Wrapper: Honduran Criollo (Aged 6 Years)
Binder: Honduran (Aged 4 Years)
Filler: Honduran (Navarrette and Jamastran/Aged 3 Years)
Size: 5.75 x 46 (Interesting note. H & S does not show this size on their web site. And the No. 22 that I have should be 4.75 x 46. Maybe this is an event sized cigar.)
Today we take a look at the Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series.
The web site shows three sizes: 5 x 50, 6 x 50, and 7 x 48.
The blend made its debut in Aug. 2011. Only 500 boxes were released.
Christian Eiroa was brought in to help with the blend.
From Hammer + Sickle web site:
“Berlin Wall delivers a smoke that will appeal to the sophisticated palette of a seasoned cigar smoker. It boasts a complex and powerful interplay of wood, spice and leather flavors with an earthiness reminiscent of pre-embargo era Cuban offerings. Crafted from an authentic Honduran Criollo wrapper and using a Jamastran valley filler, this cigar delivers a medium body and full taste, reflecting the richness of the climates and history from which it is derived.”
Very little info except what is on the Hammer + Sickle web site.
The cigar band is quite unique. From the HS web site:
“The cigar itself boasts a first of its kind pressed, copper finished, metal band which is held on the cigar using only the metal’s tensile strength. There is no glue used in the process. This band is the first of its kind in the cigar industry.”
Very rustic looking cigar. Lumpy and bumpy. Giant Frankenstein veins and little bitty veins. Seams are very tight. The triple cap is nicely done. The wrapper is a matte finish toffee color that is smooth as silk.
I clip the cap and find aromas of fruit, cinnamon, strong barnyard, spice, cedar, leather, rich tobacco.
Time to light up.
The caramel and a touch of toffee and nougat lead the blend. There is a wonderful sweetness. The strength is classic medium body.
The cigar band is impossible to read while on the cigar. I had to use a large magnifying glass and still could not make anything out. I removed one a week ago and flattened it between books.
It is a real copper strip. And the lettering is stamped into the copper leaving the color of the copper completely alone. It says below the Hammer + Sickle: “Berliner Mauer 1961-1989.” Which translates to “Berlin Wall.” And of course, the years refer to the time the Wall was up.
The cigar is pretty jam packed and a slow smoker.
There is a cotton candy element. I can taste the pink food coloring. LOL
¾” in, creaminess comes pouring out. The caramel is still very strong. Cocoa appears now. But there is a strong nougat and mousse-like flavor that makes this cigar a French dessert. Or Vietnamese. Back in So Cal, the Vietnamese took over a part of Orange County and is called Little Saigon. Lots of great restaurants especially if you like Pho.
I’m getting a wavy line.
ORANGE BLOSSOMS!! That is the mysterious flavor I couldn’t get my finger on. It even smells like a cross between orange blossom and honeysuckle.
The flavors are expressive but not cohesive. They are wandering the desert with Moses. It wants to be a flavor bomb but lost the trail of bread crumbs to get there.
Here are the flavors: Creaminess, red pepper, caramel, toffee, nougat, orange, honey, cocoa, cedar, and cinnamon.
A really strange lineup.
I got my cigar from Thompson Cigar. They have a 6 stick line up of two blends each for $19.95 and shipping. These are basically $8 cigars so $20 is a great deal. Get 2 each of the Moscow City, Berlin Wall, and Tradicion. I have reviewed the Moscow City and was very impressed. I still have the Tradicion to review.
They still have the samplers in stock and even though you must pay shipping, it is a good deal on 6 sticks.
It is a very interesting and comfy cigar. But it is missing something. It is very flavorful but I miss the cohesiveness. There really isn’t any balance.
The finish becomes longer now. That helps. And the cocoa becomes a dominant flavor.
I was gifted a robusto and have not smoked that yet. I have smoked the extra Tradicion in the sampler and it is an excellent cigar. Of the three, the Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series is the runner up. Not a bad cigar…just lacks something.
And no sooner do I type the above, the cigar blossoms. It has hit flavor bomb status as I begin the halfway point. It is a sleeper.
Now we’re cooking.
You should really snag a Thompson Cigar Hammer + Sickle sampler. These are well done cigars and at this price you get to sample three of the blends and decide for yourself. I guarantee that you will find one that tickles your fancy.
Here are the new flavors: Cocoa, creaminess, caramel, honey, nougat, orange, toastiness, toffee, cedar, and an egg cream experience.
My secondary criticism is that I have had two burn issues requiring minor touch ups.
I believe that of the three blends, this is the least expensive.
Red pepper returns and ramps up the oomph of the blend. Nice.
The strength moves to medium/full. And some nicotine begins crawling up my spine.
I decided to buy the sampler once more but I looked around. And I found the cheapest prices, by a long shot, can be had at www.cigarplace.biz. So instead of the sampler, I bought a couple of the upscale Hermitage #1 blend. This stick has an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers. Everyone is asking close to $9 each but Cigar Place is only asking $7. Big difference. Plus, you can get shipping for $3. Smoke Magazine gave it a 90 rating.
Great cigar. My only disappointment is that it took the first half to really get going. Maybe it needs more than a month’s humidor time.
The Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series is heading towards full bodied now. The flavors are intact.
This is a good cigar for $6. The other two in the sampler pack run in the $8-$9 range. I found other samplers and they want $60 for the same thing. Basically, making you pay full retail so what’s the point?
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS