So amidst the hullabaloo and the teeming masses of retailers, manufacturers, reps, and journalists a faint undulating baseline could be heard in one particular quadrant of the IPCPR floor. As one followed the sonic siren’s call they inevitably would end up outside the garish Drew Estate booth. Amongst the constant hustle and bustle of the booth one could see the magnetic frontman, Jonathan Drew, preaching to all those around the good word about Drew Estate and their new lines for the year. One of the main attractions in their show this year is the much anticipated and talked about Undercrown.
At this point, most folks who have followed the evolving story of Undercrown know that it was essentially born on the workroom floors. The Liga Torcedores as the story goes were requested to smoke less of the cigars they were making. In response to this request, they, in the true spirit of innovation, began to Incorporate “many of the same rare tobaccos [of the Liga], but of different vintages and primings, the cigar they created was no mere replacement.” Thus, the legendary Undercrown, borne on the wings of fortune and a few small tweaks by the creative blending team at Drew Estate, lies before you for your enjoyment.
So with all of the story and fanfare attached with it, many are perhaps wondering “how is it?” Well, I can say after smoking one at the show and one back at home its pretty darn good. As, I have mentioned in a few places in my IPCPR coverage I found there were a lot of sticks that were good, but ultimately a lot of the same. The Undercrown, I can safely say is thankfully as different as the counter-cultural minds who created it, and has a really unique note that I still can’t quite put my palate around.
Upon inspecting the Undercrown, one can quickly see the smooth dark wrapper carries with it a small deposit of oily sheen. The cigar is firmly packed and reveals when the cap is cut a smooth draw and a faint sweet botanical note. The only thing I can say about this note is that its definitely sweet and definitely not the typical floral aroma, in fact its really more akin to a sweet spice one might employ in cooking.
As I began to smoke the Undercrown the sweet spice note continued with a bit of a dry undertone. There of course, is also the typical peppery spice burst in the beginning, but really for my palate I still was picking up the botanical sweet note until the midpoint. As the midpoint rolled around the cigar was still burning well and I was beginning to see a transition in the cigar towards more of a hickory note with some soft sweet notes still lingering. The final third of the cigar wrapped up with the hickory fading and the botanical sweetness coming back to the forefront for a sweet finish. Throughout the smoking experience the Undercrown burned evenly both times and was great at producing a creamy smoking experience.
So the cigar with humble origins transforms from pauper to prince. The Undercrown, a true representation of the humble torcedores love for creating a flavorful blend is a clear winner for Drew Estate. It finds a niche in the lineup that rounds out the Liga line. Where the Liga is stronger and becomes a full cigar, the Undercrown finds a nice position in the medium body range with a movement towards medium plus. So if you are fan of unique profiles, a medium body, and a cigar that is well constructed from foot to cap, then take a journey down the busy production floor to the private stock of the hard working master torcedores of Drew Estate!
Strength: Medium +
Price: $7.45-9.95 depending on size
Size: Robusto (5×54), Gran toro (6×52), Belicoso (6×52), Corona Double (7×54), Gordito (6×60).
Wrapper: Otapan Negro Último Corte (final cut)
Binder: T52 Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Habano
Filler: Select Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Cuban Seed