So here it is, the very 1st smoke of my cigar challenge, the Arturo Fuente (pronounciation here). This is the first brand featured in ‘The Cigar Directory’ of the ‘The Cigar Companion: The Connoisseur’s Guide‘ on page 56.
I initially purchased the ‘Eye of the Shark’ (that will be the next smoke), but after some research into the cigar brand I realised that I would miss out if I did not try smoking the famous Arturo Fuente Opus X. I looked online across the various different online cigar stores and came across the Opus X Perfection X. This cigar is ‘regarded as the pinnacle of cigar perfection, and the standard by which all cigars are measured.’
Length: 6 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 48
Strength: Medium – Full
Country of origin: Dominican Republic
According to CGars Ltd ‘Arturo Fuente cigars are consistently rated among the best cigars in the world.’ So it seems like the perfect place to start my cigar challenge. It was quite pricey at £38.69 – probably the most expensive cigar I have ever purchased.
A bit of background research on Arturo Fuente
Arturo Fuente is a brand of cigar, founded by Arturo Fuente, Sr. in 1912 in West Tampa, Florida. Following a catastrophic fire in 1924, the brand ceased production for 22 years, reemerging in 1946 on a limited, local basis. Ownership was transferred to Arturo’s younger son, Carlos Fuente, Sr. in 1958. Following the 1960 United States embargo of Cuba, the Fuente brand began a period of slow and steady growth, emerging as one of the most critically acclaimed makers of hand-rolled premium cigars outside of Cuba. As of 2010 the company was producing 30 million cigars per annum from its factory in the Dominican Republic.
I found this video titled the ‘Arturo Fuente Story‘ on YouTube that talks a little more about the history of this cigar brand –
Looks like this family had a lot of set backs in their time, but they kept coming back again, bigger and stronger.
The more I read about the Opus X the more excited I am about smoking it. I especially like learning about the detail that goes into designing the cigar band for this cigar.
Right, so after a small wait the cigar arrived inside a plastic bag with a Boveda to keep it within a good humidity. The cigar was wrapped in what looks like a cedar wrapper.
Usually I start smoking my cigars straight away, but as I’m going to be blogging about this stuff, I spent about 15 minutes trying to take photos of it. Looking at the cigar community on Instagram, I realise you need to be some kind of professional cigar photographer, so here’s my attempt…
After all that faffing about… I cut the cigar with my cutter and then lit it with my butane lighter. It was a really nice smoke, it felt a bit small in terms of ring gauge, as I’m used to my regular Romeo Y Julieta Wide Churchill’s. In terms of flavour, I’ve watched many YouTube videos describing the flavours of each cigar… this is something I still haven’t been able to distinguish. I suppose I’ll start noticing flavours more and more as I smoke different brands. The Opus X did taste sweet, and I actually preferred it the longer I smoked it. Usually the taste on other cigars I’ve smoked taste better at the beginning of the cigar, whereas this one was more enjoyable in the middle and towards the end. You can tell the cigar is rolled and packed well as the ash stayed on it for quite some time. The smoke was thick too.
My rating: 7 out of 10
Did it taste like the most expensive cigar I’ve ever purchased? Mmm maybe not. But it was nice.
Next up… the Arturo Fuente: Eye of the Shark.