Undercrown by Drew Estate – Cigar Review
For fans of the Liga Privada you might have noticed a bit of a shortage lately, and perhaps it is that reason to why the Undercrown was created. As the stories go, the rollers on the factory floor were told to smoke less Liga. The press release states, “Undercrown is a liga blended on our factory floor by the best of our Liga Privada torcedores for themselves due to our request that they smoke less of the cigars they were crafting. Incorporating many of the same rare tobaccos, but of different vintages and primings, the cigar they created was no mere replacement. Earthy, creamy, spicy with a delicious black tobacco sweet finish, Undercrown is an exceptional smoking experience of uncompromising quality and flavor that deserves to be smoked by all.”
The result is a cigar can basically be called the half-brother to the Liga Privada line. Will the cigar become the black sheep of the family or will it be widely accepted. That is the question that can only be answered over time. But here is my opinion none the less.
The Undercrown is available in 5 sizes, Robusto 5 x 50 ($7.45 MSRP); Gran Toro 6 x 52 ($7.95 MSRP); Belicoso 6 x 52 ($8.45 MSRP); Corona Doble 7 x 54 ($8.95 MSRP) and Gordito 6 x 60 ($9.95 MSRP).
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: San Andreas Otapan Negro Último Corte
Binder: T52 Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Habano
Filler: Select Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Cuban Seed
Cigars Smoked For Review: 5
Appearance and Construction: The wrapper from Mexico called “Otapan” is the name of the tobacco field on which it is grown and “Último Corte” translates to “last cut”; which refers to the harvesting was intentionally delayed by 4+ weeks to allow for additional field and sun time resulting in a higher natural sugar content and a richer, creamier flavor. The result is a dark maduro with minimal veins and an abundance of oils. In the hand the cigar has a nice weight to it, with no soft spots and it feels like velvet under the fingers. The band is blue and gold with the Liga logo with a crown underneath it.
Flavor & Notes: The foot of the of Undercrown serves up some spices to the nose and is slightly floral. The cold draw of the cigar reminds me of paprika and earth. Once the cigar is lit a nice sugar like sweetness that compliments notes of coffee and cedar. As we move into the first third the sweetness remains in the background while the notes of coffee and cedar are joined by the occasional leather. As the cigar moves into the second third the cedar begins to dominate and the sweetness becomes a bit more cocoa like with coffee on the finish. The last third picks up some nuts, of the roasted variety and the coffer remains. The sweetness is gone, and is replaced with the first presence of a slight spice with a leathery finish.
Smoking Characteristics: The amount of smoke that comes off this cigar is incredible or insane. Take your pick. A lot of times when I write a review I will smoke the cigar and compare it with the notes of cigars I smoked earlier. With the stick resting between my lips I had to put it down because I couldn’t see past the smoke coming from the cigar. The burn of the cigar is fairly crisp with a nice firm almost white colored ash. The aroma of the cigar is a bit funky at times as it reminds me of the wick from a candle after it has been blow out. Despite the massive smoke production the cigar burns slow and cool.
Conclusion: The Undercrown has some similarities to the Liga Privada, but it is definitely more like a distant cousin then a half-brother. The cigar lacks the strength, and power of the No. 9 and the smooth taste of the T-52. Does this mean it is a bad cigar, hell no. You just can’t go into it expecting the aforementioned cigars. It is more mild, and lacks the spice. It does however have a nice complexity although it is a tad rough around the edges. I will be buying a box of these to keep on hand.
Price: $7.45 / $167.95 a Box @ Bonita Smoke Shop