While hanging out with Erik Wentworth and Eric Hanson of Hammer + Sickle earlier this week they asked me why I haven’t reviewed the Berlin Wall as of yet. I told them, I did review the Celebration Short Corona, but they pointed out that was a limited edition.
So here we are, the Berlin Wall was launched in August, 2011 and according to their website, “Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series cigars are available in three sizes including robusto, toro and churchill. Each and every Berlin Wall cigar is packed in a handmade marble box with a singular cold-pressed steel adornment of the famed Brandenburg Gate on the cover. 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.”
Cigar: Berlin Wall
Size: 6 x 50 (Toro)
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo
Filler: Honduras (Jamastran)
Source: Hammer + Sickle Cigars
The Look: Every time I smoke a Berlin Wall, I am always amazed at how the copper finished metal band doesn’t damage the cigar. The Criollo wrapper that adorns the stick has milk chocolate like color with a few significant veins although the roll of the cigar is flawless. The cigar has some significant tooth to it and feels coarse in the hand.
The Notes: The cold draw of the toro Berlin Wall is earthy with some elements of sweetness similar to salt water taffy. The aroma off the foot of the stick serves up earth with hints of cedar of the Spanish variety.
After the foot is properly toasted and the initial pulls are taken from the cigar, it produces a rich voluptuous amount of smoke with notes of earth and cedar are experienced. Once the smoke is retrohaled (through the nose) some cinnamon develops.
Smoking our way through the first third of the Berlin Wall Toro the cinnamon notes jockey for position on the palate with earth and cedar. At times earth dominates occasionally allowing cinnamon to come to the front.
In the second third of the cigar the cinnamon note is no longer along for the ride, but the aroma of the cigar has picked up a dried fruit aroma. The cigar has notes of wood and earth with a slightly licorice finish.
The final third of the cigar has notes of cedar, and a hint of earth. There are some subtle spices present and some cinnamon notes return for an encore on the finish of the cigar.
The Burn: Despite the tear drop burn in the picture below (bad timing), the cigar burned really well and never needed to be touched up. The dark color gray ash held for almost a third of the stick at a time. The draw was perfect, and it smoked really slow with a nice smoke production.
The Finish: Despite it’s crazy packaging and metal cigar bands, this cigar is far from a gimmick. Supposedly, Christian Eiroa had his hands in on helping blend this cigar which has some classic Camacho elements to it similar to that of the 11/18. The cigar is flavorful, and it keeps calling me back to the humidor shelf it’s located on time and time again.
Price: $8.99 / $159.99