Fratello Cigars is the brainchild of Omar De Frias. The one thing that strikes me that the cigar has developed a brand instead of adding new blends repeatedly, which seems to be a mistake some new companies make. Instead of developing the name and the brand they look to flood the shelves with product that has yet to be established.
At the trade show this year, Fratello introduced a box pressed torpedo in the line. The cigar which features the same blend as in the past becomes even more flavorful in my opinion as the box pressing enhances the marriage of the tobacco.
Size: Boxer (6.25 x 52 / Torpedo)
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
Binder: Ecuador Sumatra
Filler: Nicaragua, Peru
The Look: The box pressed version of the Fratello cigar might be one of the best looking box pressed cigars on the market today. The wrapper is absolutely flawless, with a nearly seamless roll. The cigar is firm to the touch with a nice hefty weight. Looking at the foot, there is a nice swirl of ligero visible. The one thing that stands out the most to me is the band, and it has become my favorite band in the industry because it bucks the trend of what is normal.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Fratello Box press reminds me a lot of a pop-tart. There is that cookie like take of a non toasted pop-tart that I find totally enjoyable. The foot of the cigar offers up a similar aroma to that of the cold draw with a touch of earth, specifically fresh cut grass. Once the cigar is lit, there are some notes of espresso over earth that reminds me of a cold winter day.
Smoking our way into the first third the notes of the cigar begin to change. The cigar begins to take on a smoother creamier flavor profile, much like the warm milk in a cafe con leche. In fact, the addition and this note of cream makes me long for my Sunday morning breakfast of toastado cubano and cafe con leche. (Cuban toast, and coffee with milk).
As we head into the second third of the Fratello box press some notes of lime develops in the background and I wish I had a lime rickey with me to pair with this cigar. Sadly, tough the lime note only lasted a few pulls before focussing back on the notes of coffee with some dark chocolate.
As we enter the final third of this box pressed beauty, the notes of lime return with some berry like notes that make me crave a lime rickey once again. The cigar which has a short finish serves up notes of dark chocolate and earth as the cigar comes to a close.
The Burn: Despite the gorgeous appearance of the Fratello box press, there was a bit of a burn issue. I had to touch it up on more then one occasion as it didn’t burn even for the first half cigar. Despite needing to be touched up the ash held incredibly strong for more then a third at a time and the draw was perfect. The ash is light in color and the burn line is crisp.
The Finish: While the burn issues of the first half the cigar have to play into the final score, the overall enjoyment factor of this cigar was not dampened by having to touch things up. The cigar has an enjoyable flavor profile with some elements of complexity and and enjoyable aroma. I will be adding this cigar to my regular smoking repertoire. Another winner from Omar de Frias.