New Smokes!

Good to be back to my old work routine after my Summer break and this week I have managed around an hours work a day and at least 10 hours daily herfing 🙂

Michelle has been on vacation so that’s always a great excuse to have an office herf and very thorough sampling session. We kicked off the week at the office with ‘The Boyz’ coming round on Monday afternoon and not leaving till rather late in the evening! Supper was supplied by The White House #yumm and whisky by Robert Graham Ltd… Perfect.

We kicked off with a Partagas S.D No. 6 and then sampled our way through the new H. Upmann Magnum 56 which was pretty amazing followed by Cohiba Robusto Supremos which are totally amazing smokes.

I had good intentions of a hard day’s work the next day but when I got to Turmeaus Mayfair the little sampling lounge was just too tempting and I was rapidly joined by a few chums for the rest of the afternoon. We sampled our way through a Partagas SD5 followed by a Partagas SD4 paired up with some Ailein Mor single malt. My day continued with a visit to the super Robert Graham shop in West Hampstead (a dram of the Hoebeg single malt and Montecristo Media Corona) and finished with a nightcap and another Monte Media Corona at the Lanesborough. That was a tough day… Not 🙂

So the Lanesborough is open: Woohoo! It’s great to see Neil and Luca again. The chairs and tables have been changed and its more comfy than ever. The humidor is chock a block full of the most amazing Havana cigars in pristine perfect condition. We really are terribly lucky to have so many splendid places to smoke in London.

Our La Casa del Habano in Chester has already received the new Partagas Maduro No. 1 and has already… Sold out. More on the way thankfully as this is another winner I’m pleased to report. Measuring in at 5 1/8” length and 52 ring gauge this dark and oily beast is the bomb! Its best suited to the experienced Havana cigar smoker. Full and very sweet flavour throughout, great construction, beautiful aroma and a very serious and complex blend.

Our Winter auction catalogue is almost full which is probably a record as there are still over 3 months before the sale on the 30th November. We expect to be offering over 300 Lots and this sale will feature the largest Pre Embargo section I have ever seen. Some of these cigars are so rare, even I have never seen them before. I find Pre Embargo Havanas breath taking to look at and sublime to smoke. When stored correctly, they are incredible. Delicate flavours, great construction and a cigar experience never to forget.

I commissioned some amazing cigar ashtrays to be made for C.Gars. Check them out on this link. Each one is individual and hand made in Hungary. Very cool. If you are a client of Turmeaus Mayfair you may be interested to know that my assistant Daniel’s Mother makes these ashtrays. She is quite an artisan.

Hoyo San Juan are back in stock as are Por Larranaga Sobresalientes (in small quantity) I love the San Juan, it’s a monster smoke at 5 7/8” length and 54 ring gauge and gives huge volumes of smoke with the perfect balance of strength and flavour.

We’re adding to our whisky range all the time (good excuse to sample the stock!) and of course Turmeaus Mayfair, Liverpool and Chester are all licenced. See the range on this link. I planning to add a Turmeaus whisky shop to our retail group in a few weeks’ time due to overwhelming demand and our need for additional retail space. More details to follow.

You can even buy whisky and rum by the dram in the bar at Turmeaus Chester, we have quite a range. I’ll be back in Chester for the whisky and cigar tasting on the 10th September. Book up soon as the event is almost sold out already!

This weekend’s baggie includes some of my old favourites, Bolivar Belicosos, Partagas SD No. 4 and Monte 2’s. All smoking very well indeed. To mix it up a little I’ve also grabbed a box of Orchant Seleccion by Oliva – Chubby. Now if the weather would just improve a little, I could actually enjoy a smoke in the garden for the first time in ages!

Michelle is back from vacation on Monday 🙂 So I’m off to Spain for a few days R&R. Hopefully good weather for cigars smoking and a top up of the tan 🙂

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

RA 225’s Now or Never!

