Gispert June 21st, 2007 Steve R 87 Share: The fact that certain cigars fly under the radar amazes me. I mean, there are some wonderful sleepers out there: anything by Felipe Gregorio or Oliveros, La Aurora Leoninos, and many, many more. These brands go unknown by most, who simply reply with a “who?” or “what?” whenever mentioned. Yet, Gispert is a great seller. Now, I’m not saying Gispert is a bad cigar, because I haven’t tried enough to give it a fair vote, but I have yet to hear this cigar come up in conversation, nor have I met a consumer that can actually pronounce it correctly, yet I watch it steadily sell, week after week. To see why this is, I picked me up a box in the Churchill size, which rivals the Robusto for the top-selling vitola. The cigar is pretty, no doubt, dressed in a caramel-colored Connecticut shade wrapper from Ecuador. The pre-light aroma is subtle, and the pre-light draw is extremely easy. Each cigar seems to be moderately filled, with some soft spots among the bunch, but overall I’d say it’s pretty well made. The churchill is lit and I’m puffing away. Off the bat, the flavor is a little rough, with a sharp finish. This quickly mellows, resulting in a much smoother smoke, with a mellow, earthy core. The aftertaste is dry, with a faint, papery note and I picked up a gentle floral influence on the aroma. The strength is relatively soft, or at best, a mellow medium. The burn is slow and deliberate, creating a flaky, but strong, salt and pepper ash. The flavor is consistent, a subtle and smooth earthy core with a short, dry finish. A straightforward, laid back cigar that’s far from offensive. The smoke remains cool down to the last inch and a half, thanks to the thick 54 ring. As I set the cigar down in my ashtray, I recall saying to myself, “self, I want another cigar, I’ve still got that craving.” I’ve burned through about 1/3 of the box at this point, and am fairly convinced this cigar is the equivalent of a Honduran-made Macanudo. This would help explain the sales end of things. Many enthusiasts want a no-nonsense cigar with little variation from head to toe, that’s balanced and easy-going. If that’s you, more power to ya, Gispert is one of many great choices. Me, I like complexity, and look for an eventful cigar that varies in flavor throughout the burn. While this is a nice cigar, it just doesn’t answer every call. I’ll gladly burn through the rest of the box, sparingly, with more complex cigars in between.