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.
Coming in just under the gun it did ship in December, with limited numbers as many retailers only confirmed receiving one box of each of the four sizes.
- Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years Celebration Believe (5 3/4 x 52)
- Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years Celebration Father & Son (6 1/4 x 49)
- Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years Celebration God’s Whisper (6 1/2 x 56)
- Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years Celebration Power of a Dream (6 3/8 x 52)
- Cigar Reviewed: Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years Celebration
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia.
- Wrapper: Dominican
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Length: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 56
- Vitola: Figurado
- MSRP: $22.50 (Boxes of 20, $450)
- Release Date: Dec. 7, 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
OpusX cigar bands are always impressive looking things, and the 20 Years Celebration band is no exception. The blue does look out of place after seeing the red theme for so long, however it doesn’t detract from the look. The wrapper is a touch lighter brown than you might be used to seeing with a feel that is a bit rough with only a slight oily feel to it. There is a sweet earthy aroma coming off the wrapper, though that seems to be about it. The cold draw however is a completely different story, with light brown sugar, old tobacco, gingerbread, leather, cedar and oats.
Starting into the first third there is a lot of black pepper on the nose, followed by cinnamon, nuts, cedar, a light fruity note and a hint of vanilla and coffee. There is a bit of difficulty getting an even burn around the bulge, but it makes it without my intervention. The ash is quite flakey, seemingly more so than any cigar I’ve smoked in recent memory. As I get a little further into the God’s Whisper the pepper has died down some, leaving cinnamon and the nuttiness up front, followed by the retreating pepper, cedar, fruit, vanilla and coffee. The burn has become quite crooked, with an entire section lagging behind and requiring a touch-up.
Moving into the second third of the Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years Celebration, cinnamon, nuts and cedar are the discernible notes leading the pack, with pepper, a newly developed hay note, some vanilla and a touch of earthiness in the background. The fruit and coffee notes have mostly faded away, only catching hints here and there. The burn continues to consistently need help on one side with the tobacco there looking more charred than burning completely and turning into ash like the rest. That aforementioned ash continues to make it look like a blizzard barreled through the area, leaving ash everywhere around me.
The final third continues with a pleasant profile of cinnamon, nuts, cedar and slightly stronger earth, while pepper, hay and vanilla are mostly relegated to the background. Not too surprising at this point, another touch-up is needed, as the cigar seems to almost constantly be burning at a 45 degree angle. Thankfully the multiple touch-ups don’t seem to be affecting the profile, allowing me to smoke it down to the last inch without it getting harsh or bitter.
- The packaging on these is exquisite, which made it an easy candidate for second place in our 2016 Packaging Awards.
- It’s still unclear what exactly the actual suggested retail price is, though one retailer told us $22.50.
- There was one noticeable leaf in each cigar that didn’t want to burn, almost like that single leaf was soaked in flame retardant. On two it was closer to the outside of the cigar, causing that entire side to never want to burn straight. On the third, it caused a severe cone shaped ash as it was more towards the middle.
- I cannot stress how much the ash flaked all over the place. It was honestly impressive how much ended up everywhere while still having enough left to roll off in my ashtray at around the three quarters inch mark.
- Unfortunately, it appears like I wasn’t the only one with construction issues.
- As with most of the OpusX releases, these will probably be smoking really great after a few years. I’m not sure that will resolve the burn issues, but I have no doubt the profile will benefit.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged just under two hours.
I was really excited to get to review the Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years Celebration, which was a release that I doubted I was even going to get to see in a store much less actually smoke. Fortunately, the profile lived up to my expectations, with a nice complexity of flavors that worked well together. There was enough movement as well to keep me interested without jumping around too much or devolving at the end. Unfortunately there was a plethora of burn issues, which almost required me to keep my lighter in hand the entire time. I know that will hurt the score some, but regardless of what the number is, I think this is a cigar that you should definitely try for yourself if you run across it. Personally I’d love to see how the other sizes compared, but it will be doubtful that I’ll be able to.