262 Paradigm Lancero

In 2010, when this web-site released its Honorable Mentions for the cigar year, one blend that might have surprised a lot of people at that time was the 262 Paradigm.  For the past two years, 262 Cigars has been building a loyal following.  It was the Paradigm blend that was the first release by 262 that started it all.  Recently, 262 Cigars’ founder Clint Aaron has been unveiling his latest addition to the Paradigm line – the 262 Paradigm Lancero.   While I’ve been very high on the Paradigm blend – being that I am not a big lancero fan, I was not sure how I would react to this particular vitola.   After sampling this particular lancero, the 262 Paradigm Lancero proved to be an outstanding addition to the 262 Paradigm line.

If you are not familiar with 262 Cigars, there is a story behind the company and the cigars. The name “262” is symbolic of February, 1962 – when Kennedy signed the embargo against Cuba. As for the cigar itself, there is a story as well.  It fits in with 262’s theme for all of its cigars – which deals with standing up for cigar rights.  The following is
some background information on the Paradigm taken from 262cigars.com:

A Paradigm Shift is about to take place. All you think you know about
premium cigars is in for an overhaul. Introducing the 262 Paradigm, a
medium-to-full bodied cigar that is sure to revolutionize your smoking
experience. The 262 Paradigm is here, so don’t sit down, there’s work to
be done. Stand up and let your voice be heard. The Revolution has
already begun. What are you waiting for?

Let’s take a closer look at the 262 Paradigm Lancero

Blend Profile

One thing that is consistent with 262 Cigars – they have some of the most interesting blends on the market.  This is certainly the case with the Ideology and upcoming Manifesto – and it’s certainly the case with the Paradigm.  There is a good amount of South American tobacco that makes up the 262 Paradigm.

Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: Honduran
Filler: (3 Fillers): Colombian (Cubito Cuban Seed), Nicaraguan (Viso/Seco leaves from Jalapa and Esteli)

Vitolas Available

While we will focus on the lancero vitola for this assessment, there are also some interesting vitolas in this line. 

Lancero: 7 x 38
Robusto: 4 x 52
4Sixty: 4 x 60
Torpedo: 6 1/4 x 54
Box-Pressed Toro: 6 x 54

An interesting nugget – the 262 Paradigm Lancero is one of the few Brazilian Mata Fina wrapped cigars that is available in the lancero vitola on the marketplace.


The 262 Paradigm Lancero is less toothy than your average lancero.  There are some veins exposed, but it is a smoother lancero than most in terms of appearance.  A pig-tail is featured on the cap of the 262 Paradigm Lancero.  The Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper gives the 262 Paradigm a classic coffee color.  The band to the cigar is on the footer.  It uses a similar band to the other vitolas in the Paradigm line – black font on a white background with the 262 logo. The band differs from the other vitolas in that the font is smaller on this band, and the slogan “Smoke the Revolution” is not on there.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

While some folks choose to pull a the pig-tail off a cap, I opted to go with a straight cut (This is usually par for the course with me). I commenced with a pre-light draw.   The dry draw notes provided a mix of coffee and wood.  While it wasn’t the deepest pre-light draw, it still was satisfactory.   At this point, it was on to light my 262 Paradigm Lancero and see what would come to the table.

Flavor Profile

After lighting the 262 Paradigm Lancero, I was treated to a quick shot of pepper on the initial draws.  It did not take long before some coffee flavors surfaced.  The pepper notes subsided, but did not dissipate.  The pepper notes were still more prevalent through the nostrils.   The coffee notes provided a smoothness to this cigar.  At the same time, the pepper notes gave the 262 Pardigm Lancero a little kick to  it – providing very good balance on the flavor spectrum.

Toward the end of the first third, some cream and honey notes emerged.  These played more of a secondary role to the coffee flavors.   These notes provided a nice sweet component to the flavor profile.   At this point, I still categorized the pepper spice as a secondary note as well.   The flavor profile of the 262 Paradigm Lancero would hold throughout the second third.  As the 262 Paradigm Lancero moved into the last third,  the honey sweetness transitioned to more of a classic citrus sweetness.  The pepper also increased in depth during the last third.  The pepper eventually moved into the forefront and provided a spicy finish.   While spicy, the finish was not harsh.  The resulting nub was soft, but on the cool side.

Burn and Draw

Very high scores for burn and draw.  I’ve found the Paradigm line to be one of the best burning cigars out there – and the lancero vitola lives up to what has been set.  The burn was razor-sharp throughout the cigar experience.  It burned at an ideal rate and ideal temperature.  The ash was tight and white.  As for the draw, it was flawless – making the 262 Paradigm Lancero a joy to smoke.

Burn of the 262 Paradigm Lancero

Strength and Body

There was a terrific synergy between the strength and body of the 262 Paradigm Lancero.  From a strength perspective, it is fair to the 262 Paradigm Lancero has some pop, but it is not going to overwhelm you with nicotine.  It is your classic medium to full strength cigar.   Same with the flavor notes – there is some nice depth to them.  I’d also assess the depth of these notes to be medium to full-bodied.  Overall, this cigar is a perfect example of having a perfect amount of strength – and a perfect amount of body.

Final Thoughts

If you have followed my assessments, you know that the lancero is not a vitola of choice for me.  In the case of the 262 Paradigm, this scored some very high marks.   This is a solid addition to the 262 Paradigm line and I put it right up there with the Illusione HL Maduro as one of the best lanceros I have smoked.   I would not hesitate to recommend this cigar to a novice cigar enthusiast who might want to try a lancero – or try something more medium to full in strength or body.  This is also a good cigar for an experienced cigar enthusiast, and I’d even encourage a non-lancero fan to try.  This is a cigar I would even consider a box purchase for.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: Memorable
Rating: 95

Source: The cigar for this assessment was provided by Clint Aaron of 262 Cigars.  These samples were initiated by 262 Cigars in order to provide
feedback.   I am appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this
influence this review.  Some additional input was from the other vitola of the 262 Paradigm line that I have purchased.