Cigar Review: 262 Ideology

Size: 6×50, Toro (box pressed)

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Rosado (Jalapa)

Binder: Nicaraguan (Jalapa)

Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero, Mexican Ligero (San Andreas), Dominican Republic Viso (Piloto Cubano)

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 20, $164

Grade: 9.2

262 Cigars came on the scene back in 2009 with the release of their first blend, the Paradigm (review); we liked it, and we gave a box away to our readers. 262 recently introduced a new size on the Paradigm, a 4×60, and it looks mighty fine. Their cigars are blended by Alec Bradley, as a part of AB’s well regarded exclusive label program. Before settling up with Alec Bradley, Clint, Mike, and Jerry formed their team in 2008 and began launching their brand, on one idea – it was time for a smoking revolution. Check out their website and read their manifesto.

The boys at 262 seem to enjoy combining tobaccos from all over the place, as the Paradigm utilizes tobacco from Brazil, Honduras, Columbia, and Nicaragua, and the newly released Ideology utilizes three regions – Nicaragua, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

The Ideology will begin hitting the shelves of B&M’s around October 1st – they are in the process of sending out samples to retailers now. Unfortunately, they were unable to have the Ideology ready for the IPCPR trade show back in August. The Ideology is available in three sizes, all sold in boxes of 20 (Belicoso – $153; Toro box press – $164; Churchill – $173).

Be sure to follow the guys on Twitter as well – here, here, and here.  And, be on the lookout for a contest – we’ll be giving away some Ideology cigars in November!

Now, on to the toast!

Pre-light, 1.9:
The box press on this Toro is the first feature to grab your attention – it is perfect from head to foot. The Toro has a nice and sturdy weight to it as well and rolls along the palm with some command. The Habano Rosado wrapper is light brown with a slight grayish sheen to it. Along the seams it is rolled very well, the veins are noticeable but aren’t raised or frequent, and the head has a clean triple cap.

The aroma on the Ideology has a sweet aroma with a slight bit of spice along the cap. The aroma is clean and subtle and the draw matches this profile, and provides an excellent pull. The only negative aspect to the pre-light is the cut – on two of the three samples there was a slight cap tear on the cut, which ultimately did not affect the smoking experience.

Burn, 2.8:
The burn on the Ideology is excellent – it billows smoke, carries an even burn line throughout, presents an even colored ash, and requires no attention between puffs. The ash is a bit loose throughout and the burn is fast at times, but otherwise this is a great burner. The smoke temperature is cool to the nub, and I took each sample there!

Flavor, 2.7:
I didn’t know what to expect when I saw the tobacco lineup for the Ideology. I love both Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco, but I wasn’t sure what the Mexican filler and the Rosado wrapper would do to the profile. The initial burst was very dry and distinct with a strong vegetal profile similar to canola oil and okra. Right away it reminded me of the Macanudo Vintage 2000. About two inches in a slight creaminess arrives and carries into the second third, where a very mild cedar also arrives. There are some sweet notes that further add to the creaminess present in the middle third. Moving into the final third, there is not a lot of transition and it proves to be a very smooth and gentle smoke. All in all, I’d say this smoke is more consistent and straight forward than it is one dimensional, since there are some definite shifts in what is a very intriguing profile.

Clint Aaron, one of the three guys behind 262, noted several flavors that I did not pick up, such as black licorice, popcorn, and floral. This smoke can be complex for brief moments, all while carrying a mild body, which is always a testament to a sturdy blend in my opinion.

Overall, 2.8:
At a little over $8 a stick, this is not a daily smoke for me, though it may be less of an issue for some. The price does not affect the scoring, but is worth noting for my budget. The Ideology is worth the tag though – the construction and presentation is spot on, the burn is effortless, and the flavor is very intriguing, if not unique. The flavor profile was not ideal for me, but it will definitely appeal to many, both new smokers and experienced – however, I’d still turn to this fairly often to get a changeup in flavor. There is plenty of depth to this cigar and it is an excellent compliment to their first blend, the Paradigm. If you see these, grab a couple – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, and you will definitely get a new flavor experience.

(Total: 9.2)