Fuente Fuente OPUS X 20TH Anniversary | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 5.75 x 52 Robusto
Strength: Medium
Price: $40-$400 EACH!!


Many thanks to Peter L. for sending me this cigar. He is on the Newsletter list.

BACKGROUND:
Released: 12-7-2016
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
In actuality, the Fuentes called the cigar the 20 Years Celebration…not the 20 Years Anniversary. But as I researched this stick, it is still for sale on many online stores. And almost all refer to it as the “Anniversary.” No idea why it changed; especially since the box clearly calls it the “20th Celebration.”

From Halfwheel.com (2-14-2017):
“Though Arturo Fuente as a brand is quite old, its flagship Fuente Fuente OpusX line is a relatively recent development. While the Fuentes had been successful making cigars in the Dominican Republic, they—along with all the other tobacco growers on the island—were unable to reliably cultivate the tobacco needed to produce wrappers. In 1992, the Fuentes had developed a technique that allowed them to produce the first reliably successful wrapper crop, which by 1995 was ready to be used on the new OpusX line.
“Twenty years later—plus one—Arturo Fuente released a line to celebrate the anniversary of this release: the Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years Celebration.

APPEARANCE:
The cigar is light in the hand. Spoiler alert: The reviews I read complained about burn issues. I have no patience for burn problems or being unable to get an erection.

The candied caramel wrapper is an oily and shiny light saber. Construction doesn’t rate any higher than nothing special. Lots of big veins, exposed but tight seams, a nice triple cap, with hard and soft spots dotting the horizon.

It is nearly toothy, but no cigar. More like a cat’s tongue. Basically, the cigar is very ordinary looking. I guess the Celebration stopped when picking a nice-looking wrapper.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas are very faint…but here they are: gingerbread, cinnamon, molasses, creaminess, black pepper, white rice, cedar, and Worcestershire sauce. That last aroma came from stuffing my nose into the punched cap, not from the wrapper.

The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, creaminess, lemon twist, molasses, cashews, ginger, cinnamon, and oatmeal.
So far, not impressed.

On the upside, the draw is wide open…maybe a little too open for my tastes. I pull my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool from my special place and return it to the Bat Cave.

FIRST THIRD:
Over the years, I’ve found this to be almost a finite rule: Most anniversary cigars are shit. This is a strange phenomenon that probably only occurs on planets with life and Eastern Europe countries I can’t pronounce…like Schmearargistan. Most manufacturers must be overwhelmed with the responsibility of the task and choke like the 1973 Houston Oilers. They run screaming into the night, “I can’t take the pressure. I can’t take the pressure!” The DOD finds them and makes them into 4-star generals serving in Newfoundland.

The reason this cigar is still available almost 5 years after its limited release is simple…no one liked it. I read three reviews from the big guys…rated 80-90. Never a good sign. So, here I am ready to go…ready to perform my civic duty…ready to eviscerate the exonerated but imprisoned celebration of the cigar that was designed especially for its chump customer base. And so, it seems they fucked it up. But no shit…I found prices for this cigar to be wildly incomprehensible…I saw them for $400 each. Most go for $40-$50 each. Too rich for my blood. But then Peter L. was a gun runner and Japanese dirty women’s panties vending machines from Canada. But his real fortune was made in selling used blonde merkins during the early 80’s for the Flock of Seagulls set…I owned three.

I finally, after 5 months of doctor visits, got my first attempt at pain relief by getting a neck epidural yesterday. While face down, and the doc was at work, I knew all the nurses and assistants were pretty young women…so, I asked if they had heard of The Police? They all chimed in that they did. I started to brag but was cut short when the doctor told me to shut up as he was working on my neck and…talking…not a good idea. It was like I was 15 again. Although, when I was 15 and took off my shirt…my nipples did not droop as far as my belt loops.

Here goes…If you are prone to squeamishness, I advise you stop reading now. Once fire meets cigar, there are no Geneva Convention rules.

Kind of musty right away. It moves out of the way for a sharp red pepper zing. There is a hint of caramel buns…cinnamon. It does display an early sense of complexity but that may be due to the massive amount of pain pills I’ve taken.

The dreaded burn issues begin immediately. Fuck!

Some espresso pops up. The creaminess is a little like vanilla pudding squeezed through a red rubber enema bag hanging over the shower curtain rod.

Generic nuttiness occurs. Sort of like watching Tiny Tim get married on Johnny Carson.

It absolutely tastes like a Dominican puro. Drab. It is hard to get this right. Only the chosen few have managed to do this correctly. Yet everyone keeps trying.

This is going to be a quick review. It’s taken the same time to smoke an inch as it takes to listen to the drawn out ending of “A Day in the Life.” It is only a minute or two but seems to go on forever.

I take it back about the complexity. I do believe we are talking Gurkha material here.
There are zero transitions. The finish is just spice. And any forward movement is nil.
Fucking great.

What is wrong with these people? Who tests and makes the final decision about a blend? Is it a trained zoo animal? The guy fucking your cat when you aren’t looking? Or is it some intern who only smokes Avantis?

No real facts about tobacco aging at hand. If this tobacco was aged more than 6 minutes, I will eat my spinach.

And then to have the balls to ask for the ridiculous price point just blows my mind like Kramer getting a blood transfusion from Lance Armstrong.

There are tidbits of elements that can be substituted for flavors…but I’m scratching in a full litter box here.

The burn issue is not as bad as the photos I saw on some reviews. Well, at least the cigar has that going for it. Alert the Fuentes.

SECOND THIRD:
That took no time at all. A land speed record for Ricky Bobby.

When I was in Curved Air in the 70’s, we were constantly on tour. I hated the after-show interactions with the press asking questions. I was pooped and drenched. Took a good couple hours before the sweat dried which allowed me to take off my soaked leather pants.

The press knew I was an American but Darryl Way, early on, would tell reporters that I played with Elvis. He’d pull me into a hearty shoulder clasp and say, “Phil…tell them about the King.” So, I would use the worst Southern accent to say, “Yep. I done played with that boy on many a tour. We was buddies.”

Every single fucking reported bought into this…and many printed it. The English had no idea what a correct Southern accent sounded like and here I was bastardizing it. It was fun for a while, but one really can become tired of being a one trick pony for these idiots.

The cigar tastes like an empty airsick bag.

The flavors are trying their best, but they all have palsy and stutter step with no significant influence.

Peter…I’m coming for you, man.

It is a friggin’ bundle cigar. And for the outrageous low, low price of only $50. You can’t get a better deal than that except from your local used car dealer.

It doesn’t taste bad. It just doesn’t taste like much of anything. How it got a sole rating of 90 is beyond my drug addled brain. Lisinopril can really fuck you up.

In the 60’s, everyone tried smoking banana peels because Donovan told them to…mellow yellow, babies.
The banana peels taste better than this anal plug. In my defense, I’ve never stuck an anal plug in my mouth. But I do have a limited imagination.

With nearly 2-1/2” smoked, there is an improvement. The Opus Rated X begins to show some consistent flavor input. A little creamy, a bit of vanilla, some espresso, cedar, and the stuff stuck underneath the toilet seat after a horrific dump.

Blind Faith is playing “Can’t Find My Way Home.” Loved that band.

The forward progress slows down a bit…must be a plug.

Remember when you were young? And you took a bath and decided to pull the bath’s stopper and place your asshole right over the hole…and then feel your bowels turn into clown balloon animals? Me neither. OK. Once. I was 32.

The cigar is actually in a netherworld of not tasting bad and not tasting good. Or is that gooder?

I feel like I grabbed one of the many $50 bills I keep in my wallet and flushed it.
Poor Peter. What a schnook.

The first thing I look for in a cigar is if it is a limited edition; but it’s been on the market for 6 years because word of mouth has destroyed the rip off potential…I make an effort not to buy the cigar in the false hope I will be the one to experience nirvana. Is Kurt Cobain still dead?

The halfway point and the last 30 minutes seem endless.

The strength is mild/medium. This helps not one bit being a sackless stick.

At the end of the school day when I was in the 7th grade, I was milling about when some asshole decided to blind side me with a punch to the diaphragm…knocking the wind out of me. I lay on the ground gasping for air while my books and papers flew around like Sally Field. Surrounded by students who only stared and did nothing. This is exactly the feeling I have smoking the Opus Rated PG.

The second half clearly has more tobacco in it than the first half as the cigar is slowing its burn down to a crawl. I don’t deserve this. I did like my parents asked and had a Bar Mitzvah. I should have some sort of protective coating from cigar blenders.

This is where I say that maybe the cigar needs a year or two of humi time. It fucking has that in spades! So, I decline to utter those stupid words and return to my closet where I keep my sado-masochistic toys I use when Charlotte is not home.

The blend is exhibiting some cream, lemon, cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla, ginger, and cedar. Wow. I see a perfect 100 at the end of this review.

The cigar finally reaches medium strength. It is now polarized like an ice cream truck driver who also sells weed to the kids. Hey…if they are old enough to order a Creamsicle, they are old enough to make their own life decisions.

LAST THIRD:
Thank the almighty dictator of Schmuckistan.

If SRV wasn’t on Pandora right now, I would have found myself in a jealous rage…dumping all my condoms on to Charlotte while she sleeps. I don’t want to get her pregnant.

Speaking of the old broad…she is 4 days from turning 71. I’m taking her to Taco Bell for dinner. And then a romantic ride to the shores of Lake Michigan where fish stand on the shore screaming for sanctuary.

I must be honest, for a change, and say that the burn issues everyone else experienced has total control over its bladder. Not a run since the beginning.

This is a one trick gerbil of a cigar blend.
I remember hanging with all my gay friends when I was in elementary school…we’d take turns using a gerbil. But all it did was cause a rash.

My betters always say to never judge a cigar by its price point. Bullshit. My rating will take that into consideration.
Can you imagine having spent $400 for each of these cigars and end up with schmaltz on stale rye?

Something is happening. I detect a real character that is not disdainful of my lifestyle. It kind of tastes nice…for a bundle cigar. No harshness. Clean machine.

Ten Years After. What is there to say?

I haven’t ovulated for some time. I wonder if I should contact Hupy & Abraham?

I wear boxers. Nice ones. Not the ones that come down to your knees. While moving from the procedure table yesterday, I accidentally flashed a nurse with my nut sack. I told her it was a man purse. Never saw her again after that.

I’m having more fun than getting my prostate checked by an old doc with big hands.

If I were you, I would buy ten of these cigars, go to a homeless shelter, and hand them out to the criminally insane.

Peter must have more money than Jeffrey Epstein.

I got over my flu. I come back hoping to bring light and enchantment to my readers and what do I get? A tuna fish sandwich made with broken nightlights.

Grab some of these as soon as possible. Since they are limited, they may only be on the market for another 10 years.
Carry on…

RATING: 13 (If it was a $6 stick, it would have gotten a 14).

And now for something completely different:

I watched part of a new movie last week called “Not Fade Away.” It took place in the mid 1960’s and whose plot was about a kid influenced by the rock scene and playing in a band. Man, that hit home…Hard.

Unfortunately, the movie was not that good, but I hung in long enough to enjoy some of the similarities to my life back then in that same time period.

Back then, burgeoning rock bands didn’t play concerts in arenas. They played at parties when the parents were on vacation.

My first band played dozens of those parties. You set up in the corner of the living room and play. Amps weren’t that great, so volume wasn’t an issue. Plus, we were high school kids who couldn’t afford a Marshall stack.

Our guitarist had a Sears Silvertone guitar. Sears even built a small amp into the guitar case. It was hilarious and our guitarist used it for a bit until he could save for a real amp rig.

I played my used 1964 Hofner Beatle bass. I paid $80 ($650 in 2019 dollars).

And I had a “Knox” amp. A real piece of shit. It had one 10” speaker and no power. It sounded terrible. My dad had a “friend.” We drove out to Palos Verdes to this guy’s guitar shop. My dad paid $75 for it new. It was my first rig. It never worked properly and was always failing on me.

At one party, it failed and no matter how many times I kicked it, I could not bring it back into the light.

So, I plugged into the Sears guitar case so now both the guitarist and I were playing out of a 3 watts rig. What a laugh and not a soul could hear the bass, including me.

We were a four-piece band and three of us went to Millikan High School in Long Beach.

The singer was a year older so he could drive. He went to a high school in Lakewood, a neighboring city. I was only 15. So, I had to be picked up for gigs.

Gigs never went late. By 11pm, they were over. No one really drank. But there was a lot of pot smoking. And the band was popular. Always. So, the chicks liked us. It was simply the adoration of the female species that made me want to have a career in music. While I was no Wilt Chamberlain, I did alright.

After the gigs, we usually got invited to houses with some girls. And we “made out.” Maybe a little second base but that’s it.

After that, we headed over to Bob’s Big Boy restaurant on Bellflower Blvd in Long Beach. It was crowded. And we got the special for $1.35 of a Big Boy hamburger, fries, side salad, and a Coke. We were infuriated when the price went up to $1.65 a couple years later.

If we were broke, we headed over to Taco Bell and stuffed our faces for about a buck.
Back then, a gig paid around $30 ($250 in 2019 dollars) for the four of us. $7.50 each. Some gigs didn’t pay at all. But the parties had a lot of girls that were willing.

I wasn’t a very good bassist then. The guitarist had to show me all the bass riffs.
But I improved a lot by the time of my next band. I was out of high school and met some guys and we started a band. 5 piece. Called “Homegrown.” I know, not very original. But it was 1969. That first band was called: “The Southern California Exposition and Musical Aggregation.” And the drummer got his older brother to get all of it on the bass drum head. He was a graphics major in college.

Homegrown did very well and was booked every weekend. We rehearsed at least three times per week. It was the most fun I had in a band…ever.

We were one of those perfect cover bands. We could do anyone to a tee. Especially Zep. That made us very popular.

I played in that band until 1972. The drummer quit and joined a show band that played Vegas. I even ventured a trip by myself to see him. I was so embarrassed for him. The band was a lounge act. 5 players. A chick singer that played bass. The drummer told me to watch the keys player when the chick played her bass solo. She played the exact same thing every time, so the keys player played along with her, very quietly with a big smile on his face.

Homegrown disbanded. I was lost. I played in a couple other bands, but they weren’t fun.

Then Skip and Travis and I put a band together. We were going to take it to Europe in 1974. A couple months before we were to leave, Travis got drunk and wrapped his bike around a big tree and broke his leg into a million pieces.

Skip and I still went to Europe totally bewildered.
6 weeks later I was in Curved Air.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

8 replies

  1. Phil,

    I wish you’d write what you really think about this Faux Fuente. 🤓 And I specifically told you not to talk about my used panties vending machine business. At least you didn’t mention my flavored anal plug venture. I’m glad you were able to enjoy the surplus I sent you.

    The thing about Fuente is the more expensive they are the worse they get. A “regular” production Opus can be wonderful fresh out of the box or with some age. Don Carlos and Hemingway vitolas are terrific for less than 10 bucks.

    But now they’re even selling a special Dubai blend Opus. I think it’s rolled by Ethiopian migrant workers paid 12 cents a day while working in 137 degree heat in a lepers colony. Only Fuente is Fuente!

    • Hey Peter,
      Between tonight 8pm- 4am, a Major Shlomo Wiesner and a Captain Saul Vindaloo will be visiting you. Do what they say. Do not resist. Tell them anything they want to know.
      If you do not comply, you will be forced to take over for me and I will take your personal info and become you.
      This will be the only warning.
      Have a nice peaceful day,
      Lt. Col Chaim Yicheal

    • A.Fuente cigars were my first exploration into “real” cigars. I don’t count Swisher Sweets as a real cigar, and I don’t believe Swisher does either. Being the frugal smoker that I am, I hung at the bottom rung. That is the Curlyhead or the Curlyhead Deluxe. Occasionally working my way up the price ladder I came to the conclusion that Fuente made some fine cigars and when in doubt I they were my go to smokes. Years later I have enjoyed a variety of cigars, always looking for the one I will always remember. That is why I enjoy Phil’s reviews. Seeing this poor review makes me glad I never spent that kind of money. On the other hand, I never started a used panty or anal plug business, where it seems money is no object. I will never refuse a Fuente cigar, though. As you say, Peter, only a Fuente is a Fuente.

      • Once I could drive, my dad sent me to get his cigars from his local B&M. They trusted him so the store sold cigars to a 16 year old. When I was in my first semester of college in 1968, I bought a box of Fuente lanceros for me. I’d hang on the big spread of the school common at CSULB. I was wearing my WWII jacket I got at the surplus store and lit up lanceros to impress the college girls.
        Never worked once.

        • I’m pretty sure you would have scored if you bought a second box of lanceros… and maybe ditched the WWII jacket for a Nehru jacket.

        • Phil, if you smoked a double corona instead of a lancero the ladies would know you meant bidness.

          • Besides the military jacket, I was also adorned in Hasidic beard, sideburns, and yarmulke underneath a serious fedora.
            I wasn’t very bright back then…I thought people liked Jews. My bad.
            But maybe I will take a ride over to UWM and wear a flowing robe with long staff and smoke a Presidente sized stick. What woman in her late teens wouldn’t fall for me then?

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