At the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Hammer + Sickle Cigars showed off its second limited edition for 2014. Appropriately named Hammer + Sickle LE14, the parejo measures 6 3/4 x 48 and is rolled by TABADOM in the Dominican Republic. The company is keeping details of the cigar secret, but we do know that the blend consists of six different types of tobacco from three different countries. MSRP is set at $10 per cigar and it is limited to 250 boxes of 10 cigars.
Earlier this year, Hammer + Sickle released the Sochi Limited Edition 2014 in the same 6 3/4 x 48 size. Released to commemorate the 2014 Winter Olympic games held in Sochi, Russia, the cigar used seven different tobaccos from three different countries. Only 101 boxes of 10 were produced, and according to the Hammer + Sickle website, one box was “sent as a gift to the Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
- Cigar Reviewed: Hammer + Sickle LE14
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Occidental Cigar Factory
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Size: 6 3/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Toro Extra
- MSRP: $10 (Boxes of 10, $100)
- Release Date: Oct. 20, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 250 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The Hammer + Sickle LE14 is covered in a smooth golden brown wrapper that feels somewhat like parchment and also exhibits a bit of oil. There is a bit of give when it is squeezed and there are multiple bumps under running up and down the length. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of sweet nutmeg, coffee, hay and leather, while the the cold draw brings flavors of creamy leather, grass, chocolate and cinnamon, along with a touch of white pepper.
Starting out, the first third of the Hammer + Sickle has an intense combination of peppery oak, burnt popcorn, earth and a bit of floral note that kicks in every once in a while. There is some fairly noticeable black pepper on the retrohale that seems to be getting stronger as the first third burns down, but no spice on the tongue or lips so far. A distinct vanilla sweetness is only on the retrohale, and combines wonderfully with the pepper that is present. Construction-wise, both the burn and draw are excellent and the smoke production is above average. The strength ends the first third well short of the medium mark, but does seem to be on the rise.
The floral note from the beginning of the cigar takes center stage in the second third of the LE14 with other notes of espresso, toast, creamy almonds, white chocolate and slight peppermint present. In addition, the black pepper on the retrohale has gotten noticeably stronger, as has the vanilla sweetness from the first third. The strength also continues to increase, albeit slowly, and hits a point just shy of the medium mark by the end of the second third. Both the burn and draw remain quite good and I start to notice a bit of spice on the tongue as the second third draws to a close.
An interesting citrus note that reminds me of lemon rind becomes the dominant flavor around the start of the final third, combining nicely not only with the floral flavor as well as with the vanilla sweetness that is still present on the retrohale. Other flavors of creamy leather, cinnamon, oak, earth and slightly bitter espresso flit in and out, while the smoke production seems to be rising a bit. The burn and draw continue to impress until the end of the cigar, but the strength stalls out firmly in the medium range by the time I put the cool to the touch nub down with a bit less than an inch to left.
- While our samples did not have bands, the bands that come on the cigars are quite large, and depicts the Rabochiy i Kolkhoznitsa statue—Worker and Kolkhoz Woman—in Russia, which depicts a man and woman holding a hammer and sickle over their heads. It was made for the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris by artist Vera Mukhina before being moved to Moscow, Russia.
- I cut very little off the cap of the first sample I smoked, and was surprised when the wrapper started to unravel. Knowing what happened the first time, I cut even less off of the second sample and thankfully the problem was not repeated.
- Having said the above, both the samples I smoked exhibited excellent construction with very few touch-ups needed and a draw that had just the right amount of resistance.
- The cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Hammer + Sickle cigars.
- The final smoking time for the two samples averaged a relatively quick one hour and 40 minutes.
I have not smoked many Hammer + Sickle cigars, but after this one, I will definitely be trying more. The LE14 is a flavor bomb, constantly shifting profiles as it progresses, never giving me a chance to even come close to getting bored with it. After a bit of a problem with the wrapper on one of the samples, construction was wonderful overall, and the smoke production was quite high as well. I wish I know the particulars of the blend, but in the end it did not make much of a difference in how much I enjoyed the cigar, and the price of $10 each is a steal for the combination of complexity and balance this release exhibits.