Aging The Opus X: Do or Don’t?

Stogie Talk19 Comments on Aging The Opus X: Do or Don’t?

Aging The Opus X: Do or Don’t?

Fuente Fuente Opus X Perfecxion No. 5

A night or two ago I was smoking a well-aged Opus X Perfecxion No. 5. As is my custom, I spent a few minutes thinking about what I was tasting- grass, caramel, cedar, maybe a little white pepper. I also noticed it didn’t seem as robust a cigar as the last few Opus X’s I’ve had. That stands to reason, this little petite corona has been sitting undisturbed in a humidor for years.

As with many of my cigars, extended aging is a cocktail of rampant impulse buys, accident, intent and disorganization. When it comes to the Opus, the cocktail is heavy on the intent. In the past, I’ve found that they taste an order of magnitude better after at least a year of age, and sometimes two. But as the Perfecxion No. 5 in my hands formed perfect ashes, I realized my Opus rule of thumb doesn’t seem true any more. In fact, it probably hasn’t been true for the last three years.

The cigar I was smoking was a fine cigar, but it just wasn’t as good as any of the ones I’ve had fresh off the shelf since 2013. Maybe even earlier than that. Of course, tastes change with time and flavor and potency can fade with age, but I don’t think it’s either of those things. I think that Fuente has upped their Opus X game, and I’m not the first person to say that.

What is your aging policy with Opus X? Have you noticed a change in flavor or quality in recent years?

enjoying cigars since 1997

19 thoughts on “Aging The Opus X: Do or Don’t?

  1. Brian,
    I have a friend that used to buy and smoke a lot of Opus. He was one of the few people I know that wouldn’t hesitate at buying them by the box. One thing he used to say quite frequently was that Opus didn’t need any age and you were better off smoking them over a short period of time. If you were going to let them age, I seem to remember him saying 2-3 years tops. After that they start to decline.

    I haven’t smoked a ‘fresh’ Opus X in years. The last couple I’ve had were discovered buried in the corner of one of my coolers. The oldest of the bunch was a smaller vitola from around 2006. It was a decent smoke but it seemed like it was missing something and left me unimpressed.

  2. For me, I prefer the smaller gauges (of the standard Opus) with less then a year of age and the larger gauges with at least a year of age. That middle mark for me is the Fuente Fuente and/or Robusto.

    That being said, I like the Lost City and Don Arturos with less then a year regardless of size.

    Although I smoked a 2005 CFCF Opus that smoked amazingly. So I’m inclined to say that each release of the Opus won’t age consistently with separate releases. I’m sure it depends on the humidity in which the cigars are aged, too.

    I’m interested in reading what others say here.

    Great topic, Brian.

    1. Thanks. While I haven’t smoked every size every year, I have noticed considerable differences in flavor and potency between vitolas. You may be onto something here.

  3. I’d have to say Brian that a little bit of age on an opus x does settle it down but to me it really rounds out the flavor profile my local tobacconist has said to me if you let them sit for 2-3 years they really come into their own. But with that being said when it comes to cigars it’s all a matter of personal taste!

    1. Until recently, that was pretty much my way of thinking. But I’ve had some fresh off the shelf that were superior to ones that had been aged a couple years. It surprised me.

      1. Agree 100% B, the main taste profile of spice I really like seems go to away after more than 2 years of aging.

  4. I do find that my “aged” cigars appear to mellow out in their taste profile. Full taste profiles seem to move towards a medium profile; same for the Medium taste profiles that seem to move to the milder tastes.
    Of course there are the “exceptions”…i.e. some of the “rough tastings” still are rough!

  5. Tonight I will be smoking a No.4 (corona) that I picked up 5/15/15, so its very fresh. I like to check Opus’ from year to year…I very much agree with Brian about recent production. Although I have found the petit lancero to age the best, I have smoked a few with 8+ years that still had all the strength and flavor. After I smoke this fresh one I’ll check back in and let you know how it smokes (I have had fresh ones that were harsh, brash, with lots of those Dominican mineral notes).

  6. The first Opus I had many years ago was a fresh one. I was very excited to try the highly-hyped cigar, I was pretty unimpressed when I smoked it. I mentioned this to another BOTL and he asked if the one I had was aged, I told him it wasn’t and he gave me one with ~6 years on it and it was a fantastic smoke. I found in subsequent years they needed some age to be their best, with about a year on them I like the way they smoke.

    That said, I smoked a couple fresh from last year’s release and they were excellent. I haven’t tried the latest release yet but I’m curious to see how they are.

  7. This is an interesting discussion. What came to mind as I was reading through the comments was how it would be really helpful if cigar makers included the year of release on their labels. It wouldn’t be difficult to do this and with most cigars there’s really no way know what “release” you’re buying.

  8. I tend to agree…to a degree. I’ve noticed a bit more “roundness” to the profile of recent releases of Opus, although admittedly I don’t smoke a huge number. I’m as big a Fuente fan as can be found, but typically prefer the Don Carlos or Hemingways over the Opus. The number of variables that could cause what you’re describing is nearly limitless – age at release (they’re kept in the aging room for “at least a year” – which could mean anything from 12 months to ??? Storage, handling, and time on a shelf matter as well…in Tampa, some vitolas of Opus are available all year long because folks don’t buy them as quickly as was once the case – and they’re released 4x as frequently as in the past.

    One other thing to consider is palate drift. Our typical American palates (I believe) are migrating with the prevalence of bolder Nicaraguan blends. What were once considered powerhouses are often seen as moderate by many of today’s Nicaraguan blends. We’re growing accustomed to more spicy, in-your-face profiles, so something like the Opus can come across as watered down at times.

    All this to say I don’t have a clue :). Another thing I’ll throw out there is that the larger vitolas in the Opus lineup seem to have been blended “down” a notch or two. The little xXx Power Ranger still whips me, but the Double Corona or one of the newer, fatter facings are mild by comparison.

    I still dig the polished, oatmeal-cake kind of flavors I tend to get from an Opus after 3-4 years….although over the past 18 months, the few I’ve smoked have been fresh off the truck and quite enjoyable.

  9. Until recently I would have agreed with you that it’s worth aging an Opus for a few years, but I just recently fired up a double corona I’ve had sitting around for +- 5 years and it wasn’t all that great. It had serious burn issues and the flavor was lackluster.

    Just to make sure I was giving the Opus brand a fair shake, I purchased a fresh double corona for comparison and while the construction was much better than the one I aged, the flavor still didn’t do it for me. The takeaway for me is that I guess I don’t see what all the hype is about. I’ll smoke a $5 Padron x,000 over a $30 Opus X any day.

    1. There are people still charging/paying $30 for Opus?!? Order them out of Tampa if you ever change your mind. Most stores in our area have them for $10-16 depending on vitola.

  10. So the one I smoked last night, I picked up at my B&M 5/15/15 and it was pretty good for the first 1/3 then it all fell apart in the second half…got hot, burn was off, very soft, ash was very flaky and it got very rough on the palate…but I could really taste potential and will age the rest I picked up (No.4 I picked up at $11.99 each).

    1. That’s a shame. I smoked the latest Perfecxion No. 4 on Memorial Day and it was consistent with my recent experiences with fresh Opus X. Great smoke head to foot. A finger-burner. Considerably better than the multi-year aged Perfecxion No. 5 I smoked just prior writing this post.

  11. Don’t really know if it does or does not but they are some of the best I have found and bought. They are hard to find but when I do I gather several tins and put up to smoke after about six months of rest time. But most of all is the citrus twang affect they have. Be Well my BOTL.

  12. I bought an Opus double corona back in 2004 and decided to let it sit for a few years to see what some age would do it. Well, I finally got around to smoking it last summer (13 years later!) and I was really disappointed. It lost all of its depth and strength. Mild “opus flavor” but nothing else. It didn’t even feel like smoke was coming out of it even though there was plenty. I’ll never age one more than a year or two max.

  13. This is interesting….. I have an Opus X X2 from the 2007 Opus 22 box I had purchased…. now I don’t know what to do with it. Surely I don’t want to be disappointed….. 😉

  14. As a cigar maker myself. There is a big difference between resting your cigars and aging them. Most premium cigars are sat and aged for a while before they go out anyway. The longer the tobacco sits it can only settle so much. Most cigars you’ll find that if you let them set for two or three years the tobacco will actually lose some of its complexity and dull out. Rest your cigars for 3-6 months and you will taste no difference then letting it sit for a year or 2.

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