My week of herfing started off with Sunday tea at The Ritz with Karyn and Tasha, a most decadent affair to say the least (back on the diet thereafter!) this was a lovely birthday present from friends that I have only just got round to using, just as well as yet another birthday is fast approaching.

Tea was followed by a relaxing smoke and drink in the cigar lounge, well actually the outside part of the cigar lounge as the weather was so beautiful. The Ritz has an excellent cigar lounge and a great range of Havana cigars if anyone can actually find it as you have to go through the casino club. I consoled myself with a large single malt as lady luck was not with me at the tables buy hey ho, that’s this year’s gambling budget done with 🙂

I zoomed up to Turmeaus – Liverpool on a rather comfortable and air conditioned first class carriage with Virgin and had a few meetings at The Albany. Plans are coming along well and we are all very excited about the opening of this flagship cigar and whisky paradise later this year.

The highlight of my week was our cigar and whisky tasting at La Casa del Habano – Chester. To say this was a sold out event would be an understatement. The bar and the lounge was crammed full with the launch of the Wednesday Whisky Club and sadly we had to turn away many people who had not pre booked. Even with two sessions we were still totally over booked.

I think Wednesday was the hottest day in the UK since 2006 with temperatures soaring into the 90’s. Thankfully the air con in La Casa worked very well in keeping everyone cool and chilled out 🙂

Clearly our tasting evenings are more popular than we could ever have imagined. Any why not? Three fabulous Robert Graham single malt whiskies ( Caerban, Ailein Mor and Hoebeg) Montecristo Media Coronas and Bolivar Royal Coronas as well as fabulous food from Bar Lounge.

The Wednesday Whisky Club is limited to 50 founder members and I understand its more or less fully subscribed already (email Sara for more details sara@cgarsltd.co.uk ) and has some wonderful membership benefits including priority and special prices to our events and 15% off our range of smokers accessories.

Best of all is that members can use the bar and sampling lounge till 11 p.m. on Wednesday evenings and enjoy our rather lovely hospitality. The bar has a super menu of single malt whisky and Cuban rum available by the dram and the lounge has Bloomberg TV, newspapers, music, soft drinks, coffee and snacks. Needless to say the walk in humidor is filled to the ceiling with every Havana you could dream of as well as some super rare Havana’s too. And, if you prefer New World cigars you can always go next door to Turmeaus as we have a dedicated New World walk in humidor and sampling area too 🙂

We had a fabulous crowd, lots of regulars and lots of new faces, some even traveled 2 hours or more for the event and one friend even came over from Norway! Our next whisky and cigar tasting is set for the 10th September but you may want to book up early…

Well, its official – the RA 225’s are our fastest selling new release Havana cigar in history and it really is now or never as we are at the end of the line with stock levels perilously low. Allocations were cut to ribbons due to high demand. Well done to all of our friends who pre –ordered. What a fabulous smoke it is. Well done to H&F for such a wonderful cigar.

I’m a bit of a Monte 2 and BBF smoker and have been for as long as I can remember but I am utterly smitten by the Partagas SD No.6 not my usual vitola for sure but the blend is just incredible, sweet and full flavoured, smooth, balanced and complex. I just can’t get enough of these cheeky little smokes. Perhaps it’s the 50 ring gauge and short length of the cigar that’s producing volumes of sweet flavours but I actually prefer these to the current D4 blend which is another one of my daily rotation.

Happy to announce that we have just imported a huge quantity of Inka – Secret Blend and the full range is available again online and in store. The success of the brand takes my breath away. Our best-selling New World cigar.

Oliva Orchant Seleccion have been another super surprise and we can’t seem to get these in fast enough. I love the Chubby (no comments please!) though the Skinny and Shorty ain’t too shabby either 🙂 Superb value for a premium cigar if not unbeatable value.

The mountain of Regius cigars is slowly disappearing. No surprise there then! Robustos for £6.99, what a bargain. Get them while you can.

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If you haven’t tried the new Davidoff Winston Churchill range, I can highly recommend these cigars. They ain’t cheap but they are really delicious smokes. My favourite is the Robusto.

