Omar de Frias announced the Fratello Navetta just before IPCPR 2017. The name Navetta translates to “shuttle” in Italian and goes back to his roots at NASA. The inspiration came from wanting a celebratory cigar for a successful space mission.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
The blend uses an Ecuadorian oscuro wrapper, Dominican binder, and filler from Nicaragua. Like other Fratello cigars, it is rolled at the Joya de Nicaragua factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. Navetta comes in four standard sizes: Discovery (5 x 50) $10.50, Endeavor (6 ¼ x 54) $11.25, Enterprise (6 x 60) $12.00, and Atlantis (6 ¼ x 52) $12.50.
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Oscuro
Binder: Dominican Republic
Factory: Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.
Blender: Omar de Frias
Number of reviewers: 4 – Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi) Jake P. (Jake P.) Kevin A. (Kevin A.) Allison T. (The Yoga Ash)
Age: 4 Months
Release Date: October 2017
Contributed by: Fratello Cigars
“This cigar has a seamless silky milk chocolate wrapper with a cap that that sits pretty deep on the curve of the hip” –Allison T. (The Yoga Ash)
“I get a very rich chocolate aroma from the foot, with a hint of coffee. The prelight draw gives more of the same with a hint of cedar. Prelight draw is very open” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“The cigar opens with loads of dark chocolate, a woody undertone and a deep savory component that stays on the palate for what seems like forever. Cinnamon and honey linger in the sinuses when you retrohale this cigar. All of this creates a phenomenal opening third.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“This cigar has a ton of flavor right off the bat. Chocolate, coffee, and roasted walnuts. It literally reminds me of a chocolate brownie. On the retrohale, I get a mild pepper burn and am picking up a little bit of anise or black liquorice. Smoke output is medium and has a hint of anise to it as well. Burn starts of OK, but about the 1″ mark, it is starting to burn uneven enough for a slight touchup. Ash is very tightly packed and a nice light grey. ” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“The dark flavors continue being the backbone of this cigar as we smoke into the second third. Those flavors have morphed into a dark roasted espresso coffee bean. The dark notes are balanced by a call back to the aromas off the foot from earlier. Mainly in the form of black licorice that comes and goes throughout this third. ” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Getting into the second third, the rich chocolate and roasted walnut flavors have faded, replaced with a bitter leather, strong coffee and cedar. The anise is more noticeable there for me as well, leaving a zing on the tongue and the nose on the retrohale with a med length finish. It sits on my tongue for quite a while, allowing me to take my time between puffs to enjoy the flavors this cigar is putting out. I really like this quality in the cigar, allowing me to smoke it slowly and really enjoy it. Strength has bumped up a notch too, creeping into the med/full range. Draw is good. The burn is continuing to be a little off but has not required any additional touchups” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“The cigar has reached a fevered crescendo! A decadent dark chocolate mousse overtakes the whole palate. The retro has shifted to an earthy tone to balance out the creamy mousse on the palate. The cigar seems to get better with each passing third. ” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Getting into the final third, the coffee and pepper are the prominent notes, and the roasted walnut from the first third is present in the background. The leather note is also still there, but the bitterness from the second third has gone away. There are also notes of cedar. There is an overall dry, earthiness to this blend in the final third.Draw is still good, but the ash has gotten loose and flaky, plus the burn is starting to go lopsided. Another touchup is needed before the finish. ” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“Draw was a little tight but had great smoke output.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“Nice even burn with a tight ash.” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“It is very hard to find a flaw on this cigar. From pack to wrap it was nearly perfect. The gray white ash was firm and held on for more then inch before falling off. Since the draw was so effortless the smoke was cool till the last half inch of the cigar making it very easy to smoke well passed the band.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 90
“There is only one word to describe this cigar, phenomenal. Flavors were on point, construction was nearly flawless and it made the time spent smoking it memorable. I would recommend this cigar to anyone that loves a deep, dark, flavorful cigar. Hands down, this cigar is a Box buy and I can’t wait to find out what it is so I could do just THAT!” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Very enjoyable smoke. Pepper, pepper, and more pepper. Couldn’t get enough. When the pepper would relax you would get earth and hay. Was a very fulfilling experience. ” –Jake P. (Jake P.)
“The flavor profile of this cigar far surpassed any burn issues that I had. Normally, if a cigar fights me with burn problems, it detracts from the enjoyment. The flavor profile here was excellent. From the right chocolate sweetness at the beginning to the dry earthiness at the finish, it definitely delivers a solid smoking experience and I would not hesitate to pick up another one. These are a definite five pack purchase cigar” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“Overall, this cigar is nice as it doesn’t linger on the pallet to long if you wish to smoke another cigar close to it. I wish the inside construction resembled the wrapper… seamless. With that being said, I would give this cigar another go. ” –Allison T. (The Yoga Ash)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 88
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