[Editor's Note: This cigar was gifted to me and smoked with Luke (Benzopyrene on the boards) while sitting on his back porch at his house in Houston, Texas. The box that is in the photos is also his. He also opened up a bottle of Havana Club "Gran Reserva" that we partook in while smoking, and I want to thank him for the opportunity. ~ed.]
For those of you that don’t know, the Fuente Family runs a forum at CigarFamily.com that has been in place since before 1998. Two times in it’s history, that I know of, the Fuentes have run a contest to give away some unique cigars to it’s forum members. One was the Cigar Family 10th Anniversary (or “CF10″) which was created and given away in anticipation of the 10th Anniversary of the CigarFamily site in 2006, and just recently, the Cigar Family 163, which was given to the 163 “Founding Members” of the forum, and which we will review at a later date.
However, MU Mike gave some info (via the comments from this post) on other releases from the Cigar Family history:
Being on CF since ’99, I can tell you there were several other times a limited run of cigars was offered just to CF’ers. The first was in 2002 I think and it was the AF13 cigars (Destino al Siglo) in a box of 13, which later became the Don Arturo Gran Aniverxario sungrown [the AF13 is still sold in it's original form at Casa Fuente. ~ed.]. Another time involved the Opus Love Story in a box of 5 which later became the Opus Love Affair. However, both times we had to pay for those cigars as opposed to the CF10 and CF163 cigars, which were free.
Vitolas.net explains the CF10 thusly:
In December 2006, Fuente posted on CigarFamily.com that the first 20 people from 5 distinct CigarFamily.com registration years would receive a box of special cigars.The registration years were: Before 1998, 1999-2000, 2001-2002, 2003-2004, & 2005-2006, for a total of 100 boxes shipped out to the lucky winners.
The blend is unknown; it’s not “just” an Opus X blend, it’s a bit different than that.
The CF10 is about the same size as a Reserva D’Chateau (7″ x 48) and according to reports, they were originally rolled back in 1998/1999 and were kept aging until they were given out in 2006. Interestingly, the wrapper is the same rosado wrapper found on most Opus X cigars, however, it is from the very top primming.
While very few people know the exact numbers of Cigar Family 10th Anniversary sticks were produced, it is generally believed that less then 2,000 were made with 1,000 of them given away to the members. The few remaining cigars left over will be used mostly as auction items at future charitable events.
The boxes included 10 cigars, each in it’s own glass tube. The band is attached to each glass tube, so each individual cigar is actually unbanded inside the tube. The box itself, and the bands as well, each have the Cigar Family logo on it with a representation of the CigarFamily Charitable Foundation compound on it.
Here is what the box looks like:
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigars Reviewed: Cigar Family 10th Anniversary (CF10)
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
- Wrapper: Opus X Rosado (top priming)
- Binder: Unknown
- Filler: Unique CF10 Blend
- Size: 7 inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Churchill
- Est. Price: NA
- Date Released: 2006
- Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
This is a physically large cigar when first viewed, and the wrapper is a medium brown color and smells so sweet it almost seems to be infused (although it is not, obviously). Just an amazingly sweet tobacco scent. The cigar is extremely spongy when squeezed, undoubtedly due in some part to being stored in a tube, and while it is not exactly a seamless wrapper, there are no major veins or bumps. The predraw is quite sweet as well, with just a tiny bit of cedar and pepper.
The First Third starts out quite mild, with that same sweet tobacco flavor from the predraw and a bit of pepper. There is some sweet and creamy chocolate and leather notes as well, but they are barely strong enough to register.
The Second Third does not seem to add much to the mix. Still the same basic profile, although the cigar seemed to get a bit more “gritty” and earthy towards the end of the second third, and I did notice just the smallest amount of a fruitish note (almost like raisins, but there was not enough to really identify it with any certainty). The burn is great at this point, and I have had no problems with draw.
Sadly, the Final Third introduces nothing new; still the same flavors of mild sweet tobacco, with a bit of chocolate and leather. Still VERY mild, with just the faintest touch of pepper every once in a while. The cigar never changed much, but it also never got harsh or bitter, even at the end of the smoke.
- As mentioned this is an extremely large cigar, it burned fairly slowly and the smoking time reflected that. It took 2 hours and 15 minutes to finish.
- The burn and draw were great for the entire smoke. I was not surprised at the burn, but I was I bit concerned about the draw after seeing how spongy the cigar was after breaking the seal on the tube. Fortunately, my fears turned out to be unfounded.
- While it was an extremely mild cigar, it is also very obvious that the tobacco is well aged. The profile is very smooth and quite refined for the entire smoke.
- Despite the fact that over 1,000 Cigar Family 10th Anniversary cigars were released, this is an extremely difficult cigar to get a hold of. They are almost never sold, since they were given as gifts, and for the most part, you have to be given one in order to be able to partake.
The Bottom Line: While I knew this cigar was going to be mild from reading various reports on it, even I was surprised at just HOW mild it was. And while being mild is not in itself a bad thing, being mild, boring, and almost totally one dimensional is, and for the most part, that is how this cigar remained for it’s much too long length. Sadly, not even the refined smoothness of the tobacco or the great burn and draw could save it. Not a horriable or unsmokable cigar by any means, but considering the purpose of the stick and the fact that it is a different blend from the regular Opus X, it was definitely one I was hoping to get more complexity out of.
Final Score: 79