Macanudo are Baaacccckkkk!

This week has been a bit of a Macanudo week with the launch of Macanudo Inspirado at a rather swish C.Gars event held at The Bulgari Hotel on Monday afternoon/evening.

We tested out the three sizes of Inspirado which were all rather dee – lish, especially the robusto which we should have available next month. Until then we have the Mareva 🙂 to get you started as well as a load of other Macanudo cigars back in stock.

Copious quantities of Stalla Dhu single malt whisky (Islay and Speyside) were enjoyed with splendid canapes from the Bulgari and rather a few smokes. My kinda cigar launch!

Top cigar merchants including Edward and Eddie Sahakian from Davidoff London, Paresh Patel from the fabulous Havana House and Paul Futcher from Cigar Club joined C.Gars and friends for this lovely event.

My partner in the cigar distribution business, Guy Hancock, and I are very proud to be the exclusive distributor for all STG handmade cigars in the UK and we have also made a select range of Torano and Don Tomas cigars available this week.

My thanks to Mike and Attila from the Bulgari for taking such good care of us and my thanks to Stephan from STG for all the support with this launch.

To say it’s been a busy week would be an understatement! The new ranges have been flying off the shelves and I reckon the Inspirado is going to be a very successful line for us. Long filler and Handmade in Honduras, the wrapper and binder are from Honduras and the filler is a blend from Honduras, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Excellent combo!

Bit of a disaster for the last 48 hours as my office computer finally melted down and the hard drive died. I think it waited till my assistant Michelle went on vacation and then decided to check out!

So, I’m pretty good with computers and can work on just about anything and of course we have back-ups for back-ups for just about everything but working on my Mac laptop was just not the same and the last few weeks work were stuck on my pc.

Thanks goodness the drive is now fully recovered and I’m just about getting back to ‘normal’, if my business life can ever be described as normal! I think the smoke in the office killed off the PC lol.

Cf73InWUMAA58U1I popped in to Turmeaus – Mayfair on Wednesday for a pre herf Monte 2 before going to see Motown the Musical with Karyn in the evening. Great show to say the least but what’s with the seats at the Shaftesbury? They seem to be made for people who are very short or have no legs!… bloody uncomfortable.

Raspberry of the week goes to the idiot that called me offering 40% investment returns for some fictional share no doubt. I actually left the phone on the desk for 5 minutes whilst he babbled on with his pitch and then said could you hold on as I was just about to reply. I then put on Guantanamera at full volume down the phone. I think that was a suitable reply/punishment 🙂

I’m chilling out this weekend and looking forward to seeing my old friend Michael Lington and The Pizza Express jazz club in Soho on Sunday. I remember the old days when you could smoke at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Park Lane! Jazz, pizza and cigars!… Perfect.

In the baggie this weekend I have…

Cohiba 1966 – Before all our stocks are gone!

Torano Exodus – Bit of Nic kick going on there.

Regius Orchant Seleccion – Well why not, I love these smokes.

Davidoff Winston Churchill Toro – A BIG smoke 🙂

.. and a pack of Inka – Secret Blend Half Coronas… Perfect car smokes.

I’ve grabbed a bottle of Pom as well… One of my faves 🙂

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

And here is the news…

Another busy week in my Empire ☺ kicking off with a trip to Turmeaus – Liverpool on Monday where I had various meetings wrapping up some last minute details on our planned expansion at The Albany. CGARS Ltd bought the commercial part of this beautiful building last year and we have an ambitious two phase project to build the best cigar and whisky specialist store and sampling lounge in the North West, if not the UK.

It’s took us longer than planned to get the project to construction stage as two other projects queue jumped, namely our gorgeous whisky shop in Chester (adjoining La Casa del Habano and Turmeaus – Chester) followed by our rather sexy Turmeaus – Knutsford. But alas the time is now upon us ☺ and we expect construction to commence very soon. If all goes to plan we will open the rather large doors on a new all singing and dancing Turmeaus in Old Hall Street late Summer. Our existing two shops in Fenwick street will of course remain open.

Moving on to Turmeaus – Knutsford where our wine room is more or less complete and rapidly getting to the target stock of 1000 bottles. We are steadily putting the wine range online so our clients can order by mail order as well. Andrew, our resident wine expert at Turmeaus Knutsford is delighted to advise and has sampling stock in abundance!

Wines are a natural follow on after the success of our whisky business. Our own brand single malt Stalla Dhu has now hit the top ten in popularity and sales. It’s magic with a good Havana!

The cigar sampling lounge is super comfortable at Turmeaus – Knutsford and we have a splendid whisky and rum menu (available by the dram) as well as a huge range of premium spirits. The walk in humidor is super stocked with a massive range of Havanas and New World cigars so all in all… my kinda Turmeaus ☺

Next stop was to the supercharged Turmeaus Chester New World cigar and pipe tobacco store, La Casa del Habano. Two whisky & rum sampling bars and magnificent whisky shop. Need I say more? Late night herfing at Bar Lounge http://www.barlounge.co.uk/ as usual (best and friendliest I have ever had in the UK.)

Back to the office for a day or two and finalizing the launch of Macanudo, Torano and Don Tomas as we are now the exclusive Distributor of STG hand made products in the UK with a launch event at the delightful Sahakian cigar shop at The Bulgari in Knightsbridge on Monday afternoon/evening. A comprehensive range of these cigars will be in store and online from Monday. Great smokes and of course great value. (did I mention we are the importer?… oh yes we are ☺)

I went to see the ‘Adios Tour’ of the Buena Vista Social at the O2 on Wednesday evening which was absolutely brilliant. The venue was jam packed I can’t believe how good Omara Portuondo sang (considering she is 85!) Eliades Ochoa was the star of the show though – awesome guitar playing and vocals. I have seen them quite a few times over the years, hopefully it will just be ‘adios and not goodbye’.

I’m staying put in my London office next week as my Man Friday (also known as Michelle) is on vacation so it’s going to be a busy week for me!

Thanks for all the emails about the Cohiba 50th anniversary humidors. I can do no better than reiterate that we have little idea when these will be released and I would be very surprised if it will be this year. We also have no idea of the prices until they are released. In the meantime feast your eyes on the Cohiba 40th anniversary humidor 🙂

And if you want to treat yourself, we have just released another 100 boxes of Cohiba 1966 Limited Edition 2011.

So I’m wrapping up the week with a herfette at Turmeaus Mayfair with a few friends that want to sample some of our rare Cuban Davidoffs and we’ll be cracking open a bottle of Dalmore 21 to see how it pairs up.

weekend_smokesIn the baggie for this weekend I have:

My favourite Bolivar Belicosos Orchant Seleccion
A good few Oliva Orchant Seleccion
Some Inka Half Coronas
And a couple of Davidoff Winston Churchill Aristocrat (expensive but soooo good!)

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Anejados? Yes Please!

I was a bit sceptical when the Anejados started to roll out to our humidors. I didn’t get on with the Montecristo (just not my size) I wasn’t fond of the Romeo (I prefer campanas like BBF’s) but then the program took a turn for the better, at least for me personally with the release of the Hoyo which I think is the best of them all and now the Partagas which are flying off the shelves at record speed. You can try them all with our sampler.

So what is the allure of this Partagas Anejados, could it be the popularity of the brand? Or the accessibility of the Corona Gorda size? I reckon it may well be a combination of both as well as the very bold, full strength blend which, let’s face it, is not typical in Havanas these days as most brands seem to be in the medium strength category. So, if you’re looking for a bit of a strength bomb, give these a try as they will certainly hit the spot!

I’ve been in the cigar trade for so long now it’s funny to think how many brands I have seen come and go. Macanudo seems to have been with a few distributors over the years and its now with C.Gars so we’re introducing it to the UK again with the Inspirado on the 11th May at a launch event at The Bulgari. Not many spaces left available for what will be our usual splendid event, click here for your ticket.

Another brand was Torano which we imported directly from Torano a few years ago. I really enjoyed these cigars and the prices seem to be pretty decent. In fact Torano even made our house brand Nicaraguan cigars that were extremely popular. When the company was sold that was the end of the brand for the UK. However, C.Gars are now the UK distributor and will be bringing a range of value priced Torano back onto our shelves in the next few weeks.

Another brand that we sold oodles of many years ago was Don Tomas. It was a bit of a supermarket brand at the time and then seemed to disappear completely. But now it’s back! Again, C.Gars are the exclusive UK distributor. Prices will be exceptionally keen and they are a good quality, new world smoke.

We like taking Distributor partnerships with great companies like Fuente, Inka – Secret Blend and Scandinavia Tobacco as we can cut out the middleman and deliver real value to our UK clients. Actually, that’s the essence of C.Gars Ltd, offering real value and unrivalled service… My kinda cigar merchant lol.

We have just listed a new range of Gentili humidors on the website. I love this brand. Made in Italy with great care and attention to detail. I have been selling Gentili humidors for almost 23 years and was very impressed when I visited their factory some years ago. A luxury humidor at great prices, in fact a piece of furniture that should last a lifetime and will look great in any lounge, study office or smoking room.

If you’re looking for a super value humidor I don’t think you can beat the Adorini range and of course we guarantee best prices in the UK. It’s a pretty huge range with a humidor to suit any size requirement.

I’ve had a relaxed 4 day week in the London – C.Gars office this week sorting through our stocks of aged and rare Havanas (it’s a pretty huge stock!) but next week I’m back on the road visiting Turmeaus cigar and whisky shops in Liverpool, Chester and Knutsford and doing a little sampling along the way 🙂

Where oh where is the Montecristo 80th anniversary cigar? It will end up the 81st anniversary cigar! Can’t wait for this puppy to be released. Samples we tasted at the Festival last year were splendid.

Cohiba BHK 52, 54 and 56 are just about sold out everywhere in Europe so I hear. We have broken out some of our reserve stocks that are over 5 years old so if you like BHK’s you are in for a treat. Wonderful smokes.

Righto, I’m outta here for a relaxed weekend hopefully with a long topless drive if the weather stays kind. I think enjoying a cigar in the car is one of my greatest smoking pleasures. My car humidor is stuffed full of:

Inka – Secret Blend Half Coronas (perfect for a quick 20 minute drive)

Bolivar Belicosos Finos (ideal for the drive to the office)

Hoyo Hermosos No. 4 Anejados (just perfect any bloody time!)

Davidoff Winston Churchill Artist (fast becoming a firm favourite)

Regius Robustos – Turmeaus Edition (when I need a little Nic kick!)

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

cgarsstormmitch

I’m Inspired!

Back from a long trip up North to my Turmeaus whisky and cigars retail empire 😉 I think I have finally got my whisky, cigar and pipe product mix right judging by how busy the shops are and the feedback from many customers over 4 days travelling back and forth between Liverpool, Knutsford and Chester. 6 very busy shops indeed! I do love retailing, its constantly challenging for me and the team to get the right products at the right prices as well as provide the best in customer service and ambiance at our beautiful stores, bars and sampling lounges.

I finally decided to put a full wine department into Turmeaus – Knutsford and the wine room is now open! It will take another week or so to get the full range in but when complete we will have almost 1000 bottles of wine in stock. Something to suit everyone’s budget from around £12 quid a bottle to £1000 + per bottle. My colleague Andrew at Turmeaus – Knutsford is a bit of a wine buff and will be holding regular samplings and is a mine of information. Andrew has plenty of sampling stock too so Knutsford is a great place to sample wine as well as cigars 🙂

chester_tasting_march_2016Chester – La Casa de Habano hosted another first rate whisky and cigar sampling event for Paddies Day with a flight of Irish and Single Malt Scotch whiskies paired up with some of our finest Havana cigars. The choice of cigars is endless at our Chester location with the LCDH humidor having a massive range of Havanas from all brands and in all presentations and the New World humidor having a huge range of all of our favourite brands such as Davidoff (have you tried the Winston Churchill range? it’s quite excellent) Oliva, Fuente, Alec Bradley, Padron as well as our best-selling range of Inka – Secret Blend from Peru.

I popped into the lovely Ten Manchester street cigar terrace for a quick herf this week, the menu has changed and he food was quite excellent as the service. Parking is always easy outside so this herfing location is highly recommended.

STOP PRESS! C.Gars are now the UK Exclusive Distributor for STG handmade cigars which include Macanudo, Torano and Don Tomas. We will be rolling out the product range over the next few weeks and launching the superb Macanudo Inspirado at an event on the 11th April at The Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge. Limited availability book early to avoid disappointment. It’s great to be the importer, distributor and retailer as we cut out the middlemen and ensure our clients get very keen pricing on some very very good cigars.

As expected tobacco got a fair bashing from the Chancellor at last week’s Budget. Between tax increases and manufacturers annual increases we expect prices to increase by 6-10% depending on range. We are holding prices as long as we can so clients can grab a stash of their favourite cigars ate pre Budget prices.

The latest cigar from Havana is out! Partagas Corona Gorda Anejado. Aged for between 5 and 8 years these cigars pack a full flavour punch and are for the experienced cigar smoker. I smoked them in Havana recently and stashed a few boxes in my locker which is high praise from someone as fussy as me. That’s said my favourite Anejado is still the Hoyo Hermoso No. 4 which is simply delicious.

4 day weekend coming up and I can’t wait to kick back. The baggie is crammed full with:

Davidoff Winston Churchill Robustos

Oliva Melanio Figurado (I’m smoking one as I’m typing this blog!)

Partagas Corona Gorda Anejado

Inka – Secret Blend Robustos

And for a little treat! A Davidoff Chateau Y Quem.

All matched up with a bottle of Glendronach 25 Year Old #yumm!

Happy Eater weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Habanos Festival

Just back from the 18th Habanos Festival and by my calculation I have attended 17 out of the 18! I’ve attended all but one Partagas Festival too. I’m steadily heading for my 100th trip to Cuba over the last 20 years ☺ It’s a tough job and all that…

The Festival celebrated the 50th anniversary of Cohiba in great style. Well over 1000 people attended the gala dinner with Chuchu Valdez heading up the non-stop entertainment over a very long and rather loud evening!

Cohiba-50th-memorabilia-2We were presented with a beautiful twin pack box of the Cohiba 50th Anniversary Cohiba Majestuoso 1966 which I don’t think many people smoked (its rather collectible at this stage!) I can confirm mine are well and truly smoked and were thoroughly enjoyed.

We were also given heaps of other cigars including the more or less impossible to find BHK 54, Cohiba Robustos and Siglo VI. We also tried out the Cohiba Medio Siglo which was a good smoke and a perfect size at 4 inches and 52 ring gauge.

The 1966 Majestuoso measures in at 5 9/10 by 58 ring gauge, think of a Robusto Supremo on steroids. It will be presented in 1966 humidors of 20 cigars.

IMG_5041The Cohiba 50th Anniversary Elie Bleu Humidor will be a limited edition of 50, with number 1 having sold for a whopping €320,000 at the auction. The Cohiba 50th Anniversario cigar is a monster, it measures 7 inches by 60 ring gauge. We hope to see these cigars later in the year.

As usual I was sitting on the Hunters & Frankau table and next to Jemma Freeman (the chairman!) we all missed Simon Chase being at the gala and look forward to seeing him at the gala next year.

The auction lots were at least as stunning as all other festivals and some €865,000 was raised for the Cuban National Health service.

I love going to the Festivals as I meet up with so many friend from all over the globe to share in our common passion for the finest Havana cigars. The rum’s not too shabby either!

I don’t think I have ever seen Havana so busy, tons of tourists generally and a huge number of Americans as travel restrictions seem to be more or less lifted. Most of the cigars stores were well stocked with standard lines and selling tons of stock to the tourists.

Various areas around the Capitolio building and National ballet look like they are being well spruced up in readiness for President Obama’s visit. It’s so sad to see so many crumbling streets if you look just a little further. I hope as the embargo ends and investment rolls in this beautiful city is restored to its former glory and full potential and even more important a better life for the Cuban people.

The two other new cigars I tried in Havana were the new Partagas Corona Gorda Anejados which was a pretty decent smoke from my favourite vintage (2007) and the UK regional edition Juan Lopez Seleccion Superba due out later this year which was no less than Magnificent. For those who remember the Juan Lopez Seleccion Suprema, you are in for a treat as this cigar was even better.

So, I’m finally back in the UK for a few weeks at least and looking forward to heading up North to my Turmeaus Empire next week 😉 Wednesday evening I’ll be enjoying a whisky and cigar sampling evening at La Casa del Habano – Chester and I understand we have some fabulous entertainment lined up which should be a great laugh!

Our next Cigar Auction is already booked for June 20th at The Bulgari Hotel and by the look of the Lots coming in already, I have my work cut out for me for the next month or two. Email us if you would like any details about our vintage cigar auctions.

In the baggie this weekend I have :

Hoyo Anejados
Por Larranaga Sobresalientes
Bolivar Belicosos

… and a bottle of Robert Grahams Dancing Stag 19 year old Deanston.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Pictures from the Festival: