Undercrown Flying Pig

Back to give this new scoring system another shot tonight; I'll be taking the same approach as last time, scoring on both my current and new systems to see if there's a significant difference. Tonight's cigar, I guess you could say “guinea pig,” is Drew Estate's Undercrown Flying Pig, a stubby little perfecto that shouldn't keep me up terribly late. Got work in the morning, after all.

Cigar: Undercrown Flying Pig

Vitola: Flying Pig (3 3/4” x 60)

Price: $12.00/stick

Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Connecticut Stalk-cut Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan and Brazilian
Body: Medium-Full

Rating (out of 10):
8.9 (Weighted for flavor; current system)
8.7 (Weighted for burn and construction; new system)

Flying pigs are perhaps one of my favorite vitolas in a purely aesthetic sense— there's just something pleasing to the eye about these short, fat little perfectos. Better still when they're a dark Maduro like Drew Estate's Undercrown (not to be confused with the lighter and far less-imposing Undercrown Shade Flying Pig). The dark San Andrés wrapper is slightly veiny, well-oiled, and shows no visible seams. It comes to a neat and distinct little pigtail cap just above the blue and gold Undercrown band, which features a heraldic lion's head, under which sits an inverted crown.

I have never laid eyes upon an Undercrown Flying Pig with anything less than absolutely perfect construction. Tightly rolled, with absolutely zero damage, expertly capped, and plenty of filler, without overfilling. It cuts perfectly with a scissor cutter, and offers a nice draw that offers the perfect amount of resistance.

The scent from the barrel of the Flying Pig is overwhelmingly earthy, like oak and peat. The foot offers much sweeter, fruitier notes.

First Third:
The cold draw immediately offers notes of oak and chocolate. There's something sweet and fruity in there, too, that I think might be cherry...?

The draw tightens quite a bit after lighting, and the flavor is rich and oaky, with chocolate and sweet leather underneath. There's definitely cherry in there, too, but it's very subtle at the start.

The burn is off to a pretty uneven start. I'm going to wait it out for the time being, though, and see if it self-corrects. I've observed before that perfectos don't like to burn evenly along their tapered foot.

Nope. This one definitely needed a touchup.

That cherry is really kicking in as the cigar reaches its full girth. It really sticks around on the aftertaste, too. It's quite enjoyable.

There's one little section of wrapper that just insists on running off, getting way ahead of the rest of the burn line. More touchups. It would be more frustrating, but maybe it will help bring out the differences in scoring systems.


That sweet cherry flavor keeps on building. It's even overtaken the oak and chocolate by this point, a little bit ahead of the second third.

The ash is grey and mildly solid; it takes a couple gentle taps to ash it off.

Second Third:
The oaky flavor begins to creep back in going into the second third, along with the faintest suggestion of vanilla.

The burn line is still struggling a bit, and needs continuous attention.

Okay, maybe not so much any more. Almost down to the final third and the burn is behaving a lot better now.

Final Third:
Mostly oak and vanilla as we roll into the last third, with chocolate and cherry undertones. A little bit of leather, also.

As it winds down, the cherry, chocolate, and vanilla all begin to fade, leaving oak and leather to round out the flavor progression at the back end.

Closing Thoughts:
The burn issues really hurt this one's scores, under both scoring systems. It has a wonderful flavor to it, and I had expected that to significantly favor the flavor-weighted scoring system, but, even there, the burn dragged the score downward. I had hoped that such a significant shift in the weigh my scoring categories were weighted would yield much different results, but even now, there's only a 0.2-point difference. It's possible the new system still isn't quite getting it right. Of course, I'll probably still try a few more cigars under both scoring methods until I'm absolutely sure, but right now it's beginning to look like I may just need to re-assess my entire scoring method.

In any case, this is a delicious cigar; it always has been. It's been quite a while since I last had one, but I remember loving them before, and they're still great now. I'd love to get my hands on some more, but they are just a tad on the pricey side.