Quick word on humidors – I don’t think anything compares to the quality and value of Dunhill humidors they are just perfect and highly recommended.

If the weather forecasters have it right (do they ever get it right?) it should be a hot and sunny weekend so I’m ready with a full weekend baggie of PSD6’s, RA 225’s,Monte 2’s and BBF’s and will be herfing on the deck for the next 48 hours doing nothing but thinking about what a great week I just had 🙂

Have a sunny weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Ramon’s in and… Out!

See all of the photos from the night HERE

The last week was probably one of the most exciting weeks I can ever remember since being in the cigar trade! The launch of the Ramon Allones H&F 225th anniversary cigars went ahead as planned with an incredible party that was clearly enjoyed by all.

The cigars rolled into our shops and warehouses and rolled out faster than any new cigar I can ever remember. The Limited Edition Humidors are breathtakingly beautiful, the rum is delicious and the cigars are outstanding. Allocations have been horribly tight due to overwhelming demand particularly for the humidors and regrettably some friends who would have liked a humidor will be disappointed. At least they can still enjoy the cigars.

Well done to all the clients that pre-ordered cabinets at the reduced pre-release offer price. We are clearing all pre-orders as fast as Hunters & Frankau can deliver the cigars to us. This outstanding cigar is destined to become a classic. Its rich and complex with excellent construction and a beautiful colorado maduro wrapper. I haven’t stopped smoking them this week!

The Bolivar Belgravia – UK Regional Edition was also introduced at the party although we have no clue as to when they will actually be released. Here’s hoping that it may be before the end of the year. Measuring in at 5 ¼” length and a hefty 55 ring gauge this is sure to be another resounding success in a long line of magnificent UK Regional Editions.

I enjoyed a splendid lunch with my business partner Guy Hancock at our favourite Boisdale restaurant in Belgravia yesterday. Could this delightful restaurant be any busier or any better?! The cigar terrace was crammed full of cigar smokers enjoying the fabulous weather in London. Great food and service and the Gran Cru St. Emilion went down very well with our Cohiba Behike 54’s.

I keep hearing about countries that have no Cohiba BHK’s available but thankfully our importers keep us well stocked up. There are a few Havana cigar lines that are out of stock including Por Larranaga Sobresalientes but we are hoping that there are more on the way over to the UK from Havana.

It’s been a crazy busy week in the London office with our auction clients collecting their Lots following the Summer auction and quite a few sampling sessions have been thoroughly enjoyed 🙂 We managed to go through half dozen bottles of the delicious Dancing Stag Clynelish together with copious amounts of Bolivar Belicosos (still my favourite Havana)

Gennaro Lettieri from Tabalacalera del Oriente in Peru also stopped in to go through more blending samples for a planned UK Limited Edition of a new Inca – Secret Blend planned cigar that will be released before Christmas. The ‘Reserva d’Oro’ will be a super-premium 100% Peruvian cigar made with the finest aged tobacco with a sweet, rich and bold flavour. As you would expect from C.Gars, the price will be exceptionally attractive

We have also had another new Havana released this week. The Montecristo Media Corona measures in at 3/12” length and 44 ring gauge. I smoked a few as soon as they arrived and think this could become the perfect breakfast cigar. Classic Montecristo flavour and very well crafted. I’m going to add this to my daily morning rotation together with the Partagas SD No. 6 which I just can’t seem to get enough of. These cigars are like candy for me 🙂

IMG_20150624_204528My thanks to my old ASC cigar newsgroup pal Jeremy Goodwin (and his wife Jill!) for hooking me up with best seats in the house for Fleetwood Mac on Wednesday evening. I’ve been to their concerts over the last 30 years but I actually think they are better than ever now.

Looking forward to kicking back this weekend with a baggie stuffed full of BBF’s and Ramon 225’s 🙂 and can’t wait to head up North next week to Turmeaus Liverpool and Chester. We have a whisky and cigar tasting on the 1st July at La Casa del Habano Chester together with the launch of the Wednesday Whisky Club. Manageress Sara assures me that the hospitality will not be spared! So attendees are in for a great evening. One or two places available if you hurry to book up.

Finally, congrats to my daughter Tasha for graduating from school today, big celebrations this afternoon 🙂

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

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Vintage Cigar Auction

Summer Vintage Cigar Auction season is here 🙂 and the Lots are already on the auction website!

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 16.48.11This will be the 15th Cigar Auction from C.Gars since the auction department was established in 2009. I had a look at the first auction catalogue from 2009 and there were some great cigars in it but only 130 odd Lots so I’m pretty pleased that our average is up to 300 + Lots per auction. I reckon we sell around 1000 vintage cigar auction Lots every year and probably around the same again by private treaty sales which is not too bad going!

Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert will once again be conducting this important sale of over 300 Lots of Vintage, Mature, Pre Embargo, Davidoff, Dunhill and Limited Edition Havana cigars on behalf of estates, investors and collectors.

The featured Lots include:

Lot 273 – Pre Embargo H .Upmann Perfectos ‘ made for The Chicago Club’ Cabinet of 50 cigars at estimate of  £6000 – £8000
Lot 282 – Pre Embargo Hoyo de Monterrey Nacionales. Cabinet of 50 cigars at estimate of £5,000 – £6000
Lot 294 – Pre Embargo Ramon Allones Coronas de Lujo. Cabinet of 100 cigars at estimate of £12,000 – £14,000
Lot 296 – Pre Embargo Romeo y Julieta Coronations de Luxe. Cabinet of 100 cigars at estimate of £10,000 – £12,000
Lot 23 – Cohiba Corona Especiales. Box of 25 cigars specially banded with King Juan Carlos bands at estimate of £3,000 – £4000
Lot 234  – Three cabinets and one bottle of Chateau Yquem from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s at estimate of £11,000 – £13,000
Lot 226 – Davidoff 80th Aniversario Box of 10 cigars at estimate of £3,000 – £3,500
Lot 259 – Dunhill Tubos. Box of 25 from the 1980’s at estimate of £2000 – £2,500

The auction is live at The Bulgari but for the first time bidders that are unable to attend will be able to bid online right in to the auction room.

Tickets to attend the auction can be purchased here.
Bids can please placed online on the auction website here.
PDF catalogue can be downloaded here.
Terms and Conditions can be seen here.

Lot viewings at our London offices by appointment. Email us at sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Condition reports by email with pleasure, simply email us Lot numbers auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

Ramon Allones H&F 225th anniversary humidor and cigars are selling like there’s no other Havana cigar! The Humidor is outrageous, the Cabinets are at a very special pre-release price. Just over a week to go until we start shipping them 🙂 You won’t be disappointed as these cigars are already well matured (over two years) and a super smoke.

mountain_of_cigars_blogWe built a mountain of Regius Cigars at our Turmeaus cigar shop in Norfolk but it’s already getting smaller! We have HUGE stocks of this premium Nicaraguan cigar range at incredibly low prices… whilst stocks last.

I’ve been up in Scotland doing a bit of sampling with Steve Johnstone (managing director) of Robert Graham Ltd. Our cigar and whisky shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh are crammed with the good stuff!… and we just keep winning awards for our independent bottled single malt whisky 🙂

Next week I’m in the office all week doing auction viewings and looking forward to meeting old and new auction clients.

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Davidoff Winston Churchill Tested!

davidoff_cigar_tasting_cambridgeAs the subject suggests, it’s been a bit of a Davidoff week for me 🙂 Our whisky and cigar tasting evening at Robert Graham Ltd – Cambridge was a great success with a capacity crowd enjoying 3 single malt whiskies and the first ever tasting of the new Davidoff Winston Churchill range of cigars. Robert Graham Ltd managing Director Steve Johnstone had made the trek down South to enjoy the evening in our sampling lounge too!

Our guest of honour was Henke Kelner, Managing Director of Davidoff Dominican Republic. Henke is a bit of a legend in the cigar industry having been with Davidoff for around a quarter of a century and I understand the man responsible for the new range of Davidoff cigars in D.R. when the company left Cuba.

Henke is ‘The’ master Blender and it was a great pleasure to learn plenty from him during the evening when he made his presentation as well as took a Q&A from the event attendees.

We smoked the Petit Corona and the Toro from the new range. The Petit Corona was pretty intense due to the slender ring gauge and the Toro was a very smooth smoking experience if not an absolute pleasure, a complete kaleidoscope of complex and balanced flavours with an even burn and cool draw. There was not a hint of harshness or aggression and I really think Davidoff have nailed it with this blend.

It’s a complicated recipe to say the least! The tobaccos in this range of cigars come from Nicaragua, Mexico, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.

The cigars are available in the following sizes:davidoff-launch3

Churchill 6 7/8” length and 47 ring gauge

Petit Corona 4 ½” length and 41 ring gauge

Robusto 5 ¼” length and 52 ring gauge

Toro 6” length and 50 ring gauge

These cigars are highly recommended for the experienced cigar smoker.

davidoff-launchWe had a further presentation from Henke and Davidoff at the splendid St James Court Hotel the next day. It was lovely to see Albert Manzone, senior VP of Davidoff Europe and my thanks to the UK Davidoff team for an excellent afternoon.

I’ve been working on creating a new and unique cigar for the last 3 years and have finally been able to release the first batch of 500 boxes of Inca Secret Blend to the US market in two sizes.

Its unique because it’s the only 100% Peruvian cigar on the market. 100% Hand made with premium long filler aged tobacco.

As 1000’s of my clients will know, I launched a similar Peruvian cigar to the UK market 3 years ago and it is now our best-selling New-World brand in the UK. The UK range is however a different blend and different sizes (different markets do have different requirements!)

As a successful cigar retailer and owner/operator of 11 specialist cigar shops in the UK believe me when I say I fully understand that humidor shelf space is at a premium and we have enough range to last us a lifetime! But Inca – Secret Blend cigars fill a range gap in the humidor because it is unique being a Puros from Peru. I would hope that with 22 years of experience in the cigar trade that I know what I am doing by now!

I’m not trying to make a zillion cigars and a load of baseball caps to sell them with! I’m not trying to compete with anyone. I’m just trying to give the consumer a different choice that during extensive market research sampling across the USA makes me confident that this boutique brand will be well received and very popular.

Inca Secret Blend cigarsTake a look at our website with more details here: Inca – Secret Blend USA

The two sizes that we are introducing are:

Inca – Secret Blend – Imperio 6 “ length and 60 ring gauge, cabinet of 20 cigars Retail price $205.

Inca – Secret Blend – Tambo 6 “ length and 50 ring gauge, cabinet of 20 cigars Retail price $190.

So, if you are in the USA and want to try something delicious and unique ask your local tobacconist for Inca – Secret Blend and if you have trouble finding them drop me an email at sales@cgarsltd.co.uk. We won’t sell them direct to consumers but we can point you in the direction of a local stockist or cigar shop that will give you a mail order service.

In other news this week… I had a great day with Marc and Hal Sinden who were directing me in my new acting role for some C.Gars promotional videos! I can honestly say I am the commensurate professional at walking three steps with a cigar (100 takes later!) thank you Marc and Hal 🙂 If you are following me on Facebook no doubt the marketing team will be putting up some clips in the next few weeks.

Next week I’m off to La Casa del Habano – Chester for another whisky and cigar tasting the finest Havanas and single malt whisky… My kinda night 🙂 Looking forward to seeing the Chester crowd.

That’s me done for another week and if the weather holds up, this weekend is a BBQ herf on the deck with a baggie filled with Inca Secret Blend and Davidoff Winston Churchill cigars 🙂

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell