Fuente Fuente OpusX 2005 Double Corona | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 7.625 x 49
Strength: Medium
Price: $14.50 in 2005 ($67,000.32 in 2019 dollars)

Today we take a look at the Fuente Fuente OpusX 2005 Double Corona.
A gift.

BACKGROUND:
Rated 95 in 2005. Rated Cigar of the Year by Cigar Aficionado in 2005.
From Cigar Aficionado:
“No cigar has had quite the impact on the premium cigar industry as the Fuente Fuente OpusX. Since its debut in 1995, the cigar has had a cult following that makes it a rare find in many smoke shops. Some retailers limit purchases, others charge far more than the suggested retail price. (In Las Vegas, it’s quite common for these cigars to retail for $60, $75 or even $100.) The brand has been the subject of more than one lawsuit and the target of counterfeiters. It also spawned great controversy as the first cigar sold with a Cuban-seed wrapper grown under shade in the Dominican Republic—a feat that many said simply couldn’t be done. Perhaps overlooked in all the hype is the undeniable fact that the OpusX is a great cigar. And current releases of the brand suggest that its quality is at a level not seen since its debut. The double corona size is a masterpiece, a classic on our 100-point scale. Like all OpusX cigars, the 7 5/8 inch by 49 ring gauge cigar is impeccably crafted by a small roomful of workers who make only about 75 cigars a day. The cigar is the pinnacle of full flavor, with complex tastes ranging from leather to creamy coffee and earth. If you have the patience to age these, they should prove even better in a few years.”

APPEARANCE:
This is a beautifully mottled cigar wrapper. Notes of bronze, espresso, brown penny, caramel, and rust. A very nice oily finish adorns the whole thing.
Seams are tight. Lots of small veins. An expert triple cap with fantail.
Sort of regal.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Oh my…the cigar is awash in aromas…caramel, coffee, milk chocolate, malt, cedar, orange citrus, honey, red pepper, cinnamon, vanilla bean, nuts, and dried fruit.
The cold draw presents flavors of honey ice cream with chocolate sprinkles, caramel, malt, red pepper, cinnamon tooth picks, orange citrus, candy orange slices, cedar, and espresso.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is darn good but it could use a bit of the PerfecDraw cigar poker and tool to really get it to the resistance level I like. But I’m hesitant due to the small ring gauge and the length of the cigar. I will try muscling my way through this and use the poker if needed as a last resort.
The draw is a little tighter than I prefer but it is doing fine. Just no giant plumes of smoke.

Right off the bat…big complex notes of chocolate, espresso, red pepper, cinnamon, malt, honey, citrus, dried fruit, vanilla ice cream, cedar, and little ditties that don’t want to be identified quite yet.

Transitions are on the march. The finish is chock full of flavors that cling to my palate like a kid’s first day in kindergarten.
Strength is medium.

Salted caramel shows up next. The creaminess makes it taste like fine yogurt.

I realize I’m being a prick reviewing a cigar you can’t buy but how can I not take advantage of reviewing a well-aged Opus X? It’s unheard of. Especially, since most reviewers jump on a new one with only a couple months humi time. The Fuente Fuente Opus X is designed to brood silently in your humidor for years before it comes to fruition. This is why I don’t bother buying them. I don’t have the patience.

The cigar is packed solid and therefore, a slow roll.

After yesterday’s review debacle, it is so nice to smoke an excellent cigar for review instead of trash. It doesn’t quite create the dust up as a stinker, but I have more fun smoking a good blend than a bad one…man, what a concept.

The Pretenders are playing. I had such a crush on Chrissie Hynde back in the early 80’s.

Complexity keeps on doing its thing. What a great cigar. Hard to believe this baby only cost $14.50 14 years ago. That’s only $2.50 above what EZ charges for every cigar they make. Although, they have changed the reality with their last release. The price went up to $13 per stick. The new normal?

This is definitely a luxury stick. But ever since I was introduced to Bespoke Cigars three years ago, I’ve yet to find a more consistent high premium blend. Its only competition has been Isabela Cigars. I’ve tried the new Pepperhead which will be out in a couple of months. Like all Isabela limited editions, it is spectacular. Bespoke has some new maduros I haven’t tried…hint, hint, Jeremy.

Know what’s cool about Jeremy Casdagli? He runs this massive cigar operation and provides the finest cigars to royalty and big shots all over Scandinavia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Asia. Every blend is a masterpiece. So, you ask, what the hell is doing with me? Good question. He is the coolest Estonian cigar maker on the planet. And loyal. You know how rare that is in this industry…loyalty? Slim and none.

The best boss I ever had was from Estonia. I knew him as a friend in the early 70’s and then later as a boss in the late 80’s. He was the kindest and most patient man I had worked for. I don’t know if Estonia grows great people…but Jeremy has stuck with me no matter what. The man is a real mensch. It doesn’t hurt that he puts out a spectacular product. He may make personalized cigars for the king of Sweden but he also has a wicked sense of humor. I’d love to share with you the reason Jeremy had to change the company’s name from Bespoke to Casdagli but it is so petty on the part of a big cigar manufacturer challenging his right for the name, that I don’t speak of it. Thank goodness you can at least pronounce Casdagli and his last name isn’t Pääsuke.

Back to the Opus X.
Complexity is on a ride to balance perfection. Transitions are to die for. The finish is a carnival of flavor explosions. Damn…but in a good way.
The independent flavors are now rotating and intertwining like crazy. Transitions are calm and orderly. With small bursts of flashes that make me smile involuntarily.
The stick is nearly 8” long and packed tightly. I better shut up or this will end up a 5,000-word review.
Time out.

SECOND THIRD:
A whopping 45 minutes to complete the first third.

The entire list earlier described has not faltered. But in addition, I taste smoky meat, bits of Worcestershire sauce: molasses, tamarind, onion, and garlic…plus elements of grapefruit, Froot Loops, and buttered raisin cinnamon toast.
Any spiciness seems to have been surgically removed. It could use a little punch. But this is the only criticism I can muster.

An oaky cognac erupts. It is sweet and pungent. This is a magnificent cigar. If only I had the patience to allow a cigar to sleep for 14 years. Ahhh…I’m such an impatient idiot.

Strength moves up to medium/full and along with that, there is a first rearing of the evil nicotine. Oh no. At this rate, this will be a 4-hour review. Fasten your seatbelts and feel free to use the barf bag in the seat pocket in front of you.

When my grandfather took me to Israel and Europe when I was 15 in 1965, the plane ride was 700 hours long. We left L. A….arrived in NYC 5 hours later for a layover…I got airsick from nerves. I puked into a barf bag but didn’t know what to do with it. People were allowed to deplane temporarily. So, I stuck the filled bag in the back of someone else’s seat.

I wish I had a movie camera. The brouhaha was something else as the flight attendant took the bag away but by this time, the bag was soaked and leaked vomit all the way to the bathroom. I was dying. But no one figured out it was me. I finally fell asleep as we traveled over the top of the world to our destination in Tel Aviv.

Complexity 2.0. This is nearly overwhelming. The intensity is akin to having your nuts sucked on by a $20 hooker with no teeth. I have no idea where that came from. Certainly, a person with my high ethical standards would never have gone down that road. But it was really good moment for a 17-year-old. And a moment was all there was.

Spiciness arrives in the nick of time. Now the nicotine is rampaging. Where is my barf bag now?

I cannot begin to imagine where this cigar blend will be in the second half. I plan on seeing God smoking a cigar and asking me why I curse so much in my reviews? And then he sends me to CroMagnon heaven where people only speak in chimp. Still, I bet they curse too.

The black pepper is an asset. It is mild in the back of my throat instead of causing strep throat. It is evenly distributed in my big mouth. Also, on the menu, is a tantalizing red pepper element that lingers on the tip of my tongue. Trojan should figure out how to manufacture this so that during oral sex, you can shoot your partner across the room like a rocket the moment your tongue touches her quedgie. They’ll have to include a crash helmet with every sale.

I’m in such a good mood now. Little birdies and toads sit on my shoulder singing and snagging flies out of the air.

If I didn’t review contemporaneously, this would not be such a long review.

One more thing that has nothing to do with the Opus X…I’ve been saving. I’m nearly there. I had to sell my last bass 2-1/2 years ago to pay medical bills. I have my eye on a new Fender Jazz bass. Fretless of course. But I will also scour the little vintage guitar shops around Milwaukee looking for the deal of the century.

I am babysitting my grandson later this afternoon. Sadly, he only likes infused cigars. I will get him out of that habit when he turns 3.
I bought him an electric piano last Christmas. Unfortunately, he refuses to play anything other than “Smoke on the Water.” I tried teaching him “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” but he punched me in the ‘nads so we tried rock n roll and that came more naturally to him.

The halfway point arrives at one hour 20 minutes. A marathon.

I now relish each sip of water. It awakens the senses and my palate like a shock to the system. Sort of electro shock therapy without knocking you out first. I see brilliant colors when my eyes roll back.

Every flavor known to man attacks. It is the bottomless pit of expectations.

I suggest you buy an Opus X and then put it away for 14 years. Ha. If I did that, I’d have to will the cigar to my grandson.
Complexity 3.0. Is there no end to the madness? If I could insert the essence of the cigar into a potion, I could cure cancer, ALS, and the munchies.
Cigar Aficionado always rates cigars based upon advertising. You don’t advertise and pay them off, no review. But I think that a 95 is a good start but I guarantee they didn’t wait a decade to review it. This is a perfect blend.

LAST THIRD:
Smoking a cigar with this duration makes me happy I installed a urinal on the wall next to my laptop. I wish the cat would stop curling up in it. But that’s why God invented Brillo pads.

I’m now at two hours 15 minutes.
Construction is immaculate. Not a single burn issue. No loose wrapper issues. Just exemplary.

Did you see that the Stones had to cancel their new tour? Jagger needs heart bypass surgery. And how the hell does he stay so skinny? Meanwhile, Keith Richards is just fine.

The second half has been a dream.
The flavor profile is so expansive that I’m too lazy to write them all down. Find a flavor wheel online and check off everything.

I compare this blend to the Matt Booth PCC cigar I reviewed yesterday and I can only laugh. A Rolls Royce v. a flaming Ford Pinto.

Today is the 11th anniversary demise of one of my best friends, Doug Page. He was the real-life Big Lebowski. He always drove his Volvo with a finely crafted crystal glass full of White Russian. He was 54 and a heart attack took him. He continued to do coke way past his expiration date. So, remember children, just say no.

Not a single criticism of this cigar.
Just think…in 50 years, you will be able to taste any cigar as a reviewer explains it. But then, you’d also smell the cat’s farts. Nothing is perfect. Except for this cigar.
Finish arrives at just under 3 hours. Whew. I need to shave again.

RATING: 100

And now for something completely different:

This is a story about a man named Jed….that’s not right.
This is a story about Sonja Kristina, the lead singer of the Brit progressive band, Curved Air.

The band celebrated its 50th year in the music business this year. But the band has been a little like the American band, Steppenwolf…in that they have had more personnel changes than sound loopers at a Hollywood gay porn editing company.

The difference is that Curved Air has always had one constant: Sonja. Regardless of musician changes, Sonja is the glue. Without her, there is no Curved Air.

I’m no friend of the woman as she has withheld record royalties from me for decades. Yep, she seems to have the reigns of distributing mechanical rights. My only guess is that her ex-husband, Stewart Copeland, probably bought the Curved Air catalog and the rights to all of the band’s music. So that is why I don’t think much of her. Another cheat in the music biz? Whoda’ thunk it?

OK. I’m done venting and whining about money owed me.

Sonja started her career as a star. She was in the first production of the musical, “Hair” in London in 1968. She had a lead role.

I remember a story she told me about the production. You know there is a controversial nude scene in the play, right? It was salacious back in the late 60’s. I saw the production in 1969 in L.A.

The nude scene begins with naked guys and gals entering the stage holding a huge parachute above their heads concealing their bodies underneath. Then in a flourish, they drop the silk and stand there naked.

Sonja wasn’t in that scene; but that didn’t stop her from participating. She would run underneath the chute as they got ready to go on stage and jerk off the guys making sure they all had boners. I guess it’s good work if you can get it.

After the production closed, she moved on to continue her folkie thing. But shortly after, she got a gig as a Playboy Bunny at the London Playboy Club. She was very popular.

Two members of the band in “Hair” found they had similar interests in classical music. Both with music degrees under their belts. One on keys and the other on violin.
They approached Sonja and Curved Air was formed in 1969.

