This weeks review is a new factory for us, but one that has been on the list for a while now, and last week we finally got our hands on one.
Without going in to too much history of the Drew Estate, those that know about this factory know it never had the best of starts. It could be said its one of the new kids on the block, as its foundations are not as deep as many.
Although the origins are Nicaraguan, the Undercrown Shade is a new blend. It gets its creamy colour from the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. Inside is a blend of tobaccos from Sumatra for the binder, Nicaragua and Dominican Criollo for its fillers, all carefully picked by the master blender.
The results are an ultra smooth smoke. The construction and feel of the cigar are very good, yet is deceptively light for a larger vitola. The wrapper has a lovely feel to it with a pleasant aroma to accompany it.
The lightness of the cigar was confirmed on the first draw.... almost too easy. There was no resistance to the draw at all and you wondered if there would be anything to this cigar at all.
The first third was good, very smooth and creamy, as you would expect maybe with the wrapper, but little else happening. The ash was near white and the burn was nice and even. I don't think I had to retouch at all throughout and the ash remained good and firm all the way down.
The second third got a little more interesting with the introduction of woody flavours, but nothing over powering, more of an aftertaste. It remained mild all the way down, but there is little more to say about the flavours.
It is not a complicated smoke, in fact some say it is how a smoke should: easy and pleasant. You don't have to think about it, just enjoy the creaminess and the pastime of smoking. It would make a wonderful morning cigar for its lightness, or a mid afternoon cigar to enjoy a get together with friends. It doesn't need anything to pair it with, as anything too strong will take the subtle flavours away from it, other than a nice coffee perhaps.
Although it is not a power house of a cigar, I can now see why people rave about it and enjoy it so much. Even though I don't personally rate it as high as others, its a perfect companion to pass a couple of hours of relaxing and gathering thoughts, providing a pleasant and rewarding smoke.
Appearance and construction 12/15
Smoking Characteristics 24/25
Overall Experience 31/35