|Undercrown Flying Pig by Drew Estate|
The Undercrown Flying Pig is a cigar that has been awaited by many Drew Estate cigar enthusiasts for quite some time. This cigar brings Drew Estate’s signature short, fat perfecto format to the Undercrown line. It was back in 2009, when Drew Estate’s first Flying Pig vitola, the Liga Privada No. 9 Flying Pig was introduced. This was a limited release and one that is very difficult to find today. In 2010, the Liga Privada T52 Flying Pig would also be released for a limited engagement. This was followed in 2011 by a slightly longer Flying Pig for the Unico Serie called the Liga Privada Feral Flying Pig. It was also in 2011 when Drew Estate introduced the Undercrown brand, and as soon as that line was released, the question became when we would see an Undercrown Flying Pig. This soon would come to fruition beginning in 2012, but these were extremely limited. Fast forward to 2014 and the Undercrown Flying Pigs are now finally starting to show up in the U.S. While they are still limited, they are not going to be as limited as before I have had an opportunity to smoke the Undercrown Flying Pig. This was a cigar well worth the wait. I found this format to be an excellent vitola for the Undercrown blend and very enjoyable smoke.
The first Undercrown Flying Pigs actually were originally branded as Undercrown XLR (Extremely Limited Reserve) In 2012, the first small batch release made for the Netherlands. Following this release, there have been at least a three small batches released in the U.S under the name Undercrown Flying Pig. Most notably, Cigars International received a 50 boxes in September 2013 , Riverside cigar Shop in Jeffersonville Indiana also received 50 boxes for an event, and most recently Oxmoor Smoke Shop in Louisville Kentucky received a small shipment his past June. At the Oxmoor event, Drew Estate Chairman Jonathan Drew a the first hint of more Undercrown Flying Pigs to come as he referred to these cigars as “pre-release UCFP boxes”.
While the Undercrown line is a regular production line for Drew Estate, it has origins to the limited production Liga Privada line. When the Undercrown was released, here is how we described it:
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 (former Drew Estate CEO and 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.
As mentioned above, the Undercrown Flying Pig will be a limited production line and (at press time) it is estimated many retailers may only receive 1 to 2 boxes. The reason for the limitation is not due to tobacco supply but because the Flying Pig format is difficult to roll and there are a small amount of pairs in the factory that can do this. It is also worth noting there will be a fifth Flying Pig – this time in the Kentucky Fire Cured line is coming this year.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Undercrown Flying Pig and see what this cigar brings to the table:
There is not much known about the specifics of the blend of the Undercrown Flying Pig. While it uses the Undercrown components, typically the Flying Pig releases have been tweaked or modified to work in the short perfecto format.
Wrapper: San Andres Mexican
Binder: Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano<
Filler: Nicaraguan and Brazilian Mata Fina
The origin of the Flying Pig vitola goes back to former Drew Estate CEO Steve Saka. Saka had seen the short perfecto size in an 1895 catalog and became intrigued with making a cigar in that format.The Flying Pig comes in 12 count boxes. The remainder of the Undercrown line is packaged in 25 count boxes except for the limited release Undercrown Dogma which was packaged in 10 count paper-wrapped bundles.
Flying Pig: 3 15/16 x 60
Corona Double: 7 x 54
Belicoso: 6 x 52
Gran Toro: 6 x 52
Gordito: 6 x 60
Robusto: 5 x 54s
Corona ¡Viva!: 5 5/8 x 46 (Tweaked blend)
Dogma: 6 x 56 (Limited Edition – exclusively available through Smoke Inn using Corona ¡Viva! blend)
The San Andres Mexican wrapper of the Undercrown Flying Pig has a light roasted coffee bean-colored wrapper with some dark spots. The Undercrown Flying Pig’s wrapper seemed like a lighter colored wrapper than the rest of the Undercrown line, but color variances of wrappers are common. There was a slight oily complexion to the wrapper. Consistent with other Drew Estate Flying Pig vitolas, the footer is open and there is a spiral pig-tail cap. There is also a tapering of the cigar toward the cap. There are some visible veins and upon closer examination, there are some visible wrapper seams.
|Spiral pig-tail cap of Undercrown Flying Pig|
The 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.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As opposed to pulling the spiral pig-tail cap off the Undercrown Flying Pig, I went with a straight cut. to remove both the cap and the spiral pig-tail. At this point, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw had a very woody and earthy profile. There was also a subtle cherry/citrus sweet note as well as a light tingly spice. The sweetness definitely was dialed back compared to other vitolas in the Undercrown line. Still, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Undercrown Flying Pig and see what the overall smoking experience would have in store.
The start to the Undercrown Flying Pig continues the wood and citrus / cherry sweetness. There were also notes of black pepper present. The pepper did have a lingering effect on the tongue. It didn’t take long for the citrus / cherry sweetness to develop into the rich syrupy flavor that (in my opinion) is become a staple of many of the Undercrown cigars. The retro-hale produced a combination of pepper and citrus.
The sweetness remained with the pepper in the forefront throughout the first half of the cigar experience. The woody notes moved in and out a few times. As the Undercrown Flying Pig moved into the second half, there seemed to be more of a smoothness to the sweetness. It almost had a creamy layer to it. The sweetness was also less syrupy and more like a dried fruit now.
The Undercrown Flying Pig maintained a good balance of sweetness and spice until the end. Toward the end, there was no harshness on the pallet. The Flying Pig finished with a nub that was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Undercrown Flying Pig has excellent construction and this is reflected in both the burn and draw of this cigar. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish. I’ve seen many cigar enthusiasts smoke the Liga Privada Flying Pigs and build up a long ash. I chose to remove the ash in no more than half inch chunks. The resulting ash was firm throughout with a light gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were excellent.
|Burn of the Undercrown Flying Pig|
There was a slight resistance to the draw of the Undercrown Flying Pig – which is something I consider a positive. At the same time I was really surprised how much smoke production this cigar had considering there was a little resistance on the draw. The tapering of the cigar near the cap makes this 60 ring gauge cigar very easy to smoke.
Strength and Body
Overall I did not find the Undercrown Flying Pig to be a nicotine bomb. I assessed this cigar as being a medium strength cigar from start to finish. As for the body, there is some definitely weight to them. The retro-hale definitely contributes to the body of this cigar. I assessed the Undercrown Flying Pig to be a full-bodied cigar. In terms of strength versus body the body will definitely have the advantage with this smoke.
Overall I was quite pleased with the smoking experience of the Undercrown Flying Pig. Whether there is a significant blend tweak or not to this cigar, I can safely conclude this cigar is going to deliver a different smoking experience than the rest of the Undercrown line. My only “room for improvement” area for this cigar is that I would have liked a little more strength to go with the full-bodied flavors. This is a cigar I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. At the same time, I would discourage a novice cigar enthusiast for trying this. As for myself, I felt this was an excellent cigar. It’s one I would certainly seek out and smoke again – and its worthy of a box purchase.
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
News: Undercrown Flying Pig Heading to Kentucky Event
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