Cigar Review: The Caleanoch 50

caleanoch50_1
Cigar Review: Caleanoch 50
Size: Toro (6 x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuador Shade Grown
Binder: Dominican Corojo
Filler: Dominican Corojo, Dominican Corojo (Peat Cured)
Price: $12.69 from 2 Guys Cigars

So going back to December of 2015, you may remember my review of The Caleanoch 25, a cigar that I really enjoyed right at the end of year. The gist of the Caleanoch brand is below:

In developing the peat firing process, we exchanged the traditional hardwood used in fire-curing with peat imported from Scotland. The resulting heat and smoke produced by burning the peat delivers phenols that are absorbed directly into the tobacco leaf.

So 2016 goes by and they more or less fall off my radar. I didn’t once see them mentioned on Twitter or anything cigar-related that I track. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I see a Caleanoch 25 vs 50 comparison article from Barry Church on his website, which got me really excited to recall the name and remember the experience of the 25. I more or less went to 2 Guys Cigars right then and there and ordered a couple to try.

No construction issues were found on the cigar I chose for review (I purchased three). The pre-light aromas gave me strong notes of peat and smoke, coupled with a touch of wood while the cold draw gave me similar notes of wood with dried fruit. I opted for a standard cut on my guillotine and with the light, was greeted with a balanced draw and opening notes of wood, peat and smoke with accompanying spicy notes on the aftertaste. Comparing notes from the 25 to the 50, while I wrote down that the 25 started out at full bodied in strength, I felt the 50 eased back the strength just a little bit but compensated with more of what I would call the “Scottish Flavor” (smoke and peat). That’s not to say it doesn’t increase in strength. I got fuller wood notes at the 15 minute mark while also noticing the dissipation of spice at the same time. The midway point pushed the cigar into full bodied territory plus gave me more amplified “Scottish Flavors”. Interestingly, the last inch of the cigar made the strength the cigar mellow slightly while bringing out heavy wood and lighter peaty notes to finalize the cigar. Total smoking time was 1:03.

ardbeg_dark_cove

I have one bottle of Islay (smoky, peaty) scotch in-house and I honestly couldn’t have had a better pairing if I tried. The Ardbeg Dark Cove is one of the strongest flavored scotches I have ever had and honestly deserves its own review one day. It paired with the Caleanoch 50 perfectly. Honestly, it probably overpowers the 50 by a fair bit but they play well together.

Besides a minor burn correction, my Caleanoch 50 chosen for review smoked great with no problems.

By-The-Numbers
Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 5/5
Value: 0.5/1
Total: 9.5/10

To recap The Caleanoch 50:

  • As a huge fan of Islay scotch and of the Caleanoch 25, it should be expected that I am going to be a huge fan of this cigar. The flavor profile for this cigar screams scotch drinker and I can think of no better pairing for a scotch (especially Islay-made) than this cigar.
  • With all that being said, this cigar is not going to appeal to everyone. This is definitely not going to be for newer smokers.
  • As it is just outside my comfortable price range and having an almost speciality designation in my mind, I have to knock the value ever so slightly.
  • When funds allow, I will be buying more. And perusing the Caleanoch website, I was reminded of the future Caleanoch 75. More Scottish peat cured into a cigar? Yes please. More on that when I have a few to try.

Thank you very much for reading. I look forward to the next time I can share my thoughts with you.

Jon Siddle

Jon enjoyed his first premium cigar in 2004. Before becoming a founding member of Leaf Enthusiast, he contributed to Cigar Spy before becoming a regular on Tiki Bar Online. He can be found on Gab at @jonsiddle.

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