A Tale of Two Cigars

So if you find a cigar you really love, or really hate -- just remember. Next time, it could be different.

So picture it. Las Vegas, April 2011. In town for Tony’s wedding, Jason and the groom-to-be make a swing through the Casa Fuente store at The Forum Shoppes at Caesar’s Palace. As we take in the delightful aroma of the cigars and the ambiance of the decor, Jason’s eyes alight upon a stick he had difficulty finding in West Michigan: The Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona.

At roughly $45 per stick, these fine cigars weren’t exactly a bargain buy, but because it was on Jason’s must-smoke list, and it was “Vegas Baby!” — why not?

So I bought the massive (7-5/8 x 49) cigar and lit it up that evening, while we were browsing the casinos along the Fremont Street Experience. I loved it — it was rich and buttery. Yes, buttery; picture a tub of movie-theater popcorn distilled into cigar form. I’ve never had anything like it.

Including … the last time I had a Fuente Fuente OpusX! A few weeks ago, while on “sabbatical” at Tony’s favorite smoke shop in mid-Michigan, I saw a selection of the OpusX line. Excited as hell, I grabbed one and smoked it in the lounge.

I also enjoyed this cigar. But — and here’s an Oprah-sized but — the cigar I smoked in Michigan was radically dissimilar to the one I enjoyed in Nevada. The more recent stick was peppery and bold; it was more like a Davidoff 2000 on steroids than the creamy, buttery cigar in Las Vegas.

Moral of the story?

Even well-made, premium cigars don’t always have the same taste profile. Sometimes cigars marry different based on which stock they sit with; sometimes different vendors exercise more or less care regarding storage and humidification; sometimes the same label will experience seasonal changes based on the nature of the tobacco crop that year.

So if you find a cigar you really love, or really hate — just remember. Next time, it could be different.

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About jason

Jason is the principal of Gillikin Consulting, a business-media and ethics consultancy based in Grand Rapids, Mich.