Partagas Salomones!

Greetings from sunny London!

I can’t believe how good the weather has been over the last week, great timing as I took Monday and Tuesday off so I was able to smoke some good’uns in the garden.

I don’t usually smoked huge vitolas but the Partagas Salomones is the exception as I absolutely love this cigar. I don’t think I have ever had one that was anything but excellent. Exceptionally full, sweet, rich flavours and medium strength, considering the difficulty in rolling this shape the construction is absolutely first rate. Very highly recommended and at the best price in the UK – guaranteed.

This Sunday is the National Tobacco and Gift Fair at Nottingham and hopefully the weather will still be good enough for the 2 hour topless drive and car herf over there. I used to attend this show some years ago when it was the AITS show but I gave up on it as there seemed to be such a bunch of nerds running it! It was sort of a miserable/depressing excuse of a trade show considering how amazing InterTabac and IPCPR shows are. Nevertheless, the name has changed and perhaps there will be a nicer crowd running the show this year so I’ll give it a go and see what’s new in the trade.

Next week I’m zooming off to Peru to work on Inka (and Inca for the International market) Secret Blend cigars. I’ll be testing out blends for the new robusto ‘Reserva D’Oro’ that I hope to introduce later this year. This cigar is made entirely of the rare ‘Pele D’Oro’ leaf and will be a treat like no other! Pele D’Oro is a very low yield leaf and not used much these days so I understand as its not resistant to blue mold disease. However in Peru we have enough grade A leaf to make 1000 boxes of robustos which will be as sweet as sugar :)

Inka – Secret Blend is so popular now in the UK we are finding it hard to keep our Turmeaus shops stocked up fast enough but I’m trying my best! We have now imported more cigars than ever in all sizes to satisfy demand. You won’t find Inka everywhere in the UK but you will find it on C.Gars website, Robert Graham shops and Turmeaus Tobacconist shops.

In empire building news this week I am happy to report that the new Chester – Turmeaus whisky and cigar shop is coming along very nicely with the cabinets being fitted, the lighting completed and hopefully the signage, bar and counter all to be completed next week. That would be great timing as stock is now arriving daily and we expect to open the doors to the new part of our fabulous Turmeaus – LCDH, Chester later this month. There will be more seating for sampling, an incredible spirits range, accessories and of course more cigars. Very rare whiskies and rum by the dram and the friendliest service in Town.

A very warm welcome back to the Team to Chris Morrisson who will be based at Chester and overseeing the alcohol side of the business. You will recognize him easily… In his kilt :) we have a comprehensive range of single malt whisky online at C.Gars but for an even better range visit our partners at Robert Graham Ltd.

Due to popular demand we have introduced Drew Estate cigars. Check them out on this link, this range is very popular in the USA and it will be interesting to see how UK smokers take to it. The packaging is cool, the names are hilarious!

Last two Cohiba Connoisseurs samplers available now when they’re gone… They’re gone!

The new Romeo Cedros de Luxe is in! Lovely smoke and a blend that I believe is well balanced enough to mature further and continue for some years. Buy a box to smoke and stash another away for a few years.

IMG_20151002_084200Also, a nice surprise lurking in the depths of our Directors Reserve humidor this week :) The prettiest box of English Market Selection El Rey del Mundo Tainos I have ever seen. Looks like someone painted them with oils ! the closest blend to the Davidoff Dom Perignon.

Okays so I’m off for the weekend armed with a bottle of Benriach (I love this stuff!) and a baggie stuffed with Bolivar Belicosos, Fuente King (BIG smoke!!!) and a box of PSD6’s #Yummm (can’t get enough of them!)

Next report from Peru!

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing.



I spent the weekend at the annual Intertabak trade show in Dortmund. This has to be the largest tobacco trade show in the world, dwarfing the US IPCPR show in size. In fact it is so big my assistant Christine and I were having trouble finding people that we had meetings arranged with!

It was Great to meet up with friends from all over the world at the Cigar Journal event,. I also had a big surprise seeing a 4 page splash on C.Gars Ltd in the current edition of Cigar Journal.  You can find details for the cigar Journal event here

Big congrats to Mike Choi for winning the cigar lounge award for the Sahakian Lonunge at The Bulgari. A most delightful herfing spot in the finest location in London.

As expected there were tons of stands for shisha and e-cigarettes which are of no interest to us at all so we gave them a big miss and herfed on to all the cigar and pipe exhibitors that we wanted to visit. These included our favourite New World brands of Arturo Fuente, Oliva and Alec Bradley to name a few. I love these brands for the range and quality of their products, superior blending and beautiful presentation. Full ranges available on my website and select ranges available at Turmeaus stores of course.

Christine was very busy buying a zillion pipes of all shapes and sizes for just about every pipe smokers budget whilst I was busy drinking Grappa at Gentili humidors stand. I have been selling Gentili humidors for over 16 years now and have even visited ( and been very impressed by ) their factory in Italy some years ago. Hand made and beautifiully finished these humidors are superior quality and exceptional value, highly recommended.Mitchell_Blog

My other top tip humidor and accessories range is Dunhill. I actually think their retail prices are wrong! Simply exceptional quality and finish, timeless classics that will last a lifetime. Checkout the range as they are highly recommended.

I attended the Davidoff retail panel ( Europe ) meeting with a few of my European contemporary and caught up with the latest news. I’m very excited about the new Davidoff  Escuria. We sampled this new range at the Davidoff Golden Bands Awards event on Saturday night and were very impressed. This was a delightful evening and the usual uber slick Davidoff event. I was so pleased to see my friend Marc Portmann win the Davidoff  Depositaire of the Year award.

I had the best of company at my table sitting with Edward ( my favourite cigar merchant in the world !) and Eddie Sahakian from
Davidoff London and Simon from My Smoking Shop in Preston. Fair to say we had a great evening together.
The only other UK cigar merchant I spotted at the show was Parresh Patel who has load of first rate cigar stores in the UK and is a thoroughly decent chap. Question is where was everyone else ?! perhaps no other serious cigar specialists in the UK ? I have always attended trade shows all over the world to take advantage of buying direct and buying new products to bring my clients the most exciting products at the best possible prices. Seems like a simple plan to me :)

I stayed in a hotel called Unique Excelsior, be warned the only thing that is unique about this hotel is how expensive it is and how terribly average it is. The only reason I booked was because it used to have a smoking lounge but that’s gone now as well! Dortmund airport has an exceptionally uncomfortable smoking area but at least it’s better than nothing.

In other cigar news this week, we are still waiting for H. Upmann Reserva but not hopeful of getting any substantial quantity any time soon. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we imminently expect the arrival of the UK regional edition Bolivar Belgravia. 5 1/4” length and w hopping 55 ring gauge presented in boxes of 10 . Having smoked 3 of these from the launch party, I can’t wait for these splendid cigars to reach our humidors.


Cohiba-Vintage-SamplerLa Casa del Habano – Chester also received the exclusive LCDH Romeo Cedros de Luxe another first rate Havana and a most welcome addition to our range.

For the experienced Havana cigar smoker I have put together a very special Cohiba sampler. A great opportunity to contrast some well-aged Cohiba with some of the finest limited editions.

I’m heading up North to Turmeaus  Liverpool and Chester to have a day out of the office! And to check out progress on our third Chester store which I understand is coming along very nicely. Part of my job is to test new products to ensure quality is up to standard :) more details to follow !

I’ll be kicking back with this weekend’s baggie filled with some Romeo Cedros de Luxe, Fuente Anejo 77 and Oliva Orchant Seleccion Chubby… nice mix. And I’ll be pairing them up with some Dalmore 21 Limited edition as a bit of a treat J


Have a smokey weekend.


Peaceful puffing



New Ramon – In and Out!

Ramon Allones Club Coronas Limited edition 2015, this cheeky little smoke is in… And out. Another super fast seller in short supply before it even reaches the shops.

Fortunately our La Casa del Habano got them first :) But have more or less sold out now although we do expect another small delivery any time now. Turmeaus shops should have them by Monday with any luck.

This is a great size, large enough on the ring gauge at 47 to deliver volumes of flavour and long enough at 5 3/8” to satisfy. It’s the last of the 2015 LE’s and I’m already a fan of this smoke.

Actually I think Ramon is one of my favourite brands. I get on well with all the vitolas except for the Gigantes which I could never quite fathom out despite most of my pals loving this cigar. Perhaps its just too long a smoke for me.

I loved the brand so much we have already had Orchant Seleccion boxes of Ramon Allones Belicosos (UK regional edition) and 898’s some years ago and I’m delighted to announce that this years Orchant Seleccion Havana cigar will be the Specially Selected. Just 64 boxes have been selected and will be adorned with the distinctive Orchant Seleccion gold bands and box dressing.

Selected for their superior quality, condition, appearance and blend, I expect to release these in late October. Read more background on Orchant Seleccion Havanas here.

