Everyone is familiar with fire cured tobacco, but Hammer + Sickle takes things one step further. The Caleanoch utilizes peat cured tobacco by Scottish peat that is harvested by hand utilizing the same tools that have been employed for hundreds of years.
The dried peat is the packaged and shipped to the Dominican Republic where it undergoes a process creating smoke and heat that releases phenols which are absorbed directly into the tobacco leaf. These phenols provide peat flavor without harming the tobacco leaf. Once the process is complete the tobacco is allowed to age for 60 days before moving to the blending and rolling phase. Once the cigar is rolled it ages for another 60 days before shipping from the Dominican Republic to the United States.
Cigar Review: The Caleanoch 25
Size: Toro (6 x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuador Shade Grown
Binder: Dominican Corojo
*Filler: Dominican Corojo, Dominican Corojo (Peat Cured)
Source: Hammer + Sickle
*The Caleanoch 25 has 25% Peat Cured tobacco in the filler, where The Caleanoch has 50% Peat Cured.
The Look: The Caleanoch comes packaged in canisters of 12 Cigars. The Caleanoch 25 sees a red tartan pattern adorn the top of the packaging, where the Caleanoch 50 uses a blue tartan pattern. Inside the tins, the unbanded cigar features a Ecuador grown Connecticut Shade wrapper that has a few veins and subtle tooth. The cigar has a nice weight to it, and the foot reveals tobacco that is evenly colored which is unexpected by yours truly, as I figured the Peat Cured tobacco would be definitely darker.
The Caleanoch 25: The aroma and cold draw of the 25 provides as you would expect, peat but there is also a molasses like sweetness in the background. Once the cigar is lit, the peat is there, but it isn’t as dominant as expected. The cigar has notes of nuts, earth and of course peat. Around the half-way point there is a wasabi like spice that develops, and the peat becomes more dominant as the cigar progresses. The finish of the cigar isn’t as long as I expected, though it does become more lengthy when pairing it with a peat scotch such as Laphroig.
The Caleanoch 50: The prelight is as expected, with an abundance of peat on the aroma off the foot and the cold draw. It is as I would imagine the aromatic qualities of the air on the Island of Islay to be similar. Sadly, I’ve never been so I could only imagine. Once the cigar is lit, the peat dominates but doesn’t overwhelm the palate. There are hints of earth present as expected and some spice on the retrohale. The Caleanoch 50 is more straight forward and would pair were in my opinion with Lagavulin.
The Finish: 25 vs 50. It’s clear-cut but with a twist. Me, I am not a fan of smoky scotch. So being heavy on peat is lost on me, and my palate doesn’t appreciate it. With that said I could smoke The Caleanoch 25 on a regular basis. It isn’t as dominant as I expected it to be and it provided an enjoyable contrast. The Caleanoch 50 was heavy on the peat, but it complimented the Lagavulin I was drinking and while I am not a fan of the scotch I was able to see how the pairing worked incredibly well. In short, if you love peaty smoky scotches or in the market to try something different this might be in your wheelhouse
Price: $12.69 / $134.99 (Canister of 12)