The Berlin Wall, long a symbol of the yoke of communism, came crumbling down in 1989, signaling the beginning of freedom in Eastern Europe. Eric Hanson, owner of the Hammer + Sickle cigar and vodka brands, acquired a 6,400 pound segment of the wall (top right photo).
The huge chunk of reinforced concrete sports an image by artist Thierry Noir, who covered the wall under the dark of night while keeping a watchful eye out for guards. Hanson actually shipped it to New Orleans for the cigar industry trade show this summer to promote his newest cigar.
Hammer + Sickle Berlin Wall is a three-size cigar line made in Honduras by Tabacos Rancho Jamastran, the makers of Camacho cigars.
Blended from Honduran, Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos, the cigar has a distinctive copper band, which is held in place by the strength of the metal rather than glue, as on a traditional band.
Hanson chose to celebrate the fall of the wall as a reminder to people who misinterpret the imagery on his other cigars and his vodka, which show a crossed hammer and sickle, the symbols of the former Soviet Union. "There was a misconception that we were promoting communism," said Hanson. "We wouldn't be here if communism didn't fall."