Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña. This is a cigar line we previously assessed in the Suprema size back in March 2020.Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Filler: Dominican Criollo ’98, Nicaraguan Criollo, and Nicaraguan Corojo
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Corona Pequeña: 4 x 44
At the Tobacco Plus Expo 2020 (TPE 2020), Drew Estate announced a pair of line extensions to its Undercrown Maduro and Undercrown Shade lines. The line extensions to both lines were in the form of a 4 x 44 vitola known as the Corona Pequeña. The concept behind launching both of these 4 x 44 editions was to offer a short smoke in both of the lines during the winter months.
The Undercrown Shade line was introduced as the second blend under Drew Estate’s Undercrown brand in 2015. At the time of the release, it filled a gap Drew Estate had in the portfolio – namely a regular production Connecticut Shade offering. The original Undercrown (Maduro) was a project developed by the Drew Estate rollers. For Undercrown Shade, Drew Estate Master Blender Willy Herrera would also work extensively with the roller team to develop the blend.
As for the blend, the Undercrown Shade Suprema uses the same tobacco components as the rest of the line. The blend itself uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper over a Sumatra binder and fillers consisting of Dominican Criollo ’98, Nicaraguan Corojo, and Nicaragua Criollo.The 4 x 44 Corona Pequeña comes packaged in a 32-count box.
The Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña starts out with notes of cream, cedar, and wood. There was a slight underlying berry sweetness, but it was not as prominent as it was on the recent Undercrown Shade Suprema. Eventually, the wood and cedar notes moved to the forefront with the cream notes subsiding quickly. Some black pepper emerged in the first half and increased in intensity toward the second half. The last third had more pepper and cedar than at any point during the smoke.
As for Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña, it was a bolder version compared to several of the other vitolas in the Shade line. It’s a cigar where the flavors started out medium-bodied and went to medium to full-bodied in the second half.
Flavor-wise, the Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña delivers many of the same core flavors as the other vitolas in the line. The difference is the flavors in the Corona Pequeña were simply not as balanced as more of the wood, cedar, and pepper notes overshadowed the berry and cream notes which I felt make some of the other vitolas in the Undercrown Shade line special. There is more body on this cigar in the second half than I’ve gotten from the rest of the line. The way the flavors balanced out, this didn’t necessarily work in favor of this cigar. In terms of the Undercrown Maduro and Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña sizes, I definitely give the edge to the Maduro. In this case, I’d recommend trying a sample and seeing if the Undercrown Shade Corona Pequeña fits your profile before buying.
Key Flavors: Cream, Classic Wood, Berry, Pepper, Cedar
Burn: Very Good
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop (except where noted)