Fratello has never been known as a brand to release a multitude of new blends all at once, so it was no great shock that Omar de Frais’ company decided that there would only be one new blend debuting at the 2018 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, although there were some packaging changes with existing releases as well.
Visually, the Fratello booth was the same as last year, although the space shuttle prop that held the cigars was moved inside a glass case instead of being left out in the open, presumably so that people walking by would not feel compelled to touch it. The booth was so busy every time I walked by that I was not able to get a video of Frias myself; in fact, my colleague Patrick Lagreid shot it while he was running around.
The one new release mentioned above was the Navetta Inverso, which, as the name suggests, is actually composed of a blend that is the inverse of the Navetta line the company introduced last year.
Instead of the Ecuadorian oscuro wrapper, Dominican binder and Nicaraguan filler tobacco in the original blend, the new version uses a Nicaraguan habano wrapper covering an Ecuadorian binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. The band colors are also inverted, with the new cigars sporting a black foot band as opposed to a white one.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua (Habano)
- Binder: Ecuador
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Fratello Navetta Inverso Corona Gorda (5 7/8 x 46) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190)
- Fratello Navetta Inverso Robusto (5 1/4 x 54) — $11.25 (Boxes of 20, $225)
- Fratello Navetta Inverso Toro Grande (6 1/4 x 54) — $12.50 (Boxes of 20, $250)
Production: Regular Production
Launch Date: September 2018
In addition, the boxes for the original Fratello line—now known as Classico—and the second line—named Bianco—will look move from sliding lid boxes (SLB) to flip top boxes, similar to the company’s Oro line.