Size: 6.375 x 52 “Torpedo”
Today we take a look at a real treat: Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfecxion #2 1997
Thanks to good friend John L. for the stick.
You know everything about this special cigar from Arturo Fuente. What could I possibly tell you that you don’t already know except for it’s a ridiculously expensive cigar.
*The cigar was a gift. John bought it in 1997. He left it in the cello. He hermetically sealed it in plastic. And he kept it in his walk in humidor for 20 years.
I reviewed a current Opus X about 4-1/2 years ago but that wasn’t 20 years old. So I didn’t bother to even read my own review about my thoughts as the difference should be significant.
For being 20 years old, the cigar is in mint condition which really surprises me. John is a master at taking care of his cigars. The stick is very firm and fingers crossed that no plugs require attention.
Lots and lots of mini veins, invisible seams, an absolutely beautiful torpedo cap, smooth as a baby’s tush, and the color of pecan, hickory, and chocolate.
The cello is the yellowest I’ve ever encountered. A work of nature’s art.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell a huge wallop of creamy caramel, subtle pepper notes, the best honey you can imagine, perfumey floral notes, black cherries, red currants, a slight salty nuttiness, cedar, cinnamon, along with bits of espresso and cocoa.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell the same list above; just much more intense.
The cold draw presents flavors of cedar, creamy, red and black pepper, caramel, barnyard, dried fruit, cinnamon, nuts, and espresso.
First off, the draw is spot on. No need for my PerfecDraw cigar poker. (Remember…15% off with promo code Katman).
Flavors begin slowly. There is a musty element that smacks me in the puss to start. Quickly behind that is a variety of pepper.
And then the magic settles in…but the components of the flavor profile are subtle and nuanced…as it should be after being asleep for 20 years.
French bread, cream custard, cashew butter, strong leather, tart lemon zest, and black pepper.
Strength is mild.
No char line corrections needed.
I have to be honest…I expected something different. Of course I realize that time can be a blend’s best friend; or its worst enemy. In this case, time has mellowed the experience dramatically.
There is no big Wow factor at play. The mustiness continues to color the blend.
Black raisins dominate now. The black pepper is potent.
Strength makes the jump to medium.
And just like that, the mustiness disappears granting new life to this old blend.
Now we’re talking.
Graham cracker permeates my palate. Cinnamon is hotsy totsy.
Smoke time is 25 minutes.
The disappearance of that musty element makes all the difference in the world. The blend opens like a blossoming flower.
The cigar is frigging delicious now.
All those earlier listed flavors are hammering down with the ferocity of a wife that finds out you spent $1000 on cigars in one day.
Lawdy, lawdy, lawdy, Miss Clawdy…the Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfecxion #2 is singing to me.
Strength remains a light medium.
After posting a photo of this cigar on my FB page, someone offered me a bunch of lettuce for it. No way would I give up this experience for money. I highly doubt I will have this opportunity again.
Tom Petty is on the cable channel. Saw him once around 1982. A friend was a DJ at a major rock radio station and got us third row seats center. And we were completely surrounded by girls. I swear to God, we both felt gay. We had no idea Petty was this popular with women. But then it was 34 years ago and he was a young good looking guy. Still, we enjoyed the hell out of the concert…and refrained from holding hands.
The Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfecxion #2 is now so complex, I want to plotz. Transitions are incredible. And that long finish is lip smacking good.
This is very difficult for me. Having a good palate is one thing…but trying to detect the components of a cigar aged this long is giving me TMJ. Everything is so subtle.
Never in my life have I ever been as patient as John L. I’m lucky if I can allow a cigar to marinate for two months; let alone 20 years.
Construction is magnificent. The cap is not giving in to my mucosa. And the char line continues to be all-pro. And the draw is just perfect.
Sweet objects begin to appear. Not just raisins but also that caramel found in the aroma department, a strong crème brûlée faction…there is a real caramelized sugar taste, nutmeg and cinnamon, fruits consisting of cherries, molasses, and smooth honey.
Aging tobacco this long has its own influence…something I haven’t tasted before. There is a richness of tobacco that is defining the cigar’s output. I’ve called many a cigar smooth but I had never smoked a 20 year old Opus X before. Now this is smooth with such tantalizing aspects that as much as I would have preferred to smoke it at my own pace, I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to document the experience.
I doubt you will find another review of a 20 year old Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfecxion #2.
This is the blend that comes along once in a reviewer’s life time. At least for one that has never worked in the cigar industry unlike the other reviewers.
A quantum leap happens every few minutes. I consider myself a wordsmith but I am sputtering trying to describe my experience. This blend is so subtle and nuanced that the balance is mind blowing.
Halfway point arrives after 50 minutes.
At first, I was worried the early mustiness might impregnate the entire review. Thankfully, it did not.
The Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfecxion #2 is entering the Xander Zone. I cannot even begin to remember any cigar that has the impact on me that this blend is having. I’m in heaven. Knock, knock, knockin’.
There is such an elegant flow to this well-aged blend.
Strength remains at a comfortable medium.
This is the first blend that truly is defined by the sum of its parts rather than any specific influence.
Ever play in a band where every song just clicks and you can’t believe how well everything melds…so much so that you realize the music is merely passing through you and you have no idea where it comes from. The essence of this blend is doing just that.
I still think the current pricing for this cigar is ridiculous. And how many of you have the skill and patience of John L. to allow a generation’s length of humidor time? I cannot even conceive it.
Smoke time is one hour 15 minutes.
Time seems to have eradicated any form of nicotine.
The giant morph begins…The kitchen sink is being thrown at me now. It is a totally different blend.
Basting away are notes of creaminess, black pepper, caramel, dried fruit, berries, cedar, espresso, cocoa, baking spices, a compendium of salted nuts, returning citrus, savory influences like a smoky meatiness and the guilty pleasure of a huge Slim Jim.
The Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfecxion #2 can start its own bakery. Flavors of freshly baked bread, streusel, cream cheese, banana bread, and black walnuts.
The blend is going Bozo crazy on me.
If this blend had started with the flare of the last third, I’d be rating it a perfect 100. But it didn’t. So my rating will be adjusted. That early mustiness was a real buzz kill now that I know what this cigar brings to the table once it warms up.
Bob Seger…I don’t get it. Katman-doo.
We are treading on territory deemed as absolute perfection.
Strength is now medium plus.
So this is how an Opus X is supposed to taste. Amazing.
Complexity is through the roof. Transitions are gorgeous. The finish is sophisticated and full of tantalizing tidbits.
John…you’re in the will. (I hope you can afford the debt).
I had pause about reviewing a cigar that even if you bought it today, you won’t experience my experience until you’re in a nursing home.
I’m very fortunate that I had this opportunity to chronicle something so rare.
So this is how the other half lives. Always wondered about that. Now I know.
I cannot begin to thank John L. for parting with such a fantastic treasure.
Final smoke time is one hour 45 minutes.
And now for something completely different:
I was back home in Long Beach. Drawn and quartered from the traumatic experience of being shit canned from Curved Air over political reasons.
The last straw, from the band’s leaders’ point of view, was that Stewart Copeland and I were being requested for all the radio interviews in each city we played. Darryl was the founding member and had a massive, impenetrable ego. And not a lick of a sense of humor.
Stew and I were like Groucho and Chico. The radio DJ’s loved us. They even ignored our star of the show: Sonja.
Now Stew had no worries about being fired. He was having a hot and heavy affair with Sonja. They lived together and eventually got married. So his position was safe. Not to mention that his last name was Copeland. Miles Copeland was our manager. And Ian Copeland owned the booking agency. Both older brothers to Stew. They were a tight knit group.
Anyway, this infuriated Darryl as the request for Stew and I to do all the interviews was canonized by Miles Copeland, our manager. To make things really worse, print media spoke mostly to Stew and I because we were better copy. We were funny. And the media ate it up. The other members had no idea how to make people laugh. All we were doing was channeling the Marx Brothers.
Plain and simple, Stew and I were smart assess. Sometimes, we got a real humorless interviewer and boy was that a bitch. These guys usually got mad when we didn’t give straight answers. I mean, really mad. We didn’t care. Doing interviews was an unpleasant pain in the ass. We didn’t get paid but it and it was supposed to have the effect of putting more asses into the seats of our concert that night.
We had no idea that Stew and I would be an item. We would have been happy if they just interviewed Darryl and Sonja while we sat on the hotel steps and smoked hash.
So, I got too big for my britches. And I was gone with the help of a lousy album production for RCA. That’s right. I didn’t write the songs. I didn’t arrange them. But it was my fault that the album stunk and someone had to be sacrificed. Perfect set up to get rid of the funny bassist that stole Darryl’s thunder.
Back home, I got a letter from a friend, Butch Hatcher. An American singer that was in the southern rock band, Flatrock. And he was our singer for a short while before Curved Air did a reunion tour; and after seeing the massive, positive result, Darryl got rid of Butch and made Darryl’s new band the new Curved Air. We were then called “Stark Naked and the Car Thieves.”
Same place in Nottingham England for the first gig of Stark Naked. (I attempted to do my best Harpo Marx impersonation. Funny. I don’t remember asking Mick Jacques to put his hand on my knee….guitarists, man…)
Butch asked that I deliver a note to Supertramp’s manager who he had an affair with in England. So I called and got an audience.
I was given directions where to go. And it happened to be where Supertramp was renting a house for rehearsal purposes.
The band was holed up in a mansion in Beverly Hills getting ready to record their next album. The living room had been turned into a mini recording studio for their demos.
I arrived and was ushered out to the pool area where the band and the manager were soaking up Southern California rays.
When I was introduced as Curved Air’s bassist, Supertramp members went nuts. Remember, this was 1976. They fawned over me. Took me a week to wash it off. I know it is hard for Americans to fathom the brouhaha over Curved Air. But they were HUGE in Europe. And South America. And Japan. Literally legends in the music business that couldn’t break in this country. I guess we sounded too much like a mix of Jefferson Airplane/It’s a Beautiful Day (“White Bird”).
I spent a glorious afternoon with these wonderful people.
We then spent some time jamming in the living room.
When it was time to go, I stood up, took the Fender P bass off and because of the unusually low ceiling, smashed the head of the bass into that ceiling causing a big crack in the neck.
It was a 1958 P bass. Worth a fortune. I couldn’t believe what I had done. They tried to make me feel like it was nothing and that they had a good luthier who could fix it but I was so embarrassed. I had never broken an instrument in my life.
I left them with my head hung low.
Before I broke the bass, I had been invited to the recording studio to lay some tracks down. For some reason, the call never came.
I was a real putz.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS