Cigar Details: Fratello Oro Toro
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 6.25″
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Cameroon
- Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
- Factory: La Aurora
- Blender: Omar de Frias
- Price: $8.75
- Release Date: July 2016
- Source: Fratello Cigars
A golden brown wrapper with a couple of decent sized veins visible. The seams are hard to spot. Looks like two caps that are applied well. There are no bands on this sample, but I believe they will come with the standard Fratello band and then a foot band identifying the line with gold being the primary color. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of slightly sweet hay and dirt. The aroma from the foot is an even sweeter hay. The pre-light draw gives a slightly sweet graham cracker and just a slight bit of spice on the lips.
The Fratello Oro Toro has a smooth claro shade wrapper. There are quite a few minor veins protruding from the cigar. Seams are fairly well hidden. The parejo head is finished off with a thick double cap. Bunching and roll feels well executed as there are no soft spots and a nice, uniformed give. Wrapper aromas provide equal parts of pungent barnyard and chestnuts. Foot aromas provide quality cedar, barnyard and slight white pepper spice. Cold draw tells dry cardboard, faint dry nuts and slight salt on the lips.
Initial draws bring a light, aged wood that also carries a little bitterness which is a good bitterness. A few draws in, there is a very light nutmeg in the background and the retrohale is carrying the same light aged wood note. At a half inch in, a little bit of cream joins in with the aged wood. The bitterness and nutmeg are still light background notes. At an inch in, the aged profile of the wood goes away and it becomes a slight bit darker. At an inch and a half, the bitterness and nutmeg have gone away and the profile is just a creamy woodiness. The retrohale carries a light woodiness. As the third comes to a close, some bitterness returns which enhances the profile a bit. The strength in this third was mild-medium.
The first third has a well balanced and smooth flavor profile. Uniformed notes of dry black pepper spice and medium bodied sweet cream. These notes are followed closely by fresh oak, dry earth and airy bread. Through the nose, intensified nose clearing black pepper, bread and dry oak. The finish is a lasting bread, dried nuts and tamed black pepper. In terms of strength and body, consistent medium.
As this third begins, the wood gains a nice toastiness to it to go along with the cream. There is also a bit of bitterness in the background. A quarter inch in, the cream really ramps up and the smoke feels very thick. The retrohale also becomes very creamy with some wood in the background. At an inch in, an herbal mintiness joins the profile of creamy wood and slight bitterness. At an inch and a half, the profile is really mixing together well with creamy wood, bitterness and an herbal minty note. Nearing the end of the third, the cream backs off quite a bit and the wood and bitterness increase with the herbal mintiness still in the background. The strength in this third was mild-medium.
The second third plays off the same spectrum of flavors as the first third, still creating smoothness and balance. Dry earth and black pepper spice moves to the forefront, moving the medium bodied sweet cream and oak to the secondary. Through the nose, still intensified black pepper, dry oak and creamy bread. The finish still lingers with bread, dried nuts and tamed black pepper. Body and strength continues to be at the medium mark.
As this third begins, the mintiness moves up front although it has lost the herbal note. The creamy wood is in the background and the bitterness is just on the finish. A quarter inch in, the mintiness drops in intensity and the creamy wood evens out with it. At an inch in, the mintiness has moved all the way back to the finish with the creamy wood moving to the front along with a slight bitterness. As the cigar comes to a close, it is creamy wood with a slight bitterness in the background and a bit of mintiness on the finish. The retrohale is a creamy wood. The strength in this third is just below medium.
The most noticeable difference in the last third is the intensity of the black pepper spice both on the mouth draws and retrohale. The pepper dies down significantly, by roughly 50%. Still prominent notes of dry earth and oak up front. Followed by medium bodied sweet cream and bread. Through the nose, dry earth, oak and slight bread. Finish lingers with bread, dried nuts and moderate black pepper spice. Body and strength still at the medium mark.
The burn was great. The burn line wasn’t perfectly straight, some slight waves, but that doesn’t really matter in regards to the performance. The ash held on in about one inch segments.
The burn was very good. Total smoking time clocked in at a great 2 hours and 20 minutes. Burn line was overall razor sharp. Ashes held on strong, averaging 1 inch increments.
The draw was perfect through the first two thirds and then loosened up a bit in the final third, but nothing that detracted from the experience. Each draw also produced a lot of smoke.
This is a refreshing Connecticut. I say that because a lot of the newer Connecticut’s are trying to move away from the traditional profile with different flavor profiles and higher strength levels. This cigar hearkens back to some of the more traditional Connecticut’s but doesn’t get stuck in the very hay like or green stereotype. This would be a perfect morning cigar with coffee. It’s also something any level of smoker can enjoy due to the flavor and strength profile. If I had more opportunities to smoke cigars in the morning, I would definitely put this in a group of a few cigars that I think capture that moment.
|Very Good||Draw||Very Good|
The draw was great. So good I never thought about the draw during the entire smoking time.
I didn’t find anything particularly unique about this blend in comparison to all the other recent wave of Connecticut shades out in the market. This isn’t to say I did not enjoy the flavors. It was overall a smooth, balanced, linear cigar. I am interested in smoking a shorter length vitola as I felt the bigger Toro became monotonous towards the end of the second third and last third. Another core Fratello offering providing flavors over strength, right in my typical wheelhouse.
Arless - July 5, 2017
I have been enjoying your relatively new site and reviews. It is clear that when you conduct your reviews they are being done independent from each other, which enhances their credibility. For example, each having the opposite perspective on this cigar compared to other Connecticut’s on the market. That made me smile. Beyond that I find you both to be very circumspect and careful in describing what you experience with each cigar. You don’t seem to follow the hype or go over the top describing a multitude of questionable flavors to one cigar. Well done gentlemen!!
You deserve to be a significant player in the blogisphere..
Aaron Loomis - July 5, 2017
Thank you for the kind words Arless.
Greg Hill - April 13, 2023
Great reviews! I’m smoking one, now! I loke the easy draw & volumes of smoke! I’ll buy more!