Fratello Navetta

I love a cigar with a great backstory!

Fratello brand owner, Omar deFrias, has a huge presence when he walks into any room — HUGE! He’s 6′ 9″ and dwarfs most everyone else in the industry.

When you’re 6′ 9″, one of the first questions you’re asked by people you meet is, “Did you play basketball?” In Omar’s case, the answer is actually “YES! Yes I did! Omar played PROFESSIONAL basketball for a while in his home country of the Dominican Republic.

After basketball, Omar made his way to the US and ended up working at NASA as a project manager in the Space Shuttle program. In his free time, he dabbled in cigars and eventually decided to take his personal blend on the road, while still working full-time at NASA.

It’s important to know this background because it sets the stage for the Fratello Navetta.

Fratello Navetta

Navetta, which means Shuttle in Spanish, is an homage to the US Space Shuttle program. It’s Omar’s way of saying “THANKS” to the brave men and women that boldly strap into a seat and fly off this planet we call home. Navetta is a cigar that was created to communicate the joy felt by everyone in the program at the end of a successful mission.

The matte black box is designed to mimic the heat shield tiles on the bottom of the Shuttle. On the inside box cover, it is written, “Space Shuttle Tiles Protect The Orbiter In Re-Entry Withstanding Heat Of 3,000F”. (Did you know EVERY single tile on the belly of the Shuttle is individually numbered?)

As with the Shuttle, Navetta is complex. Blended with three-year-old aged tobaccos, Navetta tells the story of a single farm in Nicaragua. This rich and dark soil imprints those nuanced notes of roasted coffee, almonds, and hay.

I find Navetta pairs really well with Bushmills Black, Bulleit Rye (that’s spicy Bourbon for the unwashed.)

Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Nicaragua
Body: Medium to Full
Flavor: Medium to Full