Sunday, October 21, 2012

UnderCrown - Corona Viva - MISS CIGAR

UnderCrown - Corona Viva

Miss Cigar here:

I won't bother explaining the origins of this series as it has been written at least a million times.  Long story short; limited supply of Liga Privada tobacco, high demand - UnderCrown now exists.  The market existed and Drew Estate/Liga Privada delivered.

Today I'll be smoking the Corona Viva, AKA Corona Gorda.
This cigar is 5 5/8" with a 46 ring.  A favorite vitola of mine!
Unlike the ever popular #9 and T52, the UnderCrown uses a San Andres Maduro.  This is a wrapper with mexican origin, but it has some similar properties and flavor profiles as broadleaf, without the high demand and high price.

The binder is a Connecticut grown habano leaf.  The filler is a Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan habano.  Based on the Liga Privada blends, the Undercrown simply uses lesser primimgs then the normal Ligas.  So, as a fan of Liga Privada I'm interested to see what this cigar is all about.  I've her mixed reviews, lets see what this cigar does for me.

Pre light
The San Andres wrapper is much darker than other San Andres wrappers I've seen and smoked.  I've usually found San Andres wrapped cigars to have a dry feel on the palette and to be a little harsh.  But LP chose this wrapper for a very particular reason.
The wrapper is coffee bean dark.  Extremely smooth,with almost no visible veins.  The wrapper doesn't have much in the way of oil.
The cigar smells great.  Fresh tobacco with a little sweetness in the aroma.  Time to smoke.

Smoking it
The cigar burns great.  I really enjoyed the first half of the cigar.  It is definitely a quality made stick and the flavor profile shares some similar notes as the #9.  The cigar isn't overly complex, but it has some complexity to it.  In the first half the cigar has a lot of sweet aroma in the resting smoke.  I taste some coffee and toasty notes.  I've smoked probably 6 or so cigars with San Andres wrappers and none had the creaminess and sweetness that this cigar has.  That dry feel is not present in the first half.

I am really enjoying this cigar.  An effortless pull, lots of smoke and a ton of flavor with medium body.

Finishing it
The UnderCrown is a great cigar.  While I'd rather smoke a #9, its nice that Drew Estate has made the UnderCrown available to a lot more vendors then Ligas are.  In some areas, LPs are difficult to get a hold of, so folks will be happy to try to UnderCrown.
The third quarter of the cigar begins to heat up a bit, but the flavor is still smooth and tasty.  That dryness I associate with San Andres wrappers starts to creep in and I find myself reaching for my drink from time to time.

The last quarter of the cigar grows a little harsh and the sweetness and creaminess makes way for a hot burning smoke that is bearable, but a little bothersome.
Overall, I enjoyed the UnderCrown and I will be smoking them in the future.  I'm interested to see how some of the bigger ring gauges taste.  San Andres wrappers aren't exactly my favorite, so I want to try a larger ring gauge so I get a higher ratio of the Brazilian Mata Fina filler.

If you like Ligas or have been searching for them, the UnderCrown is worth your time and money.  At about 8$ a stick, they are 5 to 6$ less then their Liga counterparts.  The few downsides to the cigar aren't enough to consider them a bad smoke.  These are great cigars.  If I weren't to compare them to Ligas, they would be great.  Knowing they are a lower level Liga Privada leaves you in a position where you can't help but draw comparisons.  But with all that aside, the UnderCrown sits on its own throne and is a damn good cigar.


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