Fratello "Bianco III" Review: Chewy Maduro Chai Latte Lovefest

Marking the first of many to be pulled from the Fratello Cigars section of the Klaro portfolio, comes a meaty maduro by the name of Bianco III

Filled to the brim with Pennsylvania Broadleaf ligero, spicy Nicaraguan tobacco strains, and a pop of Peruvian leaf for flavor and fun, the 56-ring-gauge "robusto gordo" vitola that we stock has all of the makings of a stellar stick. Throw a Dominican binder at the blend, and then finish it with a shiny, slightly toothy Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper, and all of the cocoa mocha jackpot bells start to ring. 

But then I fired up the foot, and something completely unexpected occurred. A cigar flavor profile emerges that is not related to any of the tobacco strains listed above, and gee willikers does it to delight the senses.

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Unlit Impressions 

Fratello "Bianco III" Review

But before all of the cigar smoke and on-screen amazement could commence, I found myself staring at a stunningly constructed, squat cigar. I like a fat robusto, so having that extra few rings on the gauge certainly scored some unlit cool points. The band was also a slick specimen, with its angular, split names shoring to each side, and a modest little "Bianco" stamped on the backside to join both ends together.

Milk cocoa and muted (dare I say muddled?) mixed baking spices, and farmhouse funk wafting off that medium roast coffee bean colored wrapper, I shift toward that fat-ass foot. It does not disappoint. Deep leather and spicy sun-grown ligero leaf hit first, trailed by dark espresso bean smells, chalky, clay-heavy soil, and the stray dark dried fruit aromatic. This last aromatic starts with raisins but goes beyond this smell, and becomes more prune than plum as you snort away. Deeper yet is the smell of holiday spices and cocoa. Like a cup of mulled wine by the fire, accompanied by some chocolate-covered candied pecans. 

Unlit draws are fluid, and turn all that I just smelled into a single tangible, and fully edible coalescence: Christmas date nut bread. Complete with the nutmeg and cinnamon icing and all of the nutty almond notes one can desire. 

Initial Smoke 

Fratello "Bianco III" Review

Leather-like and locked into "ligero mode," light-up leans heavily upon the Pennsylvania Broadleaf in the filler. There are some rainforest floor flavors and a splendid, cedar-spiced retrohale that does not burn much beyond this, but very few maduro wrapper flavors beyond a little cocoa powder are found at first.

1st Half   

Fratello "Bianco III" Review

Changes occur after a quick ten minutes or so, when mixed tea flavors of green, white, and black all begin to build, adding bitterness and herbal tones to the sweetness found inside the Peruvian long-filler. This shifts into a Sumatran tobacco taste in no time, and while this particular varietal is nowhere to be found in the blend list, it produces a peppy pop of mixed spice notes that I find to be most tantalizing.

Dustings of cocoa powder can still be found at times, but not before a bit of bitter, espresso bean takes your tongue for a tasty trip down to Maduroville. Nothing overly dark or heavy, just a pleasant, medium-flavored foray into the category that goes rather well with the binder and filler.

2nd Half    

Fratello "Bianco III" Review

As the palate continues to be duped into tasting a non-existent Sumatran leaf, a chai tea latte flavor emerges from the smoky mix. Creamy, sweet, milk-heavy, and definitely coffee-based, this cigar flavor profile fits in perfectly with the leather and soil notes detected earlier on. All are still present mind you, but sitting back for a second to allow room for fresh tastes.

However, maduro earth tastes and dark mocha mixtures move in before too long, and for a good bit of the final third that is much of what can be detected. Tannin notes are detectable but not deep, and while almost every measurable aspect of the cigar sits on the top side of medium, it doesn't seem so heavy or powerful.

Parting Puffs    

Fratello "Bianco III" Review

After a mid-sized touch-up to keep the burn and flavor consistent in delivery, I set to examining parting puffs. It's an earthy ending and one that draws heavily from the leather tastes from earlier on to achieve its goals. Don't expect much in the way of syrupy sweetness or mocha magic here, just malty, meaty, and increasingly peppery parting puffs.

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw

Fratello "Bianco III" Review

If it weren't for one medium-grade touch-up in the final third of the review cigar, this blend would have scored an immaculate score in this section. Ash flakes were the only other issue encountered in both sticks sampled, and even they were not numerous enough to stifle my overall score. This fatty robusto burns and draws with the best of them, and forms a near-perfect medium-full-bodied plume of smoke with every pull. 

Final Thoughts  

Fratello "Bianco III" Review

Surprise cigars such as this are always cause for conversation, and on occasion,  division. Purists may not appreciate the way in which this maduro magically manifests Sumatran tobacco tastes and aromatics. Chocoholics and coffee cigar snobs might also lament the lack of either of these flavors in the first two-thirds of the barrel. I too felt a little bit let down by the lack of both of these flavors for much of the cigar.

But that doesn't mean that the Bianco III  by Fratello Cigars is a disappointing premium cigar blend. On the contrary, it is quite complex, and in my humble opinion,  increasingly tasty the further it burns. You just have to be in the right mindset for a spiced chai latte with a pinch of cocoa powder dusted on top. That, and some really rich earthy notes and a whole lot of leather.

Fratello "Bianco III" Review

Flavor, Aroma & Transitions

Depth & Complexity

Construction, Burn & Physical Appeal

Backstory & Branding

Overall Balance & Repeatability

Stogie Specs


Fratello "Bianco III"


San Andrés Maduro (Mexico)


Dominican Republic


USA, Nicaragua & Peru




5" x 56 "Robusto Gordo" 



Pairing Drink

Homemade Cassis Soda & H2O



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