Bite Size Review: Hammer + Sickle Tradición
Хорошо, поэтому мы с удовольствием относимся к этому, ссылаясь на него как на “pinko connie”, вы знаете, что, возможно, курил Джо Маккарти. In case you’re wondering, here’s the translation: Ok, so we were having some fun with this one referring to it as the “pinko connie”, you know, something Joe McCarthy might have smoked. Years ago when I first saw this brand, I have to admit it was a head scratcher. Given the history of tense relations with the Communist regime, I just couldn’t compute that a cigar with this symbolism was being marketed in the US.
Well, hold onto your Cossack hat my good друзья as the hammer and sickle of the Cold War, ICBMs and the Berlin Wall is not reflective of this brand. Eric Hanson, founder of Hammer + Sickle Vodka launched his own cigar brand under the same name in 2010 using the same logo. As you can imagine, Hanson must get hammered about this. What you don’t see is the star, emblematic of the classic Communist symbol. Nyet. Hanson chose the modified symbolism to reflect not only his heritage but to reaffirm the apolitical notion that the hammer represents the industrial north and the sickle, the agrarian south. Sadly, at only 45, Eric Hanson, passed away unexpectedly on June 8th, 2018.
The Massachusetts-based H+S has built a premium quality cigar brand with a loyal following. Serious? How about the fact that the Tradición (Churchill vitola) earned a 94 rating from Cigar Aficionado and was voted the #11 cigar of 2015? Maybe this: H+S Cigars are produced at the Tabadom Factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Sound familiar? Like Davidoff familiar? Produced in 5 vitolas (Robusto, Toro, 660, Salomone and Churchill), the Tradición is one of 6 premium cigar blends in the H+S portfolio. All come uniquely packaged in a handmade, etched glass box. I’m not a big fan of connies but this cigar is eye-catching.
Veiny and toothy, the lush, caramel-colored shade wrapper is well rolled with a solid firmness throughout. The seams are virtually invisible. There are nice aromas of milk chocolate, honey and dark fruit. The triple cap is a nice touch but looks a bit haphazard. The cold draw is decent with a punch. The Tradición offers a nice rich, flavor palette including leather, white pepper, dark berries and a touch of cinnamon. Complexity and balance is top-notch and the creaminess just keeps going. Combustion is a minor annoyance early on but recovers. Lets face it, every cigar maker is out to reinvent the Connecticut shade-wrapped cigar, you know, kick it up a notch. Jazz it up a bit. Unfortunately, many attempts often miss the mark, but this is a solid connie with a good price point considering the aged tobacco used. Not a go-to in my book, but certainly boxworthy for the connie aficionados out there. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: H+S offers a line of special maduros sold exclusively at Texas retailers called the TVER.
- Profile: Mild+ – Medium
- Vitola: Gordo
- Length/ Ring Gauge: 6.0″ / 60
- Purchased: Local B&M
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: 5-yr old Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
- Binder: 3-yr old Dominican
- Filler: 3-yr old Dominican
- Cutter: Xikar Punch
- Lighter: Xikar Exec. II
- Price paid: $9.25
- Age: 4 months
Build: Uniform firmness; sloppy triple cap; almost seamless
- Shaft – Hay, milk chocolate, floral essence
- Foot – Chocolate, honey
- Cold Draw – Dark chocolate, dark fruit
Flavors: Initial palette of leather, white pepper, dark berries and cinnamon; toasty finish; nice hints of dark cherries; a touch of spice; transitions feature more woody profiles with cedar on the retro; Finish remains lightly sweet with bread and coffee notes; hints of anise on retro in final transition.
Touch ups: 1
Weaknesses: Fair combustion early on requiring a touch-up; struggles to hold a 1″ ash.
Recommend: 1 – Go-to
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- 3rd stringer
- Smoke a banana instead