Team Cigar Review: Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña

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Cigar Details: Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña

  • Vitola: Petite Corona
  • Length: 4″
  • Ring Gauge: 44
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
  • Binder: Sumatra
  • Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
  • Blender: Willy Herrera
  • Price: $5.50
  • Release Date: February 2020
  • Source: Drew Estate

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña is medium tan and has a couple of lightly raised veins present. The seams are very smooth and hardly visible while the head is finished off with a well applied double cap. The cigar has two bands with the primary being the traditional design for the line but in a gold and white color combination. The foot band has the same color combination and denotes Shade. The aroma from the wrapper is sweet and slightly sour grass/hay while the foot brings dry hay. The pre-light draw brings sweet and musty aged cedar.

Pre-light Experience

The Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña is firm in hand and constructed perfectly. The wrapper has a nice coloring of light Natural, dark Claro and it has small veins present throughout. The aroma is that of hay, earth, damp wood and faint spices, and I am getting that on the wrapper and foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña has a lovely smooth, tan colored wrapper. Opening up the cellophane, the UPC sticker is designed in such a way as to leave the UPC code intact. Like the Maduro, the Shade cigar has both a primary band and a secondary foot band. For aromas off the wrapper, I was able to pick up barnyard, hay and cedar. Very reminiscent of a farm on the prairies. From the foot, sweet hay and aged wood.

Pre-light Experience

The Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña has a smooth claro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper tell hay and light cedar. Aromas from the foot tell sweet cedar and a hint of white pepper spice. Cold draw gives light cedar.

First Third

The cigar begins with lightly charred wood, hay, mustiness and light black pepper. At a half inch in, the char is gone as the black pepper is a bit fuller and has a medium length finish. The retrohale has a decent pepper zing to it but is followed up by musty wood. At an inch in, the hay has left as the wood and black pepper are even with the mustiness slightly behind. As the third comes to a close, the black pepper eases up into the background which brings the hay back to the profile and it’s even with the wood and mustiness. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third opens with notes of pepper, musty cedar and burnt paper. There is a little bit of meatiness present as well and it is somewhat harsh. It is not as complex as I would like or balanced. It is lacking in creamy qualities as well which is a shame. I would say that the strength is around a medium level, and the same goes for body and strength.

First Third

The Undercrown Shade opens with sweet hay and spicy cedar. There’s a white pepper mixed in with the spices on the retrohale, and cedar to finish. Spices intensify to medium plus at the 1 inch mark. I find the intensity to be pretty in your face for a Connecticut Shade. By the halfway point, sweetness starts to come through, as the spices drop off. By the end of the first third, a pleasant creaminess has joined the profile.

First Third

The first third has a slight edge of being a bit more spice driven than most of the thicker ring gauged Undercrown Shades I’ve smoked. But the spice is well managed by easier going notes such as bread, nuts and hay. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the pepper increases to become even with the other components. At a quarter inch in, the black pepper eases way back while the wood (now more defined as oak), hay and mustiness remain even up front. The retrohale has the mustiness slightly ahead of the oak and hay. At an inch in, the oak has a slight lead over the hay and mustiness while the black pepper is no longer detectable. As the third comes to a close, the oak, hay and mustiness are all even. The strength remains at slightly above medium.

Second Third

The second third shows a lot of the same traits that were present in the first third. I am getting some pepper and cedar notes and it has some herbal qualities with that. The mustiness is still present, and some hay notes have emerged as well. There are faint burnt paper notes on the finish and like before, the cigar is smoking at a medium level between strength, body and flavors.

Second Third

The creaminess at the end of the last third carries into the second and finishes each draw. There’s dryness in the post draw, as chocolate notes come through the middle of the profile. By the halfway point, earth comes through to finish each draw and sits on the post draw.

Second Third

Quickly approaching the second third, sour citrus joins the profile which gives an added layer to the spice and soft notes. The flavor combination is still leaning a bit towards more spice. Strength and body remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, some dry earth joins the profile as the oak becomes quite a bit lighter. At a half inch in, the hay has dropped out as the profile is musty oak and dry earth and has a bit of overall dryness. The retrohale is a mirror image profile. At three quarters of an inch in, a light vegetal note joins the profile. The cigar wraps up with the profile of musty oak, dry earth and light vegetal note. The strength remained at slightly above medium.

Final Third

The final third shows a little bit of improvement and I am getting some cedar, herbal, hay, mineral and cream notes. The finish is still of pepper, but the burnt paper qualities have left. In terms of strength, body and flavors, the cigar is smoking around the medium level like before.

Final Third

Earth and creamy mix together with an earth finish. That earth becomes the dominant flavor for the remainder of the cigar.

Final Third

As fast I got into the second third, the final third feels just as fast. The profile stays true to the second third with a slight edge to more spice, sour citrus, bread, nuts and hay. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The cigar went out once a half inch in and again in the final third, requiring re-lights. The burn line was slightly wavy throughout. The ash held on in just over one inch increments.

Burn

The burn on the cigar was solid from start to finish. The most positive aspect of the cigar.

Burn

At times the burn becomes uneven but it never requires any attention.

Burn

Burn performance was overall good. Some points taken off for a quick re-light and a touch-up. Aside from that, the ashes were tight, good smoke production and cool burning temperature.

Draw

The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with lightly charred wood, hay, mustiness and light black pepper. The char left fairly quickly and the other components moved around in fullness. The second third saw the black pepper leave. In the final third, some dry earth joined as the hay left. A light vegetal note joined in the second half. Construction wasn’t too bad aside from two re-lights and strength was slightly above medium the whole way. The Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña was a bit out of balance in the first third, but by the second third, there was a nice balance of flavor. The dry earth joining in the final third brought the profile back to an average enjoyment level. I was interested to see how the line smoked in this vitola and think this smaller format doesn’t allow it to shine as it does in the larger formats. I can see people liking this smaller vitola when short on time, especially in cold winter months, but for me, I’d rather smoke it in the Robusto or Toro formats.

Draw

The draw was a little loose on the cigar and not to my liking.

Overall

Overall, this cigar is a disappointment. I have not been a fan of the Undercrown Shade line in general, and I believe this Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña is the weakest of the vitolas offered. It lacked in complexity and balance, and the flavors delivered were subpar. The burnt paper, musty wood and pepper notes were quite unpleasant and made me want to toss the cigar on multiple occasions. The Maduro offering made me want to reach out to the Undercrown Maduros again, and the Undercrown Shade does the same thing. It makes me want to smoke Undercrown Maduros. The Undercrown brand should have remained with one line, the Undercrown Maduro. Also known as “The Artist Formerly Known as Undercrown.”

Draw

The draw is perfect, right in the ideal zone of resistance.

Overall

The Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña was a good experience, with the smaller ring gauge amplifying the intensity of the flavors far beyond the larger vitola sizes. The small format is interesting and I like the idea of being able to enjoy a particular blend in a smaller smoking experience. For me, I think the larger vitolas are more true to the Shade experience, as the smaller format finds some of the intense fillers overwhelming the wrapper. Total smoke time was 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Draw

No issues with the draw. Perfect.

Overall

The Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña definitely fits the bill for a quick 30-40 minute cigar that gets the job done. The flavors between spice and sweet citrus were in good balance and lasted just long enough for me to either be satisfied or entertain lighting up another one. One advice though: slow down on the draw intensity. If you pull too hard, the cigar will over-heat and will get harsh.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
AveragePre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
SubparFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
GoodSecond
Third
SubparSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Good
AverageBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnGood
AmazingDrawAverageDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
AverageOverallSubparOverallGoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.80

Cost/Point

$0.95

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

4.13

Cost/Point

$1.33

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.82

Cost/Point

$0.81

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.97

Cost/Point

$0.79

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Drew Estate Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña

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4 comments

Join the conversation
  • Nathan Wilkerson - June 9, 2020 reply

    Good review of a good cigar. I love DE.

  • Chayse - June 9, 2020 reply

    Seems like a great shorter smoke, I always enjoy the undercrown lines and have been interested in different sizes of them.

  • Brian H - June 11, 2020 reply

    Enjoy this stick, consistently good.

  • Richard Harris - June 14, 2020 reply

    Great review, thanks for the contest.

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