Correct Care for cigars

My week started with a herf in Dublin at the fabulous Decent Cigar Emporium where my regular crowd of cigar buddies and I enjoyed some Guinness and Havanas for a few days! Yes – they do work together! I then moved on to Glasgow and Edinburgh to herf with friends at the fabulous Robert Graham whisky and cigar shops. Must admit the main cigar of the week was Bolivar Britanicas which are just too delicious for words. If you haven’t tried them you are seriously missing out on a deeply complex Havana.

A serious word or two on the correct storage of Havana cigars…

Imagine opening that special box of rare very expensive fine cigars that you have been saving for a special occasion only to find they have fallen victim to the dreaded tobacco weevil… and are now riddled with tiny holes.

Some desperate aficionados may hope that by smoking those ruined cigars they’ll kill the nasty little buggers.

If the solution was only that simple, revenge would be sweet.

Unfortunately, such a terrible infestation is all too common these days for the tobacco weevil or beetle is rife in the global tobacco industry.

Infestation generally lasts between 45 and 90 days, depending on how your cigars are stored, and will likely spread to other boxes in your collection.

When a tobacco weevil penetrates a cigar it lays eggs, the larvae stage of which usually lasts between five and ten weeks.  The problem then is that these larvae like to burrow through tobacco, which they eat and excrete, causing irreparable damage.

They then reach the pupae stage, during which they lie deceptively dormant. If allowed to reach adult stage, which lasts a month or so, they usually mate  – and the whole dreadful cycle starts again.

So what can you do?

The most important thing is to ONLY buy cigars from reputable, knowledgeable and expert cigar specialists, such as C.Gars Ltd.

For we can assure you that NONE of the millions of fine cigars we have sold for almost twenty years have ever been infested by the tobacco weevil.

All of our cigars are checked carefully and stored in the proper conditions.

But perhaps you purchased a box of cigars from a less reliable supplier.

Even worse, you laid out good money for some pirated cigars sold on the streets of Havana.

Or you bought a box from someone who recently returned from a trip to Cuba or the Dominican Republic or another cigar producing countries and can’t remember where they bought those cigars (which they would love to sell to you, for a bargain price).

If so, beware, for fake Havanas and other fake cigar brands are more often than not the primary source of tobacco weevil infestation.

And such infestation is made even worse by lazy storage, which vastly increases the chances of the spreading of the problem.

How to check your cigars for weevil infestation

If you think you have a problem, first check the paper hinge of the box your cigars come in for a deposit of fine brown dust – rather than the usual flecks of tobacco you’d normally find in an uninfected box.

Then take out a cigar and place it on a sheet of plain white paper.  Tap the foot of the cigar which may then emit a shower of dust from inside the cigar – and enable you to see where the tobacco weevil penetrated.

Destroy that dust by burning it in an ashtray.

If you see signs of holes created by weevil infestation, remove all the cigars from the box and isolate them in a sealable clear plastic bag.

Don’t spray those cigars with  insecticide for that will only compound the problem and make them impossible to smoke.

Better to place the entire bag carefully in your deep freeze, which should kill the weevil in about 4-5 days.

You can then transfer that unopened bag of cigars to the main part of your fridge.  Once they have thawed out, bring them back to room temperature.

If you want to be extra-careful, place them in a humidor away from any other cigars.

Those previously frozen cigars may not taste as good as they would have before the tobacco weevil got at them, but at least you won’t have to throw them away.

However, if you are really concerned about the infestation and don’t want to take any chances, then you should destroy the infected box.

By the way, as a rule you should never store cigars in a freezer or non-freezer section of a fridge.

Fine cigars need to be stored in carefully controlled low temperatures. 16 degrees C to 18 degrees C is the best range in which to store cigars.  If the temperature rises above 21 degrees C, weevils, a.k.a. lasioderma serricone, thrive.

If you need any more advice about storing cigars, or dealing with an infested box, please do not hesitate to contact the Help Desk at C.Gars Ltd.

Meanwhile, be careful out there and have a great weekend!

Peaceful puffing


Brits Rock!

So the long awaited UK regional Bolivar Britanicas came in… and went out 🙂 If I thought that the La Flor de Cano UK regional was the fastest selling regional of all time. It looks like the Bolivar may rapidly overtake them. Allocations were tight from Havana but we expect to have more available in the coming weeks.

All of our retail shops should have these delicious cigars in stock now but be warned they are selling like crazy. This is an old style Bolivar blend: bold and complex, full flavour rustic and earthy – not for the novice but the experienced cigar smoker will greatly appreciate the blend.

Danny from Turmeaus cigar shop Mayfair was delighted to welcome Ignacio Balmaseda, Cuban Corporate Director, Hunters & Frankau and Ana Lopez, Director of Marketing, Habanos S.A. last Saturday and I’ll be heading over there on Friday morning for a few hours serious herfing as we test out the Bolivar Britanicas matched up with some of our independent bottlings of Robert Graham single malt whisky.

Had a bit of an office herf last night again with Boli Brits paired up with some great Robert Graham Ltd single malt and the consensus was that the 1995 Clyenlish hit the spot best of all <hic>

Fabulous herf planned for May Bank Holiday at The Prince of Wales in Moseley Birmingham which I’m looking forward to attending and doing an informal QA on vintage Havanas. The herf starts at 3pm and you can see full details here.

Countdown till the next cigar auction on July 2nd and we expect to have the catalogue online and in print as usual around 6 weeks before the event. Should be a great evening with plenty of smokes and drinks and the best of company.

Hunters and Frankau have announced that their Summer Cigar Party will be held at the Langham Hilton on the 31st May and the UK regional Punch Gold Medal is expected to be introduced at the party. Good timing as I head to New York the next morning for a week of herfing fabulous Fuente cigars! Always a great evening for cigar smokers and always sold out fast so book soon to avoid disappointment.

Off to Dublin on Sunday to herf at The Decent Cigar Emporium on Grafton street and then heading to Glasgow and Edinburgh next Wednesday to sample some of our exclusive single malts.

It’s a tough job…

Peaceful puffing


Bolivar Britanicas UK regional edition

I am delighted to announce that we are now accepting orders for the long awaited latest and rather splendid Bolivar Britanicas UK regional edition. This is a limited edition of 3000 numbered boxes exclusive to the UK.

Stocks are expected to arrive very early next week and we will be shipping immediately thereafter.

I tested out the blend on the new Bolivar last month in Havana at the first tasting organized at the annual Festival del Habanos and I truly thought that this cigar was first rate.

The size is great at 5 3/8″ length and 48 ring gauge, the wrappers are smooth and dark colorado maduro and the flavour was full with hints of sweetness and spice throughout. Not one for the novice but the experienced cigar smoker will enjoy this cigar immensely.

Available at pre-release prices this week as follows:


Box of 10

Please order early as there has been huge demand for this cigar and there will be limited allocations. As ever we guarantee best prices in the UK.

I received this email from a good friend and long-time client of C.Gars Ltd and thought I would share it with my blog readers…

This photo was taken on Saturday 24th March after I’d just popped into the Mayfair Turmeaus shop to pick up a sampler I’d ordered. 

It was an amazingly sunny day with just a hint of haze to it.  Whilst in the shop I couldn’t resist picking up a Partagas No2.  I fired it up in the street outside the shop and me and Mrs B started to walk towards Green Park. 

Not very far down White Horse Street, Mrs B (an avid photographer) told me to stand across the road in a doorway as she said the light coming down the street was really impressive and a good opportunity to get a ‘candid’ cigar smoking moment shot. 

Of course, I obliged!  When I’m ‘fired up’ I don’t need much persuasion to pose with my smokey friend!

The magic of the moment was when a chap passed by and turned back to say, ‘That cigar smells excellent.’  I asked him if he smoked cigars but he told me he didn’t, although, he loved the look of the Turmeaus shop where I told him I’d bought the cigar. 

I did the decent thing and offered him a puff on this fine cigar and, to my surprise, he duly accepted.  He drew on it like he’d been smoking them all his life, taking in a good gulp of smoke, and then letting it ease out and up into the air. He took another puff and passed it back to me.

We shook hands and he went on his way saying he would check out the shop some time.

My point is, in my humble opinion, Cigar Smokers (and those who aspire to become one) are some of the nicest people you will ever meet (ok, maybe Al Capone might me an exception – I’m sure he was nice to his mother!), and a fine cigar can bring together complete strangers to share a sublime moment.


Mark B

The real Boss of C.Gars Ltd – Michelle (!)  our General Manager is finally back from her sunny cruise vacation tomorrow – thank goodness! So I’ll be back to my travelling and herfing routine from next week!

Peaceful puffing


Happy Easter!

Seems like Christmas was yesterday and it’s already Easter! Despite the increases, due to the recent UK Budget, we are just about as busy as Christmas, which proves to me that cigar smokers will not be deterred by the antismoking tax regime in the UK. So the bad news is that prices are up but the good news is that we still guarantee that we will offer the best prices in the UK, if we are wrong, we will gladly price match at time of order.

Our best seller continues to be the Montecristo no.4 – we literally ship stacks of boxes every day. Entry level Guantanamera Cuban cigars are very popular for a cheapie smoke and perfect for the novice.

I feel like I have been waiting forever for the new UK regional edition Bolivar Britanicas but I am cautiously optimistic that they will be released round about mid-April which would bring great relief as we have 100’s of back orders for these superb new Havanas. The shape is cool (similar to the old Romeo Celestiales Finos) but 2 up on the ring gauge, the blend is exquisite and the wrappers are simply… perfect (at least on the 2 that I tried out in Havana for the first tasting!) so we have to be a little bit patient but it will be worth the wait.

Montecristo Gran Reserva have received unprecedented demand for a new cigar and are more or less sold out at this time, well at least at our London stores, although you may well still find them in our Liverpool and Chester Turmeaus cigar shops. We are hoping to receive more stocks from Hunters and Frankau in the near future.

Cohiba 1966 has proved to be our best-selling limited edition of all time. These full bodied smokes will mature and improve for many years. They are available at this time at all of our cigar shops throughout the country but selling out fast.

Last chance I’m afraid to get some Sancho Panza Belicosos Orchant Seleccion in your humidor. This full flavour and full strength cigar is perfectly matured from 2008 and a delight to smoke. More for the experienced cigar smoker in all honesty and whilst the brand is not terribly popular these days, this is a shining example of how a Sancho should be blended.

I spent the evening herfing at the beautiful cigar terrace at the Lanesborough on Tuesday, packed to capacity as usual with a big crowd of cigar smokers. Despite the rain it’s great to have a sheltered terrace to enjoy late night smokes.

New stocks of Fuente have arrived and I have been genuinely surprised at how popular these cigars are now. I’m not just saying that because we are the importers – we literally can’t keep up with the demand for many of the vitolas, especially Reserva d ’Chateau which is selling like crazy perhaps due to the presentation which is very cool.

So, I’m looking forward to the 4 day Easter weekend and kicking back with some of my current favourite smokes including Monte EdmundoBolivar Belicosos and Flor de Cano short robusto to mention a few that are smoking to perfection.

If you are interested in a splendid single malt to go with a good cigar you simply have to try our Robert Graham exclusive Benrinnes 1988 it really matches up very well indeed.

If you need a last minute cigar and missed the postal shut off, our shops in West Hampstead and Mayfair will be open on Saturday and have a huge range. Our Robert Graham shops in Scotland are open over the weekend too 🙂

Have a smokey Easter weekend

Peaceful puffing