Sippin' with Stogies
Undercrown ShadyXX (by Drew Estate)
Origin Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas
Binder and Filler: Connecticut Stalk--Cut Habano, Nicaraguan & Brazilian Mata Fina
Vitola: Box-pressed Belicoso, 5 x 50
I’d expect such a great cigar from a brand that’s been honing its craft, literally, for countless generations. This cigar came from a young cigar company in collaboration with a record label, and the result is amazing. The Undercrown ShadyXX is one of the good things to have come from 2020, as previously the cigar was only available in Eminem’s hometown of Detroit. Now, as the world reopens in 2021, the ShadyXX is a very pleasant surprise to many, appearing at Drew Estate lounges and shops across the U.S.
Visual / Pre-light Draw
Upon close inspection, I find this cigar is rather sensual in its structure! It shines with oils, which can be felt on my fingertips after I’ve caressed the wrapper to check the construction. I can see the lines and an edge of the wrapper, but I can’t feel them… the cigar is smooth, as if every line and edge just melts into the next. The pre-light draw is distinct and pronounced with chocolate and graham cracker.
The ShadyXX is full--bodied and rich, but full of creamy chocolate and graham cracker flavors. Unlike the pre-light draw, I do also pick up some cinnamon (especially in the retrohale), which adds to an already pleasant palate so far. It’s a clean, sharp burn that needs no manicuring once it’s well--lit, and the flavors are beginning to open up. I can taste the creaminess of the Brazilian Mata Fina in the binder.
The burn isn’t bad; a slight canoeing requires just a kiss of the torch to bring it back to perfect. I’ve never drank hot chocolate with chili pepper, or “Mexican hot chocolate”, but after this cigar I plan to! A pepper flavor has come alongside the chocolate – not black pepper, but more of a chili kick that takes the first third’s flavors to a new level. The draw is perfect, the body is still rich and smooth, and the flavors are blending in perfect harmony. Not too spicy, chocolatey without being overly sweet, a hint of cinnamon still rounds out the flavors nicely.
The chili pepper seems to have overtaken the chocolate, but other flavors have come through. Some leather, earth and a surprising fruit flavor lend a slight, tangy sweetness to the spice. It’s a though a touch of citrus zest has added a new layer to remind you that the song isn’t over! Just like the first third, the draw is perfect, and the smoke is creamy and rich. This is a “nubber” – a cigar you’ll smoke all the way to the end.
One thing I will not do is be dishonest in a review... I paired the ShadyXX with a Texan whiskey that seemed, if only to me, overpowering for the cigar. It wasn’t a bad whiskey, but not so complimentary to the ShadyXX’s complex profile due to some mismatched tasting notes. I won’t disparage the brand, as the whiskey is favored by many when paired with other cigars, so I’ll instead recommend that you choose a whiskey that’s strong with vanilla and cinnamon notes to go well with the strong, rich, “Mexican hot chocolate” profile of the ShadyXX.