Their first album was a hit in England and Europe. They sounded like a cross between Jefferson Airplane and It’s a Beautiful Day (“White Bird”).

Soaring vocals. Gorgeous arrangements. Exceptional keys work and the addition of a classical violinist. Mr. Big got the gig on drums. Florian Pilkington-Miksa was the son of the second richest woman in Britain. He was of the iconic Pilkington Glass family. He lived in a castle and went to Eton for his schooling. The school for princes and kings.

The band went through so many iterations that it makes your brain spin.
But I must hand it to Sonja for keeping the band together. (Pay me my royalties!)

Word has it that they are going to put on a huge reunion concert with all the ex-members of Curved Air. I haven’t said yes. I’ve found it amusing telling road stories about my time in the band…but do I really want to see them again? Not really. There just aren’t enough barf bags.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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10 replies

  1. HAHAHA at the 2019 price. ($67,000.32). This cigar sounds wonderful. If only I had the patience to wait that long. I may buy a couple Opus X and put them in the bottom of my humidor and just forget about them for a few years.

  2. Another day, another perfect rating. Almost a foregone conclusion with this smoke. A great review even with the perfect score.

    “…they have had more personnel changes than sound loopers at a Hollywood gay porn editing company.”

    You see folks, that’s why you pay the big bucks for membership here; expertise. When Uncle Katman says something about gay porn editing, you can take that to the bank.

    Thanks Katman!

  3. Have you tried the Opus X Lost City? I bought three or four Opus X and three Opus X Lost City cigars around 2010, or 2011, including one of the special edition Opus X Chili Pepper cigars in the little coffin case, (for which I paid over $80) and still have all but one. Smoked it right out of the cello a few years back, and remember being unimpressed. Of course, I didn’t know any better. Makes me cringe now. Another I have had aging ever since, and the rest are still in the cellos. Guess I need to get them naked and into their cedar beds. Dunno if any of them are going to make it 14 years though.

    • If you plan to do some long term aging, I recommend you keep the cellos on the cigar. The one I reviewed today was in a sealed glass tube. Never been out of it. And as you read, it was delicious.
      I rarely get a chance to review OpusX sticks. I did do a review of the Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfecxion #2 (1997) two years ago and it was fantastic.
      https://kohnhed.com/2017/10/17/fuente-fuente-opus-x-perfecxion-2-1997-cigar-reviews-by-the-katman/

      • That’s true, they do age some in the cellos. I have a lot of cigars left from when I went crazy on Cbid years ago and the cellos on some of them are really dark yellow now, closer to brown.

        They aren’t as rare or expensive as the regular Opus X, but if you would like to try the Opus X Lost City, I will gladly send you one. My email receipt shows that I bought them in early 2011, but I am not sure what year they were made. Just let me know.

  4. Ahhhh.
    Well one thing I discovered in many years of occasionally smoking Opus X.
    6 to 7 months is the perfect sweet spot.They still have oomph and great taste and transitions. I’ve had them up to 1.5 years also. And smoked them at stops all along the 1.5 year record. My conclusion. …6 to 7 months still gives you the one two knockout punch with great flavors…I think it’s just the perfect combination.
    Then you think maybe if I wait longer they’ll get better. An oxymoron or catch 22 because yes some flavors come out of hiding but the price you pay is loss of extreme spiciness. All the blenders intent is fully realized at 6 months. I’ve conducted my research over the last 2 years and in my opinion it is conclusive.
    But then again we all know what they say about opinions.

    …..bypass surgery eh?…well he is 76….funny you’d think it would be Keith but he keeps rolling along like a tank. I shoulda known something like this would happen the day I got the best Stone’s ticket I’ve ever bought.
    Ha !

  5. Not sure what happened with you and EZ but the cigars are worth every penny. I am also a huge fan of Bespoke and Isabela cigars because of you. 1 Bespoke 2 EZ 3is a toss up Isabela , Southern Draw.

  6. A Maduro Bespoke? I am intrigued. And of course any new Isabela is cause for celebration.

    Haven’t had any Opus’s (Opi?) in quite a while. I may have to pick up a few and let them sleep w the fishes for a while.

    We, as a people, need to start thinking about what kind of world we are going to leave for Keith Richards.

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