Altadis USA – Gispert Intenso Toro
The Gispert brand, as we know it today under Altadis USA, has been around since 2003, but, for the most part, those years have been rather quiet. That is until Altadis and their highly praised Grupo de Maestros partnered up with the well respected AJ Fernandez to create the Gispert Intenso. It certainly seems like the year for manufacturing giants to partner with AJ Ferndandez. And so far, these collaborative projects have been well received.
Manufactured at AJ Fernandez’s factory in Nicaragua, the Gispert Intenso arrived on the market in March of this year in three vitolas: Corona (5 by 44), Toro (6 by 50), and Belicoso (6 1/8 by 52). Ranging from $6 to $7, the Gispert Intenso features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler tobaccos. Unlike the Gispert original that is slated as a mild to medium cigar, the Intenso is marketed as full-bodied.
Vitola: Toro Box-Pressed
Size: 6 by 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo 98
Filler: Nicaraguan Cri0llo 98 and Dominican Piloto Cubana
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes
The Gispert Intenso Toro is dressed in an extremely dark brown wrapper that is almost as dark as the black background on the eye-catching band. From the foot to about an inch and a half down, there is a rather drastic color variation on the wrapper. There is one large, raised vein as well as couple of medium sized ones that are lighter in appearance than the rest of the leaf. Tons of sugar-like crystals glisten on the leaf.
Bringing this AJ Fernandez made stick to my nose, a mixture of vinegar, damp earth, and barnyard are noted on the wrapper, while earth, wood, and pepper come across on the foot of the cigar. The first cut opens up a draw with the perfect amount of resistance, allowing for flavors of rich cedar, clove, and sour apple to flow easily through on the dry draw.
It doesn’t take long for this Nicaraguan made cigar to warm up. Full flavors of pencil shavings, earth, and pepper are first to move across my palate. The pepper is a combination of both a dark black pepper and a brighter white pepper. There is also buttery cracker sort of flavor. As I retrohale the smoke, the pepper is in full force, but still enjoyable and not overwhelming at this point in the cigar. As the cigars burns even for the most part, a light gray ash is being formed. And before I can exit the first third, the Gispert Intenso Toro is already showing some of its strength.
The Gispert Intenso carries along with full and heavy flavors as I enter the second third of the cigar. The flavors remain consistent with the prior third with an added saltiness and a richness is developing. The dirt-like earth flavor has evolved to more of a dusty cocoa and coffee now lingers on the finish. A significant wave that formed earlier in the third has straightened itself back out.
The dusty cocoa never made a full appearance as the flavor switched back to full on dirt and the richness has faded. Hiding behind the darker flavors, the buttery flavor from the first third is still making its way through. There have been no performance issues in the final third of the Gispert Intenso Toro, but the ash that is forming is slightly darker.
I stumbled across the Gispert Intenso on an unplanned trip to Ohio just a few weeks ago. And I am certainly glad that I picked up a few for review. Full flavors flowed from the get-go to the final puff of this 6 by 50 Toro. Hearty flavors of earth and pepper made up the core of smoke, while a buttery flavor added a very nice touch. And there were some easily identifiable evolutions in the flavors in each of the thirds. The strength, which I felt early on, never got out of hand and I would place it more in the medium to medium/full range rather than straight up full. I found the Gispert Intenso to be a solid cigar that is a great bang for the buck. This is another project that AJ Fernandez has his hands in that won’t disappoint.