Party time!

This is definitely party (or event!) season kicking off with a brilliant cigar and whisky tasting last week at our La Casa del Habano in Chester. We treated attendees to shoe shines (thank you Paul) with compliments to Loake shoemakers and wet shaves (thank you Elliott) with compliments of Suave Barbers whilst delicious canapes were served by our friends at Bar Lounge. Whiskies included various Chester_Summer_3Glen Scotia’s and Stalla Dhu’s (to name a few) and cigars included Upmann Half Coronas and Por Larranaga Sobresalientes. Rather tasty combo’s. An additional mega whisky tasting session was also being held in the LCDH back bar with a massive selection of Bruichladdich which were quite splendid. I can’t quite remember what we were celebrating but we had an awesome La Casa del Habano cake…as if I need anything specific to celebrate!

Whilst up North I also swung by Turmeaus Knutsford and Turmeaus Liverpool and did a little stock sampling for quality purposes. All was well I am pleased to report. I inspected the works at the new Turmeaus at The Albany in Old Hall street which is coming along very nicely indeed. Can’t wait to get this new premises open.

Tonight is the Hunters & Frankau Summer party at The Corinthia Hotel which I’m looking forward to. Hopefully we may get some new Havana releases finally! More details in my next blog.

The annual tobacco trade lunch at Lords is tomorrow. A few of our managers will be enjoying this event. I attended a few of them but gave up after one year George Galloway was the guest speaker (yes , yes – I should have checked before and then I would not have gone) I figured the organisers must have been complete idiots to invite this bigot so I didn’t want to be associated with this bunch of clowns. I think the clowns have all retired by now thankfully. Must be a good thing for the industry!

SCohiba_RobustosSupremos_so the success story of the year (so far) has to be the Cohiba Robusto Supremo , this Limited edition from 2014. Measuring in at 5” and 58 ring gauge this whopper has bags of sweet Cohiba flavour in a very full cool draw. I reckon we have literally sold thousands of boxes and there seems to be no end in demand. If prices go the same way as other limited edition Cohiba these smokes are looking like great value.

It’s countdown for the Summer Cigar Auction  that will be held at The Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge next Monday. If you can’t make the event you can always bid online. Almost 300 Lots of rather sexy Havanas if I do say so myself. The auction is followed by a whisky and cigar sampling which should be at least as much fun as always.

Turmeaus Chester have a great event coming up on the June 23rd check out the details on this link  There will also be a Davidoff cigar roller in store from the 20th June rolling fresh Winston Churchill cigars.

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

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Happy Birthday Cohiba!

12093549_1226170147402452_435869061_nI think this has been my first full week in the London C.Gars office this year, not bad considering its June already, lol.  So, I took advantage of the time with my G.M. Michelle on vacation by revisiting and doing a thorough sampling of a load of Cohiba cigars.  Seemed the right thing to do considering this year is the 50th anniversary of Cohiba. 🙂

Cigars included were Cohiba 1966, Cohiba Lanceros from the late 1980’s, Cohiba Esplendidos 1994, Cohiba Genios and Magicos from 2007 and Cohiba Piramides 2006. They were all very different in character which made it all the more interesting.

The finesse and delicate flavours of the well-aged Lanceros and Esplendidos were a joy. The Piramides is one of the finest Limited editions and has aged very well with plenty of life/improvement to go. The 1966 was simply incredible. I reckon this may well be the best of all the limited editions. Bold blend, rich and complex. I nearly burned my fingers on this puppy! I love the Maduro 5 series cigars, not to be smoked in the morning or on an empty stomach, that’s for sure. These cigars have strength to match the full flavour profile.

I was pleasantly surprised that I haven’t  had a single construction dud this week and of course there should not be any duds with Cohiba, the Rolls Royce of Havana brands. However the reality is that occasionally there are construction issues with all Havana brands. It’s a totally handmade product so let’s be realistic… anything’s possible!

When I get a cigar with a tight draw on the pre light, I don’t stress about it and just cut it in half as most construction problems are ‘twists’ in the filler the constrict the passage of smoke. By cutting the cigar in half the twist is released and at least I can usually smoke both halves! In fact I have created quite a few ‘new’ vitolas like this  🙂

vintage_cigar_auction_catalogue_2016Our Summer Auction catalogue is now online for download and auction Lots bidding will be open next Tuesday. A rather impressive catalogue if I do say. The condition and appearance of the Davidoff cigars is quite superb. The packs of 5 cigars are quite incredible with many having very dark leaf (I always believe darker leaf cigars age better than lighter leaf). The Pre Embargo section is the largest ever offered at auction or anywhere to the best of my knowledge.

