Cigar Review: Undercrown Sungrown by Drew Estate

  • UC_SG_straightVitola: Corona
  • 5.625” x 46 ring gauge 
  • MSRP $8.20
  • Purchased at Burns Tobacconist

Background

Earlier this year, I had a chance to try a pre-release version of the Drew Estate Undercrown Sungrown and I enjoyed it. In the last week or so, the shipping version of the cigar has finally made it to store shelves, so now everyone has a chance to try this latest entry into the Undercrown brand.

Undercrown started off as a way to make use of certain leaf that was related to Liga Privada production but wasn’t getting used there…almost a first cousin to LP while being much cheaper and available much more widely. The Shade version of the Undercrown was an entirely new and unrelated blend and I believe the same to be true of this. The Undercrown Sungrown uses Nicaraguan fillers, including a single “extensively aged Ligero” leaf from the “Nueva Segovia region along the border of Honduras.” The binder is a Connecticut Stalk Cut and Cured Habano (so, that is like the T-52 blend) and the wrapper is a sun grown Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf.

Besides the couple pre-release sticks I had, I bought two of the official release versions of the Undercrown Sungrown in this Corona size. This review sample is the second that I’ve smoked.

Prelight

The original (Maduro) Undercrown uses a dark blue and gold motif; the Shade replaces the dark blue with white; the Sungrown replaces the blue or white with a dark red. Other than that, the bands (both regular and foot) seem the same as those previously used and the boxes are right in line with the brand.

The wrapper leaf had a definite colorado coloration to it—medium brown with a tinge of red. It had a little darker mottling and a few veins showed darker. The aroma from it was of clean hay with a touch of ripe earth. The foot was a mix of earth, cedar, and natural tobacco aromas.

The prelight draw was excellent and provided flavors of tobacco, cedar and an almost honey sweetness with just a touch of pepper.

UC_SG_bandFlavor

The Undercrown Sungrown lit up fairly easily and evenly. I immediately got a heavy cedar note with a more subdued and subtle sweetness and a note of cayenne pepper on the finish that rounded it all out nicely. The retrohale was a stronger pepper burn. As the first third burned on I got a citrus snap and grassy undertones along with the mildly peppery burn on the finish. There was a hollow spot in the filler bunch near the end of the third, but it didn’t affect the performance for very long.

The second third displayed more citrus twang and sweetness along with the steady mild pepper burn and an earthiness at the core of the flavor profile.

I got more of the same in the last third, along with a resurgence of cedar flavor.

Construction

Aside from the hollow spot in the middle of the filler during the first third, I encountered no construction problems. Since that hollow didn’t cause any lasting issues, I am not deducting points.

Value

Undercrown has always been about having a high value quotient…something almost Liga-esque for a lot less money…this Sungrown version fulfills that mission well.

UC_SG_footbandConclusions

The Undercrown Sungrown is a very worthy addition to the UC family with a very good flavor profile and sufficient complexity that it never gets dull. While I still prefer the Maduro version overall, I definitely enjoyed this iteration more than the Shade blend. The Sungrown has a very nice medium/medium-plus body with a good amount of pepper that never gets to be too much and enough sweetness to balance well with the notes of earth and wood.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 4/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 9/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

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