Cigar Reveal #86


Fratello - Navetta

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Brand Fratello
Cigar Navetta
Wrapper Ecuador
Binder Dominican Republic
Filler Nicaragua
Description You all know by now that we love to hunt for and feature not only the best cigars in the world, but the ones with unique stories behind them. Unfortunately... we can't do that every time. And the story of Fratello Cigars founder Omar de Frias is just your typical story of the average cigar brand owner. Omar grew up in the Dominican Republic, where as a young boy he was drawn to the romance of cigars as he saw his grandfather always smoking them... (yada yada) "It was such a fine thing to do. It seemed so classy," he said. Later, he immigrated to the US (yawn), where at 6 foot 9 inches tall, he played professional basketball (wait, what). After basketball, he earned a master's in finance and then moved to Washington DC to work for... NASA (um?). Omar worked for NASA for several years as a project analyst. He did very well there and slowly rose through the ranks, initially earning $41k a year to making upwards of $200k a year. And that's when he decided to give it all up to, yep, start a cigar company. Just your typical cigar story! Omar is known for his hard work, persistence, business intellect and for being an overall good dude. The Fratello Navetta (Italian for 'shuttle'), is just as unique as it's creator. About the cigar, Omar said, "I wanted to translate the ultimate celebration our men and women of the space program felt after a successful mission. After being part of over 21 missions nothing beats the feeling of getting our astronauts home safe to their families. Colleagues of mine would get together and smoke a very special cigar to commemorate the occasion. This very special blend carries the ultimate feeling of innovation, duty, honor and success." As for how it performs, it is everything you want from a cigar: rich, complex, perfectly balanced and constructed, strong but not overpowering, with notes of sweet cocoa, almonds, espresso, spice, and one of our favorite cigars of 2020.
Review: Cigar Dojo This is billed as a special, celebratory cigar, and it carries the heftiest price tag of any of the other Fratello releases, but it’s good enough to find reasons to celebrate the everyday achievements of life ... I’ve enjoyed every Fratello cigar I’ve smoked before, and the Navetta is no exception. I can’t say that I enjoyed this more than the Oro, as there’s something special about a flavor-heavy Connecticut that just makes me tingly, but I can say that I enjoyed this more than any other Habano Ocuro-wrapped cigar I’ve had in recent memory. This being a slightly more expensive offering, I'll relegate it to celebration status, but I imagine I’ll be looking for reasons to celebrate more often.
Review: Halfwheel Starting out I wouldn’t say that it immediately impressed me, but instead was a slow build that culminated into a fantastic finish that literally had me burning my fingers to keep from ending. The flavors never really morphed too much or changed into something completely different from start to finish, but grew in intensity and shifted levels until they meshed into a wonderful combination that shined in the final third.