Awards / New stuff / Hotter than July :)

Greetings from heatwave London 🙂 I can’t remember such a prolonged period of simply amazing weather (can you tell I’m English / weather obsessed?!) Well, there are two things I love doing; 1. herfing, and 2. driving. So, you can imagine what a fun Summer I’m having so far 🙂

No fun when the air conditioning broke down at Turmeaus Mayfair last week, but fortunately we had the entire system replaced a few hours later (pretty important for the huge stocks of cigars!)

The weather has kept sales soaring (thank you dear customers!) I’m thinking: outdoor smoking / BBQ’s / car herfing / sunshine makes you want to herf more 🙂 – who knows? I can only say that we are going through some crazy sales volumes and packing orders 24/7 – 7 days a week to get your smokes and booze to you on time.

Talking of booze, our rather deelish brand of Stalla Dhu single malt whisky seems to be picking up more and more awards. The Ben Nevis is my favourite and quite stunning.

The Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt also has a silver award. It’ the perfect pairing with a premium cigar – we’re going through mountains of the stuff every week!

Our Summer auction was another successful sale with a very high sale rate. Good quality limited and regional editions continued to attract strong bidding and prices achieved. Pre Embargo prices looked a bit mushy to me with patchy interest and up and down results indicating a thin market. Millennium jars which were super-hot over the last few years passed which was a surprise. Prices on humidors were as expected.

We have two more auctions planned for this year in September and December for a total of 5 sales this year which I think is a record in the cigar world. Always happy to advise – just drop the auction team an email at auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

The new H. Upmann Connoisseur B has just arrived and I’m smoking one right now 😀 Measuring in at 5 7/8″ length and 54 ring gauge, this is truly a flavour bomb and probably the best new Upmann I have tried in a long time. Recommended.

We have just made some more Cohiba 1966 Limited edition boxes. English Market Selection from 2011 available. Amazing smokes!

We have started the works on our new fabbie headquarters building. This beautiful 244 year old historic listed building is one of our most ambitious expansion projects yet and the whole team are very excited about it. C.Gars President Ron Morrison, our architect from the brilliant Liverpool firm Brock Carmichael, and I visited last week and started to plan the layout of the new premises. Note to self: change smoke detectors to heat detectors… yes of course we set the fire alarms off whilst testing out one of the sampling rooms.

Last week we held tasting events at Turmeaus Liverpool and Chester. The samplings featured Michter’s whiskyKavalan Scotch, and Oliva cigars. Sold out events as ever. In fact two sessions sold out at Chester. My thanks to Brain Shapiro from Oliva cigars who kindly zipped over from New York to talk about the wonderful range of Oliva cigars.

Spammy message from my sales and marketing teams… We have a humongous range of Colibri lighters… of course at the lowest prices in the UK.

Okay, so it’s July (unbelievable fast first half of the year!) and its bloody hot in London, so I’m off to Los Angeles(!) until the end of August. I’m looking forward to the annual IPCPR cigar trade show in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks’ time and already planning some more exclusive Orchant Seleccion cigars as well as scouting for the latest cool cigar accessories. I’m looking forward to attending some great herfs with friends all over California… my kinda Summer.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Father’s Day :-)

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there and what better way to celebrate than with a good cigar and a dram of single malt whisky? No better way 🙂

That’s exactly how I’ll be enjoying the day with my father… Monte 2’s and Stalla Dhu Ben Nevis single cask scotch whisky.

My Dad has been enjoying Monte 2’s for many years and though he moans and grumbles that the blend is ‘not quite the same’ as it was years ago, he just keeps going back to them! I always remember when I was in my teens and my Dad was chomping away on Monte 2’s whilst he gave me Saint Luis Rey Regios as he said I would look ridiculous smoking a Monte 2 lol.

My daughter has some secret / surprise plans for me in the evening as well so all in all it should be a great Father’s Day 🙂

Here are a few suggestions from our Father’s Day bestselling gifts this year:

  • Dalmore Whisky and Cigar Pairings – available with either the luxurious Davidoff Orchant Seleccion Lancero, the “perfect gift cigar” Sancho Panza Sancho Coffin box, or with a selection of some of the best cigars. View the range here.
  • If your dad is not a fan of cigar and whisky pairings (madness!), we currently have some amazing pipes on special offer, be quick though as there’s not many left! Find them here.
  • We’ve also just massively increased our range of Colibri Accessories, including these very sleek sets which have been flying off the shelves as they just make the ideal gift.

I zoomed up to Turmeaus Liverpool last Sunday for an incredible Davidoff awards event. Around 30 of my team were presented with certificates for completing and passing their Davidoff training course.

We sampled Davidoff Short Perfectos and Davidoff Nicaraguan Box Pressed Robusto, paired up with Remy Martin 1738 and tonic cocktails. What can I say other than, WOW! What an incredibly crisp, fresh and smooth pairing. Those who haven’t tried a Remy Martin and tonic cocktail, get yourself a bottle and give it a go, I never thought I’d enjoy it that much! Our Chef served up a splendid lunch as ever, he certainly knows a thing or two about how to get the perfect flavour balance, an in our industry, that’s very important! After the award ceremony we retired to Puffin’ Rooms to enjoy the unmissable Victoria Sharpe tinkling the ivories.

Davidoff are a huge success story for C.Gars Group and the sales have gone ballistic for us over the last year. The ranges that they have introduced are quite superb as is the presentation. My favourites are 702 and Late Hour. I can’t ever remember a single complaint about these delightful cigars. Top quality blends and the finest construction. Needless to say, we have the largest range and stocks as well as the best prices in the UK.

We also exclusively represent the Avo range (Davidoff brand) and will be releasing a very special limited edition Orchant Seleccion, later this year. Avo have only been in our range for the last year but are already well established in our top 10 best selling premium cigars. Thy are great value to say the least.

Amazing to get so many of my staff together from so many different locations. In fact that was only around half of the team as we now employee some 60 persons though it looks like we will have over 70 staff by the end of the year.

We finally completed the purchase of our new and rather super-duper 7000 square foot headquarters building in Norfolk. The building is a magnificent 200 year old property over 4 floors with original exposed wooden beams. The building contractors will be cracking away over the Summer and we expect to move in well before Christmas.

This expansion will feature a more substantial retail Turmeaus specialist cigar and whisky shop than we have now. It will also have a cigar sampling lounge that will be far better than our current lounge. We are planning to have a whisky room, a pipe room and of course a walk in humidor crammed to the ceiling with premium Havanas, Davidoff, Oliva, Alec Bradley, Inka – Secret Blend, Fuente to name a few of the ranges.

We will have tons of parking available and will be holding weekly tasting events. C.Gars Ltd have in fact had an address in Norfolk since way back in 1997 . The expansion of our business really does amaze me and I’m very proud of Laura and her team that we have been able to make this happen.

The summer auction Lots are now live online and bidding is open, the auction ends on the 19th June. It’s easy to get in on the action and basically works much like eBay… think of it as cBay! Our next auction is planned for the 2nd December but it’s very likely we will also hold a sale in September as we have so much demand.

Some of my favourite Lots in this sale include:

H Upmann Dunhills Seleccion No. 50

Rafael Gonzales Coronas Inmensas

H. Upmann Coronas Jar

Ramon Allones Petit Coronas Miniature

Trinidad 40th Anniversary Humidor

My auction team are online 24/7 auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk to advise if you have any queries or require condition reports.

We’ve added a huge range of Colibri lighters to the website best prices in the UK guaranteed.

If you haven’t tried my Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion cigars it’s about time you did! The sweetest blend and the best construction. Incredible value. I can’t stop herfing them. In fact I herfed the Shorty and Chubby with a cheeky pint of bitter at the pub last night!

Have a smoky week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Summer Time!

Well it doesn’t feel much like Summer this week in London, but at least the Royal Wedding was on a lovely sunny day and by the looks of the sales of Bolivar Royal Coronas and Romeo Petit Royales, the wedding was celebrated in smoky style by many of our clients 🙂

I had a bit of a crazy herfing week across Pennsylvania, Chicago and New York meeting up with many old friends and making plenty of new friends. I hosted 2 brilliant sold out tasting events at The (rather amazing) Clayton in Chicago where we featured the Davidoff Orchant Seleccion cigars. To say the feedback was positive would be a huge understatement! Thanks to Clay, Guy and the Team at the Clayton for such a warm welcome.

Part of the US mission was to collect a load of blend samples for the planned Avo Orchant Seleccion and I diligently tasted them all and came to a decision 🙂 These incredible cigars will be released later this year.

New York was a blast as usual and I herfed at GHR and Carnegie (day and night!) and also visited the Davidoff shop on 6th avenue (previously De La Concha) where I enjoyed this bad boy!

Back to the UK and a quick trip to C.Gars Norfolk for our marketing team meeting which is always fun as the team presents their marketing initiatives and suggestions for the next quarter. Lots of fun stuff coming up I’m pleased to say. Two and a half hour topless drive back to London in glorious sunshine enjoying 2 Hoyo Epicure Reserva’s… my kinda days’ work 🙂

… and then I zoomed off to Valencia for the holiday weekend. What a lovely city. I can’t remember seeing so many people smoking cigars, large and small. On the streets and in the cafes. Very cool. I visited a few decent cigar shops but there was no sign of Siglo VI or BHK’s, much like the UK.

Back to the office for a day and then I’m heading to Turmeaus Liverpool and Puffin Rooms for the rest of the week.

The Summer auction catalogue is closed/full and has a wonderful selection of Lots from mature to pre-embargo and plenty in between. The auction ends on the 19th June and Lots will be online 10 days before the sale.

Plenty of events planned for June (I can’t believe it’s nearly June already!) book up early as we sell out pretty fast.

Our accessories team have boosted the range of Colibri lighters as their reliability issues seem to be a thing of the past thankfully. Guaranteed lowest prices in the UK of course.

We have just launched the Caldwell cigar range. I’m testing them out tomorrow but my sales team tell me they are very good and have been very well received by our clients both in store and online.

The recently launched Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion range has been selling like crazy. The reviews are great. The blend is superb if I do say so myself 🙂 Very sweet, very smooth and perfect construction as would be expected from this brand.

Father’s day coming up fast… what better gift than a cigar and some splendid single malt. Check out this Father’s Day pairing sampler.

Have a smoky week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

 

Good News and More Good News :)

Greetings from an incredibly hot and sunny Bank Holiday weekend in London 🙂 I should have known the weather would be good… as I’m just about to leave the country! (It’s always bad weather in the UK on Bank Hols!)

Anyway, typically my C7GAR herfing car was collected for its annual service last week so I can’t even enjoy some topless driving in it until I get back (:

Waiting for new release cigars is a bit like waiting for a London bus, yup – they all arrive at the same time. Regardless it’s worth the wait.

So after almost 2 ½ years I can finally and very happily confirm that our Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion cigar project has finally been completed and the cigars are now  available at all of our lovely Turmeaus cigar shops as well as online.

My partner Ron and I first sampled a zillion blends at Alec Bradley’s offices in Florida with Alan, George, Ralph and a few drams of single malt whisky… my kinda sampling session. We were utterly blown away with the blend we selected as it was so smooth, balanced and sweet as well as perfectly crafted as all AB cigars are.

These cigars have rested in Honduras and matured to perfection and are now better than ever. Truly one of the finest New World cigars I have ever smoked and exclusive to C.Gars… at an incredible value for money price.

Beautifully presented boxes of 10 premium, handmade longfiller cigars that will please the novice as well as the experienced cigar smoker:


Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Chubby
A 4″ x 60 nub at £96.99 per box of 10 that delivers huge volumes of the smoothest sweetest flavours.


Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Shorty
A 5″ x 50 robusto at £89.99 per box of 10 that is a bit more intense than the nub but still incredible smooth, sweet and medium strength.


Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Skinny
A 5″ x 43 petit corona at £70.99 per box of 10 that is possibly the perfect any time smoke. Rich, intense, complex and very smooth.

This is the blend that I selected:

Wrapper: Seco wrapper grown in Trojes, Honduras
Binder: Estelí, Nicaragua and Trojes, Honduras
Filler: Estelí, Nicaragua and Jalapa Valley in Nicaragua

Only 300 boxes of each vitola available and from the initial reaction… they won’t be around for long.

We received a tiny allocation of Hoyo Epicure No. 2 Reserva some weeks ago which sold out in around 3 seconds and have just received another few cabinets of these excellent cigars. A delicious limited edition of just 5000 beautiful numbered cabinets.

We have also finally received a small allocation of the long overdue H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva. I smoked one at The Lanesborough last Monday evening with friends and they were a delight… as all Gran Reservas are. Again just 5000 of these beautiful limited edition cabinets of 15 cigars.

The Partagas Series No. 1 Limited Edition 2017 has also just been released. Great size measuring in at 5 ¼” and 52 ring gauge for a full rich and bold flavoured Partagas blend.

On Tuesday C.Gars President Ron Morrison and I headed up to C.Gars Norfolk for a board meeting with our Co-Director Laura Graham. I’m delighted to say we voted unanimously on a very bold expansion for our Norfolk headquarters building and have now acquired a huge 7000 square foot historic listed building that we will move to after the Summer. The new premises will house our C.Gars Sales team, Marketing team, IT Team and warehouse as well as super new Turmeaus cigar and whisky store, walk in humidor and 2 sampling lounges. Very excited about this expansion which is sorely needed to cope with our growth in sales both locally in retail and for our mail order division.

I also managed to squish in a meeting with Jean Christophe from Davidoff Europe on Wednesday. Over a few shots of rum and a Davidoff- Orchant Seleccion we started planning another exclusive Orchant Seleccion for release later this year.

I enjoyed a wonderful evening at the RAC Club on Wednesday having been invited by journalist Colin Cameron together with Steve Johnston of Robert Graham to host a collecting whisky Q&A session. There were around 40 guests who enthusiastically wanted to learn more about the single malt whisky market. Steve treated the guests to some delightful Robert Graham single malts and Colin treated us to supper!

I’m off to the USA until the 17th and hosting a few cigar and whisky sampling events In Chicago and New York this week. Looking forward to meeting up with friends from across the Pond… full report when I’m back.

Have a sunny week.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Still Puffin‘

Spring Cigar Auction season is more or less complete. It’s been a bit of a madhouse at the auction office allocating the 350 odd Lots for collection or shipping but we are almost done and should have cleared out the remnants in the next week or so. That will be great timing as I’m already working on the Summer auction catalogue which is filling up fairly fast already.

The auction department is very exciting for me as we never know what’s going to arrive for valuation from one day to the next. It’s a lot of pressure for the shipping department as we are already at daily breaking point shipping out some 500 + orders a day 🙂

For any advice regarding buying or selling we are always available by email 24/7 sales@cgarsltd.co.uk though our comprehensive FAQ usually covers most questions. Serious cigar auctions for the serious aficionado and collector. Good fun but you need to know what you are doing and careful planning is always advised.

Our Puffin’ Rooms Founder Membership is now open at our Liverpool location. Pop in and enjoy an evening of live jazz and blues, superb small plate menu and our incredible cocktails and my team will be happy to explain the benefits of membership.

 

I enjoyed a wonderful evening at Puffin Rooms with our business partner Guy Hancock from The Decent Cigar Emporium in Dublin with our Chef excelling himself sending out dish after dish from the delightful menu which is updated monthly.

Musical director Victoria Sharpe tinkled the ivories and sang beautifully as ever. I always drive her mad to play Beatles songs… well we are in Liverpool! Looking forward to my next visit in a couple of weeks’ time!

Dinner was followed by Davidoff – Orchant Seleccion at Late Hour Turmeaus cigar shop and sampling lounge next door and a dram or two of my favourite Stalla Dhu Ben Nevis. Truly first rate.

I keep hearing rumours that the new Montecristo 1935 range and H. Upmann Sir Winston are released but so far no word from our importers. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long. I loved these cigars when I tried them out at the Habanos Festival.

We are down to the last of our stocks of Hoyo Epicure N o. 2 Reserva and I was surprised how popular these cigars are.

Our President Ron Morrison and I had a bit of a road trip/herf to C.Gars – Norfolk office for our quarterly marketing meeting last week which was super fun (5 hour round trip!) and blasted our way through Inca Secret Blend cigars followed by Bolivar Belicosos 2007 and finally Partagas P.2’s.

A very interesting marketing presentation from James (head of marketing) which confirmed that our top 2 selling New World brands are Inka Secret Blend closely followed by Davidoff and then Oliva, Alec Bradley, Avo, Regius and La Flor Dominicana. Our Mitchellero brand launched 2 months ago has already moved into the top 10 (no surprise – great value cigars made by Nestor Plasencia).

Back to the office next week as my Girl Friday/ Michelle is on vacation but I may be able to squish some evening herfing in at The Lanesborough 🙂

Kicking back on the weekend with a baggie stuffed full of:

Davidoff- Orchant Seleccion (doesn’t get much better for a New World IMHO)

Bolivar Belicosos 2007 (best vintage for this cigar in the last 20 years)

Macanudo Inspirado (seriously good day time smokes)

Regius Orchant Seleccion (for a bit of Nic kick)

Partagas E2 (I can’t get enough of these… simply delicious)

Inca Secret Blend Reserva D’Oro Robustos (the sweetest blend)

… and a bottle of Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt, should be a relaxed weekend 🙂

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell