Arturo Fuente OpusX Destino al Siglo Presidente A | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Dominican Sun Grown Habano (Chateau de la Fuente)
Binder: Dominican (Chateau de la Fuente)
Filler: Dominican (Chateau de la Fuente)
Size: 9.25 x 47 “Presidente – A”
Body: Full
Price: $50.00-$75.00

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Today we take a look at the Arturo Fuente OpusX Destino al Siglo Presidente A.
It came as a gift in a long, long coffin. Along with it, came a Fuente Fuente OpusX Perfecxion A.
I could find squat information about this special limited edition Destino al Siglo. It doesn’t have the picture of Don Arturo like other al Siglos.

The Fuente web site doesn’t even show this size or make mention of it.
It has that red ribbon footer but now cedar sleeve.

I will go on the assumption that the size is special but not the blend. Although a 2 foot long cigar will certainly have an effect on its flavor.
I do expect to be here all day smoking it.

Both cigars were sealed so no issues of over aging.
The Destino al Siglo marks the 100 year anniversary. The cigar band has 1912-2012 written on it but I believe the blend was released in 2013.
And instead of the Corojo wrapper being used, it has a Habano.

DESCRIPTION:
The cigar looks like one of those long pretzel sticks. Or a breadstick in an Italian restaurant.
In fact, it is rustic looking. Seams are semi-tight. The cigar is lumpy and bumpy. Lots of tiny veins. Indentations.
The wrapper is cinnamon/pecan in color and very smooth to the touch.
The triple cap is flawless.
The cigar is solid with almost no give.
The foot has a soft box press but as it travels towards the cap, it rounds out. I suppose that happened by being jammed into its coffin and not done on purpose.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell barnyard, cinnamon, fruit, cream, spice, and cedar.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell figs, baked apple, cinnamon, spice, sweetness, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of apple pie, cinnamon, figs, spice, and cedar.
I read a few reviews and everyone says the exact same thing. Apple pie or baked apple, cinnamon, and figs.
The aromas are so strong it is impossible not to come to the same conclusion.

FIRST THIRD:
For such a huge cigar, the draw is pretty good.
The aromas translate to the favor profile. Lot of sweetness, fruit, cinnamon, black pepper, apple, nuts, and an amazing malt flavor.

The Arturo Fuente OpusX Destino al Siglo Presidente A tastes like a perfectly aged cigar. That richness and depth of character is immense.
As usual, I forgot who sent it to me. So please contact me so I can fix that.

I also received the dual cigar box of the Toast Across America 2014 from the same reader. It contains an OpusX Shark and a J.C. Newman Julius Ceaser. Both square pressed belicosos. But I cannot find any information on them. Were they especially blended for this promotion? Or are they the regular blends from each cigar with just the shape changed and special double bands? My researching skills have faltered dramatically.

My great fear is that I may be reviewing the cigar way too soon. I received the package sealed. Inside, both cigars had cellos on them. So they have only gotten a couple weeks of humidor time. So far? Tastes pretty good.

5

One thing that confuses me is the colors of the different Destino al Siglo cigar bands. Some are blue. Some are gold, etc. The AF web site is useless in fleshing out the different blends. They are more concerned that you memorize the history of the company than give you any decent info on the different blends.

I’m losing my so called camera skills and this cigar is a real challenge. My apologies. Like one member of a cigar forum said, “I’m glad to see he uses a better phone now because his early photos were horrible.” Still cracks me up. What does a retired old man need with a $200 per month smart phone? Take better photos than my Fuji camera maybe?

Creaminess seeps in. A dash of chocolate and coffee, as well.
Strength is barely medium body.
But flavors are expanding their grasp slowly but surely.

The other companion cigar: Fuente Fuente OpusX Perfecxion A won’t let me steal its main cigar band for photos. Both cigars have the bands melted on to each other and won’t look pretty later once they are removed.

And why does the coffin and the cello say: “Fuente Fuente OpusX?” Everyone reviews them as Arturo Fuente OpusX. I couldn’t find a single review that used the double Fuente reference. And the online stores are fast and loose with their nomenclature for the name as well.

It is incredibly difficult to research anything by Fuente. I received a few OpusX cigars but found it impossible to get the correct research. Hell, I don’t even know if I got this Arturo Fuente OpusX Destino al Siglo Presidente A right?
There is a wonderful marzipan flavor. Not roasted almonds, but straight ahead rich marzipan.
The draw is a little tough. But I don’t dare use my cigar awl on this single cigar. If I crack it, I’m fucked. So I will suck on it like an all-day sucker.

The char line needs a touch up. Shouldn’t need one on a $50 cigar. The other Destino al Siglos are much less expensive and can be had for under $20.

With 2” burned, the flavor profile exudes more definitive flavors: Apple pie, black pepper, cinnamon, figs, chocolate, coffee, cedar, creaminess, marzipan, and a maple bar doughnut.

But these are very subtle flavors…not big and bold. I have to squinch my eyes and smack my lips to get them. As well as taking sips of water to give a little rush to my palate.

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I figured that hanging the cigar this big from my mouth while I type would be impossible. It isn’t because the cigar doesn’t feel weighty. Under filled maybe.

I’m having more and more trouble typing. This is so annoying. I had the ability to just blast along at 60-70 wpm a year or so ago. Now it’s more like 15.

I found four sizes of the Arturo Fuente OpusX Destino al Siglo on Neptune Cigars. And all backordered. Prices vary from $23-$27 per stick. Not a single “A” sized cigar.
I’m beginning to think that the pair of cigars was an event cigar or for VIP’s. And that they may never have been offered to the public. The Fuente web site shows the entire size line up of this blend but omits this “A” size.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 45 minutes.
The maple element now runs neck and neck with the apple pie and cinnamon.
Strength hits medium/full.
Now we’re talking. Some oomph has entered stage left.

Allspice and dried fruit are new flavors.

I picked an after-review rock story that I first published a year ago February. Good story.

I want to take this moment to thank Stogie Boys and Sheryl King for their support and continuing advertising with me after I stop reviewing. These are true mensch’s.

Of course, my readership has hit the start since I said I was quitting. Over 6,000 hits per day. (And no humidor offer. LOL! I must make a helluva an impression.).

I’m finally getting closer to capturing, in focus, the double cigars bands in a photo:
7third

I can say right now, that the Arturo Fuente OpusX Destino al Siglo Presidente A ain’t worth $50 or more. I saw one online store selling them in singles for $75.00.

I smoked a Destino al Siglo that was sent to me. Too much humidor aging. It tasted like dust. As readers were kind enough to send me cigars for review, they mostly came as singles. A couple sent doubles. And I smoked those second cigars only to discover too much aging had robbed them of their vitality.

So, each day, I am scared shitless that the cigar I have chosen to review will have stood up to time.
On the upside, I have a bunch of limited edition cigars to smoke for pleasure. This is why I need another humidor. I don’t want to throw a single cigar away just because it might be over aged. I’m in no position to look a gift horse in the mouth. I’m sure I will be forgotten on February 11 and the care packages will stop.

I’ve got a nice list of readers to thank that I will publish on my last day.

A slight bit of lemon citrus enters. The chocolate and coffee disappear into the mist.
Flavors have flattened out.
Strength is approaching full body.
The malts are missing. Oy. That so much enhances the flavors of any blend.

Toastiness is now present. But, so far, all flavors are very subtle. And I doubt I would even taste them if this cigar was my 4th of the day.

I expected that two weeks might not be enough to do any more than project the blend’s potential. I do believe this is what’s happening.

I watched a 3 hour special on HBO called “The History of the Eagles” the other night. Not a big fan but the documentary was absolutely fascinating. Watch it if you can. Freaks me out that Glenn Frey died about 5 weeks ago in mid-January. He was only 67.
TMZ.com said: “Complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia.” That doesn’t sit right. Something else caused those things. He was only a year older than me. Gulp.

At last, my best photo:
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As I near the halfway point, the flavors begin to be more aggressive.
The apple pie and cinnamon are prominent.
Baking spices, black pepper, chocolate, citrus, coffee, marzipan, sweetness, dried fruit, cedar, maple, and malts take the Arturo Fuente OpusX Destino al Siglo Presidente A to a new level.

Strength hits full body. Oh lord. 5” to go and you know what comes next? Nicotine. Drat.
A Bowie song is playing. I have a short anecdote. I had a friend back in the early 80’s that was a big time music engineer and producer. He told me this great story.

He was producing a 70’s Bowie album. Bowie was overdubbing his vocals on top of the music track. He sat alone in the studio sitting on a tall stool. He had dimmed the lights. The song’s vocals were sincere and must have hit a chord.

At the end of the song, the booth applauded. But Bowie sat there, not moving, and clearly crying.
My friend told a PA to go get Bowie some Kleenex. Moments later, the door to the studio opened and the PA threw a roll of toilet paper at Bowie and hit him in the head.

Everyone in the booth was horrified. Bowie, the gentleman, took it in stride. The PA was fired that next moment.
My buddy went into the studio and hugged Bowie and apologizing profusely. Bowie stood up and wiped his tears and said, “Let’s move on to the next song.”
What a trooper. A mensch.

Halfway point. Smoke time is one hour 20 minutes.

I’ve given it some serious thought. The quack neurologist told me to continue writing. Of course, it wasn’t her name that was on the blog. It was mine.
So, I’ve decided that if I’m sent the right cigar, I might come back to write a couple times per month. All dependent on my health, of course.

I look at some old reviews and I was wittier, funnier, wrote well, was interesting, and had a fucking personality. I feel like I’m being flushed down a big toilet.
Cream is on the TV Classic Rock channel. Can never get enough of that group.

9half

A huge crack forms starting at the foot and traveling to the cigar bands. Oh the horror.

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It is too big to glue. But I try anyway. This may be the beginning of the end.
I remove the secondary band and it hasn’t traveled any further. Hopefully, I can burn right past it.
I can think of 210 brands/blends (“The Katman’s Best 210 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $6-$11.00+ Range”) better than the Arturo Fuente OpusX Destino al Siglo Presidente A. Even if it isn’t ready to smoke, the possibilities should be very apparent; especially for an experienced smoker like me.
The crack begins to travel.

Now I keep my humidor at an even keel of 67%. I use an electronic humidifier.
This shouldn’t be happening. I even dry boxed it for 24 hours. This should have helped.
What a disappointment. (It took me 35 seconds to write that last word.)

I don’t think the cigar will last long enough to finish it. Not if the crack continues to disrupt the wrapper. What a catastrophe.

I don’t think I will review its companion OpusX. I shall save it and allow it to rest for a couple of months.
So I will review the two cigars that are in the Toast Across America box: Julius Ceaser box pressed belicoso and the OpusX Shark box pressed belicoso.

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I’ve reviewed both in normal sizes but this new size might have quite the impact on the flavors. Fingers crossed.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is two hours 5 minutes.
It figures. The flavors are wonderful now. Intense and bold.
The strength is a very strong full body.

All of the flavors from the earlier list: Baked apple, cinnamon, Baking spices, black pepper, chocolate, citrus, coffee, marzipan, sweetness, dried fruit, cedar, maple, and malts are screaming laughter.

Both sides have huge cracks. One side has no chance of survival. The other allows me an opportunity to glue it.
I have no idea why this happened. I keep my review cigars in this one humidor and I haven’t had any trouble compared to what I’m experiencing now.
I can’t blame it on the donor. The box was sealed in plastic. It had never been opened. My only thesis is that the cold may have done it in transport. Snake eyes.
Yet, the other cigars sent to me have had no such troubles from the cold weather.

13third

As a treat, when she was well, my mother would make baked apples. It was served as dessert that night. And the best part was that she made enough to have another one the next day. It was even better the next day. My mother was a helluva cook. My grandmother, on my dad’s side, was a great cook and had a recipe box but all written in Hungarian. My grandfather translated quite a few of them. But they didn’t have amounts. Just the ingredients. So my mom had to guess at first.
I really miss the dishes my mother prepared. Never ate that well since.

She made another Hungarian dessert called Apple pita. I’ve scoured the internet and never found that dish. I may have spelled pita wrong but to no avail.

I’ve never tasted such strong apple pie in a cigar before. And because the flavors are s unique, I’m going to ignore the construction issues and focus on the flavors when I rate the cigar.
Final smoke time is two hours 40 minutes.

RATING: 88

14

And now for something completely different:
The Curved Air Chronicles…
July, 1974

My oldest and dearest friend, Skip; with his wife…me and my girlfriend, all left for Amsterdam out of LAX. It was a miserable flight. Skip and Debbie left a week early to they could visit her family somewhere in Norway or Sweden or someplace that everyone has blonde hair and blue eyes.

The plan was to meet up in Venice, Italy a week after we got in. April and I spent a few days in Amsterdam in a cheap hotel, where the floor was on a slant, and were forced to listen to disco music from the bar in the hotel all night long. April cried herself to sleep. I just whimpered.

We made our way to Venice using our Eurail passes. It was not a pleasant trip as the trains were not air conditioned and it was hotter than hell in July. Plus, we were crammed into a six seat compartment with 8 other people. We were in a compartment with one big Italian family who took pity on us and fed April, but not me.

Both Skip, and I, started our European tour by hitting Amsterdam first. He brought his guitar and Fender amp. I brought my bass, and an amp, with a custom made speaker box with an 18″ heavy duty bass speaker. I had the bass cab custom made out of 14 layer oak. It was like a tank.

We agreed to leave them in the train station luggage storage and when we met up in Venice, we would go back to Amsterdam to retrieve our stuff. Of course, we didn’t leave our axes in the train station. My bass never left my eyesight.

April and I were strolling through an open market one morning, when right in front of us, were Skip and Debbie.
The first thing out of Skip’s mouth was, “Do you have the amps?”

I blustered out a, “WHAT? NO!! I don’t have the amps. What are you talking about?”

He had apparently wanted to do me a favor, and stopped in Amsterdam to pick up the amps, and bring them to Venice so we wouldn’t have to make the long trip back there from Venice.

Our gear had been stolen. I stomped the ground and yelled profanities. I had that speaker box custom made at a small fortune.
We had agreed to stay at the same hotel ahead of time. So we dropped the girls off and Skip, and I, mounted a train heading for Amsterdam.

I think the train ride was around 18 hours. A million stops on the way.

The train was full and we ended up sleeping in the hallway….it was hot and miserable.
We finally got there and ran to the luggage department. Right in the middle of the floor was our amps. Almost as if on display.

I started screaming at Skip. He just threw his arms into the air and could only sputter, swearing they weren’t there when he was there earlier.

We figured that someone, working at the luggage department, “borrowed” them at the before Skip went to pick them up. I yelled so much at the person in charge, that Skip had to pull me off.

We dragged our equipment to a small café and ordered some food. This was no easy feat as the streets were cobblestone and I was pushing my cab, on wheels, with the heavy amp on top.
An hour later, back on the train for Venice. We watched as the amps were loaded on the train.

During that train ride, one must travel through France and Germany. Skip showed me something while we passed through France: Hashish. He had only a bit, in a small pipe, and he stowed it in his three ring binder… in one of those opaque pencil holders with the zipper. Skip kept a journal and used the binder for doing so.

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I gritted my teeth and told him that if we get caught with it, we will spend our days in a German prison. I begged him to toss it but he wouldn’t listen.
And sure enough, as soon as we hit the German border, the compartment door flew open and there were four armed soldiers with machine guns, yelling, “Hashish! Hashish!”

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I damn near shit my pants. The compartment was full of young people traveling through Europe for the summer.

For some unknown reason, the head guy pointed his weapon at Skip’s back pack sitting on the racks above the seats and motioned for whoever owned it to get it and open it.
I started flapping my arms.

All four soldiers squeezed themselves into the compartment. Guns were haphazardly aimed at people. It was impossible to squeeze my butt cheeks any tighter than when automatic weapons are being carelessly aimed at you.

The head Nazi, me and Skip, stood almost on top of each other. The soldier pointed at Skip’s binder and motioned for him to remove it. My arms were flapping like a humming bird.

There, in plain view inside his zippered pencil holder, was the hash pipe. I was about to faint.
And then Skip did something that defies logic and physics. He removed the pipe, in full view of the soldier, and put it in his back pocket. All I could think of was what it would be like to be someone’s new bride in prison.

The soldier didn’t see it. It didn’t register. It was a miracle.
How? Thank you baby Jesus!!

And in a flash, the soldiers exited the compartment.

We fell into our seats, covered in sweat. Skip and I stared at each other without talking. We couldn’t speak.

And then my senses returned. I grabbed the pipe from Skip’s back pocket, opened the train window, and threw it out while the train was going 50mph.

Skip screamed at me. I told him I’d buy him another one when we re-visited Amsterdam.
It was the strangest thing I had ever seen. We were redeemed.
So my dear readers, the moral of this story is “Don’t do drugs.”

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10 replies

  1. Phil,
    I will miss your regular reviews. Your site has become a daily stop for me. The joy you get from smoking a good cigar is certainly infectious. I hope that you are able to continue to do reviews but more importantly, that you continue to enjoy cigars in general. Take care brother.

  2. I, for one, still dig your reviews. Are some better than others…sure. I have off days and I’m healthy. I’d like you to continue to review…hell, I’d even take just your history stories! I’ve no humidor, I’m using some Tupperware

  3. Sorry, but five weeks ago was a half-week before Christmas. Glenn Frey died 10 days ago.

    • Such an important comment William Burke. I made a typo or just got confused. But you know what I meant. And so did the other readers. Have you just landed from the planet Uranus? I am seriously ill with all kinds of side effects that attack my speech, memory, and lots of other things and yet you never let up. You live to correct the smallest things I fuck up.

      You should be ashamed of yourself. Is anything off limits to you?

      I said he died in mid January.
      So the five weeks mistake on my part was an important catch on your part. Do you annoy the shit out of other reviewers too?
      And what happened to that cigar review blog you said you were starting? A miscalculation on your part? Like you have to be a cigar smoker. Or be able to write cohesively?
      You are something else. I won’t miss your stupid comments.

  4. I can’t understand how they knew there was hash in the train and specifically in a binder pencil holder thing. I have been in many freaky Euro train ride situations and that’s one of the freakiest things I’ve ever heard of.

    • They didn’t know specifically that hash was in that compartment. My best guess is that they saw a bunch of long hairs (Remember this is 1974 Germany) and decided to roust them.
      Skip had a big ruck sack and it was just plain bad luck that they picked him and his bag. They had no idea there was drugs in his three ring binder. But then again, maybe that was one of the favorite places travelers kept their stash in. I have no idea. It was very surreal at the time that they went for Skip, his bag, and then his binder. And then magic happened and the buffoon soldier didn’t see Skip slip the pipe into his back pocket.
      Hand to God, this is a true story.

  5. Uncle Katz.. I cheated. I called a Hungarian I know. Here you go my esteemed friend!

    Almas Pite
    Hungarian Apple Cake
    http://www.food.com/recipe/almas-pite-hungarian-apple-cake-200227

    ENJOY!

  6. What’s up with manufacturers making these gigantic cigars? My first reaction was “Does it come with batteries? ”
    Clearly not the right Opus X. Funny that you showed my comment about X ‘ s and then gifts of these things started arriving or maybe not. The right one may now be in your stash. So that’s a good thing. Of course real cold weather doesn’t help. I’m really glad your readers are sending you some different albeit expensive smokes. Hey, got to let the good times roll brother!
    Also happy to hear that you may return from time to time to honor us with a review.
    I usually smoke my one cigar a day late in the afternoon and I love to read your column while I do so. It’s all part of my winding down process….savor a good cigar and enjoy a good story.
    Peace. ..TR

  7. I don’t know if you figured it out yet, but the cracking of the wrapper is not do to incorrect humidification in your humidor. You’re doing everything correctly. The problem I have discovered is the dry air you are smoking in. I have the same problem when I smoke thin wrapper cigars in the winter while freezing my ass off outside, since I can’t smoke my cigars in the nicely humidified house. I’ve tried wetting the wrapper before I smoke, it still dries out and cracks. When you open your window, you lose humidity and are more susceptible to cracking. I hope this answers your question. I would save the thin wrapper reviews for Spring, Summer, and Fall when temperatures are above freezing.