Its been a short week for me as I wasn’t in on Monday and Tuesday taking a break for New Year and birthdays. 3 day weeks are a very relaxing routine :) I enjoyed a Cuban Davidoff birthday starting with a 4000, followed by a Haut Brion and finishing with an Yquem (well actually… 2!) All splendid smokes but the Haut was quite remarkable. For such a small format cigar its packs a hell of a punchy full flavour. I absolutely love vintage Davidoff (actually I’m quite fond of the New World Davidoff too!) when stored correctly this brand of Cuban Davidoff ages to perfection and is a sublime experience for the cigar smoker with a sophisticated palate.

In Empire expansion news this week(!) I’m happy to report that Chester part three now has an alarm system, CCTV, phone lines, a beautiful paint job and a few wires hanging here and there for the new lighting scheme! Tub chairs have arrived and the doorway between the La Casa VIP bar area and the new shop has been opened (thank you Chester locksmith!) If all goes to plan the super chic, trendy and expanded Turmeaus will be open early October.

We have also agreed terms on another new Turmeaus oop North (secret location till contract is completed!) with a planned opening in November. More details to follow.

I’m not sure if there’s a mini boom going on in the UK market but C.Gars Ltd has never been so busy (TY customers!) both our retail and mail order divisions are dramatically up on last year. Well done to all the Team for coping. I can tell you its no mean feat having 99.9% on time delivery for 1000’s of orders a week.

My guess is that it’s a combination of new cigar smokers, existing cigar smokers being hacked off at anti smoking legislation and perhaps a bit of stashing cigars due to perceived shortages of cigars in the market as well as fear that if the US market opens up there will be even greater shortages. Whatever the reasons I will keep growing C.Gars and Turmeaus to satisfy our customers needs for the finest in cigars and customer service. If we ever fall short on service, the buck stops here so you can always contact me personally at or co- Director Laura at Huge business this may be but we are still a family business with an ethos of traditional values and personal service.

I’m off to Dortmund now for the annual Inter Tabak trade show and looking forward to the Davidoff Golden Bands Awards evening on Saturday. I’m still on their European Retalier Panel so it will be interesting to hear all the latest developments from this great brand. This is a huge trade show that I attend every year. Full report next week.

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing.


Upmann No. 2 Reserva

As the subject suggests we are eagerly awaiting the release of the long awaited Upmann No. 2 Reserva. We still don’t know when but the market intel suggests it should be fairly soon.

Reserva and Gran Reserva series are my favourite cigars as they are generally the best! and the No. 2 will be no exception. I smoked them at the Festival in Havana last year and they were sublime smokes. Presented in cabinets of 20 cigars we expect massive interest in this splendid cigar.

In herfing news from last week…

This was a full on herfing week starting in style on Monday with an office herf with friends and thoroughly good sampling of the Partagas Maduro No. 1 followed by dinner at the White House and a herf at Chez Orchant featuring H. Upmann Magnum 56 paired up with copious quantities of Robert Graham Dancing Stag single malts.

COvn8IQWwAAvykxWednesday herf was with friends in The Garden Room at The Lanesborough where we were back to old standards including the Orchant Seleccion 2010 Bolivar Belicosos and Partagas P.2’s paired up with Oban single malt and chocolate muffins (TY JtB!)

That got me in good herfing shape for the whisky and cigar tasting evening at La Casa del Habano Chester on Thursday which was a ridiculously sold out, two session event which ran from 6 pm until midnight! we sampled Partagas D.6’s and D5’s and followed them with El Rey del Mundo Tainos 2001 vintage (closest blend to a Dom Perignon that I can think of) the whisky line up was the Turmeaus Reserva Cask, Turmeaus Highland (coming to a bottle near you soon!) and The Hoebeg by Robert Graham.

COkK27HWEAIzMGCThe Wednesday Whisky Club members were out in force and enjoyed a very special club offer on Romeo Anejados, Our friend and International member Pal from Norway came over just to enjoy the evening and friends traveled from far and wide to make this another very special event.

I popped in to Turmeaus Liverpool on my way to Turmeaus Chester and am always surprised to see how busy these shops are. The range of cigars and whisky is quite breath-taking.

The builders are crashing away at the Chester Turmeaus additional premises and we now have a beautiful floor as well as all three shop fronts redecorated. The beautiful new cabinets and furniture are being handmade now and will be installed in the next few weeks ready to take delivery of some extraordinary whisky, rum, gin, champagne and of course more cigar ranges :) Our seating capacity for cigar sampling will be increased and we will have an additional ‘whisky sampling by the dram’ bar.

Saturday late night and it was back to The Lanesborough with friends until… Very late :) we went through a baggie of some excellent 1996 vintage Havanas including Cohiba Siglo V (unbelievable good smoke) Partagas 898 and Cohiba Corona Especiales. I love the Garden room, super comfortable and the best in service.

