As we approach IPCPR 2018 packaging changes seem to be the common thread as many companies make changes for the proposed FDA warning labels that are slated to take place on August 10th. As a result today, July 3rd Omar de Frias of Fratello announced new packaging for it Bianco and Original lines.
Along with this change the original Fratello line launched in 2013 will receive a new name. “We had envisioned this change a long time ago. When our customers placed their orders, they would always refer to the original blend as the classic. Fratello Classico and Fratello Bianco’s new packaging will be featured at this year’s IPCPR.” Said de Frias.
Cigar Review: Fratello Classico
Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
Binder: Ecuador Sumatra
Filler: Nicaragua & Peru
Ring Gauge: 46
The Pre-Light: The packaging on the Fratello is changing, and gone are the cabinet boxes that had a smaller footprint. Now the cigars get more a classic look similar to that of the Oro line. The cigar feature one of my favorite bands in the industry with its unique appearance on the cigar. The Habano wrapper has a few thin veins and is seamlessly rolled. In the hand it is firm with no soft spots and a well packed foot.
The Smoke: Once we clip the cap the cold draw of the cigar are slightly nutty with hints of cedar and earth. Under the nose the cigar reveals a subtle manure (considered the ultimate compliment in the cigar industry) and cedar.
Once the cigar is toasted and lit the notes remind me a lot of oregano especially after you take in the aroma of the spice. After about a 1/4 inch, the oregano transforms into hints of black pepper with an abundance of strong espresso on the palate. The finish of the cigar reveals notes of cedar and a bit of leather that lingers.
Moving on to the center part of the cigar, the notes become predominantly cedar with a bit of leather, and nutmeg on the finish. The aroma continues to serve up black pepper but a subtle cinnamon begins to emerge as well.
In the last third the cinnamon notes that began to emerge at the end of the previous third begin to shine on the Fratello as they mingle with cedar, leather and nutmeg. The retrohale is spicy and helps enhance the cinnamon on the palate. The cigar has a long leathery finish.
The Finish: Leaving NASA to concentrate on an industry that some feel is doomed was a risky move from an outsiders perspective. However, when your product is as good as Fratello this was a risk that appears to have paid off. A truly classic Nicaragua Cigar by one of the giants of the industry and if we ever had a pick up game of basketball, he would be my number 1 pick.