Fratello cigars have quickly risen to fame as some of the best boutique cigars on the market. Made in Nicaragua, they are the brainchild of Omar de Frias who envisioned his future more than 20 years ago when the manager of the small cigar store near de Frias's home brought him to watch a torcedor perform his craft.
"The torcedor finished the cigar, handed it to me and said, 'Kid, welcome to the true gentleman's club,'" said de Frias, and the seeds of what one day would become a major career game-changer were planted.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Omar de Frias has a background that is quite different from most of the people you meet in the cigar business. At 6'9", de Frias's skill at basketball originally had him pegged for a pro career, but persistent knee injuries blocked his shot at an NBA contract. Omar finished college in the U.S. and received his MBA in 2004, which led to an engineering gig at NASA in Washington, D.C.
A number of years later after some thoughtful soul-searching, the cigar-loving rocket scientist decided to do something that he could feel passionate about. That something was learning the ins and outs of the cigar business. Trips to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua ensued, followed by two years of developing his future premium cigar brand, from the flavor profile he wanted, to the unique, angled band design. The result was a full-flavored, complex cigar that he would name Fratello, Italian for "brother," and the nickname he acquired when he was in college.
When Omar launched his Fratello brand in 2013, he also played the role of sales rep. After building a substantial database of cigar retail stores across the country, Omar hit the road, and within a year, Fratello cigars earned the title of "Hottest New Cigar Brand." Scores of "90" and "91" from the likes of Cigar Aficionado followed, and today the company is one of the fastest growing manufacturers of boutique premium cigars.
Made at Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A. in Estelí, Fratello cigars are blended with choice Nicaraguan and Peruvian longfillers for sweetness and earthiness. An Ecuadorian Sumatra binder provides balance and complexity in this medium-full cigar with a subtle mix of salty-sweetness, and the Nicaraguan Habano wrapper lends a subtle peppery element to the mix. The result is a complex cigar that begins with a shot of pepper, then moves to a creamier profile with notes of dulce de leche and cinnamon, while the final act reveals a distinctive earthiness with hints of cedar.
The 5½" x 46 Fratello Corona scored an "Outstanding" 91 points in Cigar Aficionado, saying, "...this cigar offers notes of wood and toasted marshmallow, balanced by tea-like intonations and a savory leather finish." The cigar magazine also rated the 6" x 60 Fratello Timacle at 90 points saying, "This fat, oily cigar draws and burns evenly, delivering heavy notes of wood, nuts and toast. The finish is rich and redolent of espresso."
Released in 2014, the 6 1/4" x 52 Fratello Boxer was another major success. Made with the same highly-rated Fratello blend, the Boxer is distinguished by its boxed-pressed Torpedo shape, which Cigar Aficionado described thusly in its 89 point review: "Rich woods and earth dominate the palate before segueing into a spicy finish with a raw almond aftertaste."
As the second release in the company stable, the Fratello Bianco is an all-maduro selection offering a smooth and creamy smoke with a full-flavored profile. The blend consists of a Peruvian, Nicaraguan, and Pennsylvania Broadleaf Ligero long-filler core for a mix of sweet, spicy, and bold tobacco flavors, bound in a fragrant Dominican binder, and finished in an inherently sweet Mexican San Andrés Negro wrapper for a well-balanced and creamy finish.
The success of the Fratello brand has been built on its ability to consistently produce complex, flavorful cigars at affordable prices. Choose the Fratello cigar that's right for you, and discover this memorable smoking experience.