Rolling cigars in the C.Gars office!

Yes rolling fresh robustos in the C.Gars offices today!

Eduardo rolling cigars in the CGARS office

Eduardo Diaz Gonzalez – Head of Production at Cohiba

33 year-old Eduardo Diaz, Head of Production at Havana’s top cigar factory El Laguito – the headquarters of Cohiba, is in the UK for a ten week tour to demonstrate cigar rolling from mid-July to the end of September 2008.

Eduardo’s path to his present, prestigious post has been unusual. He started his career in photography where he developed visual skills. Then twelve years ago at the height of the cigar boom, his ability was spotted by the H. Upmann factory, which recruited him as an escogidor or colour grader.

Colour grading in Cuban cigar factories has always been one of the most respected and best paid jobs. It demands an acute sense of colour because the finished cigars must first be sorted into over 60 different shades and then all the cigars that will be placed in a single box must be matched precisely so that they please the eye.

Eduardo proved so adept at this task that a year later he was appointed to manage the colour grading department at the Romeo y Julieta factory.

Romeo’s Director at that time insisted that all his senior people should be able to roll cigars, so Eduardo was sent to the school where he soon qualified as Grade 8, which allowed him to make cigars like Robustos.

Since then he has not only achieved the top grade in rolling, which means he can make cigars of any size, but also, when the Romeo factory was closed for refurbishment in 2006, he went straight to El Laguito first to manage its colour grading department and now to be Head of Production.
Eduardo has two children, a girl of seven and a baby boy. The baby was born just one week before Eduardo came to England giving him the perfect excuse to celebrate with his favourite cigar – the Cohiba Robusto.

Popped over to Paris for lunch!

Popped over to Paris for lunch yesterday to work on a very exclusive humidor project 😉

Lunch was first rate at my usual hang out Cafe Ruc (159 Rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris, France) just opposite the beautiful Hotel du Louvre and round the coroner from my favourite cigar shop A la Civette – Palais Royal (- 157, rue Saint Honoré 75001 Paris ) which is always well worth a visit.


We smoked the delicious Bolivar Libertador followed by the Juan Lopez Obus ( French regional edition cigars)  accompanied with a copious quantity of Chateau Becheval 2004. Splendid smokes and delightful wine.



I rate the Bolivar as one of the finest regionals that has been made and there’s nothing wrong with the Juan Lopez either.


Since the smoking ban in France of course it is no longer possible to smoke indoors but the weather was glorious and sunny so no problem sitting outside watching the world go by. ( many many restaurants in Paris have covered outdoor dining areas ( sadly not as many in London!)


Eiffel Tower


Back to the office today and in fact for the next couple of weeks as my lovely assistant Michelle is on vacation so I’m stuck here with the lovely Eli,Marci and Lucy…could be worse;-) and yes now I really have to work terribly hard!


My favourite rep Ken from Hunters and Frankau popped in for coffee this morning and kindly gave me a delicious Monte C Limited edition which I am smoking as I blog….full flavour and full strength,doesn|’t taste anything like a Monte but what an excellent smoke. Ken also brought us some delicious hand made chocolates….there goes my diet…yet again!


Ken tells me that the Partagas P2 tubos should be out next month which I’m looking forward to ( it’s my favourite Havana) as the tube should be very cool ( torp cigar in a tube…great idea!)


No confirmed dates yet for the UK regionals or limited edition but we are still hopeful for something new and interesting in lat September


Looking forward to the cigar and whisky tasting evening at my current favourite restaurant Boisdales Belgravia on the 8th September. ( email me if you would like details )


Oooops…there goes the phone… I better get back to work!


Peaceful puffing



Seleccion Orchant Ramon 898

Those jolly nice people at Hunters and Frankau, the exclusive importers of Havanas to the UK market (English Market Selection) have kindly allowed me to select 16 cabinets of the splendid Ramon Allones 898’s (now a discontinued cigar) to continue my range of the best of the best “Orchant Seleccion” double gold banded cigar range.



Each cabinet has been signed and individually numbered and I don’t need to tell you what an exquisite smoke this cigar is. Matured to perfection from 2002, full flavoured, complex and well balanced, these first rate Havanas were a major success with my clients.



Register with us for the next exclusive “seleccion Orchant” release”


Peaceful puffing




Plugs :-(


A lot of talk on the internet about “plugged ” cigars recently


Plugs? very very rare indeed. Yes, they do happen from time to time but the vast majority of construction flaws are “twists” that constrict the air/smoke package. As frustrating as a plug is …. I reckon that 9 out of 10 cigars that have a twist construction flaw can be cut in half and both halves are then perfectly smokeable. Not ideal …agreed, but at least not a dead loss.


Construction flaws were more common as we all know 98-01 but quality control since then has seriously improved. I can remember in earlier years getting daily complaints about construction but we now rarely get complaints about construction. Better roller training and more draw testing in Cuba has certainly paid off.


Best tip: avoid 98-02 as far better cigars were made in later vintages. Filler tobacco is already aged in most Havanas from the last few years so why try and find a 6-10 year old box that may be problematical when a 1/2/3 year old box is likely to be a far better smoke in all respects…. construction, blending and even wrappers.


Food for thought


Peaceful plugless puffing 🙂