Drew Estate was invited to Federal Cigar’s 91st Anniversary dinner and I was fortunate enough to get a few of the Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! cigars to review. While the T52 and No 9 are a staple in my humidor, the Undercrown has not shared the same privileges. I have always felt that the Undercrown would be much better suited, at least in my opinion in a small ring gauge and as if to address my concerns, Liga Privada releases it in a corona gorda size. The tobacco used in the Undercrown is similar to the No 9, just of a lesser priming, hence the name Undercrown. It isn’t meant to replicate or duplicate the No 9 or T52 but just provide fans of Liga Privada with an alternate less expensive and more readily available cigar.
From Steve Saka:
Corona ¡Viva! – 5 5/8 x 46 – slightly tweaked blend to increase the octane just a wee bit… did this figuring the guys most likely to desire this format are those with more experience and would desire a slightly stronger cigar (ME… lol) Keep in mind though the tweak keeps the UC blend intact, we didn’t want to overshadow the natural sweetness or the creaminess of the core UC, so this is minor adjustment that I suspect many may not even notice. We probably won’t even tell people… at least formally.
Liga Privada Undercrown Corona ¡Viva! Review
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Negro
Binder/Filler: Connecticut Habano/Brazilian Mata Fina & Nicaraguan Habano
Size: 5 5/8 x 46
Vitola: Corona Gorda
MSRP: ? (We can assume it will be in the Undercrown price range)
Smoke Time: 1hr 30min
Location: Tasty Tobacco Shop
At first glance, the wrapper seems to be toothy and slightly bumpy. While the veins are visible, they aren’t prominent on the dark chocolate wrapper. The Corona ¡Viva! is well packed with medium weight and the band absolutely looks perfect on this cigar. The slightly smaller band with the smaller ring size compliment each other well. I get a light powdery texture when I glide my hand over the Corona ¡Viva!. The band came off very easily when I removed it as I neared the end of my smoke on both occasions.
The cut across the head was a little too easy and the cold draw feels slightly loose for a corona gorda size. The Corona ¡Viva! readily accepted the flame as the foot lit up brilliantly. The initial burn was pretty good and stayed fairly even throughout the review. The draw did start on the loose side but tightened up by the time I reached the midway point of the cigar. As for the smoke, there is nothing that compares to the volumes a Liga Privada can expel. Furthermore, I have never seen a corona gorda give off massive amounts of smoke that almost rivals the larger T52 or No 9 vitolas. The smoke did have a creamy texture when I swirled it around and the ash lasted about an inch or so breaking apart immediately upon impact into the ash tray.
The aroma from the wrapper just reminded me of aged tobacco, cedar, and earth and the foot was no different, just maybe a little stronger. The initial draw was of leather, nuts and some herbal spices. I’m definitely impressed from the initial draws compared to the other sizes that I have smoked in the Undercrown line. The first third was filled with creamy coffee, nuts and leather and a subtle hint of spice on the finish. It’s very faint but certainly there.
The second third continues with coffee, cocoa with a long finish with decent amount of pepper. I am picking up some herbal spices on alternating puffs. The last third has some of the same flavors as in the second third as I taste cocoa, nuts and creamy coffee. This isn’t the same as black coffee but rather putting spoonfuls of powdered coffee mate into your morning coffee.
- As with the other sizes in the Under crown line, the cigar was not overly complex (medium) but the flavors were noticeable (not subtle)
- I felt the cigar started out very well in the first third but the final act was not as memorable as I expected it to be
- This will be a very good cigar at the usual Under crown price point
- I have not smoked a larger amount of Under crown to make any generalized statement but I can certainly say the Corona ¡Viva! would be my go to size from the line
- The Corona ¡Viva! has a flavor profile that may not benefit drastically with age but 6 months will help smooth out the flavor notes (though I feel how it smokes now might certainly be how it smokes in 6 months)
- Other than the Dirty Rat or L40, the Corona ¡Viva! could be a go to size for fans of smaller ring gauges
- The Corona ¡Viva! will be available in the next few months as a regular production cigar