Fratello Bianco II Review

Earlier today, David Garofalo penned an article about boutique cigars. If anyone is looking to start a cigar company and wants a model to look at, Fratello is a company that is the perfect case study. Omar de Frias built Fratello with the mix of a really good initial release and the hustle that hasn’t been seen since Pete Rose. All while maintaining his regular job with NASA.

The Fratello Bianco is the second release from the company and is available at retail in three sizes: Fratello Bianco I (6 ¼ x 44); Fratello Bianco II (6 x 50); Fratello Bianco III (5 x 56) and a fourth Fratello Bianco Event Exclusive (5 x 44).

Cigar Review: Fratello Bianco
Size: 6 x 50 (II)
Wrapper: San Andres Negro Maduro
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Peru, Pennsylvania (USA), Nicaragua
Strength: Full
Source: Two Guys Smoke Shop

The Look: The leathery looking wrapper that adorns the Fratello Bianco is full of character. There is some significant tooth and a significant amount of ultra thin veins. One could say the San Andreas wrapper looks weathered. The Fratello band sees an inversion of the color scheme with a white background and red lettering with black highlights. The foot of the cigar looks like it is missing a leaf, but the cigar feels firm in the hand.

The Notes: The cold draw of the cigar reminds me of mocha and marshmallows. Something about the San Andres wrapper that always reminds of Mallomars. The foot of the cigar serves up an aroma of dark chocolate.

Once the cigar is lit the first few puffs provide some subtle spices through the nose and some dark chocolate notes on the palate. While the cigar rests in my lil’ stinky ashtray the aroma is spicy and the white pepper has me on the verge of sneezing. As the first third comes to a close there are some coffee notes that are similar to Cafe Bustelo.

The second third of the cigar sees the chocolate notes move front and center with some continued pepper through the nose. Around the halfway point of the smoke the Cafe Bustello coffee note really becomes the focal point and despite being full-bodied, I think this would be interesting to smoke with my morning coffee.

The final third of the Fratello Bianco continues to showcase notes of rich chocolate, that sees some nuttiness join the mix. The coffee notes of Bustello remain, and the aroma of the cigar is that of white pepper. As the cigar dwindles down the aroma of the cigar makes me feel as if I am going to sneeze.

The Burn: A slow smoking cigar with a perfect draw that served up the right amount of resistance. The first ash fell about three-quarters of an inch in, but then it remained for about half the cigar keeping it smoking cool which is ideal with this cigar as it helps bring out the flavors. The burn was perfect with a thin combustion line and it never needed to be relit.

The Finish: I was hoping the San Andres craze was over as I was getting a little burned out on the wrapper which is not amongst my favorite. However, the Fratello rekindles my interest the wrapper with this cigar. The notes of chocolate and coffee while consistent throughout the cigar provide a nice mix of flavors to keep you interested through out. This full-bodied cigar is another winner from Omar de Frias.

Score: 91
Price: $9.49

Bullet Points
(Random Thoughts While Smoking)

  • Although simplistic in design I love the Fratello band and its diagonal appearance.
  • I would have come out with a milder cigar; instead of something stronger. I’m looking forward to Fratello Shade sometime in the near future.
  • I smoked the Bianco I as a trade show sample and didn’t like it; which proves that a decision should not be solely made on a sample obtained at the show.
  • Omar de Frias will be a guest on The Cigar Authority; September 5th.
  • I stand 6’2 and Omar de Frias makes me feel very short; I can only image how my friend Jerry Cruz feels.
  • Smoking Time was 1 hour 50 minutes.
  • I paired the cigar with water and just before I put the cigar down I changed over to Cuban coffee.
Fratello Bianco

Fratello Bianco

Fratello Bianco Foot

Fratello Bianco Foot

Fratello Bianco Burn

Fratello Bianco Burn

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