Have a great day! :-)

Can’t believe how fast the last month has flown by, although I think herfing with friends and clients in the sunshine of Los Angeles may have something to do with that. After all they do say ‘Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself.’

Herfing 2012 Anyway I have been enjoying myself having met up with, chatted, herfed and hung out with 100’s of old and new friends whilst topping up my sun tan. I have been fortunate to stay in the same cigar friendly hotel in West Hollywood for the last 10 years and most days just hold court around the pool bar. Good thing I am heading back to London next week as I’m am just about out of Fuente Opus X  to gift out!

I went to San Diego for the first time last week to herf with a group of cigars chums (TY VC). Herfing 2012Decided to take the 2 hour train ride as I heard the views over the water were nice (they are!) and left from the beautiful Union Station which has featured in many films. Smoking of course not allowed in or around the station though I did spot some youngish girls smoking marijuana on the bench outside the station! (There is some crazy law about medical marijuana in Los Angeles)

Enjoyed a delightful dinner with friends at one of our chums houses in Bel Air which has become a sort of annual tradition. Great smokes, outrageous single malt whisky, dinner and the best of company (TY LS) As we sat on the terrace I realised that’s what we miss most in the UK – The good weather and balmy evenings to be able to smoke outside. I think I want to be an American and move to LA!

And Even More Herfing 2012Had a private tasting of the splendid DeLeon Tequila yesterday with a group of my regular cigar buddies, I am no tequila drinker, preferring Scotch of course but have to say this was very smooth and clean on the palette. DeLeon are soon introducing a $1000 bottle of tequila… Get it if you can!


Heading to Rodondo Beach on Sunday as our friend Larry is kindly throwing a herf at his home which I’m looking forward to. Actor Michael Nouri is expected to join us for Michael Nouri 1992smokes as well (see photo of Michael with Zino Davidoff in 1992!) Have I really been in the cigar bizz so long that I actually remember some of the crowd from the mid 1990’s?!

I thought August would be a quiet month and a good time to be on vacation but my clients worldwide seemed to think otherwise! Luckily by the wonders of modern technology it’s easy to keep in touch wherever I am in the world – G-d bless Blackberry! I have even managed to agree the acquisition of our 10th retail store which we are planning to open before Christmas.

This will possibly be the largest cigar store in the UK with an unparalleled range of Havana cigars together with an emporium style Robert Graham offering of the finest single malt, rum, cognac, gin and speciality coffees, teas and handmade chocolates. Together with a sampling lounge and client lockers… Yes, I am very excited as you can imagine.

And erm... Even More Herfing 2012Delighted to announce that our Mayfair store is now licence to sell liquor. We will be stocking a specialist range of Cuban rum, cigar cognac and of course finest Robert Graham single malt whisky that you can sample and purchase in store from next week or of course order online for click and collect service . You can find Alfie Turmeaus cigar shop on this link  in Shepherds Market Mayfair.

The Mayfair Hotel has opened a very nice cigar terrace just down the road to our Shepherd Market cigar shop and I’m looking forward to herfing there soon.

Cigar auction coming up on the 26th November, always a fun time for the cigar community with events at Ten Manchester street and Boisdale restaurants as well as an evening or two at the lovely Lanesborough cigar terrace. We are expecting a large crowd from overseas this year. Information will be updated on our dedicated auction website together with past results and FAQ’s but don’t hesitate to email if you need advising on bidding or selling.

All Herfed Out!So I’m packing up my lighters and cutters in the next few days and looking forward to heading back to the office, especially as I hear that a load of new releases are likely to be out in the next week or so including the long awaited Cohiba Piramides Extra, H Upmann Robusto limited edition 2012, H Upmann Half Coronas in tins of 5 and the latest UK regional edition 2012 Ramon Allones Petit Belicosos, so I am assured a busy homecoming!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Peaceful puffing,



Herfing in LA

LA HerfI’d like to say I have had a good rest and some recuperation after the trade show in Orlando but it hasn’t quite worked out like that as I seem to be busier than ever in Los Angeles!

So many of my American smoking chums tell me that it’s not cigar friendly over here but I have no idea why as I have been herfing day and night at the hotel I am staying at in West Hollywood which is super cigar friendly and  there are no shortage of places to go for a cigar.

I did the tourist thing and went to Laguna Beach for the day and stumble on this small cigar shop very friendly and a good place for an impromptu herf.

The Four Seasons Hotel has a terrific cigar terrace well worth a visit.

The 1200 bar at the Sunset is a great spot for a late night smoke and ‘one for the road.’

Michael Nouri and Michael Lington herfing at GHRWe had a bit of a mega herf at Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills with around 25 cigars smoking chums taking over the terrace for a rather late night of dinner, drinks and smokes. Actor Michael Nouri and musician Michael Lington joined us for a memorable evening. I remember Michael Nouri when he was Lucky Luciano in Gangster Chronicles back in the early 1980’s!!!! Very cool actor… And he loves a good cigar!

My award for first rate service and delicious food so far on this trip goes to Locanda Veneta highly recommended.

Plan B has a good cigar terrace very comfortable and great food too. Hint – If you are ordering Scotch its better value by far to start off ordering doubles! (lesson learned!)

I’ve been smoking my way through an extraordinary amount of Fuente cigars during the day, particularly Kings and Opus X for something a tad heavier. For some great Nic kick I have been blasting through boxes of Regius robustos and a few of my Secret Blend Inka cigars in between!LA Herf

Not much news from my London office, The Boss (Michelle!) tells me everything is under control and I should be having a few days vacation which sounds good to me. We are now planning to open our 10th cigar store in October if all goes to plan which is very exciting… More details in the coming weeks.

Hunters and Frankau are hoping to release the new Cohiba Piramides Extra in the next few weeks or so. I’m very excited about this cigar, the examples we smoked in Havana at the February Festival were first class. Careful where you buy from though – I have already seen counterfeits floating around!!!!

Next week I’m herfing in San Diego and Redondo Beach as well as Beverly Hills 🙂

Have a great weekend

Peaceful puffing


C.Gars Ltd – USA!

Just recovering from a most brilliant week in Orlando for the annual IPCPR trade show (previously called RTDA). The scale of the show is incredible to say the least with a seemingly never ending amount of exhibitors from new brands to established brands, all showcasing their products.

It’s not only an opportunity of catching up with new products but also old and new friends from all over the world who use this as an annual meeting place for the cigar industry, much like I do at the annual Habanos Festival. I met up with friends from Europe, The Far east and of course from all over the USA.

The exhibition started in the morning and went on until 5pm but as soon as the trade show closed the sponsored parties began and I decided this year to attend as many as possible! The whisky and Cigar pairing with Richard Paterson from Dalmore was interesting and entertaining and the Diamond Crown party at Corona Cigars was outrageously good! The Alec Bradley party was a bit loud for an old boy like me but still fun and it went on and on like day after day!… after the parties we moved on to the fabulous Corona Cigar Company at Sand Lakes or Downtown. Superb shops and excellent hospitality. Thank you Jeff and Tanya for making me so welcome.

Highlights of the show for me included:

Palio: New Palio single flame jet lighter to be released very soon. Designed with the cigar smoker in mind, this lighter comes in 3 finishes and is not only chic but is exceptionally reliable having been tested thoroughly and extensively.

Calibre digital hygrometers: There is a new Calibre hygrometer that we will be introducing in the next month or so that is the calibre IV and can be calibrated. There is also a digital dial Calibre hygrometer that we are also looking forward to importing.

Daniel Marshall humidors: One of our recommended ranges of humidors, high quality workmanship and made in the USA, we will be increasing range over the coming weeks.

Elie Bleu: This outstanding range of humidors was mouth wateringly show cased and a new mid range humidor will be added to our range in the next few weeks

Cigar Journal: Colin and Reinholds Awards party was simply brilliant fun. There were very sincere and very funny award acceptance speeches but it was a great crowd and a great evening

Smoke Magazine: Always great to catch up with the Bob, Ted and the boys from Smoke

CigarandSpirits: A relatively new magazine that our friend Nick Hammond has been a guest writer on. Great quality publication and we wish them the best of luck

Jose Blanco: One of my hero’s in the cigar trade, always great to catch up with him for a chat. Currently at Joya de Nicaragua and has created one of the best blends I have ever smoked with the Cuenca y Blanco. Sweet, smooth, round and balanced, exactly what I love in a premium cigar.

Torano: we were lucky enough to have Torano make our Nicaraguan petit coronas and robustos for our exclusive C.Gars Ltd Seleccion in fact we have been quite surprised at how popular these cigars have become so we are planning to introduce a range of Torano cigars to the UK during October this year

Inka Secret Blend exclusive to C.Gars Ltd: I worked with the owner of the cigar factory and plantation in Peru for almost a year until I was happy with the blend of tobacco for this range of cigars that we have created and even I am surprised by its popularity and the quantity of repeat orders. I tried to create a blend that was full flavoured but not full strength, smooth but with a bit of a zing quality and character to the flavour. Add to that a smooth wrapper and excellent construction and it looks like we have a winner. So we have ordered another 5000 boxes to be made soonest to satisfy demand and I have also created additional vitolas for this brand. If all goes to plan, we will be launching the brand in the USA in the next 3-6 months. The only Puro from Peru.

Bandolero: These cigars were great value and great smokes and the tins they are packaged in are really cool so I’ll be adding these to our range very soon.

Fuente: The Cigar family stand was splendid as usual and it’s such an honour to be their distributor in the UK. Its taking us time to get the range right for our UK market but so far so good and sales seem to be taking off with some pace now. If you want a first rate alternative to a Havana you really need to look at this range of cigars. Always good to see my old friends Tony and Jake.

Gurkha Cigars: Great to catch up with my old friend Gary Hyams now running the show at Gurkha where it looks like he has shaken up the range big time. Packaging is superb, prices look highly competitive and if appearance is anything to mitchellamerica4go on, I will be in for a treat when I test out the blends over the next week or two. We are looking to introduce a range of Gurkha to the UK before Christmas.

Regius cigars: Another first rate Nicaraguan cigar that we highly recommend. I smoked my way through quite a few cigars with Akhil from Regius at the show and I’m looking forward to potentially introducing some new and exclusive C.Gars Ltd Regius cigars over the coming months. Try out the robustos – You won’t be disappointed, I smoked 3 back to back to test blend integrity and they were splendid.

The above are only a few highlights of a fabulous week of herfing with so many cigar chums that I have known since 1994 including Bobby, Jenn y Craig, Mango Joe, Alka Seltzer, Lightning Rob, George and many many others. Looking forward to next year’s show in Las Vegas!

So now I’m in Los Angeles spending some time herfing the cigar samples from the show at the pool and trying to decide what to bring to the UK next – Tougher job than you may think. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you will see what I mean 🙂

Peaceful puffing