Cigar Extra: Drew Estate Undercrown 10 Corona Viva
- Vitola: Corona Viva
- 5” x 43 ring gauge
- MSRP $10.50
- Purchased at Burns Tobacconist
Back in May I reviewed the Undercrown 10…although I didn’t know it at the time because it was part of Drew Estate’s “Mystery Cigar” promotion leading up to the release of the Undercrown 10. This cigar celebrates a decade of the Undercrown Maduro being produced.
For those of you who don’t remember, the Undercrown was originally created as a way of (depending on who and when you ask) keeping the rollers from smoking all the other Liga Privada blends, OR making better use of leaf that got purchased but not used in Liga Privada production, OR producing something “Liga-Like” that could actually be done in greater quantities so they would be in stock at stores during shortages of the LP lines. All those things (or none of them) might be true.
The Undercrown 10 uses a “rich and bold blend of ultra-premium aged tobaccos that includes the highest priming of Mexican San Andres dark wrapper, the very finest Broadleaf binder from the Connecticut River Valley, and a tripa blend of select and rare Nicaraguan tobaccos.”
I have smoked several UC10s in Toro, Robusto and Corona Viva sizes, and I thought it might be fun to revisit the Corona Viva in a “Cigar Extra” format today. I bought this review stick at Burns Tobacconist. If your local shop doesn’t carry them, you can order them at our sponsor, Small Batch Cigar.
I like how they took the original packaging of the Undercrown and just leveled it up a bit. It’s not over the top…it’s just enough to make sure you know this is a new release and that it’s special. They added a ribbon over the head of the cigar, which is a unique touch I haven’t seen before. The regular band overlays a second band. The footband which just says “Maduro” on the other release says “A Decade of Distinction” and “All Dekk’d Out” on this one.
The wrapper leaf is a really dark brown, beyond what I refer to as dark chocolate in color. It had an aroma of earth, anise, and leather. The foot of the stick had earth and cocoa powder. What I find amazing about this Mexican wrapper is how little it smells and tastes like San Andres Maduro. So many Mexican leaves I’ve had over the years have a specific aroma to them and even on the cold draw they have a specific bitter earthiness that betrays them. This has more of bittersweet chocolate note with earth as a secondary note.
After firing up, the UC10 Corona Viva finally starts to give some evidence of its Mexican-wrapper origin. I got a hint of bitter, earthy chalkiness up front that was quickly joined by red pepper and dark chocolate, which formed a really nice combination on the palate. The retrohale had roasted nuts, more red pepper, and tea notes.
As I got deep into the first third, I got tons of dark chocolate, accompanied by red and black pepper, up front. That was backed up by earth with some faint anise notes. The finish had notes of cocoa powder and espresso bean. I paired this cigar with some Elijah Craig Bourbon, one of my favorite whiskies of all time.
The Corona Viva version of the Undercrown 10 was great. Honestly, probably the best Undercrown-badged cigar I’ve ever had. Sweet, spicy, earthy…just all-around great and pleasing from end to end.