Next week, I’m off to the trade show at Dortmund and as ever will be reviewing the latest cigar and accessories to bring our clients the best products at the best prices.

I’ll be offline Monday and Tuesday and for those celebrating, I’ll take the opportunity to wish you a very happy and healthy new year. Oh! I better not forget to wish a very happy birthday to C.Gars Director and my better half – Karyn :)

Have a great week.

Peaceful puffing,


September Herfing!

Great to have a bank holiday weekend followed by a trip to Paris this week. In fact I think all weeks should be ‘3 day weeks’ to allow for maximum herfing time :)

As expected the bank holiday weekend was a complete washout and that looks like the end of the non-existent Summer. Shame, as I love smoking cigars al fresco but at least I can still enjoy my cigars in the office, shops, cigars lounges, car and lounge at home. ( I assume there is no legislation about smoking in my car?) I’m not likely to have any children in the back seat as I don’t have a back seat! I can’t believe that adults actually smoke in cars with children and to try and police anything like this would surely be ridiculous?

To celebrate my wedding anniversary my co-Director and better half Karyn and I went to Paris on Thursday (tres romantic!) well, I had a business meeting there so it was a good excuse to do a little sightseeing and a long lunch at my favourite people watching spot, Café Ruc. Happy anniversary Karyn!

However the day didn’t start off too well as we settled down at a pavement terrace café on the Champs Elysees, ordered espresso and lit up a teeny weeny Montecristo Media Corona only to be told by a rather snooty French waiter that cigar smoking was not allowed. Seriously I said? To which he took great relish in confirming. Zut alors! How terribly uncivilized I thought as I finished my coffee, lit up my cigar regardless and left a tip commensurate with the service I received.

No such problem at Café Ruc for lunch where I herfed my way through a Montecristo No. 2 followed by a Partagas SD No. 5 with a delightful bottle of Saint Estephe on a gloriously sunny and warm day.

Back to the office and a few hours work and I’ve managed to enter the first 100 auction Lots on our system ready for photography. I think I have around 200 + more to do over the next few weeks. I don’t think I have ever seen such a range of rare pre embargo cigars in any previous auction so this sale will be very special. I was also cataloguing some incredible Davidoff cigars from the 1980’s. I think just about every vitola in the range will be offered. When these delightful cigars have been stored/aged correctly they are the amongst the finest Havanas ever made. The quality of the stock I have examined is quite magnificent.

Tickets for the 30th November auction and post auction cigar tasting event at The Bulgari and Sahakian Cigar Lounge will be available online mid-October.

On the Turmeaus front I am pleased to report that building starts next week on our third shop in Chester #woohoo. All three of our shops intercommunicate so the original shop specializes in new world cigars and pipe tobacco and has a pipe sampling area at the front of the shop, the middle shop is the beautiful La Casa del Habano with our superb Havana cigar sampling lounge and whisky sampling bar at the back of the premises. The new shop will dramatically increase our range and offering of single malt whisky, rum and other spirits and will also feature premium New World cigars that can of course be sampled on the new premises.

I’m having a lot of fun with the new Chester shop as I’m doing all of the design myself (as usual with assistance from my partner Ron in Florida) and I’m going for a very shabby chic look which I think my clients will love.

I’m heading over to Liverpool Turmeaus next week and then on to La Casa del Habano – Chester for the whisky and cigar tasting on Thursday evening which should be a great event as always. We’re featuring Montecristo and Partagas cigars and a flight of first rate single malts or Cuban rum (for the non-whisky drinkers) Last few tickets available for booking online.

cohiba_fakesA friend popped in to the office today to ask me to check some and authenticate Cohiba Maduro Genios he had been gifted by a friend who had visited Cuba. They looked a tad dodgy to me for a variety of reasons but we smoked a cigar each and whilst they were definitely Havana cigars they weren’t the real deal. I’m a bit startled that anyone would go to the bother of faking this particular cigar. Best to pay a tad more and get the real deal from a bona fide cigar specialist. I still get daily emails from people who have just come back from Cuba and met someone whose mother works in the factory and they have a box of Cohiba Esplendidos Etc. needless to say ‘all fakes’ and pretty bad ones at that. Usually with all stickers loose in the box ready to be stuck!

If you haven’t yet tried the Oliva Melanio range you’re in for a treat. I love these cigars. They are so well crafted and expertly blended. Smooth, sweet but full bodied. Perfect for the experienced cigar smoker and very appealing to the Havana cigar smoker as a change of pace.

I’m kicking back this weekend with a baggie full of Partagas SD4 and 6, Ramon Allones Specially Selected and Bolivar Royal Coronas. All currently smoking to perfection. Here’s hoping the weather brightens up a bit!

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing