Arturo Fuente Opus X Love Affair: A perfect perfecto
I have been asked on a few occasions what my favourite vitola is. I used to struggle to answer that question, but the more cigars I smoke, the more I understand the complexity of construction and I find it easier to answer. I love the complex and nuanced flavours that are found in a lancero cigar and how elegant they look, but I adore the shape of a perfecto cigar. When a good friend gifted me some cigars back at the end of 2020, I was delighted to see that amongst them was the Arturo Fuente Opus X Love Affair.
There is a lot of buzz about these cigars and as much as I wanted to smoke one, I had just never got around to joining in on the whole “Fuente Friday” action. My opportunity arose when I joined a Thursday evening “Smoke ’em if You’ve Got ’em” virtual herf organised by Mike and Joe from Boutique Smokes. Coincidently, and unknown to me at the time of choosing to smoke the Arturo Fuente Opus X Love Affair, it also happened to be the birthday of Carlos ‘Carlito’ Fuente Jr, one of the most recognised faces in the world of cigars.
Holding the cigar in my hand set the tone for the evening. The shape was beautiful and perfectly crafted with no imperfections or ugly veins on the wrapper. Sliding the Opus X out of its cellophane wrapper and into my hand I was greeted by aromas of sweet tobacco and cocoa and a light oiliness on my fingers from the sun grown wrapper. I chose to straight cut the cigar as is my preference with torpedo heads, and the cold draw got me salivating with hints at the flavour delights awaiting me.
Rotating the Arturo Fuente Opus X Love Affair as I lit its petite foot, I noticed that it was very lightly box pressed. As I took my first draws a seductive tendril of smoke rose skyward from the toasted foot and I knew that I was going to be in for a treat. The first thought that came to me as I took my first draws was how syrupy the smoke was. The cocoa that had tickled my nose when I first started admiring the cigar was there in full force with a gentle tickle of clove, allspice and peppercorns.
Towards the middle of the cigar, I realised that I was enjoying the flavours so much that I hadn’t even thought about what I might want to drink with it. It was also at about this time that I noticed just how perfectly constructed the Arturo Fuente Opus X Love Affair was. During the interesting and stimulating conversation, and without even trying, I had managed to build up two inches, and still growing, of perfectly formed mid grey ash. All thoughts of drink pairings left my mind and I instead concentrated on the billows of smoke and delicious flavours from the cigar.
Throughout the cigar, there was an undercurrent of hot spice, but this modulated from peppercorns in the first third, to green pepper in the middle before finishing out with the fruitiness of a scotch bonnet pepper without the intense heat. In the middle the spice was joined by a slightly bitter almond flavour but it was no less creamy and sumptuous than the opening third. When the ash finally dropped, I slid the gorgeous band off and, having decided that some Buffalo Trace would make a good companion to the remainder of the cigar, poured myself a generous glass of one of my favourite bourbons.
It was during the final third that the Arturo Fuente Opus X Love Affair really started to sing. The sweetness that I had first smelt started to make its presence known and what had been a rich cigar to begin with, upped the ante to the sublime intensity. A couple of draws into the final third, an ugly bitterness started to creep in which I recognised as a slight build up of smoke and oils in the cigar. This was confirmed visually by a blackness starting to coat the head. I cut an extra millimetre of and was greeted by clean looking tobacco and all the harshness disappeared.
Knowing that I was going to be savouring this cigar right to the nub, I reached for my cigar daggers and when I returned the draw was filled with a delicious oakiness. On the subsequent draw this was joined by smooth double cream and amazingly the wonderful fruitiness of a glass of Dr Pepper. I really couldn’t get enough of the Arturo Fuente Opus X Love Affair and smoked it right down to its last millimetres. My only disappointment with this cigar is that it is the only one I had and will probably never be able to get my hands on another one.
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Arturo Fuente Opus X Love Affair Cigar Details
Arturo Fuente Opus X Love Affair Review Summary
The perfecto is one of my favourite vitolas and this is a beautiful example of it. It was such a pleasure to smoke, I almost forgot to take notes on it
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