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To close out 2015 and celebrate its fifth anniversary, 262 Cigars released its second limited edition, a two-vitola release called Suit & Tie.

If the name of the cigar pops a certain song’s melody into your head, it’s for good reason. While 262 Cigars’ founder Clint Aaron had a blend that he had been sitting on for some time, he didn’t have a purpose or name for it. One day on a drive, Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” came on the radio, which Aaron said brought about not just a purpose for the blend, but also a name. Once assigned to being the cigar to celebrate the 262 Cigars’ fifth anniversary, the name made that much more sense, reflecting the nature of dressing up for such an occasion as an anniversary. It also helped achieve a goal Aaron had; “we really wanted to have some fun with this release,” he told halfwheel.

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For this release, a 6 x 54 box-pressed toro and a 7 x 38 lancero were created, with 250 boxes of 10 cigars produced for each size, a release split among just 50 retailers across the country. Aaron didn’t disclose the blend or the factory making the cigar.

262 Suit & Tie 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: 262 Suite & Tie Lancero
  • Country of Origin: n/a
  • Factory: n/a
  • Wrapper: n/a
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: n/a
  • Length: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $12.50 (Boxes of 10, $125)
  • Release Date: Dec. 11, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 250 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

Clint Aaron loves himself a lancero, and the Suit & Tie is proof positive of that fact. Long and slender with a pigtail cap, the cigar features a gorgeously tanned wrapper that is alive with color. It’s incredibly smooth to the touch; oily and with just a few small veins, my fingers feel every nuance of the leaf, which extends beyond the foot to cover about two-thirds of the foot. From that foot I don’t get much in the way of aroma but more of texture; a buttery, almost oily presentation. The cold draw doesn’t replicate that quite as much, though the draw is certainly smooth enough to leave that impression. Flavor-wise, it too is very neutral with a bit of buttered bread as the only thing that really stands out.

With the covered foot comes a bit of flaky ash that scatters about with the first puff, a somewhat pepper-laden and buttery introduction with plenty of smoke coming off the foot of the cigar. The first retrohale shows some remarkably clean pepper that packs the brightness of white pepper with the punch of black and just a slight metallic twinge. As is expected from a lancero, the ash doesn’t hold on terribly long, dropping off near a half-an-inch in length. Once gone, pepper begins to be a more prominent part of the equation on the palate; retrohales are still punchy but now the tongue feels the strength as the buttery shell starts to fall away. The cigar offers a fairly full punch of flavor from the pepper, with strength a function of how in the mood for pepper you are; while both samples have tasted nearly identical through the first half, the second one hit me a bit harder because I think I was a bit more tired and had less to eat prior to smoking it. A rebuilding ash shows a layered texture and reminds me of rings on a beer glass from each sip, and it grows to well over an inch long before it falls and brings about the second third of the cigar.

262 Suit & Tie 2

The 262 Cigars Suit & Tie seems to be almost as much about the texture of the smoke as it is about the flavor, as the oily texture has come back and wants to envelope the pepper as far as the palate is concerned, leaving the nose to bear the brunt of the pepper’s power. I’m not sensing any major flavor changes to the cigar, but rather this continued presentation of pepper and oil, which on the screen might not seem so appealing but in practice is quite enjoyable. The burn line begins to waver just a bit and eventually pushes me to touch it up quickly, after which it quickly gets back on track, with the flavor starting to open up and develop more layers than it has shown before, with nuts and dry leather the first two things to stand out.

262 Suit & Tie 3

While there isn’t a big departure from the track that the Suit & Tie lancero has been on, there is a bit more happening now from a flavor perspective. I begin to get more of an earthy base coming out, with leather and almond piling on top of that. Pepper still remains the lead component, and having gotten accustomed to its solo work so far I’m not sure if I think it’s better as part of a chorus of flavors, and if the new group isn’t perfectly in harmony as happened in the second sample, all the individual components suffer. Pepper remains strong in the nose but has settled down on the palate with two inches or so left in the cigar, and the cigar begins to show a collective addition of terroir from the unnamed tobacco around the pepper. At its cleanest presentation—the one I found in the first cigar—the Suit & Tie can be smoked fairly far down, whereas when the flavors aren’t quite as clean and crisp, a little over an inch gets left unsmoked.

262 Suit & Tie 4

Final Notes

  • Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to smoke the toro version, but I would really like to smoke the two side-by-side.
  • The band is certainly a departure from 262 Cigars’ usual presentation, and in some ways I really like it, though it loses all of the company’s branding as an expense. In addition, the ends can fray and detract from the appearance.
  • It also seems not to be glued together with typical cigar glue, though I could be wrong. It almost feels like a dab of rubber cement, but it removes very cleanly with no damage to the cigar.
  • Viaje also went with a completely white band for its fifth anniversary cigar, though it featured a subtle embossing on it.
  • Cigars and music certainly have a tie-in; as you’ll recall Crowned Heads has used several songs as inspiration for the names of its cigars.
  • It is interesting to flip around the radio or through your own music library and think about which song titles would make for interesting cigar names.
  • Strength is a really interesting discussion in this cigar; I wouldn’t say it’s an inherently strong cigar in terms of nicotine, but I’d bet the prominent pepper will convey different impressions of “strength” to different people. This is also an important reminder to separate flavor from nicotine when describing cigars; there are plenty of full-flavored cigars that don’t pack strength, and plenty of very strong cigars without much in the way of true flavor.
  • Final smoking time was one hours and 40 minutes on average.
  • The cigars for this review were provided by 262 Cigars.
  • The 262 Cigars Suit & Tie is available at the select retailers found here, which includes site sponsor STOGIES World Class Cigars (713-783-5100).
88 Overall Score

The 262 Cigars Suit & Tie stakes a quick claim on what will be its basis: bright, clean pepper and a buttery backing note that gives the smoke a distinct texture from start to finish. The blend distills this down to near perfect simplicity, never trying to be too much, do too much, or celebrate by serving up every flavor under the sun. It's in the final third where the tipping point comes; in trying to build upon the beautifully pure flavors of the first two thirds, it risks detracting from it, and in one sample, did just that, while the first sample didn't suffer the same fate. To borrow a bit from the name, the first two thirds of this cigar are a near-immaculately tailored suit, while the final third either adds a stylish, complementing tie or an ill-fitting leather vest with a cat on it.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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