With the Undercrown Maduro on one end of the spectrum and the Shade on the other people were left wondering if there would be something to bridge the flavor gap. In walks the Undercrown Sun Grown. Released at ICPCR 2017, the Undercrown Sun Grown is the third full release from Drew Estate in their Undercrown series and it offers the same use of the T52 leaf for the binder, an extensively aged ligero in the filler from Nicaragua and of course the Ecuadorian Sumatra seed sun grown wrapper. Following the same story line as the other Undercrowns it was blended on the factory floor but with the help of Willy Herrera.
The appearance of the cigar is great as always. The wrapper is the color of coffee beans with medium veining but still wrapped smoothly and with tight seams. It is full filled cigar that doesn’t offer much give when pressed between the fingers.
The smell from the body gives notes of cedar, leather and cocoa and from the foot hints of chocolate and a punch of leather. The pre-light draw has a medium pull with a touch of sweetness and the distinct flavor of raisins. The cap cuts easily with no damage to the wrapper as well as it lights easily and evenly.
First half gives flavors that are peaty and earthy with a bit of barnyard. It’s a bit tighter on the draw then I prefer but manageable. Smoke production is light until about a third of the way down where is begins to produce a rich thick smoke you can almost chew on. To me the flavor intensifies slightly while smoking the first half but note enough to make note of.
The second half has a touch more bite of salt to the tongue; sweetness and fruit kick in a bit more with pepper stalking the other flavors shortly after. By the last third the cigar really comes into its own, the smoke produced becomes lighter and all the flavors begin to mesh into each other making for a relaxed warm tasting smoke. The flavor overall, to me, is medium to medium heavy with a dark chocolate flavor accompanied with a hint roasted almonds and a slightly spicy finish.
Over all I enjoyed the stick although I didn’t notice a very large difference between the Undercrown Maduro and the Undercrown Sun Grown. I will say the main difference I noticed with this stick is that depending on what you choose to pair it with will have a heavy influence in what notes you pick up in the cigar. (And yes before everybody chimes in this is usually the case HOWEVER with this particular blend I found it to be more so than usual. The flavor profile seemed to change so much that I went through several of these before finally making the decision to smoke one with just a glass of water to write this article.) Be sure to pair what you’re drinking when you smoke this to the taste you want at that time. My personal favorite was having a strong bourbon on the rocks, which really brought out the spicy notes. The price point is more than reasonable and the overall construction makes it a solid win for your next cigar purchase.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Sun Grown
Binder and Filler: Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut/Cured Sun Grown Habano, Nicaraguan
Size smoked for this article: Corona 5 5/8 x 46
Price: $8.00-$9.00 depending on size and area.
Rating: 4.1 out if 5 pints