Drew Estate Undercrown vs. Inferno Flashpoint Maduro
It is Friday, the weather is warming up in the Upper Peninsula, and I decided to do something a little different here at Casas Fumando. Well, to be honest, not completely my idea. Our good friends at Famous Smoke Shop asked us to compare one of their house brands to a more well known national brand that they thought their cigar could stack up to or at least provide another option to you, the consumer. Today, we have the Drew Estate Undercrown up against the Inferno Flashpoint Maduro.
|Drew Estate Undercrown
Samples Provided by Famous Smoke Shop
Price: $7.28 per single | $28.99 per 5-pack | $141.99 per box of 25
Size: 5 by 54
Wrapper: Mexican Otapan Negro Ultimo Corte
Binder: T52 Connecticut River Valley Stalk Cut & Cured Habano
Filler: Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
|Inferno Flashpoint Maduro
Samples Provided by Famous Smoke Shop
Price: $8.19 per single | $62.99 per 10-pack
Size: 5 by 52
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 20 Minutes
PRESENTATION AND PRE-LIGHT
Drew Estate Undercrown: The Undercrown is eye catching with its blue and gold band against the dark brown, almost oscuro, Mexican leaf that is mostly uniform in color, with only a few darker splotches and a couple medium-sized veins. There are a decent amount of oils on the cigar that is rock solid and smooth to the touch. The Undercrown has a musty wet earth aroma . Similar notes are found on the foot with some added chocolate, cinnamon and pepper. A double cap with clean straight lines has been applied. Upon cutting the cap, a perfect draw brings for rich cedar, clove, and a mild cinnamon spice.
Inferno Flashpoint Maduro: The Mexican San Andres leaf on the Inferno Flashpoint has a marbleized appearance with colors ranging from medium brown with a reddish hue to almost black. This is one rustic looking leaf. The veins are small, but the leaf is coated with a fine tooth and scattered bumps. The wrapper aroma is of vinegar and manure, but some welcoming cedar and chocolate are found on the foot of the cigar with a pepper spice that tingles my nose. The Flashpoint Maduro draw is nearly identical to the Undercrown, but highlights deep woodsy notes with chocolate and graham cracker.
Verdict: Drew Estate’s Undercrown takes the win in the presentation department. Since its release several years ago, the Undercrown band has been one of my favorites. If the Undercrown and Flashpoint Maduro were next to each other on a shelf, my hand would be reaching for the Undercrown off of the visual presentation alone.
Drew Estate Undercrown: Immediately upon lighting the Undercrown, large volumes of smoke were produced by the cigar. A few minutes in, I noticed a tunnel forming, which never impacted the flavors or smoke production. From the get go, the cigar was plagued with a jagged, wavy burn that resulted in two touch-ups throughout the duration of the smoke. The brilliant white ash held well over an inch.
Inferno Flashpoint Maduro: Similar to the Undercrown, the smoke production satisfied with each small draw. However, the resting smoke was nothing compared to the Undercrown. With that said, the razor sharp burn line never once veered off track as a light gray was formed.
Verdict: With no re-lights, an even burn, and satisfying smoke production, the Flashpoint Maduro has the upper hand.
Drew Estate Undercrown: With a mixture of toasted bread, pepper, pencil shavings and earth complimented with a sugarcane sweetness, the Undercrown showed a great depth of flavors from the very start. As the cigar burned down, an intriguing fig joined in along with a crushed red pepper spice. The profile became savory as a saltiness arrived in the middle third. As I closed out this offering from Drew Estate, a dry cinnamon and cocoa provided a pleasant exit to the cigar. I would classify the Undercrown full in flavors and body and medium in strength.
Inferno Flashpoint Maduro: Dark heavy flavors of coffee, earth, and pepper opened up the cigar that quickly developed into a rich, savory, spicy smoke. Halfway through, the spice calmed allowing the richness to shine and a cocoa sweetness to make an appearance. A gritty earth, cocoa, and coffee concluded the flavors of the Flashpoint Maduro. I would classify the Flashpoint Maduro as full in flavor and strength and medium in body.
Verdict: There was a clear winner in each of the earlier categories, but it is much more difficult to determine a winner in something so subjective as flavors. The Undercrown and Flashpoint Maduro shared some common flavors, but you would definitely not mistake one for the other. Both profiles were well balanced and delivered a spice and flavor combination that worked well with my palate. However, the depth of flavors, the complexity, and body of the Undercrown secures the win.
Overall Winner: While Famous Smoke Shop has a solid offering on their hands with the Flashpoint Maduro, Drew Estate’s Undercrown takes the overall win. Since I am such a value conscious consumer, if the price-point on the Flashpoint was lower, it would’ve been harder to make the decision, but for now, I will be reaching for the Undercrown, a cigar that has done me well since its release.
I enjoyed bringing something different and fun to the table here at CF and I hope you enjoyed it too. Lastly, “Thank You” Famous Smoke Shop for providing the samples for review.