I am nearing the creation of the greatest meatball on earth. I have been working on this recipe for a while now. Tonight I came close, which provided the platform to enjoy an amazing cigar. What better way to follow the greatest meatball on earth then with an Opus X Lost City, right? This fine cigar came to me as a birthday present from my good buddy Gibby at the Ccom forums a couple years ago. I had put it down and figured I would wait a few years, as most Opus need time in my opinion. This year I have made a point to review a ton of super high end cigars, and possibly do a ranking at the end of the year. So this would be my first really, of the super premium reviews of 2014. If you want some info on the brand, check out Fuente the website for the back story involving Andy Garcia and the movie ...
Tobacco: Tobacco's for the wrapper filler and binder are not listed on the company website. However, I think it is unique to note that tobacco employed for this brand was planted as a summer crop, right after normal harvest, so Garcia could have tobacco plants as a back drop and in a set for the movie. Garcia suggesting using the tobacco for a blend if it ended up being a successful crop, and the result of being grown in the summer led to a unique tobacco that helped create the Lost City blend.
Dry Draw: graham cracker and cinnamon
First Third: The retro was immediately strong out of the gate, suggesting I might have needed to age it another 18 months really. The finish on the draw was smooth, but was overpowered by the white pepper blast the retro was providing. For the first five to ten minutes or so, the pepper dominated and the Lost City was one-dimensional. As the pepper subsides, dramatic changes took place, with nut flavors, and a creamy draw began to develop. The balance arrived, with added notes of rich cocoa beans, cinnamon, nuts, and the white pepper hit the note pad in a flurry. The power and strength of the tobacco was evident, and my head had a little Cheech and Chong going on.
Second Third: Creamy custard flavors began to develop as the tasting notes combined. That;s when you know yo are smoking great tobacco, when several notes combine to remind you of a recipie really. The resting aroma was so good, my mind was constantly drawn to the tasting notes each time I put it down. Creamy light roast latte notes, cinnamon, almonds, cocoa bean, you name it… The retro provided the white pepper tail, and the finish was long and satisfying.
Final Third: Dried fruit notes appeared on the draw and the retro, very distinct in taste, and a wonderful addition to the complexity. As the finale progressed, the fruit notes reminded me of dried mandarins. The pepper left, and really leaned to cinnamon as the burn was much calmer. The mandarin notes and almond flavors were the main notes throughout the final third. With an inch or so left, a rush of red pepper settled on my lips, and the nicotine strength took over my body. No doubt, this was one strong cigar in regard to the nicotine, and my head was floored. I was tapping out quicker then Tito Ortiz against a real opponent.
Construction: perfect burn, but way too much damn glue on the band, which pulled some wrapper off. This always leads to temporary grassy notes as the wrapper cannot interact with the binder filler when it frays.
Final Thoughts: This is a near $30 cigar, and I must say it delivered other then the band. The band problem is disappointing given such a high-end cigar. I cannot think of a much better birthday present cigar though, I just wish I had saved it for another few years really. In that regard, the value for price comparison is tough, as spending that much money to put something down for three years or more to reach its peak may not appeal to many people. That being said, I would buy another in a smaller size, as the strength kicked me in the rear. If I found some aged that were not over priced, I might pick up a couple for special occasion. However, in the current state of the cigar industry, I think there are comparable cigars out there for less money that do not need the aging really. I want to thank my buddy John for such a fine gift, you rock brother. Long ashes to you and yours.