Fratello Bianco I Cigar Review

Omar de Frias has only been in the cigar industry for a few years, but he has certainly made his mark in it. There aren’t many “boutique” brands that are successful in the market, as I’ve seen so many come and go. However, Fratello Cigars is one of the exceptions. Omar did a lot to get his brand off the ground when it launched in 2013, and I believe his presence on social media played a big role in getting his cigars to take flight with the consumer. Once he established himself in the premium cigar market, he announced a second blend called Fratello Bianco at the 2015 IPCPR trade show.

I was able to meet with Omar a few months ago and got to talk with him about his blends and how he made the jump into the industry. On a side note, not only is he in charge of a nationally recognized brand of cigars, but he also works for NASA.

Yeah, that NASA.

What am I smoking?

  • Cigar Review: Fratello Bianco I
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Joya de Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas
  • Binder: Dominican
  • Filler: Nicaragua, Peru, Pennsylvania
  • Size: 6.25 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 44
  • Vitola: Lonsdale
  • Strength: Medium

Packaging & Design

The Fratello Bianco is packaged in rectangular cabinet boxes that are painted white, with the Fratello logo on top. Speaking of the logo, I love its slanted design. It stands out amongst a sea of standard straight-laced bands. The front of the box denotes the size of the cigars in red Roman numerals (I, II and III) with “Bianco” in black above it. Inside of the box, there is a small empty space behind the cigars where retailers (or anyone) can display the removable lid in an upright position.

It’s simple, practical, and eye-catching. Me gusta.

First Impressions

The wrapper on the Fratello Bianco looks delicious. It’s dark and toothy with an overall rugged appearance, but was obviously rolled with care. The foot is densely packed with rich looking fillers. There are no flaws or soft spots to speak of.

Aromas from the foot include sweet tobacco, oak, black pepper, and an almost raisin like tang. I clipped the cigar with a double guillotine which left me with a clean and even slice. On the pre-light draw, those same notes of pepper and rich tobacco are present, but add flavors of coffee and espresso as well. Resistance is perfect for this size.

The Smoke

I sparked up the foot with a Colibri “Jet Li”, which I might add is an awesome little keychain torch. The Bianco ignited quickly, and the first few draws brought out a very peppery and sweet smoke. Behind the pepper was notes of leather and dried dates with a solid backbone of earth.

Though this cigar is full in flavor, by the halfway point it is remaining at a steady medium body and doesn’t show signs of changing. On the other hand, the flavor has switched up a bit. Raisin sweetness is a huge part of the profile at this point, and its complimented by a great amount of spice through the retrohale.

The Fratello Bianco is very well constructed, needing no touch ups to keep it burning steady. Flavor into final third become slightly deeper and offers up stronger flavors of cocoa, molasses, coffee and pepper. Overall, it was a lively smoke that kept me interested all the way to the end.

Final Thoughts

I’ve smoked all three sizes of the Fratello Bianco, and this one is definitely my favorite. The Lonsdale vitola can be a difficult size to roll due to its length and ring gauge, but this is a prime example of how its done right. I’d buy a box of these, and plan on doing so soon. They’re a great cigar with solid flavor and construction, not to mention very consistent. The Bianco makes for a nice every day smoke.

Every size offers different experiences, and this one just so happened to be the one I enjoy the most. I hope to see more blends from Fratello in the future, and maybe some extra sizes for the Bianco line as well. A limited edition lancero size would be cool to see.

A guy can dream, right?

Score Breakdown

-Appearance: 19
-Flavor: 17
-Balance: 17
-Burn: 19
-Quality: 19

Rating: 91
Price: $8.99 / $157.99

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