New Chester Store :)

Do you like me on Facebook? If so you have probably seen that C.Gars has acquired the rather luvlee jublee big shop next door to our existing store on Watergate street Chester.

The builders are crashing away both at Chester and Norfolk and we hope to be opening both new stores in around 6-8 weeks time.

My New Smoking Shop in Chester

I love the retail cigar business as it’s so intriguing for me to continuously try to adapt to what the market needs. I have little doubt that larger shops with large sampling lounges are the way forward and that’s what we are doing in Chester – huge walk in humidor – large and comfortable sampling lounge. Client lockers, complimentary bar/snacks/papers/TV. What more could you ask for?

Norfolk will have a similar offering except it will also have the largest range of loose rolling tobacco and pipe tobacco in the country. All rather exciting especially as I intend to increase the amount of tasting evenings we do year round again due to huge demand.

I remember when I bought the first retail cigar shop which was Turmeaus Liverpool and a lot of people laughed at me and the location. Made me all the more determined to succeed obviously and succeed we have as we continue to go from strength to strength. I’m actually thinking about opening a JR cigars style supercigarstore in Liverpool by the end of this year. Watch this space…

Tastings coming up on the 19th and 20th August at my Liverpool and Chester branches. Jet lag allowing I’ll zoom ooop North and be at both for a little herf activity :) Tickets are available here.

Herfing across Los AngelesI’m still in sunny LA and as you can see from the photos just generally herfing my way across Los Angeles day and night. I think we broke the recent herfing record at 12 hours nonstop with a wonderful catered lunch for 30 guests at my friends house, copious amounts of libations and smokes and the best of company (TY VC) We smoked through ridiculous amounts of Padron and Alec Bradley cigars as well as a box of  Inca Secret Blend Toros.

I had a smashing evening last Saturday (despite the rain!) herfing on the terrace at Mr C in Beverly Hills. They have a resident blues band who are brill and my friend Michael Lington popped over for a smoke and a cocktail. Michael has just launched a boutique range of 3 rather delicious wines. More details on www.lingtonwine.com

Still working hard on my Inca Secret Blend cigars destined for launch in the USA before the end of the year. I know, I know, I’ve been banging on about the launch for ages but what can I tell you? – I’m a perfectionist, sort of cigar OCD. But when these puppies hit the market I believe they will be as popular as the UK Inka Secret Blend range (now our best selling New World cigar!)

I’ll be introducing new ranges of Torano, Oliva, Inka Maduro, Nat Sherman and Regius over the next 4 – 6 weeks. Of course they will be at incredibly low prices and you can’t find them anywhere other than C.Gars and our retail shops because… No one else stocks them :)

I’m very excited about the Nat Sherman range we are bringing in due to so many clients requesting these cigars following our testing the market out with some of the traditional Nat Sherman cigars over the last few months. Nat Sherman has a super cool cigar store in New York that I love to visit when I’m in town and Michael Herklots is a dear old industry chum who always gives me a warm welcome. If you are visiting NYC a visit to Nat Sherman is a must.

Regius Campana – Limited Turmeaus Edition 2014 cigar - Box of 10If you haven’t tried the new 2014 Regius Limited Editions you really would be well advised to before they sell out. Half of our stock went in the first week of release! Priced ridiculously well and carefully blended to my specification these cigars are sure to please. Click here to try one for yourself before they’re all gone!

I can’t smoke any Havanas in the USA obviously so my challenge has been to find some New World cigars that deliver enough flavour burst for my palate without the bitterness associated with many of these cigars. I have definitely settled on Oliva Serie V torpedo and Davidoff Gran Cru No. 5 as well as the occasional Alec Bradley Prensado.  These are all really good smokes and hit the spot in terms of blend consistency as well as construction.  That said after 5 weeks without a single Havana cigar I’m looking forward to getting back to the office and having a Montecristo No. 2!

