|Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series
Celebration Short Corona
Late last month, Hammer + Sickle cigars announced a limited production line extension to its Berlin Wall Series called the Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series Celebration Short Corona. This 4 3/4 x 46 cigar is the first line extension to the Berlin Wall Series since its introduction in 2011. Hammer + Sickle chose the timing to introduce this line extension to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 1989). Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Celebration Short Corona. I have found the Berlin Wall Series to be a solid series. In my opinion, the Celebration Short Corona is what we call “Belle of the Ball” – meaning it is the standout vitola of the line.
Hammer + Sickle Cigars is a subsidiary of the the Klin Groupe, which is famous for making Hammer + Sickle Vodka. A few years ago, the company branched out to become a lifestyle brand – and launched a cigar line under Klin Tobacco. While the Vodka is made in Russia, their cigars have been made in countries such as the Dominican Republic and Honduras. The Berlin Wall Series comes from Honduras and the line originally started out as a joint collaboration with Christian Eiroa.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series Celebration Short Corona and see what this cigar brings to the table:
The Berlin Wall Series features a Honduran Criollo wrapper over Dominican and Honduran tobaccos.
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo
Filler: Honduran, Dominican
For completeness, we include all four vitolas of the Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series. As mentioned the Celebration Short Corona is a limited production cigar – with a total of 5,000 cigars made. Unlike the regular production vitolas which are packaged in marble boxes, the Celebration Short Corona was made available in 20 count bundles.
Celebration Short Corona: 4 3/4 x 46
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 48
The Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series Celebration Short Corona has a cinnamon-colored wrapper. Upon closer examination, there are some darker spots marbled into the color scheme. There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper has decently hidden wrapper seams, but there are some visible veins.
The Celebration Short Corona shares the same unique band as the rest of the Berlin Wall Series. It features a malleable copper band with a paper background (to protect the metal from the cigar). On the band is the text “HAMMER + SICKLE” etched on it. Below that is the text “BERLINER MAUER 1961-1989” – which translates to “Berlin Wall 1961 – 1969”
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series Celebration Short Corona, I went with my usual selection of a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided notes of earth, light pepper, and a subtle fruit sweetness. Overall I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw of the Celebration Short Corona. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Celebration Short Corona produced notes of earth, white pepper, and a prune-like dried fruit sweetness. Surprisingly, I found the prune notes to complement the other flavors very nicely. As the Celebration Short Corona progressed through the first third the earth and prune sweetness became primary notes. The pepper notes became secondary. There also was an underlying creamy smoothness. Meanwhile the white pepper was prominent on the retro-hale.
By the end of the first third, the sweetness became more pronounced. It lost some of its prune qualities and almost had a berry-like sweetness to it. The earth notes remained in the forefront while the pepper and creamy qualities remained in the background. This flavor profile held through most of the second third.
In the last third, the sweetness dialed back to more of a secondary note. At the same time the pepper moved to the forefront joining the earth notes. The creamy profile remained in the background and was more or less a tertiary note. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series Celebration Short Corona has recently shipped to retailers, so this assessment was done within a week of arriving on the shelf. The burn and draw performed stellar. The burn line was practically razor sharp from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was nearly all-white in color. The ash was tight and firm. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
|Burn of the Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series Celebration Short Corona|
The draw performed exceptional as well. It had a slight touch of resistance – which is something I like in a cigar. This made the Celebration Short Corona an enjoyable smoke from start to finish.
Strength and Body
The Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series is not going to be a nicotine bomb. Overall I found the strength of the Celebration Short Corona to be in the medium range for the first two thirds of the smoke. There was a gradual increase in the strength and by the last third, I found the strength had crossed into medium to full territory. As for the body, I found the notes to be medium to full-bodied. The body also had a gradual increase and in the final stages, I found the Celebration Short Corona had moved into full-bodied territory. In terms of strength versus body, I found the body to have the edge.
Overall I had found the 4 3/4 x 46 format to be ideal for the blend of the Berlin Wall Series. The nice thing about this cigar is you are going to get some classic Honduran earthy tones layered with some really nice sweetness and some pepper notes. While the timing of this cigar does coincide with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the timing is also perfect for a short smoke during the colder winter notes. This is a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. I also found this to be a nice cigar for a novice enthusiast to graduate to something to the “medium plus” range. As for myself this was a cigar I’d smoke again. Normally I’d put the Berlin Wall Series as a fiver, but with the Celebration Short Corona, I would go to the next level and go for a box (bundle) split.
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last third)
Body: Medium to Full (Full in last stages)
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split
News: Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series Celebration Short Corona
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 117
Stogie Feed: Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall Series Celebration Short Corona