Cigar Review: Undercrown Shade by Drew Estate

Cigar Review: Undercrown Shade by Drew Estate

Drew Estate Cigars
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut Shade)
Binder: Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Republic (Criollo 98) & Nicaragua (Criollo & Corojo)
Size: 6” x 54
Strength: mild-medium to medium
Price: $8.25

Click here to buy it now.

Overall Rating: 9.1

It seems like this was the year for Connecticut shade wrappers at the IPCPR (see my IPCPR 2015 Coverage). While there were some really disappointing releases (ie. Padrón Damaso & Kuuts Connecticut), there was one Connecticut shade cigar that stood out for it’s stellar flavor and complexity…the Drew Estate Undercrown Shade. A departure from typical Drew Estate fare, the Undercrown Shade features an Ecuadorian Shade wrapper and a milder creamy profile. Somehow in the Undercrown Shade, Drew Estate has managed to find a way to create a Connecticut shade cigar for those who typically don’t smoke them. This a cigar that is sure to fly off the shelves.


Pre-Light: The Undercrown Shade from Drew Estate is a good looking cigar. The cigar is very firmly put together. The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper has a khaki coloration. There is a slight oily sheen to the wrapper, but the cigar feels dry to the touch. The original Undercrown had a beautiful band with a great color scheme, and the Shade has the same lion (almost Scottish looking) band except it is now white and gold rather than navy and gold.


A very strong barnyard aroma comes from the cigar’s Connecticut shade wrapper. From the unlit foot notes of hay, oak and wheat are quite noticeable. The cold draw is smooth and easy allowing through flavors of hay, wheat, honey and cinnamon.


Burn: When it comes to construction, the Undercrown Shade is quite well made. Fairly even burning throughout, the cigar gives off a grassy dandelion aroma as it burns. A perfect draw allows through a massive amount of smoke.


Flavor: The Undercrown Shade starts off with a wonderful sweet white toast note with some mild white pepper hints. What’s really surprising is that the Undercrown is more in the medium bodied range than mild. During the first third, there’s flavors of toast, oak, wheat, hay and white pepper. As the Undercrown Shade begins to transition to its second third there is a lemon pepper like flavor, that brings to mind seasoned tilapia. On the retrohale there is a mix of lemon pepper and white pepper along with some background hay. There’s a sweet creamy character to the second third of the Undercrown Shade that compliments with peppery notes quite well. Grass, cinnamon, dried fruit, toast, oak, cedar and cereal notes round out the flavors during the second third of the cigar. The final third of the cigar carries on much the same as the second third did. As the citrus notes begin to fade into the background, they are replaced with a much more prevalent cinnamon, grass and creamy vanilla flavors. The lemon pepper/white pepper mix is still vey much present during this part of the cigar. Nearing the end of the Undercrown Shade there’s a nice blend of honey and toast flavors that make for a pleasing aftertaste.


Overall: The Undercrown Shade is another one of those highly anticipated cigars coming from Drew Estate this year. Unlike a highly anticipated Connecticut cigar from a different company, the Undercrown Shade is a complex cigar with a lot going for it. What makes the Undercrown Shade really special is that is a Connecticut cigar that is not exactly mild, instead falling closer to the medium range, while still maintaining the sweet creaminess one would expect from the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. Personally, I found the Undercrown Shade to be quite surprising. I was expecting a good cigar that I might want to smoke with breakfast, but it turns out the Undercrown Shade is good any time of day. While it is not mild in the traditional sense that many Connecticut shade cigars are, it is a cigar that will appeal to both those that already enjoy a Connecticut cigar and to those who favor more medium bodied fair. I’d highly recommend giving the Undercrown Shade a try.


Pairing: The Undercrown Shade by Drew Estate pairs well with a morning cup of coffee. The wine drinker will find that just about any red will compliment the Shade. Those looking for something a bit stronger will want to pair the Undercrown Shade with a sipping rum such as the Zafra 21.


Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)