Sunny weather…time for cigars ☺

Unbelievable weather in the UK !  27C today and a clear blue sunny sky ☺ and it looks like it’s going to stay that way for the bank holiday weekend which is great news for all of you outdoor smokers! I have been topless for the last few days and will continue car herfing in the country over the weekend. Truly one of my greatest pleasures is smoking a Bolivar Belicosos whilst driving top down round some country roads ( ideally leading to a pub!)

Late blog due to maximum herfing activity at Turmeaus shops celebrating our 200th anniversary. Major cigar tasting events at Chester, Liverpool and Knutsford with crammed sampling lounges enjoying Orchant Seleccion Oliva cigars paired up with some rather excellent variety of Dictador rum.We had the pleasure of Tesla cars and Liverpool gin supporting our milestone anniversary and some rather fantastic cake …3 nights in a row !  Our suppliers were super supportive with some amazing raffle prizes and I’m fairly sure everyone had a brilliant time.

We are finally wrapping up the last stages of our Liverpool expansion and the new ‘evening’ Turmeaus shop and sampling lounge as well as The Puffin rooms tapas and whisky cocktail bar should be ready to open to our guests in a couple of weeks’ time :).The furniture is in, the bar is being stocked with the hugest range of single malts and the humidor will have an incredible range of Havanas and New World cigars. More details soon ….

Summer auction catalogue is being printed and will be posted out on Tuesday. Lots are online from the 1st June and the auction will end on the 11th June. Lots can be viewed by appointment at our London offices. Just drop us an email sales@cgarsltd.co.uk If you can’t come to view the Lots, we are always happy to provide condition reports by email. We have a super catalogue of over 330 Lots of mature, vintage, Davidoff, Dunhill and pre embargo cigars. Something for everyone and a few bargains to be bought for sure.

I’m heading home to kick back for the long weekend with a bottle of our Silver Medal award (International Spirits Challenge) Orchant Selection Cigar Malt and have a baggie stuffed full of cigars to enjoy on the deck including :

Oliva Orchant Seleccion Chubby

Bolivar Belicosos Finos

Montecristo Dantes LE

Macanudo Inspirado Robusto

Inka – Secret Blend Robusto

Alec Bradley Black Market Torpedo

Definitely mixing it up this weekend!

Have a sunny bank hol

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

More Whisky Regions…

Lowland

The Lowland region is roughly defined by an imaginary line running between Edinburgh and Glasgow, any distillery lying south of this line is lowland. The region has four active distilleries: Ailsa Bay in Girvan; Glenkinchie, just south of Edinburgh Auchentoshan near Clydebank; and Bladnochin Galloway. At least six other lowland single malts are still available in bottle, but are no longer distilled: Rosebank Kinclaith, St. Magdalene, Ladyburn, Inverleven and Littlemill. Traditionally Lowland single malts are triple distilled but this is not true of all of them. Lowland malts tend to be light and floral in character.

I especially enjoy the Auchentoshan 18 Year Old.

Established in 1823, Auchentoshan is one the last active distilleries in the Lowlands. It’s an endangered species in more ways than one, since it is also the only Scottish distillery that employs a true full-time third distillation, nowadays associated with mostly Irish Whisky. The triple distillation gives this Glasgow malt a refined, delicate touch, which contributes to a very sweet and light spirit.

Auchentoshan 18 Year Old is one of their most renowned and characteristic spirits from their core range. It is triple distilled and matured in American Bourbon casks for 18 years, which have imparted some fruit, nut and barley flavours.

This right here is definitely an Auchentoshan for all of you who know and love the brand. It is filled with history, tradition, artisanship and everything else we love about this Lowlands favourite.

Nose: Fresh tobacco leaf – then sweet with a hint of caramelised sugars, green tea and toasted almonds.
Palate: A floral freshness with sweet barley sugar at first – this gently ebbs to reveal a tangerine zestiness. The palate is left alive and refreshed.
Finish: A long, lingering and well balanced dram that invigorates the mouth.

Campbeltown

Campbeltown whiskies are made in the borough of Campbeltown, on the Kintyre peninsula. This was once the whisky capital of Scotland, with up to 28 distilleries in operation. However, there has been a steady decline in numbers and now most of the distilleries have gone out of business and little trace of them remains.

Today only three distilleries continue to produce whisky in Campbeltown: Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia. The Springbank distillery produces three distinct whiskies: Springbank , Hazelburn, and Longrow. Glengyle distillery has recently been revived under the name Kilkerran

Here is one of my favourites:

Kilkerran 8 Year Old Cask Strength “The newest….oldest distillery in Campbeltown”

The word “Kilkerran” is derived from the Gaelic Ceann Loch Cille Chiarain (head of the lake of St. Kieran’s cell). This was the name of the original settlement founded by Saint Kieran. It’s believed that the town of Campbeltown now sits on that spot.

Kilkerran 8 Year Old Cask Strength is the result of whisky matured in 100% ex-bourbon casks and will be limited to around 9,000 bottles.

Nose: The peat aroma from the lightly peated barley is apparent from the off and some of the green apples which are becoming a feature of Kilkerran are also present. This whisky is like a favourite dessert, rhubarb crumble, stewed rhubarb, vanilla and all butter shortbread.

Palate: There’s an earthiness and saltiness, exactly what you want to taste in a Campbeltown dram. This is combined with icing sugar and puff candy which gives a sweetness to the whisky, along with milk chocolate and walnut flavours.

Finish: The peat remains, along with a sootiness, pencil shavings and a liquorice-influenced maltiness.

Slainte,

Craig

Scotch Whisky Regions

Like the fine wines of the world, the single malt whiskies of Scotland are grouped by region. This week we are going to discuss the Highland, Speyside and Islay regions of Scotland.

Highland

Everything outside of Lowland, Speyside, Campbeltown and Islay falls into the general ‘Highland’ region. This includes whiskies from the mainland and from the islands (Skye, Jura, Arran, Orkney etc.). The Highland whiskies can’t be typified. From the power of Talisker to the subtlety of Glenmorangie, there is a long journey of discovery ahead for the whisky enthusiast. The Highland region is also geographically diverse, from the rugged peaks of the Cairngorms or Grampians to the heather-covered moorlands of Perthshire, or the rich arable land in the Kingdom of Fife. There are over 30 distilleries widely spread throughout the Highlands.

Speyside

Speyside has the highest concentration of distilleries of the five regions. Over forty distilleries are clustered within the Spey valley. Four of the top five best selling single malts are from Speyside: Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Macallan and Glen Grant. Speyside has no one particular type or style of whisky, with bourbon and sherry casks both commonly used for maturation. What the vast majority of Speyside whiskies have in common, however, is the absence of strong peat flavour.

Islay

There are eight working distilleries on Islay. Most of them produce strong, peaty and smoky whiskies, which divide whisky drinkers into two camps: love or hate. There is no middle ground. These whiskies get their character from the heavily peated malt they use and from the local water which runs through thousand-year-old peat bogs. The local maltings, at Port Ellen, provide most of the malt used on the island.

However, two distilleries on the island, Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich are exceptions to the norm and produce a lighter and less peaty product. The most heavily peated malts, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Caol Ila, have a strong global following, as does the slightly lighter tasting Bowmore. The newest distillery on the island, Kilchoman, started production in late 2005.

Next week we will be going through the Lowlands and Campbeltown regions.

Slainte,

Craig

On the road again…

What an honour to welcome Leopoldo Cintra González  the commercial vice president of Habanos SA to our London office earlier this week. Together with Jemma and Yadira from our importers Hunters and Frankau.

A great opportunity to chat about the UK market and show off our premises, range and some of the incredible vintage Havana cigars to be auctioned on June 11th

Lovely weather in the UK, just perfect for herfing activity 🙂 Last Tuesday we enjoyed a brilliant tasting event at a rather jam packed Turmeaus Norfolk, featuring Drew Estate Undercrown cigars which went up in smoke very well indeed!

A gin bar was set up in the shop and  Scottie from Maverick Drinks treated us to an extraordinary array of combinations including Singapore Sling cocktails which worked very well with the smokes.

Norfolk is a beautiful county and we own the only specialist cigar shop for miles around, truly an oasis with a very comfortable sampling lounge, showroom crammed full of tobacco and accessories as well as a fully stocked walk in humidor. Massive range of Havanas and New World cigars including Davidoff, Inka – Secret Blend, Oliva, Alec Bradley and many others. View some photos of the shop here.

My team of staff are super friendly and welcoming and it’s a great place to chill with a fine cigar and a complimentary dram, coffee or soft drinks and snacks. Background music and news channels on the TV. Leather tub chairs and foot stools… who could ask for more?!

My colleagues James, Liam, Georgina and Cally love talking about cigars and are fine cigar sommeliers so helpful advice is always on hand. There’s also easy and free parking come visit us soon 🙂

Next week I’m hosting tasting events at the Turmeaus Northern powerhouse lol. The events are to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Turmeaus Tobacconist established in 1817. Check out the details on these links:

Tuesday 16th  – Turmeaus Chester

Wednesday 17th  – Turmeaus Knutsford

Thursday 18th  – Turmeaus Liverpool

As ever I have left all of the organising to my retail operations manager Sara who tells me there will be amazing cigars to sample, the finest libations, lots of prizes in the prize draw and most importantly… Cake 🙂 yup, I will go anywhere for cake 🙂

A few spaces left at the events but they are selling out fast, so come and join me to celebrate our 200th anniversary in one of our super cigar sampling lounges next week. (all attendees get free tickets to our 300th anniversary celebrations as well 🙂 )

Check out my beautiful twin pack anniversary cigars on this link.

Our partners at Robert Graham have just released an exclusive new range of Nicaraguan cigars. Details on this link. Buy them or my business partner Steve and I will smoke them all Yes, they are that good!

In product news this week:

Trinidad Topes Limited Edition are back in stock

H. Upmann Magnum 56 are in stock but sold out with the importer so its last call on these fabbie cigars.

Loads of discontinued lines due to the new health warning legislation coming in on the 19th May. When they’re gone…they’re gone!

For pipe smokers we have expanded our range of Peterson pipes as ever – guaranteed best prices in the UK.

Orchant Selection Cigar Malt has just won the silver medal award at this year’s International Spirits challenge!

Stalla Dhu Islay has just won the silver medal award at this year’s International Spirits challenge!

This years Limited Editions include the Cohiba Talisman. Measuring in at a whopping 6 1/8” and 54 ring gauge. I am reliably informed that the launch of these cigars will be in the UK around October time. Another first for the UK market 🙂

Righto, that’s another great week all but over and I’m kicking back on the deck this weekend with a baggie crammed full of smokes including…

Davidoff Royal Robustos (bit of a treat!)

Orchant Seleccion Oliva Chubby

Inca Secret Blend Reserva D’Oro

Montecristo Dantes Limited Edition

Trinidad Topes Limited Edition

All cut with my razor sharp X4 cutter and paired up with an award winning bottle of Orchant Selection Cigar Malt.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Davidoff Re-Launched In The UK

No time for blogging recently due to herfing overload 🙂 so a few highlights in no particular order of importance…

Davidoff relaunch party last week at The Royal Overseas League in St James’s where the top brass of Davidoff including Hans Kristian Hoesjgaard hosted a rather swanky event with top shelf libations and copious amounts of Davidoff cigars including the remarkably splendid 702 range.

We were lucky to have a mild and dry evening out in the gardens and the event was very well attended by cigar specialists including Edward and Eddie Sahakian (Davidoff of London), Adrian Lesley (Cigars Unlimited), Steve Johnstone (Robert Graham Ltd), Paresh Patel (Havana House) and others. The Press were there as well as some cigar club members. Writer Nick Foulkes was also at the event and I just can’t wait for his new cigar book to be published.

We have been selling Davidoff ranges of cigars for 20 years and they have become more and more popular as the breadth of the range increased from Dominican Republic to other regions, notably Nicaragua. The quality of Davidoff cigars is unquestionable. I can’t ever remember having a single complaint about a construction/draw issue. The full range is available on my website at guaranteed best prices in the UK.

I also have Davidoff to thank for meeting my business partner Ron Morison on a Davidoff training trip to The D.R. many years ago. Following that trip Ron and I became inseparable in business and together we built both the Robert Graham retail cigar and whisky business as well as the award winning Dancing Stag single malt whisky brand. We sold the majority of our shares in that business two years ago and have left the business in the capable hands of managing director Steve Johnstone. Steve has recently launched his highly successful whisky auction website.

Ron has been enjoying his time herfing back in his home and his boat in Florida for the last couple of years but he’s on his way back to the UK in a couple of weeks’ time to oversee the continued expansion of C.Gars Ltd with the launch of our latest venture ‘The Puffin Rooms’ in Liverpool next month.

It’s a very exciting project for my team as we marry together all the finer things in life – a late night cigar shop and sampling lounge with state of the art smoke extraction, a huge whisky and cocktail bar and a tapas lounge with live music. Uber cool will indeed be an understatement. More details to follow as the project completes its construction and fit out phase in the next week or two.

Last week I relaxed at The Cigar Terrace at The Lanesborough Hotel, truly one of the best herfing spots in London with the best of service and an incredible range of top shelf cigars (think super aged and super rare!) a rather late post herf was held at Chez Orchant featuring Orchant Selection Cigar Malt (which has just won the silver medal award at the International Sprits Challenge) paired up with 2007 Bolivar Belicosos Finos and Montecristo Dantes Limited edition cigars.

This week I’m putting the finishing touched to our June 11th cigar auction catalogue. It looks like a rather huge 350 Lot sale with a variety of mature, aged and rare Havana cigars in singles , boxes and cabinets. As ever there are some quite stunning and very unique Pre Embargo Lots. The Lots will be listed on the auction website and open for bidding around 10 days before the sale. If you haven’t bid before it’s all pretty easy as you just need to register and then bid more or less in the same way as eBay. This of it as cBay!

This week I’m off to Turmeaus Norfolk for a cigar and whisky tasting event on Tuesday evening and looking forward to my regular marketing meeting where we discuss new products and promotions. My marketing team are brilliant but sometimes they get pricing wrong. Here’s an example Gentili humidor samplers. They look like they forgot to price the cigars with the humidor! Buy them while you can, I gather they are almost sold out!

The following week I will be hosting 200th anniversary of Turmeaus events at Turmeaus Liverpool, Chester and Knutsford 🙂

To celebrate this milestone in the cigar business I have released a numbered limited edition of 220 Orchant Seleccion twin cases of my favourite Havanas. Cigars kindly supplied by Hunters & Frankau (EMS) and presentation boxes made by Gentili of Italy. I made 220 as we are also celebrating the 20th anniversary of C.Gars Ltd online this year.

We’ve just launched a new range of CAO Flathead in the UK. Check them out on this link. Big cigars and big value!

Also new in: CAO Pilon and Macanudo Inspirado Black.

Our beautiful La Casa del Habano has recently released the rather dee-lish Hoyo Elegantes a must try for the serious Havana cigar smoker.

Looking forward to seeing clients and friends of C.Gars at the tasting events over the next few weeks.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell