- Price: $11.75
- Made By: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
- Factory Location: Estelí, Nicaragua
- Dimensions: 5″ by 50 ring gauge
- Shape: Robusto
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Cold Draw: Spice, Sweet Chocolate, Earthiness, Wood
- First Third: Spice, Chocolate, Wood, Earthiness, Cocoa, Creamy Coffee, Cinnamon, Raisin
- Second Third: Chocolate, Earthiness, Black Pepper, Coffee
- Final Third: Mexican Hot Chocolate, Black Pepper, Chocolate, Raisin Sweetness, Wood, Cocoa
The Drew Estate Undercrown 10 cigar is a sight to behold. This makes sense, as Drew Estate gave the Undercrown 10 two taglines to mark ten successful years of the Undercrown line—“All Dekked Out” and “A Decade of Dedication.” The latter speaks for itself where the former “denotes Undercrown 10’s elegant packaging and reinforces the pride of Undercrown’s ten years of excellence.”
Seriously, everything about these smokes screams regal. The dark chocolate Mexican San Andrés wrapper is oiled up with an understated weathered look that plays nicely with the rest of the cigar’s royal presentation. The upper band displays the Undercrown lion, which represents the courage of the Nicaraguans working in the La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate factory. There is also an upside-down crown below the lion, representing the gallant humility of these folks. A yellow ribbon runs beneath this band and down a good deal of the stick, adding to its majestic vibe.
On the foot band, you’ll find both of the above slogans and “Estelí, Nicaragua.” Both bands have messages printed on the back—one shares the Undercrown brand story where the other reads “Gracias!”
Taste & Draw
Smoking a Drew Estate Undercrown 10 cigar is a real treat. The complex blend overflows with flavors from the sweet to the spicy, with plenty of notes in-between. As with any well-blended cigar, this one never becomes too harsh or overwhelming for the experienced palate. The cigar’s dominant notes are chocolate, black pepper, and earthiness. Along the way, you’ll also meet cocoa, spice, wood, Mexican hot chocolate, raisins, and more.
The draw is next to perfect and produces billowing clouds of inviting creamy smoke. Not once did I wish the cigar performed any better.
Spice, Sweet Chocolate, Earthiness, Wood
I clip the cap of the Drew Estate Undercrown 10 cigar and take a cold pull. What hits me first is spice with a sweet chocolate note directly behind. A few more pulls, and I’m picking up earthiness and a wood flavor too distant to define. I take two more cold draws, and these three notes seem to be the lion’s share. The earthiness brings to mind the La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull cigar, which I highly suggest if you haven’t already smoked one.
I’m dying to light this stick up and see how the Mexican San Andrés Maduro wrapper cultivated from the highest priming interacts with the Connecticut Broadleaf binder and the unflinching blend of well-aged long-fillers. I know it’s going to be good. The only question now is exactly how good?
Spice, Chocolate, Wood, Earthiness, Cocoa, Creamy Coffee, Cinnamon, Raisin
Fire enters the picture, and the smoke party begins. With all its pageantry, I feel a little like royalty with this stogie in hand. After the first two puffs, I’m tasting the spice and chocolate from the cold draw, but the chocolate isn’t as sweet.
I keep smoking and also detect the wood from the cold draw, which is still undefined. The smoke is thick and creamy, and even though we’re only beginning here, the Undercrown 10 is performing at the top-notch level you’d expect from a Drew Estate cigar.
There’s a big-time earthiness thing happening in the background that takes me back to the always impressive Oliva Serie V Melanio cigar. Toward the end of this opening third cocoa makes an appearance along with a creamy coffee note and a cinnamon flavor. And just as the team at Cigar Aficionado did, I’m definitely tasting a touch of raisin.
We’re already seeing a good deal of complexity with the Drew Estate Undercrown 10. As does the rest of the Undercrown line, this cigar is a testament to the talents of the Drew Estate torcedores. It is indeed a stunning smoke “born on the factory floor.” More on the backstory of this 10th anniversary cigar and the rest of the line later.
Chocolate, Earthiness, Black Pepper, Coffee
As I cross into the second third, the flavor theme remains much the same, though there has been some shifting. The chocolate flavor is now best described as omnipresent, which isn’t surprising considering we’re puffing on a Maduro wrapper with a Connecticut Broadleaf binder directly beneath. Two for the price of one, eh?
Anyway, earthiness is pushing its way toward the front, as is the spice, which we should probably call black pepper at this point. The smoke output remains plentiful and creamy, but the cream has left the coffee note. By now, it’s just a fine-tasting straight coffee like that in the Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 cigar. The cocoa is still in the mix, but the cinnamon, raisin, and wood are either long gone or playing a game of hide-and-seek.
The burn line is on point, and the cigar’s strength is about medium to full, I’d say.
Mexican Hot Chocolate, Black Pepper, Chocolate, Raisin Sweetness, Wood, Cocoa
Well, the Drew Estate website called out Mexican hot chocolate in this naturally sweet cigar, and I’m tasting it. Damn, that is good. Of course, a cigar as well balanced as this one needs a counterpart to that hot chocolate, and we have plenty. The black pepper flavor continues to expand its territory, but a chocolate note holds steady as if it has a grudge, unwilling to relinquish its throne. The raisin sweetness and wood are back, and there are faint hints of cocoa. Beyond that, the earthiness has really made a name for itself during this final third.
The Drew Estate Undercrown 10 cigar is indeed worthy of its regal presentation. I’m trying to figure out some way to critique it but to no avail. From start to finish, it’s another incredible cigar by Drew Estate that I’d recommend to any seasoned smoker chasing excellence.
There is no other way to say this—the Drew Estate Undercrown 10 cigar is a charmed smoke from cold draw to ashtray. Medium to full in strength, this complex cigar opens with a good deal of spice and billowing clouds of satisfying smoke creamy enough to coat the palate. Soon the spice is joined by sweet chocolate along with earthiness and a wood flavor.
In the second third of the Undercrown 10, chocolate seems to join every note detected. This is most likely due to the use of a Connecticut Broadleaf binder directly beneath a Mexican San Andrés wrapper. Throughout the rest of the cigar, this theme remains as other notes pop in and out.
This medium to full strength premium cigar is well worthy of its royal-like presentation. Its performance is nothing short of a 10 out of 10, and the last pull leaves you wondering when you’ll have time to schedule the next one. As always, Drew Estate brings the thunder and then some with the Undercrown 10 cigar.
Drew Estate Undercrown 10 Cigar Pairing Notes
For this pairing, I worked to match the notes of the cigar with those in the drink. For instance, the Founders Breakfast Stout has chocolate and cinnamon notes and is brewed with two types of coffee. Riverboat Rye Whiskey has spicy notes like black pepper and sweeter ones toffee.
My logic here is with a cigar so well balanced, working to amplify some of the more prominent notes wouldn’t lead to a noticeable shift in that balance (if any). That said, here are my selections:
- Riverboat Rye Whiskey
- Two Stars Bourbon
- Cigar City Jai-Alai IPA
- Founders Breakfast Stout
- Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
- Dr. Pepper
Drew Estate Undercrown 10 Cigar History
When the first cigars in the Undercrown line hit shelves over 10 years ago, Drew Estate told the world that the cigar was “Born on the Factory Floor.” This is a tip of the hat to the talented Liga Privada blending team. You see, when the team was asked to smoke less of the Drew Estate Liga Privada No. 9 cigars to increase the amount the company had on hand to sell, they put their heads together and developed a similar blend using much of the same tobaccos as the Liga Privada blend, though with a Mexican San Andrés wrapper and a few other tweaks.
In short time the blending team’s new creation became a huge hit for Jonathan Drew and company, with other variations such as the Undercrown Sun Grown and Undercrown Shade. To commemorate “A Decade of Dedication,” they added the Undercrown 10 cigar to the line. Where the Undercrown and Undercrown 10 cigars share the same wrapper and other components, the OG blend has Brazilian long-fillers in addition to the Nicaraguan. The original also utilized a Connecticut Habano sun grown binder. So while these two cigars have much in common, the Undercrown 10 has carved out a unique and exciting space of its own.