I was looking through our massive range of humidors recently and can’t help but think the Dunhill range stands out in a class of its own. Obviously it’s all personal taste but I love the clean lines and classic designs. The build quality is magnificent and I actually think the prices are cheap for such a top end product. Check out the range. The cigar cases ain’t too shabby either.

That’s all the news from the LA office… Time for another cocktail and smoke by the pool.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Herfing USA!

Greetings from sunny Los Angeles where I am on a 5 week strictly no Havana cigar diet but enjoying some of the finest New World cigars available.

IMG_20140729_112849I’m holding court round the pool daily as usual and seeing a lot of old pals and making a lot of new pals too… So far so good :) Everyone likes the cigar merchant!

The weather is amazing, though I hear it’s not been too shabby back in the UK and judging by the sales my cigar shops are reporting to me… There’s a lot of summer and BBQ herfing going on!

So I’m busy enjoying my annual pilgrimage to the USA  for summer and spent the best part of last week in Las Vegas for the annual IPCPR trade show (formerly known as RTDA). The show was at The Sands convention centre and as huge as ever. Exhibitors had all manner of cigars and smokers accessories that you could possibly think of and I was like the kid in the candy store.

Regius Campana – Limited Turmeaus Edition 2014 cigar

Following the success of the 2013 Orchant Seleccion – Regius Limited Editions I’m delighted to confirm that we expect to release the 2014 LE’s next week and they are at least as good as I hoped and expected.

We’re planning an Orchant Seleccion collaboration with one of our favourite cigar companies in the very near future but if I tell you now I would have to shoot you!

I enjoyed smoking a Padron 45th at the Padron booth whilst gazing lovingly at the 50th anniversary, limited edition Padron humidor :) It is breathtaking. We hope to have a few available later this year. We do stock a good range of Padron cigars, they really are super premium and don’t forget no one can touch C.Gars on pricing in the UK as ours will always be the best.

Other preferred suppliers that I enjoyed catching up with at the show included Torano who make our cracking C.Gars Nicaraguan cigars (range increasing with new sizes this year) and Oliva cigars which seem to be getting more popular month on month. I shouldn’t be surprised, they are superb quality and great value too.

 Pit stop for a single malt at FujiPubHad to have a regular pit stop for a scotch or two with Bobby at Fujipub (old habits die hard!) and always nice to catch up with the boys from Smoke magazine and European Cigar journal.

One of the coolest stands had to be the Alec Bradley stand. AB held an outrageous party at Palms hotel which was thoroughly enjoyed by me and the boys (George, Barry, Ron and Gennaro). This brand is a huge success for us and we are delighted to guarantee biggest range and lowest prices in the UK of course.

Another super premium brand I visited was Fuente and I think this may well be the busiest of them all! We love Fuente cigars and have a fabulous range on our website.

OK, enough about the cigars at the show! It was also crammed with accessories such as Xikar and Cigar Oasis, humidors from Daniel Marshall and Elie Bleu to name a few of the exhibitors… Yes, yes, yes, we are either their distributors or stockists and we guarantee lowest prices in the UK (I am starting to sound like one of these mad US TV adverts!)

The only thing I never saw at the show was… Any other UK cigar merchant! Too funny for words. It seems that I am the only Cigar specialist in the UK constantly checking new cigar blends and new humidors and accessories and buying in bulk to give my clients the best prices possible. What happened to the competition? Maybe they have finally given up?!

But how can we have such a huge range and lowest prices in the UK  I hear you asking? It’s simple – my head office is on a bloody farm in Norfolk lol. Its huge, its growing, we have the best staff and the biggest stocks of cigars and accessories in the UK <insert slightly maniacal laugh here> :)

Lowest pricing on rare limited edition Havanas

Many will remember a few years back how I cornered the market in Partagas 165th anniversary humidors and advised my clients to purchase as they were not only a good cigar but also likely an excellent investment.

Many of my clients followed my advice and realised or saw a substantial increase in the value of their investment. Quite a few others enjoyed smoking these cigars at release low price and others completely missed the opportunity!

I similarly cornered the market with various other cigars over the years including UK regional editions such as the La Flor de Cano short robusto, Por Larranaga Magnificos and Punch Serie D’Oro No. 1 (to name a few) and have seen the same results for my clients.

I think this is the most fun part of having created C.Gars Ltd into such a huge cigar business. When I rate a cigar the company has the means to buy all the stock it wants and then I decide what and when to release it, usually ensuring the best possible deal for my clients. Not sure there are many cigar specialists in the world with that sort of muscle <said in my best Noo Joisey accent>!

This week my newsletter clients have the opportunity to purchase the following 3 cigars at a substantial discount to current market values. I don’t advise on investments as I am just a cigar specialist and rate cigars on how good the blend is as well as how they are constructed and finally how good the appearance is.

In particular I am very fond of Partagas Gran Reserva which would not surprise me if values double within the next 2 years. (Goodness knows prices on Cohiba Gran Reserva have gone bananas in recent years!)  There is little stock left anywhere in the world and it is a numbered edition of 5000 boxes made.

Historic data (see my auction websites) has proven that all Coleccion Habanos book editions have always increased in value.

The most desirable being the Cohiba Sublimes extra but the fastest appreciating looks like the Obras Completas. The first edition Cuaba has increased dramatically in value over the years and the Cuaba 2012 may do as well.

I am now taking reserved orders for shipping from the 6th August:

Coleccion Habanos 2012 – Cuaba – Special price: TOO LOW TO PUBLISH! Email for details sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Click for photo and description and last auction sale price

Coleccion Habanos 2011 Obras Completas – Special price: TOO LOW TO PUBLISH! Email for details sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Click here for photo and description and last auction sale price

Partagas Gran Reserva – Special price: TOO LOW TO PUBLISH! Email for details sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Click here for photo and description. This cabinet is sold (if available ) in the UK for £975 Sterling. My Special offer price is substantially lower! Email for details
sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Michael Nouri herfing at Robert Graham Rose Street

No need to ask – All stock pristine and brand new, my standard guarantee applies on safe intact delivery and I am always happy to assist in resale in the future if required… Talk about the only cigars specialist that gives the full service whether buying or selling!
Lastly, it was great to welcome actor Michael Nouri to Robert Graham Rose street Edinburgh! We usually meet for a smoke in Los Angeles!

Well that’s all the news for now as I had better get my herfdor ready and my lighter filled before I head out to see a bunch of friends for yet another herf this evening!

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

 

Leaving on a jet plane :-)

Well dear blog reader, by the time you are puffing a cigar reading through this blog I will be just about to board the Virgin Atlantic flight bound for the USA (no cigar for me for 12 hours then) as its that time of year again where I say goodbye to my beloved Havana cigars for a month or so and move over to the best that New World cigars have to offer.

For those who don’t know, I spend the Summer in sunny Los Angeles which coincides very well indeed with the rather magnificent (super size me) IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. The International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association is a fabulous organization and this is their 82nd trade show.

I have attended for the last 17 odd years and had a lot of fun purchasing in ever increasing volumes all manner of New World cigars, humidors, cutters, lighters, ashtrays, humidifiers, hygrometers, pipes and various other smokers toys. One of the reasons why we have long had the largest range and lowest prices in the UK.

I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and making some new friends too and may just have a little time to top up the tan with a pool herf or two… Or three. But, how will I survive almost 5 weeks without any Havana cigars?! Well, quite simple :-) I love Davidoff cigars for starters so I have a big baggie of Davidoff Puro D’Oro and Nicaraguan as well as some Alec Bradley Prensado, Inka Secret Blend and finally a few Fuente Opus X. ‘Could be worse Mr O’  I hear you thinking :-)

Bowmore 1990 - Award Winning 21 year old - Dancing Stag 70clI have spent  the best part of last week saying adiós to friends and family which has been quite a heavy herfing schedule. Tuesday dinner at The Grandison (TY David and Annie, Tony and Helen) www.thegrandisonbramfield.co.uk – (highly recommended) preceded by Dom Perignon Champage and Trinidad Robusto Extra and followed by Dancing Stag Bowmore 1990 and Cohiba behike 56′s. Not too shabby I can tell you :-)

Wednesday and Thursday non stop herfing with friends in Nottingham (maybe I should open a cigar shop there?) The weather was amazing and I had a topless drive with a few Partagas P2′s back to back for company.

Harts hotel is super cigar friendly and the service is impeccable as always. The restaurant is first rate too. Lost count how many vintage Monte 2′s we chomped though but it was in the ‘wow that’s a lot of smokes!’ category. We did 1970′s ,1980′s and 1990′s  and it was hard to pick which we preferred in the end (could be something to do with the copious amounts of Dancing Stag Tobermory we were enjoying with the smokes. (TY AC for a fabulous 2 days)

Herf at Robert Graham Whisky and Cigar shop in West HampsteadWrapped up the week with a herf at Robert Graham West Hampstead where there seemed to be a constant flow of friends joining me for cigars and a dram including Dov, Tim, John, Mark and many others. Perfect weather again so it was a pleasure sitting and herfing comfortably outside. Especially as Stuart from the chocolate shop next door kept offering us chocolate to sample! :-)

Final herfette for the weekend was Sunday with my Dad, bottle of Champagne on the balcony and Cohiba Robustos (2008 vintage) on yet another sunny afternoon… Perfect

Its been an extraordinary fast first half of the year for me and by the time I get back from LA it will seem like Christmas is around the corner! It’s also a very exciting time as the builders are crashing away with our Norfolk premises and we are still mid planning our expansion in Chester and retrofit in Liverpool. Hopefully will have all three Turmeaus projects complete before the end of September. Oh! And there’s another Robert Graham store in the planning up in Scotland. More details to follow.

Tickets are selling pretty fast for our December 1st Winter Vintage Cigar  Auction event. This will be a star studded spectacular evening at the lovely Boisdale Canary Wharf.

We are considering auction Lots for inclusion in the catalogue at this time but word of warning, if you have just come back from a package trip from Cuba and bought a box of cigars on the beach, in a factory or in duty free… We are not interested! (The clue is in the words ‘Vintage Cigar Auction’)

We expect to have around 300 Lots of exceptionally desirable Pre Embargo, Aged, Rare, Mature, Davidoff, Dunhill, Limited edition and Gran Reserva cigars in the catalogue so it should be another splendid sale.

Always available on email if you need any advice sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Ok, so my trusty Palio cutter and Dunhill lighter are now packed and if you follow me on Twitter, I’ll keep you informed of all the stuff I get up :-)

Have a smokey Summer,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Low, Lower, Lowest Prices!

Yes its true we DO have the lowest priced products in the UK! We are a bit like the Asda of the cigar trade :) Now monitoring competitor prices and adjusting our prices 24/7 – every day of the year to ensure that C.Gars will always be the best value in the UK.

When you factor in our fast delivery, massive range, massive stocks and legendary service, there ain’t nowhere else to shop in the UK!

…Oh I almost forgot to mention we have more retail specialist cigar shops than anyone in the UK – from Edinburgh to Mayfair and a lot of places in between <insert maniacal laugh here>!

Seriously our range is just unbelievably great, whether you are a novice smoker or a connoisseur I am confident we have the right cigar for everyone. As Managing Director, the buck stops here so if there is ever an issue with your order I will personally get involved and resolve rapidly. Always available by email at sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

No to Plain PackagingLooks like a  moiety of common sense has prevailed regarding the standardized packaging of tobacco with draft regulations now published and excluding cigars and pipe tobacco (read more on the C.Gars News Page) thank you to whoever has been involved in making this, the correct decision. Clearly our products are not aimed at children and never have been. I certainly don’t remember ever allowing a minor into one of my smoking shops let alone hearing a kid say ‘Can I buy  Montecristo?‘!

I’ve had a bit of a Bolivar week this week :) Blasting my way through Belicosos Finos 2007 vintage and followed up with maduro wrapper Corona Extra cabinet selection 2007 vintage which are an absolute powerhouse. Did I mention that 2007 is my favourite vintage in the last 20 years? Much like fine wines Havana cigars have great, good and not so great vintages. The trick is to know which ones are the best and stash ‘em away!

Great to see our partner Gennaro (from Tabacalera del Oriente in Peru) last week as he visited the office and we put the finishing touches on some new Inca premium cigars that we will launch in the UK market after the Summer. Peruvian tobacco is incredibly sweet and our range of Secret Blend cigars continues to be our best-selling range of New World cigars. Excellent value for a premium blend cigar. Well-constructed, easy draw and all popular sizes and packaging.

Mitchell and Ron at the Cambridge Davidoff cigar tasting event

The Davidoff tasting at our Cambridge Robert Graham Whisky & Cigar shop was another resounding success with a capacity crowd, as ever, enjoying a video presentation from Andrew, our Davidoff representative. Plenty of Davidoff cigars and rather a lot of Dancing Stag single malt whisky ensured a good night was had by all :) My partner Ron Morrison (our very own single malt whisky expert and Managing Director of Robert Graham Ltd) and I  also took part in the experience and were delighted by the turn out. I must say, Davidoff cigars are absolutely sublime and the tasting events are a real treat for any cigar or whisky lover (including myself!).

Karyn Police Car Clubhouse DinnerNo cigars at the Clubhouse charity dinner last week but a great evening which raised a shed load of dosh for this excellent charity. Held at the Met in Hendon, great food, wine and company and clearly Karyn enjoyed being a copper with our friend Tim’s wife Debra! (more pictures below)

Next cigar auction is part of the Spectator cigar awards dinner at Boisdale Canary Wharf of the 1st December. Check out the event details here should be a memorable evening. We are happy to consider Lots for auction at this time. Sellers should initially email details.

Yagi-sanMy old friend Yagi-san from Tokyo popped into the office for a smoke and was dressed outrageously as usual! We enjoyed some 1990 Yamazaki which was in fact, remarkably good. Paired up with some 1990 Davidoff – amazing combo.

No sign of any new releases from Havana any time soon and we are at the ends of our stocks on the following cigars:

- Montecristo 520
- Punch Serie D’Oro No. 2
- Hoyo Grand Epicure

So, you may want to tuck some away while you can

We have however released some of our reserve stocks of :

- Montecristo D 2005
- Cuaba Piramides 2008
- Romeo Duke 2009

We also have some of the rather beautiful regional edition Trinidad robusto extra jars and Coleccion Habanos Obras Completas available from next week. email for details sales@cgarsltd.co.uk  

Building work is rapidly progressing at our new Norfolk premises due to open in a couple of months’ time. This shop will have the largest range of pipe tobacco in the country as well as a huge walk in cigar humidor and superb sampling room.

Michelle is on vacation for a few days so I’m stuck in the office pretending to run the business… Should be interesting!

Fabulous cigar smoking weather in London this week (don’t bet on how long that will continue!) and I’m hoping it will continue for the weekend so I can do a little topless driving and garden herfing.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

A Week of Herfing :)

I’m a lucky chap as my wife continuously reminds me how generally useless I am!… <quote>’you are quite useless  and just spend your days, weeks and years drinking, smoking, herfing and driving fast cars whilst Laura and Michelle run the business’ <end quote>. Of course I immediately refuted  this indignantly as being inaccurate as I don’t drive ‘fast cars’, just one fast car. The rest is pretty true though :)

lords_lunch_trade

Meanwhilst my exceptionally busy schedule included seeing The Eagles in concert at the O2 with my best bud Paul. The concert was incredibly good and Joe Walsh was insanely brilliant, but man do I hate the O2 as a venue! What’s with all the back wall percussion echo?!

In fact Michelle has been herfing this week too as I allowed her out of the London office (a rare occasion as sometime I think she must live here) as she attended the Tobacco Trade lunch at Lords this week together with colleagues Christine from Turmeaus Liverpool and Eliska our London warehouse Manager. Guest speaker was Karren Brady who I understand was exceptionally interesting and a great afternoon was had by all. (more pictures at the bottom)

outside_herfing_decking

Then there was a garden herf at my home with friends; Jay, Dov and Joe, that went on till the wee small hours and featured a bottle of Glendronach paired up with BHK 52, 54 and 56… My kinda evening. My wife and daughter were out of London visiting (potential) universities so I was home alone which was the first time ever and rather confusing as I couldn’t work out what to do with the whisky tumblers after the herf. I’m sure Karyn mentioned something about a machine that washes them but as I’m not very technical I may need to go through some re-training when she returns home.

Raspberry of the week goes to Edinburgh Trade Refuse department who have invoiced us for refuse bags that were never delivered and are now threatening legal action. Curiously, they have no phone number or email so we have no clue how to contact the idiots. No doubt they will blame it on a computer error eventually.

An additional large raspberry goes to the Gentlemen who passed me in the street as I was puffing on a RASS and said ‘do people really still smoke cigars?’ I just gave him my best look of disgust lol.

The largest raspberry though has to go to Talk Talk. The company that took over Tiscali that took over Lineone. If you don’t know what I am talking about , these are ISP’s and Lineone was my original ISP for my personal email address some 17 odd years ago.

Well they must have changed their settings as my email address stopped functioning for 3 days last week. However they continuously denied any responsibility ( If you know the FoneJacker characters from the TV program you will get the picture- all I will say is ‘ Internet Providings’!)

Thanks to the excellent service from a lovely lady at Microsoft for finally fixing the Talk Talk problem. So, adios Talk Talk, I have decided to consign your email to the trash and will shortly be setting up an email on one of our own domains.

And finally what on earth is going on with all the road works on Mill Lane?!! They don’t work at night so West End Lane and KHR are utterly blocked every morning. That means I can smoke a complete additional robusto (RASS this week) on the way to the office. Could be worse I guess especially as the weather has been good and I’ve been topless all week.

My office has been a hubbub of activity this week with clients from the UK and overseas coming to ‘sample’ cigars daily. Problem is it’s so difficult to sample a cigar without sampling some of that splendid Robert Graham single Malt. I think we whammed through a bottle of 17 year old Benrinnes yesterday (I certainly don’t remember much after it!) I do love Speysides, they just seem to pair perfectly with a good cigar.

Laura’s been busy in our Norfolk office with her Team adding yet another new feature to our online store. It sort of works like this:
When you are placing an order for something, a little window pops up with me on it saying ‘Mitchell Recommends: Inka Secret Blend Cigars – would you like to order that instead?’ It’s really funny but kinda cute! Let me know if you find it bloody annoying?!

And our young lad Liam in our marketing team is doing a Sterling job using our new competitor pricing system which ensures that we monitor and adjust online prices continuously to guarantee lowest priced cigars in the UK. How cool is that? Adios competitors!

Cohiba BHK52 have now officially overtaken our Cohiba Robustos sales. I never thought I would see the day! They really are smooth smokes though and personally – I love them.

Making great progress on this years limited Turmeaus Edition of Regius cigars and hope to have them in our cigar shops after the Summer. Regius are great value and quality Nicaraguan cigars. Check out the range on this link.

I’m often asked what I smoke when time is short and a quick whiff is needed? You may be surprised to hear that its Davidoff. I love the Ambassadrice, in fact it’s my ‘travelling cigar’ – perfect 10 minute smoke outside the terminal. I know, I know, they ain’t cheap but they are consistently first rate quality and construction. My other ‘go to’ quick cigars would of course be Inka Secret Blend Chicos. Now that’s a sweet smoke for under 3 quid a pop. Just lovely.

Ok so I’m outa’ here for another week and off to my Pop’s for his birthday dinner where we will be enjoying a few Dunhill Don Candido 500’s to celebrate. The best cigars for the best Father in the world of course!

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell