Vintage Havanas

Is that the end of another month looming?! that was fast and the holidays are creeping up fast 🙂

I had dinner at Boisdale of Belgravia on Tuesday with Bob Lockwood the editor of Smoke Magazine great magazine and great website. Bob is the only person I know who has probably tried more different cigars than me! It’s always a pleasure to herf with him. Boisdale seems to be busier every time I go there and deservedly so. Fabulous food,great value,excellent ambience and of course it’s cigar friendly.

On Wednesday I took the Squeezy Jet to Hamburg to herf at our La Casa del Habano with my partner Christoph Wolters. We had a rather thorough taste testing of the German regional editions which were both very pleasing smokes indeed.

Bolivar Especiales no.2

Bolivar 5ta Avenida

The excitement is hotting up for the C.Gars Ltd Vintage Cigar Auction at Boisdale on the 1st December The first batch of auction entries are now up on the website and we have been surprised at the amount of online bidding we have already received. Quite a few more interesting Lots are being added over the next 24 hours and no doubt a lot of bargains will be had on the night.

We proudly introduced 18 year old Vigia Cuban rum as the sole stockist in the UK this week stock is limited and cigars smokers will be delighted with this rum which is the perfect partner to a fine Havana.

Heading up North to Turmeaus cigars shops next week to do a little quality control on stocks 🙂

Have a great weekend.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Post strike? who cares! business as usual :-)

I have to laugh at the current Royal Mail strike as I honestly think it will speed up the demise of Royal Mail and it couldn’t come a day too soon. Fortunately we were able to switch out of Royal Mail and move to courier services a few weeks ago so business continues to boom as usual 🙂

I zipped over to Geneva for a spot of lunch at the lovely Kempinski Hotel on Monday. Geneva always seems so civilised especially as you can smoke cigars on the 2nd floor of the Kempinski and no one bats an eye lid.

Had a look through the wonderful Gerards humidor and snagged some of the Swiss regionals which are most impressive but I’m still hooked on the UK regionals and in particular the Punch Serie D’Oro no.1 ( 2008) which I rate as one of the best blended Havanas in the last 10 years

I don’t know how long they will be around for as only 1210 boxes were made and I have probably smoked or sold half of them already! The fabulous folks at Hunters and Frankau recently sent us box No.1 which has pride of place in the world famous “Ming Collection” where the original 1970’s box (yes – full of cigars) is laid down. How cool is that? 🙂

Now I reckon that the Ming collection may well be the largest and best collection of vintage cigars in the world. It’s a privilege to have created the collection and still be caring for it. I salivate every time I walk into the humidor!

Partagas Serie D No.1 Limited edition has finally sold out in the UK sadly and sorry to all our regulars who were fans of this smoke. We were given no advanced notice that the stock was short. Probably best to switch to Partagas P2’s, another one of my daily favourites. Full flavour, medium strength, rustic and spicy with the most perfect construction.

La Gloria Cubana Gloriosos (the UK regional edition for 2008 only 2040 boxes of 10 made) is a cheeky little smoke, actually not so little as it measures 6 1/8″ length and 50 ring gauge and it’s a first rate day time smoke. Snag them while you can.

The big surprise has been the 2009 Juan Lopez Seleccion Suprema. 2000 cabinets of 10 made exclusively for the UK market. This cigar is showing well now and has a blend that lends itself to long term maturing. In fact this will go and go…for years

Finally finished my auction catalogue and it should be online tonight. We are still getting a lot of late entries and in fact we should have another 40 or more Lots over the next week. You will be able to find the catalogue link on this web page Bidders are welcome to bid in person at my favourite restaurant, Boisdale Belgravia on the 1st of December but if you can’t make it we are welcoming online bids. It’s all easy!

We shall have a little Mojito reception at 7 p.m with the Brian Ebbesen (ex Christies) starting the auction at 7.30. I hope Brian knocks down the Lots fast as we have a cigar dinner following the auction with some guests of honour including Jemma Freeman, Simon Chase, Edward Sahakian, Albert Stagnetto to name a few. Should be a great evening.

I believe C.Gars Ltd was the largest single buyer at Christies cigar auctions (when they used to hold them) and I certainly snagged some great cigars over the years. No doubt a lot of happy bidders may snag some fabulous vintage cigars at the C.Gars Ltd auction particularly as I noted that some of the estimates looked like great value. Lots can be viewed by appointment at our London humidor

So next week it’s dinner at Boisdale on Tuesday with the editor of Smoke Magazine and then I’m off to our La Casa del Habano in Hamburg to smoke some of the incredible (and incredibly expensive) Cohiba Gran Reserva which have just come out, looking forward to seeing the regulars in our cigar lounge on Wednesday.

The following week will be a busy one as Robert Graham Ltd are opening another fabulous whisky and Cigar shop on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile (to add to the existing shops in Edinburgh West End and Glasgow) I will of course be deciding and supervising the Havana cigar range.

Finally having been asked for years and years whether we have a cigar shop in London we have decided to open a cigar shop in London! More details very soon 😉

Have a great weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Non stop herfing in New York!

I had to zoom over to New York City last week for a meeting so I thought I’d make it into a few days non stop herfing:-)

Smoking rooms at the lovely London Hotel organized by Joshua R as usual…well done!

