Drew Estate Undercrown, brand of the year 2018
Drew Estate Undercrown cigars got particularly successful this year, which gives us the opportunity to tell the story of this Nicaraguan, Manhattan-born label.
We are in 1995 and two friends, Jonathan Drew and Martin Samel, open their cigar shop. They quickly start drawing much attention, but October 1996 shatters their dream, as hurricane Mitch wreaks havoc on Honduras and Nicaragua. “We couldn’t sell a single cigar for almost eight months, deplores Samel. Our financial adviser told us cash: ‘Guys, it’s over.’ ”
Jonathan Drew then packs his bags and goes to Nicaragua. There, in a just a few months, he sets up a new factory and creates a new line, named ACID. These flavored cigars, that Drew calls “infused cigars” in an attempt to polish their image, soon start building the brand reputation. This uniqueness also appears in the universe he builds from scratch in La Gran Fábrica Drew Estate, Nicaragua’s biggest factory, which opened in 2007.
In 2008, the brand-new Liga Privada attracts a more traditional customer base, contributing to the company’s fame. Cigar rollers can smoke them for free during their working hours… Unfortunately, the owners’ generosity starts threatening the company’s financial stability. Jonathan Drew thus comes up with a new idea. He lets his cigar rollers create their own, new line. Undercrown was born. In 2014, Drew Estate was bought by Swisher International.