|Hammer + Sickle Sochi Limited Edition 2014|
The Hammer + Sickle Sochi Limited Edition 2014 cigar is a limited production cigar that was released to pay tribute to the XXII Winter Olympic Games held in Sochi, Russia. It has currently been released as a retail-exclusive cigar to Two Guys Smoke Shop in New Hampshire. 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. For the Hammer + Sickle Sochi Limited Edition 2014, the company turns back to Davidoff’s Henke Kelner to blend this cigar. The end result is a magical blend – and could be one of the hidden gems of 2014.
Much of the details about this cigar have not been disclosed. We do know that for the Two Guys Smoke Shop Run, 100 boxes of ten have been produced. The company is not new to doing limited cigars. Just this past year, the company released the Hammer + Sickle Tver – a limited edition regional release for Texas.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Hammer + Sickle Sochi Limited Edition 2014 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
We do not know the details of this blend. The cigar was announced on 2/1/14 on Two Guys Smoke Shop owner David Garafolo’s Cigar Authority Show. Eric Hanson, Executive Chairman of Klin Groupe was a guest on the show and mentioned that the blend incorporates nine different tobaccos. The cigar is being made in the Dominican Republic and is being blended by Kelner.
Hanson mentioned on the program that the cigar is being made in one size – a 6 3/4 x 48 almost Churchill-like size.
The Hammer + Sickle Sochi Limited Edition 2014 has a light to medium brown colored wrapper that resembles a light oak color. There are some darker spots on the wrapper. There is a slight amount of oil on the wrapper. There are some visible wrapper seams, and there are also a few visible veins.
The Sochi Limited Edition 2013 comes unbounded, but is packaged in a commemorative box.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap of the Sochi Limited Edition 2014. I then proceeded with the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw provided a mix of natural tobacco, earth, and grass notes. Overall, I considered the pre-light draw of the Sochi Limited Edition 2014 to be very good. At this point, I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the cigar experience would bring to the table.
The start to the Hammer + Sickle Sochi Limited Edition 2014 provided a mix of wood, natural tobacco sweetness along with some background pepper and grass notes. Somewhere between the five and ten percent mark, the flavors really popped out. A mixed fruit flavor joined the natural tobacco in the forefront. The grass and pepper notes remained in the background while the woody notes dissipated. On the retro-hale, I picked up a sweet spice that I couldn’t quite draw an analogy to. I can say, the retro-hale was awesome and really complemented the notes on the tongue well.
At the start of the second third, the mixed fruit sweetness dialed back slightly and the natural tobacco notes took over as primary flavor. The combination of the mixed fruit and natural tobacco still produced a great sweetness. Meanwhile the pepper and grass notes in the background provided some nice balance to the flavors on the tongue.
In the second half, the spice notes converged with the natural tobacco and mixed fruit notes creating a nice sweet spice in the forefront. Meanwhile the grass notes remained in the background. This is the way the flavor profile held until the close of the cigar. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
This cigar is an extremely well-constructed cigar. The excellent construction is reflected on both the burn and draw attributes. The burn was low maintenance. It required minimal touch-ups to burn straight. It produced a tight ash with a salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Hammer + Sickle Sochi Limited Edition 2014|
The draw was equally as low maintenance as the burn. This was a very easy cigar to puff on and derive flavors from – yet, I would not consider this a loose draw by any means.
Strength and Body
The Hammer + Sickle Sochi Limited Edition 2014 is not going to be a cigar that overpowers you with strength. Overall, I assessed the cigar as being a medium strength cigar from start to finish. As for the flavors, they weren’t overly heavy on the pallet. The Sochi starts out medium-bodied. In the second half, the flavors develop a little more and it becomes a medium to full strength cigar. The strength and body balance each other well in the first half, but by the second half, I gave a slight edge to the body.
Overall, this is a not only an excellent cigar – this is a home run. This cigar is going to deliver some great flavors. These flavors are going to be well-balanced. The cigar is complemented by some excellent construction. There is also enough complexity on this cigar to keep the cigar enthusiast interested from start to finish. The limited production is going to make this cigar difficult to find, but the experience was so good, it is noteworthy to cover this release in 2014. It’s a great cigar for the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s certainly a cigar I would smoke again. It’s not only box-worthy, it’s one I’d fight Chuck Norris for.
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 4.5 – Fight Chuck Norris for Them