Fuente Fuente OpusX Angel’s Share Reserve D’Chateau | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Dominican Chateau de la Fuente Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 7 x 48 “Reserve D’Chateau- Churchill”
Body: Medium
Price: $26.15 MSRP

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Today we take a look at the Fuente Fuente OpusX Angel’s Share Reserve D’Chateau.
This is the Churchill size of the Angel’s Share line that is made up of four sizes.
Thanks to Peter Leviten for this wonderful cigar. He has had it in his possession for one year.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
Originally released: 2012

From the Arturo Fuente web site:
“The term “Angel’s Share” is used in the wine making process. Wine makers often use oak barrels to store their wine during the aging process. When the wine ages for long periods of time, some of it will evaporate from the barrel. The evaporated wine is called Angel’s Share, alluding to the belief that the guardian angels that watch over the wine, sample it, and give it their blessings.

“Since we lost so much priceless tobacco during fire in 2012, the inspiration for this cigar came from that exact term. The warehouses that burned down contained tobacco that had been aging since the late 40’s and 50’s. The Fuente family was saving for the special 100 year anniversary. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be as the fire consumed much of the precious tobacco. It made the family extremely sad and depressed, but out of that came the Angel’s Share cigar. From this it is implied that the angels enjoyed the enticing aroma of the tobacco that burned in the barns, but in turn, gave their blessings to the Fuente family for future successful endeavors.”

DESCRIPTION:
In the sunlight, the wrapper is the color of caramel. It has a soft box press.
The triple cap is impeccable. Seams are tight. Not a lot of veins. The wrapper feels like velvet.
The stick is solid with perfect amount of give when squeezed.
The famous cigar band sits atop a secondary band that merely says: Angel’s Share. Very classy. And should be for the price.
I realize it would probably take an act of God to find this cigar unless you have a great relationship with your local B & M. But I want my last month of reviewing to add some great cigars I never had the chance to review that adds to my catalog.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Reserve D’Chateau 7 x 48 Churchill $26.15 MSRP
Fuente Fuente 5.626 x 46 Grand Corona $16.45 MSRP
Perfecxion X 6.25 x 48 Toro $20.25 MSRP
Robusto 5.25 x 50 $18.49 MSRP

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell a floral sweetness, cedar, peanuts, and dried fruit.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell very strong peanut element, floral notes, cedar, dried fruit, and cappuccino.
The cold draw presents flavors of spice, cinnamon, sweet floral notes, cedar, nuts, and coffee.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is a bit airy for my tastes. It is a light cigar. No fish weights used to make it feel heavier. (You didn’t know that some manufacturers did this?)

Out of the gate: Creaminess, black pepper, cinnamon, graham cracker, roasted nuts, coffee, cedar, citrus, green tea, and a small dose of floral notes.

When the care package arrived a couple days ago, the sticks felt like Popsicles. As I did some research, I could hear one’s wrapper making crackling noises. So I immediately glued the errant wrapper and put the cigars in my humidor. Didn’t open it til this morning when I decided to review this OpusX.
By the way. In all my years smoking cigars. In all my years, I’ve only smoked one Opus X. In writing that review on June 9, 2013, I decided to steal that after-review story for this review. Just a very short ditty.

3

The draw improves dramatically. I allowed it to rest for 2-3 minutes while I transferred the story. And it seems to have coalesced the blend.
The Fuente Fuente OpusX Angel’s Share Reserve D’Chateau could stand to have a little more filler in it as it seems to be burning quickly.
Or maybe it’s just its age and the cigar’s filler has shrunk a bit. I don’t know what I’m saying. I have Alzheimer’s. (I believe I can now use that as an excuse for every dumb shit thing I do from now on.)

The ash is very fine and delicate. The burn line is a bit wavy…probably from its trip from Peter’s house in the bush of Alaska. He can see Russia from his hut.

This is an excellent cigar. But then you knew that as I am probably the last shnook on earth to smoke one of these.

Some lemon citrus appears. Flavors are gentle and subtle. No big bang theory happening here. The cigar is advertised as medium body. I’m sure after a few years’ humidor time; it has been reduced to mild/medium body. And a lot of oomph and zest has dissipated.

If I had blind taste tested this…well, at this point I’d say it is nice but nothing special. But methinks that I’m going to be very happily surprised very soon. Of course, I’ve been on a campaign dressing down both the Fuentes and the Padrons for the ridiculous pricing on their cigars. They have accomplished what Reverend Moon accomplished but on a bigger scale. Or maybe Jim Jones without the grape Kool-Aid.

I found this cigar’s ratings on all five sizes. The robusto only got an 88. This cigar got a 92.
The strength is mild body with 1-1/2” burned. The major flavors are graham cracker and creaminess.

4

I’m getting cracks in the wrapper. From the cold, of course. I wanted to review the cigars Peter sent me one after another (6 or 7 cigars) but I think they need to settle for a week or so and let them heal from the trip across Antarctica.

At 2” burned, the ash falls off. For a cigar I accused of not being filled correctly, it sure made a fool of me.
And then snap! Flavors are emboldened. Complexity kicks in. The balance is up to something. And the finish is finally producing.
Everything kicks into high gear. Even the strength hits a strong medium body.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 40 minutes.

When I told Charlotte how much these cigars cost that Peter sent me, she said, “Sell them. Sell them!! We can eat!”
I stood there like Superman with my arms bent and my fists on my hips with my chest jutted out and said, “Woman. We don’t sell cigars in this household. They are my treasure. And you, my little bag lady, can sell all those jewels I bought you over 30 years+ of marriage. That should get us a 24 pack of Top Ramen.”

It seems that CA loves the Padron family but no so much the Fuente family. I check ratings over the years and the OpusX really doesn’t show up with the regularity that the Padron fancy shmancy blends do.

5third

The glue on both cigar bands act as if they were welded there. Removing them in one piece is near impossible.
The Fuente Fuente OpusX Angel’s Share Reserve D’Chateau is a superb blend but folks, it ain’t worth $26.00. No cigar is worth $26.00. Smoke and mirrors…smoke and mirrors.

Yeah, I’m digging it but if you look at my Top 25 Cigars of 2015, I’d say most of those sticks; especially the top 10 are better than this blend. And they cost nowhere near the price of this cigar.

But it sure is fun smoking one. I don’t feel like the evergreen virgin any longer.
The halfway point. Smoke time is one hour.

Here they are: Creaminess, nuts, spice, graham cracker, cinnamon, tea, citrus, floral notes, golden raisins, and a whole bunch of flavors so subtle that I have no idea what they are.

Maybe that’s why this cigar is so expensive. It appeals to smokers with much better palates than mine and can taste the nuances I cannot taste.

6half

This morning’s musical selection started out with Curved Air “Live.” I haven’t listened to that album in a decade. Damn. I was a great bassist. LOL.
Then, I move on to The Temptations. Perfect transition.

Then, like the proverbial light switch, the Fuente Fuente OpusX Angel’s Share Reserve D’Chateau soars like an eagle.
Strength is medium/full body.
And the flavor profile is just killer.
Holy shit. It is really a shame that it took half the cigar to get here but I’m glad it did because it made all the difference.

A reader, Jim Turecamo, placed a comment on my good-bye post; finally answering my quest about why the cigar gets better with humidor time. He is a chemist and his description makes sense to me:
“Since you have given us so much of your knowledge about cigars, I figure I could give you some of what I have researched, discovered, and theorized. I am a chemist, but more than that a scientist. I remember you saying no one has ever explained why cigars need to rest for a certain amount of time before you can smoke them.

“What I have found and you probably already know is tobacco goes through a lot of fermentation, some of it high temperature and some of it as a pile of leaves left to age at low temperature for varied amount of time. During these stages, different bacteria are digesting the tobacco getting rid of the things we don’t want to varying degrees.

“What most people don’t realize is there is another process that is occurring after the cigars are rolled and exposed to air. This process is conducted by yet another set of bacteria. During the cigar’s “dumb” phase, the populations of these bacteria slowly increase and yield the flavors and sweetness we eventually observe. This process continues until the cigar has no more reserves of food for the bacteria.

This is why a cigar slowly loses its strength over years. Some manufacturers ship cigars right after rolling and we have to sit on them waiting for the bacteria to get going. Others hold onto the cigars until the process has finished or they are good to smoke, even though it never really finishes. I am currently trying to reduce the amount of resting time by jump starting the bacteria by warming the cigars. It also helps to reduce some of the fermentation by products from tobacco being stored in the piles. I hope this answers your question. I will miss your reviews and I wish I had your palate.”

Thank you Jim.
The spiciness has become red pepper now. My tongue feels like I kissed a habanero.
The strength really gives the blend some oomph.
The citrus goes from lemon to orange. Every flavor, earlier listed, is a hand grenade with the pin pulled.

I believe this cigar would have tasted better in a robusto, but according to CA, not so.
They really liked this Churchill.
They show the MSRP at $15.50. I guess the price has gone up as they disappeared.
Chocolate finally shows itself. Completes the picture.
The strength is now a solid medium/full. And a bit of nicotine rears its head.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 20 minutes.
One thing I noticed doing research is how many names this cigar is given. The word “Fuente” is bandied about at the beginning..at the end…or twice.

I am using the Cigar Aficionado version: Fuente Fuente OpusX Angel’s Share Reserve D’Chateau.

This really is a great cigar. But I don’t understand the reasoning behind the expensive price point. Why make cigars for only those that make the big dough? I don’t know if it is a chicken or egg theory. Did the OpusX become legendary because of the price or because of the blends?

Sure, I imagine they are all excellent cigars. But look at all the boutique manufacturers pumping out spectacular cigars without all that hoopla of some mysterious story behind it.

7third

I believe my top 10 cigars all cost under $12. And the Fuente Fuente OpusX Angel’s Share Reserve D’Chateau isn’t top 10 material. I can’t really use the Cigar Aficionado top 25 cigars or their monthly ratings seriously. How many of you get the magazine on a regular basis, turn to the ratings pages, and then laugh out loud? The Nub actually made the top 25 of 2015. WTF?

I believe most experienced smokers think something fishy is going on here. When I read the monthly ratings, I sometimes recoil in horror. LOL. They make a big deal about how they blind taste test these cigars. But do they really? It’s one of the best kept secrets in the cigar business. Sometimes, I agree with them but mostly, I don’t.

As far as the Fuente Fuente OpusX Angel’s Share Reserve D’Chateau, I think it deserves a 92. Although, it wasn’t til the last half that it really kicked in. Most cigars lose something after a year or so of humidor time. Others don’t and become better.
Because my stick waited til the second half to really stand out, my rating will be lower than CA’s. Still, a very good blend.

I’ve got a couple other OpusX blends from Peter that I plan to review. Neither of which I knew about. But then I don’t shop for OpusX cigars. I’m very naïve when it comes to the highly priced blends.
Still, a good cigar. Should I recommend you pay $26 for this? Hell no. Even at $15, it is a quandary.

RATING: 90

8

And now for something completely different:

I was 15 when my grandfather lost my grandmother. I don’t mean he lost her…I mean she passed. He decided to take me to Europe and Israel that coming summer. An 8 week journey during my vacation from school.

It was made up of a group from a synagogue out of L.A. There were almost 50 people on the tour. Of those 50, there were 5 teens, including me. Within a couple weeks, I had my first girlfriend: Frieda. She was Polish, but born in the U.S. Her parents were Auschwitz survivors with the infamous tattoos on their forearms. Frieda was also 15.

Photo is Frieda and I atop the Eiffel Tower:
pica

I learned to kiss that summer. And I found out what second base was.
We spent our first three weeks in Israel and I can remember everything about it to this day. It had a huge impact on me.

In France, we did all the tourist attractions. The trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower was the big highlight for me. Prior to climbing the tower, I bought a hot dog from a vendor with a cart. The buns were hard rolls. The vendor had a stainless steel rod with a pointy top. He slammed the roll on to the top of the rod, creating a hole down the center to accommodate the wiener; but he would first place your condiments inside, and then the wiener.

What I didn’t know was that French mustard was awash in horseradish.

I held on to my hot dog til we got to the top. We kids always hung together. So we all stood at the railing, looking down. I was the only chazer who bought a dog. I ate all the time and stayed as skinny as a rail.

I took a big bite out of my dog and the horseradish squirted into my mouth and did a huge number on me, mostly due to shock and awe. I have never had French mustard at this point in my life, and without thinking, I threw the whole thing over the railing; and then in horror, watched as it gently wafted to the ground from 1000 feet above.

Everyone screamed. I just let loose of a wiener missile that would embed itself in some poor tourist’s head. I could see the newspaper the next day. “Filthy American kills Child with Filthy Wiener in a Roll.”

It seemed to take forever as the hot dog headed towards ground zero. None of us could even breathe. There were hundreds of people down there milling about and the roll missed all of them. I fell to the floor with my back against the rail and took a deep breath. Not a murderer today, Kohn.

In the passing years, the French put up a wire net to keep people from throwing shit and from committing suicide.
Good idea.

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3 replies

  1. Great review – as always. And the story is even better!

  2. Great review. I have a lot of your sentiments concerning cigars and their pricing and have found that if you like a cigar it’s a go for me as well! I’ve just recently discovered your blog and love your irreverent style of writing and humor. I’m thankful that it will stay up in place because I plan on referring to it and reading all of your reviews over time.I’m burning a stick right now as I sit in my basement and listen to some David Bowie on Spotify. Hard to believe he has passed. I feel like someone else who said they thought he would never pass but would return to his mother planet where ever that is! God bless you Katman. Love the story on the end of this review as well!

  3. I’ve had a Padron 1926 and an Opus X Forbidden City (or something like that)…both cigars were in the stratosphere pricewise. And like you, I thought they were ok, but certainly not worth the money. If I had a choice between one of them and a Fallen Angel Devil’s Ink, I’d choose the latter any day. I get that there is a lot of steps involved in a ceegar, and I sometimes wonder how the manufacturers can make money on their product…but I’ve found that, without exception, the sticks selling over $15 aren’t any better than those that I can get for $10-12, or even less.