Very interesting flavor combinations thus far.

Second Third


During the second third I can really feel the cigar building in strength. The nicotine content is fairly strong with this cigar, or at least it feels like it. When combined with the bourbon it’s definitely giving me a nice head buzz. The cigar is still burning perfectly. Couldn’t ask for a better smoking experience! I eventually threw out my ice ball about halfway through the first third. I don’t like it to sit in there for too long, Just enough to cut down the bourbon a bit and chill it. Then I let mother nature take her course with chilling the bourbon. It doesn’t take long since the temperature has been hovering in the 30’s this week. This pairing is still working incredibly well right now. The products aren’t being combative with their flavors at all which makes it really enjoyable for me.

Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon


During the second third the Liga Privada T52 began changing its flavor profile a bit. This change caused an obvious change to the pairing’s flavor profile. Now that the spice has built up on the Liga Privada T52 it’s beginning to combine with the spice from Old Forester Birthday Bourbon and create this note of wood. The note that I picked up on the retrohale is reminiscent of a pine tree odor. That’s just the initial note. However, after it lingers for  a bit I picked up on a very dark roasted coffee note. Similar to a dark Colombian roast that I sometimes get at Starbucks. It’s always exciting to experience these flavor changes during a pairing. You know the bourbon is staying consistent with the flavors throughout, but it’s quite a ride to see how the cigar changes things up along the way.


Final Third


I always enjoy smoking a Liga Privada T52 it’s really hard to beat the quality of this cigar. It makes for an incredible smoking experience all the way around. True to end this cigar burned perfectly straight, never had a draw issue and the smoke continued to pour out. Just makes life easier when you don’t have to worry about a crappy smoking experience. Especially when you’re pairing it with such a fantastic bourbon. This Old Forester Birthday Bourbon was the backbone of the pairing staying strong and consistent and giving the cigar the ability to experiment with different flavors along the way. It was fantastic until the end and made this pairing one of my favorites to date.

Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon


With the spice dying down from the Liga Privada T52 it allowed the sweet note to come back into play. A dominant cocoa note appeared during this third. The spice is still there, just in the backend of the smoke. I’m picking up a nice molasses note as well, mainly from the bourbon. However, staying true to form this cigar continues to evolve and has now developed a nice earthy and wood note to it that continues to be different from its previous flavors. It combines with the slight oak notes from the bourbon to form a more pungent woody flavor that becomes the dominant flavor at the very end.


Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

Liga Privada T52 paired with Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

Right up to the end this cigar has stayed exciting and kept me on my toes and I have thoroughly enjoyed the ride! From the beginning notes of chocolate, to the fiery spice int the middle to the mellow wood notes at the end this pairing definitely took me on a journey that I enjoyed. Both the bourbon and the cigar were fantastic on their own, but they really shined when combined. Sometimes these flavors just don’t work well with others, however this combination proved to be incredible. So if you can find any of the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon left around this year it’s worth picking it up because who knows what flavors you can discover. We all know the Liga Privada T52 is difficult to find. So if you can find either, or both, pick ’em up and enjoy them together!


So this week of December 16, 2013 is our eBook launch week! To celebrate we’re giving away a 5 pack of Liga Privadas to one random winner. Will be posting multiple pairings this week and each pairing will have rafflecopter entry form at the end of the post so make sure to come back and check them out and get entered to win the 5 pack! Good luck and pass it on!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

0 Users (0 votes)
What people say... Leave your rating
Sort by:

Be the first to leave a review.

User Avatar
{{{ review.rating_title }}}
{{{review.rating_comment | nl2br}}}

Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}
Leave your rating

About the Author


  • MattyBlayze

    Nice job, Eric, though I assume you want a comment on the T52, not the LGC?!

    • Dude. I’ve had nothing but problems w/ Rafflecopter today… I wish there was a more reliable solution right now.

      • David Nichols has been using Seems to have the similar functionality

        • Yeah that’s not free though 🙂 It could be a good idea though.

          • David Nichols

            Oh, didn’t know that. Didn’t actually check them out.

  • Art

    If the Birthday Bourbon can’t be located, perhaps consider Woodford Reserve as an alternative. Woodford and Old Forester share the same recipe (i.e. the same mash bill and yeast) and are quite similar in many respects. Furthermore, the Woodford is readily available. Cheers!

    • Good suggestion Art! It’s hard to beat that Birthday bourbon though 🙂

      • art

        Agreed, and this year’s issue was one of the best in recent years!

  • Matt T

    My only experience with the Drew Estate’s offerings has been a MUWAT- hear some pretty great things about T52…I’ll have to give it a good search one of these days. Never has the Old Forester, but wonder how it would pair up with Eagle Rare.

    • I think it would probably pretty well the Eagle rare! That’s a great bourbon.

  • fatkid

    never enjoyed a t52 yet……sounds like i have to get one

  • Garry

    Ive have the Bourbon before and it is a Must Have!!! Very Good!!.. Have not got to try the T52 yet but have tried a few others from that line…Looking forward to getting my hands on one soon… Thanks Eric for the Review and the chance

    • Thanks for stopping in Garry! Definitely gotta try a T52 if you can!

  • s5592c

    Thanks for the contest!

  • Joe W

    I love the T-52. May be my favorite out of the liga line given the price and the availability. I wish I knew more about bourbon and pairings in general. Haven’t paired a drink with a cigar that resulted in that “oh wow” moment.

    • Man gotta try the T52, it’s always a toss up for me between that and the #9.

  • David Nichols

    Thanks for the contest!

    • You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping in.

  • I haven’t paired with Old Forester but I’ve paired with a number of bourbon finished scotches and they always go nicely with a Liga Privada.

    • The Liga is so flexible with it’s ability to pair it’s a great quality of this brand for sure.

  • kurt

    I will track the T52 down and have a puff or two. Nice read….I’ll get back to you…

  • Scott Wilson

    The T52 is in my top 5 cigar list. I can’t drink, so I always pair it with a good cup of coffee

    • Coffee and this cigar would be delicious! Coffee makes just about every cigar better!

  • Just discovered your blog via Twitter (thanks for the follow!). Will definitely be sending some new bourbon & cigar-loving readers your way!

Back to Top ↑