A day in the life of a whisky specialist!

Ron Morrison is the Chairman of the C.Gars Ltd group, but also our in house whisky specialist with a huge wealth of knowledge at his finger tips. Enjoy a snippet of a day in Ron’s life:

I took a leisurely afternoon walk along the sunny Liverpool docks where I could see vessels of every kind resting after a lifetime filled with experiences and adventure. I decided to embark on my own little adventure for the day.

So inspired, I popped in to our beautiful Turmeaus store on Old Hall Street. As I walked into the whisky room, in which lies a spectacular array of whiskies from around the world, I was confronted by someone with a question; what was my favourite type of cask finish for whisky?

Now standing in a room with thousands of whiskies of which many are my favourite, my mind raced through the delights of, bourbons, creamy vanilla freshness or sherry casks with raisin-y nuttiness and berry driven red wine casks.

However I realised from the conversation what they really wanted was a recommendation! So, no problem, the previous evening I had the experience of the most loveliest of drams which paired wonderfully with my Davidoff Orchant Seleccion Lancero cigar. The whisky was a relatively new release from Dalmore, The Dalmore Port Reserve. The dried fruity, orange-y spice notes danced around my palate keeping it fresh then slid away in a smooth satisfying finish. It had a rather generous, and my preferred, ABV of around 46%. That was my recommendation to the customer who happily embraced it.

Whiskies are a real, and relatively safe, adventure 🙂 This one is certainly worth a try!

Slainte,

Ron Morrison
Chairman of C.Gars Ltd

Herfing USA :-)

I think I may have just broken the herfing record, and if not, I have certainly been trying my best to. LOL.

I’m in Los Angeles for the Summer as usual but have also been at the IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas last week. It was insanely hot in Vegas and I even had to take Uber from the hotel to the convention centre ( a 5 minute walk!)

Anyway, back to the point… the trade show is one of the largest in the world and fortunately you are allowed to enjoy smoking cigars as you walk round the exhibitor stands so essentially you are herfing your way round the show whilst trying to do deals on new products. Not a bad way of spending a day or three 🙂

I visited many of our fabulous partners at the show including:

Arturo Fuente – Truly the Rolls Royce of premium cigars and exclusive to C.Gars in the UK.
Oliva – If you haven’t tried the Orchant Seleccion range…you are seriously missing out as they are first rate.
Alec Bradley – Our Orchant Seleccion range is now one our most successful cigars ever!
Cigar Oasis – Exclusive to C.Gars, this range of products is superb for the serious cigar enthusiasts.
Macanudo – Exclusive to C.Gars in the UK- fabulous value, superb quality.
Regius – Our favourite boutique brand, Orchant Seleccion range available in the UK and the USA. Made by Plasencia and incredibly good value.
Davidoff and Avo – I love these brands, probably the best construction and finest blending money can buy. Our exclusive Davidoff Lancero Orchant Seleccion is the best cigar we have ever been involved with.

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No sign of any other UK cigar merchants being spotted at the show. Probably the reason C.Gars has all the latest accessories and cigars? Yes, quite probably, lol.

After the show the herfing continues with aperitifs at the Davidoff lounge followed by the Alec Bradley dinner on Sunday and Sinatra’s at the Wynn on Monday.

Great to hang out with our partners Steve Johnstone of Robert Graham Ltd, Akhil from Regius cigars, Scott Vines from Tor Imports and Keith & Lindsay Allen from Tabac World.

I thought the show was not as bizzy buzzy this year, which was fine by me as it was easy to blast round all the stands. We have some very exciting new projects that will come to fruition over the next 6 months.

Zooming back to L.A. on the Tuesday and straight over to Gran Havana Room for a wonderful dinner herf (thank you P.L.) with some of my best pals and smoking chums from both Los Angeles and New York. (Yup… my Rat Pack pals flew over to C.A. to herf)

I had planned to have a day off on Wednesday but that didn’t quite work out as friends and clients descended on the hotel pool area for another 10 hours of herfing by the pool 🙂 I think we may well have drank all the Champagne the hotel had lol.

Finally (for last week at least) it was time for the legendary annual San Diego herf (thank you V.C.) a monumental all day / evening event for around 70 attendees. We had perfect weather, delicious lunch and dinner, opera singing entertainment and copious amounts of cigars. Truly the best herf with some of my best friends on the annual schedule.

Our multi award winning Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt Whisky featured at this event and I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of compliments about this Scotch. That said it is a huge success story, great value and perfect with a premium cigar. We literally can’t keep the shops stocked up fast enough with it.

I’m taking a couple of days R&R now (I think I deserve it!), then back to a full on herf schedule with friends all over L.A.

Have a great week.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Awards / New stuff / Hotter than July :)

Greetings from heatwave London 🙂 I can’t remember such a prolonged period of simply amazing weather (can you tell I’m English / weather obsessed?!) Well, there are two things I love doing; 1. herfing, and 2. driving. So, you can imagine what a fun Summer I’m having so far 🙂

No fun when the air conditioning broke down at Turmeaus Mayfair last week, but fortunately we had the entire system replaced a few hours later (pretty important for the huge stocks of cigars!)

