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Cigar Brand: Fratello
Cigar Name: Fratello
Factory: Unknown
WrapperNicaraguan Habano
BinderEcuadorian Sumatra
FillerNicaraguan and Peruvian Filler
Vitola: Corona
Length: 5.5″
Ring Gauge: 46
Cost$8.35
Where purchased: Smoking Dog in Maple Shade, NJ
Strength: Medium
Smoked: 2014-04-25
Where: Home garage
When: Friday night
Occasion: Finished moving couches to new apartment
Meal: Steak, sweet potato fries, spaghetti squash, summer ale
Where: Ruby Tuesdays about 2 hours prior to smoking
Drink Pairing: Guinness Draught in a can
Link: Fratello Cigars

Construction:

A little lumpy. No defects, some veins.

Prelight:

Smells like the ideal slightly sweet tobacco. Taste is influenced by that smell before lighting it.

First Third:

The draw was a little tight before lighting, it opened up just enough once lit to be enjoyable. Non-subtle resistance in the draw makes sure you know you’re pulling, and the amount of smoke pulled into your mouth completes that feeling. Pretty close to a perfect measure of both.

Slight pepper on the retrohale. Definitely not too much pepper.

The burn has gone slightly wonky, but appears to be self correcting.

The smell of the smoke is slightly sweet and very pleasant. Almost like slightly burned caramel.

The first third

The burn trying to self-correct at this point.

After the first inch the cigar grew quite a gangsta lean so I set it loose.

I got distracted by a cat somewhere outside. Freaked me out because I was afraid it was one of mine, left the cigar to make sure both cats were inside and, once confirmed, walked around looking for the source of the crying. Came back and the smoke was still coming out of the cigar but only very lightly. A couple somewhat aggressive is puffs and it was back in action. No idea where the cat outside is, but it sounds close.

Second Third:

The burn mostly straightened out before the second third, only going a little wonky when I set it down for a bit in my cat search.

PalateJack_FratelloCorona_002

I just got some caramel coffee or late taste briefly. Still getting a lot of sweetness on the nose, which is great.

If I exhale slowly I’m getting periodic raisin tastes. I’m not a big fan of raisins, but I appreciate the change up. In fact, the taste left in my mouth for a good minute after a pull is mostly raisins now. I haven’t been drinking much with this smoke, but this can of Guinness is a welcome source of flavor replacement for the raisins.

The flavor has progressed back into a more sweet taste, even giving incredible hints of a subtle cotton candy. I wish it would keep that up. It’s not sweet like an Acid or anything else infused, but just brief like you ate cotton candy a half hour ago and just found a small tiny piece stuck in your teeth and it dissolved on your taste buds. Please come back…

I haven’t had any sugar today or anything sweet, otherwise I’d wonder if it’s something I ate that’s pulling these flavors out.

Halfway through the second third this thing just went dead, no smoke and out cold. Relit and I’m getting a dark chocolate, like really great brownies on the nose. I can’t stress enough how fantastic this smoke smells so far.

PalateJack_FratelloCorona_003

At the end of the second third I’m getting a little pepper in the retro.

Final Third:

I feel like the draw has gotten a little more snug after the burn went out and I relit it. It’s not a problem, but not as nice of a draw as it was before.

The nose is still a little sweet but there’s a more earthy smell now. It’s what I imagine walking through a tobacco field might smell like, where the farmers are still working the soil. A little bit of spice finds its way into the nose just after that.

PalateJack_FratelloCorona_004

A few minutes later we have a cocoa and spice mix. A gentle Mexican hot chocolate. An almost dusty mouth feel, like a powdery high percentage dark chocolate. That’s a mouth feel I love in cigars, where you know for sure there’s no dust but that’s the sensation.

I think I’ve taken less than 4 drinks from my Guinness can and I am really happy I don’t feel the need to drink more. The room note is heavenly from the smoke right now, my garage smells like fantastic chocolate. I always read about Ligas having the chocolate notes and never experience that, but this cigar is exactly what I hope to experience everytime I smoke a No 9.

At the very end of my smoking this the caramel smell and, to a lesser extent, taste came back. Fantastic. Right after that the smoke output severely decreased and I decided to let the cigar go with a little over an inch left.

Done.

Done.

Burn:

Not perfect, but close enough to it. It only wavered a few times and self corrected each time after a rotation.

Final Thoughts:

This afternoon I left work early to start moving to a new apartment. I smoked a Four Kicks as soon as I got home and, while I normally love that cigar, I couldn’t enjoy it. Moving is one of the only things that stresses me out in life to an unreasonable level. I was getting nauseous from dwelling and stressing over it and couldn’t enjoy the cigar. Afterwards I had some help from friends and got two large, heavy sofas with recliners in them moved. My worries went unfounded and the hardest part of the move was done. I stopped and had a cheap chain restaurant steak on my way home, a light summer ale, and watched some TV sitting on the floor where my sofas would normally be — happy they weren’t there. Afterwards I opened the Guinness and came out to smoke this lovely cigar.

This was my last Fratello in my coolerador. I will be picking up more of these in the near future because this is a really great cigar at a reasonable price. Less than $9 from a local B&M.

Most of my enjoyment came from the nose on this. The tastes I did get in this one were great other than the brief raisin attack.

This is easily 5-pack worthy in my opinion.

 

– Bob

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