Cigar Review: Drew Estate Undercrown Corona ¡Viva!

Cigar Review: Drew Estate Undercrown Corona ¡Viva!

Cigar: Drew Estate Undercrown Corona ¡Viva!

Size: Corona (5 5/8 x 46)

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Negro

Binder: Stalk Cut Connecticut Habano

Filler: Brazilian Mata Fina & Nicaraguan Cuban seed

Strength: Medium-Full

Price: $7.25 msrp

Grade: 8.8

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By now most of you know who are reading the Cigar blogs know the story behind the Undercrown, if not here’s the super abbreviated version:  Too many factory rollers were smoking the Liga’s which were in short supply, so they took other priming’s of the tobaccos used in the Liga Privada lines, wrapped them with a Mexican San Andres wrapper, and viola! the Undercrown was born!

The first Undercrown I smoked was from the IPCR samples in 2011 and it  was one of my favorite samples from the show.  When I heard they were releasing them in a corona format I was even more excited as the Corona is my typical “go-to” Vitola.  While the Corona ¡Viva!, has been out in stores for a short while now, my usual local B&M recently received their first shipment.  As a big fan of both the  Undercrown, and the Vitola I helped myself to a few for my humidor and decided to light one up for this review.

But enough about that, how’s it smoke?

Appearance : (1.9) The Corona ¡Viva! San Andres  wrapper is dark with  bit of mottling, shiny, oily to the touch, and just a bit bumpy.  The cigar has a perfectly applied triple cap, the typical Undercrown band featuring the lions head in gold over blue background with gold trim.

Prelight aromas from the foot are of a very rich tobacco over a barnyard backdrop with just a hint of citrus.  After applying a simple “V” cut I got a pre-light draw of dense, rich hay and semi–sweet tobacco.

Burn:  (1.7)  The Corona ¡Viva! took to flame and rewarded me with a fairly crisp burn-line at first, the burn lien got wavy at times, and I had two hot spots where the filler got ahead of the wrapper.  I had to touch up the Corona ¡Viva!  a few times.  There is a bit of resistance to the draw but it just right for the Vitola and provides for a lasting smoking experience, in fact this may have been one f the slowest burning, longest lasting Corona’s I have smoked.

The ash is very firm and holds almost to the 1/2 way point, however in an attempt to get a great picture I lost the ash to the floor, making the wife a very unhappy camper! 🙂

Flavor:  (2.6)  The first few puffs open up with charred oaky pepper note and short lived spice.  Through the first third I get very rich, notes that include charred wood, a slight espresso, black pepper, semi sweet tobacco, all over a very rich and earthy smoke.

The second third starts off where the first third left off with the same range of flavors over a dark earthy platform, however as I progress I am rewarded with hints of roasted cherries! Aha, there’s the Liga goodness that keeps me coming back again and again.  The finish is long and full of earthy rich tobacco flavor.  The body is a definited medium full.

Now smoking through the final third and some of the complexity has passed.  I am tasting alot more of a woodsy notewith pepper and a lingering spice.  Body is just at the lower edge of full as I finish smoking the Corona ¡Viva!.

Overall: (2.6)  The Undercrown is a terrific cigar and from what I’ve seen it has been quite the crowd pleaser since it’s release last year, I know I’ve certainly smoked my share of the Robusto and the Double Corona.

The Corona ¡Viva! is a welcome extension to the line, it is rich and earthy, with a dark compexity to it.  Aside from the hot spots the construction was excellent.  The flavors were typical Drew Estate, in terms of being rich, and very Liga-esque, in terms of notes.

What suprised me, in a good way were, a) the slow, long lasting burn and b) the ramp up in body over the other Undercrown Vitolas.

What Corona ¡Viva! left me thinking about is how much I’d like try the Liga Privada no. 9 in this format.  Somewhere out there in the blog-o-sphere I thought I recalled their being a hint that the no. 9 in a test blend was out there.  If that is true, and the quality builds off both the Corona ¡Viva! and the LP no.9, I will be ready to have my mind blown!

Total:  8.8




  1. katzman

    Nice review of a cigar I really like. But, I’m curious about something. You give this an 8.8 rating. However, you’ve recently rated some others (L’il Monsters, for instance) that we up there at 9.3/9.4. Yet, you love the flavor of this one, and only give it a 2.6. I guess it’s like any rating scheme (wine, beer, cigars, movies): one has to try something for his/herself to see if they like it and how good it really is. Fortunately, I tried Undercrown before I’d read a review of it and am thoroughly impressed. Even had a robusto this weekend. But, I’d sure give it more than an 8.8. Or, a 2.6 for flavor. And, to me, unless a cigar canoes or constantly goes out, the construction isn’t worth nearly as much as the flavor. Plus, when smoking in a convertible, construction goes out the window (so to speak) anyway.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    • WillyStyl


      Thanks for your comments, I appreciate the feedback. Regarding the scoring, please check the how we score page as it breaks it down a little further. Ultimately the difference between an 8.8 or a 9.3 can be fairly small. A few nuances in the flavor notes or a cigar that may hit a sweet spot to a personal preference can be a chunk of that difference. Also I’m a big fan of the Undercrown Robusto and I like it just a hair more than the corona. That could be the difference between an 8.8 and a a score.

      As for the construction, all sticks will start with a full 2 points and get adjusted based on draw, burn, and ash. When we review a plight drawing cigar the points are deducted here and possibly in the “Overall” category.

      The thing to remember most is that it’s all subjective and subject to personal taste and preference and honestly anything over an 8 would be a “good” cigar that I’d gladly smoke again!




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