January 8, 2012

Cigar Review: Paradigm Lancero by 262 Cigars

Paradigm Lancero by 262 Cigars

Last Friday, I had the fortune of sitting down with Clint Aaron of 262 Cigars and Phil of Havana Phil's, and enjoy the new Paradigm Lancero. The cigar has been out for a couple months now, but this was my first time smoking it, and from what I have heard, it has been a huge hit. The Paradigm line has been great for me, and I have been enjoying the Torpedo vitola quite frequently. I know the line has had great feedback at Havana Phil's, and elsewhere, and the cigar came in at No. 21 in my Top 25 Cigars this year. It is a cigar that has always delivered wonderful flavors with a nice medium strength for me, and is simply wonderful. As a company, 262 Cigars is relatively new to the industry, but they have been growing in popularity and deservedly so. Clint Aaron was smart and fortunate enough to team up with the Plasencia Family when he first started out, and he has developed a close relationship with the family since, making it possible to have two great cigar lines, and another on the way. The 262 Cigars brand gets its name from the story of JFK and the Cuban Embargo that was signed into action in February of 1962, and rather then repeat myself I have attached the link to the previous review of the Paradigm Torpedo and the story of JFK and his H. Upmann Petit Coronas. Click here.

The Paradigm line is made by the Plasencia Family in their Honduran factory in Danli, Honduras, which is a large and highly successful factory. The cigar is composed of a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper and a Honduran binder. I am a big fan of Brazilian Mata Fina wrappers, and this is one of the best I have smoked in some time.  Underneath that is a tri-country filler blend of Cuban-seed ligero and seco from Esteli and Jalapa, Nicaragua, and Cubito tobacco from Colombia. The wrapper is beautiful and dark, showing a marbled dark chocolate color to it, while remaining very toothy and oily. There are some veins present in the cigar, but it is a very firm cigar and a beautiful Lancero. The vitola I was given was the Lancero, which measures 7" with a 38 ring gauge. It has your standard pigtail cap that you find on most Lanceros, and has aromas of spices, coffee, cocoa, rich earth and wood. This will be the first Lancero I have smoked with the Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, and I am looking forward to it. I truly think this wrapper is great enough for a Lancero vitola to be made in the line, and so I begin.
Brazilian Mata Fina Lancero
As I start the cigar, I am immediately greeted with those wonderful, Paradigm flavors. There is a lovely dark chocolate and orange flavor profile, and it is accompanied by bits of coffee and rich earth. The cigar has a great finish of wood and leather, and it is somewhat dry and rich, but very pleasant. I would say the cigar is close to medium in body, and very flavorful and balanced. It is a cigar that you can smoke either in the morning or afternoon, and can be enjoyed by many types of smokers.. This is a great cigar to prove that just because you have a dark wrapper, it does not mean you necessarily have a strong cigar. In terms of construction, it is smoking wonderfully, and the thing ring gauge is not giving a warm, but cool draw.

When I get into the second third the cigar is still kicking ass. The flavor profile has changed since the first third, and it is absolutely amazing. I am getting those wonderful cocoa flavors right at the forefront, and it has some coffee and earthy notes along with that. I am picking up a bit of orange peel in this third, but it is lighter than the first.  There is a nice finish of leather and wood, and it is a rich and flavorful finish. The cigar is smoking around medium in body in terms of strength, and perfect for anytime of day. Construction wise the cigar is great, and it is burning very cool and has a great burn line. So far this cigar has been great, and it is no surprise given that Clint is making some amazing cigars.

The cigar finishes similarly to the second third in the final third, and is still smoking around medium in body. It really shows a lot of rich earth and wood notes, and there is also a bit of coffee and leather notes as well. I am not getting the orange notes in this third, but it means little with the great flavors I am still getting. I find the final third to be incredibly enjoyable, and smoking wonderfully. The burn line is still very even throughout this final third, and this cigar has been constructed wonderfully. Even though this cigar had a thin ring gauge, it still has a very cool draw even towards the end. I smoke the Lancero down till there basically nothing left, and when I put it down I am still getting those great flavors. This was a great Lancero to a great line.

This Lancero was wonderful, and I think this size really brought out the best of the line. With the thin ring gauge you can really get that great Brazilian Mata Fina flavor profile, and it is absolutely divine. It was a great wrapper to make a Lancero size with, and I can see why this is popular. The cigar changed flavor profiles in each third, showing great complexity, and as a whole the cigar was filled with complex flavors in each third. From beginning to end I had no problem in terms of construction, and even right to the end it was smoking wonderfully. I probably had about 1/2" left when I finally put it down, ask Clint, and it was still great. I am looking forward to smoking more of these at Havana Phil's, and I know they are  going to be a great morning weekend cigar for myself. I know I will be recommending this cigar to the guys who love thin ring gauge cigars, Master Bates :-), and I know they will enjoy them thoroughly. I give this cigar a 93, and feel that it will be making a run for the Top 25 again. Great job Clint, and great job 262 Cigars.

Paradigm by 262 Cigars
*Cigar gifted to me by Clint Aaron of 262 Cigars.

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