Team Cigar Review: Hammer & Sickle Museum Series

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Cigar Details: Hammer & Sickle Museum Series

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: TABADOM
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $10.00
  • Release Date: July 2016
  • Source: Hammer & Sickle

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a medium dark brown and seems to be slightly darker at the head than the foot. There are some easily visible veins as they show a lighter color. The seams are pretty easily visible due to the color variation for the veins, but they are smooth. The double cap is applied pretty nicely. The band appears to be the standard Moscow City band in red and silver with no markings of the Museum Series designation. The aroma from the wrapper is a creamy hay. The foot aroma is fairly sweet with a bit of pepper as well. The pre-light draw brings a quick hit of mild cinnamon and then relents to a smooth sweet graham cracker.

Pre-light Experience

The Hammer & Sickle Museum Series has a beautiful, eye catching silver and red band paying tribute to Moscow City. The wrapper itself however, can use some work. The broadleaf wrapper looks to be lower grade with a couple holes and unpressed veins. The bunching and roll itself feels well done as there is a nice uniformed give and no soft spots. The head is finished off with a fairly thick triple cap. Pre-light wrapper aromas give barnyard, hay and cedar. Foot aromas tell dry white pepper spice, roasted nuts and dried stone fruits. Cold draw tells salt, lip tingling dry white pepper spice and cedar.

First Third

Initial draws bring a very nuanced walnut woodiness with a bit of pepper. An eighth of an inch in, the walnut woodiness transforms to more of a slightly charred oak. The slight pepper is still there. The retrohale is a creamy oak with a little bit of pepper. There is a really long finish in the mouth of a dull black pepper. An inch in, the profile starts to meld together with the slightly charred oak and creaminess while the pepper has faded out. The retrohale has also lost the pepper and is a creamy oak. At an inch and a half, some mustiness comes in to join the slightly charred oak and cream. As the third comes to an end, the mustiness really ramps up with the cream in the background and the charred oak not noticeable. The retrohale is still creamy oak. The strength in this third was a bit above medium.

First Third

The first third provides fairly light and airy notes of hay, oak, dried roasted nuts, charred wood, bitterness and light bodied cream. There is a very unique prominent note of bright citrus. Through retrohaling, dry white pepper spice, cedar and the same bright citrus. The finish cakes the entire palate with a rich and semi-oily white pepper spice, followed by charred oak and bitterness. In terms of body and strength, medium minus and medium, respectively.

Second Third

As this third begins, the mustiness settles down a bit, but there is now some mintiness that has joined in along with the cream. Half an inch in, a slight oak comes back to the profile of mustiness, cream and mintiness. A little bit of the mintiness makes its way to the retrohale with the oak and cream. At an inch in, the mintiness becomes a little sharper while the other flavors remain the same. After a few draws, the mintiness really settles down and becomes a background flavor with the musty oak coming to the front. The cream is also in the background. At an inch and a half in, the musty oak remains with the mintiness increasing slightly. The cream has gone away. As the third comes to a close, the musty oak and mintiness are really blending well. The retrohale is a creamy oak. The strength in this third is right at medium.

Second Third

Heading into the second third, I immediately notice the strength intensifying into a medium full, creating a nice relaxation. Also, the body is amped up to a welcoming medium. Hay and bright citrus are the main players. Following these notes are dried roasted nuts and airy bread. Halfway through the second third, an appreciative slight sweetness comes into the profile. Through the nose, dry white pepper spice, bright citrus and airy bread. The finish continues to cake the palate with rich and semi-oily white pepper spice, followed by charred wood and bitterness.

Final Third

As this third begins, the mintiness ramps up again and leaves the musty oak in the background. There is also a bit of bitterness that has joined in. A quarter inch in, the mintiness settles back down and the oak gains a slight char to go along with the mustiness. A half inch in, the char has gone away and the mintiness has disappeared as well. Just a musty oak remains. An inch in, it remains musty oak and a little mintiness has returned. The retrohale is a creamy oak. An inch and a quarter in, the cigar begins to heat up and the musty oak becomes very sharp. At an inch and a half, the heat settled down some, but the musty oak was still sharp and that’s how the cigar finished. The strength in this third was medium full.

Final Third

The last thirds complexities die down a bit, primarily leaving me with charred oak and bitterness. These dominant notes are accompanied by light sweet cream and dry white pepper spice. Unfortunately, the bright citrus is no longer found. Halfway through the last third, the dry white pepper spice is lodged towards the back of my palate, slightly irritating my throat. Through the nose, dry white pepper spice and airy bread. The finish continuously lingers with a palate caking rich and semi-oily white pepper spice, followed by charred wood and bitterness.

Burn

The burn was perfect through the first two thirds, but the final third went out on me a couple times and required two relights. The ash held on in two inch segments and dropped right at each third mark.

Burn

The burn, in terms of rate, was very good with total smoking time of 2 hours and 56 minutes. Aside from that, there aren’t many positive remarks. A full relight was needed at the halfway mark, some parts of the wrapper refused to burn within the last third and the ash was incredibly flaky since first ash.

Draw

The draw was just how I like it with a slight amount of resistance.

Overall

Great flavors and transitions through the first two thirds. The final third had a drop off due to the relights and the cigar getting a bit hot. Really great construction outside of the cigar going out in the final third. Hoping that a little more time might level things off for the final third burn. Some great nuances in this cigar and retrohaling is a must. I’d highly recommend seeking this out to give it a try. An experienced smoker will appreciate this more due to the strength and nuances. This is a cigar worthy of multiple revisits.

Aaron
Jiunn
Very Good Pre
Light
Average
Very Good First
Third
Average
Very Good Second Third Good
Average Final
Third
Average
Good Burn Subpar
Amazing Draw Good
Good Overall Average

Draw

The draw, although it was on the looser end of the spectrum, was still good. The cigar burned cool throughout most of the smoking time.

Overall

This cigar was a bit of a head scratcher for me. Upon reading that the wrapper was Connecticut Broadleaf, my assumption was I would taste medium full bodied notes providing oily and rich flavors. Instead, what I got was namely airy notes (especially in the first third), charred wood, dry spice and bitterness. I’m not saying the cigar was bad, just out of the ordinary box of Connecticut Broadleaf. If I were to just factor in what I look for in a cigar of (distinctiveness)  flavors, body and finish, this cigar was just average.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

7.40

Cost/Point

$1.35

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.40

Cost/Point

$1.85

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Hammer & Sickle Museum Series

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