262 Allegiance Toro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 54 “Toro Gordo – Box Pressed”
Body: Medium
Price: $8.50

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262-Cigars-Allegiance

Today we take a look at the 262 Allegiance Toro.
Thanks to Charlotte for giving me the nod to buy an 8 pack on Cigar Monster for $19.99.
This included two of each: Ideology, Revere, Paradigm, and Allegiance. Killer deal.

262cigars

It felt good to write so much this week but I think this will be it for a few days. My illness, besides the symptoms of dementia, lowers my immune system and I believe the flu is starting all over again. Ain’t that a wet dream.

Note:
I’m now embarrassed by my writing. The doctors that urge me on because it is good brain exercise don’t have a clue what it means to watch your writing become garbage. So…I am on the verge of calling it quits.
I have some manufacturer obligations and I will keep my word on reviewing those cigars.
I have to put an end to this. If a reader sends me something special, I will consider reviewing it. I’m nearly out of reviewable cigars so this is basically a moot point.
It hurts my heart to stop writing. But I don’t want to go out making a total ass of myself. Which I believe I’ve already begun to do.
Thanks to all the readers that have sent me cigars to smoke.
Thanks for sticking with me.

Your Uncle Katman

BACKGROUND:
Release Date: April 2014
Regular production.
Factory: Tabacalera Carreras in Estelí, Nicaragua.

From the 262 press release:
“This new blend is one that Clint Aaron, Founder of 262 Cigars, feels will be enjoyable by folks from every palate. This mild-medium cigar is comprised of a Brazilian Mata-Fina wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and fillers from both Nicaragua and Honduras which make for an effortless and enjoyable smoke.

“The Allegiance name, while stirring many connotations for many people, is 262’s official “line in the sand” campaign. While all of their previous brands have been named in support of their overall cigar revolution theme, Allegiance is meant to take on a stronger tone. State by state, town by town, and at the Federal level too, we are seeing a growing opposition to our cigar culture. Attacks are being made on all sides; industry, tradition, and art. Their intentions are clear, the line has been drawn, and it’s time to declare a side. Inaction does not excuse you from siding with the enemy. So, where does your allegiance lie?”

DESCRIPTION:
Of the four sizes, this is the only box press. It’s a very clean and crisp looking cigar. Almost like a Twix bar.
The oily milk chocolate wrapper is near flawless in its composition. It appears to be seamless. That might change when I remove the billboard sized cigar band.
The cigar is very hard with little give. And the triple cap is close to immaculate.
As the cigar has been out for a while, but still in production, there was no shortage of other reviews. The cigar is a wild card. Every review is different on its description of flavors to its final rating.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Corona 5.5 x 44 $7.00
Robusto 5 x 50 $7.50
Lancero 7 x 38 $8.20
Toro Gordo 6 x 52 $8.50

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell strong baking cocoa, sweetness, spice, sweet cream, cedar, very earthy, and a touch of cappuccino.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell almost the same: Milk chocolate, cream, cedar, spice, pine notes, sweetness, barnyard, and coffee.
The cold draw presents flavors of coffee, chocolate, spice, creaminess, cedar, lemon citrus, and pine notes.
In one review, I read the writer saying he smelled acetone. Yikes. I don’t think I would light a cigar that smelled of toxic cleaning fluid. And of course, it got a very low rating.

FIRST THIRD:
While toasting the foot, I get a wonderful charred oak aroma.
The 262 Allegiance Toro starts with a big bang. Flavors are intense and unique.

Here they are: Graham cracker, black pepper, creaminess, coffee, malts, cocoa powder, charred oak, black licorice, pine notes, butter, floral notes, cinnamon, and very earthy tobacco. Whew.

Actually, it reminds me of the Doxology and the Alec Bradley Post Embargo with that creamy graham cracker grouping of flavors.
I believe I’ve had the sticks for about a month. I reviewed the Ideology and the Paradigm in 2014. And I liked them both very much.
Strength is medium body.

4

Citrus enters the picture. Very lemony. Tart. Offsets what sweetness the 262 Allegiance Toro possesses.
This has to be one of the first crisply box pressed cigars I’ve smoked that has a perfect char line requiring no touch ups…so far.

The draw is a bit tighter than I prefer but it isn’t inhibiting my enjoyment of this blend.
The line has only 5 blends. I still have the Revere to review. And the Suit and Tie which I’ve yet to review.

The tight draw, naturally, comes from the enormously packed cigar. You couldn’t stuff a kitty’s hair in this sausage. And the big ring gauge. So, as an added extra attraction, you get a nice slow smoke. Something to savor. No hurry.

And then it happens…what was in the back of my mind when I looked at this cigar: Removing the giant cigar band.
I literally shred the band with a curved X-Acto blade but there is so much glue and so much overlap of the band’s edges that all seems to be lost.
But then I slip the cigar band off the 2nd cigar and have an easier time breaking it apart.
That is sloppy workmanship. And if both cigars are like that, in most probability, all of the Allegiance cigars have that problem. I really don’t enjoy spending 5 minutes ripping little pieces of cigar band off a millimeter at a time.

5

I jinxed it by giving the 262 Allegiance Toro high praise in the char line department. I’m now forced to rectify the situation.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
The intensity of the flavors is on the wane. They were much tastier in the first third. Everything has flattened out. All that is left is the creaminess and graham cracker. The black pepper, which I loved, is now gone. So is that long list of flavors that showed up early. What happened?

But I’m more concerned about the flavor profile. I expected this blend to blossom; not trail off into the sunset. I so enjoyed the Ideology and the Paradigm.
I, arrogantly, thought that the reviewers giving the cigar such low scores were full of shit. My bad. It seems they may have been right if the blend doesn’t go into action very, very soon.

6third

The malts return. So does the lemon citrus. Very tart once again.
One by one, flavor elements return. Clearly, this stick is a bit schizo.
Strength remains at a weak medium body.

This is the first Allegiance I’ve smoked. I think. I must have had this cigar but maybe chose not to review it? Is that possible? Can’t remember. My reviews of the 3 other blends: Peacefield Maduro (10-24-2015), Paradigm (12-25-2014), and Ideology (5-25-2014) were staggered quite a bit. The Peacefield Maduro is a very inexpensive bundle cigar that 262 produces. Goes for around $3.

On the upside, the cigar stays lit…sonovabitch. The ash I was about to praise just fell off and on to the top of my camera. I have to take my camera in to be serviced and cleaned. I’ve dropped ash on to this poor baby hundreds of times and it is acting bizarre when I try to take photos. No. I don’t have a smart phone. I’m a house rat and don’t go anywhere. Why spend a couple hundred dollars a month for a phone when I have my lap top a few feet away. We have a cheap Virgin Mobile flip phone for when we leave the house. $20 per month for 400 minutes. Can’t beat that. It’s more of a safety device than anything else. Besides, when is the last time you’ve seen a public telephone booth?

The halfway point is here.
Smoke time is one hour.

7half

Most flavors return but are subdued. Maybe a month of humidor time is not nearly enough. It’s hard to tell when some of the big guy reviewers thrashed it.
There should be a cigar reviewer’s union that in its bylaws requires the reviewer to disclose how much humidor time the cigar was given prior to the review.

The 262 Allegiance Toro is beginning to blossom. Flavors are returning to their rightful positions in line.
Even the pepper is returning. This kind of behavior can only mean two things: 1) The cigar needs months of humidor time, not a single month, or 2) It just isn’t a very good blend.

The price point of $8.50 seems a bit much. And yes, I know I’ve been reviewing cigars at almost twice that price.
But it feels more like a $5 stick.
Of course, getting it for only $2.50 in the 8 pack sampler takes some of the sting out of the discounted price.

I find it odd that some boutique brands crank out one cigar after another. Other boutique brands spew a bunch of cigars in a short time and then lay dormant for a couple years. And there are other boutique brands that put out one or two blends and then sort of disappear….maybe putting out a new blend once a year.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 20 minutes.
We are back at the beginning. That giant list of flavors returns. Even the black pepper is very spicy. Giving the weak medium body some zest.

I like the 262 Allegiance Toro once again. It is extremely flavorful. My criticism is that it started like gangbusters and then it was like letting the air out of a balloon.

Only to return in the last third. How many cigars have you smoked that this happens? Me? A lot. I should augment my Best Cigar lists with an Avoid This Cigar list.
That might be a good project while I am healing from my second bout of the flu.

8third

I’m enjoying the cigar once again.
I read one review in which the writer said he tasted paint. I laughed.
Guess what? While I don’t know what paint tastes like, I’m getting a paint aroma. Very pungent.
WTF?

How can Clint Aaron make such a gorgeous looking cigar and it tastes like doo doo?
I still have the second stick and I will allow it to rest for a few months and return to comment. But I don’t think I’m off base with my opinion here. Especially, since so many other reviewers had an unpleasant experience as well.

I will allow my last 262 blend: The Revere age a few months before I review it just to be on the safe side.
The paint goes away after just a couple of minutes.
The blend needs to go on anti-psychotic medicine.

What a bummer. I was on a roll with rave reviews. It had to come to an end. I just didn’t expect it to be with this blend. Especially, after re-reading my old reviews of the other 262 blends.
Even the bundle inexpensive Peacefield Maduro is a much better cigar and it’s only $3.

If I do have the flu once again, it is mild compared to the first one. So my hopes are that I won’t be down and out for too long. I only have head congestion and that terrible fatigue. The first one turned into an infection in only two days. So I have a different antibiotic in the house and started taking it yesterday. Fingers crossed.

And please no lectures about taking antibiotics. I haven’t been sick enough with a cold to need antibiotics in years. So I’m not over doing it.

If you can find the same sampler on Cigar Monster, buy it. I just checked Famous Smoke and they have the same 8 pack sampler, “Best of 262,” for a buck more: $20.99. Based on what you have to pay on certain online stores, this is a $68 package.

Final smoke time is just short of 2 hours.

RATING: 77

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
Dear friend, and ardent cigar smoker, Darryl Martin lost his wife Penny a little over a week ago. Penny was 51 and had end stage cancer.
Darryl spent every dime they had going above and beyond normal health care. They tried experimental trials and other last hope measures to stop the cancer that was eating Penny alive. Darryl lives in Houston and he sent Penny to Seattle where there is a special clinic for cancer patients who are last stage. Their insurance did not cover this.
And now Darryl is left with a mountain of health care bills that is overwhelming. He even has to save his money to get Penny home. On the right side of this page is a Go Fund Me Campaign to help Darryl pay his heath care bills.
Please do whatever you can. And size donation is a godsend.
Thank you and God bless.

The Katman

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