One thing that I really love with a cigar is when there is a story behind it. A cigar is one of the great complex hand-made items in the word. When you add a story to the equation, it makes the cigar even more special. This is exactly what Clint Aaron brings to the table with his company – 262 cigars. 262’s first release was the Paradigm, which was a cigar I really enjoyed. The follow-up to the Paradigm is the Ideology. The Ideology came out a little over a year ago, and its been a while since I visited this cigar. After getting re-acquainted with this cigar, I got an even better appreciation for this blend. This was a terrific cigar experience.
The name “262” is symbolic of February, 1962 – when Kennedy signed the embargo against Cuba. A few months ago, I posted a video in which Pierre Salinger discusses this. The 262 web-site also contains great information on the company and the blends.
As for the cigar itself, there is a story as well. The following is some background information on the Ideology taken from 262cigars.com:
The passion to create great cigars. The fortitude to transcend the opposition. The resolve to smoke free. The collection of beliefs and doctrines the guide our thoughts, words and actions. Our Ideologies are what make us who we are. They’re often shaped by our parents, friends, or heroes and often change or grow throughout our lifetimes due to new experiences and insights. Whatever your Ideology was 5, 10, 15 years ago, as a cigar lover, you now know that those in power will exploit any opportunity to gain more control over our daily lives…and you know that it is wrong. At 262, we believe as our country’s founders did; that our government should never be allowed to hold our God-given rights and liberties hostage in the name of “progress”. We believe it’s long past time to take back control of our own lives and be the creators of our own prosperity. The 262 Ideology is a cigar that will ring home with your palate and take you back to what is was about a cigar that made you fall in love with it. The perfect counterpart to the Paradigm, this toasty, buttery smoke is mild, smooth and sure to set your troubles at ease. An even draw and bountiful smoke make for an effortless experience.
Without further adieu, let’s analyze the smoke of the Ideology:
The Ideology is highlighted by its beautiful wrapper, but I’m also intrigued by the Nicaraguan and Mexican tobacco in the filler.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Rosado
Fillers: Nicaraguan, Mexican
There are three vitolas currently available for the 262 Ideology
Belicoso: 5 1/2 x 52
Box-Pressed Toro: 6 x 54
Churchill: 7 x 50
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
My go-to vitola for the Ideology has been the Box-pressed Toro, so for this assessment, I opted not to change course. I placed a straight cut into the cap of the Ideology and started with the pre-light draw. While I didn’t get a lot of body in terms of the dry notes, the cedar and wood flavors provided a nice autumn crispness to it. It was now on to fire up the Ideology and enjoy the cigar experience.
Upon the initial draws of the 262 Ideology, I was treated to flavors of butter and nut (there were definitely separate dimensions to these flavors as opposed to “butternut”). The cedar spice that was on dry notes quickly emerged and layered very nicely over the butter and nut.
Around ten percent into the cigar experience, sweet flavors surfaced. The sweet notes had a butterscotch taste to them. As the cigar progressed into the second third, I noticed an increase in the cedar spice as it started to become more of a primary note. The last third of the cigar is where things got very interesting. For starters, the butterscotch transitioned to a classic caramel taste. I also detected some coffee and char notes. The cedar spice reached its apex toward the end of the smoke, although I wouldn’t say this was overly spicy. The finish was outstanding. There were no harsh notes and the cigar had a cool and firm nub – this is the way a cigar should always finish.
Burn and Draw
When I was first introduced to the Paradigm, I was always impressed with the impeccable burn and draw of that cigar on a consistent basis. The Ideology seems to follow nicely in the Paradigm’s footsteps. The burn was razor-sharp requiring very few touch-ups. The burn temperature and burn rate were ideal. The draw is consistently outstanding – making the Ideology a joy to smoke.
Strength and Body
From a nicotine standpoint, the Ideology falls squarely into the “medium” range of cigar strength. I found the Ideology delivers the right amount of strength – not too little and not too much. As for body, this cigar’s flavor notes have more depth than many give credit for. I categorize the Ideology as “medium” for the majority of the smoke, and in that last third, I believe it passes into the medium to full range.
When a cigar smokes great, it makes the story behind the cigar even better and this was the case with the Ideology. As I mentioned, I enjoyed the Ideology last year and enjoyed it even more this year. This is one cigar that is a perfect “change of pace” cigar if you happen to see it in your retailer’s humidors. I would not hesitate recommending this to a novice cigar enthusiast. I even think seasoned cigar enthusiasts can appreciate some of the subtle complexities this cigar has to offer. I know one thing, I won’t be waiting so long to smoke this cigar again.
Body: Medium (Medium to Full in last third)
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.