In celebration of finishing a large project for work, I picked out a cigar to relax and enjoy: an Opus X Forbidden X. These Opus X cigars are only sold in a special "Forbidden X" boxed set, which comes with a DVD and two Forbidden X cigars in decorative glass tubes. Yes, these cigars are limited edition, hard to find, and many people collect them. However I'd do the same thing with a rare cognac that I did with these: break them out and enjoy them.
A side note before the meat of the review: the DVD is quite cool, and worth watching. Whether you like Opus X cigars or not, it can't be denied that the Fuente family is passionate about what they do. It provides very candid interviews, and a wonderful insider's tour into a premium cigar operation. Recommended.
The cigars are obviously packaged to be boutique: a decorative glass tube, with all the flourishes you'd expect, and the cigar has a cute little "curly-Q" tip on its head. This is the first cigar I almost felt bad about cutting and burning. Almost. It's a rather thin, long cigar, measuring in at 7 5/8 x 41, and has the characteristic sweet jalapeno Opus X scent to it.
I put on my winter coat, and decided to go for a walk, puffing on the cigar as I let my mind relax and wander aimlessly, matching my footsteps through the snow. That's one of my favorite ways to enjoy a cigar, to just relax and do nothing, enjoying the flavor as it burns slowly down as a sort of time-out from life. I'll celebrate later on tonight with my girlfriend, but this time was mine and mine alone.
As I wandered among the snow-covered roads and sidewalks that grace upstate New York this time of year, the warm glow of the cigar was a pleasant companion and contrast to the cold air on my face. This cigar is all Opus X: spicy, strong, and bold. Some people might consider this taste profile to be "one-dimensional", but the same might be said of a shot of Jack Daniel's bourbon (sorry, "whiskey sour mash").
Indeed, that's an apt comparison. Both have very strong initial flavors, but are far from simplistic, with sweet overtones and a flavor that I enjoy time and time again. This particular Opus X is probably one of the strongest Opi I've ever had, likely owing to its thin size, and the makeup of the tobacco. If an Opus X Super Belicoso is Jack Daniel's on the rocks, this is a straight-up neat shot of the stuff, undiluted, and unrestrained.
Smoking the cigar left a spicy-sweet aftertaste in my mouth, and a tingling in my throat. It wasn't harsh the way a bad cigar is harsh, but it definitely was not tame by any stretch of the imagination. A spicy Thai meal. Fresh double-espresso with a twist of lemon rind. A shot of good bourbon. I love all of these flavors; if you do too, you will very likely enjoy an Opus X, especially one of the stronger varieties.
If you prefer your meals a little more tame, your coffee with cream and sugar, and a light beer, the Opus X may not be your thing. However, if you age the Opus X's a bit, it takes the bite off of them, and allows more complex flavors to develop, if that's your thing.
I picked this cigar on purpose. Because it was an Opus X, and because it was thin, I knew it would be a kick in the pants to smoke. I was not disappointed. I wouldn't smoke something this strong all of the time, but it was exactly what I was looking for, and I enjoyed every moment of it.
A testament to the construction of the cigar, despite being shipped here in the cold weather only yesterday, and with only a day in my humidor, it still burned straight and true, with no canoeing, re-lighting, or any other machinations needed.
Thank you, Arturo Fuente. You can join me in celebration any day.