An update during a difficult time

With all this madness we all are experiencing together, it is good to find things worthy of appreciation. We at C.Gars, like most, are EXTREMELY grateful for all the healthcare workers and first responders out there putting all their energy into taking care of us! We appreciate everybody that is doing their part, whatever that may be, in creating a safer community around us!

I much prefer to find some kind normalcy in all of this, even if I am staying inside! Sharing a good dram with someone is one of those normal things that brings some enjoyment to a crazy world. While we all may not be residing with someone to share a glass with, do like most are doing these days, find a virtual partner! Find a friend or even someone new to share a drink with through video chat. While I know self quarantine and staying inside is an introvert’s dream, there are plenty of people out there open to a friendly chat about spirits.

I have a decent rotation of bottles to help soothe the soul. As far as whisky, a few of our Stalla Dhu bottlings have been taking a good hit. Our Saorsa and Speyside single malt have been doing it for me lately. Both taking multiple awards for a reason, they are both so incredibly smooth! For rum I have been treating myself to the occasional glasses of Flor de Caña 18 and Dictador 20! Both of those companies I am big fans of. I’ve not yet gotten back into the swing of gin yet, but always have a bottle of either Botanist or Rock Rose on hand. Both great for those refreshing G&T’s.

Lastly, we are so extremely proud of winning an Icon of Whiskies award for Multiple Outlets Retailer of the Year!! C.Gars is a family that does our best to bring you the best products to put a smile on all your faces, especially in times like these! Normally we’d get to celebrate with other industry folks at an awards ceremony, but this year we’ll settle for a solo dance party at home! And no promo photos of that will surface!!! 🙂

Anyway, stay safe, stay healthy, and let us know how we can help!

Slainte,

Anthony

I’m Back

Long-time no blog and not without good reason ….

As ever I attended the Havana Festival and had a wonderful time with the usual incredible gala event being the highlight of the trip.

Sitting at the Hunters and Frankau table with a great crowd of industry pals and laughing at how loud the entertainment was as usual making it more or less impossible to hold a conversation but enjoying some great cigars and drinks ( let’s not even talk about the food !)

Our table was right behind the major auction bidder of the night who made the charity auction the most successful ever.

Simon Chase’s Ramon 225 humidor was donated by his wife and sold for an astonishing 380,000 Euros. The Lot included a box of Ramon Petit Coronas that he had bought from one of the early C.Gars auctions. I remember how I always sat next to Simon for so many of the Festivals over the last 20 odd years and felt terribly sad. I think about Simon a lot and still refer to so many of our email exchanges. He really was a walking talking encyclopaedia of Havana cigar knowledge as well as a Gentleman without parallel in our industry.

After a few cigars in the lounge at Jose Marti airport I headed to Upper and was sitting next to Jemma Freeman, great excuse to catch up on a business chat which is always interesting for us even after all of these years.

I didn’t feel too good when I got back to the UK but in my usual way decided it was just a bit of jet lag and ploughed on with a relentless business schedule including visiting just about all of our locations including our Norfolk HQ, La Casa del Habano and Turmeaus shops and finishing with a lovely evening with friends at Puffin Rooms.

Heading back to London the next morning I really did not feel well and headed straight to a walk in Doctors surgery and was immediately admitted to St John and Elizabeth’s hospital with pneumonia which was no fun at all I can tell you.

From there it really just got worse as 5 days later I was diagnosed with Covid 19 and transferred by ambulance to the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Free hospital as I was to put it mildly very seriously unwell. High temperatures and flaked out beyond belief in ICU was a pretty scary experience as I wondered if I would ever make it out of there, happily a week later I was moved to isolation for a further 5 days before all the symptoms subsided and I had beaten the virus.

I’ve been home for the last 2 weeks resting and recuperating and getting over the post viral symptoms but I am making a full recovery and after a no cigar smoking month I’m finally enjoying a good smoke again every day.

I have never used the NHS before and am so impressed with the Doctors and nurses that looked after me and the incredible care they gave me to help me recover from this horrendous virus. I really can’t thank them enough. They are incredible and deserve all of our respect and support.

The effects of the virus on the country (and the world) are almost surreal to be living through and I honestly don’t think the world will ever be the same again once we hopefully come through this nightmare.  The Government seems to be doing everything they can to support employees and businesses at this unprecedented time in history.

In the middle of all of this we held our March vintage cigar auction which was a resounding success with all but 5 Lots selling at very high prices (possibly due to the weakness of Sterling). Shipping of auction Lots I understand will be slower than usual due to the weight of work our mail order teams are dealing with at this time.

Our business has been dramatically affected with the temporary closure of Puffin Rooms and the closure of our retail Turmeaus store in Norfolk as our retail staff are unable to work because they have to look after their children during the lockdown.

Our other retail stores in London, Liverpool, Chester and Knutsford remain open on reduced hours, with reduced staff as some are in isolation and of course our sampling lounges are closed, tasting events are all cancelled and new product launches are all delayed.

C.Gars Mail order division remains 100% open and operating at 100% efficiency at both our Norfolk and London warehouses. My thanks to my Teams coping admirably during these crazy times.

I can only hope that everyone is following the Government’s advice to stay safely at home. This virus is very real, very frightening and very dangerous – don’t take it lightly. I lost March but thankfully I didn’t lose my life which at one stage it looked like I might do.

If you can, treat it like an enforced holiday. Enjoy a dram or two of whisky and a good cigar and celebrate every minute of every day that you are healthy and hopefully stay healthy and virus free.

 

Peaceful puffing and stay safe

 

Mitchell

DAVIDOFF WINSTON CHURCHILL LATE HOUR

Davidoff always has been synonymous of quality and luxury. Their cigar blends and lines have been changing during the years and now days the brand offer a lot more variety than ever. Davidoff cigars in the past were more popular to new smokers and their lines were mostly mild.Today Davidoff offers blends with tobaccos from many different country and different types ranges and strength.

In my humble opinion I sometimes considered Davidoff cigars a bit overpriced in comparison with other premium brands but we also need to think in all the people involved in every single Davidoff cigar from the field to your palate. Also is very rare and almost impossible to find a Davidoff cigar with construction issues. And for some unique blends they make is worth it to pay the price. In the past I have been a big fan of the Davidoff Puro D Oro line blended with 100% Dominican tobacco as the dream of Davidoff Master Blender Henke Kelner was to create the perfect Dominican puro. Sadly, Davidoff discontinued this unique blend…

In 2017 Davidoff impressed me once again with a totally unique blend. Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour.

Why unique? Not just because they used tobaccos from 4 different countries… Yes, you read right…

4 different countries!! Also, for a secret in the filler….

WRAPPER:

Ecuadorian Habano seed Marron Oscuro wrapper. Dark and rich in flavour.

BINDER:

Mexican Negro San Andres binder: Mexican tobacco is very hard to cultivate, age and ferment as a little mistake can ruin the entire process but if everything goes well you have one of the richest, sweet and intense cocoa flavour tobacco like the one used in this binder.

FILLER:

3 different Dominican tobaccos are used in this filler: San Vicente mejorado Viso, Piloto Seco, and Olor Viso. Nicaraguan Esteli Viso and the pearl and what makes different this cigar… A Nicaraguan Condega Viso aged for 6 extra months in the finest Scotch Cask barrels. The leaves are firmly pressed inside the casks. As the temperature in the closed casks rises, the tobacco enters a fermentation process. The rise in temperature is checked regularly to prevent the tobacco from overheating. After three months the tobacco is turned to the other side to age an additional three months for a total of six months. During this period the tobacco absorbs the aromas of the cask and whisky. The cask ageing leads to more oak sweetness and deeper flavours.

Since this line came into the market is won so many awards and received lots of positive comments and reviews from our customers.

Davidoff Winston Churchill Late hour is available in 3 sizes in the UK

Robusto 5” x 52

Churchill 6 7/8” x 47

And the new Limited Edition 2020 Petit Panatela 4” x 38. These cigars comes in a nice Tin of 5’ which make it perfect to enjoy this unique blend during your trips or a short 20 min coffee break

All sizes available here.

Enjoy!

David

Cigar Ambassador

david@cgarsltd.co.uk

HYBRID CIGAR WRAPPERS

Hybrid wrappers are the combination of 2 or more different seeds to create a new one, some hybrids are exclusive for just one type of cigars or limited editions. Some examples are:

Habano Criollo, Hybrid between rosado and corojo

Criollo tobacco is one of the original tobaccos used in cigar making, and according to some, it dates back to the late 1400’s; the term itself means “native seed.” Like Corojo wrappers, they tend to be very susceptible to disease, so most Criollo-wrapped smokes you will find feature hybrid strains like Criollo 98. Criollo wrappers tend to be slightly milder than Corojo wrappers, but still have a bit of pepper in the flavour profile. Other notes include cocoa, cedar, bread, nuts, and a bit of sweetness. Ex: Davidoff royal:

 

 

 

Habano 2000, Hybrid between Cuban-seed and Connecticut Shade.

This wrapper was extremely popular in the 90’s but is being used less frequently. The origin of the cigar is that it originally was developed in Cuba, hence its initial popularity. It was first grown outside of Cuba by Nestor Plasencia. This wrapper taste musty and earthy, and are way thicker than Connecticut Shade, but not quite as thick as the Broadleaf. This wrapper is mostly grown in Nicaragua, Honduras and Ecuador. Ex: AJF San Lotano Oval Habano, Avo domaine (both exclusive for CGARS in UK)

Ecuadorian 702: Exclusive for Davidoff 702, hybrid between 3 different Cuban seeds:

The Davidoff 702 Series 2000 is one of seven cigars that make up the Davidoff 702 Series. The concept behind the 702 Series is that Davidoff has taken seven of its staple blends and replaced the wrapper on each of the blends with its proprietary Ecuadorian 702 hybrid wrapper. The 702 wrapper is the product of a hybrid of three Cuban (Habano) seeds. The tobacco for the 702 wrapper is grown exclusively for Davidoff at the San Juan Finca outside of the province of Cotopaxi in Ecuador. By replacing the wrapper on these seven well-known blends, it creates a whole new cigar. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Davidoff 702 Series 2000 – which replaced the Ecuadorian Connecticut seed wrapper with the Ecuadorian 702 wrapper. Overall, I found this to create a very different cigar from the original Davidoff 2000, but one that was still quite enjoyable.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

David – Cigar Ambassador. david@cgarsltd.co.uk

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the different wrappers which may now help you choose something new or help start your journey into cigar smoking.

Other Notable Cigar Wrappers

Candela is distinctly green in colour, which has much to do with its quick aging process. Though this doesn’t detract from its value, flavour or strength profiles. It is usually milder and sometimes used in short, promotional runs of cigars.

The Sumatra leaf comes from the Indonesian region that bears the same name. Known for its cinnamon zest, it is usually mild and sweet. Sumatra wrappers used for hand made premium cigars and mostly cultivated in Ecuador with Sumatran seed. Ej: Oliva V Melanio, Flor de Oliva. Indonesian Sumatra eg: Joya Tripa Larga el Torcedor.

Oscuro Sometimes known as Double Maduro or Maduro Maduro, Oscuro wrappers are the darkest of the dark. They’re fermented for longer than Maduro leaves, which gives them deeper sweetness and often a stronger, richer flavour. Tasting notes in Oscuro-wrapped cigars include many of the same ones as Maduro-wrapped, with a bit of added strength and sweetness.

It’s important to understand that the terms Double Maduro and Maduro Maduro are often used to mean different things. While they can mean “extra dark” or “extra ripe,” the terms can also refer to Maduro tobacco being used in multiple parts of the cigar. For example, a Double Maduro cigar can have Maduro wrapper and binder. For example, Triple Maduro cigar uses Maduro wrapper, binder, and filler. Ej: Padron Family Reserve and anniversary series.

The Cameroon, as their name would suggest, originate from Cameroon, and are sometimes grown in the Central African Republic. The grain of the leaves is very recognizable, and is often referred to as “toothy.” Cameroon wrappers tend to be somewhat delicate and are not very oily, which makes them unlikely candidates for Maduro fermentation. Cameroon-wrapped cigars tend to be very rich tasting while remaining smooth and manageable. Tasting notes include butter, black pepper, leather, and toast. Like Habano rosado and Sumatra. Most of the Cameroon wrappers are now days cultivated in Ecuador. Ex: Oliva Serie G Cameroon, Arturo Fuente gran reserva, La Aurora Classic Cameroon etc

Enjoy!

David – Cigar Ambassador. david@cgarsltd.co.uk

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this so far, tune in tomorrow to hear about Hybrid wrappers.