Meeting up with my ABF’s George and Barry on Tuesday we decided there was no time to waste so we headed out for a pre herf at The Carnegie Club which was a very short walk from the hotel.

A few of those Oliva and Padron cigars later 😉 and it was time for dinner with friends at Abigaels Well done to George getting this organized and thanks to owner and celeb Chef Jeff Nathan as the food and service were impressive if not quite excellent. Jack, Jay, Yehuda and Matt all joined us and I think this restaurant will be a firm favourite

Time for some serious herfing and meeting yet more friends this time at the Grand Havana Room 19 floors up with the most spectacular views as well as incredibly welcoming hospitality. Many thanks to Randall.

I think we lost count of how many cigars we went through so all in all a satisfactory days herfing that ended around 2 a.m. !

Wednesday, we made an early start with a quick smoke at De La Concha and as its a Davidoff shop these days, I decided to smoke a Davidoff which was a lovely morning smoke.

We then headed to Florios in Little Italy where owner Larry took great care of us as ever. Lunch, drinks, smokes… Florios is the coolest

Dinner at Prime Grill and the great Plume or Mold debate raged with humidor maker extraordinaire Arlin Liss I think I put everyone straight 🙂

Back to Grand Havana room for a long evening of herfing. Thanks to Josh and Jack for the very tasty wine tasting 🙂 and thanks to Henry for the delicious 1940’s Corante Havana cigars which were a delight. I don’t think we got back to the hotel till 3 a.m !

Thursday and more smokes at De La Concha ( TY JB for the Padron 45-yes it was very nice indeed) followed by lunch at Solo

Up till now the weather had been great but it started to turn nasty so we headed out towards the airport to meet up with Jack for a last smoke and drink before catching our flights back to reality and a diet!

So I’m now catching up with a little rest and then off to Geneva for lunch with friends on Monday 🙂

Have a great weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Fakes

Not a week goes by without someone offering us the “opportunity” to buy some great cigars that they just bought back from their holiday in Cuba.

I’m afraid we don’t buy recent production cigars (we do buy vintage Havanas) and we don’t buy fakes.

See below classic example of fake Cohiba Esplendidos (they have never been made in a glass top box of course !)

So here are a few tips:

– If you go to Cuba only purchase cigars that you intend to smoke or gift as you won’t be able to re-sell them in the UK

– Only purchase from an official shop such as La Casa del Habano or Caracol and always get a receipt

– If you buy counterfeits on the street, they are likely to be made out of scraps or rubbish

– If you try to get counterfeits out of Cuba, Customs will not be very impressed! and they will likely delay you

– There is no such thing as cheaper prices than the official store prices

– Whatever story you are told i.e. The cigars are from my cousin who works in the cigar factory” …it’s just a story. Don’t be tempted as you will waste your time and money

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

October already?!

September flew buy at warp speed,I can only guess that was due to being busier than ever which can’t be a bad thing. Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself 🙂

Last week I enjoyed drinks and smokes at the Lanesborough Hotel followed by dinner at Boisdale with famous Australian cigar merchants Wal and Ben Baranow. In think its fair to say we had a great time and smoked up quite a few of the new UK regionals:

El Rey del Mundo’s Choix de L’Époque Petit Edmundo-sized cigar 4 3/8” length and 52 ring gauge, light to medium flavour. Limited edition of 2,000 boxes of 25 cigars

Singles

Boxes of 25

Juan Lopez Selección Suprema 6 5/8” length and 52 ring gauge (Torre Iznaga vitola)
Limited edition of 2,000 cabinets of 10 cigars

Singles

Boxes of 10

Guaranteed best value in the UK of course 🙂

I also zoomed up to our cigar stores in Liverpool and Chester for a day to catch up with my sales teams and give myself a quick retail refresher course as we plan to open a few more cigar and whisky shops in the next few weeks so I thought I had better learn from the professionals!

A few additional excellent boxes of vintage Havanas arriving every day for entry into our Vintage Cigar Auction at Boisdale Belgravia on the 1st December. Don’t be shy! there is no listing fee and the sellers fee is only payable if the box sells at an acceptable price. Only vintage cigars please,no recent production or brought back from Cuba whilst on holiday boxes!

It looks like we may have 80 – 100 Lots in the auction, perhaps more. Mojitos at 7 and auction at 7.30. I may have to restrict it to 100 Lots as I have a cigar dinner afterwards that I don’t want to miss (I am the host!)

I think the last Christies cigar auction was back in 2006., C.Gars Ltd were always the largest buyers at Christies cigar auctions so its funny to have the boot on the other foot and be holding the auction where we are selling cigars on behalf of clients.At least we are certain of quality,condition and provenance!

We may well be the largest buyers of vintage cigars in the UK (I am quite sure we are!) and I deal with buying and selling vintage Havanas daily and have done for the last 12 years.

If you are considering selling anything and want real expert advice from a really experienced Havana cigar specialist no need to waste your time anywhere else,just contact me for fast and accurate advice whether selling outright, commission selling, auction selling, buying or just wanting information and advice, I am always happy to help (sales@cgarsltd.co.uk 07000 088 088)

I’m off to Scotland for a few days at Robert Graham Ltd shops this week which I’m looking forward to as we prepare to launch another one of our fabulous award winning independent bottlings.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell