One of the most important reasons to become a cigar smoker is that you get to know other cigar smokers and other cigar smokers are generous people. That is the case with the person who gave me this cigar, John Jackson (JJ). He was one of my MBA professors and we now do business together. At a cigar dinner recently he gifted me this Opus X and now I’m going to do a review on it. (Incidentally, JJ’s new book, which I edited, Déjà New Marketing, has just been published – so check it out!)
One of the more surprising things about Opus Xs, at least the ones that I have had, is that they generally are not the prettiest looking cigars. In no way does that mean they aren’t expertly made, because they most certainly are, but the wrappers definitely tilt towards the rustic.
They are very oily however. Nicely packed with few veins and no major problems like holes in the wrapper or anything like that. Well, lets find out how good this puppy tastes!
Length: 5 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: don’t ask
30 Horses Light!
Fuente Fuente Opus X cigars definitely have a unique flavor to them and this one is a prime example of that uniqueness. Very spicy in the beginning, definitely full bodied and a dark sweetness that reminds me of a constrained anise. There are also meaty and leathery flavors as well.
This cigar is a perfect example of spiciness and, if memory serves, I don’t remember previous Opus Xs being this spicy. Part of me is hoping that the spice moderates as I get further into the cigar but a bigger part of me is mesmerized by it. The other flavors are there and, if not for the overpowering spiciness, they would be very strong flavors on their own. Complex cigar.
Near the beginning of the second third there is a notable change from full throttle spiciness to a more balanced menu of flavors. Oh, the spice is still aggressive but the anise and leather are more noticeable now and I must say that I am grateful.
Surprisingly, the spice transforms after the halfway point. Heretofore, it had been like a chili pepper delightfully punishing my tongue with each draw and now it is more like peppermint. A salty meatiness comes on stronger at around this point as well. Very complex cigar.
I can honestly understand why some people don’t like Opus X cigars: when they are at their best Opus Xs can be an assault on your taste buds. But, to me at least, there is a lot of nuance in that assault. At least when Opus Xs are at their best (more on that later).
At the end of this cigar the spice is all but gone and the leather and anise are the main flavors. It’s a great cigar and my biggest thanks to JJ for gifting it to me.
Now onto the “more on that later” segment of this review. Fuente Fuente Opus X cigars can sometimes be magnificent, as was the case here. Sometimes they are merely average or somewhat above average. If you don’t like spice and full bodied cigars then you should wait until a point in time when you do like those things in a cigar before you buy some. That being said, eventually you should at least try one to see if you like them or not. It is just one of those iconic brands that deserves a try.
Alright, I know, we’re two weeks into the new year, a new decade even, and the time for Top 10s has passed. Well, you’re going to have to make room for one more because I have done one as well.
What follows is my Top 10 most memorable, enjoyable, amazing cigars that I smoked last year. I decided to make my Top 10 all about the highest scoring cigars that I smoked but, rather, the cigars that scored well and were special to me for some reason or another. Price is a small consideration in this list but quality is what is most important.
And now I humbly submit to you my Top 10 Cigars of 2009.
This cigar is awesome. I only gave it 89 points but, once you consider the price point, it’s a steal. For less than $4.00 (if you buy a box of 30) you will get a little bomb of flavor.
The Perdomo Reserve 10th Anniversary Maduro Robusto is a fine cigar. Medium bodied with chocolate and earthy flavors. Maybe not enough complexity but a joy to smoke nonetheless.
I was walking through a local cigar shop, saw this cigar at what turned out to be a hefty markup (thanks to the California taxes, I’m sure) and decided to pick it up. After all, it was the top cigar at Cigar Aficionado in 2008. And it is good but not mind blowingly good. The Casa Magna Colorado Belicoso has spice, wood and nuts as the main flavors. Definitely worth it considering the price.
A torpedo, the CAO L’Anniversaire Maduro Belicoso, was a wonderful blend of earth and chocolate. Loads of flavor and enough complexity with this cigar to make it very enjoyable. I have been meaning to pick up some of these again and now that it’s officially in my Top 10 I don’t see why I shouldn’t.
I started out smoking the Gran Reserva line of Fuentes and because of that they will always hold a special place in my heart. Even though I don’t consider the normal Fuente line to be anything special anymore this one was a home run for me. I loved everything about it.
When I smoked the Man O’ War Ruination Robusto No. 1 I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. The original Man O’ War line was a fine cigar and I was thinking I was going to get something along those lines, maybe a little better. Boy was I wrong. Yeah, it was full bodied but it had a lot of flavor and depth to it as well; something I thought was lacking from the original line.
The Tatuaje Miami Reserva J21 is simply a great cigar. Tons of complex flavors from beginning to end with this one. Need I say more?
The Padron Anniversary Series Monarca is a special cigar. Tons of full bodied flavor oozes from this cigar. If only the second half had been as good as the first half I bet this cigar would have been my favorite cigar of the year. And, ironically, it was the first cigar I smoked in 2009. Nothing like starting off with a bang!
This cigar, the Fuente Fuente Opus X Belicoso XXX, received my highest score this year with 96 points and the only reason why it’s not going to be number one is because of the price. $26.00 is a lot to pay for a cigar that is less than five inches long but you have to give the Devil its due with this one. It really is a special cigar and its flavor profile matches up with what I like extraordinarily well.
Smoking the Camacho Triple Maduro 50/4.5 was Heavenly for me. This is the one cigar that I go back to as often as I can and, even though I gave a higher mark to the Opus X, that is why it’s my top cigar for 2009.
Alright, I’ve got to admit that I have been wanting to smoke an Opus X for a very long time but, since the price is so exorbitant, I had resisted the urge to splurge. That, as you will see in the following review, was a mistake. By the way: A big thanks to Cigars Direct for this cigar.
Frankly, when you have a cigar that costs as much as this you expect greatness. And yet, the wrapper is anything but great. There are a couple of holes in the wrapper and there are also a couple of stretch marks as well.
Beyond that, however, it is great. Very oily, rich color to it, and the cap looks perfectly constructed, which, based off some of the other torpedoes I have seen, is no small feat. It’s tightly packed.
Length: 4 5/8″
Ring Gauge: 49
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Frankly, my dear, I no longer give a damn about the wrapper because the first few puffs have been sublime. Loads of spice and leather are evident on my tongue and through the nose. Perfect draw and definitely full bodied. Wow!
There may be a hint of licorice in the background, which adds nicely to the complexity of this cigar. There is also a magnificent toasted flavor. Everything is just going swimmingly with this cigar.
It’s amazing just how alive the flavors are. Tons of billowing, creamy smoke. Smoking this cigar is making my mouth water. This has got to be one of my all-time favorite cigars because I hate putting it down. I just can’t wait for the next puff! The only drawback I can think of with this cigar is that it is so short. It fits my tastes perfectly and it is definitely one of my top favorites.
I love Fuente cigars. Just the other day I was lucky enough to have my first Fuente Fuente Opus X and it was just awesome. Probably the best cigar I have ever smoked. Tons of spice with a nice leathery background (I will post my review in a month or two, I have a little bit of a backlog). An absolutely wonderful smoke.
In honor of that cigar I scoured the Internet and found this great video that gives a brief background of the Fuente family and their cigar making roots. And, yes, it’s basically a commercial for the Fuente family. But so what?!?! Hope you like it!