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Stogie Reviews: Arturo Fuente Opus X Fuente Fuente

28 May 2008

I’ll be honest: I couldn’t really go into this stick with neutral expectations. While I always try to mentally erase any pre-conceived notions about a cigar before I light up for a review, that’s simply too much to ask when it comes to Arturo Fuente’s storied Opus X blend.

Maybe that’s because Arturo’s flagship line is so rare. Some retailers call Opus X “inarguably the rarest cigar in the world” (a claim I haven’t taken the time to refute). Still, I think many of us can relate to the fact that these can be pretty difficult to track down and, when you find some, odds are the retailer will limit your order.

Or maybe I have such high expectations due to the cigar’s impressive ratings. Opus X has scored as high as 92 in Cigar Insider, and it consistently receives noteworthy reviews from popular industry publications.

The rarity and the ratings probably have something to do with it, but I’d bet most of my lofty hopes are due to the cigar’s excessive price. The Fuente Fuente vitola, which measures five and 5/8 inches with a 46 ring gauge, will run you about $25 for a single or $800 for a box of 32. Not exactly economical, especially in a recession.

It is said that this Dominican puro – a unique characteristic itself – is adorned with the finest wrappers from Chateau de la Fuente, but mine was fairly bumpy and had two tiny tears. I guess I could chalk that up to shipping, storage, or some negligence on my part. In any event, the extremely tightly packed tobaccos exude a strong pre-light aroma of raisin, and the wrapper adds a spicy tingle to the lips.

The first puffs are of raisin, spicy clove, and sweet black pepper. Although the flavor mellows after the first inch, you’ll still find plenty of balanced complexity. Sweet, bitter, acidic – it’s all here in a bold, smooth format. Cocoa and spice increase down the stretch, and the final two inches can be surprisingly full-bodied and overbearing.

With these flavors and a self-correcting burn, a solid ash, and a nice draw, I can easily say this is a fine cigar. I can’t say, however, that the lockstep reviews or the extreme cost is justified. I enjoyed this smoke, particularly the first three inches, but I won’t be scrambling to find more immediately – especially since I’ve had more pleasurable experiences with cigars that cost much, much less. That’s my primary rationale for giving the Arturo Fuente Opus X Fuente Fuente no better than four out of five stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

24 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Arturo Fuente Opus X Fuente Fuente”

  1. scotty Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    You sure like throwing around the word "recession" around here. Whether your definition of a recession is 2 or 3 consecutive quarters of falling GDP, our current situation though isn't rosy, is short of what all economists consider a recession.

  2. Jon N. Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    Blame me for the introduction of "recession" into Stogie Guys. To be honest, when I wrote the pieces about "enjoying cigars in a recession," I used the word "recession" with some trepidation. While it's highly debatable whether we're in a recession right now, I wrote that article under the assumption that we'd probably be in one very soon. And I stand by that assumption. Either way, regardless of whether we all want to agree on "recession" or otherwise, I think we can agree on "slowdown." Or whatever you want to call it. No matter what label you apply to today's economy, it's hard to dispute that times are tougher for many of us than they usually are.

  3. furious Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 3:23 am #

    While our current national fiscal situation does not meet the dictionary definition of the dreaded r-word, you can bet that John Q. Public is feeling the burn of a down real estate market, gas price increases, and commodities price increases to the point that sacrificies have to be made. In other words, in practical terms, the middle class is certainly experiencing a "recession" of spending and material worth that translates into all the scuttlebutt we are now hearing about.

  4. Patrick A Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 4:12 am #

    Believe it or not, I am well aware that the hard definition of a “recession” is two or more successive quarters of negative real GDP growth. As Jon and furious imply, I am using the term very loosely in this review to mean a significant and prolonged slowdown in economic activity. My intention, however, was obviously not to start a debate on the subject.

    Now that that’s settled, any thoughts on the cigar? 🙂

  5. Jon N. Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 5:40 am #

    Patrick, I think your review is spot on here. The OpusX is unquestionably a great cigar. But is it as good as the hype would have us believe? Well, in certain ways, it's impossible to live up to the OpusX's hype. Ultimately, when you pay for an OpusX cigar, you're paying for an extremely nice cigar and also for extremely nice mythology and packaging. There are better cigars to be had, both in the OpusX's price range and below it.

    So the real question is: to what extent do hype and bragging rights factor into your cigar purchases? Smoking or owning an OpusX sends a certain message to people, and if you're trying to send that message, I can think of few cigars better suited for the task. But in my humble opinion, I wouldn't waste a ton of money on these sticks until such time as I have the disposable income to be making statements with my cigars in the first place. 🙂

  6. Chris V Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 6:25 am #

    OR, find a place selling them at MSRP. It's known to RARELY happen, but friends on forums can be big helps in this area… remember, most of these sticks have an MSRP of under or around $10! Keep your eyes pealed for a helpful BOTL or two and you may get lucky, I did recently.

  7. George E. Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 6:38 am #

    I would suggest keeping Harry Truman's definitions in mind: "It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours."

    On Opus X prices, I have bought very few, but I have seen quite a few B&Ms selling them at the retail price, often with a limit on the number of sticks that can be purchased at one time. Check your local shops. Their interest in developing a loyal, satisfied customer base is a great asset.

  8. Jerry @ Stogie Revie Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 7:35 am #

    Patrick don't we share the same local retailers? If you're paying that much for your Opus you're not visiting our friend in DC:

  9. Patrick A Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    P.S. I should send a big thank you to Chris V, a friend of the site who graciously gifted me the pictured stick.

  10. Mr. Anonymous Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    wow, I havent been a cigar smoker too long but I have been a consitant reader and I've been waiting for you guys to do a review on this one.

    Although I've never tried one, I am definitely no stranger to the folkloric majesty of these sticks (i.e. they're "individually rolled between the legs of 15-year old Dominican virgins" addition to the impressive facts) They sound pretty damn tasty.

    This review was right on point and I agree with Jon here. It IS a very nice cigar, but that pricetag …only if, for some wacky reason, I desperately needed to impress somebody who MUST know I have money.

    A local B&M near me sells em for $48/stick and no, thats not an exaggeration. For a double Corona or a Perfexcion X the guy said "$48 for a single plus tax, theyre in a vault in the back" without blinking, like he wanted to make me feel its a common occurance to buy cigars at that price. (Maybe its a California thing…?)

    I appreciate the above advice on checking local shops and I will try searching around and making firends at more shops, but for me, buying online is cheaper than cigar shopping around where Im at.

    Perhaps someone could shed light on a cigar shop in southern california that wont have me choose between food or cigars.

  11. Patrick A Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    The price I listed is what most readers will encounter online and at their local B&Ms. I think you'll agree, Jerry, your find is quite the anomaly (as is Mr. Anonymous'). But thank you for pointing out that you can pick these up for less than $10 per single if you shop around.

  12. Shawn Friday, May 30, 2008 at 5:08 am #

    I agree with the first poster, this site usual is very concise and accurate with almost everything, so it's a little surprising to see the word recession thrown about so often. Either it's we're in a recession or not, if we're not then you shouldn't throw the word around.

    Back to the cigar. I've had a few Opus Xs and I really didn't care for them. The Dominican wrapper doesn't do anything for me.

  13. ThePosman Monday, September 29, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    I just picked up a single (they limit sales to two each) Fuente Fuente Opus X for just over $15 – I don't think they are worth paying more than that for. They are a good quality cigar – but not enough to warrant $20 or more each – they need to adjust like the housing market…….

  14. The Hammer Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    Hah, No doubt we are in a recession now, and have been since May when this article was written. What are the nay sayers doing now. Must be Bushie's type of tards. Glad you pointed that out Patrick, may we all be smoking cigars during these tough times.

  15. Miguel Sunday, December 28, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    Well…. I finally got the Fuente Fuente Opus X line of Cigars on Christmas Eve… I received and email from Fuente and Newman, the night before with packing slip they usually send every time they delivery any Arturo Fuente Products… and I absolutely lost my sleep… not reach my quite nerve until the day after I saw the UPS guy knocking on my door…. What can I tell you? My heart rating, my respirations and everything got interrupted until I finally open the box of cigars…. (I am not gay by the way) but that’s how I felt…. and just been very irresponsible communicative… this Cigar is for me the best smoke I ever had. I light a Double Corona that last 5 hours smoking… I was really enjoying my cigars and I was in no hurry. The Cigar kept the taste from beginning till the end.

    Like a Cuban Cigar keep lighting off from a minute to the other. But still the flavor. After been in America and after knowing about all the good smokes you can find outside Cuba, I can describe an Opus X with a quality, burn, flavor and taste that compare in a superlative mode to the Best Cuban Smoke.

    I used to smoke the Cuban Cigars hand rolled by Mon…. I don't know if you guys know him but this guy is one of the best Cuban Hand rollers and Cigar Conouseidors you can get in Cuba…. He is also in charge of the Havana Jack Club… just to give you an idea of how many excellent Cuban Cigars I had smoked not too long ago (7 years ago?) Take my word on this and if you have any chance, get any Opus X Cigar and you will know what I am taking about….

    My Store is now a Certify Opus X Distributor of Opus X… Come to Cuenca Cigars in Hollywood Florida or visit us online at:…

  16. Rex Luscat Sunday, February 27, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Can we officially call it a recession now?

    • Howard Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

      No. The recession is over.

  17. Walter Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    I just had one of these and the only phrase that comes to mind is "dog rocket." I paid $14 per stick for 3 sticks. I'm going to my shop tomorrow and giving the other two away. I smoke two to three sticks a day, mostly padrons, and I have to say that the FFOX is overhyped, overpriced, and taskes like s**t. I figured it would get better, in the 2nd third but I was wrong. I smoked it down until I could take no more. I still have an ashtray taste in my mouth. I'd rather light up a turd from my German Shepherd than pick up another FFOX. Do yourself a favor and grab a Padron 1926 ($20), 1964 ($15) or 6000 ($7.50) instead of this crap.

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