Today’s review is of a cigar I had been looking forward to since the original announcement of it’s impending release….a release didn’t happen until over a year later. This cigar is one of four sizes of the new blend made to honor and celebrate 20 years of Opus X, my favorite cigar, so needless to say I have high expectations. I was able to score one box in the “Believe” size and another in the larger “Power of the Dream” from my friends at The Briar and The Burley in Bloomington, Indiana, a fantastic shop if you’re ever in the area. Unboxing these cigars was really a pleasure as Fuente really spared no expense in the presentation of these beauties. The cigar box came covered in a velvety case tucked neatly inside another cardboard outer box. As you open these you know you are opening something the company is proud of and wanted to really showcase. The box itself is beautiful, with it’s bright blue design and white design. Upon opening the box, two decorative wooden inserts are found, each with a Fuente quote and Opus X logos prominently displayed. The cigars most noticeable feature is the blue band, originally one of the colors considered for the regular production Opus X. A secondary band, also in blue and gold notes “20 Years” and the cigars each have a cedar sleeve and blue ribbon at the foot. Underneath all that adornment sits a well rolled cigar with a noticeably lighter wrapper than that of the regular Opus. Anyway, enough of that, let’s light it.
The first few draws of this cigar has hints of spice, although not nearly as prevalent as other Opus blends. The spice mellows and is joined by flavors of cedar and a faint sweetness. The burn was a bit wavy but nothing that needed attention and the draw was spot on as you would expect. The cigar puts out a fair amount of smoke and a pleasant, sweet aroma.
As I get into the second third and approaching the half way point of this cigar a bit of leather finds it’s way into the profile while the other flavors from the first third remain. The burn line continues to be a touch wavy but straightened out about half way through. Draw and smoke production remain perfect. The cigar is certainly milder than the regular production Opus X blends and I would put it right at medium in strength. Although the flavors are a bit more laid back, they’re there. Definitely a cigar to smoke on a fresh palate to be able to fully enjoy.
The flavors continue to remain very consistent in the final third with the spice making another appearance towards the end. Draw and smoke production have also been consistent, and the burn, although not razor sharp, has not been problematic. I smoked several of these cigars prior to the review and did find something else of note in the final third. This wrapper is also more fragile than the regular production smokes and although the cigars I smoked didn’t have band glue issues or anything of the like, the wrapper did crack on a couple of them when taking off the large band.
This was certainly a big switch up from the regular production Opus X and I was impressed. The presentation of these cigars is second to none and the cigar was certainly a very enjoyable smoke. I was expecting to be “wowed” a bit more from a cigar at this price range but it was still very very good and a wonderful special occasion smoke if you can find them. I’ll be holding on to my remaining stock to see what a bit more age will do for them.
Smoking Characteristics: 22/25
Overall Impression: 32/35