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Entries in Opus X (2)

Monday
May092011

Opus X Petite Lancero

This week's review is of the Opus X Petite Lancero. I have reviewed an Opus X before so I won't go into too much detail about the line, but this vitola is one of the Opus X's I haven't smoked before so I figured it was worth talking about. Opus X has always been a relatively hard to find cigar,  but with the current trend of limited edition cigars flooding the cigar world it seems like Opus is a little easier to come by lately. I don't know if Fuente is making more, or if they just aren't selling as fast as they used to now that there are so many other harder to find cigars competing with this line. Either way when this box came in to the shop I grabbed one to try since I haven't had an Opus X in quite some time. This cigar measures in at 6.25X39 and has a tapered head. It also has a slight box press to it. I haven't smoked a ton of Opus, let alone one that just came in this past week to the store. I am curious to see what current production fresh Opus taste like!

The Opus X Petite Lancero is a very elegant looking cigar with a reddish brown slightly splotchy wrapper. One thing that I like about Opus is the prelight aroma that comes off them. It is a very distinct smell of sweet earthy spice and some nutty aromas. After clipping off the head the draw is pretty much perfect for this ring gauge, just enough resistance to keep it from smoking too quickly. The prelight flavors are the same as the aroma coming off the foot, plenty of that sweet earthy spice and maybe a little bit of raisin. Once lit the flavors are much lighter than the other Opus I have smoked. There is a little bit of cedar and some cinnamon spice on the finish. When I think of Opus I think of much more pronounced/stronger flavors. Maybe this one just needs some time to get warmed up. After an inch not much has changed, which isn't good. I am waiting for the flavors to show up! On the retrohale is more of the cinnamon spice I expect from Opus, but it is still lacking on the palate. 

Entering the second third of this cigar and some more flavor is slowly starting to show up. With the cinnamon spice and sweet earth is a little bit of leather. There is a ton of spice through the nose. The burn has been very even and the ash is falling off every inch. Even with the little bit of flavor that has shown up, this is really disappointing so far. There should be a lot more flavor coming out of this cigar. I am getting plenty of smoke and the room aroma is fantastic but the flavor is so muted. As I reach the end of this cigar it is still very muted. I would say it has a medium amount of strength, so not as strong as other Opus I've had. 

The Opus X Petite Lancero was a huge disappointment. I have heard from so many people that this is one of the best sizes in the line and it really didn't deliver. I have a feeling that these are just way too fresh to enjoy right now. Maybe with some downtime they will come alive. All of the Opus I've had in the past were really flavorful so I have to believe that this one was a fluke. After smoking this I talked to a few other people who bought some out of the same box and they had great luck with them, so I am chalking this one up to just being a dud. I might consider grabbing another and putting it in my humidor for a year or so though, just to see if it would improve with some time. I picked this one up for around $12, which is a pretty good price for Opus X. 

Sunday
Apr052009

Opus X xXx (Power Ranger)


Tonights smoke is the elusive Fuente Fuente Opus X. This is marketed as (and is) a cigar that isnt easy to get, at least for a reasonable price. The Opus X is Arturo Fuente's super premium line of cigars and are a very sought after cigar. They are a Dominican Puro and showcase a stellar Rosado wrapper, supposedly the first wrapper successfully grown in the Dominican Republic. The size im smoking is called the xXx, but is more commonly known as the "Power Ranger" due to its repuation of being a complete ass kicker of a cigar in a small package. It measures in at 4.625 x 49. Im not sure the age of this cigar as it was a gift, but i think it has at least 3 years of age on it.

The unlit aroma on this cigar is powerful and full of spice and cedar. The wrapper is very oily and absolutely flawless. Upon lighting, the palate is bombarded with loads of rich spices, cinnamon and leather, tons of leather. The Opus X has a very unique flavor profile, very rich but very well balanced. I think these do very well with a few years age on them to round out the flavors. These can be a little overwhelming when young, and tend to get a bit smoother as they age. This is a solid full bodied cigar right from the start and not for beginners. The further i get into this cigar, the more developed the flavors get. Notes of cedar and almost a sweet spice cake are present at the halfway point. The strength of these tends to sneak up on you as well. This cigar is an end of the night smoke to have after a big meal with your favorite spirit. I am drinking a glass of Pyrat XO Rum, and the sweetness of the rum really compliments the sweet spice characteristic of the Opus X.

The Opus X has a lot of hype behind it, and for some smoking one is a bit of a status symbol. Since they are made in small batches and shipped to stores very sparingly, there tends to be quite the mark up on this line. This cigar retails for $9.50, but ive seen them for sale for more than $30 bucks a stick. Most shops that sell Opus have a limit to what you can buy, usually 2 cigars per visit. I think for some people, to be seen smoking an Opus X shows that they are doing very well and have great taste. Yeah, thats fine but thats not why i smoke cigars! I sure as hell am not going to spend 30 bucks for one of these. If i can get them for around the retail price ill pick them up.. That being said, this is a special cigar that is worth buying if you can find them for a reasonable price (for these, i would say anything under about $15 is reasonable due to how hard they are to get).

Overall, the Fuente Opus X Power Ranger is an excellent cigar, but certainly not an everyday type smoke. This is a special occasion cigar for me (in this case the special occasion IS smoking this cigar!) and one that i always enjoy and am never disappointed with.