Wrapper: Ecuadorian HVA
Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano Ligero, Dominican Andullo, Nicaraguan Estelï, Pennsylvanian Ligero
Size: 7.125 x 58
Today we take a look at the Fratello The Texan.
I bought a fiver from Cigar Federation.
The sticks have been resting for 2-1/2 months.
Limited Release: 500 boxes
According to Halfwheel.com (10-17-2019)
“On Oct. 21, the newest Fratello release will head to retailers in Texas.
That cigar is a Texas exclusive, appropriately called The Texan. And keeping with the Big as Texas theme, the cigar is a massive 7 1/8 x 58 covered in an Ecuadorian HVA wrapper, a Sumatran binder and four fillers: Dominican piloto cubano ligero, Dominican Andullo, ligero from Estelí, Nicaragua and ligero from Pennsylvania.
“It is being produced at the La Aurora Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic.
“We went full body and our largest cigar format to date,” said Omar de Frias in a press release. “The balance of The Texan, with as much ligero as it has is as, is simply incredible.”
“Pricing is set at $11 per cigar and it is limited to 500 boxes of 20 cigars. Fratello says a portion of the sales will benefit the Texas Cigar Merchants Association.”
This is a big honker. Some seams are visible. A bit of veinage but nothing ugly. A nicely applied triple cap. The cigar is very heavy and has only some slight resistance. In room light, the wrapper is a milk chocolate brown. In sunlight, hints of orange accent the oiliness of the coppery hue of the leaf. The stick is mostly smooth but has areas, the size of Rhode Island, of some toothiness.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Big floral notes followed by some potent black pepper. After that, my nose can hit on some caramel, malt, cedar, barnyard, chocolate, jalapeno pepper, creaminess, and baking spices.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, malt, milk chocolate, caramel, nuts, creaminess, cedar, and barnyard.
I normally let the cigar hang from my mouth while I type. Can’t do it with this mammoth stick. Great. It should only take 13 hours to finish the review.
Ever since I could adjust the draw on my cigars with the use of the PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool, I’ve become very picky about the whole thing. The resistance on this stick isn’t bad considering how big it is; but, I want a little easier draw so I plunge the tool up to the cigar band and voila…now I have the draw I prefer.
The first thing to impress is the finish. It builds slowly and then lingers appropriately for a premium blend. It’s buttery, creamy, peppery, and sweet. Nice.
Flavors spread out. Very peppery…but smooth. Even keeled balance. I have high hopes for this stick as I’m a fan of Fratello.
Strength is a potent medium.
Flavor elements start off slowly providing more flavor from the aged tobacco than specific palate flavors. It’s nice. Only 7” to go. (When I tell my wife that, she laughs).
I’ve made it clear I’m not a fan of ginormous cigars but Cigar Aficionado says it’s the rage. I have lots of friends who prefer big cigars. I go to a cigar lounge and I see lots of guys grabbing the biggest cigars they can find. Me? Give me a Corona Gorda anytime. So, this will be a test of my manhood and my ability to keep the whining to a minimum.
Early on, there are faint notes of complexity; but mostly subtle nuances that are very pleasing. If this baby is this strong so early in the battle of wits, I expect to be having acid flashbacks from nicotine by the second half.
I promised my therapist I would no longer smack disabled people in wheelchairs.
I’m getting some minor burn issues but fixed toot suite.
When I look at the photo below, I really cannot count accurately the exact number of caps applied to this stick.
There is one thing I adore about giant cigars…you can put them down for a while and come back and they are still lit.
There is a flavor leap…the blend becomes very creamy with accents of caramel, malt, fried plantains, some savory notes of smoky wood, smoky beef, and peat with overtones of espresso and ginger.
So far, so good. I did try one a couple weeks in and it tasted like sawdust. Waiting is torturous but required.
The music on my cable classic rock channel is spot on meaning this will be a good review…SRV, Bowie, Jimi. A sign from the Cosmic Muffin.
The cigar is packed solid. It’s taken me more than 15 minutes to smoke 5/8”.
My son in law and Dr. Rod would love this cigar. In fact, I gave them each one for Christmas.
And just like that, I’m proven a fraud and liar…the cigar goes out while typing. Damn.
Holy shit! I re-light the cigar and a huge torch of fire comes from the foot and I damn near need the fire extinguisher to put it out. I could have lost my eyebrows from that.
I’m…fuck…the phone rang and I answered and now I can’t remember what I was about to say about the cigar. Fuck getting older.
I’m enjoying the cigar. It is flavorful and the complexity is rising to the occasion. (I could have left that out and just pretended I forgot that completely, but noooo…).
Now I remember…I believe I’m close to seeing the cigar in all its glory with nearly 3 months humi time…but a stick this big could easily be laying about for another 3-4 months before it exhibits its true colors.
But then, I’d be reviewing a reasonably priced premium cigar that is no longer on the market. Still available from Cigar Federation.
If I don’t take a break from typing, this is going to be a 6000-word essay.
I really like the flavor of all those tobaccos…they come through loud and clear. I find it odd that sometimes I review a cigar with a panoply of different country inserts and the cigar is nothing special. Not in this case. The tobacco, so far, is taking center stage.
Creaminess comes to the forefront. The balance of savory v. sweet is on the money. The spiciness is in perfect proportion to the other components. We have oomph.
Thank God this wasn’t a 7 x 70. There is no way I would have reviewed it or even purchased it.
I expect big things from the second half…when I get there sometime tonight.
Lordy…only took an hour to get here. Gawd…this is going to be a 3-hour smoke. Figure in my prep work, the photos, and transferring this from Word to my blog…this will be a 5-hour ordeal. I want a raise.
Here we are…perfectly balanced, subtleties abound, nuances do the light fantastic, complex, a nice flow of transitions, a gorgeous toothy finish, and I dig the tobacco.
Only 2 more hours to go.
I can probably use the time to shave my back so I don’t ramble on incessantly.
I will be 70 in a couple of weeks. Every hair on my body is gray…except for my pubes. What’s up with that?
I gotta take more breaks while smoking this T Rex or I will continue to write the last shit I just put in your head.
First sip of water…blam. Licorice, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom…damn, we have a curry…
I live in a large apartment complex filled with Indians who are here on work visas so they can fill positions at a couple very high-tech companies here in Milwaukee. Nice people. Always nice to talk to. But oh lord, the never-ending smell of curry being cooked can make you nuts. In the summer, when we can leave the windows open, I will be sitting with Charlotte watching TV in the evening and our neighbor starts frying huge amounts of garlic and spicy stuff…we either choose to sit there while our eyes water and our noses run, or we close the windows. I’ve hinted a million times that we love curry…snake eyes. No one brings over a casserole dish.
Strength is medium/full. The flavors totally shift to a curry based meaty dish. No more chocolate. No malt. A tiny bit of espresso. The sweetness factor has lessened. The balance is now slightly off kilter. But then I have all day to see what happens next.
One thing that is highly noticeable, by leaving the cigar alone for 3 months, is how smooth the blend is. Not a lick of harshness.
We are getting our first taste of winter in Wisconsin this weekend. A blizzard is on its way tonight. It’s been very cold but no real snow. One nice thing about downsizing to an apartment as our bodies give out is that this place has a secure underground parking garage that’s heated. I love that.
Fratello The Texan is an excellent blend. My timing was good.
I can now allow the cigar to rest in my mouth while typing and not be afraid my false teeth will end up on the floor.
Construction of the cigar is spot on. And except for some minor burn issues, I’m impressed.
Balance returns in the second half. The sweety factors return: Caramel, milk chocolate, gingerbread, and a nougat center.
Strength is now full tilt.
As predicted, the second half surges. The tobacco goodness excels. Very complex now. The blend has settled into its higher aspirations. I’m convinced that with an extra 3 months of humi time, this cigar will shine brighter.
“Immigrant Song” is playing. I saw a doc on Jeff Beck and it showed a little concert Beck gave and invited Jimmy Page to participate. Without rehearsals, Beck suggested they do this song as an instrumental. Man, they nailed it.
One reason I don’t care for huge ring cigars is that my mouth is too small. I wouldn’t survive in prison…although, my asshole could be a calling card. Do I have to choose? But then, I don’t think they fuck old guys…they just shank them when they arrive and problem solved.
“Nature’s Way” by Spirit is playing. Anyone old enough to remember that band? I thought they were great.
The Texan is delicious. Before I even get to the last third, I’m highly recommending that you pull out that hidden money your wife doesn’t know you have and snag a fiver.
Unless something happens in the last third, I can say that this blend will never be a flavor bomb. It stands alone on the inherent beauty of the leaf stats. Fratello really nailed the blend.
“Strawberry Fields Forever” is playing. Stewart Copeland and I had a flat about 5 doors down from Abbey Road Studios. We would sit on a nice day on the stoop and watch as tourists tried to get the famous crosswalk shot. Back then, the Brits would try to run them over. I believe that has changed. BTW- In England, it’s not a crosswalk, it’s a zebra crossing. No shit.
And you cannot park within 10 feet of either side or you get a ticket. I came out of a diner once to see two Bobbies giving me a ticket. I pleaded ignorance and this was the conversation:
“Officers. I’m an American. I didn’t realize.”
“Ignorance is no excuse. What would happen if a Brit did something like this in America?
“The cops would probably shoot you.”
The cops did not appreciate my comment and handed me the ticket and left.
I mailed in the fine. It got a letter telling me I had to include my driver’s license and they would return it. I called them and told them I have a California driver’s license and I’m worried someone will keep it as a souvenir. I was assured that would never happen. So, I reluctantly did as directed. Never saw my license again.
Great cigar. An even better stick for a nice spring day when you are outside. You can relax and put it down whenever you pleased and come back to it. An all-day sucker.
I’ve taken my last photo so now I can chomp. Big, bold flavors spew. And no nicotine.
The halfway point saw big changes in terms of the blend expanding its reach on my palate. But now, it’s a behemoth of flavor. Complexity is dense.
Definitely one of those sticks that the whole is greater than its parts.
Due to its strength, I’m going to say that this is a blend perfect for those with sophisticated palates. Might be too much for newbies. The blend is now a swirling compendium of intense moments. I have one stick left. I will save it and smoke it in 3 months. I may, or may not, return and amend my comments…unless I’m just too damn lazy to do so.
I had decided my rating by the halfway point but now I’m reconsidering. Killer cigar.
And heeere’s Nicotine!
Focusing is a chore. My brain goes squishy. Now we’re having fun.
The strength is now nuclear. Holy shit.
If you like smoking Clydesdale wieners, this is the baby for you.
A memory just came flashing back. 1984. Charlotte and I, and some friends, drove from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento for their County Fair. They had the Clydesdale horses there. They were in their stalls. I had never in my life seen such huge horses. But then we noticed that a bunch of women were standing in front of one stall. We moseyed over.
The horse had a boner that was at least 3 feet long and touching the ground. The men would come over to see what was up and just shook their heads and walked away. So, either the men had a good time that night…or…the women were terribly disappointed.
At this point, the flavors are going Bozo crazy. Everything is in play. More flavors than you can shake a stick at. Complexity is through the roof. Savory v. Sweet is perfect.
Just don’t fuck up if you get some and smoke them early. This is too good of a blend to waste it. And since they are so limited, there is no return for more.
I have a little bit to go but I believe my 30,000-word review gives you the idea.
Cigar Federation has them. And if you live in Texas, your local B&Ms might have some.
And now for something sad:
My old bandmate from Curved Air, guitarist Mick Jacques died. Complications of meningitis.
He stayed on with the band for a year after I left and then was dismissed as is the Curved Air way. His playing was considered too bluesy. Those bastards. He was hired for just that reason but you can’t predict the moods of egomaniacs. I was hired for the way I played and then that was used against me 2 years later.
Mick got so disgusted with music, that he moved to France and raised horses. He wanted nothing to do with Curved Air or anyone associated with them. Those people in the band could steal your soul if you allowed it.
A short anecdote I remember…
We were touring with Soft Machine. Guitarist, Alan Holdsworth and Mick grew up together. One day during sound check, Alan told Mick and I he had an offer from iconic drummer Tony Williams of Miles Davis fame. He hated being in Soft Machine but this was a big step to move to NYC. He asked us if he should go? We both bellowed, at the same time: “YES!!!” And that’s what he did.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS