Undercrown Dogma by Drew Estate

The Undercrown Dogma is a soon to be released limited production line extension by Drew Estate as a part of its Undercrown brand.  The cigar was created to be a tribute to the Cigar Dojo online community and it will be sold exclusively through Smoke Inn.  The Undercrown Dogma adds the first box-press vitola to the line.  It will measure 6 x 56 and be based on the Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! blend.  For the past couple of years, there have been rumors of new sizes using Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! and the Dogma brings this to fruition.  The Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! finished as our #13 Cigar of the Year for 2012.  The Dogma follows very nicely in its footsteps delivering another excellent cigar experience.

The story of the Undercrown line goes back to 2011.  When we first assessed a cigar in this line, we talked about its origins:

Back when we did the pre-review of the Undercrown Gran Toro, here is what we wrote about the blend:


The origins of the blend go back to rollers in the Drew Estate factory making Liga Privada.  In any factory, it is common for rollers to smoke the cigar they are making.  With the case of Liga Privada because there was high demand with limited tobacco, this was not possible.  Therefore, the rollers came up with a variation of the Liga Privada blend.   This basically involved using alternate primings from the same tobaccos that were acquired and used in the Liga Privada blend ( An example of this was mentioned by (Drew Estate president Steve) Saka on the BOTL forum indicating that the binder is from the T52 Stalk Cut Habano).  The result was then tweaked by Saka and his team and Undercrown was born.

When the Corona ¡Viva! was released, this was based on a modified blend to the original Undercrown.  It is the Undercrown Dogma that is based on that modified blend.

Without further ado, let’s break down the Undercrown Dogma and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

As mentioned the Undercrown Dogma is based on the Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! blend:

Wrapper: San Andres Mexican
Binder: Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan and Brazilian Mata Fina

Vitolas Available

The Dogma becomes the eighth vitola in the Undercrown line.  As mentioned it is the second vitola to use the Corona ¡Viva! blend.  It is also the first limited edition version of the Undercrown, but production numbers were not provided.  The Dogma is sold in bundles of 10.

Packaging of Undercrown Dogma

Dogma: 6 x 56 (Limited Edition – exclusively available through Smoke Inn)
Corona ¡Viva!: 5 5/8 x 46 
Corona Double: 7 x 54
Belicoso: 6 x 52
Gran Toro: 6 x 52 
Gordito: 6 x 60
Robusto: 5 x 54
Flying Pig: 3 15/16 x 60

Appearance

The San Andreas wrapper of the Undercrown Corona Dogma has a roasted coffee bean-colored wrapper with some dark spots. There is a little bit of an oily complexion to the wrapper.   The wrapper seams are well hidden and there are a few visible veins.  The box-press was firm with no soft spots.

The primary band is the same found across the Undercrown line.  The band is a dark navy blue and gold color scheme.  It features a gold Liga Privada-style lion on a gold upside down crown.   That design sits on a navy blue rectangular field that is surrounded by gold trim.   To the left is a mirror reflection of the text Undercrown (although the right side of the band overlaps a lot of it).  To the right is text “Undercrown”.  All text appears in gold on a blue background.  Toward the back of the gold is the Drew Estate logo in gold font.

The Dogma is the first Undercrown to receive a secondary band.  This band sits just below the primary band.  It also features the same navy blue background and gold color font.  On the center of the band is the text “DOGMA”.  Below that text is the text “CIGAR DOJO COMMEMORATIVE EDITION” in small gold font.  There is gold trim across the top and bottom of the band.  To the far right – sitting on the back of the band is the Cigar Dojo logo.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting up my Undercrown Dogma, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut.  After the cap was successfully clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw.  The pre-light draw yielded notes of coffee, a sweet cherry-flavored syrupy note, and some light pepper.  Overall I considered the pre-light draw to be excellent on the Undercrown Dogma.  At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Undercrown Dogma provided a mix of pepper and cherry syrup in the forefront. I also picked up some coffee notes in the background and there was a slight floral note that was more distant. By the five percent mark, the coffee notes joined the cherry sweetness. There was no doubt the Dogma was delivering a lot in the way of a syrupy cherry sweetness up front. Meanwhile, the pepper was the story on the retro-hale as I found it to be a sharp note.

By the start of the second third, the sweetness took on more of a berry/honey sweetness, but still had a syrupy quality to it.  This was a similar note to what I got on the Corona ¡Viva!. The coffee notes receded to the background joining the pepper.  The floral notes had dissipated.

The last third of the Dogma took a big change.  The primary flavors became a combination of earth and pepper.  Much of the sweetness diminished around the start of the final third – and the transition happened rather quickly.  The coffee notes remained in the background.  I actually found this to be a nice change of pace when the cigar ended.  This is the way the cigar closed.  Toward the very end I got a little harshness.  The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

Overall the burn performed excellent on the Undercrown Dogma.  In fact, I was a little concerned because the first sample I had came right off the truck.  The burn line didn’t require an abnormal amount of touch-ups to keep burning straight.  The resulting ash was on the firm side.  The ash was charcoal gray with some darker streaks in there.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the Undercrown Dogma

The Undercrown Dogma was consistent with many other Undercrown cigars I have had in that it produces ample amounts of smoke (which is a positive).  Despite the fact it produced a lot of smoke, I did not find this draw to be a loose one.  In fact, I found it to be excellent – making the Dogma an enjoyable smoke.

Strength and Body

Strength-wise, I put the Undercrown Dogma at about the same level as the Corona ¡Viva!.  I assessed the Corona ¡Viva! to be a medium to full strength cigar – and I would easily put the Undercrown Dogma in that category.  As for the flavors they were robust and weighed heavy on the pallet.  I assessed the Dogma as being full-bodied from start to finish.  In fact, it was more fuller bodied than any of the other Undercrown releases to date.  When comparing strength versus body, there is no question the body will have the edge on the Undercrown Dogma.

Final Thoughts

In the case of the Undercrown line, it was a cigar it was a cigar I liked but didn’t love.  When the Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! blend was released, that was another story – as that is a blend I quickly grew to love.  In terms of line extensions to the Corona ¡Viva! blend, I was always a little skeptical as the Corona ¡Viva! size seemed to be “the perfect storm” – meaning the right size for the right blend.  The Undercrown Dogma has alleviated those fears.  This produces an outstanding smoking experience.  I particularly like the boldness of this cigar.  There were times I would have liked the sweetness dialed a little more back, but still this was a cigar I did not want to put down.  This is definitely a cigar I’d recommend to a more experienced cigar enthusiast as it does lie on the “fuller” side – but I certainly would not discourage a novice.  I also think Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! fans will like this cigar.  As for myself, this is a cigar I’d clearly smoke again.  If the production versions smoke like this, it has a shot to be box worthy.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
Score: 93 (#)

References

Source: Cigars provided by manufacturer (*)

Stogie Geeks Podcast: n/a
Stogie Feed: n/a

* The cigars for this assessment were given to Cigar Coop by Drew Estate Tobacco Company.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but this does not influence this assessment.

# After these were confirmed to be from the same allocation as for production, we opted to provide a rating and score.