HNY!

CXVEL6cWkAA7eiCRighto, that’s Christmas over with and I hope all of my blog readers enjoyed as decadent a four day break as I did :) Billecart Salmon Champagne and Davidoff Chateau Margaux and 4000 as my treat on Christmas day and copious quantities of Bolivar Belicosos paired up with Robert Graham’s Ailein Mor and Benrinnes 1995 single malt whisky the rest of the time… My kinda Christmas!

Back to the office on Tuesday to a rather astonishing 1500 mail orders which I am pleased to say should all just about arrive on time for New Year’s Eve celebrations. Well done to Eliska in the London warehouse team and James in the Norfolk warehouse team and their staff for keeping up with all of the order volume. It truly took us by surprise (a very nice one!) this year and we will have to assume that our clients are very happy with the service if all the lovely emails received are anything to go by :)

CW_xGmfWMAAICH9Pre-Christmas herfing… I mean working was at Turmeaus – Mayfair. My little Oasis in central London, where I was joined by clients and chums for drinks and smokes last week. Probably best I left the car at home! Best of the cigars was the Diplomaticos no.2 perfectly crafted and very sweet full flavoured.

This week I herfed at Ten Manchester Street; one of my favourite cigar terraces in London, warm and comfortable and always great service. We paired up Glenkinchie with Sancho Panza Belicosos which was a perfect marriage of flavours.

CW8Pui9W8AADEJkAnother year over and I’m already excited for 2016! Our brand new Knutsford Turmeaus is having loads more work done in January including the addition of a wine room which will be a first for a Turmeaus. Our next Vintage Cigar Auction will take place on February 28th, The Cohiba 50th anniversary will be celebrated in Havana in early March and Karyn has my diary crammed full of overseas trips already. It’s going to be a busy year…

I’ll be wrapping up the year at Turmeaus Mayfair on New Year’s Eve and then heading home armed with a baggie full of Cohiba 1966 and Cohiba Robusto Supremo. Suitably large cigars to celebrate our best year ever :) Not wanting to drown out the delicious flavours of the Cohiba, I will be pairing them up with Pol Roger 2002 which should work perfectly.

Next week I’m heading up North again to Turmeaus – Liverpool, Knutsford and Chester and looking forward to sampling some cigars and a few drams with our Turmeaus customers.

Wishing all friends of C.Gars and Turmeaus as well as my fabulous colleagues and our brilliant suppliers a very Happy New Year.

Peaceful puffing.

Mitchell

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It’s Christmas Time!

Its definitely Christmas time from the aches and pains in my back after spending a week playing at being a retail cigar merchant at Turmeaus in Liverpool, Chester and Knutsford! I don’t think I can ever remember a busier Christmas season or for that matter a more fun season (aches and pains aside!)

Karyn and I had such a great week at the Turmeaus shops working 15 hour days helping the Team. We are both fairly useless in retail so we helped out filling shelves and packing orders mainly :) whilst sneaking in the odd cheeky cigar and dram now and again!

turmeaus_knutsford_cuban_cigars_giftsThe new Knutsford Turmeaus is open but we still have a month of ‘ finishing touches ‘ to complete which includes a wine room that we are building as well as a lot more imaging and furniture as the premises are in fact far larger than we thought when we originally zoomed past it in the car and decided ‘yup yup – that’s the next Turmeaus’! (call me impulsive!) The lounge is already complete and super comfy. The range of products is 90% complete with an extensive amount of Havana and New World cigars, pipes and tobaccos, single malt whisky, rum, gin, vodka, wine and champagne. The shops features a fabulous range of Dunhill humidors, cutters, case and all other cigars accessories. A great place to visit and herf at for sure :)

Our flagship Chester Turmeaus was busier than a train station at rush hour! Thank goodness we opened the third store just in time! The La Casa del Habano humidor and lounge had queues of customers coming in to buy their Christmas cigars as well as sample many in the lounge. This has to be the largest cigar and whisky specialist store in the UK? A paradise for our clients and it was so wonderful receiving so many compliments from them over the course of the week.

The UK really is a Montecristo market and it never ceases to amaze me how many of these fine cigars we sell to our clients. So, we built a bit of a Montecristo mountain in the La Casa humidor! By the time I had left it was reduced to a mole hill :) I definitely am the king of selling Montecristo!

That said, New World cigars such as Inka – Secret Blend, Oliva and Fuente were also selling like there’s no tomorrow and UK regional editions such as the splendid new Bolivar Belgravia were flying off the shelves.

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The addition of the 3rd shop in Chester that specialises in premium spirits has received a very warm welcome and the comfy tub chairs in the bar area were constantly full of clients enjoying single malts and G&T’s. We’re licenced to sell by the dram so you can try before you buy from our extensive whisky list. Very cool…

We now offer super-fast local deliveries in the North in the C.GarsMobile! And we always offer super-fast 2 hour delivery service in London.

We did manage to have a little R&R during the evenings which included our shop fit out supplier dinner at the wonderful ‘Abode’ as well as the Chester Turmeaus Team dinner at the super cool Bar – Lounge loads of Champagne, great food, after dinner cocktails and some great smokes (Davidoff Chateau Margaux 1981) Bar – Lounge is a super place to herf.

I also went over to the two Turmeaus shops in Liverpool where again the customers were queuing to get in to buy their Christmas smokes and drinks. Small specialist shops with a huge range and always a warm welcome. I’m looking forward to expanding substantially in Liverpool in 2016.

C.Gars – London and Norfolk hit a new order shipping record on Monday with over 1000 mail order parcels being shipped! And that was after 24 hour shifts on the weekend and numerous courier and post collections all day, every day. Incredible achievement and well done to the C.Gars Teams. We have the largest stocks in the UK and give the best and fastest service possible. Don’t take my word for it – read what our customers say about us.

So, it’s the last few days till Christmas and after catching up at C.Gars London, I’ll be herfing… Oops I mean working at Turmeaus – Mayfair. Small but cool and with a comprehensive range of premium cigars as well as a comfortable sampling area.

I’m ever so proud of the C.Gars Group, the growth this year has been substantial with two additional Turmeaus shops and record sales. Despite all the anti-tobacco legislation (and rather stupid much of it is) we continue to go from strength to strength. We plan to open more Turmeaus cigar & whisky shops in 2016 and in 2017 we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Turmeaus Tobacconist Est. 1817; quite a milestone.

Check out the opening times for our shops over the holidays on this link, Turmeaus Chester will even be open on Boxing Day this year! C.Gars Ltd is online and available to assist and advise 24/7 every day of the year.

I’m looking forward to a few days kicking back with a baggie stuffed full of 2007/2010 and 2014 Bolivar Belicosos over the long weekend and a few vintage Davidoff as a ‘pat on the back’ treat after a great year. I’m going to pair them up with some Benrinnes 1995 – 19 year old single malt whisky from Robert Graham Ltd (thank you Steve Johnstone!) and 2002 Pol Roger Champagne (thanks to my favourite cigar merchants, Edward and Eddie!)

Merry Christmas to all of our C.Gars and Turmeaus customers and of course my brilliant C.Gars and Turmeaus Teams.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Smokey, Sherry Cask Whisky!

Hello whisky and spirit lovers alike! The past couple of months here at Turmeaus Chester have been an amazing and exciting experience! This store truly is a treasure trove of fine cigars and unique whiskies, from a 1960s bottling of Tamdhu to early 1980’s Cuban Davidoff cigars! Whisky has always been my number one passion, so trust me when I say that we carry bottlings that would impress even the most avid connoisseur.

I recently had the honour of attending a Paul John event in London for the release of their new expression BOLD! For those of you who don’t know, Paul John is a New-World whisky distillery based out of India. This was a wonderful event that allowed me to taste their previous lines of Brilliance and Edited. Their whisky is much younger than most traditional Scottish whiskies, as it does not need as much time to mature due to the tremendous heat in India. The night was filled with great authentic Indian food and even better whisky! Definitely keep your eye on these guys, as the whisky they produce is top quality.

Schris_filling_caskpeaking of top quality, I recently had tasted Richard Patterson’s newest Cigar reserve “Corriemhor” which I found to be an incredible dram for the price, fighting in the same circles as his previous Cigar Malt from Dalmore. All that wonderful sherried whisky inspired an idea… Why not age our own cigar malt here in the Casa Del Habano, Chester? What better place to age our own Cigar Malt than a room filled with nothing but the smoke from the finest Cuban cigars in the world? I started with getting my hands on a 2 litre charred  American Oak cask and filling it with Pedro Ximenez sherry and allowing to soak into the cask for 7 days. On Wednesday the 25th of November I emptied the sherry and filled the cask with Single Malt “New Make”, I will let this age in the cigar lounge for 6 months (as a small 2 litre cask will not need as much time to age in a warm environment). Casks tend to pick up the characteristics of its surroundings; I’m dying to know how the cigar smoke will play a role in the flavour of the whisky! If you’re curious as well, make sure to make a note of the date; May 25th 2016… Once released, it won’t last long 😉

Until next week friends,

Puff Proudly,
Sip Sophisticatedly
and enjoy life!

– Chris Morrison

Turmeaus Whisky
Chester

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Turmeaus Knutsford – NOW OPEN!

turmeaus_knutsford_cigar_whisky_shop_frontI don’t know how I always seem to manage to open a new cigar store at our busiest time of year – just before Christmas, seems to happen every year. It also seems to coincide with our Winter auction and the Cigar Smoker of the year awards event at Boisdale (read more on the previous blog). To say it’s a bit of a madhouse of busyness at C.Gars is an understatement. But… I, of course, wouldn’t have it any other way :)

PicsArt_12-10-09.43.00So, I am very pleased to announce that Turmeaus- Knutsford is officially open and what a delightful Turmeaus shop this is. Tobacco, smokers accessories, shaving gear and a walk in humidor on the ground floor, premium spirits and comfortable sampling lounge on the first floor. A paradise for our clients (and me!)

The Turmeaus – Knutsford shop joins our group of delightful specialist tobacconists shops in Liverpool, Chester, Norfolk and London’s Mayfair.

PicsArt_12-10-09.27.04Two new members of staff have joined the Team and Daniel from Turmeaus – Mayfair has been busy training them over the last week. Finishing touches will be completed by Monday which is great timing as I’m heading up North for the week next week and looking forward to my first smoke (and a dram) at this new Turmeaus store. We’re planning on regular cigar and spirit tastings and newsletter subscribers will receive updates automatically.

Wednesday Whisky Club (Chester) members will of course get the reduced ticket prices and we will have a little launch part early next year.

Winter cigar auction work has been all consuming over the last week as we wade through a zillion invoices, seller reports and pick/pack/ship of the 350-odd Lots from the sale. If all goes to plan we’ll be up to date pretty soon and as ever sellers will receive on time payments and buyers that opted for shipping will receive the fastest delivery service we can possibly do. Our next auction will be on the 28th February and some choice Lots are already arriving into our humidor.

I managed to escape the craziness of the London office for a few hours to herf at the Lanesborough cigar terrace on Tuesday and treated myself to a Davidoff No. 1 from the 1970’s paired up with a couple of drams of Macallan 18 year old. A perfect pairing for my palate.

We expanded our whisky range quite substantially over the last few months but I’m still amazed at the popularity of Japanese whisky. If you want to try some we have this super popular sampler pack. A friend gifted me a bottle of Yamazaki sherry butt 1990 which I have been merrily enjoying at the office and one of my clients recently told me that the value of this bottle had rocketed to 900 quid a bottle. Hey ho… I have good taste and good friends!

For an even bigger range visit the Robert Graham website or shops in West Hampstead, Cambridge, Glasgow and Edinburgh (2 locations).

We now have the Alec Bradley Fine and Rare Toro in stock and having sampled a couple, I can tell you, they are not only good value but also a super-premium smoke that I enjoyed immensely.

Our Inka – Secret Blend continue to be our bestselling New World cigar, super value and a delicious sweet blend. I am enjoying the Robusto and Half Corona on a daily basis.

The petit robusto sampler pack has arrived and is selling like bonkers! I love this presentation, it’s very chic and perfect to keep my cigars in good shape in the car (I just add a baby Boveda!)

If you are a coffee lover you have to try the new range of Twin Engine we have introduced. It’s made in Nicaragua and I had a lot of fun sampling all the sizes in the Regius sampler pack with this coffee. Another perfect pairing.

Still plenty of time to top up your humidors before Christmas as our shops are crammed full of every cigar you could dream of and our mail order division is working flat out 24/7 to fill all orders rapidly. I’m pretty certain we have the largest stocks of premium cigars in the UK (I’m pretty certain we are the largest cigar specialist in the UK!) if it’s on the website… Its available :)

Looking forward to seeing the retail Turmeaus Team in Liverpool, Knutsford and Chester next week as well as a lot of our clients. I’ll be based in Chester La Casa del Habano and happy to help you choose the perfect Havana for the holidays or the perfect gift for friends and family.

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

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Auctions and Awards!

web-Nov2015-Auction-IMG_5568What a wonderful week! Kicking off with our most successful auction since we started the auction department in 2009. The Winter Vintage Cigar Auction was held on Monday afternoon at The Bulgari Hotel. 359 Lots were offered and most of the Lots were sold within or above the estimates with total revenue in excess of £650,000 this may well be the most successful commercial cigar auction in history

The Auction was conducted by our C.Gars consultant auctioneer Jonathan Humbert in his inimitable manner and the room was packed to capacity with an international crowd of cigar collectors, connoisseurs and aficionados. Simultaneously the sale was broadcast online through our auction website so absentee bidders could bid live online as the auction was taking place.

web-Nov2015-Auction-IMG_5582There were in fact over 250 online bidders (another record) and at various stages the online bidding was so intense, the room bidders could not even get in on the action. The catalogue was very impressive with a good balance of limited editions, mature, vintage, Davidoff , Dunhill and a huge Pre Embargo section.

Exchange rate may have caused an effect on some of the results as Davidoff prices looked like good value in Sterling terms however the Dunhill Estupendos Lot went stratospheric at £6,000 equating to almost £700 per cigar after fees!

The star Lot was a pre embargo cabinet of 100 Romeo Invencibles sold for £30,000.

Other highlights included a magnificent La Corona cabinet of 120 cigars sold for £12,000, Cohiba Sublimes Coleccion Habanos book  sold for an impressive £4,050, Cohiba Gran Reserva sold for £3,000 and Davidoff 5000 sold for £3,750

20151130_194028Post auction hospitality was enjoyed at the Edward Sahakian cigar sampling lounge with delicious canapes, Montecristo Medias Coronas and Bolivar Belgravia to smoke and some of Robert Grahams finest single malt whisky. My thanks to Mike Choi for making sure all of our guests had such a lovely evening and my thanks to the C.Gars auction Team for all of their hard work. All in all a splendid event.

Our next auction will take place on the 28th February 2016 and this will be an online auction only. Email Laura and the Auction Team if you would like to have Lots considered for entry at auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

I’m relieved that the auction is over and successful buyers are already collecting their cigars as well as having them shipped because we can’t move for Christmas stock in our London humidor! Take a look at the 4000 plus products on my website… Everything is available including the largest range and stocks of premium cigars in the UK. (yes, I’m fairly certain that we are the largest cigar specialist in the UK!)

Tuesday and the partying continued, this time at our annual Cigar Smoker of the year event at the wonderful Boisdale Canary Wharf. C.Gars Ltd are co – sponsors and we assist in organizing the wonderful cigars at this annual event, we also donate Lots to the charity auction and my co – director Karyn was having fun bidding (and winning!) in the silent auction for some rather expensive bottles of single malt whisky!

To say the dinner, drinks and entertainment not to mention the service from the Boisdale crew was magnificent would not do justice to this wonderful event. C.Gars had a table of 16 chums who thoroughly enjoyed the evening with many commenting that the atmosphere this year was the best ever and the evening flew by in seconds.

CVLLoLSWEAEr4wEThe Lifetime achievement award went to Burt Reynolds, The Cigar Smoker of the year award went to Jonathan Ross, The Lanesborough won the cigar terrace of the year, Habanos SA won the manufacturer award, James Leavey won the cigar journalist award, 1A St James’s won the retailer award and Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Reserva Superior Robusto won the cigar of the year award.

Congratulations to all the nominees and all of the winners.

My thanks to Ranald, Barbara, Valeri and the Boisdale Team for such a splendid evening, can’t wait to do it all again next year…

In other news this week I’m happy to say we received our drinks licence at our new Turmeaus- Knutsford store and we plan to open fairly early next week. We are licenced not only to sell by the bottle but also by the dram so clients can sample drams from our wide selection and decide which best suits their palate as well as which whisky best compliments their cigars. I’ll pop some photos up on my next blog. The walk in humidor should have a range to rival our flagship Chester Turmeaus and La Casa del Habano and the sampling lounge will be super comfortable.

I’m very excited about our expansion in the North West as this fills a hole in the map for us although we still have further expansion plans in the very near future. I remember when I bought the first Turmeaus shop in Liverpool many years ago and what a sorry state it was in. People said I was bonkers and cigar retail doesn’t work in Liverpool but of course they were wrong as this is one of our strongest locations with substantial expansion planned for next year. Turmeaus has survived since 1817 and has thrived since C.Gars took over the business and revived the brand. Now trading in London, Norfolk, Liverpool, Chester and Knutsford. I think I have proven the business model… and had a lot of fun doing so!

I can’t wait to kick back this weekend at least for tomorrow as I’m back in the office on Sunday. C.Gars London and Norfolk are indeed open and operating 7 days a week 34 hours a day and boy do we need to this month as our mail order sales levels have hit record highs this year. See what our customers say about us here. I have a baggie full of BHK 56’s ( more or less sold out now sadly) as well as Boli Belgravia (I love this smoke) and a few H. Upmann No. 2 Reserva as a bit of a treat. I’m going to grab a bottle of Cigar Malt to compliment the smokes.

I’m in London next week and then I head up North for a week at the Turmeaus shops… I can’t wait :)

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing.

Mitchell

 

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