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

Charity Auction

Our September auction was a resounding success with the usual high sale rate of around 95%.  Highlights included:

Box of 10 Dunhill Estupendos – £8,600

Box of 25 Dunhill Mojito – £9,050

Cabinet of 25 Dunhill Atados – £4320

Part box of 10 Dunhill Romeo y Julieta Seleccion Suprema no.103 from 1919 – £1060

A great stock of Davidoff cigars in packs, boxes and cabinets selling for  some very high prices as well as a good selection of aged, rare, limited and regional editions.

As ever, all sold results left on the website as a permanent resource. That was our 30th auction since the auction department was established way back in 2009 (that went fast!) and we have knocked down a total of 9995 Lots so far! We have an interesting charity Lot being offered currently on the auction website  checkout the story, it’s pretty cool, and if you don’t know where the name of the cigar came from check out this link. Our next sale will be on the 1st December and Lots are already arriving daily. This will be the first auction (potentially) post Brexit so it will be interesting to see where the exchange rate is at that time and what the effect is on bidding.

We have just received and released the 2018 (yes, I know its 2019!) Limited Edition H.Upmann Propios. This is a brilliant size measuring in at 4 ¾” length and 46 ring gauge. Sort of works any time of day and delivers volumes of smoke due to the girth of the cigar. Very limited stocks available at this time. Inka Secret Blend has now gone International J… available in Germany and still our best-selling New World cigar in the UK! more details on this link.

Siglo VI remain in very very short supply, the odd cabinet arriving every now and then but happy to say Cohiba Piramides Extra have made a reappearance  and are smoking very well indeed. We have also released our final batch of the UK regional edition Juan Lopez Seleccion Superba from 2016  The additional box age ensures they are a magnificent smoke.

Turmeaus – Mayfair is going through a bit of a freshen up with new décor making it look very lovely indeed, just waiting for some good weather so the outside gets redecorated as well. What an incredible success story this cigar and whisky shop has become. We opened the doors 8 years ago and it’s one of our most popular locations with a very busy albeit small sampling area, client lockers and a huge range of Havana cigars at the best retail prices in London …guaranteed.

I’m off to the RAC Club this evening to do a cigar Q & A featuring Alec Bradley and Oliva Orchant Seleccion cigars…. More on that next week.

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Cigar Auction Online!

I’m finally back from my rather long trip to LA and happy to see I brought the good weather back with me 🙂 No dramas whilst I was away except an attempted break in at my Mayfair Turmeaus store. Unsuccessful of course as we have anti-bandit glass! So we have yet another new shop front window.

We have decided to give this ridiculously busy cigar shop a makeover in the next week or two. Should look very cool indeed. The shop has a huge range of Havanas in the walk in humidor and can squish in 5 people in the sampling room which it usually does from the minute it opens till closing time!

It was Karyn’s birthday on Saturday (well… mine as well) and the weather could not have been better for some serious birthday herfing in the garden as well as in the car. And the birthday selection was… The Birthday Orchant Seleccion of course! Paired up very nicely with a Magnum of Bilecart Salmon Rose (thank you AC… helluva birthday prezzie!)

The last Bolivar Orchant Seleccion Belicosos were for my 50th birthday, they were splendid cigars and this release if anything are even better smokes. The first Bolivar Orchant Seleccion Belicosos were released in 2007 rated as the dream year for most Havanas by many including me. I followed the 55th birthday  BBF with an ’07 which was sweet as sugar if not one of my all-time favourites, In the evening I went a bit crazy with a Dom Perignon and a Dunhill Don Candido No. 500. It was a very happy birthday 🙂

Ron and I enjoyed a splendid evening at The Oriental Club for  Nick Hammond’s new book launch “Around The World in 80 cigars“.

Hosted by our fabulous supplier, Tor imports, and attended by all the characters in the London cigar trade including Jemma Freeman (H&F), Rob Fox (JJ Fox), Eddie Sahakian (Davidoff) and Laurence Davis (Sautter), to name a few. Great to catch up with Ricardo Carioni from the Nicaraguan Embassy (we are planning a Nicaraguan month of events early next year!)

I think I took Nick on his first trip to Havana many years ago and remember it was one of the funniest times I ever had there. Thanks for the mentions in the book Nick, hope it’s a great success for you. Post event herf was at The Lanesborough – Garden Room… where else? 🙂

Its auction time again (that came around fast!) and the September auction is now live and finishes on Sunday evening. We had not planned to hold a September auction but we had so many quality boxes sent in for valuations and sales advice we decided it best to hold this extra auction as well as our Winter auction in December.

It’s another pretty huge sale with over 350 Lots entered by aficionados, collectors and estates. Highlights include some magnificent Dunhill and Davidoff cigars:

Dunhill Estupendos
Dunhill Mojitos
Dunhill Atados
Davidoff Chateau Haut Brion
Davidoff No. 1
Davidoff Dom Perignon

There are also vast amounts of regional and limited editions, aged, mature and pre-embargos that will be sold.

Catalogue can be seen on this link and bidding is all online… think of us as cBay 🙂

FAQ is on this link questions and advise by email with pleasure to my auction team auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

We are open for viewings all week, drop us an email to make an appointment.

Great to be back in the office though I can’t wait to get around the Turmeaus shops round the country though that will have to wait for another week or so. I gather the good weather has done no harm to our sales which remain at record levels. I’m thinking it must be good BBQ’ing and herfing weather 🙂

Supply of some Havanas remains patchy. El Rey del Mundo La Reina come into stock in tiny quantity and sell out fast. Siglo VI and Cohiba Piramides are in and out every few days. BHK 56 is non-existent but the odd box or two of BHK52’s and 54’s turn up now and again.

Checkout the new sections on my website and let me know if you like them: La Casa del Habano and the World of Davidoff.

Plenty of sampling events coming up… check them out on this link.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

 

L.A. Herfing…

Greetings from sunny West Hollywood …this blog comes to you from my balcony where I’m enjoying an Oliva – Orchant Seleccion Chubby in 27c sunny blue skies. No wonder people look so happy here, I haven’t seen a cloud in the sky for the last month 🙂

I’ve been spending Summer in LA for as long as I can remember and have so many friends over here going back over the last 22 years, I actually have to move from one herf to the next on the same day just to get to see everyone.

It’s a bit of a crazy world where cigar smoking apparently is not welcome at a lot of places but weed is legal. Go figure….

That said, I have no shortage of places to go for a cigar. there’s GHR and Nazareth’s in Beverly Hills, State Social in WeHo, The Spot in Encino as well as hotels such as the Sunset Marquis and SLS to name a few where they have good areas to herf in the sunshine.

It’s been a very hectic herfing schedule with my chums from New York flying out for a week of non-stop herfing at Redondo Beach (TY Larry) GHR (TY Peter) and San Diego (TY VC) . They left and I carried on herfing in Bel Air (TY LS), The Duffy herf in Long Beach (TY Bob) and numerous other friends’ homes.

I’m enjoying the best of Fuente and Davidoff cigars and everyone seems to be handing me Havanas! (they seem to have more than me and I don’t even sell to them!!) I sent ahead a couple of cases of Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt to enjoy with friends and that’s going down very fast!

Being a bit of a petrol head, I finally managed to get my dates right and go to Pebble Beach for the incredible Concours d’Elegance show followed by smokes at The Inn at Spanish Bay which can only

be described as idyllic. I also went to the Sunset GT car meet in WeHo which had the most breath-taking super cars on display (no smoking though!)

I’ve settled into a good routine of 4 hours work on the balcony every morning with a good cigar or two. Technology is quite amazing… I don’t think I could have run a business of this size remotely 22 years ago! I think the 8-hour time difference actually makes it easier to keep up with the mad pace of C.Gars business.

Aiming to be back in the London office by mid-September to wrap up the auction for the 22nd September as well as celebrate my 55th birthday and the release of my Bolivar Belicosos – Seleccion Orchant. As I was born in 1964, I have selected 64 specially numbered boxes with double banded cigars of exceptional appearance and quality. They are available on pre-sell early September.

I have managed a little down time with concerts at The Greek and enjoyed seeing Blondie, Elvis Costello and The Steve Miller band 🙂 my kinda music.

My Sales Team tell me the weather is great in the UK and sales at record highs this year. I’m guessing it’s due to the weather? Or maybe the Brexit effect?!

There are still ongoing supply issues with Havanas with little supply of BHK’s, Partagas Salomones, Siglo VI and Lanceros. Fortunately, our stock levels are deep so we manage to iron out most rough spots.

El Rey del Mundo La Reina – UK regional is still officially our fastest selling cigar ever. We are getting dribs and drabs of stock availability for this delicious Lancero sized cigar… but you may need to get your orders in fast as they are likely to be out of stock again very soon!

I have noticed a remarkable improvement in Havana cigar quality from boxes with 18 and 19 codes recently. In fact, not only is the quality and blending dramatically improved on 15 and 16 code but the construction is dramatically better. I recently enjoyed Magnum 54’s and CoRo’s that were better than I can remember them in a long time.

That’s the news for now, the sun is going down so I’m heading out for a walk with a BBF 🙂

Have a smokey rest of the week

Peaceful puffing from Lala Land

Mitchell

 

 

 

NEW Orchant Seleccion New World Cigars

Greetings from C.Gars London HQ where we are expecting a bit of a heatwave this week… perfect herfing weather 🙂

Last week I hosted the pre-release event for our new range of Orchant Seleccion by Drew Estate at Turmeaus Liverpool, followed by a further event at Turmeaus Chester the very next evening.

We were very proud to welcome Jonathan Drew (pictured to the right) as guest of honour for the evening and the crowded room enjoyed his very interesting insights on Drew Estate as well as cigar manufacturing in Nicaragua (it really is a huge company/factory/region!), the samples that we tested out were superb.

This new range will be available online and in all of our stores by the end of August and will be presented in packs of 10 in three sizes initially:

Lightweight: 3 ½” Length x 46 Ring Gauge
Middleweight: 4 ½” Length x 46 Ring Gauge
Heavyweight: 5 ¼” Length x 46 Ring Gauge

It took us quite some time to settle on the right blend but I feel we have totally nailed it. I reckon they will be super popular!

Completely hand crafted and made in Estelí:

Wrapper: Stalk Cut Havana grown in Connecticut
Binder: Indonesian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Connecticut Broadleaf and Nicaragua
Strength: Medium to Full Bodied

Attendees were spoiled with our Chef’s canapes, Old Fashioned cocktails, Stalla Dhu Saorsa single malt whisky and quite a few Drew Estate cigars to sample including the Middleweight, a Lancero and a non-production A size Gran Corona. A great sampling event to say the least.

This week I’m heading to another sold out sampling event at our Knutsford branch which I am very proud to announce is now our second La Casa del Habano location (we expect to open more LCDH shops in the future too!).

We look forward to welcoming Yadira Bulnes of Hunters & Frankau as guests of honour to celebrate the opening. I have also now been informed that the person designated by the Cuban Embassador to represent her on the opening of the Casa is Mr. Guillermo Parera, Press and Culture Counselor. Mr. Julio Pujol will not be able to join us due to flying to Cuba early next morning.

C.Gars Ltd President Ron Morrison will be cutting the ribbon together with Yadira Bulnes, Corporate Director of Hunters & Frankau.

The premises consist of a cigar shop and walk in humidor with client lockers on the ground floor and a comfortable sampling lounge on the first floor. The full range of La Casa specialities including Coleccion Habanos books and limited edition humidors will be well represented.

LCDH Knutsford will be managed by Turmeaus tobacconist trained team Andrew, Liz and Sandra under the guidance of Sara and Calum (Master of Cigars) from LCDH Chester.

Opening a second La Casa del Habano is very important to our Group and allows us to continue our substantial growth in Havana cigars sales. It will enable us to have additional availability of La Casa specialities to satisfy our customers’ insatiable demand for the finest handmade cigars in the world.

In other news this week…

We are still experiencing some Havana cigar stock shortages including all sizes of BHK’s, Piramides Extra, Siglo VI in 10’s though 25’s seem to be coming back in small quantity. Bolivar Soberanos and Super Coronas are sold out by the importers and our stocks are almost exhausted.

El Rey del Mundo La Reina UK regional editions continues to be our fastest selling cigar of all time. We are continuously sold out though we are still accepting orders as we are expecting further allocations.

If you are one of the lucky clients to have been allocated the incredible 1790 Humidor, then well done you 🙂 it really is a masterpiece filled with the most incredible cigars. We may make an additional one available in the near future. Email me for details. sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

H&F aged release allocations have now been confirmed. They are very tight and in all fairness there were only a few boxes of each aged cigar available and no doubt much demand from the UK cigar trade. I’m not yet sure if we will be releasing them or I will be smoking them #joke 😀

We are now listing Lots for our September auction, email my auction team if you need any advice.

Short week for me as I’m heading to Bristol on Thursday and Friday to celebrate my daughters graduation (Double First in Spanish and French!), I think I will be firing up a Davidoff Dom Perignon to celebrate.

Next Monday I’ll be taking the car for a blast to our Norfolk HQ and Turmeaus Norfolk for the day to wrap up our quarterly Marketing Team meetings… it has been an astonishing quarter for C.Gars Group so my thanks to Laura, James and their brilliant Team… then I’m off to L.A. for the Summer… back sometime in September 🙂

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell