Ho Ho Ho!

It’s that crazy Christmas time of year again 🙂 and my December kicked off to a cracking start with our Winter auction of some 440 Lots of mature, aged and rare Havana cigars and the usual high 90’s (%) sale rate. So, I’m pleased to say, we have a lot of happy bidders and sellers out there.

Prices went somewhat crazy on Cohiba limited editions, Seleccion Reserva and Gran Reserva. Clearly there is no end to the demand for these cigars. It will be interesting to see how fast the new Cohiba Robustos Reserva sells out when they are finally and fully released. But will they be fully released > that’s the big question? I heard that some countries received such small deliveries that cigar specialists only received one single box each! I’m hoping that won’t be the case for the UK but it is a possibility.

Davidoff, Dunhill and pre embargo prices held firm. Some of the early limited editions sold very well and good quality stock from the 70’s and 80’s were in great demand as expected.

Our next auction is planned for early March 2019 and the catalogue is filling up fast as ever. For any information check out the C.Gars auction website or email the auction team at auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk.

As if we were not busy enough with our regular business as well as the Winter auction we thought lets do a little more “crazy” (we do crazy very well!) and have The Cigar Smoker Of The Year event at Boisdale Canary Wharf the next night 🙂

Great to be the sponsor of this star studded event as well as present the cigar manufacturer of the year award. Chris Noth won the main award and was it was delightful to have him as the star guest of the evening, whilst legendary British actor and Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons scooped the Boisdale Lifetime Achievement Award.

The glamorous evening, hosted by prominent food writer, critic and three-time event host Tom Parker Bowles, had in attendance the cream of the cigar smoking crop; British acting royalty and Hollywood stars, 2016 Cigar Smoker of the Year winner Kelsey Grammer and wife Kayte, singer songwriter Rebecca Ferguson who performed on the evening, entrepreneur Nancy Dell’Ollio, Cuban Ambassador, Her Excellency, Mrs Teresita de Jesús Vicente Sotolongo, as well Love Island reality television show stars Rosie Williams and Charlie Brake.

Notable awards went to:

• Cigar Smoker of the Year – Chris Noth
• Lifetime Achievement Award – Jeremy Irons
• Cigar of the Year – Davidoff Late Hour Churchill
• Cigar Writer of the Year – Tobias Gorn
• The Cigar Producer of the Year – Joya De Nicaragua

Okay so now back to business, we have received a few more of the new Bolivar Limited edition, Trinidad la Trova (at our La Casa del Habano), the new Hoyo Rio Seco (in tiny quantity) as well as some Upmann Sir Winston and Romeo Wide Churchill Gran Reserva… woohoo! Grab them while you can though as we expect them to disappear again rather quickly.

I’m up North for the week pretending to be of some use at our Turmeaus shops in Liverpool, Knutsford and Chester, and thoroughly enjoying the evenings Turmeaus Late Hour Cigar Shop & Sampling Lounge, and of course Puffin’ Rooms in Liverpool.

We recently introduced the single malt whisky range of Tomintoul to our stores and online and it’s fast becoming a firm favourite. This superior Speyside pairs up exceptionally well with a good premium cigar. They describe it as ‘The Gentle Dram’… not sure about that lol but the 21 y/o is one hell of a perfect malt for me.

Already planning my Christmas baggie and its looking something like this:

Davidoff Orchant Seleccion Lanceros – my favourite Davidoff ever… no surprise there!

H. Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva – a sublime smoking experience

Bolivar Belicosos 2007 Orchant Seleccion – candy sticks for me lol

Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Shorty – I can’t get enough of these

Avo Orchant Seleccion – recently introduced and quite delicious as a day time smoke

Oliva Orchant Seleccion Chubby – full bodied for the serious Nicaraguan cigar smoker)

Arturo Fuente Opus X 20th Anniversary Believe – words fail to describe how incredible the blend of this cigars is

Hoyo Maravillas Colección Habanos – I adore this cigar. Massive volumes of smooth full sweet flavour with a balance light – medium strength
Davidoff 4000 1988 – just for a treat… I love aged Davidoff!

Regius Orchant Seleccion Campanas 2019 limited edition – due out in the next few days – just arrived from Nicaragua and a superb smoke as expected

And I’m grabbing a bottle of Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt as well as a 21 y/o Tomintoul to take home and enjoy with the smokes 🙂

C.Gars is open 24-7 throughout the year including Christmas so if you have any questions or need any advice don’t hesitate to email sales@cgarsltd.co.uk… you may well get me replying 🙂

Our Turmeaus shops are open 7 days a week for the next week and have a huge range of… everything you could dream of in terms of whisky and cigars! Come in, enjoy a sampling session and the warmest welcome.

Have a peaceful, smoky and very merry Christmas.

Mitchell

Gallery from the Cigar Smoker of the Year Awards:

Back from Havana :)

Just back from another splendid trip to Havana for the rather swanky annual Partagas Festival 🙂

Some 300 friends of Partagas attended the amazing gala event at the Habana Libra Hotel and we were treated to some first class entertainment, too many cigars to count and plenty of rum of course! The charity auction feature some very beautiful and unique humidors and though I bid I wasn’t successful this year as in previous years.

I herfed at the Hotel Nacional terrace, Partagas VIP lounge and the Melia Habana La Casa, mooched around the shops as usual and was surprised at the lack of Cohiba available. Mainly Cohiba Maduro and a few Robustos, no sign of anything sexy so it looks like the shortage is real as well as continuing. On a positive note there was plenty of everything else.

Saturday nights entertainment was at Tropicana. This has to be the best show on earth and of course no problem smoking cigars there.

Happy to recommend a few places below, goodness knows there are plenty more and food has improved in Havana beyond recognition over the last few years.

El del Frente: Hip, modern restaurant with roof terrace

Carboncita: Small paladar, good food and great service.

Rio Mar: Very cool.

El Gelato: Excellent ice cream! (I love ice cream!)

I stayed in the excellent Manzana Hotel but another 5 star hotel, The Packard has just opened and I’ll try that out in February.

Back to Blighty on Virgin Upper, wasn’t too shabby, in fact I think we had the nicest crew ever (they must have had a good time in Havana!). Then straight back to the C.Gars London office to drop off a couple of antique cabinets and a half dozen excellent original Che photos for the collection.

Finishing touches and control checks being done on the auction catalogues which should be live by Monday on the auction website.

Avo Orchant Seleccion cigars will be available early next week, they’re currently available for pre-order, so if you want first dibs, order now!

Heading to Turmeaus and Puffin’ Rooms – Liverpool on Tuesday and looking forward to seeing friends and clients at our super cool jazz and tapas venue.

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Partagas Festival :)

Let’s face it you can’t go wrong with a D4 and that said I reckon Partagas is my favourite brand. I can’t think of anything in the range I don’t enjoy and D4’s and P2’s have been on my daily rotation for years and years.

I have been visiting Havana since 1997 and in fact the second factory tour I took was the Partagas factory (the first was La Corona… sadly both are no longer at the same locations) I love herfing in the VIP lounge and have seen it change over the years but always for the better.

Partagas celebrate with an annual Festival every November and I reckon I have attended all but one. Over the years the gala events get more lavish and professional and many prefer this Festival to the main Festival del Habanos as it is more focused on the aficionado rather than the industry. Hundreds of aficionados attend from all over the world and some great friendships have been and are formed over blue swirls of smoke from many Partagas cigars.

In the early years I would spend a week in Havana but as C.Gars Ltd grew to the huge size it has become, my time is always limited, so I zoom in on Thursday evening, attend the swanky gala event on the Friday, chill on Saturday, tour on Sunday and head home on Monday… crazy schedule but a lot of fun.

So, I’m off again tomorrow for my final trip of 2018 and looking forward to herfing a lot of Partagas cigars in the sunshine with fellow Amigos de Partagas.

In other news this week…

Tickets are selling out fast for the Cigar Smoker of the Year event at Boisdale. To join me on the C.Gars table… book here. It will, as ever, be a night to remember!

Our Winter auction catalogue is closed and being finalised, but it looks like it will be our biggest sale yet with almost 450 Lots!

Lots will be live and bidding open online on the Online Cigar Auctions website on the 25th November.

This will be the 28th cigar auction by C.Gars since the auction department was established in 2009.

This will be the largest cigar sale with almost 450 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 and bid on here.

Featured Lots in this sale include:

– Habanos 1492 humidor
– Ramon Allones 225th anniversary humidor
– Davidoff 4000, No.1, No.2 and Chateau Yquem
– Cohiba Sublimes, Double Coronas, Gran Reserva, Majestuosos 50th anniversary humidors and singles from Cohiba Behike 40th anniversary humidor.
-Pre embargo Dunhill Double Claro Seleccion Suprema no.25
-Romeo 130th anniversary humidor
-Trinidad 40th anniversary humidor

The auction will also feature an amazing charity Lot signed by Lennox Lewis and Randolph Churchill. View details here.

Newly released Romeo y Julieta Taco Limited Edition are now available and a very fine smoke indeed.

The first of the 2018 Habanos Limited Editions to be released, the Romeo y Juliet Taco represents the 9th occasion that the brand has been selected to be part of these prestigious and highly sought after series of cigars.

Presented in labelled boxes of 25 and measuring 6 3/8” x 49 ring gauge, this rare impressive size offers over an hour of rich yet rounded and smooth medium bodied aromas due to the extra ageing.

Limited Edition cigars use only the finest tobacco leaves grown in the Vuelta Abajo zone in Cuba. Each leaf selected for use has been aged for a minimum of two years which melds and rounds the flavours and aromas to provide the distinct smoking signature associated with Limited Edition cigars.

Okay… I’m outta here to sip some Havana Club and smoke some Partagas on my favourite Island 🙂

Have a smokey rest of the week.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Cigar Smoker of the year event!

According to my wife and friends I should definitely have received this award every year since I was 15 years old 🙂 but seriously… it’s that time of the year again and tickets are now available for this super bash at the fabulous Boisdale of Canary Wharf on the 3rd December.

Ranald and I dreamed up this unique annual event 5 years ago over a long strategy lunch herf (went on for bloody ages!) and it’s the largest cigar event in the UK on the calendar.

You can get tickets on the Boisdale website or if you would like to join Karyn and I on the C.Gars table, book on the C.Gars website. It will as ever be an evening to remember!

The Viña Carmen Cigar Smoker of the Year Dinner
Founded by Boisdale
Monday 3rd December 2018

Join Mitchell Orchant on the C.Gars Ltd table.

Boisdale is delighted to announce the date of the 6th Cigar Smoker of the Year Dinner in association with VIÑA CARMEN Wines. The world’s most prestigious Cigar Awards event outside of Havana, celebrating iconic cigars, producers, writers, terraces and smokers.

Previous winners, nominees and guests have included Simon Le Bon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Baroness Trumpington, the late great Burt Reynolds, Jonathan Ross, Kelsey Grammer, Andrew Neil, Tamar Hassan, Charlie Sheen and James Cosmo. Join us to discover who will win The Cigar Smoker of the Year 2018.

 

I had an action packed week last week with a visit to Turmeaus Liverpool during the day and supper and jazz at Puffin’ Rooms on Wednesday evening.

All Turmeaus shops are crammed to the rafter with the finest premium cigars, the chancellors Budget yesterday has meant there will unfortunately be an increase in duty on tobacco products. We will of course hold our prices as long as possible, but regrettably they will have to go up. Stock up on your favourites now while you still have the the chance at pre-Budget prices. The base increase is RPI plus 2% plus VAT but importers and distributors also take the opportunity to increase their prices taking into account manufacturers price increases and currency fluctuations.

So… you have been warned, top up your humidors at pre budget prices – whilst stocks last.

Jazz in a bit of a Boardwalk Empire style was performed by Amanda and Nick at Puffin’ Rooms and Chef Chris treated us to top notch cuisine as usual. We sampled Davidoff Late Hour paired up with Stalla Dhu Ben Nevis at Turmeaus Late Hour Cigar Shop & Sampling Lounge till the wee small hours. Simply, a perfect evening.

On Friday I visited Turmeaus Norfolk and checked out the work going on at our new headquarters building which we expect to move into a little later this year. Well… its coming along very nicely 🙂 Our sales team are getting the office of their dreams and the shop, humidor, pipe room. whisky room and sampling lounges are all taking shape nicely.

Our beautiful new headquarters building is a historic listed building spread over 5 floors with the original 200 year old oak staircase and wooden beams throughout. We’re already planning a grand opening event and our customers in Norfolk and surrounding areas will be amazed with this state of the art Turmeaus offering.

No good news on Havana supply regrettably with no availability of Cohiba BHK’s and Siglo VI still and the latest casualty is Piramides Extra which are now not available. Better stock up on Siglo IV and Robustos before they disappear as well!

I spotted the Boveda Smart Sensor at the trade show in Las Vegas in Summer and we have finally managed to get it into our warehouse and its selling like hotcakes! Great value, works brilliantly… like all wonderful Boveda Products.

For our pipe smokers we just ran a ridiculously popular buy one get the second half price promotion. We have an insane range, probably the biggest and best in the UK and always the best value in the UK.

Avo cigars are a C.Gars exclusive in the UK. Made by Davidoff in the Dominican Republic these high quality cigars are priced incredibly keen and we will launch an Orchant Seleccion next month which in my opinion is the best in the range. Look out for them as they won’t be around long (limited edition).

Check out our Whiskey of the Month offers guaranteed best value in the UK with rapid delivery of course.

This week I’m putting together the finishing touches on our Winter Auction which will conclude on the 2nd December. Some 300 Lots of aged, rare, limited, unusual Havana cigars will be offered and the catalogue will be online a week before the sale.

Have a smokey week, but don’t forget to top up the humidor sooner rather than later to ensure you don’t get hit too hard by the Chancellor. I’d advise stocking up on a few more than your usual order, upgrade those boxes of 10‘s to boxes of 25‘s for now!

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Fuente Opus X… and Hublot!

No travel zone for me this week as my G.M. Michelle is on vacation so it’s rather relaxing 4 hour days in the office with some serious cigar sampling activity and not much else ☺ … though I did pop into Turmeaus Mayfair for a cheeky BBF yesterday and a wee dram of Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt (a marriage made in cigar and Scotch heaven I reckon).

That said I did enjoy a splendid evening at The Corinthia hotel cigar terrace on Tuesday as I was invited to a very special Hublot watch event as brand ambassador in the UK for Arturo Fuente cigars.

You’re probably wondering what on earth does Fuente have to do with Hublot watches?! Well check it out on this linka very cool watch and a very cool partnership between these two luxury brands.

Even more cool were the special Hublot Fuente Opus X cigars specially made by one roller to celebrate the partnership and coincide with the 100th anniversary of Fuente cigars in 2012. I can honestly say that these cigars were probably amongst the top 3 cigars I have ever enjoyed in my entire life. Smooth, sweet and complex flavour bombs that are in a superior class of their own.

Fuente is an amazing cigar manufacturer  that we are proud to be the UK importer and distributor of. Now into its 4th generation this family business makes the highest quality cigars with a limited production of around 30 million sticks a year.

Established in 1912 and until 1962 the cigars were made from Cuban tobacco (Arturo Fuente was in fact from Cuba). Made in their own factory in the Dominican Republic since 1980 and Fuente have recently opened a factory in Nicaragua.

So a fun evening was had by a lot of novice cigar smokers and quite a few experienced cigar smokers too. Great to catch up with Adam, the head cigar sommelier at The Corinthia. The terrace is super comfortable and the walk in humidor has an amazing selection of cigars.

We are expecting a rather huge shipment of Fuente cigars in the next week or so. It’s been long awaited and I expect our Fuente clients will be very happy when they see the selection 🙂

I’m off to Boisdale Canary Wharf for a wine tasting and a cigar, or two, or three… and a quick planning session for The Cigar Smoker of the Year 2018 event 🙂

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell