The first day of July has always signaled the escalation of summer, as the intense Texas heat really begins to set in, baking the ground and turning the great outdoors into the stifling, shimmering, hot air of an oven on overdrive. In an attempt to cool down and relax, I decided to stop in the fantastic lounge at @StogiesHouston, the premier cigar shop and lounge in the city.
After spending some (too much, actually – they have so much) time browsing the humidor, I settled on one of the creations of Omar de Frias: a @FratelloCigars Boxer. This expertly rolled 6 ¼ ×52 box-pressed Torpedo features a gorgeous, Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a Rosado sheen holding together an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and fillers from Nicaragua and Peru. The Fratello Boxer is a beautifully executed example of the torpedo vitola.
With a wrapper that is velvet-smooth to the touch, the perfectly balanced cigar is a pleasure to hold. The wrapper and foot offer aromas of barnyard, wood, bread, nuts, cocoa, and a bit of pepper. These notes also present themselves after toasting and lighting, with the pepper leading the way.
The pepper alternately intensifies and diminishes during the smoke, as other notes – nuts, sweet wood, leather, and dark cocoa are all carried on a sweet note of creaminess similar to dulce de leche that allows the flavors to blend and complement each other very well in this medium-full bodied cigar.
Overall, a really good smoke. With a flavor profile that progresses through a range of flavor notes, it offers a smoke that gradually builds nicely from medium to full. I would rate the cigar an 88.
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