Brand: Drew Estate
Line: Undercrown Sun Grown
Size: Corona (5 5/8 x 46)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Sun Grown
Binder: Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut and Cured Sun Grown Habano
Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
Cigars for review provided by: Drew Estate
Quick Note: For this review I used Cigar Federation's rating system
Drew Estate debuted the Undercrown Sun Grown line at the 2017 IPCPR. This is the third Undercrown blend, joining the Undercrown Shade and Maduro. From Drew Estate’s website, “The new Sun Grown features an Ecuadorian Sumatra seed, Sun Grown wrapper. The binder is a Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut/Cured Sun Grown Habano, complimenting a powerhouse blend of Nicaraguan premium fillers. One leaf of extensively aged Ligero from the Nueva Segovia region along the border of Honduras has been selected to enhance the strength of the blend.”
I don’t normally talk about bands but I really like the Undercrown logo in this red and gold; combined with the foot band it gives the cigar a fantastic visual appeal. The wrapper was smooth with some noticeable veins, but none that really stood out. The seams were tightly pressed and the wrapper color appeared caramel brown with some reddish hue. After clipping the cap the prelight draw had grassy hay notes with some sweetness with a touch of mineral qualities. The resistance on the draw was in the sweet spot providing easy air flow, but not feeling too tight.
The first few puffs of the cigar delivered that grassy sweetness and some of the mineral quality that I noticed in the prelight draw. A heavy dose of black/white pepper spice quickly joined the mix and became the primary flavor. In the background I could still detect that grassy sweetness with some cedar wood flavors on the finish. The pepper started to subside and the cigar seemed to find its balance as I progressed through the halfway point of the first third. The light wood notes I noticed earlier moved to the forefront, backed by a more moderate dose of pepper.
By the start of the second third the profile seemed to get deeper with earthy and toasted nut flavors. The wood flavors also transitioned from lighter cedar qualities into more oaky tones. The pepper spice remained a key player in the flavor profile, but it was a supporting element and not overpowering. At this point the cigar achieved an ideal balance with all of the different flavor components working together nicely. Wood and toasted nut qualities with a spice that lingered on my tongue.
The final third opens up with some charred wood notes and very earthy natural tobacco flavors. There was a touch of sweetness in the mix that combined with the spice and created a finish that reminded me of how my mouth feels after eating a mango con chile. There was also a salty quality that made a few appearances. By the end of the cigar the pepper ramped back up and it finished with a focus on the charred oaky wood flavors and spice.
I think the Undercrown Sun Grown is a great spicy cigar that also has balance and flavor. It’s not a complex cigar, but for me the best moments came when when the individual flavors were the most difficult to pick out for description, but the overall profile combined with the finish was pressing all the right buttons. This cigar started out medium-full in strength transitioning more firmly into medium territory for the middle third, and then back up to medium-full toward the end.
Coffee is always a gimme pairing but something about this cigar with a late morning or afternoon espresso sounds really appealing to me.
Total smoking time was about 1 hour 45 minutes
Jason’s Score: 90 AKA “Box Split”