Fratello has released The Pelican, the newest cigar in its series of state exclusive cigars.

The Pelican is a 5 1/2 x 54 robusto extra that uses an Ecuadorian HVA wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and a mix of fillers from the Dominican Republic and Pennsylvania, including Dominican andullo tobacco. Andullo, which is known more for being used in pipe tobaccos, is processed by being placed into long, tightly wrapper cylindrical pods known as yaguas, then stacked on top of one another and rotated while the tobacco processes. It is a very different process than the air curing in barns that most premium cigar tobacco undergoes.

“The Pelican was conceived in a meeting we at Fratello had with Karl Malone and his team in the Dominican Republic,” said Omar de Frias,, founder of Fratello, in a press release. “We were trying to tell the story of how Andullo tobacco and its fermentation technique had so much in common with perique tobacco and The Pelican was born.”

Fratello calls The Pelican a medium-to-full-bodied cigar. Pricing is set at $10.50 per cigar and $210 for a 20-count box, with production limited to just 250 boxes, for a total of 5,000 cigars.

The Fratello Pelican is exclusive to retailers in Louisiana and is being distributed by PF Importers, a family-owned and -operated distribution company co-owned by Karl Malone, the NBA legend, and Tim Basham.

“We are proud to partner with Fratello to produce this offering that embodies the Louisiana culture,” Basham said in a press release.

PF Importers also distributes wine, beer and spirits in Louisiana.

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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.