Going Going Gone

I should probably be blogging about the 4th July auction as I started with Going going gone but I think it’s even more appropriate for the La Flor de Cano short robustos which could well be the fastest selling Havana cigar I can ever remember.

Only 1200 numbered cabinets have been made as the UK exclusive regional edition. This cigar should have been out in 2009 but it was finally released at a fabulous Hunters and Frankau Summer cigar party last Thursday evening at the Langham hotel. Thankfully it was almost summery weather so the evening went with a swing

Click here for the singles here and here for the cabinets  

No sign of the Partagás Serie E No. 2 as yet- delays from Cuba and in fact we are waiting for the full allocation of Flor de Cano short robustos to arrive still although we are cautiously optimistic that they will arrive in July. So our shipping Team have been busy packing a zillion back order for these great cigars but if you ordered late you may have to wait just a little bit longer for your delivery. Trust me – it’s worth the wait. These cigars are great smokes, floral and almost perfumed in character, mild to medium strength and flavour, perfect construction and silky smooth wrappers.

Instead of the new Partagas Serie E we were given 2 Por Larranaga Regalias de Londres and despite mine having rather bland looking wrappers, they were in fact splendid cigars. Appearances can be deceptive! Another fine UK regional edition.

Yoel Diaz the roller from  Partagas was rolling some great ‘freshies’ to some great background Cuban music from the band. I still have a few of his cigars available from when Yoel recently rolled at our London office    

Simon Chase gave a speech about the history of the La Flor de Cano brand but sadly I couldn’t hear much as a lot of people were umm rather loud and drowned him out ( maybe they had drank too much champers?!)

Armed with our baggies of LFDC’s I zoomed over to the Lanesborough with 8 cigars smoking pals for some Tatinger and dinner on the cigar terrace till…..rather late

Next morning and it was off to New York to have a change of pace and enjoy some Fuente Opus X with my American chums doing the usual Friday herf at Grand Havana Room Saturday night crawl to Carnegie Club and then Club Macanudo- very civilized indeed. I may have to move to New York as it’s a seriously cigar friendly city.

…and now for the rest of the news ☺

Tomorrow evening I’m doing a cigar tasting ( with some whisky so I am told) at the fabulous Boisdale Canary Wharf  I think Ranald told me it would be Hoyo Epicure 1’s- nice choice,always a reliable corona gorda

We finally signed our deal for our new Mayfair Turmeaus Tobacconist shop last week and the builders should start work on it next month with a planned opening late August. Our Robert Graham clients who remember Lawrence from when he worked with us up in our Scottish cigar stores will be pleased to hear that he has crossed the border and will be setting up the Mayfair cigar store, working there for a while before he becomes our new Operations Manager. Welcome back Lawrence. 

Oh and we have our Summer cigar auction on Monday 4th July which should be a memorable evening starting off with a whisky and cigar tasting, auction and then dinner with some great music. Viewings of auction Lots this Friday all day as well as Sunday 1-5 pm. More details on the auction website

Peaceful puffing


UK goes regionally mad!

Yes its true, demand for our incredible regional editions exclusively made for the UK market in limited edition is at an all time high

I have never quite known so much interest in our cigars as the last 6 months.

Punch Serie D’Oro No.1 (one of my favourites) has more or less sold out by Hunters and Frankau, luckily we have laid in fairly deep stocks so we should be able to supply them for a few more weeks.

La Flor de Cano Short Robustos will I reckon be sold out before they are even released if pre release demand is anything to go by. Sorry to say but if you haven’t pre ordered these cigars you will be at the back of the queue at this stage of the game.

El Rey Choix de L’Epoque are selling like crazy this month and I can’t see them lasting too much longer

Still reasonable stocks of Juan Lopez Seleccion Suprema and La Gloria Cubana Gloriosos

The other cigar that is being hotly pursued and stocks are very low is the 2006 limited edition Cohiba Piramides. I always rated this cigars and a lot of aficionados seem to have suddenly woken up to it.

My opinion? Smoke less but smoke the best and that can only mean EMS (English Market Selection) supplied by Hunters and Frankau. Life’s too short not to smoke only the best cigars 🙂 so check your boxes of cigars – no EMS label ? you need to find a better cigar merchant !

Spent the weekend in New York again and smoked some fabulous Fuente Opus X at Grand Havana Room as well as Club Macanudo, not my usual smoke, granted but I have to admit the construction and appearance was first rate and the blend a very good alternative indeed to my usual Havanas. Variety is the spice of life as they say. I may have to sample a few more over the coming weeks.

Auction time is fast approaching and we have over 250 Lots on the website already tickets available for a wonderful evening for the cigars and whisky aficionado There may well be some bargains to be had on the evening. If you can’t attend, you can always bid online up till 24 hours before the actual auction.

Lots available for viewing by appointment at our London offices… simply drop us an email at sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Yoel from Partagas was rolling fabulous fresh robustos in our offices last week to sample them click on this link

…and Jimmy from H&F popped in to see our new humidor- check out his piece on the H&F website

Have a smokey week 🙂

Peaceful puffing


Herfing USA!

Herfing at Chicago Cut
Herfing at Chicago Cut

Just arrived back to London after 10 long days and nights of herfing in the USA. together with my friend, smoking buddy and business partner Guy Hancock from Decent Cigar Emporium. The trip started in style as Richard Branson was on my Virgin flight and it was a pleasure to shake his hand and meet him briefly as I admire him immensely.

Of course our plans of world cigar trade domination include the USA! so we love spending time in the States meeting up with friends and suppliers as often as possible for the best smokes, drinks and generally herfing in as many cigar friendly values as we can find (trust me there are loads!)

Our schedule started in Chicago where we made Chicago Cut our base camp for daily herfs.

The weather was not great but we still managed to herf on the terrace and were treated to the best of hospitality at this superb restaurant overlooking the water.

We also visited Hubbard State cigar shop and enjoyed some great smokes with owner Raki, who has also been the maitre D’ of Mortons in Chicago since it first opened 35 years ago.

Then we moved on to Up Down Cigar which was very cool and had a coffee and a cigar with owner Diana who is a bit of a star in the cigar business.

More smokes and drinks at the fabulous Iwan Ries which has an enormous range of premium cigars and accessories as well as a huge smoking lounge then even more smokes at the beautiful Jack Schwartz cigar shop

To end my trip one of my good friends organized a behind the scenes visit to a Chicago police station where I locked Karyn in the jail (I let her out just before the next flight) and took an amphibian boat (owned by my friend) ride round the Chicago river which was outrageously good fun.

Chicago is a very cool city with the most hospitable cigar crowd and we are looking forward to returning again next year.

Fast forward to New York which I reckon may still be one of the most cigar friendly cities in the world. 

Herfing at Carnegie club
Herfing at Carnegie club

We started with smokes and drinks at Carnegie Club and moved on to see our friend Maurizio, the manager at the beautiful Club Macanudo Decent Cigar Emporium are the Macanudo importers for Ireland and we always get star treatment at Club Macanudo. Many of our friends from the old ASC days joined us for a long afternoon of nonstop herfing.

Morning smokes were at de La Concha which is a fine location to watch the world go by whilst enjoying a fine cigar from their range (in my case always a Padron which were remarkably good)

One of the finest cigar venues in the world has to be the Grand Havana Room where manager Randall always takes the best of care of us. The view is amazing as is the service.

As a thank you to so may of our friends and colleagues in the industry we threw a New York City Cruise Herf 🙂 and the ‘Rendezvous’ with over 100 friends joining us for dinner, drinks and smokes on a beautiful hot evening whilst cruising up and down the east River listening to Sinatra music in the background.

'Guy & Mitchell waiting to welcome guests to the Rendezvous'

'Guy & Mitchell waiting to welcome guests to the Rendezvous'

The boys from Smokes Mag were on board and it was great to see a review of my book in the current edition.

Italian food compliments of our friend Giancarlo and sushi bar from our friend Jack Brach. The best Fuente cigars were enjoyed by all (Hemmingway and Opus X) thanks to Decent Cigar Emporium being the importer for Ireland ! and copious quantities of Wild Geese Irish whisky (as well as some fine single malt thanks to Yehudah and great wines thanks to Josh) All the guests were handed goodies bags by Karyn who did a great job with the guest list and Tasha who was the official photographer 🙂  For more details on Wild Geese Irish Whisky visit their website at  www.1691.ie.

Apologies if I have missed off thank you’s to anyone as so many of the crowd were so gracious.

To say a great night was had by all would be an understatement 🙂 and to think….we have to do it all again next year

Our last evening herf was at GHR with a bunch of friends and I should mention a big thank you to Jeff for the Dom Perignon 2000 champagne which was a great way to finish a long 10 days of herfing 🙂

So it’s nice to be back in sunny London and we have a crazy busy month ahead of us starting this week with a first rate cigar roller in our London office ….

Señor Yoel Ulacia Diaz is a 9th grade torcedor (cigar roller), the highest achievable grade within the Cuban industry structure, meaning he is capable of crafting any size or shape cigar within the Habanos S. A. portfolio.

He began his career in 1998 as a student roller at the world famous Partagás factory and, in recognition of his outstanding talent, he attained his 9th grade status in just two years.

He remains with the Partagás factory to this day but is now a Maestro de Calidad, or Master of Quality Control,and supervises the work of some 350 cigar rollers within one of Cuba’s most iconic cigar factories. If you would like to meet him and have a fresh cigar or two rolled for you, drop me an email so we can welcome you sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Hunters summer party is on the 23rd June and there may be a few tickets left although you will have to hurry ! Flor de Cano short robustos will be available following the release at the party and we are taking pre orders now. This is the long awaited 2010 exclusive UK regional edition. I think this may well be the fastest selling Havana in our history. Only 1200 cabinets have been made. In fact it would not surprise me if they are all pre ordered before they are released.

Finally our cigar auction catalogue is now online and we are taking bookings for the actual auction event. All details on our dedicated auction website

I’m off for a de jet lagging cigar or two 🙂

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing