Time flies…

I can’t believe we are already at the end of September, time flies when you’re having fun. I must be having a bloody good time then 🙂

September was super busy with our third vintage cigar auction of the year taking place on the 10th September and clearly exceeding a lot of sellers expectations whilst making a lot of bidders very happy too. Quite a breath-taking catalogue of aged and rare Havanas including some quite outrageously beautiful Pre Embargo Cigars.

This was the first time we had done a September auction and we were pleasantly surprises at how successful the sale was. We only had 2 unsold Lots out of 340 which is pretty impressive I reckon. The online platform (created by my IT team… well done guys!) functioned seamlessly and at one stage had over 500 bidders online!

We keep all auction results online as a resource and they can be accessed via the sold search feature.

Our Winter auction will be on the 5th December and we are now considering eligible Lots. Simply email the auction team at auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

Karyn and I enjoyed spending a day in Paris to celebrate our birthdays (yup… we have the same birthdays!) zooming over on Eurostar and having lunch at Café Ruc opposite Hotel du Louvre. The weather was perfect and I enjoyed a 1980’s Davidoff Château Yquem followed by a Dunhill Cabinetta (my last one!)… the perfect way to celebrate.

I’m delighted to announce that C.Gars are now the exclusive UK Distributor of Avo cigars. Avo is a Davidoff owned brand so I don’t need to tell you how high quality these cigars are. Only recently launched in the UK and already proving very popular at Turmeaus cigar tastings and with our mail order clients.

Fancy treating yourself to the most insanely perfect cigar cutter ever? Check out the Katana. Truly magnificent. I have one :)… and if your cigar doesn’t draw when cut check this out and by the same very nice people some repair glue just in case!

Michelle and I were delighted to be invited to the Cohiba Talisman launch event by Hunters & Frankau on the 7th November. (The exclusive UK importer of all Havana cigars to the UK) Our cigar specialists from Turmeaus, Calum and David will also be joining us as well as the President of C.Gars, Ron Morrison. Should be one helluva event!

The UK cigar trade is very proud to be doing the first release of this limited edition cigar. It’s funny because many people on Facebook have shown photos of boxes and singles or say they have already bought these cigars and smoked them but we have confirmed with Hunters & Frankau that they can only be counterfeits as we have the launch in the UK and no other market has been supplied with them yet.

One Far East cigar merchant showed a cabinet full of the boxes of Cohiba Talisman. Interesting that when we enhanced the photo and captured the bar codes they could not be verified on the Habanos code checker site.  Buyers beware…

I spent last week in sunny Tel Aviv, sort of a last family vacation of the year (it goes a bit crazy for cigars merchants in the last quarter of the year). Chilled out herfing with my father and generally recharging the batteries. Whilst away our exclusive brand of Inka Secret Blend cigars from Peru received an award nomination from Cigar Journal and C.Gars Ltd received a Golden Band award nomination from Davidoff at the annual Dortmund trade show event.

We also had a delightful write up in Cigar Journal for Puffin Rooms & Turmeaus– Liverpool.

This week I visited Turmeaus Knutsford which can only be described as a chocolate box perfect cigar and whisky store and sampling lounge. Great range, super staff and delightful location. Who could ask for more? I then spent the evening at Puffin Rooms – Liverpool, relaxing to the music and singing of our lovely Victoria Sharpe and enjoying the menu from chef Chris. I popped in to the Turmeaus shop where Amrut whisky were doing a tasting event to a rather full crowd.

Next week I’m visiting Turmeaus and La Casa del Habano – Chester and will be chilling at Puffin Rooms on Tuesday evening. Come and join me, I will probably do a cigar Q&A at the Turmeaus cigar shop and lounge at around 8 p.m.

Okay that’s it for another month and I’m heading home with a baggie to enjoy….

Partagas Maduro No. 1 (a serious cigar!)

Bolivar Belicosos 2007 (my long-time favourite code TEB JUN07 – 2007 )

Oliva Orchant Seleccion Chubby (I really must get back on a diet soon!)

