Merry Christmas!

Well that was fast year ! I can hardly believe it’s Christmas already.

I spent the last week up North at our Turmeaus shops in Liverpool and Chester, our La Casa del Habano shops in Knutsford and Chester and of course Puffin’ Rooms in the evenings.

ImageTo say we were ‘busy’ would be a bit of an understatement. Perhaps the feel-good factor has returned to the UK after the General Election as it has finally put a little more direction and certainty back into the economy…. Thank goodness!

Image result for turmeaus norfolk

It’s been a banner year for the C.Gars Group , having opened our new HQ building in Norfolk in the first quarter of the year which included an all singing and dancing Turmeaus retail cigar and whisky shop and comfortable sampling lounge.

We also dramatically increased our premium spirits division with a massive range release and unbeatable pricing. Our Independent bottling Stalla Dhu range of single malt whisky won multiple awards and goes from strength to strength.

We launched the Orchant Seleccion by Drew Estate  to add to our very successful and popular Orchant Seleccion ranges of Oliva, Alec Bradley and Regius cigars.

Our exclusive ranges of AVO ( a Davidoff brand)  and Inka- Secret Blend cigars from Peru clocked up record sales. Our exclusive range of Arturo Fuente had a record year as so many cigar aficionados are now trying out these incredible premium cigars.

We refreshed the image of Turmeaus – Mayfair, our smallest but one of our busiest locations. I think I will have to open a larger Central London store very soon to cope with the demand.

The auction department again held 4 very successful sales with record prices being achieved. Our next sale will be held on March 15th and we are considering consignments now.

It’s been an interesting year on the Havana cigar scene. I attended the Festival in February as usual and am looking forward to the next Festival. Supply in the UK was generally pretty good it has to be said thanks to our brilliant importer Hunters & Frankau.

We hit some dry patches with Siglo VI, Behike, Esplendidos and Lanceros but they do come in from time to time in small quantity so we have been able to keep the majority of our customers well supplied thankfully. We are hoping that supply will improve next year.

The high point was the release of the UK regional El Rey del Mundo La Reina which was quite superb and sold out in record time. We hope to have more available soon.

The Trinidad Topes and Media Luna cigar were released and the blends are quite stunning so we are confident that the tobacco quality coming out of Cuba is first rate.

The last minute of the year surprise was the release of the Romeo Maravilla. The presentation is superb. Probably the best I have seen and the quality of the cigar is magnificent. This has proved to be a madly popular cigar.

All in all a great year!

So my thanks to my brilliant Turmeaus Retail and C.Gars Mail Order Teams for all your hard work and the biggest thanks to all of our loyal customers. Our database has finally hit the 100,000 mark which is quite a milestone for a cigar business that started out with just Laura and I some 22 years ago.

We continue to be the most successful cigar specialist in the U.K. and look forward to bringing our customers more exclusive products in 2020 as well as more exciting expansion plans in the new year.

I’m heading home soon for the holidays with a bag rather stuffed full of my favourites from 2019 including :

El Rey del Mundo La Reina

Romeo Maravillas

Trinidad Topes

El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme Orchant Seleccion

Punch Short de Punch

Upmann Sir Winston Gran Reserva ( bit of a treat)

Cohiba 1966 ( a lot of a treat!

… and a bottle of Orchant Selection Cigar Malt ( BIG award winner this year!)

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah.,. Whatever you are celebrating – I hope it’s with a great cigar and a good dram or two of our award winning single malt whisky !

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

What’s going on?!

It’s been a rather madly busy time at C.Gars over the last week!…

Our Winter auction took place on the 1st December with a massive catalogue of aged and rare Havana cigars as well as some rather delicious looking whisky. Some incredible prices were achieved including the following:

Lot 120 – Trinidad Gran Panatela – £31,200.00
Lot 305 – Partagas 165th Anniversary – £14,700.00
Lot 292 – Dunhill Cabinetta – £12,100.00
Lot 295 – Dunhill Estupendos – £8,900.00
Lot 325 – Partagas Humidor – £8,750.00
Lot 396 – Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva – £5,050.00
Lot 397 – Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva – £4,950.00
Lot 66 – La Flor de Cano Diademas – £4,750.00
Lot 307 – Ramon Allones Imperiales – £4,100.00
Lot 64 – La Escepcion Gran Gener – £4,000.00

There was substantial interest from many new bidders in the Far East as well as collectors from the UK and Europe. We leave all previous sold Lot prices on the website as a resource that’s easy to access using the sold search function. Our next auction will be held on the 15th March 2020 and we are now considering entries. Email the auction team.

The Cigar Smoker of The Year event was held the next night at Boisdale Canary Wharf. This was the 7th year for this amazing event which has become the largest event in the UK cigar calendar. The main award went to Dolph Lundgren. Habanos S.A. were presented (by me!) with the Producer of the year award. Giuliani Santilli was awarded Cigar Sommelier of the year. The ticket price included Partagas Serie D No. 6, Davidoff Entreacto, Inka Cristales and AVO Orchant Seleccion Syncro Robusto cigars for sampling on the terrace and we were treated to a sumptuous dinner with splendid wines and whisky to follow.

The Christmas season kicked off with a bang with rather insane amounts of orders being placed last week hitting an all-time C.Gars record of over 4,000 packages shipped last week! Well done to my C.Gars mail order team. No idea how you coped… and it looks like this week will be even busier. If you’re not sure what you need, we are here to assist and advise 24/7 just contact our team. The Turmeaus shops were equally busy and despite being up to the rafters in the finest cigars, pipes and whisky we had to do daily restocking to cope with the demand. Amazing!

The new Havana releases have proved unbelievably popular and for good reason. The blends and tobacco quality on the new Trinidad Topes, Media Luna and Punch short de Punch are simply outstanding. Best cigars I have enjoyed in a long time. Shortages of supply continue however with no sign of Siglo VI (other than in tubes) Behike, Lanceros and Esplendidos.

Cohiba Piramides Extra (I love that cigar!) are also out of stock but we are releasing stock of them from our reserve as well as Cohiba Behike this week as I dare say many of our clients will want one of these special smokes for the Christmas cigar.

My partner Ron Morrison who heads up the whisky division of C.Gars was invited to a lunch awards event in Scotland last Friday and I’m delighted to announce that we picked up a load of award for our already multi award winning Stalla Dhu range:

 

 

 

 

HIGHLANDS

Scotch Highlands Independent Bottler of the Year

C.Gars Ltd

No Age Statement

Gold – C.Gars Malt Orchant Seleccion

Silver – Stalla Dhu Ardmore Single Cask

SPEYSIDE

No Age Statement

Silver  – Stalla Dhu Speyside

Bronze – Stalla Dhu Saorsa Single Cask

We really have become the one stop shop for whisky and cigars in the UK. Best product range, best prices and hopefully always the best service. If not …let me know as I personally guarantee the best of everything for my customers.

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Cigar Auction is live…

The Winter cigar Auction is now live on the auction website and bidding has already started. It’s a huge 470 Lot sale including 70 Lots of single malt whisky. We will be selling a very interesting catalogue of aged and rare Havanas in this timed auction that ends on Sunday the 1st of December. Featured lots include a vast range of Cuban Davidoff cigars as well as a few magnificent Cuban Dunhill lots including the holy grail Dunhill Cabinetta and Dunhill Estupendos.

The most rare Lot is a cabinet of 50 Trinidad cigars signed by Fidel Castro and made at El Laguito in 1995. We expect a lot of interest in the Partagas 165th anniversary humidor. This humidor has seen a meteoric increase in value. I remember selling them for £1500 when they were originally available.

There are 35 lots of Pre Embargo cigars singles, boxes , cabinets and humidors. Something of an acquired taste but when they are good they really are quite splendid smokes. Bidders have to pre-register and set up their credit limit but the process is fast and straight forward. Photos, descriptions and estimates are all online for each Lot. Our auction Team are available to assist and advise with condition reports 24/7  and we advise prospective bidders to arrange to inspect Lots at our London offices this week.

I can’t believe this is our 10th year of cigars auctions and remember the first auction held at Boisdale Belgravia on an exceptionally cold snowy evening in 2009. I remember we kept everyone warm with bottles of Chivas Regal! We offered 90 Lots and they all sold. It’s incredible to think that the auction division has grown to 4 auctions a year selling almost 1800 Lots on vintage cigars every year.

Despite the ongoing and worsening lack of Havana cigar supplies which now includes Cohiba Behike (all sizes) Esplendidos, Lanceros, Siglo VI and even El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme, I am happy to tell you that we have released two new cigars:

Trinidad Topes originally a limited edition back in 2016 and now regular production. I actually think I prefer this version as the blend is better IMHO. Punch Short de Punch measures in at 4 3/4” length and 50 ring gauge and is presented on boxes of 25. I’m smoking one now as I’m typing this blog!  I can confirm it’s an absolutely excellent blend, well-constructed and I love the size. Volumes of smoke from the generous ring gauge and a perfect any time 30-minute smoke.

Christmas season is fast approaching so the online Christmas store is packed full of gifts to tempt you and our shops have a super range of cigars, accessories, whisky and rum.

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing.

Mitchell

 

Winter Vintage Cigar auction

This has to be the fastest year I can ever remember as our Winter Cigar Auction is coming up fast but it seems like yesterday since last year’s Winter auction sale! Our catalogue is pretty special for the 1st December and Lots will be online around the 24th November to give plenty of time to view the Lots at our London auction office or request condition reports or any other details. The sale features two of the rarest Trinidad and Cohiba cabinets of cigars autographed by Fidel Castro. They are quite breath-taking to say the least if not unique pieces of history.

We also have an incredible selection of 37 Lots of Cuban Davidoff cigars including Dom Perignon, No.1, No.2, 1000,2000,2000, Latour, Lafite, Haut Brion and Margaux. There is a splendid box of Cuban Dunhill Estupendos and a cabinet of Dunhill Cabinetta included in over 400 vintages, Pre-Embargo, Gran Reserva, Limited edition and mature Havana cigar Lots. For the first time we will be offering 70 Lots of splendid single malt whisky at the end of the cigar auction.

The auction website can be viewed here. Remember to check out the FAQs.

Previous Sold Lots (going back some years) can be referenced using the sold search facility on this link.

Bidders have to be registered before the sale on this, click here to register.

My auction Team are available to assist and advise 24/7 at auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

Our 22nd anniversary of C.Gars Ltd and 202nd anniversary of Turmeaus celebrations have been going with a swing with some unbelievable offers over the last 2 weeks. Our way of saying thanks to all of our loyal customers and friends. Last Tuesday I enjoyed visiting Turmeaus in Liverpool where I bought my first cigar shop many years ago. The range of cigars and whisky is I dare say the finest in the UK. This location has become a destination point for our customers from all over the UK and indeed overseas. With our comfortable sampling lounge open till 5pm and when it closes you can carry on sampling at ‘Late Hour’ Turmeaus just next door which is open till late and sells a huge range of Cuban and New World cigars.

Turmeaus Late Hour Samping Lounge

Dinner, live jazz and blues and cocktails at Puffin Rooms last Tuesday was amazing. Puffin Rooms is booked up 7 nights a week. There’s nothing quite like it J In fact I’m heading back there this Tuesday after a sampling event at Turmeaus. Come and join me for a memorable whisky and cigar sampling.

No good news on the Havana availability front yet I’m afraid. Still no BHK’s of any size and no Siglo VI. We have some supply of Piramides Extra but these are now going fast instead of Siglo VI no doubt.

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Happy anniversary!

Happy 22nd Anniversary to C.Gars Ltd (est. 1997) and Happy 202nd Anniversary to Turmeaus Whisky & Cigar shops (est. 1817).  To say the last 22 years have flown by would be one hell of an understatement!

From very humble beginnings Laura and I have built our business from a bit of a Mom and Pop operation to a rather huge cigar and whisky business over the last 22 years. Starting off as a pure Havana cigar specialist on the internet and moving into retail a few years later and now the largest cigar specialist in the UK.

Here’s a bit more about our history here.

We have built flagship Turmeaus retail stores in key locations, 2 LCDH shops, ventured back into the whisky business with an unrivalled range as well as our award winning Stalla Dhu single malt whisky and celebrated 10 years of cigar auctions filling the space when Christies gave up on cigar sales. We ventured into hospitality with Puffin Rooms, our premier live jazz, whisky, cocktail and tapas venue and built state of the art mail order warehouse premises for C.Gars Ltd mail order business.

We also created the best-selling range of Inka – Secret Blend cigars from Peru and are proud to be importers and distributors of premium cigar brands such as Fuente, Macanudo, CAO, Avo, Flying Dutch and Double Dutch. We have also had incredible collaborations making Orchant Seleccion cigars with some of the finest premium brands including Davidoff, Oliva, Alec Bradley and Regius and we our soon to launch the Orchant Seleccion by Drew Estate.

The Group now employs over 75 personnel and it’s a privilege to work with such a great Team including so many of my friends and colleagues that have been with me for so many years (Laura, Michelle, Ron, Paul, Sara, Roy and too many others to mention)

There was no text book or blueprint to learn how to create a successful cigar and whisky business so I just tried to follow sound business principles and treat customers the way I would want to be treated. The ethos was always to offer the largest range at the best prices guaranteed with fast delivery by mail order as well as the finest retail customer experience in our shops.

It’s been a challenging 22 years, never easy building this size of business from a standing start and in an industry that always seems to face some crazy legislation (usually from the EU) but we look forward to the future with much confidence.

It amazes me how many clients have remained loyal since the start and it’s been a pleasure to be their cigar merchant. By way of gesture of thanks, we will be running a flash sale tonight between 6pm and 11pm, all online orders for a box of 25 (or 25 singles) Havana or Premium New World cigars (please email to check if you are unsure what qualifies as premium)  will receive 2 additional cigars (same ones or my choice if it’s a mixed selection) for an additional 2p. Simply enter ‘Happy Anniversary’ in the comments section of the online order form.

Karyn and I are just back from a weeks’ vacation which ended up more of a business trip to sunny Las Vegas. We thought we would get a break in before the craziness of the Christmas season which looks like it has already started! Vegas is great fun and super cigar friendly. Everywhere I went I seemed to bump into friends that I knew or who knew me from social media.

We herfed at the Davidoff cigar bar, Montecristo lounge and Casa Fuente. Super service in all. I tend to smoke New World in the US (and more Havanas in the UK) so it was Fuente cigars at Casa Fuente, Davidoff Late Hour in the Davidoff bar and Oliva at Montecristo Lounge. The stand out smoke was an Oliva Serie V. It was absolutely a delight. I will add them to my daily rotation I reckon.

I’m heading to Turmeaus – Norfolk to enjoy a rather decadent sampling event on Wednesday evening last few tickets available for what promises to be a splendid sampling in the most comfortable cigar sampling  lounge.

Next Tuesday I will be at the cigar and whisky sampling event at Late Hour Turmeaus – Liverpool. We have an amazing program of sampling events where you can enjoy new products , learn about them and meet fellow aficionados.

We are still facing ongoing supply issues with Havana cigars and there’s little sign of it getting better any time soon.  No sign of Cohiba BHK’s, few and far between Siglo VI. No new deliveries of El Rey del Mundo La Reina though we do expect more in the near future. We are ever hopeful that we may see the La Gloria Cubana UK RE before the end of the year though.

One bright spot is Cohiba Piramides Extra which are back in stock and smoking like a dream. Order a box of 10 in the next 24 hours, mention ‘Happy Anniversary ‘in the comments section of the online order form and I’ll charge you an extra Penny and send you an extra cigar.

Our Winter auction catalogue is now full and closed. I never know from one sale to the next if we will ever actually receive another Lot and am constantly amazed at the boxes that come through to us. This sale will feature rarest Dunhill and Davidoff cigars as well as over 300 Lots of Pre-Embargo, Limited Edition, aged, rare and mature Havana cigars. Lots will be online on the 24th November when bidding will open and the auction ends on Sunday 1st December.

As ever, my Sales team and I are online and available to assist and advise 24-7 every day of the year and can always be contacted at sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell