Fratello Cigars Corona
Finally making it’s debut on Casas Fumando, I decided to brave the crazy wind storm we were encountering and fire up a Fratello Corona.
The Good Stuff:
Omar De Frias, the Fratello Brand owner, grew up in the Dominican Republic. The Fratello was materialized when he wanted to create a cigar that got back to his Dominican roots. De Frias worked for years to perfect his matriculate blend until he reached sheer perfection. The blend features a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper, Ecuadorian Sumatra Binder, and a mixed of Nicaraguan and Peruvian fillers. The Fratello was originally offered in four sizes: Corona (5.5 x 46), Robusto (5.5 x 52), Toro (6.25 x 54) and the Timecacle (6 x 60), but they released a new box-pressed torpedo format earlier this year call the Boxer (6.25 x 52). The cigars come in boxes of 20 and range between $7.20 and $9.00 a cigar. I purchased a handful of these over from the good guys at 2 Guys Smoke Shop. They should have plenty in stock if you’d like to get your hands on a few, or a lot. Keep up with Fratello on their website, Facebook and Twitter.
Size: 5.5 x 46
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaragua and Peru
Pairing: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (Imperial Stout 10% ABV)
We’ll start with the band, how cool is this thing? It’s basically a red, white, and black angled banner made to look like a double diagonal banner band (say that three times fast). The top portion says “FRAT” while the bottom portion says “ELLO” obviously spelling out “Fratello” while there is a smaller black portion where the two banners meet which modestly says “Fratello Cigars”. What I love about this design is the throwback style to the old 50’s era artwork. For those gamers out there it’s very Bioshockesque. The cigar’s wrapper is deep brown with orange tints and lots of webbing and darker brown areas scattered throughout the body. The cigar is polished off with a beautiful round double cap. The body on the Fratello only carries a few medium sized veins while the entire cigar is well-packed and firm as hell. The wrapper on the cigar feels a bit thin and delicate so I won’t press my luck squeezing this cigar too much.
The wrapper on the Fratello gives off a whole ton of deep cedar aromas while the foot of the cigar is much more spicier with some great tobacco scents and a bit of black pepper. The cap cut very easily, in fact, be careful with this one as it cuts like butter and if you put too much pressure you may crush it. The cold draw produces some nice cedar, chocolate, and lots of mixed spices.
The Fratello stats off with a whole mess of black pepper and spice. I was expecting it to be there, just not as prominent as it was. As the pepper fades out I am left with this badass mixture of plum, chocolate, musk, and cedar. It’s an incredible start to the cigar. The draw is perfect with each puff putting out a good amount of rather thin smoke. the burn line is a bit wavy, but nothing too concerning as it leaves behind a trail of brilliant white, and light gray tightly compacted ash which held on for well over an inch despite the wind trying to knock it off.
The Fratello continues to rock in the flavor department. The spice is just about gone and the plum and chocolate have really taken the show with the backing flavors of cedar, musk, and some floral hints mixed in there. The retrohale tells a much different story as it’s completely full of strong spice and cedar. I wasn’t expecting my nasal passage to get bombarded by spice, but they did. The burn line is still a bit wavy, but not concerning as I close out the second third with a ton of flavor, and almost nothing in the nicotine department.
The flavor is still just absolutely incredible in the Fratello as I venture into the final third. The plum and cedar are killing it while the spice has been resurrected backing the flavor profile along with the musk, sweetness, and floral notes. This is an incredible tasting experience. Along with the body ramping up, the strength has wondered into the medium/full area as well as I am starting to feel a bit of a kick from this little cigar. The burn line has been slightly wavy the whole experience but I never once had to reach for my lighter. The final inch experience absolutely no harshness, nor really any heat and I took this baby down as far as I could before my fingers caught on fire.
If it wasn’t already obvious i fell in love with the Fratello from the first time I smoked one. The bold experience, great construction, price and availably all hit a sweet spot with me. Without giving too much away, I’d be shocked if this didn’t make it in my top 10 list this year. While the flavors were a bit complex, I think this is a great cigar for those novices who are looking for a great, premium, full-bodied cigar while seasoned cigar smokers would absolutely love the flavors in this thing. This is box-worthy for sure, and then some. Get a couple.
One of my favorite annual releases is Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout. From the Brooklyn Brewery in New York, this 10% ABV Imperial stout leads forward with a whole ton of dark chocolate. It almost tastes like a dark chocolate bar, but the good kind. Lots of sweetness and a bit of spice with a heavy mouthfeel before finishing off very sweet with a whole lot of chocolate and some slight berry. The pairing was incredible as both the beer and the cigar matched up seamlessly. There were times where the sweetness in the beer really helped move the bold flavors in the cigar while the cigar added a whole mess of spice to the beer drinking experience.