Fratello Vice Versa (Mild) - Blind Cigar Review

Fratello Vice Versa (Mild) – Blind Cigar Review

Cigar Info

Last year, Fratello Cigars, led by Omar de Frias, launched Vice Versa, a novel cigar concept, at the PCA to mark its 9th anniversary. Revealed in the second week of July at the PCA trade show, Vice Versa introduces a unique design with a cigar that can be started from either end, offering a choice between a mild and creamy or a strong and spicy flavor profile. In the case of this review, we had our reviewers start with the “Mild” end, for our review from the “Full” end with different panel, click here.

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 Vice Versa is available in one size, 7 x 52, and has a retail price of $15.00 per cigar. It is limited to 2,000 boxes containing 12 cigars each. The blend includes a Habano Ecuador HVA wrapper, Indonesian binder, and fillers from Pennsylvania, Nicaragua Esteli, and Nicaragua Condega. It is produced at the La Aurora Cigar Factory in the Dominican Republic, and a portion of the sales is contributed to the PCA.

Vital Stats:

Vitola: Churchill
Length: 7″
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian HVA
Binder: Indonesia
Filler: Nicaragua, USA (Pennsylvania)
Factory: La Aurora S.A.
Blender: Omar de Frias
Number of reviewers: 5 Fred L. (Fred L.) Jason A. (Jason A.) Bradlee W. (Brad W.) Doug S. (Unpossible_1) Mickey T. (irratebass)
Price: $15.00
Age: 7 Months
Release Date: February 2023
Contributed by: Fratello Cigars

Initial Impressions – Fratello Vice Versa (Mild)

Appearance: 93

“Medium brown wrapper, visible veins, lighter wrapper color triple cap, dark brown wrapper foot cap.” –Jason A. (Jason A.)

Aroma: 88

“Rich leather, oak, and a slight earthy dankness on the foot. The aroma smells heavily of roasted peanuts, coffee and leather.” –Fred L. (Fred L.)

First Third
Fratello Vice Versa (Mild) – Blind Cigar Review

First Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Mild-Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The first third had strong notes of cedar and coffee bean. There was definitely an overpowering amount of a strawy-hay on the mouth feel with a retrohale that took me to a place of smelling roasted coffee beans. The first third was very enjoyable.” –Bradlee W. (Brad W.)

“The pre-light: Pleasant hints of coffee, roasted nuts, hints of toasty cedar, and hay. Based on the cold draw, I can hardly wait to light this cigar up. To my surprise, I’m greeted with very pleasant upfront notes of roasted peanuts, and heavy hints of rich oak, earth, and cool mineral flavors wash over the palate. A slight honey sweetness develops with a lightly peppery finish and a hint of popcorn. The smoke is incredibly dense and creamy. Eventually, a nice graham cracker note shines through with a nice hint of subtle pepper.” –Fred L. (Fred L.)

Second Third
Fratello Vice Versa (Mild) – Blind Cigar Review

Second Third

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“The spice has shown up, the cream is gone. My lips are tingling. The cherry is gone too. I get heavy tobacco and wood flavors now that are dominating this cigar. The strength has ramped up to a straight up medium.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)

“The second third is pretty much the same story as the first third, with a heavy dose of cinnamon bread. The first half of this cigar comes to an end and really not a lot of change going on.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)

Final Third
Fratello Vice Versa (Mild) – Blind Cigar Review

Final Third

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“Deep earth and vegetable notes dominate with a hint of cedar and oak lingering a slight dark chocolate note in the aftertaste topped with a dash of red pepper. While this remains a full-strength cigar, notes of chocolate, charred oak, and coffee pronounce themselves more prominently. Coming into the last stretch of this cigar I’m floored by scores of deep earth, chocolatey sweetness, and rich creaminess underscored by hints of smoked hickory, hints of red pepper, and a coffee undertone.” –Fred L. (Fred L.)

“The spice and strength continue into this third and doesn’t seem to be letting up, in fact, it stays on my palate and tongue.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)

Overall Impressions – Fratello Vice Versa (Mild)

Draw: 90

“For a larger cigar, the draw was pretty effortless. It wasn’t too hard, wasn’t too soft. Something I appreciated about this cigar was it did have that “pull” to it. You know if you’re a cigar smoker what I’m talkin’ bout.” –Bradlee W. (Brad W.)

Burn: 93

“Razor burn throughout the entire smoke.” –Jason A. (Jason A.)

Construction: 91

“Very good construction…the ash held on for about 2 inches at some point. The burn was spot on. Just great construction all throughout.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)

Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 94

“A full-bodied behemoth! With a 2 1/2 hour+ smoke time, this big boy chugged along with tons of rich coffee, chocolatey, earthy, and smokey flavors. Adorned with three wrapper leaves, the complexities seemed limitless as a neverending flavor factory. Prepare to sit down for the long haul with this cigar, an excellent post-meal treat best paired with a forthy cappuccino.” –Fred L. (Fred L.)

“Very nice cigar, great draw and smoke output. Pleasant notes of coffee, caramel and wood throughout. No major flavor transitions.” –Jason A. (Jason A.)

“Overall, this larger powerhouse cigar was quite like a bad first date. Excited at first that you found a date, then the date starts out ok but turns out being less than stellar. It’s a testament that sometimes bigger isn’t better and not all that glimmers is gold. Would I smoke this one again? Of course, it’s a cigar! I’ll smoke anything twice…however, would I electively add this one to the rotation? That’s a negative ghost-rider” –Bradlee W. (Brad W.)

“I love the times where a cigar offers up a simple experience and it fits just right for my palate. This was a slow-burning and long session of two and half hours, but I enjoyed every moment of it. The amazing part was it finished with a complexity that caught me off guard and was a nice little reward. Satisfaction was achieved here today.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)

“Overall this was a great cigar. It started out as a mild to medium that gave me plenty of cream, cherry and wood notes, then transformed into a more medium smoke with more spice and harshness, but it didn’t overpower the cigar. I would like to smoke more of these and pair with some strong bourbon or rum.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 132

ReviewerAppear.Aroma1/32/33/3DrawBurnConstr.Overall
Experience
Fred L.100979797100100939297
Jason A.9590909088951008890
Bradlee W.928888857888858585
Doug S.929090909288959295
Mickey T.908592909090939293

To view the complete scores and notes, click here

Fratello Vice Versa (Mild) – Blind Cigar Review

Fratello Vice Versa (Mild)
Summary
"I love the times where a cigar offers up a simple experience and it fits just right for my palate. This was a slow burning and long session of two and half hours, but I enjoyed every moment of it. The amazing part was it finished with a complexity that caught me off guard and was a nice little reward. Satisfaction was achieved here today." -Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
Appearance
93
Aroma
88
First Third
90
Second Third
89
Final Third
90
Draw
90
Burn
93
Construction
91
Overall Experience
94
91
Very Good