Cigar Review – Liga Privada Undercrown by Drew Estate
Today was a rainy and dreary day here in northeast PA, with temps maxing out in the mid 30’s. Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly ideal smoking weather. But, in my quest to enlighten the masses in regards to the best premium cigars out there, neither rain, nor snow, nor hail….you get the picture. So off I went, with Drew Estate’s latest innovation, the Liga Privada Undercrown, firmly in hand to put it to the test.
- The blend for this new release came about when the workers in Drew Estate’s factory were causing inventory problems by smoking too many Liga Privada T52’s. As a solution, the Undercrown was created for the workers to smoke instead. Like the original Liga’s, the blend was deemed too good to keep as a private blend, and thus the Undercrown line was born. I have to admit, my impressions of this cigar were a bit colored by early reviews I had read, all of which were overwhelmingly positive. Between that, and the distinguished look and feel of the darkly dressed stogie, I had the feeling I was in for a good smoke. The wrapper on the Gran Toro(6×52) was a very clean looking dark brown, and had a nice oily sheen and few pronounced veins. Cold draws provided notes of cedar coupled with some unsweetened cocoa, and just a vague hint of allspice. In addition to this, the cigar had that distinct floral scent about it that I’ve noticed in almost all of Drew Estate’s cigars I’ve tried. Without further delay, I began toasting.
In my first few puffs I got some great notes of sweet vanilla, oak, and a fiery spice note in the background that was also kind of savory, like fresh ground black pepper. The draw was super-easy, providing lush plumes of creamy, woody smoke with very little effort on my part. The initial flavor profile was equal parts sweet and spicy, and the stick was burning slowly and evenly. This was not a bad intro at all.
I was really enjoying the sharp and sweet flavors whirling out of this stick when suddenly, a bit into the 2nd third, the plot thickened. There was a dramatic change in flavor, almost like I was smoking an entirely different cigar. The oak note morphed into a creamy cedar and became the most pronounced, the peppery note completely disappeared and was replaced by an immaculate mellow smoothness, and just a faint bit of caramelly sweetness trickled in. This was an unexpected, but pleasant turn of events.
Impressed by the range of flavors I had found in this stick, I burned into the final third. After a bit more mellowness, the spice returned, the light cedar reverted to its previous robust oak taste, and I finally got the unsweetened cocoa I tasted in the pre-light. This was effectively a third act for the cigar. I should also mention that by this point I had accumulated a nice sturdy ash a little over 3 inches in length. This stogie was not only extra- tasty, it was extra-solid as well.
All in all, the Undercrown did quite well in the performance area, with only a couple slightly crooked burn issues that worked themselves out quickly. Taste-wise, the cigar was awesome. It was aromatic, rich, and complex enough to keep me interested, with the drastic flavor change I experienced in the second third working as a smooth “intermission” section between the bolder notes. In my humble opinion, this stogie will have wide appeal because of its easygoing and undeniably interesting flavor combinations, and should prove to be another big hit for Mr. Drew. To the cigar-wizards at Drew Estate, I commend thee, and bestow upon the Liga Privada Undercrown an official grade of A. I will definitely be smoking this cigar again, hopefully on a nicer day.
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