Ramon’s in and… Out!

See all of the photos from the night HERE

The last week was probably one of the most exciting weeks I can ever remember since being in the cigar trade! The launch of the Ramon Allones H&F 225th anniversary cigars went ahead as planned with an incredible party that was clearly enjoyed by all.

The cigars rolled into our shops and warehouses and rolled out faster than any new cigar I can ever remember. The Limited Edition Humidors are breathtakingly beautiful, the rum is delicious and the cigars are outstanding. Allocations have been horribly tight due to overwhelming demand particularly for the humidors and regrettably some friends who would have liked a humidor will be disappointed. At least they can still enjoy the cigars.

Well done to all the clients that pre-ordered cabinets at the reduced pre-release offer price. We are clearing all pre-orders as fast as Hunters & Frankau can deliver the cigars to us. This outstanding cigar is destined to become a classic. Its rich and complex with excellent construction and a beautiful colorado maduro wrapper. I haven’t stopped smoking them this week!

The Bolivar Belgravia – UK Regional Edition was also introduced at the party although we have no clue as to when they will actually be released. Here’s hoping that it may be before the end of the year. Measuring in at 5 ¼” length and a hefty 55 ring gauge this is sure to be another resounding success in a long line of magnificent UK Regional Editions.

I enjoyed a splendid lunch with my business partner Guy Hancock at our favourite Boisdale restaurant in Belgravia yesterday. Could this delightful restaurant be any busier or any better?! The cigar terrace was crammed full of cigar smokers enjoying the fabulous weather in London. Great food and service and the Gran Cru St. Emilion went down very well with our Cohiba Behike 54’s.

I keep hearing about countries that have no Cohiba BHK’s available but thankfully our importers keep us well stocked up. There are a few Havana cigar lines that are out of stock including Por Larranaga Sobresalientes but we are hoping that there are more on the way over to the UK from Havana.

It’s been a crazy busy week in the London office with our auction clients collecting their Lots following the Summer auction and quite a few sampling sessions have been thoroughly enjoyed :) We managed to go through half dozen bottles of the delicious Dancing Stag Clynelish together with copious amounts of Bolivar Belicosos (still my favourite Havana)

Gennaro Lettieri from Tabalacalera del Oriente in Peru also stopped in to go through more blending samples for a planned UK Limited Edition of a new Inca – Secret Blend planned cigar that will be released before Christmas. The ‘Reserva d’Oro’ will be a super-premium 100% Peruvian cigar made with the finest aged tobacco with a sweet, rich and bold flavour. As you would expect from C.Gars, the price will be exceptionally attractive

We have also had another new Havana released this week. The Montecristo Media Corona measures in at 3/12” length and 44 ring gauge. I smoked a few as soon as they arrived and think this could become the perfect breakfast cigar. Classic Montecristo flavour and very well crafted. I’m going to add this to my daily morning rotation together with the Partagas SD No. 6 which I just can’t seem to get enough of. These cigars are like candy for me :)

IMG_20150624_204528My thanks to my old ASC cigar newsgroup pal Jeremy Goodwin (and his wife Jill!) for hooking me up with best seats in the house for Fleetwood Mac on Wednesday evening. I’ve been to their concerts over the last 30 years but I actually think they are better than ever now.

Looking forward to kicking back this weekend with a baggie stuffed full of BBF’s and Ramon 225’s :) and can’t wait to head up North next week to Turmeaus Liverpool and Chester. We have a whisky and cigar tasting on the 1st July at La Casa del Habano Chester together with the launch of the Wednesday Whisky Club. Manageress Sara assures me that the hospitality will not be spared! So attendees are in for a great evening. One or two places available if you hurry to book up.

Finally, congrats to my daughter Tasha for graduating from school today, big celebrations this afternoon :)

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

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Auction Week

Mitchell and Jonathan at the C.Gars Ltd Cigar AuctionWhat an incredible vintage cigar auction! I think this is the first time that anyone has combined a physical auction with an online auction and I was delighted that the bidding platform we created in house worked as well as it did.

Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert offered 302 Lots of aged, rare and unusual cigars and sold all but 15 Lots on Monday evening with most of the unsold Lots being sold at low end estimate immediately after the sale taking the sale rate up to 99% which was fairly impressive.

Pre Embargo prices seem to be scaling new highs as I predicted they would a few years back. The quality of the Pre Embargo cabinets was quite breath taking with pungent bouquet and magnificent wrappers. A box of Dunhill Tubos in pristine condition sold for a record £8000 including premium.

The top selling Lots were:

Estimate Sold For
Lot 294 – Ramon Allones Coronas de Lujo £12,000.00 £20,500.00
Lot 234 – Davidoff Chateau Yquem £11,000.00 £11,000.00
Lot 296 – Romeo y Julieta Coronations de Luxe £10,000.00 £10,500.00
Lot 264 – Partagas 155th Anniversary £7,250.00 £9,010.00
Lot 271 – Cuban Embassy Special Edition £5,000.00 £8,500.00
Lot 32 – Cohiba Lanceros £4,000.00 £8,010.00
Lot 285 – La Flor Fernandez Garcia Originales £6,000.00 £7,800.00
Lot 259 – Dunhill Tubos £2,000.00 £7,110.00
Lot 282 – Hoyo de Monterrey Nacionales £5,000.00 £6,800.00
Lot 273 – H.Upmann Perfectos £6,000.00 £6,500.00

DSCF2988We held the auction at The Bulgari which was a fabulous venue, super slick professional service from Mike Choi and his team and an excellent post auction herf in the Edward Sahakian cigar lounge. On the menu were Partagas SD4’s, Juan Lopez Seleccion No. 2 and Montecristo Petit Edmundo washed down with Robert Graham award winning Ben Nevis single malt whisky and delicious canapés which were all very welcome after the 3 ½ hour auction sale!

My thanks to all the bidders that attended and of course my auction team for organizing such a great event.

As ever there was a post post herf in my lounge at home with my regular cigar smoking chums which went on till very late. We switched over to Partagas P2’s which are smoking exceptionally well at this time and a few drams of Dalmore Cigar Malt.

We are now starting to plan our Winter auction sale which will be help on the 30th November. We are further developing our auction platform so online bidders will also have the option to select audio and visual should they wish. That way they can ‘feel’ the action of the auction room.

Prospective sellers should contact my auction team with details of their cigars on auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk but please be aware that if you have just returned from a holiday in Cuba with a box of Cohiba Esplendidos… We are not interested! (the clue is in the name ‘ Vintage Cigar Auction’!)

On to the next exciting event and today is the Hunters & Frankau Summer party and introduction of the Ramon Allones 225th anniversary humidor and cigars. I’m fairly certain that by the time these reach our warehouse and shops on Monday they will be all but sold out. This could well be the fastest selling new cigar I have ever known. Oh … and it’s not hype … the cigars are delicious, well matured and crafted to perfection.

My assistant Michelle will be attending the party and will give a full run down and some great photos no doubt, especially if you follow us on Facebook. I’m not attending the party as it’s my Fathers birthday so I’m afraid I have another party to attend :) So I’ll wish everyone a fabulous time at the H&F party and I’ll wish my father a very happy birthday.

My father is not only my best friend but also my favourite herfing partner. We were in business together when I was a lot younger and had barrels of laughs together and continue to do so today. We started the birthday celebrations last night with a family dinner at a fabulous restaurant followed by cracking open some Bilecart Salmon 1989 and a box of Davidoff Dom Perignon 1989, which was sublime. Tonight we have another dinner planned and I have a rather incredible cabinet of Davidoff Chateau Yquem that I have been saving for the occasion.

The celebrations are continuing on Sunday with Father’s day on Sunday! So a bit of a Dad spoiling weekend, and why not? After all, my father is the reason for my success in the cigar business as well as my enjoyment and appreciation of a fine cigar. I remember snagging cigars from his humidor when I was a teenager (I’m sure he secretly knew!) and I have fond memories of going to cigar shops with him when I was a kid to top up on his stocks as well as buy me cigars when I was a bit older.

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Cigar Auction Time!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 16.48.24Summer Cigar Auction is on Monday… That came around fast! Over 300 Lots in a very impressive catalogue if I do say so myself. The selection and quality of Davidoff and Pre Embargo cigars is truly breath-taking. Something for everyone with Lot estimates from £20 up to £12,000.

Plenty of interest from bidders around the world both online as well as a full Auction room at The Bulgari expected.

This will be our first auction at the beautiful Bulgari Hotel although we usually hold our pre auction hospitality events there. I’m also looking forward to the earlier 2 pm start time as well as the change of venue. We will be returning to our old favourite Boisdale Belgravia for the Winter Auction event which will be at least as fabulous as last year :) This is in fact our 15th Cigar Auction since we started the sales in 2009.

Online bidder registrations close this evening so if you plan to bid online you need to get registered fast and the very best of luck to all of our sellers and bidders.

If technology doesn’t let us down the results will be published live on the auction website as the auction takes place. We’re still working hard on perfecting our online bidding platform which has been all consuming for the IT department as they have been working day and night. Hopefully it will be completed just in time and work as expected.

I’m hearing continuous rumours about wrapper shortage in Cuba but fortunately we don’t have any particular supply issues that I’m aware of, although a few cigars such as Larranaga Petit Coronas and Romeo Puritos are out of stock. It may not be related. Por Larranaga Sobresalientes – UK regional edition are not available from Hunters & Frankau right now but a delivery is expected from Cuba with any luck. We have laid in additional stocks of just about every decent Havana in case there is a supply issue looming on the horizon.

No sign of any of the expected new releases of Limited editions so far this year and of course we still have not seen the release of the H Upmann No. 2 Reserva or Romeo Wide Churchill Gran Reserva as yet. I can’t quite understand why as I thought there was no shortage of maduro wrapper leaf for the LE’s and Reserva and Gran Reserva are made from aged leaf. No doubt everything will arrive at the same time a few days before Christmas! (It’s a bit like waiting for a London bus!)

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Our main suppliers held their annual trade show in London this week and it’s always good to catch up with everyone and see what new product launches are planned. Robert Graham managing Director Steve Johnstone had been zooming around our Cambridge and London shops. We met up and had a team meeting and dinner with our managers after the trade show at Ten Manchester Street Hotel which is one of our regular herfing spots. Dinner was first rate as is the service at Ten Manch and the Turmeaus and Robert Graham team enjoyed Partagas SD4’s and 6’s till rather late (glad they could make it to business on time the next morning!) The next morning we had a bit of office herfing/brain storming with the team to find out ‘what’s hot and what’s not’!

regius_petit_robusto-box_10-open-closeIt seems that our New-World cigar sales are now utterly dominated by Inka Secret Blend, Oliva Orchant Seleccion and Regius cigars with sales of most other brands ticking over but losing ground to these three brands. I shouldn’t be too surprised as they are all exclusive to C.Gars Ltd Group and of course excellent value. Premium cigars at incredibly low prices. We buy in huge quantities and pass the savings on to our customers. Just call me the ‘cigar consumers champion’ :)

Well that’s me just about done for the week and I’m going to kick back before the auction madness on Monday. In the baggie this weekend are some Ramon Allones Belicosos (2007 RE), Bolivar Belicosos (2007 Orchant Seleccion), Oliva Chubby, and a couple of Davidoff Chateau Margaux 1988. All to be accompanied by a bottle of Ailein Mor from the Robert Graham range of single malt whisky.

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Vintage Cigar Auction

Summer Vintage Cigar Auction season is here :) and the Lots are already on the auction website!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 16.48.11This will be the 15th Cigar Auction from C.Gars since the auction department was established in 2009. I had a look at the first auction catalogue from 2009 and there were some great cigars in it but only 130 odd Lots so I’m pretty pleased that our average is up to 300 + Lots per auction. I reckon we sell around 1000 vintage cigar auction Lots every year and probably around the same again by private treaty sales which is not too bad going!

Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert will once again be conducting this important sale of over 300 Lots of Vintage, Mature, Pre Embargo, Davidoff, Dunhill and Limited Edition Havana cigars on behalf of estates, investors and collectors.

The featured Lots include:

Lot 273 – Pre Embargo H .Upmann Perfectos ‘ made for The Chicago Club’ Cabinet of 50 cigars at estimate of  £6000 – £8000
Lot 282 – Pre Embargo Hoyo de Monterrey Nacionales. Cabinet of 50 cigars at estimate of £5,000 – £6000
Lot 294 – Pre Embargo Ramon Allones Coronas de Lujo. Cabinet of 100 cigars at estimate of £12,000 – £14,000
Lot 296 – Pre Embargo Romeo y Julieta Coronations de Luxe. Cabinet of 100 cigars at estimate of £10,000 – £12,000
Lot 23 – Cohiba Corona Especiales. Box of 25 cigars specially banded with King Juan Carlos bands at estimate of £3,000 – £4000
Lot 234  – Three cabinets and one bottle of Chateau Yquem from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s at estimate of £11,000 – £13,000
Lot 226 – Davidoff 80th Aniversario Box of 10 cigars at estimate of £3,000 – £3,500
Lot 259 – Dunhill Tubos. Box of 25 from the 1980’s at estimate of £2000 – £2,500

The auction is live at The Bulgari but for the first time bidders that are unable to attend will be able to bid online right in to the auction room.

Tickets to attend the auction can be purchased here.
Bids can please placed online on the auction website here.
PDF catalogue can be downloaded here.
Terms and Conditions can be seen here.

Lot viewings at our London offices by appointment. Email us at sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Condition reports by email with pleasure, simply email us Lot numbers auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

Ramon Allones H&F 225th anniversary humidor and cigars are selling like there’s no other Havana cigar! The Humidor is outrageous, the Cabinets are at a very special pre-release price. Just over a week to go until we start shipping them :) You won’t be disappointed as these cigars are already well matured (over two years) and a super smoke.

mountain_of_cigars_blogWe built a mountain of Regius Cigars at our Turmeaus cigar shop in Norfolk but it’s already getting smaller! We have HUGE stocks of this premium Nicaraguan cigar range at incredibly low prices… whilst stocks last.

I’ve been up in Scotland doing a bit of sampling with Steve Johnstone (managing director) of Robert Graham Ltd. Our cigar and whisky shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh are crammed with the good stuff!… and we just keep winning awards for our independent bottled single malt whisky :)

Next week I’m in the office all week doing auction viewings and looking forward to meeting old and new auction clients.

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

And Here is the News…

Good afternoon from C.Gars London where the herfing never stops :) I mean the ‘sampling’ of course. This week was declared a Partagas week! And a very good one it was too as I tested my way through just about everything in the range over the last 5 days.

In terms of the good bad and ugly I would say the greatest disappointment was the Lusitania which was not only a bit tight on the draw but the blend just seemed to go nowhere interesting, that said I also smoked the Grand Reserva which was magnificent and a complete contrast to the regular Lusi. The Shorts were a great little smoke and one that I enjoy daily with my morning espresso, The P.2 was an outstanding piramides if not my favourite of all the brands.

Moving on to the Serie D range, the SD4 was first rate but the blend on the SD5 was sweeter and generally better. The surprise was the SD6 which was so good in terms of appearance, construction and blend I ended up smoking 4 cigars one after another. This short fat 20 minute smoke is just outstanding and now joining my regular daily rotation.

The other surprise for me was the 2012 Limited edition Partagas Serie C No. 3. I’m not usually a fan of maduro but this puppy was the bomb! A complete kaleidoscope of flavours, earthy with sweetness and very well balanced, old style Partagas blend crafted to perfection and wrapped up in a gorgeous smooth maduro wrapper. I think this will become one of the best Limited editions and will continue to age and improve for many years.

Can’t believe we are almost in June, the last 5 months have flown by and June is going to be a very exciting month to say the least:

Firstly we have our Summer Cigar Auction at the Bulgari Hotel on the 15th June and have now completed the mouth-watering catalogue. Our auctioneer, Jonathan Humbert will be knocking down over 300 Lots of aged and rare Havana cigars. The catalogue will be online early next week and prospective bidders will be able to download a PDF on the website: http://www.onlinecigarauctions.com/index.php

The catalogue includes an incredible Pre Embargo section of rare cigars, the likes of which I have never seen before and doubt many of them will ever be seen again. Literally ‘pieces of history’.

Interesting cigars from the last 7 decades and something for everyone’s budget from part boxes of vintage cigars to Davidoff and Dunhill cigars. Limited Editions, Reserva and Gran Reserva, aged and mature cigars. Whether smoking or collecting be sure to take a look as you may see a cigar you have always dreamt of!

The format of the auction is different to all previous sales which were either physical auctions or online auctions. This is both! The actual auction takes place at 2 pm in the cinema room at the Bulgari in Knightsbridge but our rather clever IT department have further developed our online auction platform for absentee bidders to be able to bid online right into the auction room should they wish. We tested out the system thoroughly over the last few weeks and I must say its super impressive. So, if technology doesn’t let us down, bidders will be able to register online early next week and bid online or join us at the Bulgari and bid in person.

My assistant Michelle and her team are delighted to show Lots at our London offices by prior appointment – just drop us an email sales@cgarsltd.co.uk and if you can’t make it to view simply email us Lot numbers of interest and we will gladly email a condition report.

On the 19th June Hunters & Frankau are holding their Summer party and introducing the 225th Anniversary Ramon Allones Humidor and cigars. Demand has been so high for both the humidor and the cabinets of cigars I would not be surprised if they are all sold out before they actually arrive with us on the 22nd June. No need to ask – yes , I have smoked the cigars and they are, as one would expect from H&F, first rate well matured Havanas.

Recommended retail price for the cabinet of 25 cigar is £674 but we are still offering pre-release orders at just £569.

Next week I’m heading up to Scotland to see our fabulous Robert Graham whisky and cigar shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We just won yet another award for one of our Dancing Stag range of single malt whisky! Looking forward to testing out some of the water of Life with managing Director Steve Johnstone in bonnie Scotland.

CGGnX_5VEAA9LsC (1)Looks like Summer is over for now so no smoking on the deck likely this weekend so I’ll be herfing in my lounge with a baggie filled with P2’s D6’s and some of my favourite BBF’s from ’07 :)

And finally huge congratulations to Edward Sahakian who is celebrating the 35th anniversary of his iconic Davidoff shop. Truly my favourite cigar merchant in the world.

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell