Glasgow – Finally!!!

Robert Graham Whisky & Cigar Shop - GlasgowYes it’s true, after long delays having our premises ‘licenced’ (a rather nail biting experience for Ron and I) we finally received the licence at 4.30pm last Friday and our colleague Linda opened the doors to the new Robert Graham shop in Glasgow on Saturday.

Located in the heart of Glasgow at 111 West George street, our existing customers from the old West Nile street shop (as well as our previous shops in St Vincent’s street!) will see that it’s a vast improvement in every way!

It’s our largest whisky and cigar shop yet and when its fully merchandised over the next few weeks it will have the largest range of specialist single malt whisky and premium cigars imaginable.

The walk in humidor is spacious and very well set out and features a mouth-watering range of Havana cigars that can of course be selected in singles, small packs and full boxes.

We will also have a comprehensive range of new world cigars and in particular will be featuring and recommending the following premium brands:

Davidoff
Fuente
Inka-Secret Blend
Alec Bradley
Regius 

Ron and I have come a long way since we went into business together almost 10 years ago taking over the last and rather dreary Robert Graham shop in St Vincent’s street but we were determined to build the brand back to where it was many many years ago and build an independent bottler brand and an old fashioned family run business… Looks like we have succeeded. But we won’t end the story there as we are already planning on our next acquisition… Watch this space 🙂

We now have 5 specialist whisky and cigar shops, 2 in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cambridge and London. Robert Graham  whisky and our award winning Dancing Stag brand of single malt whisky can also be found at our Turmeaus cigar shops in London Mayfair, Liverpool and Chester

Beautiful shops, unrivalled range of product and knowledgeable and helpful sales assistants. If it’s not the best shopping experience at a cigar shop that you have ever had email me at sales@cgarsltd.co.uk because you have my personal promise of outstanding service.

I’m looking forward to visiting our Robert Graham shops in Scotland from the 8th September for a good few days and hope to have a dram with customers old and new.

Michelle’s finally back in the London command and control centre 🙂 So I’m getting back to routine with a herf with friends at the office later today and then on to one or two of our fabulous cigar friendly spots this evening, The Wellesley or the Lanesborough or maybe the gorgeous Bulgari (Edward Sahakian humidor)

Bolivar Belicosos Finos Orchant Seleccion (2007) Cigar - Box of 25I’ve been puffing my way through some Orchant Seleccion Bolivar Belicosos Finos for the last few days which are awesome smokes, matured from my favourite 2007 vintage… Sweetness and spice from start to finish, just unreal.

Also managed to get a few smokes in with my Dad, who always loved the Saint Luis Rey brand of Havana cigars. So we decided to have a good sampling session of Regios and Serie A and he reckons the blend is a true return to form and I’m bound to agree with him. Lucky newsletter clients will have been amazed at the value on a box of 25 of these cigars recently. Let’s be honest – no one in the UK can touch us on price or service – guaranteed.

We paired the cigars up with a bottle of 1995 Clynelish which was a perfect match for the cigars, fruity and well balanced.

Scott from Tor imports (cigar importers with great brands like Padron, Dunhill and Alec Bradley to name a few ) popped into the office for coffee and smokes this morning and we had a brilliant planning session for some fabulous new cigars that we will be releasing over the next few months.

Turmeaus Tobacconist shops are soon to launch our own range of pipe tobaccos and we have to think up some good names for the 250g tins, Drop me an email with suggestions! sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Monday 2nd September (is it already September next week ?!) I’ll be at Robert Graham Cambridge for the whisky and cigars tasting session. We have some fabulous limited edition Punch Serie D’Oro no.2 to try out amongst other cigars as well as some great single malt whisky. Oh! and we also have the Cuban roller doing some mas fuerte fresh rolled robustos. Should be a great evening.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

I Love Herfing Cigar Cartoon

Heatwave!

Another predicted heatwave that failed to arrive in fact it looks like a grey winters day from my office window – nothing like the traditional bank holiday washout weekend in the UK. It was obvious this would happen as soon as I said the word BBQ to my wife. I bought the hugest BBQ imaginable  almost 2 years ago, a real bad ass American style  one (as I am a wannabe American!) and you can imagine how many times I have used it? Once! Splendid.

C’est la vie, I will have to console myself with some great bank holiday smokes as I plan some chill out herf time at home. And in the baggie this weekend…

Saint Luis Rey Lonsdales Cabinet Selection vintage 1998 – Simply delicious.

Por Larranaga Magnificos UK regional 2007 – Possibly one of the finest regional editions ever an destined to become a classic.

Punch Double Coronas 1999 vintage – My long-time favourite prominente.

Bolivar Belicosos Finos 2007 vintage – My favourite vintage in the last 15 years +

El Rey del Mundo Tainos 2002 vintage – 13 years aged and smoking like a dream.

That should keep me smiling despite the weather! Oh and I’ve grabbed a bottle of Dancing Stag Strathisla which will pair up to perfection with the smokes.

There’s nothing quite like a fine hand rolled cigar but for the most of us quite how you would roll a cigar is the mystery. This is why we are holding cigar rolling events throughout our stores. The first of which took place in The Treasurer on Edinburgh’s Canongate this week

Professional Torcedora (cigar roller) Arlety Alemańy Azcuy, fresh off the plane from Cuba, demonstrated her art with amazing ease, carefully preparing each tobacco leaf and skilfully moulding together a series of rather impressive Robustos. 

Rolling begins Cuban cigar roller scotlandArlety Alemany Azcuí originally learnt to roll cigars in some of the smaller factories of Pinar del Rio, the province where she was born. She then moved to Havana and began working in the Romeo y Julieta factory, where she remained for nine years. However, she then transferred to the H. Upmann factory where she has been for the past three years and where she is still located today. She specialises in rolling large format cigars such as Prominentes, Gran Coronas & Julieta No. 2’s and has also spent time teaching trainee torcedors in the academies. 

Amazing to watch, it takes years to develop the skill to produce as many as one hundred cigars in a day (though for demonstrations purpose she goes a little bit slower so we can observe). Arlety is a glamorous and fun person who is at ease with posing for photos without even breaking her concentration from the task in hand. 

There are a couple more opportunities to catch this brilliant display on Thursday 22nd at our Rose Street branch and Friday 23rd at the Glasgow shop. All the cigars made on the day are available to buy on the day. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the skill of Cuba here at home.

We look forward to welcoming Arlety at our London offices in a few weeks’ time (Gracias Hunters& Frankau)

If you can’t make it to the demonstration, you can purchase a fresh cigar for yourself here

If the licencing authorities do their thing we should have our new, and may I say rather super duper, Robert Graham shop in Glasgow opened imminently (more news next blog… I hope!) this will be a mega cigar and whisky emporium. If you have visited our wonderful Cambridge shop think of this as similar but on steroids! Huge  range of cigars in fabulous walk in humidor… My best effort yet (well my Partner Ronnie did all the design and planning as usual – thank you Ronnie!) I’ll be at our Edinburgh and Glasgow shops from the 8th September for quite a few days. Pop in and have a dram with me.

Our Winter Auction catalogue is coming together nicely. I think this will be the largest amount of limited edition humidors ever offered! In fact I can’t get into my walk in humidor as there are so many! More details on the auction website in a few weeks’ time.

Cohiba Estuche Tallado Rare Cigar HumidorCheck out the photo of one of the rarest humidors I have every come across in my life. The humidor and the Cohiba cigars are breathtakingly beautiful. (More photos here!)

Laura and her I.T. Team are hard at work on the long planned revamped C.Gars website and it should be online in a few weeks’ time, faster, more interactive and uber cool… Very exciting stuff.

Michelle is still on holiday so if you phone the London office the friendly sounding sales assistant may well be me! (I have already been told not to use my “grumpy voice”!)

Have a smokey bank holiday weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

 

£40,000 Cigar!

Finally back to the UK after 5 weeks herfing on the West Coast. Unfortunately I didn’t bring the sunshine back with me!

Great to be back at our London office though, nice working by the swimming pool and hosting cigar evenings non-stop but 5 weeks without a Havana cigar is no joke!

I can’t knock the NC’s I have been smoking though (mainly Fuente, Davidoff, Alec Bradley and Regius) perfect draw every time, beautiful wrappers and a variety of flavours that are exceptionally different to the Havanas I am used to.

So I kicked off my return to London with the new Limited edition Punch Serie D’Oro no.2 just released in ridiculously small quantity. The cigar needs a little humidor time to settle down but may well develop into a classic. Punch flavours throughout, medium strength well balanced. I look forward to revisiting this one later in the year.

The new Punch will be featuring at the cigar and whisky tasting evening at my Cambridge Robert Graham shop on the 2nd September together with some fine single malt whisky from the Dancing Stag range. I’ll be there to host the evening in conjunction with Jimmy from Hunters and Frankau and we will also have a Cuban roller rolling some fabulous fresh Havanas. If you haven’t booked up we still have a few places available, click here to book your ticket to the tasting event now.

Moved on to some decent mature Havanas and I decided to break open a case of Saint Luis Rey Lonsdales in cabinet selection from 1998. After 15 years maturing in our reserve humidors, these puppies have now come into their own. Smooth and creamy, sweet flavours, medium to full strength and perfectly crafted. I’ve already blasted though half the cabinet. On very special offer whilst stocks last at £499, less than a Tenner a pop, great value for a great smoke. Saint Luis Rey were my Fathers favourite brand for many years and I understand my late Grandfather used to smoke them too. 3 generations can’t be wrong! Incidentally,  my father visited our Robert Graham Cambridge shop  over the weekend and had great fun hunting through both walk-in humidors, no doubt he took some SLR’s away with him. 

Loads of nice write ups all over the internet over the last few weeks including this one at the fabulous Cigar Journal magazine.  Yes indeed, Turmeaus cigar shop in Mayfair sold ‘the’ £40,000 cigar!!! Check out the story. Congratulations to Callum. I think he will have the trip of a lifetime in Nicaragua.

Found this great blog as well I think some of these bloggers do reviews better than most professionals. It’s ‘ real’ and I love that.

One of my favourite sites is HalfWheel, honest  and to the point, these Guys write great articles. Check out the review on the special edition Regius that I was delighted to collaborate on. I’m looking forward to offering clients this limited edition in the UK in a few months’ time.

Auction time is approaching  on the 19th November at Boisdale Canary Wharf, should be the biggest event yet. Auction Lots will be online and in printed catalogue 4 weeks or so before the sale. 

Mid October we are looking forward to the release of the latest UK regional edition. The La Flor de Cano –Gran Cano is eagerly awaited following the success of the LFDC short robusto. I can’t wait to try them!

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell 

     Callum Jones Lighting the £40,000 Regius cigar

Stevie Wonder was right…

‘Hotter than July’ great album lol and I gather from the news on my Blackberry that August started off even hotter in the UK, sunny days and balmy nights? Perfect for the cigar smoker of course!

I’m still herfing my way round California which is nowhere near as hot as London but I’m not complaining as its in the low 80’s and blue skies every day.

Fortunately my hotel is very cigar friendly (or at least they tolerate me and cigar smoking chums and have done for the years and years I have been spending Summer here!)  in fact I put on a small cigar dinner for friends at the hotel’s restaurant a few evenings ago and we smoked throughout the evening without anyone batting an eyelid. Very civilized.

Herfing Naz at Nazareth, Beverly HillsI popped into Nazareth’s in Beverly Hills for a smoke and bumped into a few people that I know (I get recognized everywhere!!) Naz is the perfect host and always makes me feel very welcome. It’s the perfect spot to relax with a good cigar and espresso.

Vatche and Mitchell, San DiegoTook the train to San Diego to herf with friends for the day (thank you V.C.), Easy train ride from Union Station (quite beautiful station  also used for a lot of movies) I was very impressed with the comfort and complimentary cinnamon rolls and soft drinks in Business Class till I realised I was booked in coach and moved on 🙂

I’ve been taking the opportunity of testing out some great cigars from the Vegas trade show. The new Alec Bradley Mundial is one that I am particularly fond of and I’ll be bringing a few of the popular sizes for the UK market into our humidors in a couple of months time. Exclusive to C.Gars Group of course.

Also planning some exclusives on new Torano cigars and looking forward to Davidoff Nicaraguan arriving.

Happy to report the release of the first limited edition Havana of this year this Monday. The Punch Serie D’Oro No. 2 measures in at 5 ½” length and 52 ring gauge. All tobacco aged for 2 years so we could well be in for a treat if it is anywhere as good as the UK regional (2008) Punch Serie D’Oro no. 1. I’m particularly fond of the UK regional as I loaned the only known surviving box of 1970’s Punch Serie D’Oro no. 1 to H&F/HAS to copy the box design.

Small initial allocations but hoping to have more soon.

Our Online Auction website is becoming more popular by the day. Check it out if you are looking for something aged, rare ,discontinued or unusual. New Lots are added every 2 or 3 days. We are still ironing out a few bugs but hope to start listing 100’s of Lots weekly very soon as we have quite a huge backlog of sellers Lots  (over 1000 !) I am still getting loads of clients emailing to ask how the fees and shipping works which I am always happy to answer but I can tell you that the FAQs really does answer almost all potential questions.

Boisdale Canary WharfOur Winter Auction event is now confirmed for the 19th November at the fabulous Boisdale Canary Wharf. My ‘cigar twin’ Ranald (we have the same birthday!) and I are planning an event that will be like none other… Watch this space as more details are to follow. Auction Lots will be on the Auction website approximately 5 weeks before the auction at Boisdale and we are expecting a great selection of aged, rare, limited edition and other fine, desirable Havana cigars.

Apologies to our Inka – Secret Blend fans, I know a few of our retail cigar shops are very low on stocks as is our mail order division but we do have the hugest import arriving in a few weeks time to try and cope with demand which continues to amaze us. I probably shouldn’t be surprised, it’s a great quality cigar, in popular sizes at a brilliant price point. 100% handmade and 100% Peruvian. Oh… And 100% exclusive to C.Gars Ltd and Robert Graham Ltd.

Saint Luis Rey Serie A Box of 25This week we will be offering our UK newsletter clients new pricing on Saint Luis Rey Serie A whilst stocks last. I dare not even mention the new price on my blog as I doubt we could handle the volume of orders we would receive! If you are not signed up to the newsletter you know what to do 🙂 I have always enjoyed the Saint Luis Rey brand as does my Father and did my Grandfather. Popular sizes with a good flavour and strength profile. Sort of a cross between a Romeo and a Punch would be my best description.

We recently ran a similar offer on Saint Luis Rey Regios which sold out in a day. No one could believe the price and wondered how we could do it? Well… That’s called buying power baby!!! And taking care of our clients with the most competitive prices and the best service in the UK. Hey we didn’t become the largest specialist cigar merchant in the UK for no reason 😉

OK that’s enough from me and I better head back to that deckchair by the pool where I have a Davidoff Puro D’Oro waiting for me

Have a great week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell
Inka Secret Blend Ash Cartoon