The auction events are always great fun for me as they are attended by many clients and friends of C.Gars and we have a super cigar and whisky sampling after the sale. If all goes to plan my new Orchant Selection Highland cigar malt whisky will be one of the whiskies to accompany the fabulous UK regional edition Havanas we will be enjoying at The Bulgari (Edward Sahakian Cigar shop and lounge).

Aerial_liverpool_albany_shopNext week I’m back on the road or should I say the railway 🙂 heading up North to Turmeaus – Liverpool and checking out how our new Liverpool shop at The Albany is coming along. I understand that we now have walls and wiring! Here’s thee architect image of how the whisky and tobacco room and sampling bar will look 🙂

I’m hoping to drop in to Turmeaus – Knutsford on my way to La Casa del Habano Chester where we have a mega event planned on the 8th June.

This weekend I’m herfing with chums at the lovely Ten Manchester Street Hotel cigar terrace which is one of our favourite places to chill out with a good drink and cigar or three 🙂

In the baggie for the weekend I have a bit of a mix including :

Upmann Half Coronas – Currently my favourite morning smoke.
Partagas Salomones – Monster good smoke, light to medium in strength but delicious full flavour.
Regius Campana 2015 – Plenty of ‘Nic kick’!
Davidoff Puro d’Oro Gorditos – I love this cigar, are they really discontinuing it?!
Nat Sherman Sterling – A first rate Dominican exclusive to C.Gars/Turmeaus.

A HUGE congratulations to Daniel, my assistant at Turmeaus – Mayfair as he has just passed his ‘Master of Cigars Exam’. Very clever chap and we are all very proud of him.

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

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Prague Herfing!

Just back from a few days R&R in sunny Prague 🙂 I have been to Prague with Michelle many years ago but had almost forgot what a beautiful city this is in terms of architecture (quite breath-taking) as well as in terms of how smoker friendly it is!

CjN1t84WYAAGbuzGranted, I was lucky as the weather was fairly fab but just about every café, bar, restaurant had outside (many covered and heated) patios with ashtrays on the tables and no one batted an eye lid as I lit up my Inka Secret Blend Half Coronas, Chicos and Upmann Half Coronas.

I visited the La Casa del Habano which is a pretty large cigar store and lounge with a decent range in the walk in humidor and I went to the Cohiba Atmosphere which was pretty impressive as a concept (first one I have seen) We stayed in the Kings Court Hotel which was first rate/very well located and the casino allows cigar smoking (I finished 20 quid up on roulette!)

That’s the end of my international trips for a few weeks at least which is a bit of a relief as it is starting to feel that I have spent more time out of the UK than in the UK!… and that’s the first 5 months of the year passed already! Vintage cigar auction coming up fast on the 20th and we are already taking entries for our Winter auction. They say time flies when you’re enjoying yourself so I must be having a bloody good time!

So a few other exciting bits and pieces including the introduction of two new Macanudo Inspirado sizes next week to join the madly popular Mareva. We are also looking forward to the Davidoff cigar roller events at our Chester Turmeaus shop in June and we’ll be running a series of Davidoff specials at all of our shops and online from the 8th June.

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new_regius_2015_cigarsThe huge success of the Regius cigar brand marches on with no end to this brands popularity in the UK. Checkout the range on this link. Great quality and super value. My favourites being the Orchant Seleccion of course 😉 Volumes of flavour from this Nicaraguan dark wrappered beauty.

Nice article about Marc Sinden in Cigar Journal last week, read it on this link.

liverpool_albany_humidor_planTurmeaus at The Albany, Liverpool is coming along nicely and I understand in addition to a floor we now have walls! this will give you an idea of what the humidor will look like. Fair to say it should be pretty impressive with a huge range of Cuban and the best New World cigars.

We’re having a bit of a Summer party bash at La Casa del Habano – Chester on the 8th June. Tickets on this link but you may need to hurry as the event is more or less sold out now. We have shoe shines and wet shaves, music, canapés and of course a Havana cigar tasting paired up with some rather tasty single malt whisky and Cuban rum. I’ll be hosting the event so I’m looking forward to herfing with our whisky club members as well as our La Casa clients. It will be a memorable evening 🙂

On the 14th June I’ll be herfing at the Hunters & Frankau Summer Party which is being held at The Corinthia. I can’t wait to see what new cigars will be released and I’m hoping it’s the new UK regional edition. I can’t think of any other new cigars that have been released from Havana this year so fingers crossed this will be the first… at last!

Michelle is on vacation this week so I’m ‘stuck’ in the office all week and I’ll be taking advantage of the time putting the finishing design touches on the Orchant Selection Cigar single malt whisky that I have just created. It’s a first rate Highland that pairs up to perfection with a fine cigar. it won’t drown out the delicate flavours of a good Havana and this will be the best value cigar malt on the market (would you expect anything less of me?!)

Have a smokey week.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

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Herfing USA!

Just back from a hard weeks herfing in New York 🙂 We enjoyed excellent weather but fortunately the weather was not crucial as there are so many places to herf indoors. New York is seriously cigar friendly.

CiL7y6KWwAA-JDAMy first stop was Davidoff on 6th Avenue. This used to be my early morning hang out for many years when it was De La Concha and it’s a bit of a shame that the Olde worlde charm of DLC has been replaced with an ultra-modern shop. It used to have so much atmosphere and was a very friendly place to meet and chat with fellow cigar smokers. I heard that the Davidoff Puro D’Oro range may be discontinued so I smoked a Gordito as I always enjoyed this blend. A perfectly constructed cigar (aren’t all Davidoffs?!) with a slight saltiness as a flavour characteristic but light to medium strength that made for a well-balanced smoke.

CiMkGZFXIAENfDNNext stop was my favourite cigar store in the USA, the world famous Nat Sherman. I love this place as the staff and the customers are all super friendly. I’m bias though as they also feature Inca – Secret Blend in the fabulous walk-in humidor! That said I smoked Nat Sherman Sterling which are one of my favourite New World cigars. We proudly import and stock a good range of Nat Sherman cigars both online and in store. Great value and excellent quality cigars that we highly recommend.

CiRzNAHWEAU6UOgI think the newest Davidoff shop and lounge is at Brookfield Place and I enjoyed a Davidoff Nicaraguan robusto whilst Karyn was busy shopping. This cigar store is beautiful and the service was very friendly too, the humidor was very impressive and the lounge very comfortable.

An hour out of NYC and I was at J.R. Cigars in Whippany, billed as the biggest cigar store in the world! I first herfed here some 17 years ago and it was great to return and see how it had changed with more CiWhj_6W0AAPrErcomfortable lounge areas and a mouth-watering selection of just about every cigar imaginable. Impressive would be an understatement. J.R. Cigars are now stocking Inca – Secret Blend and it was a pleasure to meet the Team that deal with all of the products, internet and marketing. Really great bunch who clearly are at the top of their game.

Saturday night was time for the late show at Carnegie Club with a Sinatra tribute show. Brilliant orchestra and singer and a fabulous late night herf with some of my best friends. We herfed our way through a ton of Fuente Opus X paired up with… A lot of Macallan 🙂 till the early hours of the morning.

Late night smokes at Bar and Books on Lexington is always fun and they have a great whisky menu too. They have a few locations including Prague in the Czech Republic so I plan to check that out next week when I’m over there.

CiWDGv9WkAEEbQyWe enjoyed some great evenings including going to Lavo which was very cool, Polo Bar – very chic, and Park Side highly recommended.

We also herfed at Gran Havana Room and blasted through a box of Regius Orchant Seleccion Hermosos that I brought over for friends to try.

Sunday was time to relax at Club Macanudo where we smoked Macanudo cigars 🙂 with some Balvenie 21.

All in all a rather mega herfing week and I can’t wait for my next trip to the Big Apple!

In other news… Summer Cigar Auction is fast approaching (20th June) and the catalogue is at the printers already so we hope to have it online and in the post to registered clients in the next week or so. Its huge and interesting sale of over 300 Lots of aged and rare Havanas. There are still a few tickets left for the event which includes a whisky and cigar tasting at the Sahakian cigar lounge post auction. More details on this link.

The new Turmeaus at The Albany in Liverpool is coming along nicely and I understand the floor now exists! The builders are crashing away and we’re on schedule for a late Summer opening of our latest cigar and whisky store and sampling lounge. Exciting stuff!

There was also a nice little write up on HalfWheel.com featuring a superb portrait by Brooks Wittington, so my thanks to them! You can see the article on this link.

So, after a week of delicious New World cigars it’s time to get back to some of my favourite Havanas of course and the first one up in smoke was an Orchant Seleccion Bolivar Royal Corona a true return to blending form for this cheeky robusto. Full flavour and full strength, how they used to be. Dark wrappers perfect construction and a beautiful aroma with volumes of smoke to tease the palate.

It’s good to be home!

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

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