Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Gods Whisper (6 1/2 x 56)
Brand: Arturo Fuente
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
CigarNoise Price Point: $20-$24
Fuente Opus X 20 Years Celebration – First Thoughts
Aside from a couple wrapper blemishes, this cigar is exquisite to the eye with the blue bands and a very interesting vitola. It looks, feels, and smells like quality at this point and I’m getting excited all over again even though my previous two runs at this cigar left me wanting much, much more.
Another interesting note, Cigar Aficionado says this about the blue color choice: “According to company president Carlos Fuente Jr., this shift to blue has symbolic significance: the box’s wavy blue design represents the river that runs alongside Chateau de la Fuente, where OpusX wrappers are grown. Fuente chose to render the bands and boxes in blue because he said that this was the original color of the earliest Fuente labels.”
The wrapper smells like soft cedar with hints of dried fruit while the foot smells like rum-soaked raisins. The cold draw reinforces the foot with rum, raisins, and salted chocolates notes – I’m in heaven just imagining the potential of the Fuente Opus X 20 Years.
Fuente Opus X 20 Years Celebration – First Half
Cedar, Raisins, Muted Chocolate, Leather, Pepper, Muskiness, Cocoa Powder, Cranberries
The foot has been rather annoying to light in the previous two experiences, and todays review is no different. I’m also making a second cut to open it up some so that I don’t have to perform a relight early on. This is the third time that the draw, after lighting, has developed resistance like a McDonalds milkshake.
As the burn line crosses the figurado hump, cedar is the only distinguishable note that’s worth mentioning. If I squint real hard, cock my head sideways, and cast my net wide, I do receive hints of raisins on the finish as a gift from the universe. But really, it’s not worth mentioning. Except that I did.
There’s a thin quality to the smoke that denies it any creamy aspects, but it’s still very smooth. The body is about as mild as I can imagine as well, and it starkly contrasts the usual Opus X experience. I’ve heard that it was intended to reach a target somewhere around the Angel’s Share, and that sounds about right.
At roughly the one inch mark, the Fuente Opus X 20 Years Celebration begins to pick up speed with the addition of muted chocolate, a pinch of pepper, a bit of muskiness, and a finish of bitter cocoa.
Nearing the end of the first third, those raisiny notes become more prevalent and combine with a leathery sensation that captures my attention more so than in the beginning. Prior to the ash dropping, subtle hints of cranberries also joined the party.
Without the ash, delectable notes of chocolate covered raisins are my first experiences in what should be the second third if this cigar had three transitions. This was so rich and sophisticated that I’m immediately aware of what I’m missing just seconds later when this cigar flat lines again.
Fuente Opus X 20 Years Celebration – Second Half
Unsalted Crackers, Raisins, Aged Rum, Leather, Cedar, Brown Sugar, Oatmeal, Arabic Coffee, Mineral, Burnt Cherries, Bitterness
Around the halfway mark is where this particular Opus X hits its stride and begins to make reparations on the price tag. Unsalted crackers, raisins, and aged rum break through the monotony as this cigar’s body becomes deeper and more enjoyable.
Leather and cedar also make a return but this time it’s smoother and more sophisticated than before. Theirs an air about this cigar now that feels like a completely different stick. Complexity begins to come together at this point, even with very similar tasting notes, that the Fuente Opus X 20 Years Celebration fails to deliver early on.
Removing the secondary band, an oily quality becomes noticeable in the smoke as different nuances of wood, brown sugar, and oatmeal add completely new dimensions to this cigar. Think of plain oatmeal with brown sugar on the finish and voila, you’re sitting in my seat right now. With raisins remaining as a primary tasting note, this is a very good combination right now.
Whereas the first half of this cigar required several touchups, this portion requires much less maintenance. It’s not maintenance-free by any means, but nowhere near as frustrating as before.
Approaching the primary band, the overall experience settles into what I can only describe as arabic coffee. It’s an under-roasted, slightly green, aromatic coffee that tastes more like tea than regular coffee. I believe most add cardamom to it as well (if not all), and generally it’s very weak in comparison to what we think of coffee.
Side Note: this particular cigar is noticeably absent of the abundant glue that Fuente usually identifies their cigars. Both bands were removed with ease and the wrapper doesn’t appear to be bathed in it.
With roughly an inch and a half remaining, most of the delicate pleasantries have been dispensed with as we’re left with a mineral taste, slightly burnt cherries, and bitterness on the tongue. One last gripe, the cigar has become squishy as well.
Longlasting (2 Hours)
Boring 1st Half