Another Sunday, and another review. This week, I take on the Fratello Bianco I paired with a bottle of Evil Twin’s Imperial Biscotti Break.
The Good Stuff:
I was a huge fan of Fratello Cigars’ first release, the Fratello. So much, that it made my top 10 list last year. You can view the list here and my review here. That being said, I was ecstatic to hear Omar Frias, owner of Fratello was releasing his second blend, and Maduro called the Fratello Bianco which launched at this year’s IPCPR trade show. The Fratello Bianco features a Mexican San Andres Negro wrapper, Dominican binder, and Nicaraguan, Peruvian, and Pennsylvania Broadleaf fillers. The Fratello Bianco comes in 3 core formats: I (6 1/4 x 44), II (6 x 50), and III (5 x 56) as well as one event exclusive vitola which is a 5 x 44. All formats come packaged in boxes of 20 and will range from $8.75 to $9.25 a stick. While shops are starting to get these trickled in I got mine over from our friends at 2 Guys Smoke Shop who still have plenty is stock.
Size: 6 1/4 x 44
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Negro
Filler: Nicaraguan, Peruvian, Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Pairing: Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break (Imperial Stout 11.5% ABV)
The Fratello Bianco features a very consistent dark brown wrapper. The wrapper carries some lighter areas around the foot of the cigar and natural webbing in the tobacco leaf surrounding the body of the cigar. There are a few decent sized veins running through the cigar, but nothing too concerning. The wrapper’s texture is very rough and toothy with only some smoother areas around those veins. The wrapper feels very dense, and very hard while the cigar is a big spongy in random areas throughout. The Fratello Bianco is topped off with a round double cap and polished off with the exact same red, black, and white band featured on the standard Fratello only in reversed colors.
The wrapper on the Fratello Bianco gives off some great spice and sweetness while the foot of the cigar carries some strong pepper and natural tobacco aromas. The cap cut like butter under my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw reveals lots of musk, spice, sweetness, and cocoa.
The Fratello Bianco starts off with a quick little black pepper burst which quickly fades away showcasing some great cocoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, musk, and tobacco flavors. The flavors aren’t very bold, but they mix in to create a very rich and creamy character. The draw started out a bit tight but loosed up after I got about a half inch in and is now kicking out a good amount of thick smoke while producing none as it rests in my astray. The burn line is razor thin and dead even leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of white and medium gray ash which held on for just under an inch before falling into my ashtray.
As I venture into the second third of the Fratello Bianco a great vanilla flavor has began to take dominance in the flavor department. Backed by cocoa, coffee, brown sugar, cinnamon and natural tobacco this makes for a great, creamy flavor profile. The retrohale is really smooth coating my nasal passage with some soft spice, and lots of coffee notes. The burn line has one large wave now, but hasn’t needed any attention from my lighter yet. I close out the second third with absolutely no signs of nicotine.
The strength in the Fratello Bianco has started to ramp up into the medium/full range in the final third while the flavors remained consistent. The vanilla, cocoa, and coffee lead the charged backed by sweetness and spice all mixed in for a creamy profile. It took me an hour and a half to take the Fratello Bianco down to the nub and I enjoyed every minute of it. The cigar never required any extra attention from my lighter, and finished clean with no harshness, and no nicotine kick at all.
Fratello has added a second great cigar to their portfolio. The Fratello Bianco is a solid maduro, with a great flavor profile all wrapped up in a smooth, creamy, affordable package. While I think it’s a great cigar, I do think I like the standard Fratello a bit more. The Bianco is box worthy for sure. It’s a perfect cigar for a novice cigar smoker that is looking for a smooth, not overly complex maduro at a great price while seasoned cigar smokers will enjoy the great flavor profile and consistency the Bianco has to offer.
Get used to seeing Evil Twin on Casas Fumando a lot more now that I can finally get my hands on them. This week, I knew exactly what pairing I wanted to go down with the Fratello Bianco, and it didn’t disappoint. Evil Twin’s Imperial Biscotti Break is a 11.5% ABV Imperial stout brewed with coffee beans by Charleston Coffee Roasters. The Imperial Biscotti break leads with roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and lots of sweetness and a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing even sweeter with lots of coffee, chocolate, more malt, and more vanilla. The thought of this beer being 11.5% baffles me as it’s so smooth it’s dangerous, with absolutely no taste of booze. The beer and cigar were made for each other, but if stouts aren’t your thing pairing the Fratello Bianco with a malty porter, tawny port, or creamed coffee would work just as well.