In 1995, the cigar world was changed forever with the introduction of the Fuente Fuente OpusX, the first cigar to utilize all Dominican tobacco. It’s challenging today to understand just how groundbreaking this was given today’s market, but at the time it was believed growing wrapper in the Dominican Republic was not possible, or at least to the standards needed for premium cigars.
Since then, almost all of Fuente’s counterparts in the Dominican have made a cigar or two with Dominican wrapper, but OpusX stands alone as the first.
The line was introduced in seven different vitolas, all of which were covered in a rosado wrapper leaf that was grown at the Chateau de la Fuente farms.
The original cigars were composed of tobacco that had been planted in 1992—the same date that appears in various places on the packing—and aged before being rolled into the cigars, which were then aged again before being released for the first time in late 1995.
In addition, the packaging for the original release of the OpusX cigars are quite different then what is being released now. First, the cigars were packaged in slide-top boxes that were discontinued in 1997. Second, the original cigars were encased in cellophane sans any decoration while newer incarnations have gold lettering on the front.
Although there are now more than 15 vitolas in the OpusX lineup, there were only seven sizes when the brand debuted:
- Fuente Fuente OpusX Perfecxion No.5 (4 7/8 x 40)
- Fuente Fuente OpusX Robusto (5 x 50)
- Fuente Fuente OpusX Fuente Fuente (5 5/8 x 46)
- Fuente Fuente OpusX Petit Lancero (6 x 39)
- Fuente Fuente OpusX Perfecxion No.2 (6 3/8 x 52)
- Fuente Fuente OpusX Reserva d’Chateau (7 x 48)
- Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona (7 5/8 x 49)
- Cigar Reviewed: Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
- Wrapper: Dominican Chateau de la Fuente Sun Grown Rosado
- Binder: Dominican Chateau de la Fuente Sun Grown Rosado
- Filler: Dominican Chateau de la Fuente Sun Grown Rosado
- Length: 7 5/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 49
- Vitola: Double Corona
- Est. Price: $100
- Release Date: 1995
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
The Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona is covered in a red-brown wrapper that has a bit of tooth to the touch, reminding of parchment. The cigar is quite hard when squeezed and the wrapper is totally devoid of any oil. Aroma from the wrapper is muted manure, vanilla, nuts and leather whiled the cold draw brings flavors of cinnamon, leather, oak, peanuts, coffee beans and generic sweetness.
The OpusX Double Corona starts out the first third with a profile that is quite smooth, with a dominant floral note on the retrohale that chases away any other flavors that may be present there for the first puffs. There is a distinct lack of either pepper or spice, and the strength is nonexistent so far as well. Other flavors start to make themselves known after about 20 puffs, including creamy nuts, dark chocolate, aged cedar and a faint mustiness that seems to be getting stronger as the cigar continues. The draw is a bit tight but still within manageable limits, while the burn is a bit wavy forcing a couple of touch ups. Smoke production is a bit anemic, and the strength is nonexistent.
There are quite a few changes in the second third of the OpusX Double Corona, but not for the better, as the cigar features the same floral notes on the retrohale although it is not quite as strong as in the first third. The mustiness note has increased a bit in strength and there are other flavors of charred meat, generic tobacco, coffee grounds, aged cedar and nuts. There is actually a bit of an increase in some pepper on the retrohale, but it is still not even close to being overwhelming, and there is still no spice to speak of. Construction-wise, the draw has loosened a bit by the halfway point, and while the burn continues to need to be touched up, the smoke production has increased noticeably. The overall strength is still quite low, ending the second third well below the medium mark.
The final third continues the trend of the previous two thirds, with a dominant floral note on the retrohale and finish, along with other flavors of aged cedar, leather, barnyard, hay, nuts and generic tobacco. The mustiness from the first two thirds has continued to increase in strength, and is coming close to be a dominant flavor by the end of the cigar. Although the amount of pepper on the retroahale has increased a bit, it it is still at a fairly light level, and there is still no sweetness to speak of. The draw has actually become quite good in the final third, but the burn is still not great, while the smoke production has reached normal levels. The overall strength is still quite low, although it does increase enough to hit a point between mild and medium by the time I put the nub down with a little more than an inch left.
- As part of the 20th anniversary celebration for OpusX, Prometheus has included two original release Fuente Fuente OpusX Belicosos in its Father And Son humidors.
- I have smoked OpusX at various ages, and for me the sweet spot seems to be between three and five years of age.
- Interestingly, I felt very differently about another OpusX vitola that was rolled in 1994 and released in 2009, the OpusX Phantom with a maduro binder.
- The original name for OpusX cigars before they were released was “Project X from Planet 9.”
- The overall construction for this sample was not great, with a tight draw for the first third and a burn that constantly had to be touched up to keep it from getting out of hand.
- Every once in a while I would get an interesting flavor on the retrohale, but it was never very strong and never lasted long enough to make a significant impact on the profile.
- The final smoking time was quicker than I expected at one hour and 35 minutes.
- I purchased this cigar more than five years ago from a collector that I know quite well. In fact, I was able to watch him open the box this came out of.
I have always enjoyed the OpusX blend—especially in the xXx and Petit Lanceros vitolas—but I usually find them to be overwhelmingly strong when they are fresh. Unfortunately, this 20-year-old cigar is very obviously past its prime, with muted flavors and a mustiness that is quite pervasive in the profile. The construction was not great and I had to constantly fight to keep it from getting out of hand. Overall, this is a cigar I am glad to have smoked, but really wish I had not waited as long as I did, as I think it would have been quite a bit more enjoyable five years ago when I first purchased it.