Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 54
Wrapper : Brazilian
Filler : Colombian/Nicaraguan
Binder : Honduran
Price : ~$9.00
Many thanks to Tony from Casas Fumando for providing great pictures for this review!
Early on this year I strongly pursued a lot of new brands, particularly smaller or “boutique” brands, to try out and to see if there were any hidden gems in the mix of a sea of tobacco products. Through word of mouth and some generous brothers of the leaf I was able to acquire a few of the 262 Paradigm Toros. The 262 brand is quite unique with a more modern style of approach to advertising being highly social media friendly, with word of mouth as key to getting this product in the mouths of cigar smokers. Its motto is “Smoke the revolution.” The revolution is a double edged sword with references to historic tobacco revolutions of the past on one edge and brandishing a big middle finger for those who try to impede on cigar smokers rights on the other edge. Now, I wanted to know if this cigar could stand up to the stature of this cigars marketing monster. So here we go, …
The Paradigm is wrapped with a mahogany colored, non oily wrapper. The wrapper is very toothy with little bumps visible all over its surface. The wrapper is pretty thick as well, leathery, with minimal veins along its surface. Aroma of the wrapper is of rich saddle leather. I really dig the band on the foot of the cigar.
When checking the cigar out in my hand, one of the cigars smoked had a soft spot halfway down its length. Otherwise, the cigar is generally pretty squishy and loosely packed. This is what I call a thoughtless cigar. You light it, and never have to think about the burn again. One could light this cigar, throw it down on the ground, go about his business/work, and come back to it and start puffing away and the burn and light would never falter or die. Razor sharp burn as well. Produced a soft, dark grey ash.
The Paradigm starts off with char, leather, and bitter coffee flavors. 1.5 inches in and you can add woodsy notes to the mix of espresso bean and dark chocolate. About halfway through, the cigar's flavors mellow and start to disappear a little. The smoke is smooth, plentiful, and thick, with an effortless draw. Past the midway point and I started to get some wet paper flavors, and did not get much evolution of flavor I was seeking. I felt what I got at the beginning of the cigar is pretty much what I got throughout the smoking experience. Not a bad smoke, but far from elite. Medium to full bodied.
I personally have a hard time paying $9.00 for this cigar. I believe it is more likely worth $7 range and competes with the likes of 601, Murcielagos, and Mi Amors. The family blend of cigars from Alec Bradley are $4-$6. The Paradigm isn’t much better than the Family Blend in my opinion. So I just can’t see myself paying almost twice the price to reach a Paradigm. But after all, it is a boutique cigar, …
Overall Rating :
I smoked these samples for the review, and over the last couple of months I smoked several others and came to the same conclusion every time: these just aren’t for me. Many people I know love these cigars, but I just couldn’t see what the hoopla was about. It just seemed to me to be a glorified Family Blend by Alec Bradley. Alec Bradley doesn’t make hardly any cigar that I like, so it didn’t surprise me that these weren’t to my taste as well. But I have to give credit where credit is due and acknowledge the superior burn and construction of these cigars. Don’t get discouraged from trying this cigar yourself, because I know a lot of people will like this cigar, but for me, I will continue on with my search for hidden gems.
Note- I recently smoked the Alec Bradley American Classic Blend (link to Robustojoe's review -Inspector) and loved it.