Fratello Cigars has a new store exclusive cigar in the works, Esclusivo, which will make its debut next month at Old Virginia Tobacco.

That’s not a typo in the name; rather, it’s the Italian translation for exclusive, and continues Omar de Frias’ use of Italian words in many of his releases.

The Fratello Esclusivo will debut as a 5 x 52 piramide vitola priced at $8.75 per cigar, with the initial production set at 300 boxes of 20 cigars, produced by Fábrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A. de Frias is not disclosing any specifics about the blend, though he told halfwheel that it’s based off of the original Fratello blend with the major differences found in the primings of the tobaccos. He noted that he’s using increased ligeros and higher priming wrapper for this cigar, which wears the same band as the company’s debut release.

It gets its launch on May 22 at Old Virginia Tobacco’s Seven Corners location, with another launch event set for May 23 at the retailer’s Potomac Mills store.

“I wanted to try something very unique for Esclusivo,” de Frias said in a press release. “I went to Joya de Nicaragua and found the highest priming tobaccos under the original Fratello blend. The plan was to add strength and bolder flavors to our original line without compromising balance. The result was amazing and starkly different from the original blend,” he added.

It’s also a nod to a long-term relationship that de Frias has had with Old Virginia Tobacco’s owner, Gary Pesh.

“Gary and I have been friends way before I was in the industry with one of his shops, Seven Corners, being my home shop for years,” de Frias told halfwheel. “This is a project that I’ve had in mind for a long time. I took the blend I had in mind to his office, we smoked it and the rest was history. His early support and commitment to our brand dictated the pace of our fast growing company. OVTC has been consistently in Fratello Cigars’ top 10 accounts every year since the beginning.”

This marks the third store exclusive for Fratello Cigars, joining the Fratello H-Town Lancero for STOGIES World Class Cigars in Houston, Texas and the Fratello Firecracker for 2 Guys Smoke Shop in Nashua, N.H.

Image courtesy of Fratello Cigars.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.