Drew Estate Undercrown “Dogma”

Drew Estate Cigars has released a plethora of new cigars recently. From the Nica Rustica, Kentucky Fire Cured or others, they are producing some great smokes these days. The Dogma is a limited production cigar that was made for the Cigar Dojo Community. It is sold exclusively at Smoke Inn in bundles of 10. I have had this cigar since its release and wanted to let it sit a little bit like I do for most of the recent releases from DE. Its not that the cigars are bad right off  the shelf, I just give them a little bit of time to acclimate.

DE Undercrown Dogma 1.5

The history of the Undercrown line goes back to the Liga Privada. The rollers where smoking them up that it was starting to effect the supply of the already limited production of the Liga Privadas. They modified the blend of the Liga Privada to produce a cigar with similar flavors to the Liga, but be more cost effective for the rollers to smoke and the general public to afford. The tobacco comes from the same plants as the Liga, just in a different priming. Then came the Corona Viva size (and blend) of the Undercrown line. It is a modified version of the Undercrown blend. Why this came about, I am not sure, but I do prefer the Corona Viva over the original blend. Enough for me to buy a box here a few months back. So I consider the Dogma “The 2nd cousin of the Liga Privada.”

 DE Undercrown Dogma 1

Cigar Stats

Size: 6×56

Wrapper: San Andres Mexican

Binder: Connecticut Stalk Cut Habano

Filler: Nicaraguan and Brazilian Mata Fina

Cost: $9.95*   

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First Looks

Dogma is a rounded box pressed cigar that’s what I would consider being a “gran toro” seeing it is slightly larger than your usual 6×50 toro. It is the first line of the Undercrown to receive a box press as well as a second band. The wrapper has a dark brown hue to it that has some spots of darkness. Nice tight seams with no major veins showing. It has a nice weight to it and feels well in my hand on the “skinny” side of it. The larger thicker face of the cigar is where the 56 ring gauge shows off. The 56ring is slightly larger than I usually like to smoke. The largest I usually prefer is a 54ring tops. The cigar has an overall firm feel to it and a slightly stiffer area near the middle of the two bands. The “Dogma” band is in the same design as the Undercrown band and has the same unique slightly see through paper.

A straight cut from the very deeply applied cap reveals a slightly thick draw. From said draw comes some coffee with a sweetness to it and a hint of a black pepper as well. The one typical grip I have with a few Drew Estate cigars is that the caps tend to have less glue than the bands do. The caps come off to easily and the bands don’t. This was not the case here and the cap was very well applied. A few of the Nica Rusticas I have smoked were the same way, so I think they have gotten a handle on where the heavier amount of glue needs to be applied at.

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Construction

The only real issue I had was the burn. It got considerably off a couple of times and needed some touching up. I tried to let it correct itself, but it got too far off here & there. It finally got where it needed to be in the last portion of the cigar and still wasn’t 100% by then. The draw was a decent amount thicker than I prefer. I wish it would have been a bit lighter, maybe that would have helped with the burn some. Had nice long ashes with a few flakes that lasted a good bit over an inch and a half. Some could have lasted longer, but I really wasn’t wanting to dust ashes off my lap or keyboard.

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Flavor

The first third starts off with nice notes of leather, some nice coffee and a slight hint of a rich black pepper. The finish is pretty creamy and doesn’t leave me with a dry mouth. Coming out of the first third, I get a very slight bit of a sweetness that I wished was more potent. Leaving out of the first portion, the black pepper is strengthening somewhat. It doesn’t get overpowering, but its more noticeable.

Working into the middle of this cigar, the black pepper turns a bit off to me. It gave off and odd “twang” to it that doesn’t sit too well with me. I think the thicker draw could be effecting the flavors some now. Now, at the middle, the cracker sweetness takes it up a notch and reminds me of a fruit-like type of sweetness. This eases the kick of black pepper off back to where it started from. The leather and coffee notes linger for a long time on the end of the smoke and on the finish. The leather has a nice smoothness to it that really helps round off the smoke.

At the final portion of the Dogma, the burn finally gets somewhat right, yet the draw is still a little thick. The black pepper is still hanging on in the back half of the smoke but is more prevalent on a retrohale. There is  good bit a change happening in the last third, that I wish would have happened earlier in the cigar. The sweetness backs off some as well as the black pepper. Those flavors are replaced with a rich earthiness that I remember being in the Corona Viva. I really like how this cigar is ending, but for some reason, I still am wanting the sweetness to be more in the smoke. With about a little over an inch left, the flavors got off and a little too off for me. So that is where I laid it to rest.

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Final Thoughts

I liked this cigar as it had a fiar amount of contrast versus the Corona Viva, but still reminded me of it. The rounded box press looks nice, but reeks havoc on the burn. It felt nice in my mouth, but when I needed to rotate the cigar to change the bad burn, it didn’t feel all that great. The smoke was pretty good though, I did enjoy it; but not more than the Corona Viva. If you are a fan of the Corona Viva, this cigar is right up your alley. You may like it like I did, or you may love it. It was not overly complex, but did offer a decent amount of complexity. I would have liked the change that happened at the be more closer to the beginning, if not middle of the cigar. Overall, I would smoke this cigar again and wish there was not such a limited production on this cigar. There are times I want a little more smoking time with the Corona Viva and the Dogma would be a nice way to fill  the gap.

 

*This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from Drew Estate Cigars for this review. Many thanks to them for the opportunity to review this cigar!

 

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