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Undercrown Shade

Undercrown Shade 1Editor’s Note: Each week, our friends at the Smooth Draws Radio Show, based in Atlanta, GA, do a review of ‘The Cigar of the Week’ on their radio show, which can be heard Saturday mornings on AM1230 ESPN the Fan 2 (WFOM radio) from 9AM to 11AM. That review is printed (in its entirety) here on, usually on the Monday following its broadcast.

The Smooth Draws Radio Show Pick of the Week


For their review this week, Alan and Gary selected the Undercrown Shade by Drew Estate.


At the 2011 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, Jonathan Drew (and Drew Estate) released a new cigar called the Undercrown. The Undercrown was created out of necessity from the Liga Privada line. According to Jonathan Drew, the factory rollers would smoke the Liga Privada all day long, as they simply loved the blend.

Unfortunately, this scenario presented a problem, because there simply wasn’t enough Liga Privada product available for the rollers to continue smoking the cigars in such volumes. So they came up with a blend they hoped would satisfy everyone’s appetite for this particular blend. And that cigar became known as the Undercrown.

The Undercrown Shade was released four years later at the 2015 IPCPR Show. However, the Undercrown Shade was actually first released as the Undercrown Shady XV – a regional exclusive. As its name implies, the cigar was covered in a Connecticut wrapper. This was also the first cigar Willy Herrera had blended (that was not a part of the Herrera Esteli family).

Undercrown Shade 2


Willy Herrera worked with the original blenders and rollers of the Undercrown for over a year in order to create the Shade. This is not simply a new wrapper on an old blend. The new line uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, a Sumatran binder and a Dominican Criollo 98 filler, along with Nicaraguan Corojo and Criollo tobacco. This mixture represents a long list of changes from the original Undercrown blend, which used a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Connecticut River Habano binder, and fillers from Brazil and Nicaragua. The Undercrown Shade is rolled in Nicaragua at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, and is available in six sizes, each format packaged in dark-stained wood box boxes containing 25 cigars.

Undercrown Shade 3


The Undercrown Shade provided ample amounts of enjoyable tasty smoke. The draw was easy, clean and effortless.

Undercrown Shade 4


I found the Undercrown Shade to be a complex smoke with a rich tobacco flavor displaying nuance and character. This mild to medium-bodied cigar provided a taste of sweet creamy vanilla along with notes of coffee, caramel and dried grains (like wheat and brown rice). I also noticed flavors of butter and cinnamon, while white pepper teased my senses.

Undercrown Shade 5


The Undercrown Shade is the perfect morning or first-one-of-the-day cigar. It would pair well with coffee or Earl Grey tea. It’s also a great cigar for the novice, or even an experienced enthusiast wanting a Connecticut wrapped cigar.

So, do we give the Undercrown Shade a buy recommendation? When you consider the brand, the blender and the taste/flavor profile, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.” The Undercrown Shade definitely gets a Smooth Draws Radio Show buy recommendation.
Undercrown Shade 6


Gary "Doc" Laden

Undercrown Shade 7








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