Cigar Aficionado 2023 #1 Cigar of the Year!

Cigar Aficionado 2023 #1 Cigar of the Year!
7 months ago No comments

Cigar Aficionado's #1 Cigar of the Year:
Fuente Fuente OpusX Reserva d’Chateau


In the 1980s, a Parisian retailer scoffed at Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr., now the patriarch of Arturo Fuente Cigar Co., dismissing cigar makers as mere tobacco assemblers. At that time, the Fuente family, then under his father's ownership, crafted cigars using tobacco from various origins. However, the absence of Dominican wrapper tobacco became a persistent issue for the young Fuente, sparked by the Parisian's disdainful comment.

If that remark set the stage for the OpusX narrative, the story truly began in the early 1990s. Driven by his determination, Fuente Jr. set out to cultivate high-quality wrapper leaf in the Dominican Republic. Conventional wisdom suggested that Dominican soils were inadequate for such endeavors. Yet, after planting the right Corojo seeds in 1991, Fuente reaped the reward—a unique wrapper boasting a splendid reddish hue, remarkable flexibility, rich aroma, and an impressive flavor profile. This wrapper, now known as Chateau de la Fuente, thrived on a distinct Bonao-based farm, characterized by lighter, loamy soil with elevated clay content, setting it apart from other Dominican regions.

 arturo-fuenteFast forward to a brisk November night in 1995, where a line of enthusiasts snaked around a Manhattan cigar shop, eagerly awaiting the premiere of OpusX. That evening marked the birth of a cigar phenomenon.

OpusX emerged as a robust presence in a market dominated by milder offerings upon its release. Despite the current array of full-bodied competitors, OpusX maintains its allure and relevance. Its leathery, assertively spicy nature doesn't compromise on smoothness. Each draw reveals an opulent sweetness reminiscent of baking spices, nutmeg, and vanilla. The cigar strikes an impeccable balance between robust strength and refined elegance, earning its rightful place as our Cigar of the Year.

The Reserva d’Chateau's slender ring gauge highlights the pivotal role of the wrapper in shaping the smoking experience. Ultimately, the OpusX narrative revolves around a wrapper once deemed implausible. Yet, Fuente defied expectations, crafting an exquisite all-Dominican cigar that transcends its individual components, truly becoming more than the sum of its parts.

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See the entire 2023 Top 25 Cigar Aficionado List!

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