At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, Hammer + Sickle Cigars unveiled a maduro offering into its Trademark Series. The Trademark Series became the new name for the Hammer + Sickle Icon Series. The Icon Series was originally introduced in 2013 and delivered a mild U.S. Connecticut Shade wrapper offering. Last year, due to “trademark” issues, the Icon Series was renamed to the Hammer + Sickle Trademark Series Connecticut and the Maduro counterpart was then added. Today we take a closer look at the Hammer + Sickle Trademark Series Maduro in the Churchill offering. Similar to the Connecticut, the Trademark Series Maduro also delivers a milder offering – something that seems to be less common these days with maduro releases.
Hammer + Sickle Cigars are one of two cigar brands offered by Klin Groupe, which is famous for making Hammer + Sickle Vodka. Last year, the company added a second all-new cigar brand called The Caleanoch – which introduced the concept of peat-fired tobacco into cigar blending. The original Hammer + Sickle line keeps to more traditional blends.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Hammer + Sickle Trademark Series Maduro Churchill and see what this cigar brings the table.
The Trademark Series Maduro is the first Hammer + Sickle cigar to utilize a San Andres wrapper. The remainder of the blend uses the same binder and filler as the Trademark Series Connecticut. The cigar is produced at Davidoff’s TABADOM factory in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (TABADOM)
The Trademark Series Maduro comes in the same three sizes as the Connecticut Shade. The cigars are packaged in 20 count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 48
The San Andres Maduro wrapper of the Hammer + Sickle Trademark Series Maduro Churchill has a coffee-bean color to it. There is a light coat of oil on the surface of the wrapper. I found this wrapper to be on the smoother side as it only had thin visible veins and most of the wrapper seams were well-hidden.
The Trademark Series features a black band with a silver font that has a Davidoff-esque white label band. The front of the band has an oval shape with a subtle black chicken-wire design on it. The oval is surrounded with silver trim that has a slight sunburst shape to it. There is a silver Hammer + Sickle logo on the front of the band. To the left of the oval is the text “HAMMER + SICKLE” while to the right is the text “MOSCOW” – all in silver font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I commenced the cigar experience of the Hammer + Sickle Trademark Series Maduro Churchill with a straight cut. Once the cap was successfully removed from the cigar I commenced with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered notes of chocolate along with a slight floral note and a subtle spice that I couldn’t put my finger on. Overall I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point I was ready to light up the Trademark Series Maduro Churchill and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Trademark Series Maduro Churchill started with a mix of black pepper, cedar, and chocolate. Early on, the chocolate and cedar notes became primary notes. The pepper settled into the background on the tongue, but I still found a subtle presence on the retro-hale.
Throughout the first half, I found the chocolate and cedar notes to alternate in intensity. Both notes delivered a nice sweetness. As the Trademark Series Maduro Churchill moved into the second half, an earthy component joined the chocolate and cedar in the forefront. Meanwhile the pepper notes remained in the background.
Later in the second third, the chocolate notes receded into he background. The pepper notes increased. By the last third, the profile was more of a combination of cedar and earth in the forefront with the pepper secondary and the chocolate more distant. This is the way the Trademark Series Maduro Churchill remained until the end. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn to the Hammer + Sickle Trademark Maduro had a slight amount of curvature to it. At the same time this was a burn that took a straight path and didn’t require and excessive amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash was a silver gray color with some dark streaking mixed in. This was an ash on the firmer side – and one that came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
From a draw standpoint, I found the draw of the Trademark Series Maduro Churchill to be open, but not loose. This was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, I did find the Trademark Series Maduro Churchill to be dialed back when it comes to a maduro. At the same time, I didn’t find this cigar quite as mild as the Trademark Series Connecticut. Strength-wise the Trademark Series Maduro starts out on the upper end of mild to medium. By the second half, the strength moved into medium territory where it pretty much stayed for the duration of the cigar experience.
Body-wise I found the Trademark Series Maduro Churchill started out medium. There was a slight increase in body along the way, but the cigar still never got out of medium territory. In terms of strength versus body, I gave a slight edge to the body.
The Hammer + Sickle Trademark Series Maduro Churchill succeeds in its goal of delivering a milder offering with a maduro line. In particular, this is one of the milder San Andres offerings I’ve seen in some time, but I found the blend worked particularly well. Many times Churchill and Double Corona (7+” cigars in length) will run out of gas during the last third, but not with the Trademark Series Maduro Typically with San Andres wrapper, it will have a dominant effect on the blend. I found this to be the case with the Trademark Series Maduro as some of the complexity I got off its Connecticut counterpart was definitely sacrificed. However this was still an enjoyable smoke. This is a cigar I could recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again and keep multiples in my humidor. It’s certainly worthy of a fiver.
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.0-The Fiver
News: Hammer + Sickle Trademark Maduro Showcased at 2015 IPCPR
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 159
Stogie Feed: n/a
Brand Reference: Hammer + Sickle