Comprehensive Cigar Reviews
Look & Feel
Wrapper quality, smell from the wrapper, smell from the foot, box presentation, and color of wrapper.
Burn quality, draw quality, heat on the draw, quality of the wrapper, and cap construction.
Flavor & Balance
Overall flavor of the cigar, balance of flavors, strength to body balance, and complexity.
Value taking the quality vs. the market vs. the market price
Taking all aspects into consideration we rate based on the quality of the cigar and the quality of the experience.
Undercrown Shade - Corona 5.6 x 46
This cigar is the much-anticipated follow-up to the wildly popular Undercrown series from Drew Estate. According to Cigars International, master blender Willy Herrera challenged his rollers to come up with a Connecticut blend that would satisfy his palate and the Undercrown Shade was born. At right around $6 bucks per stick, it’s reasonably affordable. I’ve been looking forward to trying this one, so let’s get started!
Look and Feel:
Out of the cellophane, the cigar gives off a leathery and earthy aroma. The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper is veiny with easily visible seams, but overall seems very well constructed. The pre-light draw reveals a grassy flavor that is enhanced with notes of apple and pear.
Immediately after lighting, the grassy tobacco flavor is prevalent, with a light white pepper finish. The fruit flavors fall into the background, while notes of oak and cedar bring a woodiness to the overall taste. There is a mellow creaminess that softens and helps to blend all of the flavors. The draw is easy, the burn is clean and consistent, and the aroma is pleasant. So far, a great start.
As the flavors continue to mature, the wood notes get stronger and the pepper on the finish is much more acute. There is nothing harsh or bitter about the taste, it is simply intensifying. Adding depth, strong black coffee comes in, which blends nicely with the cream that is still present. I also start to get hints of honey that brings a whisper of sweetness and marries well in the background with the slight fruitiness. For a small stick, there is an impressive complexity to the flavor profile.
There’s not much of a transition of taste happening now, just a very gratifying overall flavor. I do get some bittersweet chocolate on the back end that again adds depth while marring well with the other flavors that are still present. If I had one complaint, it would have to be that the draw gets a bit hot much earlier than expected during this third. While that doesn’t detract much from the smoking experience, it is still a somewhat disappointing development from a cigar that has so far lived up to its billing. That said, the burn and ash were clean and consistent throughout, with no relights or touch-up needed.
This was an extremely enjoyable stick. The flavors intensified without ever getting harsh, and the draw was smooth as silk from beginning to end. Marketed as a mild cigar, I think it smokes more like a medium blend with all of the transitions and complexity you’d expect from that category but a little less punch. I’d buy a box of these in a heartbeat, as this could be an everyday stick. This one is a winner!
Look & Feel:
Flavor & Balance:
70-80 Points - Poor to Fair 81-90 Points - Fair to Good 91-96 - Excellent 97-100 - Epic
Review By: Karl
Undercrown is a line made by Drew Estate offering a non-infused cigar that is on the lighter end versus the Liga Privada. The Underground series has both a dark San Andreas and a light Connecticut wrapped variations. These are lower in the price range too, offering straight ahead Drew Estate cigars while being more economical than the higher end Liga series.
Review By: Karl