Inca Secret Blend Reserva D’Oro (Whatta smoke!)

Montecristo 80th Anniversary (just wow!)

… and a wee bottle of my multi award winning Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell Orchant

Ron’s Specialist Whiskies

Ardbeg knocks it out of the ballpark with this latest release, you might reply “yeah A No” that would be appropriate because once you taste it you will know Ardbeg fans will appreciate the new gathering or marrying cask that houses the various casks that go into this whisky so they get intimate before being bottled This Whisky has a creamy butterscotch smoky spice and a wee bit of chocolate. It will do me nicely.

Springbank does no wrong as far as I am concerned and this unpeated triple distilled. Hazelburn confirms that. Under appreciated this lovely dram has rich toffee vanilla notes with smoothly lively dance.

Despite getting a massive rating a couple years ago from Jim Murray this Kentucky beauty seems to be under the radar. Don’t miss out on these orangey vanilla tones talk Rye and this handcrafted gem works great on rocks.

Slainte,
Ron

Puffin Rooms … at Turmeaus Liverpool

Smokey greetings from rainy London where I have managed to get away from non-stop auction viewings for a few minutes to blog about my visit to Liverpool earlier this week.

It’s hard to describe how cool this venue is but checkout the website to get an idea. This really is the finest concept we have ever created because it ticks every box for a fantastic evenings experience that tantalizes all of the senses. Our chef has created a delicious menu of small plates and our mixologists the finest cocktails. Our whisky bar has over 200 single malt whiskies by the dram, probably the largest selection in the North West. 

Liverpool is such a cool city with great hotels and restaurants. Well worth a visit! Puffin Rooms has live music 7 nights a week and last Tuesday when we visited we had 3 different sets ( 4 singers) …the best of jazz and blues in opulent comfortable surroundings. After dinner we retired next door to our late night Turmeaus cigar shop and sampling lounge and despite being crammed full of guests sampling the finest premium cigars there was in fact zero smoke. This is due to our state of the art smoke cleaning system.

Everything that you can sample is of course available by the box and we also feature Davidoff cigars and a superb range of Zino accessories. I herfed with a friend at the Lanesborough last night and as its birthday week I decided to treat myself to a 1995 Cohiba Siglo V followed by a 1994 robusto and finishing with a Partagas Gran Reserva. Paired up with some excellent Rioja and a topless drive home to finish off a perfect evening.

This Sunday we will conclude our 3rd vintage cigar auction of the year. Check out the action here and very best of luck to our bidders and sellers, we are available by email 24/7 to assist and advise sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Going… going… gone…

Greetings from my rather smokey London office 🙂

Its auction time again and this is in fact our 3rd auction of the year. We normally conduct just 3 auctions a year but have snuck this extra one in before our planned Winter auction at the end of the year due to unprecedented demand.

We are expecting substantial interest from overseas buyers due to the weakness of the Pound Sterling at this time.

The catalogue features almost 350 Lots of aged and rare Havanas with some very unique pre-embargo cabinets as well as some highly desirable Davidoff and Dunhill Seleccion cigars.

Some of the Lots of particular interest include:

Lot 323 – H. Upmann Dunhill Seleccion No. 335

Lot 85 – Punch Coronas cabinet of 50 from 1985 ‘Specially selected by Dunhill’ stamped on base of cabinet. Excellent condition and appearance. Stored at Dunhill of London until recent transfer to C.Gars Ltd.
Estimate £1,500 – £2,000

Lot 179 – Punch Churchills cabinet of 50 from the 1980’s Ex Dunhill of London. Labelled for the Marquis of Tavistock.
Estimate £1,500 – £2,000

Lot 213 – Cohiba Sublimes limited edition 2004.
Estimate £2,800 – £3,400

Lot 283 – Davidoff Chateau Latour. Late 1970’s/early 1980’s. cabinet of 25.
Estimate £1,700 – £2,000

Lot 288 – Davidoff Chateau Mouton Rothschild. 1986.
Estimate £2,500 – £2,500

Lot 289 – Davidoff Dom Perignon. Sealed box of 10 cigars. 1980’s.
Estimate £1,400 – £1,700

Lot 296 – Dunhill H. Upmann Seleccion Suprema No.50. Cabinet of 50. 1960’s ‘ Specially Selected for Alfredo Zanardo ‘ on ribbon and cabinet. Dunhill on bands. Impeccable condition and appearance. Stored at Dunhill of London until recent transfer to C.Gars Ltd.
Estimate £4,000 – £5,000 (This cabinet is breathtaking!)

Lot 307 – H. Upmann Seleccion No.15 Dunhill Double Claro. Pre embargo cabinet of 50 cigars.
Estimate £3,750 – £4,250

Lot 322 – H. Upmann Dunhill Double Claro Seleccion Suprema A No. 60. Pre embargo cabinet of 50 cigars.
Estimate £4,500 – £5,500

Lot 323 – H. Upmann Dunhill Seleccion No. 335.Pre embargo cabinet of 160 cigars.
Estimate £8,000 – £10,000

Lot 345 – Villar y Villar 100 No. V Pre embargo cabinet of 100 cigars.
Estimate £4,500 – £5,500

Its easy to get into the action and works a bit like eBay:

Auction Lots can be viewed online and bid on.

PDF catalogue can be viewed on this link.

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.

In other news this week:

Shortages of supply continue with Havanas including Behike and Siglo VI and there is still no sign of any new releases (including the long overdue ones from last year) and the situation doesn’t look like it will get better any time soon. Curiously the UK regional edition Punch Medalla made a brief re-appearance but has more or less sold out again! Stock up on your favourites whilst they are still available.

My final Havana Orchant selection release of the year is now out. Ramon Allones Specially Selected – Orchant Seleccion. I love these cigars and this batch is of superior quality. Just 15 boxes left now from the original release of 32.

I spent a couple of days at our outpost in Norfolk this week. Turmeaus – Norfolk is a haven for cigar and pipe smokers with a comfortable sampling lounge and a super attentive team of staff. We have a huge range of Cuban and New World cigars as well as smokers accessories and pipe tobacco. Situated 12 miles from Norwich I reckon we are the only specialist for many miles around.

Next week I will be at Turmeaus and Puffin’ Rooms Liverpool on Tuesday and Turmeaus and La Casa del Habano – Chester on Wednesday. If you haven’t experienced Puffin’ Rooms yet, come and join me from 5 pm on Tuesday till late and I will personally show you around. Find out more on our website www.puffinrooms.co.uk.

Puffin’ Rooms are really something special. Our late night Turmeaus cigar shop and sampling lounge is adjacent so you can in fact listen to live music (7 nights a week), enjoy the delicious menu, marvel at the incredible cocktails, select from 200 single malt whiskies… and then go next door to sample a cigar… or two 🙂

It’s my anniversary this weekend so I will be kicking back and enjoying a rather stuffed baggie full of these rather cheeky smokes:

Davidoff Chateau Y’Quem – bit of a treat!

Ramon Allones – Orchant Seleccion

… and a box of Regius (have you seen these C.Gars exclusives? Ridiculously good value!)

I’m going to grab one of these samplers as it’s a great mix of smokes.

All accompanied with a splendid bottle of our latest single cask release Ben Nevis.

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

I’m Baaacckkkkkk!

I’m back… after a rather long 6 weeks out of the UK and looking outside my window it doesn’t look like I brought the sunshine back from Los Angeles 🙂 I was hoping for a topless drive to my favourite pub (The Three Horseshoes) and a quiet smoke in their garden but alas its not to be this weekend.

My trip started with the annual IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. I always thought that a tobacco trade organisation with ‘CPR’ in its title was rather ominous!

Regardless, I have been going to this wonderful trade show (all over the US) for almost 19 years and enjoyed this one as much as ever. There seemed to be fewer exhibitors and visitors than previous years but that just made it easier for me to get around and see all of the cigar and accessories distributors and manufacturers more efficiently.

Vegas was blisteringly hot as ever and the air conditioning was too cold. The hotel we were all staying at had no single malt and ran out of blended whisky too (unbelievable!) But, smoking was allowed in the casino and the bars so I’m not complaining too much.

I continue to be impressed by the New World cigars with stunning quality and blending as well as beautiful packaging from our friends and colleagues at Fuente, Oliva, Alec Bradley, Davidoff and La Flor Dominican to mention a few. We look forward to introducing some more exclusive lines from some of these fine cigar manufacturers over the next few months and beyond.

The growth in popularity of New World cigars was something that I accurately predicted over 10 years ago. I’m glad I acted on my thoughts as these cigars now account for a huge chunk of our group business both in mail order and our retail group, It was obvious to me that new generations of cigar aficionados would be more willing to ‘mix it up’ and try both Fine Havana cigars as well as a variety of New World cigars. And rightly so I say, after all – variety is the spice of life.

I reckon C.Gars has the largest selection and stocks of New World cigars in the UK by a long distance 🙂 all available online and in store.

Karyn and I spent the rest of our trip hosting or being guests at numerous herfs all over Los Angeles. Small herfs, huge herfs… we did them all 🙂 It was great to meet so many old friends and make so many new friends too. Staying at the same hotel and the same suite as we have done for so many years in a cigar friendly hotel didn’t make it seem like too much hard work.

Our thanks to all of our friends in L.A. as well as our friends who flew over from New York to herf with us.

Back to C.Gars London headquarters to catch up for a few days and disappointed to see that the Cohiba Siglo VI have now joined Cohiba Behikes in the out of stock category. Clearly there are still agricultural issues affecting supply. Many of our clients are now switching to Trinidad Vigia (a simply superb Havana cigar) and Cohiba Piramides Extra (super delicious) How long they will be available for is hard to say in the current climate. We are up to full capacity in all of our walk in humidors but demand for Havanas continues to increase this year beyond even what we had anticipated.

We are still eagerly anticipating the exclusive launch and release of the Cohiba Talisman Limited Edition early February in the UK. Will keep you posted.

I’m just putting the finishing touches on our September 10th Vintage Cigar Auction. We decided to hold this extra auction as a few of our clients did not want to wait till our Winter auction. I thought we would just hold a small, perhaps 100 Lot auction but this sale seems to have taken on a life of its own with over 320 Lots already catalogued. Catalogue will be online and bidding open on the 1st September. A splendid range vintage, mature, Pre Embargo, Davidoff and Dunhill cigars to say the least and no doubt some bargains to be won by some lucky bidders.

This Tuesday I will be at visiting Turmeaus Liverpool, our amazing flagship cigar and whisky store in the city where Turmeaus was established 200 years ago. Tuesday evening I’ll be chilling out at The Puffin Rooms for supper and cocktails with some great live jazz music. Open from 5 p.m. till late… come and join me and we can have also sample cigars in the Turmeaus shop right next door to the Puffin Rooms.

The Puffin Rooms opened around 4 weeks ago and as one of my friends who visited recently said we have knocked it out of the ballpark! I can’t even think of anywhere like this place in London. Live music 7 nights a week, 5 star service, splendid menu, cocktails and 200 whiskies available by the dram. Add to that the Turmeaus cigar and sampling lounge open till late for a perfect evening… chic and cool, if not unique.

In other news this week >>> congratulations/mazal tov to my nephew Gabriel and his wife Verity as they are expecting another baby (No. 3!) we are slowly working on making Gabriel a cigar smoker and whisky drinker 🙂 (with surprising success recently!)

Congratulations to Nick and Hannah on their forthcoming wedding (and wedding herf!) next weekend. Nick is ‘The face of C.Gars’. Handsome devil has his image in all of our shops and catalogues!… and of course as expected Nick is marrying an exceptionally beautiful young lady.

Have a smokey week.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell