This week's review is of the new cigar from Drew Estate, the Undercrown! I first heard about this cigar in February when I was visiting the DE factory and it was released at this years trade show. The story behind Undercrown is that DE asked their rollers to smoke less Liga Privada because there weren't enough to keep up with the demand for them, especially with how many the rollers were smoking. Undercrown was the rollers response to being asked to stop smoking Liga. A lot of the same rare tobaccos used in Liga Privada are used in Undercrown, but different primings and vintages. This makes for a more sustanable blend than Liga, making Undercrown a bit more available but still very high quality. This wrapper on Undercrown is a unique strain of San Andreas maduro that they call Otapan Negro Último Corte. Otapan is the name of the farm and Último Corte means last cut, as this wrapper is left in the field at least 4 weeks longer than normal. This extra time in the sun means there are more natural sugars in the wrapper. The binder is the famous T52 Stalk Cut Habano and the filler is Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Tobacco. I am smoking the Gran Toro vitola, which measures at 6x52. Being a huge fan of Liga Privada I was very much looking forward to Undercrown being released.
The Undercrown is a dark and oily cigar with a flawless wrapper. This has the same great construction that I expect to see in Liga Privada. I love the new band/artwork for this brand. (especially how easy the bands come off!) The aroma at the foot is of pungent barnyard and nicely aged tobacco. The prelight draw shows a perfect draw with flavors of earth and some dried fruit. Once lit the Undercrown starts off with thick and creamy smoke with some earth, leather and some sweetness on the finish. like Liga, this cigar puts off an insane amount of resting smoke. They should have called this the Drew Estate fog machine. I would put this down as a full flavored/bodied cigar with a medium amount of strength so far. This cigar is really smooth with absolutely no bite to it. The burn has been fairly even and the snowy white ash holds on for about an inch.
Closing in on the halfway point and I am really enjoying this Undercrown. The aroma coming off of this cigar is really interesting and difficult to explain. I could probably tell if someone was smoking this cigar in a room full of cigar smokers without even seeing the cigar, just by the aroma. I would say that the aroma is very much like what comes off of the Liga Privada T52. Some coffee has joined the leather and earthy flavor profile, and that sweetness is still on the finish. I am guessing that the sweetness comes from the Mata Fina tobacco. The strength has moved up to a medium/full as I reach the band. This cigar is still putting off an incredible amount of smoke, the exhaust fan in my cigar room can barely keep up! The flavor profile has remained consistent and tasty so far. This isn't one of those overly complex cigars, but every draw delivers a huge amount of rich, velvety smooth flavor.
The Undercrown is a downright fantastic cigar! I love the bold, creamy flavor profile and how smooth it is. With the backstory to this cigar it will obviously be compared to Liga Privada, but it definitely stands on its own. There are some Liga-esque characteristics to it for sure, the room aroma being the big one for me. It doesn't have the spice or the strength as Liga but I like the change of pace. For me, this is a cigar that I can smoke early in the day or as the last cigar of the night. The price point on Undercrown is great as well, this Toro sells for about $7.95. So far I have smoked the Toro, Robusto and Double Corona and they have all been great. As long as Drew Estate is making these, I will be keeping a box in my humidor!