The cigar industry lost Eric Hanson of Hammer + Sickle this week. With my friend having his wake tonight I opted to revisit this review of one of my favorite cigars from his company. It was a tough loss and my wife and I were devastated to hear the news. For me, Eric was one of the funniest guys I ever met. He instantly lit up a room when he walked into to it.
But it goes beyond that for us. When he heard my wife and I were getting married he offered us cases of vodka and cans of ginger beer for our signature drink a Moscow Mule. Our wedding became sponsored by Hammer + Sickle.
He then he went one step further by showing up to our wedding and blessing us with a very generous gift.
He was truly a friend and it crushes my very soul to know he won’t be coming to visit anymore with a bag full of candy and a plethora of jokes that would leave my sides aching.
Cigar Review: Hammer + Sickle Tradicion
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Ring Gauge: 54
The Look: In an industry where special packaging usually results in an increase in price, the Hammer + Sickle brand has the appearance of bucking that trend. Each of their cigars feature unique packaging such as metal boxes of Moscow City, suede boxes of Trademark, marble boxes of Berlin Wall, porcelain jars of the Museum Series and the crystal/glass boxes of the Tradicion series. The Tradition Series Salomon features a golden looking wrapper that is rolled seamlessly with only the thinnest network of veins present. There are no voids of tobacco and a subtle amount of oils are present.
The Finish: The cold draw of the cigar makes it very clear that it is made at the Davidoff factory in the Dominican Republic. The notes of grass, hay and earth are the signature of Henke Kelner and his team. Even with the small foot, the notes are replicated on the aroma of the tobacco before we light it up.
Once lit, the notes are earthy and become a defined hint of hay and wheat as we smoke the cigar into the first third. As the cigar progresses the big takeaway is how exceptionally creamy and smooth the stick is. There is a subtle cedar that begins to grow with intensity as the first third comes to a close.
Moving on to the second third the cigar is slightly earthy while wheat is the dominant flavor. The cedar notes that were subtle in the first third now linger on the finish which is moderate in length and joined by a nuttiness on the retrohale.
The last third sees all the notes experienced on the first two-thirds intensify. Earth, hay, wheat and cedar all mesh together in this exceptional bend that is remarkably smooth and savory.
The Finish: The Hammer + Sickle Tradicion Salomon might just be one of the best constructed, and most flavorful on the market in this particular vitola. It is one of my favorite cigars from the company and for me it was the perfect smoke to enjoy and light up as I reflect on the great memories attached to Eric Hanson.
Price: $13.99 / $149.99