Today we are going to mix it up a bit. As many of you already know, Drew Estate just released the new Undercrown Dogma to honor the one year anniversary of Cigar Dojo.
The Undercrown Dogma will be sold in mazos of ten at an MSRP of $9.95 per cigar, and is “based” on the Undercrown Corona Viva blend. The Undercrown Dogma will come in one vitola – a 6 x 56 box press. If you would like to read the entire press release, you can do so here.
As for the review, we are going to mix it up a bit. We had several mods who received samples. Instead of posting four different reviews, on four different days, we decided to post a shortened version of our reviews together, today. This way you will get four different reads on the Dogma in one review. Look how nice we are :)
Drew Estate Undercrown Dogma
Vitola: Box-Pressed Toro
Size: 6 x 56
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Binder: Connecticut Stalk-Cut Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan & Brazilian Mata Fina
Cigars Smoked for this Review: Two per Reviewer
Price Point: $9.95
Cigar Purchased: Samples from Drew Estate
Quick Note: For this review we used my rating system. You can view it in detail here.
Logan’s Review – Rating 87 AKA Five Pack Purchase
For a box press, the Dogma had just the right amount of give when rolled between my fingers. I really liked the “Dojo” secondary band on the cigar. The draw on both samples was a little tight upfront, but then opened up quickly. I was really surprised on how well the ash held throughout the entire cigar.
Up front the expected notes of leather and earth are presented. I was a little surprised there wasn’t as strong or as peppery as the Viva. It didn’t take the black pepper long to show itself on the retrohale. There were really unique notes of a sweet wood, almost a cross between pine and cedar. I would liken it to standing in a field of Christmas trees. I wasn’t a huge fan of this because, to me, tree sap smells terrible. On the finish there was a very faint salt note, which I really dug. There were notes of white pepper which mellowed as I entered the midway point of the Dogma. The Dogma then moved into notes of oak. There was a very nice smoky characteristic to the flavor of the oak. I would compare it to a slow burning BBQ pit. Notes of chocolate came and went, throughout the entire Dogma. The end of the cigar wrapped up with increased spice, which included and earthy finish.
There is one thing which had me puzzled about the Dogma; the resting smoke. I know we all have seen Liga’s that when they are resting on the ashtray continue to put off a ton of smoke. Think about when this has happened to you and increase it by a factor of 10x. Normally, I deal with this, but here it was a completely distraction. My wife, who is preggers with our first child, was outside when I smoked the first sample. She asked me several times not to blow the smoke in her direction, which was from 100% of the resting smoke. Maybe it was just me, but I haven’t seen anything like this before.
The Dogma is an interesting smoke. I think it falls somewhere between the original Undercown and Corona Viva for me. The dominate earthiness in Undercrown, didn’t really show its self until the end of the smoke. Also, the pepper I remember from the Corona Viva, wasn’t as pronounced. I think the Dogma falls somewhere in between, in terms of the tobaccos used, but just an educated guess. The piney, sappy, sweetness and the resting smoke ultimately knocked down my rating a few points, to a five pack purchase. Also, I didn’t find the Dogma to be stronger than the Viva, since it has additional ligero added, but maybe that was me.
I would tell you to get a bundle and split it with someone, but the initial release, is already sold out. I think the Dogma is a unique take on the Undercrown/Viva and will continue to sell well.
Matt’s Review – Rating 89 aka Five Pack Purchase
Off the bat, the box-press and the second band make this cigar appealing – I’m sure some people will buy it just for that. When I pick the cigar up, it feels very densely packed. I sniff the foot and get a strong aroma of chocolate. Pre-light draw is full of chocolate like a soufflé – deep and rich and very tasty.
Knowing this is a take on the Corona Viva blend, the spice I anticipated is not nearly as strong off the light as I had expected. The chocolate is a dominant flavor with some of that typical Undercrown hay/earth and some spice in the back of the palate and on the retrohale. In typical Undercrown fashion, this cigar is giving off a ton of smoke - even at rest – and the aroma of the smoke is very pleasing. As I continue in the beginning, I get a distinct wood flavor - almost like a charred oak from a scotch barrel or something, or maybe just a peat - that seems to be a mellowing of the spice. I immediately find this to be an interesting take on the Undercrown. Burn is a bit wonky - on one sample more than the other, but the ash is incredibly firm and dense with the it holding on for nearly an inch throughout the smoke. As I enter the middle, the spice is completely mellowed. At this point, one of the samples experienced some tunneling which would explain the burn/draw issues, but the other sample exhibited none of these issues. Interesting flavors at this point - almost like a chocolate covered pretzel with a bit of salty sweetness. I'm nearing the end now, and I find this to be very unique compared to other Undercrowns - the chocolate with a bit of saltiness is the dominant flavor. This is a very pleasant enjoyable smoke. The spice is starting to return in the back of my throat as I continue. The flavors are returning to that typical Undercrown flavor, but seem more refined - not that typical rustic earth flavor. I continue to compare it to this chocolate pretzel or salty souffle flavor. It ends with a rich tobacco flavor that turns extremely powerful in the last inch and brings it all together and leaves me with a pleasing experience.
Overall, I've enjoyed this cigar - I think I enjoyed the Viva and its power a bit more, but this is superior to the other Undercrown vitolas in my eyes. My biggest problem with this cigar, though, is probably in the price. It will be difficult for this cigar, with a $10 MSRP, to separate itself from the concept of “a $10 Undercrown”, but it is a different cigar (just as the Viva is different from the other vitolas). At this price point, I just think I'd gravitate to other cigars. With that said, I still think this is worth a 5 pack buy, and according to the Cigar Federation scoring system, I'd give this an 89.
Rob’s Review – Rating 87 aka Five Pack Purchase
The Undercrown Corona Viva is a favorite in my book so I was excited when I heard that the Dogma was a “stronger” version of the same blend. With that being said, I went in to this with high expectations. I think all the good smokes on the market are spoiling me.
The pre-light inspection of the Dogma showed a densely packed cigar with a dark chocolate brown wrapper. The wrapper gave off notes of earth and warm cinnamon while the cold draw offered similar notes.
When I fired the Dogma up I was hit with bold earth, leather and black pepper notes. This “blast” of flavor began to die away almost immediately, and for the first inch the flavors are a bit flat. Flavors and strength began to ramp up after the one inch mark, but they didn’t give me that “wow” moment I was looking for.
The pepper died away almost completely as I reached the middle portion while the strength maintained a level of medium-plus. Notes of earth, leather and mocha were present at this point. The chocolate showed up first and it was quickly joined by a coffee note . I was a big fan of this mocha flavor. It really brought out some nice balance to the earth and leathery notes. This profile stayed pretty consistent through the end of the smoke.
The Dogma was the tale of two experiences. The first half was flat and a bit boring while the second was significantly more balanced and flavorful. So, needless to say, my experience was a mixed bag. The Undercrown is one of the most consistent cigars on the market, so I was expecting a more even ride. I would really like to see how this cigar smokes a month from now. I have another sample in my humidor and I intend to revisit it this spring and see how it smokes. For the purposes of this review, I’ll give the Dogma a score of “87 aka Five Pack Purchase.” With some rest I think it has the potential to creep into the “Box Split” rating, but for now I’m sticking with the “Five Pack Purchase.”
Dustin's Review - Rating 85 aka Couple
Right off the bat, I got hit with dark chocolate and espresso notes. The profile was rather medium with hints of ligero stang sitting mid-tongue. The retro was too strong for me at first, but the finish was excellent with the classic Undercrown profile. The retrohale specifically brought out the bittersweet cocoa notes, similar to a dark chocolate bar at times, and the strength moved to medium-full rather quickly. Toward the end of this third, the cigar began to tunnel, and I noticed a soft spot.
Sweet cream notes moved into the picture, even though it was taking me 5-6 draws to get a solid plume of smoke. The majority of this third was spent dealing with the tunnel issue really, but I was rewarded towards the end. Sugar notes crept in, somewhat sweet cream at times, reminding me of the foam on a latte with a hint of sugar. I could really feel the ligero at this point, and the Woodford was perfect in pairing. The retrohale improved significantly, specifically adding the sugar notes, which met with the espresso and dark cocoa on my palate. The finish was a bit heavier, and I attributed this to the added ligero.
In the finale made up for the headache of dealing with a construction issue. The depth of the retrohale was astonishing at times, as I picked up charred mesquite, and green pepper notes. The retro was so distinctly different from the inhale notes on the draw, as they met on my palate I was reminded of a wonderful Cuban jerk meal at a local place I frequent. It was the kind of experience where all the platters in the meal come together and you just sit back and say, damn that was a good meal. At times the Dogma went into full on chocolate bar during the finale as well, then back into the green pepper and charred flavors swirling around the outskirts of my palate.
I am cursed with DE cigars, and I swear if 1 in 1,000 are bad I get that one every time. I would have to assume the tunnel issue was a roller issue, but I know JD and crew are 110% behind their products and the best in the business in that regard. Logan really wanted me to rate this, which I hate to do, so suck my left nut Logan you get two ratings. The first rating is my own subjective opinion, which is that of a conny loving mild cigar old school I don’t smoke maduro’s or strong cigars so deal with it opinion. My rating based on Logan’s scale would be the 84-86 range, as in I would buy one if I was at a shop. I rarely smoke Maduro, maybe once a month, and when I do it is a Padron or my new favorite jam, Ortega D. However, when I am at the shop, I typically smoke 2-3 cigars, and that is when I grab something fuller like this, as a second or third cigar. In that case, this was better than the normal Undercrown by far, and I think stacks up to a No 9 in terms of complexity and finish. Even with a tunnel that lasted a good inch or two, I was getting strong flavors without tarring. My second rating, which is my objective rating, as in how comfortable would I be suggesting this to a smoker at my cigar shop whom tastes are in this range, would be 90-93. At 10 a box, this is an easy box buy for the Undercrown fan, and delivers in terms of complexity and finish. I would have no problem suggesting this to friends that are fans of the Drew Estate line. CigarDojo and Drew Estate created a better Undercrown, so kudos to them. Thanks to John Brooke of Drew Estate for the samples, and thanks to Dojo and JD for the support over at Cigar Federation.