XI Festival Gala dinner and auction

It’s 2 a.m. and the Gala dinner has just finished. Possibly the slickest of all the gala dinners I have had the privilege of attending over the last 11 years with incredible entertainment and of course the best of company.

My table included the Managing Director of Hunters and Frankau, Jemma Freeman, as well as Marketing Director Simon Chase.

Simon conducted the most successful auction achieving in excessive of One Million Euros which I believe is a new record. The proceeds go entirely to the Cuba National Health Service.

Each lot was a work of art and photos will be on the website in the next few days

The auction lots and results were as follows

Lot 1
H Upmann humidor
50 Magnum 46
50 Sir Winston
50 Upmann no.2
50 Noellas
25 Robustos
25 Grandes
50 Magnum 50
Sold for 61,000 Euros

Lot 2
Hoyo de Monterrey humidor
50 Epicure Especial
25 Epicure no.1
25 Epicure no.2
50 Double Coronas
50 Extravaganza
50 Particulares
50 Gran Piramides
Sold for 140,000 Euros

Lot 3
Romeo humidor and 120 bottles of Torres wine in cooler
50 Churchills
50 Short Churchills
50 Romeos
25 Exhibition no.2
50 Cazadores especial
25 Hermosos no.2
50 Fabulosos no.6
50 Petit piramides
Sold for 140,000 Euros

Lot 4
Partagas humidor
50 Salamones
25 P2
50 898
25 SD no.4
50 SP no.1
50 Lusitanias
50 Sobrasalientes
50 Gran Piramides
Sold for 75,000 Euros

Lot 5
Montecristo humidor
25 A
50 Petit Edmundo
50 No.2
25 Eagle
25 Master
25 Regata
25 Junior
25 Double Coronas
50 Edmundo
50 no.4
25 Maravillas no.1
Sold for 120,000 Euros

Lot 6
Trinidad humidor
50 Robusto extra
50 Fundadores
75 Coloniales
50 Reyes
75 Robusto T
50 Ensueno
50 Torre Iznaga
Sold for 95,000 Euros

Lot 7 Cohiba humidor
25 Genios
25 Magicos
25 Secretos
50 Siglo II
50 Siglo IV
50 Esplendidos
50 Robustos
50 Lanceros
25 Gran Corona
25 Sublimes Extra
25 Siglo VI
Sold for 350,000 Euros !

We enjoyed a variety of Cohiba cigars over the evening including the incredible 5 year mature Cohiba Reserva…oh boy what a difference 5 years makes…simply incredible smoke

Saludos desde La Habana


Festival del Habanos

This blog comes to you from warm and sunny Havana where I am doing one of my usual fast as lightening 4 day trips…this time for the annual Festival

A pilgrimage to the Mecca for cigar smokers where friends from all over the world meet up to find out what’s happening in the industry generally and what are the plans for new cigar releases for this year…. as well as herf the Festival week away

There is still no sign of the Romeo antique humidor although I understand it may be available from next week…. strange as the Festival will be over on Saturday.

I took a tour round El Laguito (the Cohiba factory) today and was more impressed than ever at the layers of quality control in place. All vitolas of Cohiba were being rolled including the new Cohiba Siglo VI Reserva which is being introduced tomorrow evening at the Gala Festival dinner.

I had the opportunity to smoke one of the Cohiba Reserva and the difference that 5 year aged tobacco makes is simply incredible. The presentation of this cigar in black lacquered boxes of 15 cigars is breath taking and only 5000 boxes will ever be made.

I also broke down and opened a Cohiba book of Sublimes Extra and smoked 2 of these fine cigars which were indeed… extra sublime.

The Hunters and Frankau Group toured the Pinar Del Rio today but I chilled out at the Partagas LCDH and herfed with numerous friends whilst sipping HC7 which worked very well with the La China Ideales that I was smoking

The new Montecristo “Open” range has also been introduced and looks interesting but I’ll reserve judgment till I have had the chance to try all the new vitolas

I tried the new Trinidad robusto and can confirm that it will be a most welcome addition to the range, soft and subtle with typical Trinidad flavours. Presented in tubes as well as hinged cabinets of 12 and 24, this cigar will be a big success.

The usual cigar stores are full of “regular” cigars so nothing much to get excited about.

Met up with some of my antique dealer friends and as ever will be importing some incredible one off 1950’s humidors that are quite breathtaking.

This evening I bumped into David Soul at an evening organised by Boisdale at 18/30 to introduce some great apartments that are being sold in Varaderro. There was also a whisky tasting but couldn’t stay as I had to meet clients for smokes on the veranda of the Nacional (the best place in the world for a cigar)

Had a quick chat with the Managing Director of Hunters and Frankau Jemma Freeman and if all goes to plan I understand that the UK exclusive Por Larranaga humidor of 50 Magnificos will be released early April. Pre register interest fast as we will sell out within nano seconds! …oh and C.Gars Ltd will ask Jemma Freeman, Ana Lopez and Simon Chase to kindly sign the humidors for us as well…. talk about a collectors item! wowwwwww:-)

OK have to dash as I still have time to smoke one more Cohiba Sublimes extra 🙂

Saludos from La Habana


11th Habanos Festival 2009

I’m getting ready to head off to this years Festival in Havana http://www.habanos.com/article.aspx?aid=312 and can’t believe how many Habanos festivals and Partagas festivals I have been to …or all the great cigars I have smoked at the Festivals over the last 11 years

Havana Festivals are perfect for meeting up with like minded cigar loving friends from all over the world in fact it’s almost become like an exclusive social club.

I’ll be updating my blog from Havana as there is usually high speed Wifi at the Hotel Nacional

I’m hoping the Romeo antique humidor will finally be released for the Festival http://www.cgarsltd.co.uk/romeo-julieta-ancient-humidor-mafiasmoker-p-6438.html but so far there’s no sign of it even though we expected it last year!

I’ll be taking a few of my favourite Punch Serie D’Oro no.1 to smoke with friends who nave not had the opportunity of trying the UK exclusive yet.

If you are going to Havana for the Festival…you’ll find me sipping a Daiquiri and smoking a cigar most evenings on the veranda of the Nacional 🙂


Brit awards and BBF’s !

Did you catch the Brit Awards last night? We may have problems in our economy but Britain still has talent!…and three cheers for Duffy, she certainly deserved the three awards.

Hmmm… cigar related content: Tom Jones looked cool, as ever and I remember seeing him enjoy a large Havana at the old Churchill cigar bar and divan some years ago!

Bolivar Belicosos have long been one of my firm favourites and the best years production I can remember in the last decade has been 2007. The blend, the wrapper, the construction …all perfect.

I’ve decided that the next exclusive “Orchant Seleccion” will therefore be the BBF from 2007 and will be personally selecting the 64 boxes (2 master cases) at Hunters and Frankau’s humidor in the next few days for release by the second week of March

After the long selection process is complete, these perfect boxes will receive the “Orchant Seleccion ” treatment including the extra gold “Orchant Seleccion ” bands on the cigars and the box as well as gold engraved plate showing the limited edition number of the box. Each box is signed and in due course may well become a collectors item.

Orchant Seleccion Havanas are made available periodically and when first released are priced the same as our regular English Market Selection cigars. They are limited to 64 boxes and they are never re-released.

If you would like to be put on the list for more information about these cigars just drop me an email at sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

My thanks as ever to Simon Chase and John Darnton of Hunters and Frankau for their kind assistance with this project.

I have just realised that I have been involved in the Havana cigar business in one form or another since 1994 ! The changes I have seen in the UK cigar trade as well as the cigar industry in general have been quite incredible over the years as has the meteoric growth of C.Gars Ltd. I have to say though that I have been a very lucky cigar merchant to have been supplied by Hunters and Frankau and had the support, expertise and assistance of John and Simon.

Smoke less ! smoke the best!…EMS….English Market Selection. In all honesty it just doesn’t get any better than EMS

Time for a strong Cubita and a BBF 🙂

Peaceful puffing



Happy Valentines day!

Many thanks to my clients for the overwhelming response to last weeks offer of Sancho Panza Gigantes Orchant Seleccion. They are all sold out now and the lucky buyers will be receiving their allocation over the next week or so. These full earthy flavour cigars have matured perfectly for over 10 years.. Not for the feint hearted! but great with a bottle of red 🙂

I may do an Orchant Seleccion sampler box next or perhaps my favourite Bolivar Belicosos. If you would like to be on the “Alert” list drop me an email. If you want to suggest what the next Orchant Seleccion should be please do let me know.

I’ve had a busy week smoking my way through the UK exclusive regional edition Punch Serie D’Oro no.1 and La Gloria Cubana Gloriosos. Havanas really don’t come much better than these two cigars. The look great and they smoke great. We are currently filling over 1000 back orders for these wonderful Havanas so if you ordered them you can expect them in the next few days or so.

If you haven’t ordered them… you are missing out on something special!

I took the squeezy Jet over to Geneva for lunch on Wednesday (as if I have not seen enough snow already!) and enjoyed a delightful long/decadent lunch at Brasserie Lipp where cigar smokers are very welcome. We enjoyed the Swiss regionals ( Bolivar Legendario and Juan Lopez Maximo) which were both very good smokes indeed …. although not a patch on the UK regionals! So if you’re in Geneva visit Brasserie Lipp http://www.brasserie-lipp.com/ you won’t be disappointed.

Looking forward to a Davidoff Mouton Rothschild from 1989 matched up with a bottle of Bilecart Salmon from 1989 with my valentine tomorrow 🙂

Peaceful puffing and happy valentines



Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day