The Shade is a new line extension to the Drew EstateUndercrown line. This Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar join the original San Andres-wrapped line, but it not a simple wrapper change, it is a completely new blend. The new “Undercrown Shade” brand was displayed in Drew Estate’s booth at the 2015 IPCPR Tradeshow in New Orleans, Louisiana.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
“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.
Featuring an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Sumatran binder, as well as Dominican Criollo 98 and Nicaraguan Criollo & Corojo fillers, the new “Undercrown Shade” line will be presented in six vitolas, mirroring the San Andres-wrapped Undercrown core line that you’ve come to love. These sizes include a 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), and Robusto (5 x 54, MSRP $7.75). The new Undercrown Shade will be available in 25-count boxes and most sizes will begin shipping to stores in Fall 2015.
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: Dominican criollo 98 and Nicaraguan corojo and criollo
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Blender: Willy Herrera
Number of reviewers: 4—–Gregg (McGreggor57) Kent (Throck) Jessica (Cigar Ninja) Stefan (Stefan)
Age: 2 Months
Release Date: July 2015
Contributed by: Drew Estate
“The toffee colored wrapper appears to be fairly thin and is beginning to flake in a few spots. A number of raised veins add to the rustic look.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“Pleasant aroma of cedar and leather. It was not strong, but held steady from cap to foot. This was probably the best aspect of the whole experience.” –Kent (Throck)
“Immediately, I was able to detect a slight cherry flavor but there was an accompanying mineral note that was slightly off-putting. There was very little nicotine during this segment.” –Kent (Throck)
“First puffs reveal notes of a dry pepper that’s somewhere in between white and red pepper with a component vaguely similar to re-fermented wild yeast. Some wet wood notes soon also come into the picture, backed by a touch of cream and excellent acidity. The white pepper-driven finish also picks up a few notes of charred caramel.” –Stefan (Stefan)
“The second third begins with a nice creaminess from the leather and nuttiness. Allspice provides a sweetness on the finish as a subtle char adds depth. The smoke is a little chewy which is always a plus in my book.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“This stick is picking up in the flavor department. I’m not usually a Connecticut smoker but this cigar is one that would change my mind about smoking them. There is a balance here that is simply superb.” –Jessica (Cigar Ninja)
“The underlying char provides a burnt taste to some developing coffee. As the leather begins to fade, it allows a little pepper to return in the background. Allspice and cedar continue to provide a sweetness to the finish.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“The final third exhibits a flavor profile more along the lines of what one would expect from a Connecticut cigar: a light body with mellow, bitterish flavors akin to a well diluted Amaro to have prior to the beginning of a meal.” –Stefan (Stefan)
“With a rudimentary V-cut from my pocketknife, my standard cut, when no punch is available, this cigar performed like a champ. The cap was incredibly well put together and the draw was great as a result.” –Jessica (Cigar Ninja)
“Despite not getting a good initial light to the cigar, the burn line quickly straightened out on its own. Plenty of creamy smoke was an added bonus.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“As close to perfect of a construction one can expect from a cigar wrapped in a light, thin leaf that will inevitably get wet at the head.” –Stefan (Stefan)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Overall Experience: 90
“While this cigar spent a good deal of the first third trying to trying to find itself, there was plenty of time left to enjoy it. The richness of the char, coffee and nuttiness was well balanced with some sweetness from the cedar and allspice. The leather in the middle did a nice job of tying all the flavors together.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“I was fairly disappointed with this cigar. The lack of complexity made this feel quite dull and unimaginative. I kept hoping that something would spark my senses, but I just waited. I would not be recommending this cigar.” –Kent (Throck)
“Overall, this cigar changed the way I feel about Connecticut wrapped cigars. I would gladly smoke this again and I’m almost exclusively a Maduro smoker for the additional strength and flavor they provide.” –Jessica (Cigar Ninja)
“An expertly rolled stogie that got me again interested in milder smokes.” –Stefan (Stefan)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 77
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.
Blind Cigar Review: Drew Estate | Undercrown Shade Gran Toro