What better way to celebrate an anniversary than with making a new and better blend. Drew Estate has done just that with the Undercrown 10. I’m sure most of us remember when he original Undercrown came out offering a less expensive alternative to the Liga Privada No. 9 and T-52. Created, almost out of necessity, by the blending team when told they could no longer smoke Ligas, as an effort to keep enough product to fill orders. Because of it being such a grassroots creation the Undecrown was labeled as being “Born On The Factory Floor” and since then there has been the addition of the Undercrown Shade and Undercrown Sungrown and now a fourth has been added to the regular production line with the Undercrown 10. “Like all other Undercrown cigars, Undercrown 10 is born on the factory floor and celebrates Nicaraguan tobacco heritage and the people who work at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, but Undercrown 10 is just a little bit more special than the other cigars in the line. Anticipate a cigar with tobaccos that are aged a little longer than other Undercrown cigar tobaccos. Expect a cigar that’s spicier and bolder than other Undercrown offerings too.” The Undercrown 10 is different than the original with its use of a more premium selection of the San Andrés maduro wrapper seen on the original Undercrown Maduro blend, harvested from the highest tobacco priming available. They then use Connecticut Broadleaf binder and rare Nicaraguan leaves throughout the filler.
I like the “All Dekk’d Out” look of the cigar, with the foot band, ribbon and double band across the top third, but of course most of that needs to be removed to really see it. Once the foot is uncovered and the ribbon is removed I get a good look at the dark brown wrapper. It is slightly oily with some visible veining and a few bumps along the body giving it some character. Now I don’t know if this was intentional or a happy accident but when looking at the cigar under lighting the ribbon has appeared to have left some small specks of gold color on the wrapper above the main band that shine if the light hits them right, giving it an even more regal look. The smell from the body is sweet and floral and from the foot I pick up earth and dried fruit. The cold draw is easy and the flavor is all aged sweet tobacco to me.
The first third starts off quite spicy and a bit chocolatey. I don’t make these sort of wild flavor comparisons but for a moment I thought it tasted like an horchata margarita from Cava de Tequila in Epcot. (That quickly went away as soon as I thought about how pretentious that sounded.) The rest of the first third keep a good spice and pepper flavor. The burn was even and like pretty much all DE cigars there was plenty of smoke to fill the room.
In the second third the pepper begins to fade toward the back and earth and cream notes move forward followed by a bit of bitter dark chocolate. The burn stays consistent, as the construction is solid and of course there’s all that smoke.
At the final third the cigar becomes very creamy to an almost buttery smooth constancy along with a bit of woodiness. The pepper and spice are faint on the retrohale and can be noticed on the finish. Pedro Gomez had commented that there is the flavor of sun dried cherries which I did not notice until I put the cigar down and discovered that the lingering flavor I had was indeed cherries. The burn stayed sharp for the entire production and the medium weighted smoke always satisfied.
I’ve always been partial to the Undercrown line as it came out shortly after I began smoking and wasn’t comfortable spending Liga prices while developing my palate. It gave a solid stick at a fair price and introduces you to quality tobacco. With the Undercrown 10 they step it up a notch with even better tobacco and a new blend that is a real pleasure to smoke. The Undercrown 10 is something I will be keeping in my humidor and part of my regular rotation. With its style it could be smoked by pretty much anyone and pairs well with either tea, coffee, a nice bourbon or peaty scotch. Look for these cigars in your B&M stores and don’t be affraid to buy a box you won’t regret it.
Wrapper – Mexican San Andrés
Binder – Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler – Rare Nicaraguan
Price: Around $12.00
Rating: 4.9 out of 5 pints