On Wed, 31st Jan 2007 at 4:11pm I decided to take some pictures of Opus X Shark and post them so I can relax a little more when I smoke it next month sometime. So without further ado, here is the Shark in all its glory after being landed by your's truly.http://i8.photobucke...SCN04940001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN04950001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN04960001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN04970001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN04980001.jpg
So on Thursday, 8th Feb 2007 I fired this smoke up. The Shark is alive. Definitely has a unique and young taste to it. I can't even tell that its a Opus X at this point. Not unusual for a Opus to be this way from my experience. Visual inspection of the cigar shows that it is flawless in my books. I then proceeded to cut the cigar and it went off without a hitch. A fine cut indeed thanks to the rarely used Casa Fuente Xikar I have.
I roared this smoke to life and it had some burn issues like every different type of Shark I've smoked before so I am not even surprised by this. At 7:12 pm the first initial puffs smells very unique and odd at the same time. Again, nothing unusual for a Opus to be at a stage like this. But the unidentifiable smell is driving me completely nutts and I haven't got to far in this cigar. There is a slight after taste that its an Opus, but it doesn't stick around long whatsoever. The smoke is very light at this point and still really cool in the mouth. I can easily exhale this smoke out my nose without a burning sensation. It reveals a very young taste and the unusual smell I can't identify yet. I was waiting patiently to make the first correction of the burn and it came at 7:16pm. It wasn't nothing major. I hoped it would correct itself like other Opus do, but alas, this wasn't the case.
Now at 7:18pm, the smoke decided to take a little change. I still don't know what to think of this cigar nor if this change was going to be good or bad. Its definitely something I have never encountered before in any Opus X or other high end Fuente cigars. Just for a brief moment at 7:20pm the aftertaste reminded me of a slight taste of walnuts. This was a strange appearance to me so I concluded that the cigar took on a nutty profile for a brief moment as it didn't last long. There is plenty of smoke off each puff and the draw is fantastic. But the odd taste is still troublesome to me. It still reminds me of a very young cigar in taste and smell.
I decide to drop the first ash at 7:24pm in hopes that the cigar would come to life and reveal itself as an Opus X. This was also the second touch up I had to do with this cigar. At this point, a person couldn't identify that an Opus was being smoked. Needless to say, I'm a little disappointed with this cigar. Yet, I still remain optimistic that it will reveal itself to be an Opus X in all its glory. Some smoke wisps off the cigar and I can smell a slight Opus hint to it but that is pretty much as far as it goes. I just wished at this point it would snap out of this funk I see this cigar stuck in. I want that Opus X taste that leaves me wanting for more. The burn has been better than I expected as past experiences with any Fuente Shark hasn't been the best.
So at 7:29pm, I get a slight Opus smell and taste which retreated as fast as it came to me. I wonder how long this will last. It definitely wasn't a life changing experience. But it lasted for around 2 minutes which isn't long at all. I've come to the conclusion this is one of the strangest smokes I've had in my 10 years of smoking. At this point, the cigar seems to be more mild than anything else. It doesn't even tip towards the medium scale as this cigar doesn't know what it wants to do or be at this point. I guess I expected more from this cigar and feel pretty cheated by it. I already know I will have to smoke another Opus X to make up for this experience which has let me down completely. All hopes for it to snap out has started to go out the window. Yet, I still remain to be optimistic about this smoke and pray it comes through. Even at 7:33pm, the smoke stays pretty cool in the mouth and light. Even when I exhale it out my nose. I'm really shocked that a cigar like this caliber at 2 years old could be this confused and young tasting.
The burn started to become pretty even at 7:35 pm when I had to ash it. That within itself is a miracle to me. Something about this cigar troubles me at this point. Unlike other Opus X, you can relate it to other smokes but this one I can't at all. It reminds me of nothing I have smoked before. I mean the young taste I've gotten off Avo's is something it reminds me of but this cigar doesn't even have a grassy note to it. Very unusual to me that I can't relate it to something I've smoked before. There has been a slight taste here and there all throughout the smoke that takes on a very subtle Opus taste but it retreats so fast its pretty disappointing to me.
Even at 7:40pm, the smell has been pretty consistent and hasn't really changed much at all. This was when a major touch up was required at 7:43pm. That in itself wasn't a shocker. It has been pretty good with the burn up to that point. I'm thinking at this point the cigar doesn't even know if its coming or going and I'm about 1/2 done with this smoke.
Time to ash this bad boy at 7:46pm which I had to take off the 2005 band. The infamous Fuente super glue made an appearance. After that was off, at 7:49pm I got a brief Opus X signature profile I have been looking for the whole time. It was pretty rewarding for the few puffs it lasted. I was so excited I forgot to think what other Opus it reminded me of. Needless to say, it was gone as fast as it came once again leaving me pretty disappointed. Not long after 7:50pm, the cigar required some attention to the burn. All i am thinking at this point is damn it I feel cheated so bad right now. Thoughts of tossing the cigar has entered my mind at this point and everyone should know me well by now if I give a Fuente a bad review, its not a good sign. But alas, tastes and reviews are very subjective. So in reality, my review is just my opinion and impression of this cigar. I hope that others have a better experience than I did.
Still at this point of time, the smell hasn't really changed at all. The cigar does seem to pick up some strength at this point but nothing that I would consider good. At 7:54 pm the cigar required a major touch up. I decided it was time to take the Opus X band off at 7:55pm and it came off flawlessly. It didn't hurt the band or the cigar wrapper. I was happy for that part of this disappointing experience I've embarked on. I decided another touch up was required at 7:56pm.
I managed to get a little smoke behind my glasses and wow. The smoke really has a nice potentency to it as it burnt the eyes and made the eyes water pretty good. I was writing my impressions at this point with my eyes closed. The smoke even cleared out my nasal passage. This was at 7:58pm. So at 8:00pm I got a alcohol taste and smell to it. It reminded me of some medicinal alcohol I smelled while working at the UofU Medical Center way back in the early 1990's. This wasn't a good sign either and after the initial blast, there was some after taste for a few puffs before it went away. At this point I was happy that it was gone because it wasn't pleasant whatsoever. So at 8:03pm another correction was required and needed a ashing. For a brief moment at 8:05pm I got a peppery burnt coffee taste and smell off this cigar. This proves to me that this cigar was a huge let down throughout the misfortune of smoking the Shark. I decided to take a sip of my Earl Grey tea that had gone completely cold at this point and was the first time I drank anything while smoking this cigar in hopes it would clear out that nasty after taste that was lingering in my mouth. Alas, it did the trick but it didn't help the cigar out whatsoever as the experience was a complete bust to me.
So my overall impression of this smoke as I decided on the last 1/3 of the cigar to stop evening writing my impressions of this cigar. At this point, I've questioned my sanity why I smoked it down to the last 1/2". The cigar was pretty bland and nasty from my experience. I don't even know if I could smoke another Opus X Shark after this experience. Its definitely has been the worst experience for me with any Fuente cigars and I mean the entire line of everything they do. I'm thinking back and think I would prefer to smoke the nasty ass ESG than the Shark again. And everyone remembers my kind review of the ESG that I did.
The construction of this cigar was fantastic and the burn was pretty impressive I must say. But for the flavor profile, I would seriously knock this cigar down a peg or two or three or four.
So in retrospect, I'd give the Shark a rating on a 0 to 100 scale, a solid 60. maybe 65 on a good day. All I can hope is that when I revisit this smoke another time, its a way better experience than this one. That's my opinion and I am sticking to it even if it sounds harsh. Its my opinion and impression of this cigar. All I can hope is that anyone else that smokes it has a better experience than me. http://i8.photobucke...SCN05010001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN05020001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN05040001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN05050001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN05060001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN05070001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN05080001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN05090001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN05100001.jpghttp://i8.photobucke...SCN05110001.jpg
Edited by Mr Peat, 08 February 2007 - 10:42 PM.