You know, I smoke many different cigars from many different manufacturers and not all cigars have to have flavor transitions every inch or so and be full of power to make my list of cigars that are enjoyable. Today I review the new Drew Estate Undercrown Shade which was presented to my by the good folks from Drew Estate at this years IPCPR. – a big-shout out to DrewEstateSam for hooking me up. The Shade is aptly named because it is wrapped with a silky smooth Ecuadorian Connecticut shade leaf that embodies a wonderful blend that includes a Sumatran binder, as well as Dominican Criollo 98 and Nicaraguan Criollo & Corojo fillers.
According to the Drew Estate press release:
The “Undercrown Shade” marks the first release blended by Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera not to fall under the Herrera Estelí brand family. Herrera’s continued involvement in blending and brand development within Drew Estate is evident with this new blend, as Herrera worked extensively with the Undercrown roller team who blended the original Undercrown line to develop this new Connecticut blend.
The Undercrown Shade is available in 6 vitolas:
- Belicoso (6 x 52, MSRP $9.00)
- Corona Doble (7 x 54, MSRP $9.50)
- Corona (5 5/8 x 46, MSRP $7.50)
- Gordito (6 x 60, MSRP $9.95),
- Gran Toro (6 x 52, MSRP $8.25
- Robusto (5 x 54, MSRP $7.75)
I have to say I love the work Willy has done with Drew Estate, and the Shade just goes to prove that he makes some amazing cigars.
I like to wake up early on Saturday mornings and sit outside as the sun rises, enjoying a good smoke and some coffee while my dog Ziggy chases the squirrels and birds. This past Saturday was no different and I chose the Undercrown Shade Robusto which has been aging in my humidor since July.
I like the look of this cigar, from the silky veinless light brown wrapper to the darker filler leaf seen from the foot to the light-colored Undercrown band and footer band that declares it as the “Shade”
There isn’t much of a prelight aroma to this cigar, but that didn’t seem to matter once I clipped it and fired it up. The dry draw which was perfect, served up a touch of pepper on the lips and tounge. There was a slight Connecticut shade bitterness but not overwhelming as the filler seemed to tone it down, not to mention that I find Ecuadorian Connecticut is less bitter than traditional grown here in the states.
It is such a nice morning with the chirping birds and moon still in the sky as I cue up the Eagles rock station on Pandora for some relaxing tunes in the early morning sun.
As I toast the foot of the Shade, being careful not to scorch the delicate wrapper, it immediately delivers a fruit and gentle pepper smoke to fill the palate.
Shortly into the burn there is a wonderful nut component that starts the starts this morning’s journey. The ash is pearly white and tight. So far the Shade is demonstrating it is a well constructed cigar evident of the masterful Undercrown rollers Willy worked with.
The smoke settles into a delicious blend of citrus fruit and nut and pretty much maintained that profile throughout the burn. Like I said, a cigar doesn’t have to be full of transitions to be wonderful.
The ash held on for a good two inches before falling and then picked right back up. The Shade is not a mild smoke but then again it is not a powerhouse; I would say it is a solid medium strength cigar that delivers consistent flavor, perfect draw, and impeccable burn qualities. This cigar is definitely one to enjoy as the first smoke of the day as I did with a morning cup of Joe or Cafe Cubano.
I commend Willy and the Undercrown team at Drew Estate for creating a most delightful Connecticut shade smoking experience. This is an excellent extension to the Undercrown line.