Herfing in Spain!

Back from my jaunt on the Costa del Sol :) Although I gather it was hotter in London than Marbella! That said no issues smoking cigars in Spain as the weather was lovely and dining was al fresco so I don’t think anyone is too bothered if they have a smoking ban.

I took a baggie filled with Cohiba Robusto Supremo, Cohiba 1966 and Monte 2’s (heaven forbid I should ever arrive anywhere without my smokes!) and chilled out herfing with my father for a few days. Popped into any local cigar shops I passed but can’t say I was overly impressed with range or storage conditions which seemed a bit humid to me. I even spotted a beetle in one of the humidors… Yuk.

I can’t get enough of the Cohiba Robusto Supremo. I thought that I would hate it due to the huge size but the volume of flavours are unbelievable, sweet and almost fruity. Every one has a perfect draw and they have been our best selling Havana cigar so far this year.

Back in the saddle today and working hard on the next vintage cigar auction catalogue which is just about full. Looks like we will be offering some 250+ lots on June 15th at the Bulgari hotel. Tickets for the auction and event will be online next month. We have a wonderful catalogue of Pre Embargo, Davidoff, Dunhill, Vintage and mature cigars as well as Limited Editions, Reserva, Gran Reserva and jars.

From next week Turmeaus Chester will be offering a fine range of single malt whisky and Cuban rum by the dram in the whisky room. That’s a first for us as our shops only sell by the bottle but we seem to have so much demand from clients that want to try before they buy from our vast range we varied our licence and opened a load of bottles :) So clients can now sample cigars in the cigar lounge as well as sample libations in the whisky bar :) We also have some super special offers on featured whisky and rum in-store.

Whisky available by the dram – at Turmeaus Chester!

turmeaus_whisky_chester_blogWhisky & Rum Menu

Turmeaus Living cask

Speyside

Glenrothes 1999
Strathisla
Linkwood 25 year old

Highland

Featured single malt whisky: Dalmore Cigar Malt

Alien Mor
Dalmore 18 year old
Macallan 18 year old

Islay

Hoebeg
Ardbeg Uigeadail
Caol Ila 18 year old

Islands

Jura 16
Glenkinchie
Tailsker 57 degree north
Arran 17 year old

Campbeltown

Spring bank 15 year old
Glen Scotia 21 year old

Cuban Rum

Featured Cuban Rum: Ron Mulata 15 year old
Ron Cubay Reserva

I can’t wait for our next whisky and cigar tasting evening at LCDH – Chester on the 28th April. Always a great night and a fabulous bunch of chaps attending our events. I shall dig out some delightful Havanas for the tasting, perhaps some of the great LCDH exclusives we sell instore.

We have Alec Bradley tastings coming up at Turmeaus Liverpool and Turmeaus Chester in May with George Sosa from Alec Bradley as guest of honour. Always a pleasure and very amusing to have George at our events!

Next week we are proudly welcoming Henke Kelner from Davidoff at Robert Graham Cambridge which should be a terribly interesting tasting evening.

If you haven’t tried the new Anejados yet now’s a good time! The Romeo Piramides are a superb cigar and the Montecristo Churchill isn’t too shabby either. Tobacco aged between 5 – 8 years for a smooth well rounded smoking experience.

In other news, the latest edition to my smoking shop empire, Turmeaus Norfolk, is going strong. We’ve had a steady flow of smoking enthusiasts (including the local MP!) coming to see our unbelievable range of pipe tobacco (the largest in the country) and walk-in humidor crammed floor to ceiling with delicious Havanas and wonderful New-World cigars. We’ve also had a good rotation of people enjoying a smoke in the superb sampling lounge. If you live in the area or fancy a nice weekend in the Norfolk countryside, make time for a visit, we’ll assure you the warmest of welcomes :)

Ok, so that’s my one day working week completed :) Off to herf on the deck in the garden if the weather holds up. This weekend’s baggie includes Montecristo Double Edmundo, Punch Double Coronas 1999 and Romeo Wide Churchills plus a bottle of Dalmore… My kinda weekend :)

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Ramon Allones – Hunters & Frankau Aniversario 225

I’m getting super excited about the launch of the Ramon 225! I tried this cigar in Havana at the February Festival and it’s the perfect expression of an old style Ramon blend.
I have to be patient for a while longer though as the cigars will be launched at the H&F Summer party on the 19th June and they will be available a few days later.

They measure in at a length of 5 1/2” and ring gauge of 50, well matured as they were rolled some years ago and perfectly crafted for a perfect draw. Wrapped up in a smooth colorado maduro wrapper and double banded ‘Hunters & Frankau – Aniversario 225 – 2015′

Made to celebrate the 225th anniversary with a limited edition of 225 numbered humidors.

Prices will not be known until the cigars are released. No doubt whatever the price, these are sure to become a collector’s item.

C.Gars will be offering the cigars in singles, cabinets of 25 and humidors of 100 cigars including a specially made bottle of 25 year old Havana Club Cuban rum.

turmeaus_tobacconist_liverpool_front_display_banI was busy up North again in Liverpool and Chester Turmeaus last week which are now sporting the rather lovely new shop image due to the ‘display ban’ that came into force this week.

The UK law now states that we can’t show a tobacco product if you are standing on the street looking at the shop. How bizarre. I can’t imagine it will stop anyone from wanting to buy a pack of pipe tobacco or a premium cigar! In fact I think our shops look better than ever with their cool new signage. We actually started to ‘cover up’ the shops at the beginning of the year in readiness for the latest stupid nanny state law and what are the results? Well so far we are 20% up on sales in comparison to the same period last year… You couldn’t make it up.

Pity the poor corner shop and CTN’s/small supermarkets who can’t even display tobacco in their stores. So much for freedom of choice. It’s a legal product after all, at least it was last time I looked!

We are still selling an extraordinary amount of Inka – Secret Blend cigars, I literally can’t keep up with the demand so apologies for the odd size being out of stock now and again.

Most popular since the start of the year are:


Inka Bombaso Blue


Inka Petit Corona Red


Inka Robusto Red

They are great value but don’t confuse them with cigars at the same price as Inka are a premium cigar totally hand made with premium quality well matured tobacco. Sweet Peruvian 100% tobacco – filler, binder and wrapper. They are in fact our bestselling New World cigar for the last 2 years.

I have now released the last 25 boxes of the wonderful 2013 Regius Robusto – Turmeaus Limited Edition full flavour and medium to full strength, a man’s cigar! Great value at £99 quid a box. The additional age on the cigars has rounded off the blend nicely. A smooth, full bodied Nicaraguan smoking experience.

If you want to try something cool and funky I still have a few boxes of my Turmeaus Limited Edition Regius Culebras a bargain at £59 Quid and a great smoking experience.

I’m looking forward to being at LCDH – Chester for our next tasting evening on the 28th April the best Havana cigars and a few drams of single malt whisky, should be another brilliant evening. Book up soon as I believe the event is almost sold out now. Chester’s whisky room is now fully stocked with some incredible single malt, a mouth-watering range from £30 – £3000 a bottle . Not the sort of stuff you can find in the supermarkets! Loads of tasting bottles open so you can try before you buy in the comfort of the tasting lounge.

walk-in_humidor_cigar_pipe_specialist_near_yarmouthWe weren’t sure what to expect in the way of trade after we opened Turmeaus Norfolk a few weeks ago but have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of clients in Norfolk that have visited and enjoyed smoking in the lounge. A paradise for cigar and pipe smokers! I can’t wait to visit next month.

I’m just finishing off the catalogue for our next vintage cigar auction. It always amazes me how this all comes together and we end up with a super range for the auctioneer to knock down. We have some incredible Pre Embargo cigars as well as Davidoff, Dunhill, Limited Edition, Vintage and Mature Havana cigars.

The auction will be held in the cinema room of the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge at 2p.m. on the 15th June. Tickets for the event will be on sales in the next week or so and early booking is essential due to limited space. This is an auction for the serious cigar smoker and collector.

I went to the Bulgari (Edward Sahakian Cigar shop and lounge) last week and had a splendid evening. This really is one of my favourite places to sample a cigar. The best of service always, great food and super comfortable. My business partner Ron was over from Florida and we also met up with Robert Lockwood from Smokes magazine. My regular smoking chums Dov and Joe also herfed with us.

I’m a bit of a part timer these days, just the odd few days a week in the office as I’m working on Turmeaus at The Albany project in Liverpool and travelling here there and everywhere meeting clients (herfing!) and still working on the launch of Inca – Secret Blend in the USA. Next week I’m off to Spain for a few days R&R and a bit of herfing with my Father which is always a welcome break from my business schedule.

That’s the news for now… Next report with a sun tan from Spain :)

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Turmeaus Tobacconist Norfolk – Open!

cutting_the_ribbon_turmeaus_norfolk_partyWell overdue! But I can confirm that we finally opened the doors to Turmeaus Norfolk with a delightful opening event on Tuesday evening.

Our guest of honour was Brian Shapiro from Oliva Cigars who very kindly provided some delicious Orchant Seleccion Oliva and Serie V cigars for sampling purposes.

Radio Norfolk and the two local newspapers interviewed me about the new shop and it was great to hear almost immediately after the radio interview from new potential customers in Norfolk who seemed very pleased that there is now a specialist tobacconist in the county. (listen to the interview here)

cigar_lounge_turmeaus_norfolk_partyOur sampling lounge and showroom area were crammed to capacity and we managed to set the smoke detector off twice(!) note to self: change to heat detector!

The walk in humidor is now crammed with premium New World and Havana cigars and Laura, James and their Norfolk team look forward to welcoming both old and new clients. It was a pleasure to welcome a representative of the Norfolk Pipe Club who seemed very impressed with our range of pipes and tobaccos :)

turmeaus_cigar_pipe_shop_norfolk_partyThe cigars were accompanied by canapés, Cuba Libre cocktails and 10 year old Cubay rum our friend Luke from Chester made an incredibly long journey over to provide some late night music and a wonderful opening event was enjoyed by all.

As part of the opening celebrations we are offering a very specially priced Cain Serie F Perfecto to all of our clients for a very limited time whilst stocks last. Great value for a rather special smoke.

The Orchant Seleccion range of Oliva cigars has been our fastest selling New World release this year and there seems to be no end of smokers converting to these fine handmade Nicaraguan cigars.

orchant_seleccion_oliva_cigars_turmeaus_norfolk_partyOrchant Seleccion by Oliva Shorty

Orchant Seleccion by Oliva Chubby

Orchant Seleccion by Oliva Skinny

Perfect sizes – perfect blend!

Full flavour and medium strength they appeal to the experienced smoker as well as the novice. Constructed perfectly to give a cool easy draw and a delightful aroma. Priced exceptionally competitively and exclusive to C.Gars, Turmeaus and Robert Graham shops.

If you want to do an interesting taste test comparison try the Orchant Seleccion Regius Robusto fuller in strength than the Oliva with an earthy and spicy flavour character that my clients enjoy immensely.

We created our own range of pipe tobaccos which have proved to be extremely popular. Available by the tin as well as loose. My favourite is the Orchant blend of course :) I’m amazed how fast our pipe tobacco sales continue to grow. I remember when I started in the business just about everyone said to me ‘stick to cigars as pipes and pipe tobacco was a doomed to death trade’ well I didn’t and they were very wrong!

Not trying to wish the year away but can’t wait for the Hunters & Frankau 225th anniversary Ramon Allones which will be the UK regional edition. Available after the launch party on the 19th of June in cabinets of 25 cigars and the very special (and rather breath taking) presentation cabinets containing 4 cabinets of 25 cigars (limited edition of 225 cabinets) more details to follow…

Next week I am heading back up North to Turmeaus in Liverpool and Chester (as well as La Casa del Habano in Chester of course) and doing a little more work on ‘The Albany’ Turmeaus development. A little sneak preview of the architects visual of one of the walk in humidors is below :)

albany_humidor_mock_up

Our Chester and Liverpool Turmeaus shops now have a massive range of single malt whisky and Cuban rum. All regions covered and everything interesting and unusual from £30 – £2000 bottle. We have also just received Robert Graham Ltd independent bottlings to complete the range.

I’ll be kicking back this weekend with some Dalmore Cigar Malt perfect with my baggie of smokes which this weekend includes:

Inka – Secret Blend Robustos

Orchant Seleccion by Oliva Shorty

Bolivar Belicosos 2007

Cohiba Robusto Supremo

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

P.S Don’t forget to come visit the new Turmeaus Norfolk Cigar and Pipe Shop in Rollesby!

outside_the_cigar_shop_turmeaus_norfolk

Whisky and Cigars – Party on Dude!

Marvelous budget Mr Osborne, not sure what I will spend my 1 penny a pint saving on but I’m relieved that there’s no increase on whisky (other than the suppliers increase) and whilst many thought there was no increase on tobacco that’s not strictly speaking correct as the realty is there is no additional increase other than the annual 2% above inflation which I am guessing will equate to around 6% by the time suppliers have whacked their annual increase on cost prices.

So I’m going to try and be a little contrary (as ever, I hear you thinking) at least for our 50,000 newsletter subscribers and I’m going to cut prices on a load of premium cigars next week… Whilst stocks last. I’ll hold other prices at pre-Budget levels as long as possible too of course.

cutting the ribbon LCDHAfter a few months of ‘running in’ our new La Casa del Habano in Chester and having a lot of fun with tasting evenings we finally held our official launch party last Tuesday evening. We had a fabulous evening and crammed almost 70 customer in over various time slots over the course of the evening which was pretty impressive for our little premises!

Sean Croley (sales and Marketing Director) from Hunters & Frankau cut the ribbon on the humidor and provided us with some delicious Por Larranaga Sobresalientes to sample and enjoy which we matched up with The Dalmore Cigar Malt… Whatta combo :)

lcdh chester party 2The cake was made by our retail sales assistant Karen’s sister (there goes my diet) and was pretty cool to say the least, catering with thanks to Bar Lounge (open late and cigar friendly) and chocolate by Rococo and a very successful event was enjoyed by all.

The local newspaper very kindly covered the event but seemed to get their investigative journalism wrong by reporting that La Casa del Habanos had replaced Turmeaus Tobacconist in Chester which of course it has not as we are still very merrily trading in the shop next door as Turmeaus with a massive selection of every type of tobacco you could dream of and a huge selection of New World cigars including Padron, Alec Bradley, Fuente, Inka – Secret Blend and of course Oliva to name a few in the walk in humidor.

lcdh chester party 3My thanks to my Turmeaus Team (Christine, Sara, Rosie, Karen, Calum and Annie) for putting together such a great evening. Thanks to our sponsors and most of all thanks to our customers.

Next week we open the doors to Turmeaus Norfolk and the Oliva sampling lounge on Tuesday evening, pretty sure the event is fully booked but may be able to squish in one or two more if you book up fast. We are featuring some superb Oliva cigar sampling and Cuban rum on what promises to be a memorable evening.

The Norfolk project took months longer than expected but it’s been worth the wait to get the results we required. Its unique in so far as it’s a cashless business, credit card ordering/purchasing only on your phone or on our tablets and of course our helpful staff are at hand to assist if clients want us to do the ordering for them. So what’s that all about? Well, it ensures our lowest current internet prices in store every day of the week. Focus groups that we held thought the concept was very cool and so do I!

The Norfolk Turmeaus adjoins our main warehouse premises so as you can imagine the range of cigars, pipe tobacco, humidors and accessories is quite huge. As part of the opening event we are offering a very specially priced Cain Serie F Perfecto to all of our clients for a very limited time whilst stocks last.

After the Chester and Norfolk opening events it’s time for me to knuckle down with The Albany project in Liverpool and here’s a sneak peak of one half of the exterior plan! We have to have very sensible signage as The Albany is a beautiful Listed building but I don’t think anyone will be able to mistake it for anything but a Turmeaus :) We recently found out that there was a Turmeaus shop in The Albany around 60 years ago! Nice to be returning…

the_albany_plan
On a terribly sad note I lost one of my dearest, closest and best friends two days ago. David Hammond http://www.cgarsltd.co.uk/cigarblog/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/15th_habano_cigar_festival_7.jpg was a cigar aficionado who was cruelly taken too soon. David had been very unwell and was the kindest and bravest man I ever had the pleasure of knowing. A dear friend who enjoyed herfing in London and Havana with me over the last 18 years. I shall miss him terribly and my condolences go to his family. I’ll be smoking one of my finest cigars in his honour.

david_hammond
Times to kick back for the weekend with a baggie full of Cohiba Robusto Supremo and Bolivar Belicosos Orchant Seleccion which I will be thoroughly enjoying with a dram or two of our exclusive Robert Graham Ben Nevis 18 year old single malt.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Budget!

As the subject suggests The Budget is fast approaching on the 18th March and I have little doubt that whilst it should be a pre-election giveaway Budget, smokers will get bashed with yet another hefty increase. Importers, manufacturers and distributors also use this opportunity to do annual price reviews and increases so it could be quite a price hike overall.

Fortunately we hold substantial stocks and we also guarantee best prices in the UK but it would be advisable to lock in to current low prices whilst stocks are available.

The Standardized packaging for cigarettes has now been finalized with change happening in 2016 and that’s the end of cigarette branding I’m afraid. I don’t care much for cigarettes ( I don’t smoke them – ever) but I do care when we are dictated to by government at every twist and turn of our lives . ‘Legislation for legislation sake’. Complete dream law for smugglers I would say. Perhaps the law makers will move on to alcohol and fizzy drinks next?

And the next barmy law to come into effect is the display ban on the 6th of April. This law forces cigar shops to completely cover our windows so no tobacco product can be seen from the pavement outside of our shops as such. I have no idea what this law will achieve and I have yet to meet a human being that can tell/persuade me there is any benefit to anyone other than armed robbers.

On to more pleasant topics…..

IMG_2499I spent all day Tuesday at our Norfolk  C.Gars headquarters and am very happy with the progress of our Turmeaus that is due to open with our Opening Event on the 24th March. Book up soon! Not many tickets left now :)

The walk in humidor is almost stocked up now and looks fab. The ‘Oliva’ sampling lounge is super cosy and the showroom area looks awesome. I look forward to meeting friends and clients at the opening which will feature some of the finest Oliva cigars paired up with some excellent cocktails and Ron Cubay.

My thanks to Scott from Tor Imports and the boys from Oliva for all their support and especially for the Orchant Seleccion by Oliva series of cigars which are now our fastest selling Nicaraguan cigar. Great smokes at a great price. Can’t go wrong.

Our official opening party for La Casa del Habano Chester is next Tuesday evening. I think the event is more or less sold out now so if you are planning to join us for a completely over the top opening event – book up fast!

I first met Henke Kelner many years ago when Davidoff were kind enough to invite me on their training trip to the Dominican Republic. It’s a pleasure to finally be welcoming him to our Robert Graham whisky and cigar shop in Cambridge next month:

Cigar and Whisky Tasting Event
Wednesday April 22nd

Robert Graham – Cambridge

6.30 pm – 9.00 pm

Guest of honour : Henke Kelner of Davidoff

Introducing the new range of Winston Churchill cigars

Paired up with Drams of:

Dancing Stag Glen Grant 1992  20yo
Dancing Stag Ben Nevis 1995 18yo
Hoebeg ISC Gold Medal Award

Steve Johnstone and Mitchell Orchant look forward to welcoming you for a memorable evening.

Tickets in advance only £20. Strictly limited availability.
Tickets available here – Book early to avoid disappointment

I’m still herfing my way through stacks of Cohiba Robusto Supremo. Not my usual smoke as I generally smoke robustos and piramides but I just can’t seem to leave these CRS’s alone. The construction is so perfect for the crazy ring gauge and the blend is so sweet, I’m like a kid with a bag of candy! Not sure how many of these were made so I have stashed a load away to smoke over the next 5-10 years as I would guess they will age very well indeed.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

cgarsmars