Undercrown Shade

bgIt’s very hot here in Florida and the cool shade becomes a necessity. It seems that several of the cigar makers have taken notice and decided to address it in the form of a cigar. At this year’s IPCPR (Cigar Trade Show) if there was one prevailing theme it was that of the expanded use of Connecticut Shade or Connecticut seed tobacco especially by some who’ve never used the tobacco before. Padron stepped outside its comfort zone and created a Connecticut cigar, as did Drew Estate.

Let’s talk the Undercrown Shade from Drew Estate. If there was going to be a “Rebirth of Connecticut” then you know our friends at Drew would have to be involved. I had a chance to ask Willie Herrera, Drew’s Master Blender, about the cigar and he was very candid. “It was the most difficult cigar I’ve ever blended. It’s not what I normally smoke and not having worked with that tobacco much made it difficult.” With that said he was very pleased with the results and I believe that it was time well spent.

The cigar is encased in a gorgeous Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, has a Sumatra binder and is composed of filler from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. This cigar stands in dark contrast to its other Undercrown predecessors.


As with all Drew cigars expect a lot of thick smoke. It almost smokes itself as I enjoy one for breakfast with my morning coffee. Though the cigar may be mild to medium in strength it doesn’t lack in flavor. The smoke is smooth and creamy but there is a nice spice undertone. I get nutmeg, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon. There is also a little pepper on the retro hale but it is very subtle.

The construction is perfect as the cigar burned evenly and required zero touch ups. It didn’t drop its first ash at the one inch mark. This was a very enjoyable smoke and offers another option for those wanting to take the next step from mild cigars. We should have this one in our humidors by October.

Chris Gwaltney, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits category manager: premium cigars and craft beer

Follow me on Twitter @ABCcigarChris

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