The weather has kept sales soaring (thank you dear customers!) I’m thinking: outdoor smoking / BBQ’s / car herfing / sunshine makes you want to herf more 🙂 – who knows? I can only say that we are going through some crazy sales volumes and packing orders 24/7 – 7 days a week to get your smokes and booze to you on time.

Talking of booze, our rather deelish brand of Stalla Dhu single malt whisky seems to be picking up more and more awards. The Ben Nevis is my favourite and quite stunning.

The Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt also has a silver award. It’ the perfect pairing with a premium cigar – we’re going through mountains of the stuff every week!

Our Summer auction was another successful sale with a very high sale rate. Good quality limited and regional editions continued to attract strong bidding and prices achieved. Pre Embargo prices looked a bit mushy to me with patchy interest and up and down results indicating a thin market. Millennium jars which were super-hot over the last few years passed which was a surprise. Prices on humidors were as expected.

We have two more auctions planned for this year in September and December for a total of 5 sales this year which I think is a record in the cigar world. Always happy to advise – just drop the auction team an email at auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

The new H. Upmann Connoisseur B has just arrived and I’m smoking one right now 😀 Measuring in at 5 7/8″ length and 54 ring gauge, this is truly a flavour bomb and probably the best new Upmann I have tried in a long time. Recommended.

We have just made some more Cohiba 1966 Limited edition boxes. English Market Selection from 2011 available. Amazing smokes!

We have started the works on our new fabbie headquarters building. This beautiful 244 year old historic listed building is one of our most ambitious expansion projects yet and the whole team are very excited about it. C.Gars President Ron Morrison, our architect from the brilliant Liverpool firm Brock Carmichael, and I visited last week and started to plan the layout of the new premises. Note to self: change smoke detectors to heat detectors… yes of course we set the fire alarms off whilst testing out one of the sampling rooms.

Last week we held tasting events at Turmeaus Liverpool and Chester. The samplings featured Michter’s whiskyKavalan Scotch, and Oliva cigars. Sold out events as ever. In fact two sessions sold out at Chester. My thanks to Brain Shapiro from Oliva cigars who kindly zipped over from New York to talk about the wonderful range of Oliva cigars.

Spammy message from my sales and marketing teams… We have a humongous range of Colibri lighters… of course at the lowest prices in the UK.

Okay, so it’s July (unbelievable fast first half of the year!) and its bloody hot in London, so I’m off to Los Angeles(!) until the end of August. I’m looking forward to the annual IPCPR cigar trade show in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks’ time and already planning some more exclusive Orchant Seleccion cigars as well as scouting for the latest cool cigar accessories. I’m looking forward to attending some great herfs with friends all over California… my kinda Summer.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Father’s Day :-)

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there and what better way to celebrate than with a good cigar and a dram of single malt whisky? No better way 🙂

That’s exactly how I’ll be enjoying the day with my father… Monte 2’s and Stalla Dhu Ben Nevis single cask scotch whisky.

My Dad has been enjoying Monte 2’s for many years and though he moans and grumbles that the blend is ‘not quite the same’ as it was years ago, he just keeps going back to them! I always remember when I was in my teens and my Dad was chomping away on Monte 2’s whilst he gave me Saint Luis Rey Regios as he said I would look ridiculous smoking a Monte 2 lol.

My daughter has some secret / surprise plans for me in the evening as well so all in all it should be a great Father’s Day 🙂

Here are a few suggestions from our Father’s Day bestselling gifts this year:

  • Dalmore Whisky and Cigar Pairings – available with either the luxurious Davidoff Orchant Seleccion Lancero, the “perfect gift cigar” Sancho Panza Sancho Coffin box, or with a selection of some of the best cigars. View the range here.
  • If your dad is not a fan of cigar and whisky pairings (madness!), we currently have some amazing pipes on special offer, be quick though as there’s not many left! Find them here.
  • We’ve also just massively increased our range of Colibri Accessories, including these very sleek sets which have been flying off the shelves as they just make the ideal gift.

I zoomed up to Turmeaus Liverpool last Sunday for an incredible Davidoff awards event. Around 30 of my team were presented with certificates for completing and passing their Davidoff training course.

We sampled Davidoff Short Perfectos and Davidoff Nicaraguan Box Pressed Robusto, paired up with Remy Martin 1738 and tonic cocktails. What can I say other than, WOW! What an incredibly crisp, fresh and smooth pairing. Those who haven’t tried a Remy Martin and tonic cocktail, get yourself a bottle and give it a go, I never thought I’d enjoy it that much! Our Chef served up a splendid lunch as ever, he certainly knows a thing or two about how to get the perfect flavour balance, an in our industry, that’s very important! After the award ceremony we retired to Puffin’ Rooms to enjoy the unmissable Victoria Sharpe tinkling the ivories.

Davidoff are a huge success story for C.Gars Group and the sales have gone ballistic for us over the last year. The ranges that they have introduced are quite superb as is the presentation. My favourites are 702 and Late Hour. I can’t ever remember a single complaint about these delightful cigars. Top quality blends and the finest construction. Needless to say, we have the largest range and stocks as well as the best prices in the UK.

We also exclusively represent the Avo range (Davidoff brand) and will be releasing a very special limited edition Orchant Seleccion, later this year. Avo have only been in our range for the last year but are already well established in our top 10 best selling premium cigars. Thy are great value to say the least.

Amazing to get so many of my staff together from so many different locations. In fact that was only around half of the team as we now employee some 60 persons though it looks like we will have over 70 staff by the end of the year.

We finally completed the purchase of our new and rather super-duper 7000 square foot headquarters building in Norfolk. The building is a magnificent 200 year old property over 4 floors with original exposed wooden beams. The building contractors will be cracking away over the Summer and we expect to move in well before Christmas.

This expansion will feature a more substantial retail Turmeaus specialist cigar and whisky shop than we have now. It will also have a cigar sampling lounge that will be far better than our current lounge. We are planning to have a whisky room, a pipe room and of course a walk in humidor crammed to the ceiling with premium Havanas, Davidoff, Oliva, Alec Bradley, Inka – Secret Blend, Fuente to name a few of the ranges.

We will have tons of parking available and will be holding weekly tasting events. C.Gars Ltd have in fact had an address in Norfolk since way back in 1997 . The expansion of our business really does amaze me and I’m very proud of Laura and her team that we have been able to make this happen.

The summer auction Lots are now live online and bidding is open, the auction ends on the 19th June. It’s easy to get in on the action and basically works much like eBay… think of it as cBay! Our next auction is planned for the 2nd December but it’s very likely we will also hold a sale in September as we have so much demand.

Some of my favourite Lots in this sale include:

H Upmann Dunhills Seleccion No. 50

Rafael Gonzales Coronas Inmensas

H. Upmann Coronas Jar

Ramon Allones Petit Coronas Miniature

Trinidad 40th Anniversary Humidor

My auction team are online 24/7 auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk to advise if you have any queries or require condition reports.

We’ve added a huge range of Colibri lighters to the website best prices in the UK guaranteed.

If you haven’t tried my Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion cigars it’s about time you did! The sweetest blend and the best construction. Incredible value. I can’t stop herfing them. In fact I herfed the Shorty and Chubby with a cheeky pint of bitter at the pub last night!

Have a smoky week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Summer Time!

Well it doesn’t feel much like Summer this week in London, but at least the Royal Wedding was on a lovely sunny day and by the looks of the sales of Bolivar Royal Coronas and Romeo Petit Royales, the wedding was celebrated in smoky style by many of our clients 🙂

I had a bit of a crazy herfing week across Pennsylvania, Chicago and New York meeting up with many old friends and making plenty of new friends. I hosted 2 brilliant sold out tasting events at The (rather amazing) Clayton in Chicago where we featured the Davidoff Orchant Seleccion cigars. To say the feedback was positive would be a huge understatement! Thanks to Clay, Guy and the Team at the Clayton for such a warm welcome.

Part of the US mission was to collect a load of blend samples for the planned Avo Orchant Seleccion and I diligently tasted them all and came to a decision 🙂 These incredible cigars will be released later this year.

New York was a blast as usual and I herfed at GHR and Carnegie (day and night!) and also visited the Davidoff shop on 6th avenue (previously De La Concha) where I enjoyed this bad boy!

Back to the UK and a quick trip to C.Gars Norfolk for our marketing team meeting which is always fun as the team presents their marketing initiatives and suggestions for the next quarter. Lots of fun stuff coming up I’m pleased to say. Two and a half hour topless drive back to London in glorious sunshine enjoying 2 Hoyo Epicure Reserva’s… my kinda days’ work 🙂

… and then I zoomed off to Valencia for the holiday weekend. What a lovely city. I can’t remember seeing so many people smoking cigars, large and small. On the streets and in the cafes. Very cool. I visited a few decent cigar shops but there was no sign of Siglo VI or BHK’s, much like the UK.

Back to the office for a day and then I’m heading to Turmeaus Liverpool and Puffin Rooms for the rest of the week.

The Summer auction catalogue is closed/full and has a wonderful selection of Lots from mature to pre-embargo and plenty in between. The auction ends on the 19th June and Lots will be online 10 days before the sale.

Plenty of events planned for June (I can’t believe it’s nearly June already!) book up early as we sell out pretty fast.

Our accessories team have boosted the range of Colibri lighters as their reliability issues seem to be a thing of the past thankfully. Guaranteed lowest prices in the UK of course.

We have just launched the Caldwell cigar range. I’m testing them out tomorrow but my sales team tell me they are very good and have been very well received by our clients both in store and online.

The recently launched Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion range has been selling like crazy. The reviews are great. The blend is superb if I do say so myself 🙂 Very sweet, very smooth and perfect construction as would be expected from this brand.

Father’s day coming up fast… what better gift than a cigar and some splendid single malt. Check out this Father’s Day pairing sampler.

Have a smoky week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell