Undercrown Shade Gran Toro
Posted on May 13 2022
Smoking Time: 107 Minutes
Cigars Smoked: 3
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Undercrown comes from Drew Estate, and was created by the factory workers, who were smoking too much Liga Privada. They took it upon themselves to blend a cigar they enjoyed as much, if not more, than the rare and hard to come by Liga. After the success of Undercrown, a shade and sun grown version were released. This Blend was the first created by Willy Herrera not to fall under the Herrera Estelí brand family.
Visual Inspection: The wrapper on the Undercrown Shade is very beautiful, it is a light graham cracker color with minimal veins and no green, or off colors to it. A squeeze brings no soft spots. After glancing at the foot, there is a nice mixture of lighter colored leaves, with darker ones, not quite ligero dark, but something that looks more like a Nicaraguan leaf.
The crown of the cigar was rather soft, it flattened out when I used a guillotine cutter, but did not crack or cause any issues. There is ample air flow, and a cold draw brings smooth creamy notes of pepper, shortening, barnyard, and blonde roasted coffee beans.
First Third: This Gran Toro takes the flame very nicely, and immediately brings notes of coffee, cream, and pie crust. A retrohale brings light notes of pepper and a darker coffee. After allowing the profile to develop, cashew flavors start to appear, with cedar and a warming chili pepper to the tongue. The burn line is rough, dipping at some points, but the ash is still quite young.
This is my first time smoking this blend, and I am wildly impressed. I wish I had some coffee to enjoy it with.
Second Third: There is no doubt, this is a mild, to medium bodied cigar. However, the flavors are very similar to that of a higher primed cigar. The sumatran binder brings notes of smoke, earth, and cedar, and gives a very welcoming warming sensation to the palate, to the otherwise very creamy flavors of before. That being said, this is such a smooth experience, there is complexity and depth, and full flavors all around.
The draw was exceptional, and the burn line cleaned up very nicely.
Last Third: The profile of the Undercrown Shade seems to have become slightly more mild than the second third. The cream, coffee, pie crust, and cashew notes have returned, even more fiercely. The Sumatran heaviness has faded, now only being revealed in the retrohale. Graham Crackers have shown up in the flavor profile, followed by a heavier mouth feel of mixed nuts.
Ending stronger than before, the Sumatran notes are back, both to the palate and with a retrohale. Final notes of wheat bread, cream, black pepper, black coffee, and cedar are present.
Final Thoughts: This is a cigar you must try if you have a hard time enjoying Connecticut wrapped puros. There is never a dull moment, and it always leaves you satisfied. If you like a smooth and creamy cigar, but don’t enjoy bland tasting notes, you will find solace in this blend.