Video version of this episode:
Stogie of the Week
“When you die, someone else is going to smoke your cigars…”
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Opus X rosado
Binder: Opus X rosado
Filler: Opus X rosado
Vitola: Double Corona
Size: Double Corona
MSRP: $14.50-$16.00 (Original releases now go for between $40.00 (which is what I paid) and $80.00+)
Here is some more information about this stick from www.vitolas.net:
Ecuadorian Rosado seed planted in 1992 (“seeds of hope”) yielded the first Dominican puro when the Fuente Fuente Opus X cigars debuted for sale in late 1995, and more widely in 1996. The original name for these cigars was “Project X from Planet 9” which is what they were known as inside of Fuente before the name “Opus X” had been decided upon.They were not sold west of the Mississippi river until the late 1990’s.
All Opus X cigars use 100% Dominican tobacco that is cured in rum barrels for a few months before being rolled into cigars.The cigars are then aged for a year or so before they are color sorted, boxed, and shipped to customers.Even prior to rolling, the tobacco is aged: current 2006 production Opus (which will be on sale in 2007) are made up of tobacco predominantly from the 1999 crop. …an Opus X cigar is a blend of 5 distinct types of tobacco rolled together.
The original cigars had no gold lettering on the cellophane, and came in slide-top boxes that were eventually discontinued due to warping issues with the box top. The last Slide Lid Box (SLB) Opus were sold in 1997. Opus X’s of this age typically have a rather yellowed cello, and only 7 sizes were sold in the original slide lid boxes.
This week we are drinking
Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Maple Wood Finish
- Diplomaticos No. 2 – Not so cuban flavors, just okay, fiver to just try them
- Litto Gomez Chisel (2009) – Awesome spice and nutty flavors, split a box with a friend
- Quesada Espana Short Robusto – Sweetness! Box worthy
- EP Carrillo 2010 Limitada – Spice balanced with sweetness, box worthy
- Opus X BBMF Maduro 2009 – Barnyard, hint of cherry sweetness dominated first two thirds, final third kicked my ass. Crawl across desert!
- Ashton VSG Robusto – You’d think this would be a strong stick, its not. Its full of flavor, but does not have a nicotine kick to it. Very smooth, though this one was a bit young.
- Hoyo de Monterrey Churchills (REC AGO 01) – Smooth, full of flavor, I get compliments on the room aroma when smoking in mixed company. However, 2000-2001 were rough years, and this stick either ends up being plugged or under filled with holes. Paid $12 for them last year.
- Joya de Nicaragua Antano Machito (Petit Corona) – Nice coffee and cocoa flavors, full body, full flavored, even being that this one was at least 5 years old from the original release.
- San Cristobal de la Habana La Fuerza (2005) – Not as good as the La Punta, this one had a tight draw and I made it through most of it, but the flavors were not as good as the La Punta.
- H. Upmann Magnum 50 2005 LE – One word, plugged. This is the second one I’ve had from this batch that was plugged. The flavors seem like they would be awesome too. However, when its plugged I think I know where Tim gets the word “vegetal” from, because it just doesn’t taste right.
- H Upmann (Cuba) – Corona sized cigar, had good flavors, typical hints of earthy, room aroma smelled like a cross between cat piss and a very dirty old ashtray.
- Cuesta-Ray Cabinet Collection No. 47 CT – This aged Connecticut began with some hay, nuttiness, and an occasion sweetness I could not place. Smooth and balanced with a medium finish this stick went well with my cup of coffee. Construction was an A+. In the end, this smoke left me satisfied and relaxed. What more can you ask for? “The Fiver”.
- Emilio Grimalkin Robusto – This stick had me completely turned around with it’s complexity but some draw issues really prevented me from fully enjoying this smoke. The draw opened up a bit on the second third and some leather came to the forefront, but my palate was shut down again by a tight draw. Need to revisit.
- San Cristobal De La Habana La Punta – This cigar had a tempting, earthy, musky scent and beautiful milk chocolate colored wrapper. The initial draw opened with copious amounts of smoke and a wonderful balance of leather and cedar but as soon as this stick began to find it’s rhythm, I began to experience some burn and draw issues. I battled the issues with three re-lights but by the mid point, I chucked it, frustrated and disappointed.
- Ramon Allones Specially Selected (JUL 2011) – My oh my! These are smoking good right now. I reviewed the 2005 here and I can honestly say these 2011’s are smoking just as good. I am going to have a hard time putting these away to age. Unless of course I buy another box, which may be a problem, considering Stogie Santa, Paul, and I cleaned out our supplier. “The Oasis”
- Davidoff Colorado Claro Short Perfecto – I enjoyed one of these before work with a cup of coffee this week. Same great construction and flavor I talked about last month when I reviewed the Short Robusto but in a Short Perfecto. “Box Worthy” and you better believe I bought a box.
- Arturo Fuente Magnum R 52 – This medium bodies stick had lots of cedar, some leather, and a toasty finish. It was smooth smooth smooth! This stick doesn’t change up much but it is a great smoke and the price is right ($6.80). In the end I was left relaxed and satisfied, what more can you ask for? “The Fiver”
Stogie Tech Segment: Building A Wine Humidor – Part 3 – Humidification, Fans, and Maintenance
This is obviously very important to your Wineador project! At this point you’ve gotten your fridge, cleaned it out, put in some shelves and/or drawers, run the unit to stabilize the temp, so now your ready to humidify this bad boy. Here are some options:
- Humidification Beads – Its no secret, we’re a huge fan of Heartfelt humidification beads. In fact, no matter which humidor you choose or own, use the beads. Beads absorb and release humidity. THey can be purchased in different levels, such as 69%, 70%, etc.. The choice is yours, but I prefer some at 65% and some at 70% for a nice balance. There is no magic about how many, because you can’t put too many in the humidor. You can put too little, so make sure you get at least 1-2 lbs, depending on the size of your fridge. You can store them in pantyhose, tupperware with holes in it, or the bags available from heartfelt. I go with the heartfelt bags. You can also charge them with a siring, heartfelt sells them for like a $1, and just one squirt and you’re good to go.
- Gel – Gel is okay too, however it just releases humidity, so you may spike during the summer months. This is a nice option is you have some for the winter, throw in a puck of gel to keep more humidity in your humidor. However, you need the special polypropylene solution, which is pain and costs more than distilled water.
- Cigar Oasis – I had an oasis or two in my time in my fridge. They tend to create a lot of moisture and you have to swap out the green foam cartridges. Its good because its active and will stop the fans if humidity reaches a certain level, but maintenance is required in addition to power.
Side note: You will want to plug your fridge into a UPS, making sure that power spikes or outages do not turn it off! Some fridges when they lose power will turn back on and set the temp to the LOWEST setting. This means humidity will drop. I’d hate to be on vacation and come home to cold, dry cigars. This is why beads are great too, as they don’t need power :)
Moving air is important. If your fridge is not that full, the built-in fan is okay. There are several options for fans:
This will require some power source, computer fans, and some wiring. So make sure you do this before you put your cigars in so that you can run wires.
You can buy kits too from the high end humidor companies:
These kits will include humidification and fans. Likely a bit overkill for your small humidor, so check the size requirements.
They can be hard to find now, but typically kick on every minute or so and run for 3 minutes on a C or D cell battery.
- Use a quality hygrometer to check temp and humidity at all times
- Check regularly for condensation
- Make sure you keep it locked if your model has this feature
- Always make sure the temp is set to the highest setting
- Never use the light inside, it generates heat and light is generally bad
- Do not overfill it as it will be bad for your cigars
- Check the batteries in your humidification devices and UPS
- Re-charge your beads regularly