Team Cigar Review: Fratello Classico Corona

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Cigar Details: Fratello Classico Corona

  • Vitola: Corona
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Peru
  • Factory: Joya de Nicaragua
  • Blender: Omar de Frias
  • Price: $8.50
  • Release Date: July 2013
  • Source: Fratello

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Fratello Classico Corona is light brown with some darker marbling and has some lightly raised veins present. The seams are smooth and only visible in a couple of areas due to the color variation of the wrapper. The head is finished well. The band is red, white and black and has a unique format which is used throughout the brands lines. The aroma from the wrapper is stone fruit sweetness and light wood while the foot brings more of a raisin sweetness. The pre-light draw has a light and even mix of raisin sweetness and wood.

Pre-light Experience

The Fratello Classico Corona has a UPC design on the cellophane that leaves the UPC code intact when the cellophane has been opened. That’s always a well thought out idea for brick and mortar retailers. Nosing the cigar wrapper, I detected aromas of sweet cedar, and undertones of leather and nuts. In the foot, there was sweet raisin and tobacco.

Pre-light Experience

The Fratello Classico Corona has a Colorado Claro shade with traces of darker brown markings. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll slightly loose and cap is well finished with a layered wrap. Nosing the wrapper gives herbal tea, star anise and cedar. Nosing the foot tells rich cedar, black pepper and plums. Cold draw gives herbal tea and mixed nuts.

First Third

The cigar begins with slightly charred wood and mustiness. At a half inch in, the wood becomes more defined as oak and a light black pepper joins the profile. At an inch in, the oak gains a bit of a toasted note to go along with the light char. The retrohale carries toasted oak and mustiness. At an inch and a quarter, the char has left the profile. As the third comes to a close, the profile is toasted oak, mustiness and light black pepper. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third kicks off with creamy cedar and a leather to finish that carries into the post draw. Sweetness takes up the middle of the retrohale, with baking spices accenting. Powdered cocoa mixes in on the retrohale as the cigar settles. Some time later, spices join the post draw to linger with the leather, and later cedar. The baking spices move up to medium plus on the post draw, continuing to increase in intensity as the cigar progresses. The spice is lingering on the sides and front of my tongue. By the halfway point, strong post draw earth joins out of nowhere, and then as rapidly as it had showed up, it dropped off.

First Third

The first third has a mild strength and medium bodied profile. The flavor in itself is very subdued and a bit lacking in depth. Subtle flavors of honey biscuits and soft cedar. Non-existent spice until I retrohale, in which that’s more of a sharper cedar than spice. The finish is short with soft cedar.

Second Third

The second third begins with the black pepper dropping from the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, the profile remains toasted oak and mustiness. The retrohale carries the same profile. As the third comes to a close, a light vegetal note has joined the profile. The strength in this third remained at medium.

Second Third

Post draw cedar lingers through the end of the first third and leading into the second third. Sweet baking spices still define the retrohale, with hints of cocoa now and again. Graham cracker makes up the middle of the retrohale as it settles in. Drying cedar takes up the middle of the profile by the halfway point.

Second Third

There’s really nothing new to talk about. The profile is still very much so mild in strength and body with subdued flavors of soft cedar and honey biscuits. There is a slight toasted cedar note coming through but it’s not enough to bring the depth of flavors up.

Final Third

As the final third begins, a slight char returns to the profile. At a half inch in, the profile is charred and toasted oak and mustiness as the vegetal note has dropped out. The retrohale is just musty oak. At an inch in, the vegetal note returns to the profile. The cigar wraps up with a profile of charred and toasted oak, mustiness and the vegetal note. The strength in this third remained at medium.

Final Third

Cereal sweetness on the retrohale as the cigar leads into the last third. Light leather on the post draw joins as the cigar settles in. Light post draw earth joins minutes later. That earth starts to push into the middle of the profile. Spices join the post draw bringing lingering cedar with them. By the halfway point, the earth has intensified to medium levels.

Final Third

Still pretty average tasting experience. Light flavors of toasted cedar and honey biscuits wrapped up in medium strength and body. Even when retrohaling, I’m not really getting much more than the light flavors.

Burn

The burn was a bit of an issue as it was wavy throughout and required two re-lights and a touch-up.

Burn

The burn is very straight throughout the smoking experience with the ash holding on up to 2 inch increments at some points.

Burn

Perfect burn performance. Tight ashes, even burn, cool burning and no touch-ups or re-lights.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with charred oak and mustiness. Some black pepper joined in and a toasted note replaced the mustiness. The second third saw the pepper leave and a vegetal joined in at the end. The final third saw some char return. Construction wasn’t very good, primarily due to the cigar having trouble burning and requiring re-lights and touch-ups. The first third of the Fratello Classico Corona had a nice profile, but by the second third, the burn issues were taking a toll on the flavor profile and things were average the rest of the way. This wasn’t a great showing for the line, but I’ve smoked multiples of the line in various vitolas and had better experiences. The cigar definitely performs better at times, so if you haven’t smoked this before, it’s worth checking out. I recommend the Boxer vitola.

Draw

The draw has a fair amount of resistance to it, between 2-1/2 to 3 notches. Often I might find this a distraction, but on a corona vitola I’d prefer the draw be more in the resistant spectrum than open.

Overall

I really enjoyed the Fratello Classico Corona. The flavors are balanced and nuanced throughout the smoking experience, highlighting the best of what a corona vitola has to offer. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 27 minutes.

Draw

The draw was also perfect, striking the ideal air flow.

Overall

This is not the same Fratello Classico Corona as I remember it from a few years ago. I recall the cigar being full of deep and rich flavors without strength. Skip forward to this cigar review, the only commonality unfortunately is the mild strength. The review sample was quite bland and uneventful. Reaching a bit, flavors of faint honey biscuits and toasted cedar summed it up. Take me back to the old days…

Aaron
John
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Very Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Average
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
SubparBurnAmazingBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawGoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallGoodOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.55

Cost/Point

$1.53

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$1.30

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$1.48

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Fratello Classico Corona
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Fratello Classico Corona

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