Reviewing nearly 300 cigars in 2017. As is often the case with halfwheel, it’s a wide range of items from the biggest releases of the year to some very limited products. Fratello ORO and Fratello Navetta made the 2017 list.
When I think of cigars, I think of endless tobacco fields and warehouses where the leaves dry. I think of open-air factories where dozens of “rollers” hand-make the cigars under the soft rotation of overhead fans while “lectors” — readers — help workers pass the time by reading aloud from newspapers and books.
I think of wood-paneled, clubby tobacco shops such as New York’s Nat Sherman, W. Curtis Draper in the District and Georgetown Tobacco, lined with glass cases full of boxes packed with stogies. I think of walk-in humidors rich with the aroma of tobacco.
Omar de Frias has none of that.
Last year, Omar de Frias left NASA after 12 years to focus on his growing cigar company, Fratello. Now, he is turning back to his time at NASA for Fratello’s latest release, Navetta, Italian for shuttle.
LIVE from the Serino Royale Cigar Studios in Salem, NH. On Today’s show, we will be lighting up a new age classic, The Fratello, a cigar made by Omar de Frias.
Cigar Weekly presents its Top 10 Cigars of 2016: Part 1 of 3
Welcome to 2017, and the first official 'Top 10' published by Cigar Weekly! 2016 was a very interesting year in cigar-life, as manufacturers and consumers alike aimed for exciting new releases along with the continued availability of well established favorites.
Omar de Frias, the man who willed Fratello into being, is a complex as his cigar.
By William C. Nelson
Omar de Frias' dreams of his first career were dashed at an early age when persistent knee injuries prevented the 6'9" Dominican from pursuing a pro basketball career.