Cigar Auction!

Smokey greetings from surprisingly sunny and mild London, so much so that the roof has been off the C7GAR car for most of the week. Hopefully the start of some good weather car herfing :)

It’s been a busy week with a very entertaining Jack Whitehall evening at Wembley Arena last Sunday and a superb Valentine’s day of herfing that started with a wet shave at Trumper in Curzon street and continued with a herf at Turmeaus Mayfair with some of my new hugely popular Orchant Selection Cigar Malt and Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills (well it was Valentines and that would be the suitably romantic brand!)

Pre-dinner drinks (or prinks as my daughter would say!) were at The Garden Room at The Lanesborough (Glengoyne 21) and Montecristo 80th Anniversary cigars followed by dinner at Cecconis I love this restaurant and how I miss the days when we used to smoke cigars after dinner there.

To finish the night we had some plate smashing fun at The Elysee I hadn’t been there for many years but I reckon it’s as much fun as it always was.

Our auction catalogue is now online and this will be our 20th Cigar Auction from C.Gars since the auction department was established in 2009.

There are some 280 Lots of Vintage, Mature, Pre Embargo, Davidoff, Dunhill and Limited Edition Havana cigars on behalf of estates, investors and collectors.

Auction Lots can be viewed online on this link.

PDF catalogue can be viewed on this link.

Some of my favourite Lots include:

Lot 222 Davidoff Chateau Latour 1980’s cabinet of 25 cigars at estimate of £1,800 – £2,200

Lot 234 Dunhill Estupendos 2 single 1980’s cigars at estimate of £1,200 – £1,400

Lot 229 Davidoff No. 1 1980’s box of 25 cigars at estimate of £1,200- £1,500

Lot 248 Partagas Anniversary humidor of 300 cigars from 2015 at estimate of £12,000 – £14,000

Lot 264 Montecristo 2004 Limited edition humidor of 100 cigars at estimate of £3,000 – £3,500

Lot 275 Ramon Allones Coronas Pre embargo cabinet of 100 cigars at estimate of £10,000 – £12,000

Lot 277 Romeo y Julieta Coronations de Luxe Pre Embargo cabinet of 50 cigars at estimate of £3,500 – £4,500

Lots are available for inspection by appointment Monday to Friday at our London offices. We are delighted to provide any further details or condition reports, simply email Laura Graham or Michelle Adler in our Auction Team at auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk quoting Lot numbers.

There’s a splendid variety of aged and rare smokes and should be a few bargains to be won I reckon. Bidding is fun and easy and works a bit like eBay. Think of it as cBay!

Supply of Havanas has improved marginally with the odd boxes of Montecristo 80th and Cohiba BHK’s showing up now and again particularly at our La Casa del Habano. I’m down to my last few boxes of Cohiba Robusto Supremo so if you haven’t stashed them in your humidor by now …that boat is about to sail! The next best thing IMHO are the Trinidad Topes but they seem to be in short supply and we can’t keep them from flying off the shelves.

I’m heading up North to Turmeaus – Liverpool on Monday / Tuesday and looking forward to another great tasting event. Our tasting events are always sold out fast! Get booked up here to one of our events for a fun and informative evening of cigar sampling and whisky/rum tastings.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

 

Terrific Triple Distillation!

If you want to indulge in silky smooth Single Malts then triple distilled whiskies are the way to go!

The unique lowland distillery Auchentoshan Single Malts are a true delight! They offer incredible character, flavour and supple smoothness which will appeal to anyone new to whisky including malt maniacs!

Having been privileged to have sampled these great Lowlands, here are my reviews,

Auchentoshan 12 Years 40%

This new, 12 Year Old bottling exhibits the new, slightly Imperial aesthetics in which Auchentoshan have re-branded themselves with.

Appearance: Golden honey.
Nose: Cereals and exotic fruits make up the fantastic nose on this 12 year old Auchentoshan.
Palate: Smooth and sweet with barley, vanilla and hints of tangerines.
Finish: Dry and very long, sweetness from the barley continues as well as ginger and a lingering nutiness.

Auchentoshan American Oak 40%
Introduced in 2014 to replace the Classic Auchentoshan comes this new Auchentoshan.

Triple distilled and matured solely in American bourbon casks, the result? Auchentoshan American Oak, a Lowland Single Malt Whisky with the sweet aromas of vanilla and coconut – along with the signature smooth, delicate, Auchentoshan taste.

Colour: Bright gold.
Nose: Oranges and lemons with delicious toffee chunks and milk chocolate. Wafts of grassy air and clotted cream come and go.
Palate: Bounty bars, yet more citrus in the sense of peels with peaches. A little buttery, with golden barley and oak spice developing on the mid palate.
Finish: Lasting notes of grapefruit and toffee pennies.

Auchentoshan Three Wood 43%

The Auchentoshan Three Wood is a Lowland single malt matured in 3 different casks, namely: Pedro Ximénez Sherry
casks, bourbon casks and Oloroso Sherry.

Colour: Rich golden bronze.
Nose: Blackcurrant, brown sugar, orange, plum and raisin.

Palate: Fruit and syrup. Hazelnut with hints of cinnamon and lemon. A butterscotch sweetness adds to the overall complexity.
Finish: Fresh and fruity, with long lasting oaky sweetness.

Last but not least, the great Auchentoshan 18 Years 43%

Triple distilled and matured in American bourbon oak for over eighteen years. The result: a refreshing Lowland single malt whisky with the added infusion of ripe citrus and green tea, the warmth of toasted almonds and the signature smooth, delicate, Auchentoshan taste.

Colour: Deep golden summer barley.
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.

Slainte

Pete

Caribbean herfing!

Brrrrrrr… I’m finally back in London after a few weeks of Caribbean sunshine. The R&R has done me the world of good after the busiest year I can ever remember in my life (thank you lovely clients!).

I relaxed on a fabulous cruise that fortunately was cigar friendly and herfed my way through 8 beautiful Caribbean Islands. Great coincidence that one of my old pals Robert White was on Aruba at the same time as me so we met up and herfed our way through 5 cigars and as many cocktails in the sunshine and then popped into the very well stocked La Casa del Habano for a mooch around.

Whilst on Barbados I found the LCDH which has a lovely modern designed humidor and a few interesting cigars. Nice bar, friendly service and located in a very nice shopping area.

My favourite stop was on the beautiful island of St Kitts, I swear I have never seen such clear blue ocean waters and beautiful sandy beaches in my life. My friends Celal, Kaan and Michael run the LCDH in St Kitts and were fabulous hosts. It’s a very new La Casa and they have an excellent humidor. They are building up their stocks and this could well end up to be one of the very best humidors in the Caribbean.

I enjoyed the Caribbean regional edition La Gloria Cubana Paraiso immensely. One of the best regionals I have smoked in a long time. The La Casa has a spacious and super comfortable lounge, excellent bar and an outdoor smoking terrace (if you can stand the heat!) The business is very ably managed by Cuban Orlens Guerra and his excellent staff. Can’t recommend this place highly enough. Check them out on this link.

My next herfing stop was at the La Casa in St Maarten. I visited last year but the shop has now expanded to include a comfortable sampling lounge and owner Carol was as charming as ever. This La Casa has a huge range of cigars and cool accessories.

As I’m typing this blog I’m smoking an Inca Secret Blend Reserva D’Oro, I made 5000 sticks available a few weeks ago at a very attractive £9.99 a stick price but with a limit of 5 cigars per order so we could share the love around :) The take up has been overwhelming and the feedback universally excellent. These cigars are made with the very difficult to successfully grow Pelo De Oro leaf as it’s so susceptible to Blue Mold disease. We grow Pelo de Oro by choosing the right season with little rain and we try to give the plant a lot of space with very good water drainage. Fair to say we have produced an exceptional cigar.

Stocks of Trinidad Topes are coming through again and I reckon these are at least as good as the now sold out Cohiba Robusto Supremo. They certainly seem to be as popular. The latest release from Havana is the H. Upmann Magnum 54. This is a great size for me at 4 3/4” length and 54 ring gauge. Volumes of smoke through this large gauge, well-crafted cigar. Available in singles, cabinets of 10 and 25.  Highly recommended.

Cohiba BHK’s and Montecristo 80th anniversary are trickling in at a very slow rate and selling out at an alarming speed. Great smokes, grab them when you can.

I have a few of the Spanish regional edition Punch Jars available – double banded, 5 years aged and limited edition of 2000 jars made. Quite beautiful.

Our Turmeaus shops have a rolling program of whisky and cigar tasting evenings that can booked online. I’m looking forward to the next one on the 20th February at Liverpool.

If you aren’t already aware the tobacco health warnings are all changing by May of this year. If I understand correctly, very sadly there will be plain packaging for pipe tobacco. Such a shame as some of the tin and pack designs are really quite beautiful but they will be destined for the dustbin of history. Pipe smokers may want to order a few extra tins now so they can decant later. All cigars under 3g will also be plain packaged whilst other cigars will have new health warnings but not the ridiculous plain packaging.

I understand the reasons for the department of Health and others to discourage children starting to smoke cigarettes and cigarettes play no part in my business but I can honestly say that having opened a lot of tobacconist shops over the last 20 odd years I have never seen an underage person coming into my shops trying to buy a cigar or pipe tobacco! (We don’t even let children into our shops!)

Our February 26th Vintage Cigar Auction catalogue is complete and will be posted out to registered bidders late next week and Lots will be online here as usual 10 days before the sale. We will be taking bids online for almost 300 Lots of interesting, aged, rare and mature cigars. Bidding is easy, fast and fun and no doubt there will be some bargains to be bagged!

Valentine’s Day next week and I believe my Valentine is treating me to a decadent day and evening. Spoil yours with something special here.

I’m off to herf at Turmeaus Mayfair for the rest of the day as I haven’t been there for a while and I understand the range of whisky and cigars have had a bit of a spruce up, so I better do some quality control checks 😉

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

BOWMORE – LEGEND OF ISLAY

The first recorded mention of the distillery was in 1779, the first on Islay.

Bowmore Distillery is situated on the shores of Loch Indaal, right in the heart of the lovely town of Bowmore, which means great reef or Sea Rock. A few distinctive characters of Bowmore Single Malt Whiskies are smoke, salt and sea-weed, a great combination which will appeal to most fans of Islay drams!

Bowmore 9 years Limited Release Sherry Cask.

This Bowmore 9 Year Old is the latest addition to the Islay favourite’s core range. Matured in the finest Oloroso sherry casks, Bowmore 9 Years Old reflects the natural elements that surround the No. 1 Vaults and the generations of tradition within. The result is a rich whisky with notes of cocoa, dark fruits and crème caramel, along with Bowmore’s trademark smokiness.

Colour: Treacle amber.
Nose: Breathe in rich cocoa, pepper and raisins balanced with citrus tang and wisps of Islay smoke.
Palate: Complex sherry with peat smoke followed by dark fruits and sweet crème caramel.
Finish: Savour the perfect balance of sea salt and peat smoke.

The next Bowmore Single Malt that really stands out for its perfect harmony of peat smoke and Sherry sweetness is the Bowmore 15 Years Darkest.

Matured in an inspired combination of both bourbon and sherry casks, this stunning 15 year old edition spent its final three years in Olorose sherry casks which is what gives this 15 year old ‘Darkest’ a beautiful Bowmore balance.

Colour: Burnt Sienna.
Nose: Dark, delicious rich chocolate and raisin aromas compliment the classic Bowmore smokiness.
Palate: Wonderful Cedar wood and rich treacle toffee flavours.
Finish: Robust and warming with just a hint of sherry tannin’.

 

As a really special dram that combines character, balance and incredible complexity has to be the Bowmore 18 Years. Cosseted away in the finest, hand-selected oak casks and allowed to mature at its own sedate pace, this is one of the most remarkable, perfectly balanced malts of its kind. A rare exceptional bottle, the stocks of Bowmore 18 Years Old may be limited but there’s no end to its enjoyment.

Colour: Mellow mahogany.
Nose: Creamy caramel toffee, with ripe fruit and smoke aromas.
Palate: Incredibly complex, with beautiful soft fruit and chocolate, all balanced together nicely with a light smokiness.
Finish: The finish is long and wonderfully balanced.

Slainte

Pete

Inca Secret Blend Reserva D’Oro Robusto Has Arrived!

Greetings from rather chilly London where I’m staying warm with a large dram of Orchant Selection Cigar Malt and a 2007 Bolivar Belicosos.

I’m delighted to introduce my Inca Secret Blend Reserva D’Oro Robusto in strictly limited quantity. Now available in singles HERE.

As there are only 5000 sticks available, I am limiting customer orders to a maximum of 5 sticks per order. Reserva D’Oro is an exceptionally difficult leaf to successfully grow as it is susceptible to blue mould disease, however, we have managed to harvest enough grade A leaf at Tabacalera del Oriente in Peru to blend a remarkably sweet full flavour complex premium cigar that I believe is one of the best ever new world cigars!

It’s taken us over 18 months since we started this project, so treat yourself whilst they are around… as they won’t be for long!

Our February 26th cigar auction catalogue is now all but closed with almost 300 Lots to be offered. It’s an online auction and very easy to get into the action- a bit like bidding on eBay. Think of us as cBay :) We have a fine selection of mature, aged and rare cigars including some magnificent pre embargo cigars as well as limited editions, Davidoff, Dunhill Seleccion, Gran Reserva and limited edition humidors. The auction Lots will be online with photographs and descriptions as usual 10 days before the auction end date. Lots are available for inspection at my swanky new vintage cigar walk in humidor at our London offices :)

So we’re kicking off the new year in style with a new cigar from Peru and I understand that our beautiful La Casa del Habano in Chester is soon to receive some specialities including the new Hoyo Coleccion Habanos book and Partagas 170th anniversary humidor. Hopefully a few more new releases from Cuba over the next few months too.

If my market intelligence info is good (and I think it is), the shortages of Havana cigars are continuing in earnest with many European and other distributors out of stock on many, if not all, Cohiba cigars as well as many other Havana cigars. Fortunately, we work closely with our colleagues at Hunters & Frankau, the best Havana importer in the world and whilst we don’t have every single cigar available all the time, with their help and our huge cigar reserve (built over the last 20 years) we do have almost the full range of every Havana cigar most of the time.

We have also released some of our interesting aged cigars including La Gloria Cubana Tainos from 2001, Romeo Celestiales Finos from 2001 and El Rey del Mundo Grandes de Espana from 2003 – all quite excellent smokes with the benefit of many years maturing. (The Romeo’s would make super special Valentine’s gift!)

We have added the 50th anniversary edition of the Cohiba Maduro Genios to the already very popular 50th anniversary Cohiba Maduro Magicos that we have been offering for the last few months. Both quite splendid smokes and beautiful presentation.

On the expansion front, I’m heading to Liverpool this week to check the progress on our second phase of Turmeaus Liverpool development on Old Hall street. The amazing design has been signed off with the architects and the builders are crashing away to create the most beautiful whisky bar, tapas lounge restaurant and late night Turmeaus cigar shop and sampling lounge. If all goes to plan we will open this new venture late March. It will also be one of the venues for our 200th Turmeaus anniversary celebrations this year.

My colleague James at C.Gars – Norfolk has been doing some super January Flash Sales which have been ridiculously successful! For advance notice on all of our offers you need to subscribe to our newsletter HERE.

Last Saturday we had our quarterly Management (Michelle, Sara, Roy, Karyn and I) meeting at The Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield – beautiful restaurant but the food and service didn’t live up to the hype sadly. The low point was the table not being ready for 40 minutes after the reservation time and to be told to enjoy a drink at the bar. No big deal I thought, only to stand at the bar for 15 minutes and then be told ‘we don’t serve drinks at the bar’. Rather pathetic. C’est la vie. Another vote with my feet I think will be in order.

Michelle and I went to the new Boisdale restaurant in Mayfair last week and had a splendid business lunch. I love all of the Boisdale restaurants, great food, the best service and cigar friendly of course. What’s not to like? Mayfair is a great location for us so we will no doubt make that a regular stop on the way to Turmeaus Mayfair :)

I zoomed over to Holland on Thursday to meet with our friends at Scandinavian Tobacco Group and over a very long day/night we have agreed plans for some very new exciting cigars exclusive to the UK market for release this year.

My Co – Director Laura is now back from her hols and I’m on mine. Time to recharge the batteries after our most successful year yet and come back fighting fit and ready to make 2017 even more successful! So I’m taking a rather large baggie filled with all of my favourites to herf my way through till the middle of February.

I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Mitchell’s Angels :) (Michelle, Laura and Sara!) but I’m always available on email… wherever I am in the world!

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell