Parts 5, 6, and Grand Finale of The Opus X Challenge
Part 5 - Review of Eiroa 20th Year
550 Robusto (Revisited)
The continuation of my Opus X vs everyone else had a disappointing smoke with the Eiroa 20th Anniversary Diadema. I decided to give Christian (Eiroa) a second chance because I know he makes great cigars. I chose a different size this time but still from his 20th Anniversary blend. This cigar is the Eiroa (20th Year) 550 Robusto. It is a box pressed Honduran puro with a type of tobacco that has not been used as a filler in more than 50 years. The Eiroa main farm is in Honduras and I am sure there is a special corner where tobacco like this is grown.
The cigar is a 5 x 50 and well-constructed with no soft spots, perfect wrapper and nice draw. The burn was even and produced a healthy amount of smoke. The ash was strong and held on to the middle of the cigar. I found the flavors and aromas to match up nicely with dark chocolate, espresso, nuts and a touch of leather but not too much. No spiciness that I could experience but some will say it has some. I thought it was very Cubanesque as it reminded me of a pre-embargo stick I smoked in Afghanistan sent by a very generous and patriotic person. This was quite enjoyable and definitely worth the $11.50 price. I blame the mold I found in the previous cigar on the place I ordered from and assume they did not store it properly.
Part 6 – The Mystery cigar
Well, Gary Manelski guessed what cigar this was before I told him. It is the Vallejuelo 5 x 54 Robusto Gordo that received a 93 rating from CA. This is made at the Intercigar SA cigar factory in the Dominican Republic with a Dominican wrapper and binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.
I have a positive biased opinion of this cigar, so I gave one to cigar smoking, bourbon drinking buddy Jeff to get his comments. We get together on Sunday evening to, well, smoke cigars and drink bourbon or course.
Me: So, Jeff, what do you think?
Jeff: This has a great draw and smells earthy to me. The wrapper looks good, no bad spots.
Me: I let him puff on it a while and then asked about flavor and aroma.
Jeff: I still smell earthiness but also it smells like a barnyard, I mean, like lots of hay.
Me: What about strength?
Jeff: This is a real mild cigar and look at this long ash. I bet if I am really careful I can keep it from falling off for another inch. (That’s when the ash dropped, oh well.)
Me: What do you think this cost?
Jeff: It probably costs around $8, which seems about right.
Me: I told him it only cost $4 and he thought for that money it is a great cigar.
Last question to Jeff from Me: How would you compare it to an Opus X?
Jeff: You’re kidding, right? That’s like comparing a Smart Car to a Tesla.
(Okay, I’ll give him that one.)
Grand Finale – Review of Opus X
Lost City Cigar
Here is the story on how this came to be……
In 2004, Andy Garcia began filming The Lost City and wanted to shoot one of the most memorable scenes of his movie at Chateau de la Fuente in July. Unfortunately, there were no tobacco plants growing at Chateau de la Fuente during that time because the tobacco plants were harvested in March. Carlito Fuente obliged and planted a few acres immediately after the March harvest specifically for the film. The tobaccos that were harvested from this March planting were left to age and gave birth to the Opus X Lost City.
This is a Dominican Puro and although many say it is a mid-full-bodied cigar, I disagree. For me it was a very rich medium cigar with outstanding flavors. I experienced chocolate, berries, nuts, some floral aromas and even a touch of coffee. I really cannot say enough good comments about it. It smoked a little uneven at the start but the burn totally evened out in the middle third. I honestly have to say that this was a very pleasant cigar.
Now, How Did All the Others Compare?
None could hold a candle to the Opus X. It definitely has earned its place as one of the best, if not the best cigar you can smoke. Were there any that came close? Yes, of course. The Padron 64, the Eiroa First 20 years and even the Serino. All of them were great smokes but none as perfect as the Opus X.
Now, from a value standpoint the Opus X fails, especially at $30 a stick.
The Padron 1964 costs ~$15, a better value.
The Eiro 20th is $11.50, an even better value and the Serino was only $8, a great value.
However, if someone offered me any cigar I wanted for free I would opt for the Opus X.
I will admit that I smoked it right down to under one inch, not because it cost $30, but because it is a GREAT cigar.