Merriam-Webster defines Ideology as 1: Visionary theorizing; 2: a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture. With words such as “revolution,” “paradigm,” and “Ideology” being bandied around one would expect there to be some serious backing up of these loaded terms. During the last week I have had a chance to try both lines in the 262 lineup and have considered those words in conjunction with my smoking experience. First though, a little background on 262 is probably warranted.
As our friends at Toasted Foot state the “Revolution 262 was started by 3 cigar enthusiasts in 2009 and they spent most of 2008 designing the brand and working on their first release, the Paradigm, which was released in January of 2010. 262 carry the motto “Smoke the Revolution” and are advocates for fighting the regulations that impede upon personal freedom, including the ever increasing laws that harm the cigar industry. You can find their manifesto on their website,” with that said we turn our attention back to the task at hand, the Ideology.
One could wax poetic on speculating whether the creators intended the Ideology to be a “visionary” new cigar in their line and in the industry as a whole, or an embodiment of the micro-culture known as the brotherhood of the leaf. Or perhaps these are just arbitrary demarcation lines I’m making for them based off the denotative meanings of the word ideology. Either way you look at it the Ideology has some big shoes to fill, for it must either be a “new theory” or twist on how cigars operate or it has to be the penultimate example of embodying the culture of the brotherhood. So without further adieu lets look at the Ideology and see if it lives up to its august name!
Construction (Box-Pressed Toro 6×54):
The Ideology was immediately appealing to my sensibilities for its clean box-pressed design with minimal veins on the wrapper and a pleasant reddish hue to its exterior which was a testament to the Nicaraguan Habano rosado leaf hugging the binder. Rubbing my finger along the stick I noticed that it was smooth and had little to no oil on its wrapper. Pinching the cigar in various locations confirmed that the cigar was well packed with its Nicaraguan, Mexican, and Dominican filler and seemed to be evenly dispersed throughout. Examining the cap was my next stop and it was of a sturdy design that allowed for a smooth clip.
Using a Xikar cutter I made a small clip on the top of the cap and tested the draw. My usual test is to take as little as possible off the top and check for the draw and see if I can achieve maximum airflow with a minimal loss of cigar. The Ideology continued to be promising by having solid airflow with a very small clip on the top of the cigar. With everything in good form I took the next step and began to toast the foot.
As the flames began to gently lick the foot I immediately noticed that the cigar was taking the flame and a cherry glow formed with relative ease. At all points throughout I was checking the Ideology for tunneling effects, but am satisfied to say that none occurred. As for the ash it was tightly constructed and mottled grey and black in coloring. The ash stayed firmly in place until lightly doffed in the ash tray. In subsequent experiences by myself and fellow contributor Jay we both achieved even burn, tight ash, and no tunneling effects.
A perfect draw and a perfect burn account for little if the cigar cannot perform in the taste department. With a name like Ideology this is where the cigar would deservedly win its name or walk away in defeat! The Ideology from start to finish was a mild to medium cigar. This may turn some readers off, but I am a huge fan of medium body smokes and this one was definitely something unique. First of all the cigar started with no signature spice that so many cigars on the market tend to lead off with today, but rather started off with a mild floral and barnyard aroma. Both of these aromas developed into something quite unusual. In all my smoking experiences I have not come across this profile before and was hard pressed to identify it. I employed soda water, retro-inhaling, and even a friend to help identify the flavor and the best we can say is that its a sweet wood-like flavor. To me it tasted like a sweet hickory aroma, but to my friend it tasted more like a sweet cedar, needless to say it was tasty and unique. The cigar then eventually gave away to a floral note and ultimately a hot note. Those who have followed my writings know that nothing perturbs me more than a cigar that burns hot at the end. So with that in mind how does the story of the Ideology end?
In this humble critics opinion it ends well. While the Ideology does end hot, which is near unforgivable in my book, the overall experience was quite nice. Does it revolutionize the industry? Probably not, but does it combine some interesting tobaccos and create an interesting new take on a cigar profile? You bet! The Ideology, while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying a box is certainly worth getting a stick or two. It has a unique profile that isn’t anywhere else in the industry right now, and the guys at 262 should be proud of that feat! So if you are a fan of a mild to medium smoke with a unique profile, then pick up an Ideology today, just brace for a hot landing!