Arturo Fuente - Opus X - The flagship of the Fuente line, the Opus X is hailed as a classic smoke by the cigar community. With some vitolas receiving as high as a '94' rating by Cigar Aficianado, this is one of those cigars that every smoker has to try at some point. Thought of as a powerhouse smoke, these cigars are not always an easy find in a lot of markets.
Wrapped, bound and filled with the finest Dominican tobaccos from the Fuente's fabled Chateau de la Fuente, these cigars are a potrait of the tradition and experience of the Fuente brand.
Prelight - This is the first Opus X I have ever smoked. For some reason, I've been inclined to smoking newer brands, which I suppose target a younger demographic than the more traditional brands, like Fuente. So this meeting between me and this Opus X has been a long time coming.
The construction is great, everything I expected. Firm throughout with no soft spots, and an attractive wrapper. The wrapper is a light-brown, almost Colorado hued leaf, with a few tiny veins visible. The leaf looks very fragile and artisanly rolled. The foot of the cigar smells of cedar and fresh tobacco.
I clip the cap and find the draw to be effortless. I taste a little spice on the prelight draw.
Sparking it - This cigar opens up with pure power. A lot of spice. I'm not a huge fan of unbalanced spice, but something about the creaminess of the smoke keeps me satisfied early on. About an inch into the smoke, the burn runs a tad uneven. A quick touch-up burn fixes that.
At about the same time, the flavor profile starts to open up. I get a mix of aromas off the second-hand smoke that carries a rich sweetness in it. The smoke gets creamier and the spice settles down while still maintaining its presence in the smoke. I like where this is heading.
Smoking it - This cigar has been burning for a long time. The No. 5 is only a 4.88" x 40 gauge cigar and it has been burning for about 40 minutes. I'm a fast smoker, and I'm still not done. The burn never shows any more issues and stays even and steady throughout. I think one of the reasons I've never smoked the Opus X is that I've heard it was a spicy smoke and extremely full-flavored. While I like full-flavor, I dislike it without balance and complexity. The Opus X shows all of those qualities. I may compare a larger vitola sometime to see if that balance comes with the smaller size.
Early on the power of the cigar had me a little worried it may not be for me. I know a lot people love powerhouse smokes and that could be the reason for its popularity. But as the smoked progressed, I was found myself tasting a variety of flavors with each 1/2" inch. I hate to be overly descriptive with the profile, but I tasted cedar, sweet spice, a deep fruity flavor and more. All while maintaining a balanced spice flavor throughout.
The last 10 minutes of the cigar were the best in my opinion. The resting smoke was sweet and rich, and the flavors were intense. I highly recommend the Opus X to all you medium to full smokers out there. A smaller vitola like the No. 5, is a great introduction to the line.
Overall - A