Fuente Fuente Opus X Pussy Cat

Drew Estate

Following last week’s monolithic maduro, it seemed only fair to try on a the opposite extreme from the latest release of Arturo Fuente special edition cigars, the Fuente Fuente Opus X Pussy Cat. Ordinarily I avoid reviewing cigars from lines thave have been covered in the past, but this is a special vitola and different than those featured in previous reviews, and, well, the name makes me chuckle.

Opus X cigars are pretty rare to begin with, released in small numbers a couple times a year, and generally sell out quickly. The Pussy Cat is rarer still, not one that is usually part of the annual releases to retailers. It’s also not listed in the size chart on Arturo Fuente’s Cigar Family Website. What little there is to be found about the Pussy Cat online seems to be more rumors and speculation than verified information. One rumor is that the vitola may have been made in error, at least initially, and there is some debate over whether this stick is milder than other Opus X cigars, as the name seems to imply, or if it is actually more potent by virtue of its greater ligero to size ratio. I don’t have the answers to those questions, all I can do is see if this Pussy Cat bites or purrs when lit.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 4 1/4 x 43
Wrapper: Dominican Republic Rosado
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 1 hour
Beverage: Water
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $8.75

The Pre-Smoke
Size-wise, the Pussy cat is very similar to both the cedar-wrapped Perfecxion No. 4 and the Perfecxion No. 5, and could easily be mistaken for the No. 5. Looking the lightly mottled, finely veined cigars over, I found a few superficial imperfections. Each cigar had at least one small hole in the wrapper somewhere along its length, and one also had a light discoloration near the foot.

The cigars were consistently firm, and the wrapper of each had a deep, slightly sweet compost aroma. A quick test of the cold draw provided me with a creamy, sweet flavor, and a spicey tingle on the lips.

The Burn
The Opus X Pussy Cat looked nearly as good burning as did sitting in the humidor. The ash is light colored, and strong for it’s diminutive ring gauge, and the with a couple of exceptions, the burn line was pretty even throughout. And more importantly, the draw was always just right.

The only problem I had with this cigar was keeping it lit, especially in the final third. Given their size, that doesn’t leave much cigar left for relighting. And in one case, it happened a puff or two before I would have been finished anyway, so it really wasn’t that big of a deal.

The Flavor
The inital puffs of the Pussy Cat were full of sweet fruit, slightly spicy grass and a little caramel. As the cigar warmed up, savory, buttery and acidic tart elements were added to the mix.

The cigar was spicier in the second third as the slightly sweet caramel, fruit and woody grass flavors were joined by a touch of cinnamon. As the cigar progressed, the spice grew.

Once again in the final third, there was a touch of that buttery savoriness that was so prominent in the earlier stages of this cigar, but it was only a side note to the peppery grass and spice here. There was also a little bitterness to the flavor at the end.

The Price
As I mentioned in last week’s Masterpiece Maduro review, a discussion of the price of rare Arturo Fuente cigars is a difficult one. Comparing the Pussy Cat to similar sized cigars in the Opus line, it carries a slightly lower price in keeping with it’s smaller size. There is no premium built in for the increased rarity of the vitola. However, you also have to take into consideration you’re paying nearly $9 for cigar that isn’t that much larger than a cigarillo. But it’s an Opus, the pride of Arturo Fuente.

The Verdict
To continue the metaphor introduced earlier, the Opus X Pussy Cat starts off purring, but it isn’t long before it bites. It is surprisingly potent given its size, but it’s not all power. There are a lot of interesting things happening in the flavor department, and to be honest, I enjoyed it more than I was expecting. (Truth be told, I’ve been more of an Anejo smoker in the past.) And when I went back to pick up a few more for later enjoyment, imagine my surprise when I found they were sold out. So given the opportunity and a reasonable price, I’d buy more.

With few exceptions, I’m of the opinion that you should give any cigar I review a shot, regardless of my verdict. This isn’t one of those exceptions. If the price does not deter you, and you can find them, I’d recommend buying two. (Many retailers limit you to two anyway.) One to smoke right now, and another to tuck away in your humidor for a year or two. Though my Opus experience isn’t terribly vast, I have found that they age marvelously. And heck, if you don’t like the first, there are no shortage of people who’d be willing to trade you for the second.

Liked It: Yes, more than I expected.
Buy It Again: Sure, but within cat-swinging distance to MSRP.
Recommend It: Yes, if you’re looking to light up a vicious little kitty.

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn. (Now in higher resolution!)