Happy Year of the Rat :)

Happy Luna year and it has been for us as we were taken somewhat by surprise by the release of the Romeo Maravilla Year of the Rat cigars. Popular with our customers in the UK, Far East and throughout the world and in fact our fastest selling new cigar so far this year. Presented in the most magnificent red boxes with (lucky) 8 beautifully hand crafted cigars measuring in at a hefty 6 1/8” length and 55 ring gauge. These medium strength and medium – full flavour cigars are fast becoming a collectors item.

The Trinidad Topes and Media Luna have also soared in popularity and it’s proven impossible to satisfy demand. I love Trinidad as a brand and can’t think of a size in the range that I don’t enjoy but the Topes has now surpassed my previous favourite Vigia. It’s a little more gentle in terms of strength and better balanced in terms of flavour. So far, the construction of all samples I have tried has been flawless.

I’ve been zooming round our Turmeaus specialist cigar and whisky shops over the last few weeks and can’t believe how busy they are for a January. I think the Brexit feel good factor has much to do with it or possibly the fact that we finally have some political normality and stability that people are finally just getting on with normal lives and enjoying themselves a little more.

Puffin Rooms echoes that sentiment with record breaking figures this month as this venue just gets more and more popular (be sure to book as its often jam packed and you can’t get in). Such an amazing venue with the best of live music 7 nights a week, 200 whiskies by the dram and the most incredible signature cocktails and tapas menu from Chef Chris German. And if that’s not enough, you can always sample a good cigar at the Late Hour – Turmeaus cigar shop next door till 1 a.m. and select any cigars you like by the box to take away from our vast range.

We’re still waiting for the long overdue release of the 2018 UK regional edition La Gloria Cubana Britanicas Extra but hopeful it will make an appearance finally following the Festival in Cuba at the end of February.

Supplies of Cohiba are still patchy but we have seen limited stocks of Lanceros, Esplendidos and Siglo VI over the last few weeks though Piramides Extra are now out of stock and there is little sign of BHK’s still, and the Hoyo Gran Reserva has still not been released in the UK.

I’ve already started listings for the March 15th vintage cigar auction and expect another interesting catalogue as we have already accepted entries of some magnificent Dunhill and Davidoff cigars as well as vintage, limited edition and mature Havana cigars.

Valentines day is coming up soon…click here for a few treats. My sales team have been doing a bit of a crazy January sale last few days of it to pick up a bargain or two. I’m heading off for a few weeks leave soon and looking forward to visiting our friends at La Casa del Habano – St Kitts. I’m well prepared with a baggie crammed full of my current favourite smokes including:

Trinidad Topes . I love these anytime cigars.

Romeo Maravillas… get them while you can.

Plasencia Alma Fuerte one of the best New World smokes I have enjoyed in a long time

Davidoff Orchant Seleccion Lanceros. Just released another few boxes from our reserve (prices going up next month)  this is simply the finest cigar in our Orchant Seleccion range

Regius 2020 – Orchant Seleccion. Just released and smoking beautifully.

Alec Bradley – Orchant Seleccion Skinny, the sweetest blend I have ever made. Can’t get enough of them!

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Arran Whisky!

If you have not yet gotten a hold of or seen Arran’s redesign from last year, you should change that! Last year the brand went over a complete design overhaul. Brand new bespoke bottles, with new labels and gift tubes. The redesign is like a breath of fresh air. This new look comes after the opening of their new distillery at Lagg, the south side of the island. With Arran distillery situated at Lochranza on the north, they decided it was a perfect time to for a rebrand to make a clear distinction between the spirits made on both ends of the island.

‘We’ve taken inspiration from the elements that make Lochranza so special to produce a unique and beautiful new pack, which does justice to the liquid it contains.’ Says James Mactaggart, distillery manager at Arran. They have incorporated natural materials and colour tones across all of the packaging. The simple clean design suits this this delicious whisky.

The core range is going to consist of their much loved 10 YO and Quarter cask ‘The Bothy’ expression. In addition to those two, they have added a couple of new exciting expressions. 1) The Barrel Reserve which is 100% Bourbon Barrel matured and 2) a sherry matured ‘The Bodega’. The last two that have taken on the rebrand are their aged 18 & 21 yr olds.

We definitely look forward to more from the Isle of Arran distillers. Until then grab a bottle for yourself!

Slanje, Ron

NEW WORLD CIGAR OF THE WEEK!

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Balmoral Anejo XO Petit Robusto

Buy Now – http://bit.ly/36Rnyyj

Balmoral is the creation of Royal Agio’s 4th generation CEO, Boris Winterman who embodies the philosophy that relentless, passionate curiosity is essential to discovering and enjoying the best experiences in life. This philosophy has driven him to freely explore the globe in search of highest quality, select, exclusive tobacco that will ultimately combine to deliver a cigar experience unlike any other.

Balmoral Anejo XO cigars are the result of an intensive blending process with aged cigars combined with Balmorals exclusive, signature Brazilian Mata Norte.

XO stands for ‘Extra Old’, so each meticulously crafted and aged Balmoral Anejo XO cigar is crowned with a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper that is aged on average for 10 years.

After blending the cigar it takes another 6 months in the San Pedro de Macoris factory in the Dominican Republic to marry all its flavours.

Tasting Notes
You will note the brownish ash from the cigar that demonstrates the age of the tobacco.

It is a flavourful cigar with complex notes of cedar, cacoa and peppery spices that finish with a smooth underlying natural sweetness.

Happy Herfing!

 

TOP 10 WHISKIES OF 2019 – NO. 1

Top 10 Whiskies of 2019 – No. 1

Balvenie 17 Year Old Doublewood – 70cl 43% – £86.99

My No.1 for 2019 is the stunning expression from Balvenie. To craft The Balvenie DoubleWood 17 Year Old, Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE returned to one of his most celebrated achievements – consecutive maturation in two different types of cask, a process often referred to as ‘cask finishing’.

Tasting Notes:
Nose: Elegant and complex oak, vanilla, honeyed sweetness and a hint of green apple.
Palate: Sweet with dried fruits, sherbet spice, toasted almonds and cinnamon, layered with a richness of creamy toffee notes and traces of oak and deep vanilla.
Finish: Vanilla oak, honey and spicy sweetness.

Slanje, Ron

TOP 10 WHISKIES OF 2019 – NO. 2

Top 10 Whiskies of 2019 – No. 2

Suntory Hibiki Harmony Japanese Blended Whisky – 70cl 43%£64.99

A stunning Japanese whisky at No.2, Hibiki Japanese Harmony is the perfect introduction to Japanese whisky. Pure and noble, it offers a transparency of taste that allows for all of this whisky’s complexities to be revealed simultaneously.

Nose: Aromas of marmalade, orange blossom and apricot jam, held together with a subtle spiciness, giving a hint of cinnamon and clove. Elegant.
Palate: The generous fruit continues on to the palate, with oranges and apricots in abundance. There’s a little peppery spice, but the soft, succulent fruit takes hold. Nice balance, and nicely crafted.
Finish: The spiciness takes over from the fruit and lingers, along with a little barrel char.
Comment: Something of a baby compared with much older Hibiki bottlings, this retains the classic soft, elegant orange-blossom character and generous fruitiness, with a little spice to help things along.

Slanje, Ron