Blue Monday (-:

Apparently today is Blue Monday though it doesn’t seems like that at C.Gars, unless it refers to a blue haze of smoke 🙂 We should have just cheered you up a bit more anyway with our January Blow Out Sale!

We kicked off a very busy January with sales in store and online at record levels. Almost 100% stock availability (except for the elusive Siglo VI and Behike range) and 100% on time order fulfilment. Not a bad start to the year…

We’re expecting to release some more of the exceptionally popular Cohiba Talisman later this month though I would guess they will be snapped up fast. We also expect to have some more Romeo Wide Churchill Gran Reserva by the end of the month. Great start to the year!

I met Ed, the owner of a fabulous new cigar store in Kensington this morning and we chatted in the office whilst sampling Bolivar Royal Coronas. We agreed that London or perhaps the UK(!) really is the Mecca of the premium cigar world. Visit him on Kensington Church Street. It’s a beautiful shop and humidor.

Last week I zoomed around our beautiful Turmeaus cigars and whisky shops/sampling lounges in Chester, Knutsford and Liverpool and enjoyed a splendid sampling evening at Turmeaus Late Hour cigar shop and lounge in Liverpool.

I also had a quick sampling session at our La Casa del Habano Chester. The huge walk in humidor is crammed to the ceiling with an amazing range of Havanas including the exclusive LCDH releases. The next tasting event is here 14th March 2018 – tickets available here.

We enjoyed the super exclusive Davidoff Exclusive Orchant Seleccion Lancero paired up with single cask Stalla Dhu Ben Nevis and Auchroisk. This was followed by dinner from the new menu at Puffin’ Rooms and great music by Sue Kirby Clark untill… well rather late 🙂 I can’t wait to be back next week for what should be a rather amazing Davidoff and Dalmore event – tickets available here.

I went to see the Darkest Hour yesterday and Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Churchill was quite remarkable. No wonder its getting such great reviews. Well done to Gary Oldman smoking so many cigars! I remember selling this amazing cabinet of cigars some years ago that I reckon were one of Winston Churchills favourites.

My G.M. Michelle is on vacation this week so I’m working twice as hard at C.Gars London but I reckon I should be able to sneak off to the Lanesborough at least for a couple of evenings to get some herf action in! Best in service, cigars, food …well everything. I just love it there 🙂 Perfect place to wind down after a hard day in the office.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing.

Mitchell

Happy Holidays!

I reckon I have had more fun in business in 2017 than any other year I can think of in the last 36 years of being in business. This has been a year of non-stop action from beginning to end.

The year kicked off with our breaking ground on what we called Phase 2 Liverpool now more commonly known as Puffin’ Room and Turmeaus Late Hour Cigar Shop & Sampling Lounge. We opened in Summer and are super happy with the success of this concept. We will be rolling out in more locations next year and beyond. Live music – 7 nights a week, incredible menu, delicious cocktails and over 200 single malt whiskies… need I say more?!

We also celebrated the 200th anniversary of Turmeaus Tobacconist with some magnificent events at Turmeaus Chester, Liverpool, Knutsford and Norfolk. Our retail ops manager Sara seems to be running around like a Duracell bunny with endless energy ensuring that everyone was having a great time… and they were (TY SM). My Team were all very proud to have opened the largest cigar store in the UK in Liverpool to mark our 200th anniversary in the City where Turmeaus was founded in 1817.

We welcomed back my long time business partner Ron Morrison to C.Gars as President of the C.Gars Group business. I felt he had been sitting on the balcony/beach and boat for long enough(!) and it was time to give me a hand 🙂 So Ron started a program to bottle and release some of our stunning single cask whisky which follows on the success and awards from our core Stalla Dhu range. Ron also set out strategy for the next 3 years growth, expanded the whisky department beyond recognition with some of the rarest of the rare single malts and completed the Puffin’ Rooms and SmokeEasy concept sampling lounges,

Our own brands and co-brands went from strength to strength with ever increasing volumes that at times we struggled to keep up with.

Inka Secret Blend (new size being added to this range in January)

Oliva Orchant Seleccion

Regius Orchant Seleccion

We were very proud and privileged to continue the Orchant Seleccion Havana cigar program this year with the release of Ramon Specially Selected, Bolivar Royal Coronas and Sancho Panza Sanchos. To say they were popular would be an understatement! However nothing took us by surprises as much as the long awaited Cohiba Talisman launch. A brilliant launch event by our wonderful importer Hunters & Frankau, decent allocations but all sold out within hours… incredible. We hope to have more available in 2018

We also did a pre-release of a new Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion range that will be on our shelves around March of next year as well as a Limited edition – 2018 /  Orchant Seleccion Davidoff Lancero.

I’m particularly fond of the Davidoff Orchant Seleccion. Davidoff were one of my first suppliers when I started in the cigar business many years ago and I have a lot to thank this company for. I have visited their factory in Dominican Republic on a Davidoff retailer trip many years ago and met my business partner there. We also met and became very good friends with Paul Hindmarch who now works with C.Gars Group in the brand development department. My Father enjoyed Davidoff Cuban cigars in the 1970’s and 80’s and I have enjoyed selling vintage Davidoff cigars for many years as well as smoking New World Davidoff over the last 25 years.

It has to be said their blends have become far more interesting over the last 5 years or so and their packaging is second to none. The Davidoff Orchant Seleccion is something special though. Check out the photos and details here. I don’t think they have made anything quite as cool and exclusive for any other non Davidoff shop. The blend is smooth, creamy and full flavour. It has character and balance, perfect construction and a flawless dark leaf wrapper.

There are only 300 individually numbered boxes of 10 of these very special cigars and they are priced ridiculously competitively. You can even request your favourite box number (whilst stocks last). I’m very proud to have worked on this cigar with Davidoff and it was a great experience selecting the blend.

We also launched and took the exclusive retail distribution of the Davidoff owned brand of Avo this year. This wonderful range is not only an excellent smoke but also excellent value for a premium cigar. we do regular tasting events at Turmeaus shops featuring this first rate cigar brand which has proved highly popular with our clients.

No wonder we are the most successful cigar specialist in the UK with exclusive brands and distribution of Macanudo and Fuente as very important parts of our huge range of premium cigars. There is nowhere else to go for quality and value other than C.Gars and Turmeaus.

We have already trademarked 4 more exclusive cigar brands and plan to launch them in 2018 and we expect it to be our most exciting and successful year ever! It’s been an incredible year of growth at C.Gars Group with our database now at over 85,000 clients and our amazing Team of staff at almost 60 well trained specialists in cigars, whisky and hospitality.

My thanks to my Co-Director and founder of C.Gars Laura, my incredible G.M. Michelle, my retail ops manager with boundless energy Sara, my personal assistant Roy, our marketing and I.T. manager James, all of our retail, customer care, warehouse and mail order teams… we truly are an amazing cigar family and the best in the business. But, most of all my thanks to our fabulous customers. Laura and I hope that we still give the same level of unbeatable personal customer service as when we set up the business way back in the mid 1990’s.

Wishing all friends of C.Gars a happy and smokey new year,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Auction Results!

Our 4th and final auction of the year took place on Tuesday. This was an incredible sale with some of the rarest Havanas being knocked down at record proceeds. This could be partly due to the weakness of Sterling and certainly due to their scarcity.

The sale had around a 98% sell rate with around 360 Lots going under the (electronic!) hammer.  Pre embargo interest seemed a little softer than previous sales as did Davidoff prices which was a surprise. Dunhill prices edged ever higher as did good quality vintage and limited edition Havana cigars.

Highlights of the sale (excluding auctioneers fees) to name a few included:

Cohiba Majestuosos Humidor £6,850
Dunhill Cabinetta £11,000
Dunhill Estupendos £8,300
La Flor de Cano Diademas £6,200
La Flor de Cano Short Churchills £7.600
Cohiba Gran Reserva £5,500
Davidoff Chateau Mouton Rothschild £5,000
Romeo Clemenceaus £5,550
Diplomaticos No. 2 £3,800
Upmann Sir Winston £3,750

Thanks to all of our sellers and congratulations to all of our bidders. Our next auction will be held on March 20th 2018.

Christmas season is well and truly upon us with our London and Norfolk warehouses working flat out 24/7 packing orders for rapid delivery. In fact we have never been so busy! So thank you lovely customers for making this the most successful year ever for C.Gars Ltd.

We are planning yet another exciting expansion in 2018… more details in January 🙂

If you are stuck for Christmas gift ideas we have planet of choice! View our Christmas Gift Shop here!

New arrivals from Havana in limited availability include:

Trinidad Topes (yes we released some more!)
Romeo Gran Reserva
Hoyo Epicure Especial Jar

Just added a nice new book to add to your library/coffee table whilst smoking a fine Havana.

I’m just about done working at the C.Gars London office and Karyn and I will be heading up North to Turmeaus retail in Liverpool and Knutsford as well as La Casa del Habano in Chester from next Tuesday. We’re looking forward to working at our retail shops during the day and enjoying Puffin’ Rooms during the evenings 🙂 I’ll be back at Turmeaus Mayfair on Christmas Eve.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Partagas Festival!

Just back from the annual Partagas festival in sunny Havana 🙂 I reckon this is the 19th (out of 20) that I have attended and this was in fact probably the one I enjoyed the most.

For a kick off, the weather was perfect in Havana. Hot and sunny days and warm evenings, perfect for herfing! We stayed in the new Manzana (Kempinski) Hotel which is so dramatically better than any other hotel I have stayed in over the last 20 years of visiting Cuba, I was quite amazed. Truly a 5 star hotel with service to match.

The roof top pool area had stunning views and were all set up for herfing too. I wasn’t impressed with the Cohiba Atmosphere shop and I understand many are calling it the No Atmosphere shop.

Zooming around all the usual cigar shops and lounges I can tell you that there was little of interest in terms of interesting cigars. No BHK’s or Siglo VI’s. Talisman and Romeo Gran Reserva are not available yet. No doubt this is due to the ongoing shortage of wrapper leaf. I understand that the agricultural problems may now be resolved but it may well take some years to filter the interesting product back into the market.

The gala dinner was the largest Partagas event I can remember with some 350 guests. This Festival differs from the Feb/March Festival as it’s really for aficionados and not trade so it has a different vibe completely. A lot of the crowd have come to the Festival for many years so it’s good to meet up with old friends as well as make new friends.

The event was held at El Laguito and unlike the Feb/March Festival the music volume was actually quite perfect so you could enjoy the fabulous band and still have a conversation with the people on your table.

A charity auction was held as usual with 5 Lots of magnificent one off humidors containing specially banded cigars, with proceeds going to the Cuban National Health Service.

We had some excellent Puro Uno Argentinian wines (TY FB) and 25 year old rum as well as 5 cigars handed out during the evening and another 5 cigars in a goodie bag to take home. Not bad value for 250 cookies 🙂

Back to grey and rainy London now and another tax increase from the chancellors budget today sadly although thankfully he left booze alone.

I’m just proof reading the vintage Cigar Auction catalogue and Lots will be online and bidding open 10 days before the sale. A magnificent catalogue with some of the rarest and most desirable Havanas known of.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Cohiba Talisman… in… and out!

Finally Cohiba Talisman Limited Edition 2017 came in… and went out! In fact our fastest selling cigar in history. The interest in this cigar was truly staggering and despite a rather reasonable allocation it wasn’t nearly enough to cope with the demand.

The launch party at the Corinthia hotel  on the 7th November was truly one of the best cigar events I have ever been top. Hunters & Frankau certainly know how to throw a bash. Our goodie bags contained a beautiful single boxed Talisman as well as another Talisman, 1966 and Medio Siglo.

My colleagues Ron, Michelle, Calum and David also attended this extraordinary event and thoroughly enjoyed it despite a rather wet November evening! Canapes, chocolates, cocktails and champagne, music and brilliant speeches made this a night to remember.

There was an incredible display of vintage Cohiba including 30th, 40th and 50th anniversary and also a Cubatabaco 1492 humidor… mouth-watering!

Leopoldo Cintra the VP of Habanos S.A confirmed that this was the exclusive world launch of the Talisman and anyone who thinks they have smoked one before has indeed smoked a counterfeit.

The post launch herf was in the Garden Room at The Lanesborough with friends. We herfed our way through all of the Talismans and 1966 from the launch paired up with some first rate Montrachet.

“So what are the cigars really like”, I hear you thinking?

Well, it does remind me somewhat of Robustos Supremo though the flavours are a touch more delicate. For sure a little extra age will benefit this cigar but the construction was excellent, the appearance perfect and the blend well balanced. All considered this is likely to become highly collectable as well as a first rate cigar to age.

We followed this launch with a Talisman launch party at Turmeaus Late Hour Cigar Shop & Sampling Lounge in Liverpool last week and true to form tickets were sold out in minutes for an incredible evening of cigar and whisky sampling together with some splendid dishes from Chef Chris German.

I’m just back from yet another sell out whisky and cigar tasting, this time it was at Turmeaus Norfolk! We had the pleasure of sampling an ultra luxury cigar pairing of Davidoff cigars and Glendronach whisky. The Davidoff Winston Churchill Petit Corona was the starter of choice; a peppery, woody little treat to excite the taste buds before moving on to the main course. To ease into the whisky (not that I need easing in!) we started with the Glendronach 12 year old. This whisky is super smooth, it almost has the texture of cream! The Spanish Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks give this whisky a rich sweetness which is delightfully well balanced with the subtle spice. We moved on to the Davidoff Late Hour Robusto which could possibly be one of the best Davidoff cigars for an after dinner smoke. A magnificently refined and wonderfully complex smoke, wrapped in a stunning, dark and oily wrapper. Mirroring the cigar was the equally dark and complex Glendronach 18 year old; a sweet and spicy, lively malt which calms into a beautifully rich sherry delight. Overall the cigars and whisky worked perfectly with each other, and all of the guests remarked on how luxurious the pairing was.

Our Norfolk outpost seems to be busier by the week. It’s a super cigar and pipe shop with the largest range you’ll find for miles and miles around, and no cash required as its all at internet prices!

This week Karyn and I are jetting off to sunny Havana to celebrate the Partagas Festival with friends from all over the world. I’m looking forward to staying at the new Kempinski hotel and checking out the Cohiba Atmosphere shop there. The gala dinner is an outrageous event for ‘Amigos de Partagas’ ending with a brilliant charity auction of unique humidors of cigars. Full report when we get back 🙂

Have a smokey week.

Peaceful puffing.

Mitchell