Today we take a look at the Hammer + Sickle La HabanaTradicion Serie.
It was released in November, 2009 and is a regular production cigar. It is also the first cigar by Hammer + Sickle.
I got a deuce of these sticks in the Thompson Cigars Hammer & Sickle Super 6 Assortment for $20. This is a great deal as it also includes: Moscow City and Berlin Wall. This sampler gives you $7-$8 sticks for $3.33 each. I’ve reviewed the Moscow City and the Berlin Wall. I’ve had this cigar in my humidor for months. Because it is a mild/medium blend, I left it for last or when I ran out of cigars to review.
From the Hammer + Sickle web site:
“In keeping with our partiality for fine things, we collaborated with renowned cigar great Henke Kelner and the team at the famed TabaDom manufactory in the Dominican Republic to create our first Hammer + Sickle cigar. The goal was an approachable cigar with an easy draw and flawless construction. We are confident you will agree that Hammer + Sickle delivers the most refined mild to medium body offering on the market today.
“Hammer + Sickle’s Tradicion Serie is a hand furnished blend of three-year-old Dominican tobaccos rolled within a breathtaking 5-year aged Connecticut shade wrapper. A rich and creamy smoke, this cigar walks the line between mild and medium body with great leather and rare spice notes throughout. The Tradicion Series is exceptionally smooth, with subtle hints of pepper while coating the palate with creamy richness. Hammer + Sickle delivers a smoking experience befitting the most astute cigar lover.”
The construction is solid. Firm to the touch. Lots of small veins and a couple big honkers. The semi oily wrapper is a butterscotch color that is very smooth. Triple cap is expertly applied.
I clip the cap and find aromas of sweet cedar, oak, spice, grass, and leather.
Time to light up.
A nice red peppery element takes over the reins. Layered beneath that is a musty component and a bit of leather.
Thank goodness it is raining. It brought the temp up from single digits to above freezing. This cold weather has been devastating on my stash. (Funny how things change. Back in the day, the term “stash” meant my weed.)
The draw is superb filling the room with smoke. I sit in the dining room in front of the dining room window which I open as a ventilation port if you will. During the last couple of weeks, that open window has turned my privates into Test-Sicles. Brrrr.
The char line is razor sharp. I like that.
I read a review and the reviewer said he tasted mushroom. Normally, I ignore what another reviewer has to say. I am more interested in background or stats that I cannot seem to find. But in this case, I whole heartedly agree. Mushroom. Fried in butter.
This reviewer narrows it down to Shitake mushroom. I love mushrooms but I couldn’t for the life of me take it down to the type of spore bearing fungi.
The reviewer also finds flavors I cannot taste. So clearly, we have different palates.
Which is what you should remember when reading my reviews. We are all different. This is my experience. My plan is to hopefully help train the new palate and provide a guideline for the experienced palate.
Here are the flavors: Creaminess, red pepper, mushroom, oak, sweetness, citrus, wood, and a hefty dose of leather.
The balance is very nice and the Hammer + Sickle La HabanaTradicion Serie now has a long, chewy finish.
Son of a bitch. I wish I could remember whose review I read, but I have to agree with him once more. I taste black licorice. He called it anise but it is the same thing.
Ever tried Ouzo? Back when I had my studio, a bunch of us felt like drinking one afternoon. A liquor store was right next to the studio. Very convenient. We bought a bottle of Ouzo. The Greek liqueur. Boy does that stuff creep up on you. We were all hallucinating an hour into our drink fest. Took me a couple years before I could eat any licorice after that.
I’ve also reviewed the cream of the Hammer + Sickle blends: Hermitage #1. Great cigar.
The other reviewer reported flavors that come from not allowing the cigar to rest properly. So, here, we disagree.
The Hammer + Sickle La HabanaTradicion Serie, while delicious, is not a flavor bomb. Maybe the last third will see the sweet spot.
I am getting hints of other flavors now: espresso, black cherry, raisins, nuts, and cola. Flavors only gotten from months of humidor time.
This is a great gateway cigar for newbies or for those who like their cigars on the mild side.
I’m getting some nicotine now. Wasn’t expecting that.
Got your turkey yet? This year, at the Katman household, it will just be my wife and daughter and me. Katie’s fiancée has gone hunting with his father as this is the once a year hunting season in Wisconsin.
I’m not a hunger. Just can’t shoot Bambi in the heart. But if prepared properly, Bambi sure tastes good.
I went crazy this year and got an organic turkey from a turkey farm just a few miles from Milwaukee in Mequon. Fresh, not frozen. You may laugh, but organic turkeys are juicier and more flavorful. Just like kosher turkeys. But they cost about a buck more a pound.
I learned how to cut a bird from my father. I am a Zen master at it. I miss the old days when I had a family to share Thanksgiving with. But the downside of becoming an old man is that family disappears. Especially, when it wasn’t big to begin with. Damn Holocaust.
The Hammer + Sickle La HabanaTradicion Serie hits flavor bomb status with 2” to go.
Flavors explode and I expect my wife will want me to clean it up.
The Thompson Cigars sampler is still available. I highly recommend it. You get to try three different blends and it is very wallet friendly.
This is a very nice cigar. But of the three blends, the Hammer + Sickle La HabanaTradicion Serie is the red haired step son. The other blends were better. But that’s just my taste.
The cigar finishes with all flavors intact. The strength was still medium. And the construction had held its own throughout.
I enjoyed this blend but honestly, I prefer a cigar with a little more oomph.
And now for something completely different:
But I’ve read that he has been on the wagon for a year or two. I am happy for him. Alcohol was killing him.
Unfortunately, back in the early 80’s during my project, it nearly killed me. He was a handful.
The record company and PR agency demanded I babysit him at all times when we did promotional tours. Normally, they just send the artist out alone. But Butch couldn’t be trusted to keep appointments.
We did a big Chicago morning show. Same time that ex-Monkee, Peter Tork, had a new band. It was all very young heavy metal guys. Totally strange. We sat in the green room with him and the band and all he did was complain about the Monkees.
It got to be disgusting after a while.
That night, we did the same night club promotion. Peter’s band played. And guess what? 8 out of their 10 songs were all Monkee’s songs. Made me laugh. Especially since he really didn’t have much of a voice. And then there were his band mates all dressed in black leather and wearing spiked dog collars.
Should have gotten him to sign it so I could sell it on eBay for $10.
That night, Butch and Peter spent a lot of time together. They both were knocking down shots of tequila like mad men. And Peter kept giving Butch coke to keep him from passing out.
Al I could think was oh no. Not again. I would have to pry him loose from the club at a decent hour because we had more promotion to do in the morning.
As was usually the case, I left without him. He had a hotel key. I insisted we share a room. For emergencies, of course.
More than once, I had to bring him out of a drunken stupor to get him up and out the door to do the promotion radio or TV.
One day, as the project was falling apart, Butch came to my house in Long Beach around noon.
He was living with his mother in Gardena.
I was having leftover spaghetti for lunch. And the screen door knocked and in walked Butch. Drunk as a skunk with a beer bottle in his hand.
He started throwing stupid ideas my way on how we could get the project back on track.
I asked him politely to allow me to finish my lunch and then I would gladly talk about it.
But no. He wouldn’t let up.
I kept asking, and then yelling, for him to shut up.
Finally, I couldn’t take it. And threw my plate of spaghetti against the wall where it stuck like glue.
He stopped talking and just stared at me and then the spaghetti on the wall.
And then back to his ideas again.
I got up and pushed him out of my house.
The dumb fuck had driven himself to my house drunk. So I pulled him back inside and locked him in my bathroom. Then I barricaded the bathroom door with the coffee table.
I sat back and watched some TV while Butch screamed.
After 30 minutes, I let him out. I made him drink several cups of coffee and sent him on his way. By that point, I didn’t care if he got caught by the cops. Best thing for him I thought.
To be continued….
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS