Herfing USA!

Greetings from sunny Los Angeles ! could be worse places to herf for a month but this is where I have settled, and am holding court round the swimming pool bar 🙂

I arrived in LA after a week in Las Vegas, staying at the fabulous Cosmopolitan Hotel and attending the IPCPR trade show at the Venetian / Palazzo convention centre. What an incredible week of meeting literally 100’s of friends and industry colleagues many of whom I have known for years and years.

The trade show is huge and showcases every cigar smokers accessory you can dream of as well as every non Cuban cigar you could wish. 

The show is my opportunity for purchasing massive quantities of accessories for the rest of the year at advantageous prices and then passing the savings on to our customers. Could this be one of the reasons why we sell so many humidors and accessories ?!  I also top up stocks of all our premium accessory and humidor ranges such as Daniel Marshall and Eli Bleu and make sure that we are selling the up to date and hot ranges of brands such as DuPont and Xikar.

If you haven’t seen Daniel Marshall humidors, you should check out the range on the website, Daniel has some beautiful designs and the humidors are great value too.

I spent time at the Cigar Family booth and met bumped into Josh Mirapfel and Carlito Fuente – I think we are in their good books as we were smoking Opus X at the time!

Always great to catch up with Marc and Mike from Palio – our recommended cigar cutter. We are very excited for the Palio lighter launch  expected in the next few months or sooner.

Bumped into old friend Gary Hyams, now working with Gurkha cigars. I think Gary was one of my earliest contacts when I came into the cigar industry so it’s always good to catch up and talk about the almost ‘old days’ !

Bobby from Fujipub newsletter was a good daily pit stop for a scotch and a chat- decadent way to start the day 🙂

Vito from the Sopranos was at the show again and we are importing his ‘gun’ cigar ashtrays which are very cool for Sopranos fans ( see photo!).

Cigar Journal made a splendid awards party which was great fun. Colin Ganley looked super smart as he announced a load of industry characters to present awards as well as receive them.

Vegas seems to have become cigar friendlier and smoking was of course allowed at the trade show as well as in the casinos and bars.

Herfing at the Venetian blackjack table with me were some of my usual crew including George, VV and Barry. Free Scotch all night= loads of smokes and we had some pretty decent winnings too 🙂

So after 5 days in Vegas with miles of trade show walking, scotch drinking, Opus X smoking, Blackjack playing….it was time to slow the pace down a little. We had flights booked to Los Angeles but decided to trash them and do a ‘road trip’ instead in  Blues Brothers style ! ‘ It’s 8 a.m. we have a tank of gas, half a box of cigars, its 110 degrees and we’re wearing sunglasses’ ! so off we went on a 5 hour chain herfing roadtrip to Los Angeles 🙂

I’m at the usual hotel and it’s as cigar friendly as the last few years, out almost every evening with clients and/or suppliers. Great to have a change of pace as well as some good al fresco cigar smoking.

Last night’s herf was at the Beverly Hills Gran Havana Room, this venue is soooo cool, I just love it. Great service and ambience and the food is pretty good too.

Meantime back at the London headquarters it looks like entries have started to arrive daily for our Winter auction ( date not even set yet!) and I’m looking forward to this event as they are always such good fun.

La Flor de Cano short robustos are still arriving in tiny allocation from Hunters and Frankau/Habanos so my apologies to the chaps on back order- we will fill soonest. Trust me this cheeky little smoke is well worth the wait.

I’m out of the UK for around another 3 weeks but I am always on email and friends are always welcome to email for any advice sales@cgarsltd.co.uk or if you are in Los Angeles, you could always meet me for an Fuente Opus X by the pool 🙂

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Holland Herfing!

Just back from a sunny weekend in Amsterdam where we celebrated the wedding of Brian Ebbesen our consultant and auctioneer to his beautiful bride, Barbara.

Arriving on Friday I headed straight to the superb Hajenius shop which has to be one of the most beautiful cigar stores in the world, very classy and always the best professional service. I treated myself to Juan Lopez No.3 which was a cheeky little number bursting with flavor but pleasantly light in strength profile and also bought a gorgeous colorado maduro wrapper box of Ramon Allones Gran Robustos – the Benelux Regional Edition that is a great cigar for long term maturing. 

Brian and Barb’s wedding was held in a very romantic castle located in Baarn and Brian’s friends arrived in a procession of Super cars (Lambo and Ferraris etc ) all with ‘Bar and Brian’ number plates – very cool ! we had a wonderful weekend and smoked a load of fabulous mature Monte 2’s with a great crowd of friends. So BIG congrats to our auctioneer and his wife. The bachelor days are ‘going – going – gone’ !

Back in the UK for a few hours and a quick repacking of my case before I head to Vegas in the morning for the biggest tobacco trade exhibition of the year (IPCPR previously RTDA) which I always look forward to.

I meet up with many old friends and make a lot of new friends. I’m doing all the buying for the next 4 months and hope to find lots of great new lines of humidors, lighters, cutters, ashtrays and so on as I always make sure we have the latest lines to offer our clients online and instore at the lowest prices possible in the UK.

Have a smokey week…. I know I will in Vegas!

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Partners

Quite relived that it’s the end of ‘Summer Auction’ week which is one of our busiest weeks in the year in terms of accounts and admin that seems to be never ending. The days turn into nights and our London Team seem to be wading through a never ending pile of auction buyers and sellers invoicing- kept going by a constant supply of espresso and cigars.Cigar Auction Cartoon

But it looks like everyone is happy, buyers got they wanted and sellers what they wanted –  winning Lots are already being shipped like crazy to clear out space for more arrivals of vintage Havanas that come in almost daily.

I was looking through the auction photos again on the auction website   and had to smile when I came across this one as I think it may be the first time that my 3 business partners have all been together in a photo with me. I am privileged to have three business partners whom I consider by dearest friends, I make a living with these Guys and I have had some of the best laughs with them too. I think the four of us are lucky guys …. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

– Confucius

We are already taking in Lots for our Winter auction and of course I keep myself busy selling vintage Havanas all year round. Sadly we reject more cigars than we actually accept. Mainly due to condition, as many sellers come to our offices with cigars that expired long ago due to lack of humidification or because they suddenly realised that cigars need humidification so they over humidify already expired cigars which then look and smell awful !

I actually can’t think of many other cigar merchants that deal with much more than the odd box of aged Havanas from time to time, possibly the reason why I am always so busy! It’s been a steep learning curve though, tons of reading and research, many meetings with collectors round the globe and an ever increasing collection of old publications on cigars used for reference. Most of my time these days is spent on vintage cigars although I do still race around the world being the “face” of the business and still enjoy doing some of the buying with our larger suppliers… and so, I’m off to Vegas!

This year’s IPCPR trade show (we always used to call it RTDA!) is being held in Las Vegas and as ever I will be spending a few days at the show looking for interesting new products to import into the UK so I can continue to offer my clients the most comprehensive range of humidors, lighters, cutters and cigar related ‘toys’ at the best prices in the market. Best prices because we buy MASSIVE volume as we are lucky enough to have 2 massive warehouses in London and Norfolk.

It’s also a great opportunity for me to herf for the week with old and new friends. The show is so large by UK standards its mind boggling, imagine a few soccer pitches in size! And of course you can smoke whilst you are going round the show – could be worse ways of spending a few days ☺

…the rest of the news :

–  LFDC short robustos are now officially our fastest selling cigar ever ( and they are a fabbie smoke!)

–  Plans agreed for design of our new Mayfair shop due to open end of August- I think that will make me the largest player in the UK specialist cigar market by volume of trading units as well as value- I could be wrong but don’t think so which is a bit of a laugh considering we only really got established in 1997 and caught up with other merchants who had been around for the odd 200 years or so ….terribly easily.

– Lawrence starts working at London office this Monday – first chap to be employed at London offices in many years. Lucky him working with 8 girls !

– I have now switched my Monte 2 rotation to Edmundo for the next month as I absolutely love the blend of the 09 vintage ( not many left now)

– Partagas petit coronas 1998 vintage EMS totally rock- email me if you want a box

– Fuente stocks should be ready to go on our websites this week and throughout our retail chain in the next few weeks

That’s all Folks!

Have a smokey weekend, I’ll be herfing LFDC’s back to back I reckon 🙂

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Auction results live

Our summer cigar auction was held on a very sunny and warm evening at Boisdale Canary Wharf and a great evening was had by all !

Starting off with a whisky tasting hosted by Ron Morrison of Robert Graham Ltd and featuring 5 of our range of award winning single malt whiskies. These were matched up with some splendid English Market Selection Juan Lopez seleccion no.1, San Cristobal La Fuerza and Punch Punch

Brian Ebbesen conducted the auction to a jam packed cigar terrace of over 80  cigar aficionado’s, connoisseurs and collectors. Despite the venue being noisier than our usual Boisdale Belgravia auction venue Brian managed to hear all of the bids and knock down all but 16 of the 259 Lots entered in the sale. 94% sale rate was a very satisfactory result.

A good range of limited editions, pre embargo. mature, Davidoff and Dunhill cigars were offered and clearly some prices were great value whilst others were higher than expected

Dinner followed with  fabulous music by Manolo and the Gypsies. The food and service at Boisdale was top notch as always.

We also launched the superb Fuente brand of cigars in the UK at the dinner following the auction and were delighted to welcome Josh and Jeremiah Meerapfel to our event.

Josh took apart an Opus X double corona (!) demonstrating that 10 leaves made up the filler of this delicious cigar. Guest were all treated to an Opus X DC on the cigar terrace after the dinner.

These winning bids are being brought to you live as the auction happens but please treat them as preliminary and subject to final verification (E&OE)

Lot 1 – 500
Lot 2 – 520
Lot 3 – 600
Lot 4 – 1700
Lot 5 – 1650
Lot 6 – 1650
Lot 7 – 580
Lot 8 – 600
Lot 9 – 230
Lot 10 – 230
Lot 11 – 600
Lot 12 – 380
Lot 13 – 1400
Lot 14 – 650
Lot 15 – 600
Lot 16 – 650
Lot 17 – 450
Lot 18 – 450
Lot 19 – 480
Lot 20 – 360
Lot 21 – 400
Lot 22 – 1150
Lot 23 – 920
Lot 24 – 1150
Lot 25 – 400
Lot 26 – 700
Lot 27 – 380
Lot 28 – 380
Lot 29 – 420
Lot 30 – 340
Lot 31 – 820
Lot 32 – 2100
Lot 33 – 1200
Lot 34 – 500
Lot 35 – 152
Lot 36 – 650
Lot 37 – 680
Lot 38 – 1500
Lot 39 – 850
Lot 40 – 550
Lot 41 – 1100
Lot 42 – 920
Lot 43 – 950
Lot 44 – 820
Lot 45 – 1000
Lot 46 – 920
Lot 47 – 550
Lot 48 – 2700
Lot 49 – 2300
Lot 50 – 4500
Lot 51 – 480
Lot 52 – pass
Lot 53 – 1750
Lot 54 – 1050
Lot 55 – 2400
Lot 56 – pass
Lot 57 – pass
Lot 58 – 1700
Lot 59 – 950
Lot 60 – 1450
Lot 61 – 3000
Lot 62 – 3500
Lot 63 – 7200
Lot 64 – 360
Lot 65 – 4300
Lot 66 – 1200
Lot 67 – 5200
Lot 68 – 4600
Lot 69 – 3400
Lot 70 – 1500
Lot 71 – 7500
Lot 72 – 4300
Lot 73- 3500
Lot 74 – 1600
Lot 75- 360
Lot 76 – 980
Lot 77 – 2300
Lot 78 – 1650
Lot 79 – 260
Lot 80 – 250
Lot 81 – 550
Lot 82 – 270
Lot 83 – 300
Lot 84 – 140
Lot 85 – 140
Lot 86 – 340
Lot 87 – 250
Lot 88 – 3400
Lot 89 – 300
Lot 90 – 280
Lot 91 – 280
Lot 92 – 290
Lot 93 – 290
Lot 94 – 270
Lot 95 – 270
Lot 96 – 300
Lot 97 – 700
Lot 98 – 700
Lot 99 – 160
Lot 100 – 140
Lot 101 – 140
Lot 102 – 1850
Lot 103 – 1300
Lot 104 – 710
Lot 105 – 600
Lot 106 – 400
Lot 107 – 400
Lot 108 – 400
Lot 109 – 240
Lot 110 – 150
Lot 111 – 150
Lot 112 – 380
Lot 113 – 220
Lot 114 – 400
Lot 115 – 450
Lot 116 – 830
Lot 117 – 830
Lot 118 – 920
Lot 119 – 280
Lot 120 – 360
Lot 121 – 300
Lot 122- 280
Lot 123 – 135
Lot 124 – 2100
Lot 125 – 120
Lot 126 – 120
Lot 127 – 160
Lot 128 – 240
Lot 129 – 230
Lot 130 – 600
Lot 131 – 600
Lot 132 – 600
Lot 133 – 900
Lot 134 – 4600
Lot 135 – 2100
Lot 136 – 450
Lot 137 – 550
Lot 138 – 560
Lot 139 – pass
Lot 140 – 280
Lot 141 – 350
Lot 142 – 600
Lot 143 – pass
Lot 144 – 600
Lot 145 – 400
Lot 146 – 310
Lot 147 – 300
Lot 148 – 330
Lot 149 – 300
Lot 150 – 450
Lot 151 – 600
Lot 152 – 160
Lot 153 – 180
Lot 154 – 90
Lot 155 – 100
Lot 156 – 100
Lot 157 – 100
Lot 158 – 100
Lot 159 – 950
Lot 160 – 600
Lot 161 – 1000
Lot 162 – 780
Lot 163 – 450
Lot 164 – 600
Lot 165 – pass
Lot 166 – 440
Lot 167 – 2000
Lot 168 – 220
Lot 169 – pass
Lot 170 – pass
Lot 171 – pass
Lot 172 – pass
Lot 173 – pass
Lot 174 – 400
Lot 175 – 280
Lot 176 – 290
Lot 177 – 290
Lot 178 – 340
Lot 179 – 300
Lot 180 – 170
Lot 181 – 4800
Lot 182 – 6000
Lot 183 – 360
Lot 184 – 650
Lot 185 – 320
Lot 186 – 400
Lot 187- 580
Lot 188- 700
Lot 189- 600
Lot 190 – 700
Lot 191 – 80
Lot 192 – 800
Lot 193 – 440
Lot 194 – 300
Lot 195- 440
Lot 196-  420
Lot 197 – 450
Lot 198 – 340
Lot 199 – 340
Lot 200 – 185
Lot 201 – 1250
Lot 202 – 90
Lot 203 – 320
Lot 204 – 105
Lot 205 – 290
Lot 206 – 360
Lot 207 – 360
Lot 208 – 380
Lot 209 – 800
Lot 210 – 360
Lot 211 – 4200
Lot 212 – 300
Lot 213 – 650
Lot 214 – 750
Lot 215 – 2000
Lot 216 – 660
Lot 217 – 600
Lot 218 – 600
Lot 219 – 2800
Lot 220 – 750
Lot 221 – pass
Lot 222 – 2400
Lot 223 – 120
Lot 224 – 880
Lot 225 – 805
Lot 226 – 2150
Lot 227 – 140
Lot 228 – 140
Lot 229 – 820
Lot 230 – 805
Lot 231 – 805
Lot 232 – 1500
Lot 233 – 300
Lot 234 – 320
Lot 235 – 750
Lot 236 – pass
Lot 237 – 380
Lot 238 – pass
Lot 239 – 350
Lot 240 – pass
Lot 241 – 1000
Lot 242 – 160
Lot 243 – 140
Lot 244 – 140
Lot 245 – 1400
Lot 246 – 450
Lot 247 – 450
Lot 248 –  pass
Lot 249 – 300
Lot 250 – 200
Lot 251 – 800
Lot 252 – 1250
Lot 253 – 1050
Lot 254 – 1000
Lot 255 – 1150
Lot 256 – 1050
Lot 257 – 1100
Lot 258 – 1000
Lot 259 – 1450

Winning bidders will be emailed in the next 24 hours with their invoices and sellers will be accounted to a little later this week

We had a great crowd including Julian Dicks ( great footballer and cigars smoker!) Simon Chase from H&F, My business partners, Ron Morrison from Robert Graham Ltd, Christoph Wolters from La Casa del Habano – Hamburg and Guy Hancock from the Decent Cigar Emporium – Dublin.

My thanks to Brian Ebbesen for such a marvellous auction, Ranald from Boisdale for all his support, my wife Karyn for table plan organization ! my daughter Tasha for her photography skills ! and of course Michelle and her London Team for all the administration and Laura and her Norfolk Team for all their hard work on the Auction website.

We are now accepting entries for our Winter auction which will be held at the end of November

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell Orchant