The Cigar

There are some cigars that you just save for a special occasion. Opus X is one of those. Until recently they only come out twice a year, and most shops still impose strict limits on them. I always pick up my allotment of two Arturo Fuente Añejo Shark no. 77 when they are out around the holidays, and the same went for the Opus X when they were only out for Father’s Day and the holidays. (As I type this I’m wondering who will be the first manufacturer to release a Mother’s Day cigar?)

But sometimes you have to treat a Tuesday night in summer, when the mosquitoes haven’t taken over and there’s a gentle breeze to keep you cool, like a special occasion. I read on a friend’s timeline the other day that if you are very lucky you will get 100 summers in your entire lifetime. How many of those do you really have left? Smoke the rare cigar and drink the rare bourbon. Being alive is enough reason to celebrate.

The Arturo Fuente Opus X Perfexion no2 is a 6 3/8 x 52. The construction is immaculate. The draw and the burn are flawless. Predominant flavors are creamy and mineral.

According to the Arturo Fuente website, “Nestled in the rich, volcanic soil of the Dominican Republic lies Chateau de la Fuente, home to the finest cigar of our time, the coveted Fuente Fuente OpusX. The mineral rich soils of the Dominican Republic, once deemed unsuitable for wrapper tobacco, had never met with the expertise and tenacity of the Fuente family. Together they cultivated a glorious wrapper tobacco that became the foundation for the prestigious Fuente Fuente OpusX, the first ever Dominican Puro.

“Today Fuente Fuente OpusX is regarded as the pinnacle of cigar perfection, and the standard by which all cigars are measured. The unique combination of Fuente tobaccos produce flavors both smooth and bold, in harmony with the sweet lingering fullness of the exclusive Fuente Fuente OpusX wrapper tobacco.”

The first Opus X was released in 1997 after the Fuente family finally overcame the challenges of growing wrapper leaf in the Dominican Republic, making this its first Dominican Puro cigar. A puro is a cigar that has wrapper, binder, and filler all made from a single country of origin.

Bourbon #1 – Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 100 Proof

Nose: Stone fruit, brown sugar, and baking spice

Palate: Stone fruit and leather

Together: The bourbon brings out rich chocolate in the smoke, while the smoke highlights sweet stone fruit in the bourbon.

Bourbon #2 – Jim Beam Black NAS, 86 Proof

Nose: Warm baking spice and apple cider

Palate: Sweet baking spice, apples, and brown sugar

Together: The bourbon brings out a pleasant earthiness in the smoke, while the smoke highlights a light spiciness which isn’t typically at the forefront of this bourbon.

Bourbon #3 – Four Roses Yellow Label 80 Proof

Nose: Green apple and honey

Palate: Green apple and baking spice

Together: The smoke brings out the apple sweetness in the bourbon but masks much of the typical baking spice, which is particularly interesting in this combination. The bourbon highlights the gentle minerality of the smoke.

The Verdict

I’m surprised once again that the Jim Beam Black seems to play best with this Fuente special release, as it did with the Añejo Shark I tried it with back in the winter. All of these were great pairings, so I would be hard pressed to declare a clear winner here.

Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl