Still herfing… After all these years!

Do you follow me/us on Facebook? If not, you really should, particularly as it gave me the best laugh of the year last week 🙂 and dear blog reader… Let me tell you why!… My wife and co-director of C.Gars Ltd, Karyn posted a photo of her and I holding a baby with the caption ‘Welcome to the newest arrival in our family’ and we literally received 100’s of emails and FB messages from friends and clients congratulating us on our new baby and lots of surprise that no one knew we were having a baby.

We even had someone emailing to ask how difficult it was for us to adopt a baby at our old age! Of course we never said it was our baby!!! So to put the record straight for the 100th time this week – Mazal tov (Congratulations) to our nephew and niece Gabriel and Verity on the birth of their very beautiful baby daughter ‘Ava’.

I mean come on – Can you imagine me having another kid? (I’m allergic to children!) Good grief!! I’m looking forward to having a celebratory Dunhill or two with my Father and Nephew in the very near future 🙂

Cigar Auctioneer Brian Ebbesen and I zoomed over to Geneva for a super long days business meeting on Monday. The SqeezyJet was delightfully comfortable providing you don’t have arms or legs but was at least on time. We didn’t manage to visit any of the lovely Geneva cigar shops but we did sneak a crafty Cohiba piramides Extra smoke at the Kempinski hotel in sub-zero temperatures (Brrrr) as well as a Davidoff Ch Latour from ’89 at the smoking lounge at Geneva airport (Courtesy of JT tobacco) bravo Geneva airport where common sense has prevailed.

Tuesday evening and Karyn and I had a little time to kill after we closed the office so we zoomed over to the cigar terrace at the Lanseborough which was rather full of cigars smokers. We have an amazing range of cigar friendly establishments in London now but the Lanesborough was the choice as they serve the best smoked salmon in the world! (Ever thinking of my stomach!!) so over a few glasses of Tatinger Rose and 2 Cohiba Behike ( a 54 and a 56) as well as the usual brilliant service from Davide and Mateo, we had a most relaxing herfette.

The Lanesborough has a super range of limited edition and vintage Havana cigars. I spotted Davidoff, Dunhill selection, Gran Reserva and Cohiba Behike 40th anniversary to name a few. Great place to herf in London – Always highly recommended.

Inka Secret Blend cigarsInka – Secret Blend cigars from Peru have arrived and will be back in store and online early next week. Our hugely successful Bombaso maduro has been imported in substantial quantity so hopefully we won’t stock out again. (Popularity of this cigars certainly took me by surprise!)

Torano’s have been the big success story of the last week and clearly the blends in this range and the keen pricing have hit the spot with our friends. Checkout the Torano range here, boxes, singles and samplers. If you haven’t tried them yet, you really won’t be disappointed when you do.

Co-Director Laura and I are working tirelessly on our website redesign and hope to have it online in the next month. Since our business was established our website designs have always been created in house which we are suitably proud of. As Laura and I are getting so terribly old now, we rely on young James in our IT Team to guide us through all the latest design innovations and we are looking forward to our friends comments when we go live.

I’m getting ready to head to Havana for the Festival next week and looking forward to trying out the latest Havana cigars planned for this year’s release. I’m staying at the Hotel Nacional as usual and looking forward to catching up with fellow cigar smokers from all over the world, as we do every year. My friend Amir is launching his phenomenal if not breath-taking ‘Partagas – The book’ an incredible journey through the history of Partagas with outstanding photography and information about the factory, the brand, the owners and… Everything Partagas.

Vintage Cigar Auction? (Loads of clients are asking!) Yes yes – Absolutely, we are planning our next (Summer) auction but have not set the date yet although it is likely to be sooner rather than later so if you wish to enter Lots… Get them in fast as we are planning to make this our biggest auction ever if not the biggest in cigar auction history! Email enquiries to Auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Happy Valentines!

It’s been a nonstop herfing week since my last blog, no idea how I have any time to actually run this huge business (That was sort of tongue in cheek as Laura and Michelle run the business!)

It started off last Thursday with 30+ attendees at our first whisky and cigar sampling at our fabulous Robert Graham shop in Cambridge where we released the latest in our Dancing Stag single cask single Malt whisky range. Our Mortlach from 1996 is bottled at 46% and paired up perfectly with the Mi Amor cigars kindly supplied by Scott and Ludo from Tor Imports.

We also enjoyed our splendid Auchentoshan 1991 paired up with a variety of other cigars including Inka – Secret Blend from Peru and Regius from Nicaragua.

Cambridge Evening news sent over a photographer who took some splendid photos of our Team looking magnificent in their kilts – Hope to have the photos up soon.

The tasting went on somewhat longer than expected (Until 2 am!) due to the variety of cigars that were sampled. Thanks to the Robert Graham Team for the splendid canapés and service and special thanks to Chris, our Manager at Robert Graham Edinburgh for coming down to help set up the evening.

Friday morning was spent at the Cambridge cigar lounge with friend and clients sampling Bolivar Britanicas, 2012 UK regional edition which has all but sold out now – Hurry if you want to stock up on these superb limited production cigars. Full flavoured, sweet and complex, great shape and size – Truly a delight.

Saturday evening pre herf with friends at my house with a bottle of Boisdale champagne and an El Rey del Mundo Choix De l’Epoque another winning UK regional edition before heading to the Palladium to see A Chorus Line. The theatre is really quite beautiful, such a shame that the seats are only comfortable if you have no arms. Having unfolded my body after 2 hours of being incarcerated in the hugely uncomfortable Palladium seats, we headed off to the Hard Rock Café for some late night cocktails and then back home for some serious herfing.

One of my friends had bought a sealed box of Punch Ideales from the 1960’s at one of the C.Gars Auctions and decided it was time to crack it open. It’s always a risk buying a sealed box as you never know if the cigars will be in decent condition or not. The box was probably one of the best auction bargains I have ever seen and when we opened it the bouquet was outstanding and the cigars were pristine- we were in for a treat. The Ideales vitola is a difficult cigar to blend correctly and slender ring gauges can of course have tighter than desired draw, however these cigars were blended and constructed to perfection. We ended up smoking 4 of them back to back and each one was quite perfect. Rich, smooth, medium to full strength and full of sweet flavours from start to finish.

We wrapped up around 3 a.m with Punch Serie D’Oro no.1 – the 2008 UK regional edition and a few drams of Dancing Stag Clynelish.

Fast forward to Sunday brunch time and the herfing continued in earnest with some 1960’s Montecristo no.2’s paired up with some ’96 Bollinger. It’s amazing how well cared for Havanas can age for 50 years and be such incredible mature cigars. Aged cigars are not better than recent production cigars… They are just different, they may suit some palates and not others. They are certainly not for the novice and an acquired taste even for some experienced Havana cigar smokers.

Last night’s herf was my first visit to the Bulgari Hotel cigar lounge/sampling room, supplied by my friends Edward and Eddie Sahakian of Davidoff – London. I enjoyed a couple of Bolivar Petit Belicosos limited edition 2009 (Full strength, full and earthy flavours) whilst my friends enjoyed sampling a variety of cigars having been very well advised by Manager Mike Choi. We went through a bottle of our Robert Graham Christmas single Malt (Glenfarclas) and had a great evening at this first rate venue in the heart of Knightsbridge. Highly recommended.

My latest import of Inka Secret Blend cigars from Peru has just landed in the UK and should be on our shelves in a few days’ time including a new vitola, sorry for the delay – We have been astonished with the popularity of our brand.

I keep hearing rumours that Romeo Reserva is about to be released but sadly I have not seen them as yet…Newsletter subscribers will be informed the minute they are expected in the humidor of course.

I’m actually taking Valentines evening off to celebrate it with co-Director Karyn 🙂… And a good cigar or two!

Smokey Valentines wishes

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Don’t mention the World cup!

Bit of a heavy sampling session at the office yesterday as my partner Christoph Wolters from La Casa del Habano – Hamburg flew over for our annual general meeting.

A bottle of Clynelish later and we couldn’t agree whether Germany or the UK had the best regional editions!

We sampled our way through Ramon Allones Belicosos German regional contrasted with Ramon Allones Belicosos UK regional 2004 and I’m certain the UK version (Which was the first regional edition) was better but the additional years maturing may have played a factor.

We followed on with Bolivar Especiales German regional contrasted with Bolivar Britanicas UK regional and it was hard to choose which was the better of these two fine cigars.

Finally finishing with my very favourite Punch Serie D’Oro no.1 which is of course my favourite UK regional edition. We both agreed that this has matured into a first rate Havana. Full bodied, rich and complex from start to finish. Hint of sweetness, perfect draw and good dark wrapper leaf. Quite outstanding and a great annual general meeting!

We have been in Hamburg almost 7 years and the business has gone from strength to strength with last year being our best ever year. Our retail shop has a huge range of Havana cigars as well as all smokers accessories and a mouth-watering range of single malt whisky and rum. LCDH – Hamburg also features a superb cigar smokers lounge open till late. C.Gars Ltd and Robert Graham Ltd customers are always assured a warm welcome.

Thursday evening fast approaching and I’m looking forward to the cigars and whisky tasting at Robert Graham- Cambridge we’re launching a new cigar Ashton La Aroma de Caribe Mi Amor Belicoso paired up with the latest Dancing Stage cask release which is a 1995 Mortlach bottles at 46% and sure to be a very popular addition to our award winning range. We’re expecting a good crowd for a memorable evening.

I’m pleased to introduce the Torano range of cigars to the UK. You won’t find them anywhere else in the UK except C.Gars Ltd and our retail cigars shops (More cigars shops than anyone in the UK… All crammed with huge ranges of cigars in our walk in humidors!)

3 weeks to go till the Festival in Havana… I better start packing my lighters 🙂 Looking forward to trying the new Partagas Lusitanias Gran Reserva, not that we have seen the Romeo Churchill Gran Reserva from last year as yet but we are ever hopeful!

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell