Undercrown Manifesto (AKA “Liga Krump”)
The Undercrown Manifesto is a very unique cigar with an equally unique origin. In January of 2013, John Krump, a fellow Brother of the Leaf, just like you and I, purchased an antique German cigar mold off of Craigslist. Upon acquiring the mold, he posted a photo of it on a cigar oriented Facebook group to share his excitement about his new find. Among dozens of comments on the photo, Jonathan Drew, of Drew Estate mentioned that he was very interested in the mold and asked John Krump if he could check it out next time he was in town, which would be sometime in October. Well, as luck would have it, John Krump was to attend the Cigar Safari in April of 2013, only a few months from the time that Jonathan Drew contacted him regarding the mold. So, while John Krump was packing for the Cigar Safari, he decided to go ahead and pack the cigar mold as a gift to Jonathan Drew. Upon arrival to La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, where the Cigar Safari takes place each year, John Krump found a time to give Jonathan Drew his gift. Once Jonathan Drew opened the gift and saw the cigar mold, he immediately grabbed John Krump by the arm and took him straight into the factory to meet with a young lady who was in charge of the rollers and buncheros. Jonathan Drew asked her to clean the mold and have it ready to be used that day. He then turned to John Krump and asked him what he thinks the blend should be. Still in awe of what was going on, John Krump didnâ€™t respond for a moment and then Jonathan Drew said â€œI know you like Ligas, but I want to do something thatâ€™s not just Liga. What about a Liga blend with a Herrera EstelÃ Wrapper?â€ To which John Krump responded, â€œSounds good to me!â€ And so, the â€œLiga Krumpâ€ or â€œKrump Stickâ€ was born. Later that evening, Jonathan Drew presented the members of Cigar Safari with several 13.5â€x38 cigars fresh off the rolling table, using the cigar mold which John Krump gifted to Jonathan Drew. Later that year, Jonathan Drew told John Krump and some other members from the Cigar Safari that he was to produce the â€œLiga Krump.â€ In early 2014, pictures of a special 11â€x38 size Undercrown began surfacing and finally, the Undercrown Manifesto was announced and released as an event exclusive. The blend remained the same from the original â€œLiga Krump;â€ however, the name changed and the cigar was 2.5â€ shorter.
When asked about the cigar, John Krump told The Cigar Nut:
â€œItâ€™s been an awesome experience to be a part of such a cool project. I really did nothing more than give JD a gift: the cigar mold. The guy is really good at what he does and it was incredible to see his mind in action.â€
The Undercrown Manifesto is an event exclusive cigar, meaning that it is only given away at Drew Estate events, typically as a box purchase incentive or as a raffle prize. Each box of the Undercrown Manifesto comes with two cigars, each wrapped in blue tissue paper with a large label covering the outside. The cigar itself bears the traditional Undercrown label.
Vitola: 11â€ x 38
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaraguan & Honduran
Appearance: The Undercrown Manifesto is a sight to behold. The medium brown wrapper bears minimal veins and a well constructed pigtail cap. The cigar gives well when squeezed, with no evident soft spots.
Pre Light: The draw is impressive for a cigar this length; I often run into a very tight or very loose draw with lanceros, but this has a very good draw. The cold draw provides notes of hay, cedar, and mild white pepper.
First Third: Upon lighting the cigar, I am met with sweet natural tobacco notes, black pepper, and toasted almond with coffee on the finish and black pepper and leather on the retrohale. The cigar requires some touch ups early on, but corrects itself quickly. The Undercrown Manifesto stands at the higher end of a medium in body and strength during the first third and remains so during the second third as well.
Second Third: During the second third of the Undercrown Manifesto, much of the complexity began to become apparent. The black pepper spice became less consistent as it faded in and out during the second third, the coffee note became slightly more prominent and there was an added citrus note on the finish, which worked very well to offset some of the bitterness from the coffee note. A soft floral note was also found during the second third of the cigar, and finally a hint of toasted oak presented itself on the finish. The retrohale did not change much; black pepper and leather were still evident, along with some earth notes.
Final Third: As the Undercrown Manifesto moved into the final third, the flavor profile changed quite dramatically. Notes of almonds, salt, and sweet tobacco became the prominent notes with black pepper becoming more consistent, but milder, such as white pepper. There was also a subtle cream note that entered during this â€œgrand finale,â€ so to speak, with coffee, toasted oak, and leather remaining on the finish and earth and white pepper on the retrohale. The Undercrown Manifesto picked up some strength in the final third and became a full bodied and rather full strength cigar until the end.
The total smoking time for the Undercrown Manifesto was 2 hours and 51 minutes, during which time the cigar went out on me once and there were some minor burn issues early on, but smoked very well otherwise, which is quite remarkable for a cigar this size.
Overview & Closing Thoughts: Overall, I was rather impressed by the Undercrown Manifesto. The flavor profile was complex, dynamic, and consistently pleasant, with many traditional flavors presented in a unique development.