It’s been one of those non-stop sort of herfing weeks for me yet again. Not complaining too much though as I smoked some great cigars and herfed with a great bunch of guys (and girls!)
Office herfs on Monday and Tuesday with some good mature Regius Robustos from 2013 (tobacco already well matured when we had the cigars made for us) paired up with Dalmore Cigar Malt (the perfect partner to any cigar!) and Turmeaus Tasting Evenings in Chester and Liverpool on Wednesday and Thursday with Alec Bradley Nica Puro and Prensado cigars.
Sold out tastings as usual and this time held at the delightful Bar Lounge in Chester and the Cornmarket in Liverpool. Guest of honour was George Sosa from Alec Bradley who we were delighted to welcome. George gave his usual informative and witty talk about cigars and is a brilliant chap to herf with!
Sara, our lovely Manageress at La Casa del Habano – Chester has organized a ‘Wednesday Whisky Club’ limited to 50 founder members and with some excellent benefits and planned whisky and cigar tasting events. Drop Sara a line for a Membership application form and further detail (email@example.com)
A few email complaints this week regarding bad construction on cigars and one customer terribly upset that we had not ‘checked before shipping’ so here’s what I explained which I thought was worthy of blogging by way of some general advice: Premium cigars are a totally handmade product and very occasionally can be subject to draw/construction issues. Draw issues are commonly due to twists of tobacco in the filler part of the blend which cause a constriction in the smoke passage through the cigar (though they can also be caused by overfills and underfills).
Whilst we do have a stringent quality control procedure which includes checking wrapper colour and cigar condition I’m afraid it’s impossible for us to check the draw without cutting the cap of the cigar which obviously is not practical. Now many may think that we can check by feeling if the cigar is hard (totally or in parts) but the reality is that a cigar that feels hard may draw perfectly and in fact a cigar that feels soft may not draw at all.
I’m afraid it’s all ‘part of the game’ or perhaps the ‘charm and nature of the product’. we are the merchant, not the cigar roller so if you receive a cigar that has a construction issue, relax, drop us an email and we’ll replace it. No big deal. Pull out another cigar and it will likely have a perfect draw
Just putting the finishing touches on our Summer Auction catalogue which looks like another splendid offering of Vintage Havana cigars. Some of the pre embargo cigars are breathtakingly beautiful to say the least. Over 300 Lots in this sale which will be held at the Bulgari Hotel at 2pm on the 15th June. Pre booking essential due to limited capacity in the Cinema room. Order your ticket here.
Next week, I’m off to Turmeaus – Norfolk for a Team meeting which is always fun, I mean hard work Our Norfolk premises is also our main warehouse. 1000’s and 1000’s of square feet of space crammed with just about every humidor and accessory you could dream of.
I get loads of emails asking me about humidors and what’s the difference between them all? Well it’s fairly straightforward: All humidors basically function the same i.e. they are ‘fit for purpose’ the price difference relates to the brand and size of the humidor as well as the finish of the humidor both internally and externally. So the more precious the wood, the more expensive the humidor. The better the quality and precision of the hygrometer the higher the price BUT – the basic function is the same and they all work pretty well regardless of price.
Regarding hygrometers one needs to bear in mind that unless you are spending quite a lot on a precision analogue hygrometer you should only rely on the reading as an indication as there is a margin of error of up to +/-3% or more. Salt tests are always essential. For a smaller margin of error digital hygrometers are recommended. They are not perfect but are a useful tool . Our best seller is the Caliber which also gives a pretty accurate temperature reading as well which is a fairly essential thing to monitor when storing cigars.
Finally, I get tons of emails about ‘seasoning’ humidors. I must admit I don’t really subscribe to this as most people unfortunately get it wrong and end up drowning the humidor lining. Storing cigars correct in a humidor is not an exact science and really is not rocket science!…
Step 1: Locate humidor where temperature range is 66F – 70F (sort of room temperature in the UK)
Step 2: Fill humidifier and put in humidor.
Step 3: Put cigars in humidor, RH will settle down to around 66 – 69% fairly fast.
Final Step: Step back and admire, smoke and enjoy. It really is that simple.
Cigars do like a bit of fresh air and it’s good to rotate them in the humidor every week or so for even humidity. Get to know how your cigars look, feel, smell and smoke. (Far better than obsessing with hygrometer readings) Press with the pad of your thumb just under the band of the cigars and if the cigar is in good condition it will feel firm with a bit of spring.
And please please don’t over humidify so the cigar feels soft and spongy as it will likely be hard to keep it lit and taste bitter, after all you want to taste tobacco, not water!
We are now taking pre orders at a very special pre-release price for cabinets of the eagerly anticipated Ramon Allones 225th H&F anniversary cigars, snag them while you can as they won’t be around for too long!
This weekend will be a robusto weekend for me! And the weekend’s baggie includes Ramon Allones Specially Selected, Bolivar Royal Coronas and Hoyo Epicure No.2. Now if we just have some decent weather…
Have a smokey weekend,