Puffin’ & Auction :)

Lot 302 – Partagas 170th Anniversary Humidor

It’s been a very busy week at C.Gars… as usual – with numerous clients visiting our offices to inspect the auction Lots for next week’s vintage cigar sale.

The sale features some 350 Lots of vintage, Mature, Pre-Embargo, Davidoff and Limited Edition Havana cigars. The bidding platform is easy to use and the Lots have photos and clear descriptions. It works in a similar way to eBay. Sort of a cBay for cigars 🙂

We are always happy to check and advise clients with condition reports if unable to come and inspect at our offices. Just drop us an email and quote the Lot number sales@cgarsltd.co.uk. Final inspections are this Monday and the auction will end on Tuesday.

I enjoyed a delightful tasting event at Turmeaus Liverpool on Tuesday evening featuring Davidoff 702 cigars and Dalmore whisky. We paired up the Special R with 12 and 18 year old whisky and they were indeed a perfect match.

It was a pretty packed event and we were lucky to get a table next door at Puffin’ Rooms after, as Puffin’ Rooms seems to now be packed full 7 nights a week. Chef was on top form and the food was quite exceptional. We had managed to get hold of some of the finest Inca chocolate slabs from Peru and chef made incredible chocolate soufflé for dessert (should come with a health warning!) Victoria Sharpe was on piano and singing beautifully as ever.

The reviews look pretty good on TripAdvisor too! For the best experience of dining, drinks and music… you just have to come to Puffin’ Rooms – Liverpool. Nothing like it in the UK that I’m aware of.

La Casa del Habano held a packed tasting event on Wednesday, featuring H. Upmann Half Corona and H. Upmann Anejados Robusto cigars. One of my clients emailed to say that our La Casa was like no other he has ever visited as it has so much charm and ambience as well as the friendliest service he has ever known. He also mentioned the rather amazing selection of Havana cigars!

Thursday was time to visit Turmeaus Mayfair. I enjoyed a Trinidad Vigia and Stalla Dhu Auchroisk 19 year old whisky with friends before we headed off to The Lanesborough to herf with more friends :).

We switched to Cuaba Salomones and Distinguidos which were both amazing smokes and a great way to finish off a week of herfing.

Kicking back this weekend with a bottle of Flor de Cana 18 year old (note: this one is on offer this month!… Blatant sales pitch lol) and a baggie full of:

Davidoff 702 Signature 2000 – A ‘mans’ cigar!

Davidoff Orchant Seleccion – Sophisticated and classy smoke

Ramon Allones Orchant Seleccion 2016 – Smoking very well indeed! (We’ve reached the 2 year mark with them! – if you know, you know)

Bolivar Belicosos 2007 – What a treat, I can’t believe I managed to stash them for so long!

Mitchellero Orchie – Sweet and full flavoured Nicaraguan tobacco

Inka Secret Blend Red Robusto – Always a great smoke, smooth and sweet.

Let us know what you have on your weekend menu by posting a photo to our Facebook Page, or Tweet me a picture.

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,


Habanos Festival 2018!

I missed the snow!… and had a wonderful week in sunny Havana for the 20th Habanos Festival.

I have been in Havana for all 20 Festivals though I missed the gala event on the first one. They seem to get bigger and better (and louder?) every year.

Collected by my able assistant Fernando at Jose Marti airport after a surprisingly short wait for our baggage, my assistant Roy and I headed to the vehicle where Havana Club 15 year old rum and Cohiba Piramides Extras awaited us. They tasted great after a 10 hour flight I can tell you 🙂

We blasted round the usual cigars stores (Partagas, Melia Habana, Nacional, Palacio, Comodoro etc.) which all seemed well stocked although it was mainly with small format cigars. Nice to see Cohiba Coronas Especiales back on the shelves so hopefully they will be back in the UK soon.

I managed to find some of the new Limited Editions including the H. Upmann Connoisseur B and Partagas Serie E No. 1 but they were not generally available and I have no idea when they will arrive in the UK.

I stayed at the Manzana hotel again which is simply the best hotel IMHO in Cuba. The pool area has great views and is perfect for herfing. Not so sure about the ‘Cohiba Atmosphere’ shop which we named ‘No Atmosphere’. Bit of a sad selection in the humidor and a tad soulless design.

Picked up my twin cigar case of Cohiba Robusto Reserva, smoked them straight away! I can’t wait for these to be released. That said we are still waiting for H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva so I may be waiting a while…

The gala was the usual swanky, opulent affair and it was a pleasure as usual to be sitting on the Hunters & Frankau table with Jemma Freeman and Simon Chase. Simon was called up to the stage to receive a very special award in recognition of all his hard work for the previous Festival charity auctions. Wonderful to see Simon back at the Festival.

I also sat next to Darius who won the International cigar sommelier contest. Well done Darius! At last the UK won 🙂

The Festival is the best place in the world to meet up with my international clients from Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and many other countries. I heard there were over 1,200 guests at the gala!

The gala celebrated the Partagas brand and the introduction of the Partagas Maduro No. 2  (a 4 ¾” length and 55 ring gauge Piramides) and No. 3 (5 ¾” length and 50 ring gauge). These join the Partagas Maduro No. 1 to make a great line up. We were treated to copious amounts of other Partagas cigars during the evening (too many to smoke… almost!) We finished the evening with a Partagas Lusitania and the new Havana Club Tributo rum (“finished in smoky whisky casks”) which was quite excellent. I brought a bottle back for clients who visit the office 🙂

Gary did a great job auctioning 8 breath-taking charity auction Lots and raising some 1.5 million Euros for the Cuban National Health Service.

My business partner Ron flew over from Florida for dinner, drinks and smokes and we went to the very lovely Rio Mar well worth a visit. Followed by more drinks and smokes at our regular herfing hangout Espacios.

Can’t wait to get back to Havana, the next trip is already booked for the Partagas Festival in November 🙂

Back to Blighty and getting back to routine, the weather is vastly improved so I officially declare “Open Top Herfing Season” open! I picked up one of the cars from storage, lit up a 2007 BBF and went for an hours drive to blast out the cobwebs… sublime 🙂 I love car herfing!

I have just put the finishing touches to our rather huge 350 Lot Spring cigar auction and the catalogue will be online from the 10th March with the sale concluding on the 20th March. I’m amazed how  many of these vintage cigars are still around, with many exceptionally rare. Nice to see a good quantity of first rate vintage Cuban Davidoff again as well as some exceptional Pre-Embargo, vintage and Limited Edition cigars.

I’m heading to the Garden Room at The Lanesborough to herf this evening (last night) and try out those Partagas Maduro’s with some decent single malt.

Peaceful puffing



Where Do I Begin?!

… Well, easiest if I begin at the end I think and that was today with an amazing gig by my friend Michael Lington at the Dean Street Jazz Club that I have been going to for the last 20+ years. The pizza is so-so, the seats are for the trash but the acoustics are bloody good. It made me realise how incredibly comfortable Puffin’ Rooms is by comparison!

Michael is not only an accomplished musician but also a cigar aficionado whom I have had the pleasure of herfing with in London and Los Angeles for many years. If he’s playing and I’m near… I’m there. Amazing afternoon TY ML.

Last week saw our first cigar auction of the year with 147 overseas Lots being knocked down on the auction website. Given the strength of Sterling I though prices were surprisingly firm. Our Spring auction features over 350 Lots of aged, mature, pre embargo, Davidoff, Dunhill, Limited Edition and other rare and interesting Havana cigars. Catalogue will be available from the 10th March.

Karyn and I are just back from a few weeks in Florida and the Caribbean. Plenty of R&R as well as a few cigar related stops on the way 🙂 These included a herf with my business partner Ron in Los Olas, a stop at the lovely LCDH Gran Cayman and a smoke with my good friend and Habanos man of the year Valerio Cornale (I think we worked out that we have known each other from the early days of the Habanos Festivals around 20 years ago!) and a stop at the lovely LCDH St Martin and a smoke with the equally lovely Carole. It was heart breaking to see the devastation from the hurricanes to put it mildly.

I also managed to sneak in a herf on St Thomas with my friend Paul P who took a seaplane over from St Croix to meet up. We found a nice pizza restaurant on the island with an outside terrace where we merrily lit up some rather tasty Epi 2’s. Almost at the end of our smokes an Environmental Enforcement Officer zoomed up in her vehicle advising us that we would be fined $1000 for smoking cigars!!! Absolutely bizarre if not surreal and certainly very funny. We made a hasty escape to the nearest bar…

New arrivals last week include the Hoyo Epicure No. 2 Reserva, Quai D’Orsay No. 50, Punch Regios de Punch Limited Edition (very nice indeed) and a small resupply of Cohiba Talisman, Romeo Gran Reserva, Trinidad La Trova and Hoyo Maravillas… well that was a great week! 🙂

This week I’m zooming off to Havana for the annual Festival del Habanos which will no doubt be featuring some incredible cigar that we will never know when they will be released (still waiting for last year’s H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva!) Hey ho… anything to get out of the cold for a few days. Should be quite civilised as I’m staying in the rather swanky Manzana hotel again, which really does knock spots off everything else in Cuba.

When I get back it’s off to Turmeaus up North and back to Puffin’ Rooms. I can’t wait. This exciting expansion started around 6 months ago and Puffin’ Rooms is more or less packed out now 7 nights a week. The best in live jazz and blues, incredible food menu, 200 single malt whiskies by the dram, cocktails, wine, rum and cognac… all ably served by the best team in the business lead by our wonderful G.M Mariane who together with her lovely colleagues, guarantee the best service in town.

And finally a hearty mazal tov to my nephew and niece Gaby and Verity on the birth of their baby (No. 3) on Saturday… great excuse for a good cigar or two I reckon. So I’m off for a wee dram of Stalla Dhu to celebrate with a H. Upmann No. 2 Reserva. Perfect 🙂

Next report from Havana :-)… adios.

Peaceful puffing,


Happy Valentines :-)

I can’t believe it’s the end of January already ! It’s been one helluva month for herfing and I think I may have gone for a world record last week!!

The week kicked off with my partner Ron and I spending a decadent day at Berry Bros. & Rudd in St James. Champagne and wine tasting in the morning (we are adding to the extensive wine list at Puffin Rooms) followed by lunch in one of their beautiful dining rooms, followed by a whisky tasting with Ronnie Cox. We had the guided tour round this magnificent building and learned a lot about this amazing company established in 1698.

Before lunch we zoomed into 1A St James to say hello to Robert Emery and have a sneaky Trinidad Reyes and after the whisky tasting we popped into Davidoff to say hello to Eddie Sahakian and grab some Robustos to herf at The American Bar at The Stafford.

We then herfed on to the Lanesborough to meet our American friends Jamie and Marc where we smoked a few old El Rey Tainos with a few old fashioned cocktails before heading to The Arts Club for dinner and more smokes and drinks.

The next day we headed up to Turmeaus – Liverpool where I hosted a Davidoff – Orchant Seleccion Lancero  cigar and Dalmore  single malt whisky tasting event feature King Alexander which was sublime. This was a sold out event within minutes of tickets going on sale and we had a brilliant crowd.

The tasting was followed by cocktails and dinner at Puffin Rooms which was perfect … as ever.

I was back in fighting form on Thursday for another herf with friends at The Lanesborough where we whammed through some Partagas Salomones  and Maduro No. 1 another great evening was had by all. 🙂

Lots of new arrivals over the last week including :

A miniscule supply of Cohiba Talisman  * Romeo Wide Churchill Gran Reserva * Inca – Secret Blend Stumpy * H Upmann Supremos No.2

I’m delighted to announce our new range of premium Nicaraguan cigars ‘ Mitchellero’ will be launched in the next day or two. These premium cigars have been exclusively made to a blend that I have created by Nestor Plasencia who is a bit of a legend in the Nicaraguan cigar business. There will be 5 sizes initially and they will of course be unbeatable value. Smooth, rich and full flavoured. Very sweet tasting tobacco and an incredibly perfect draw with flawless wrappers.

Our 2018 cigar auction program dates are all set now with 4 auctions planned. The first sale is on the 21st of February and the Lots are for buyers outside of the UK only. Lots will be online 10 days before the sale as usual. We are selling a splendid collection of Limited edition, vintage and mature Havanas of excellent provenance.

We are still accepting Lots for our March 20th sale which is open to bidders worldwide including the UK . The catalogue closes on the 1st March  and we expect to be knocking down some 300 Lots of Pre Embargo, Davidoff, Dunhill, aged and rare Havana cigars on behalf of clients.

London is getting cold again so I’m heading off to the sun for some R & R with a baggie stuffed full of Bolivar Belicosos, Davidoff – Orchant Seleccion, Talisman (of course!) and Avo Syncro  I have even managed to sneak a bottle of Stalla Dhu – Ben Nevis in my case 😉

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for my holiday herfing updates!

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing


Blue Monday (-:

Apparently today is Blue Monday though it doesn’t seems like that at C.Gars, unless it refers to a blue haze of smoke 🙂 We should have just cheered you up a bit more anyway with our January Blow Out Sale!

We kicked off a very busy January with sales in store and online at record levels. Almost 100% stock availability (except for the elusive Siglo VI and Behike range) and 100% on time order fulfilment. Not a bad start to the year…

We’re expecting to release some more of the exceptionally popular Cohiba Talisman later this month though I would guess they will be snapped up fast. We also expect to have some more Romeo Wide Churchill Gran Reserva by the end of the month. Great start to the year!

I met Ed, the owner of a fabulous new cigar store in Kensington this morning and we chatted in the office whilst sampling Bolivar Royal Coronas. We agreed that London or perhaps the UK(!) really is the Mecca of the premium cigar world. Visit him on Kensington Church Street. It’s a beautiful shop and humidor.

Last week I zoomed around our beautiful Turmeaus cigars and whisky shops/sampling lounges in Chester, Knutsford and Liverpool and enjoyed a splendid sampling evening at Turmeaus Late Hour cigar shop and lounge in Liverpool.

I also had a quick sampling session at our La Casa del Habano Chester. The huge walk in humidor is crammed to the ceiling with an amazing range of Havanas including the exclusive LCDH releases. The next tasting event is here 14th March 2018 – tickets available here.

We enjoyed the super exclusive Davidoff Exclusive Orchant Seleccion Lancero paired up with single cask Stalla Dhu Ben Nevis and Auchroisk. This was followed by dinner from the new menu at Puffin’ Rooms and great music by Sue Kirby Clark untill… well rather late 🙂 I can’t wait to be back next week for what should be a rather amazing Davidoff and Dalmore event – tickets available here.

I went to see the Darkest Hour yesterday and Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Churchill was quite remarkable. No wonder its getting such great reviews. Well done to Gary Oldman smoking so many cigars! I remember selling this amazing cabinet of cigars some years ago that I reckon were one of Winston Churchills favourites.

My G.M. Michelle is on vacation this week so I’m working twice as hard at C.Gars London but I reckon I should be able to sneak off to the Lanesborough at least for a couple of evenings to get some herf action in! Best in service, cigars, food …well everything. I just love it there 🙂 Perfect place to wind down after a hard day in the office.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing.