In and… Out!

This blog comes to you from the smokey world headquarters of C.Gars Ltd 🙂 In cloudy Kilburn lol! Not that I’m complaining about the weather today (For a change) as I have just returned from a meeting in bloody freezing Basel, Switzerland.

Even with my best gangster hat and coat on (Think Enzo the baker from Godfather film) I was freezing and struggling to hold my cigar with my gloves on!

So dear blog reader what on earth was I doing in Basel (Or ‘Basil’ as the British Airways lady kept announcing, as in Basil Fawlty!) Well, those jolly nice people at Davidoff kindly invited me to join the Retailer Panel for Europe together with 9 other cigar specialists from Germany, Holland, Belgium and Austria. Fortunately the whole group spoke perfect English and we all got on very well indeed.

Meeting up at the hotel with our friends from Davidoff of London, Eddie and Edward Sahakian on Wednesday evening and introducing myself to the other retailers at the hotel we promptly headed off to Acqua for dinner. If you are ever in Basel, you have to visit this restaurant as it was absolutely splendid. Ambience, menu – First class. Service – Absolutely brilliant. Highly recommended.

Dinner was followed by smokes at Puros y Mas which is a delightful cigar shop with a fabulous walk in humidor as well as a superb smoking lounge upstairs. So we sipped single malt and smoked Davidoff cigars till rather late in the evening or should I say early in the morning.

Thursday morning was an early 8 a.m. start (Good grief – These Swiss boys know how to get up early in the morning, bit of a struggle for me as I usually work a late shift!) and off we went for a series of confidential presentations at the Davidoff offices. More details to follow when the info is declassified 🙂 Save to say we are big fans of Davidoff cigars and sell them online and in all of our stores. Here’s the huge range available by the box and in singles.

I smoked my way through a variety of regular and limited edition Davidoff cigars over a long day and every cigar was quite… Perfect.

Blends were full and sweet, construction was without any doubt as good as it gets, wrappers were silky smooth. All in all 100 pointer smokes that we are happy to recommend to our clients. We plan to increase our in store range over the coming months and will also hold a few tastings in our Cambridge flagship store.

My thanks to Albert and the Davidoff Team for the hospitality and a wonderful 24 hours in Basel.

Headed to the airport with the Sahakian chaps and tried to check in, only to be told that the B.A flight was overbooked and I should spend another night in Basel and take the morning flight! After I stopped laughing (as I thought it was a joke) and went suitably bonkers, fortunately they managed to ‘find’ me a seat on the flight that I had booked some months ago. Excellent for the blood pressure I’m sure.

Headed back home to decompress with a Romeo Reserva and a wee dram of Ailein Mor clearing up over 2000 emails from the previous 24 hours. Good grief, we are one busy little cigar merchant.

I think we may well be madly busy currently due to the expected HUGE tax increase on tobacco due in next week’s Budget. Its sensible to stock up. Cigars have never gone down in price in a Budget! We have enormous stocks of premium cigars in our 2 warehouses and 10 retail cigar shops and will hold prices as long as possible but inevitably they will be increasing very soon after the Budget.

The new import of Inka – Secret Blend cigars from Peru (Very proud to boast that I created this brand!) arrived last week including the new size Poderoso maduro and as predicted the cigars are literally flying off the shelves. In fact I think we have now sold out of the robustos! Fear not, we have another huge import on the way 🙂

So , they came in and they went out!… Finally we received first allocation of  Romeo y Julieta Churchill Reserva which were first introduced to the cigar trade at the 2012 festival over a year ago. Well done to all the clients who pre ordered at the silly low introductory price and apologies to all the clients who are on back order. We hope to have more stock in the next week or so. These cigars are very tasty indeed possibly the best of the Reserva series though the others aren’t too shabby. I’ve put a sampler pack together of all of the Reserva cigars (Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas and Romeo) which will likely be very popular. These really are Havana cigars at their best. View the Reserva Sampler here.

I’m very happy to introduce my latest Orchant Seleccion Havana cigar, selected by yours truly from Hunters and Frankau finest EMS stocks. Just 27 cabinets of 25 Juan Lopez Seleccion no.1 cigars from 2008 vintage will be made and double banded and branded Orchant Seleccion. Selected for their excellent blend integrity and condition, these delightful corona gordas have smooth colorado wrapper, a good draw, medium strength and an array of sweet flavours from the first to the last puff. Available in singles and cabinets whilst stocks last which won’t be for long. My thanks to Sean Croley at Hunters & Frankau for all his kind assistance with our Orchant Seleccion cigars.

Well that’s another week done and I’ll be in Cambridge this Sunday at our fabulous Robert Graham cigar lounge sampling some Dancing Stag single malt and sampling some fine smokes from one of the two huge walk in humidors. Open from noon – Come and join me for a sampling session with pleasure.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing