Heavy Herfing Schedule!

It’s been a terribly hard week for me as my G.M  and Man Friday, the lovely Michelle has been on vacation so I have really had to get back to a serious work schedule in the office.

IMG-20150121-WA002At least that was the plan :) … Until I popped into Turmeaus Mayfair on Wednesday and foolishly announced it on Twitter whereupon a few of my regular smoking chums decided that they would ambush me in the cigar sampling room and we should do an impromptu sampling session of Orchant Seleccion by Oliva cigars!

Needless to say 2 hours later we had thoroughly tested all 3 sizes, accompanied by a bottle of Dancing Stag Ben Nevis single malt whisky (by Robert Graham) and this rather dedicated focus group were very impressed with the results.

We decided that the Skinny was the breakfast smoke , the Shorty was the mid-afternoon smoke and the Chubby was perfect as a late night smoke. My chums cleared out / purchased almost all of the Orchant Seleccion Oliva stock in the humidor so at least I can pretend I was working hard!

Well that was a good warm up pre-pre-herf for our Thursday evening Burns Night herf which started with a pre herf at the office where we sampled some H Upmann Connoisseur No. 1 together with a bottle of Dancing Stag Bowmore 1990.

IMG-20150122-WA002No one buys Connoisseur No. 1 anymore and we can’t understand why? (not fashionable? No new sexy name or size?)  the cigars are a Hermosos no. 4, one of my favourite vitolas measuring in at 5” length and 48 ring gauge, They were absolutely delicious, full flavour, medium strength and perfect construction.

We moved on to the main event with dinner at the fabulous Boisdale Belgravia. Complete with the Burns night piper and the address to the haggis (sorry to my overseas readers who this must sound very strange to!)

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

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Well, dinner was splendid as always (both food and service – thank you Boisdale!) but the usual fast affair as we really wanted to get to the cigar terrace to herf. By this time our group had swelled to 13 members which was a pretty good crowd. We whammed through another focus group for Oliva Orchant Seleccion and the results were the same with as the previous afternoon with everyone enjoying them and loads of orders placed (I was working hard – really!)

I then treated the boys to a box of Bolivar Belicosos from dress box with my favourite code TEB – JUN07 – 2007 vintage. The cigars were simply sublime, like nectar, sweet and full flavoured. Medium strength, perfect draw, colorado wrappers and everyone raved about them. Goes to show, I can still pick a winner after all these years :)

The herfing continues next week at our gorgeous La Casa del Habano in Chester where I will host an open tasting evening featuring Dalmore and Jura single malt whiskies and some of my favourite Havana cigars. If you came to my evenings in December you know what a fun time we have!

La Casa is due to receive the new Montecristo Churchill Anejado any minute now and I can’t wait to try them. If they are anywhere as good as the Romeo Piramides Anejados we are in for a treat.

Online Auction site is live and bids are already being entered. Massive range of aged and rare Havanas and some of the most beautiful Pre Embargo cigars we have ever offered. Check it out on this link http://www.onlinecigarauctions.com/index.php

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

First Cigar Auction of 2015!

IMG_0304Just back from sunny Florida to awfully cold London and yes, you guessed it, I was working on our long overdue US version of Inca-Secret Blend cigars. Well the good news is the cigars have finally arrived on the other side of the Pond ☺ and we hope to be rolling out the first batch in the next few weeks if all goes to plan (which it rarely does!)

We held yet more focus group taste testing’s with a variety of friends and if the fact that everyone was nubbing them is anything to go by, I think the market will receive my cigars very well indeed; full flavour but light to medium in strength, smooth, creamy, floral but sweet. Perfect construction and colorado maduro wrappers. All tobacco 100% from Peru. Filler, binder and wrapper – a true puros that is sure to please. All tobacco aged minimum 3 years so no aggression or harshness in the character of the blend from the first to the last puff. More details to follow once released.

As luck would have it new cigar releases arrived whilst I was abroad and were already flying off the shelves by the time I got back:

Trinidad Vigia – great size at 4 1/3” length  and 54 ring gauge.

Partagas Serie D No. 6 – short at 3 ½ “ length and 50 ring gauge but packs a punch and perfect when you’re pushed for time and want volumes of flavour burst.

Romeo y Julieta Piramides - my favourite of the three new Havanas, 6 1/8” length and 52 ring gauge with all tobacco aged for 5-8 years. Very smooth and full flavour.

And… My Orchant Seleccion cigars by Oliva look like they may be a contender for fastest selling new world cigar this year with demand quite staggering for the Shorty. Skinny and Chubby are not too far behind!

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Excellent quality and value new Dunhill Aged Reserva Especial Trilogia has just arrived as well. Guaranteed best price in the UK (like all cigars I sell!)

Check this out for cool presentation and they ain’t too shabby a smoke either. C.Gars Ltd loves Alec Bradley cigars!

auction_teaser_jan_2015First auction of the year due to go online in the next hour or so. Check out almost 300 Lots of cigars on this website.  A wonderful catalogue of Aged and Rare, Davidoff and Dunhill, Limited and regional Havana cigars.

Viewing at our offices Monday to Friday by appointment please sales@cgarsltd.co.uk  Our online auctions have been hugely popular over the last 2 years and we are already filling the catalogue for the June auction. Its works much like eBay… Think of it as cBay for cigars!

Mouth-watering Pre Embargo cigars on offer including boxes of 25, cabinets of 50 and 100 – simply breath taking, perfect condition and provenance.

You can bid from now – today, right up to the last second – make sure you have a fast connection ☺ happy to help with shipping too and storage if required.

Checkout this new online cigar magazine - its brilliant! Well done Nic Wing ☺ already famous for his London Cigar walks and a fabulous ambassador for the UK cigar trade.

Okay that’s the news for now as I have to ‘really work’ this week as Michelle is on vacation in the sunshine!

I’m off to Turmeaus Liverpool and La Casa del Habano Chester next week and looking forward to herfing with our friend up North :) Tuesday evening we will hold another open tasting evening at La Casa with a good Havana cigar sampling and some great single malt whisky. If you subscribe to my newsletter you’ll get the full details. Pre booking essential.

Always online 24/7 for any advice regardless of whether you wish to order.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year folks! I had a few days break over Christmas and New Year with family and friends and enjoyed some of the finest Havanas including an outrageously good cabinet of Davidoff Chateau Mouton Rothschild from the 1980’s.

I paired up the smokes with a few bottles of Dom Perignon for New Year’s Eve which worked very well indeed. I contrasted the old with some new and it just had to be Cohiba Robusto Supremo Limited Edition. Puffing our way through a box of these with my Father and pairing them up with some Robert Graham Dancing Stag Deanston was a sublime experience.

This has to be one of the finest limited edition cigars ever to have come from Havana. Crafted to perfection, volumes of smooth sweet flavours and perfectly balanced with medium strength. They have become our fastest selling limited edition of all time.

Oliva Orchant Cigars OpenBack to work now and very excited about 2015  :) Next week I expect to launch our new and exclusive range of Orchant Seleccion Oliva cigars. 3 sizes in boxes of 10 in a limited edition that my clients will love as they are exceptionally quality and will be incredibly good value.

I love Oliva cigars and clearly so do C.Gars and Turmeaus clients as our sales on this range keep growing year on year. Oliva had a fabulous year winning awards both in the UK and the USA. We have the full range available and of course will never be beaten on price in the UK.

New World cigars gained a level of popularity increase like I have never seen before in the last year with so many smokers trying different regions and brands to contrast against Havanas. It’s great to have exclusive lines and one that is rapidly becoming a firm favourite is the Nat Sherman range (only available from C.Gars) First rate quality, popular sizes and fantastic value.

Also expecting the rare and limited edition Padron 50th Anniversary Humidor next week. I first saw this beautiful creation at the IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas last Summer and it took my breath away. Stylish and classy and containing 50 cigars measuring 6 ½” length and 50 ring gauge.

(‘The Hammer’) Only 1000 numbered humidors have been made and they are sure to become a desirable collector’s item.

More new Havana cigar releases expected in the next few weeks too including the Partagas SD No. 6  :)  a short fat 50 ring gauge 20 minute smoke that is a great size. More details to follow.

Our next vintage cigar auction is being held online on the 1st February, visit the website here, and the catalogue is already full. A magnificent range of aged, rare, Davidoff, Pre Embargo and vintage cigars will be offered to online bidders. I expect that the Lots will all be online for clients to peruse and bid on mid-January. Almost 300 Lots will be sold and no doubt some bargains will be bagged. Most of the Lots are at our London offices and as usual will be available for viewing by appointment.

I’m heading up to Liverpool and Chester Turmeaus and La Casa del Habano shops early next week and meeting our architects to go through first draft plans of our new cigar megastore that we expect to open by the Summer. This will be the largest cigar store in Europe with almost 5000 square feet of retail space showcasing our entire range of cigars, humidors and accessories. If you have ever been to a JR cigar store in the USA you will get the picture! It’s a helluva project but very exciting :)

Later next week I’m heading over to the USA to finally start the launch process of the long awaited Inca Secret Blend range of cigars that I have created for the International market. Launching an aged leaf limited edition of 2 sizes as the inaugural release which will be followed  up by a comprehensive range. Unique box design and incredible blend. I should know as I’ve been working on it for the last 3 years!

The premium International range of Inca – Secret Blend follows the success story of the mid-market range of Inka – Secret Blend I created for the UK market some 3 years ago which rapidly became our best-selling New World cigar in the handmade sweet Peruvian tobacco at an unbeatable price range in its category.

Okay so I better stop blogging and make sure the orders are being packed! From the volume of orders received over the last 48 hours it looks like everyone had a very smokey New Year!

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Smokey Christmas!

Christmas already?! Unbelievable, what a fast year 2014 was! But it’s been a fabulous year for C.Gars Ltd. Our database of clients has grown to almost 50,000 clients and our retail cigars shops (Turmeaus Tobacconist and Robert Graham Ltd) continue to be super successful and seem to be busier every month with more and more people enjoying our friendly service, superior product range and best prices possible.

LCDH Chester Sampling LoungeHighlight of my year was opening our beautiful La Casa del Habano next door to Turmeaus Tobacconist in Chester. An oasis for the Havana cigar smoker with a huge walk in humidor and wonderful cigar sampling lounge. Our whisky room has also been very popular and our range will be rounded off over the next few weeks with even more fabulous Robert Graham single malt whiskies and more Cuban rum.

We welcomed Steve Johnstone to the Team as the new Managing Director of Robert Graham Ltd and it’s great to see him settle into his role at the Company. We expect to expand Robert Graham during 2015 with more whisky and cigar shops.

Turmeaus Norfolk will finally open its doors late January after numerous delays out of our control but it will be well worth the wait! I’m looking forward to welcoming our Norfolk clients to our beautiful premises which will feature an unrivalled range of Cuban and New World cigars as well as the Launch of Orchant Seleccion Oliva Cigars in the new Oliva cigar sampling lounge. My thanks to C.Gars Norfolk Team for all their hard work this year. Great work on the Turmeaus pipe website too!

I spent the last week having a brilliant time working with Karyn and Natasha at La Casa del Habano – Chester together with the Turmeaus Team (Calum, Rosie, Karen and Annie) The shop was so busy it was like a moving walkway! We held open tasting evenings for three nights till 11pm where clients could pre book or just walk in, pay a tenner for three drams of single malt whisky or Cuban rum and a great Havana cigar. Needless to say the sampling lounge was crammed full to capacity non-stop. Fabulous crowd in Chester and we plan many more whisky, rum and cigar tastings in 2015.

Whilst up North I popped into our newly refurbished and re-imaged Turmeaus Tobacconist shops (cigars, pipes and whisky) which are looking better than ever but the best is yet to come! In 2015 we plan to open an additional megastore in Liverpool. In fact the architects are already working on the project which I believe will be the largest specialist tobacconist in Europe. More details to follow!

Turmeaus in Mayfair may be a small cigar shop but it has a HUGE range :) and of course customers can sample in store. Well done to Daniel for making this our best year so far at our lovely Mayfair cigar shop.

C.Gars auctions went from strength to strength with 3 auctions this year and record prices being achieved particularly on pre embargo cigars. If the embargo ends it will be interesting to see if ‘Embargo Period’ Havanas acquire additional cache and value. Our next auction will be held online on the 3rd of February and the catalogue is almost full already. We will also be holding further auctions at Boisdale later in 2015 due the massive popularity of our Boisdale auction events.

The big news last week was the start of the end of the Cuban Embargo by the USA of course. I was interviewed by multiple newspapers and suitably misquoted! Thanks for all the 100’s of emails from clients asking my opinion of the ramifications but in truth we don’t really know what the effects will be at this very early stage. I believe any change in the laws still have to be passed by Congress. It would be lovely to supply Havanas to the USA but at this stage there is no change of any substance that I am aware of. It has to be good for the Cuban People, I certainly hope it will be as it seems the Embargo has just punished ‘the man in the street’ for many years. It will certainly be interesting to see how this affects the industry. My advice for now? – keep your humidors full :)

New releases from Havana were thin on the ground till the end of the year when they all came at the same time! (bit like waiting for a bus in London!)
The Cohiba Robusto Supremo Limited edition 2014 is an outrageously great cigar and fast becoming one of my favourite LE’s of all time. Volumes of full favoured smoke due to the huge ring gauge, complex and full bodied but well balanced. Sweet as sugar. If its smoking this well now I can only imagine how well it will age.
The Por Larranaga Picadores is a delightful addition to the PL range. Very light in strength and medium in flavour this robusto is the perfect day time Havana. Light wrapper, perfect construction and super popular since launch.
The Por Larranaga Sobresalientes UK Exclusive Regional Edition is another winner for our incredible English Market Selection range. A large format medium strength Havana with a colorado maduro wrapper crafted to perfection. The fastest selling regional Edition I can remember in a long time.

So I’m looking forward to kicking back over the holidays with some delicious Dancing Stag Bunnahabhain 25 year old single malt whisky just released by Robert Graham Ltd and a cabinet of Davidoff Chateau Mouton Rothschild that I stashed away since the 1980’s.

Finally my thanks to the London C.Gars Team headed up by my G.M. Michelle and her assistants Eliska and Sandra (and loads of the wonderful C.Gars warehouse girls!) I have no idea how you coped with the massive volume of mail orders over the Xmas season. At times we had so many post bags we couldn’t see the door!!! Clearly there are a lot of happy C.Gars clients… Just look at the reviews!!!

Have a smokey Christmas and a very happy new year

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

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Out With the Old – In With the New!

As the subject of the blog suggests we sold a lot of old cigars and we are now selling a load of new cigars!

Last week was the highlight of C.Gars year with our now famous and exceptionally popular Winter Auction event.

The action started at our offices on the 28th November with many prospective auction bidders viewing lots and enjoying a case of Boisdale champagne and La Flor de Cano Gran Cano cigars for hospitality and continued on Sunday the 30th with… More Boisdale Champagne and Ramon Allones Petit Belicosos :)

We then had our pre auction evening at the Sahakian cigar shop and lounge at the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge where we enjoyed Bolivar Belicosos 2007 Vintage and Bolivar Super Coronas together with Robert Graham Dancing Stag single malt whisky and delicious canapés. My thanks to Mike Choi for a splendid evening.

The auction was held at Boisdale Belgravia with pre auction drinks and smokes on the terrace and the auction in the main dining room followed by more drinks and smokes on the terrace. We had a capacity crowd and C.Gars auctioneer Jonathan Humbert did a splendid job knocking down some 350 Lots in some very fast pace bidding. My thanks to Ranald Macdonald and his team for organizing the usual first class event with C.Gars.

As predicted Pre Embargo prices are still on the increase whilst good quality limited editions are still in great demand. The highlight of the auction  was a magnificent Cubatabaco 1492 humidor of 50 cigars that sold for £26,500. Davidoff prices were firm but there didn’t seem to be as much of a buying frenzy as we saw in our Summer auction. That said I think this was the largest quantity of Davidoff ever offered at auction.

Good quality vintage cigar prices were ever popular and limited edition jars were in high demand and achieving very good prices indeed.

Bidders attended from all over the world and fair to say a great evening was had by all. Our next auction will be held on the 3rd February.

It was a bit of a week for publicity as well! Including:

Bloomberg TV / Daily Telegraph

Robb Report

Cigar Aficionado

Cigar Journal

Amazing quantity of new release in the last few weeks (it’s a bit like waiting for a bus and then they all come at the same time!) including:

Por Larranaga Sobresalientes – simply flying off the shelves

Cohiba Robustos Supremos – long awaited and superior quality

Por Larranaga Picadores – a delightful addition to our range

Good stocks at this time but not sure how long for at the current sales rate!

Next week I’m heading up North to Turmeaus Liverpool and Chester as well as La Casa del Habano Chester. Looking forward to enjoying some informal whisky/rum/cigar tasting evenings in the La Casa sampling lounge from Tuesday- Thursday. If you would like to join me, here is a link.

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

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