Golden Band Award Nominee!

First visit to the Inter Tabac show in Dortmund for me and have to admit it was a very pleasant surprise. I’m so used to the annual RTDA/IPCPR trade show in the US, I couldn’t  believe the scale of the Dortmund show – it was HUGE. And, it was fabulous, met up with loads of existing suppliers, found some great new ones too. Reconnected with one of my favourite humidor manufacturers, Gentili of Italy and looking forward to importing an exclusive new range from them in the next few weeks.

Davidoff gold band awardI went over to Dortmund as I was kindly invited to the Davidoff Golden Band Award dinner which coincided with the Inter Tabac show. What a delight to be nominated for the newcomer award for Robert Graham- Cambridge. The evening started with a limo collecting us from the hotel and taking us to the race track venue and enjoying the new Davidoff Nicaraguan cigars, Champagne and a horse race! Followed by a superb dinner and the awards of course. Big congrats to Davidoff of London for winning a Golden Band award. Edward and Eddie Sahakian truly are the finest cigar specialists in St James’s.

The Davidoff Nicaraguan is a sophisticated cigar, bold and complex and will appeal to the experienced cigar smoker, it’s in stock now, in fact just arrived and will be online and rolling out to our shops over the next week or so. Loads of requests for Davidoff in our Mayfair outpost in Shepherd Market so we will be making sure that by the end of this week a comprehensive range of Davidoff including Puro D’Oro and Nicaraguan will be available.

The last of the 2013 Havana Limited editions will also be available in store and online this week . The Montecristo Double Edmundo was thoroughly tested and enjoyed at the last Habanos Festival in February and I can’t wait to revisit this first rate Havana. We still have some stock of the Punch Serie D’Oro no.2 and Hoyo Grand Epicure limited editions but they are as expected selling out very fast with very limited allocations.

Nat Sherman - Metropolitan Explorer - 5 Single cigarsThe Nat Sherman range of cigars we introduced last week online are also now arriving at our stores and if you’re on a budget these cigars are ridiculously good value at half the price other retailers in the UK were previously selling them for! Don’t forget you can also order online using our ‘click and collect service’  to pay mail order prices and collect at any of our 12 locations in the UK.

Inka – Secret Blend cigars are due to arrive on Tuesday and will be available to order soon after. The range  has now expanded to include a pack of 4 Half Coronas and a pack of 20 minis. I have redesigned the packaging on many of the sizes including the Chico’s and the Tres Petit coronas and we have huge stocks of Petit Coronas, Robustos and exceptionally popular Bombaso. Pound for Pound I think this is one of the best quality and value premium cigars in the UK market. Exclusive to C.Gars/Robert Graham of course- mail order and retail shops.

Our auction catalogue is now closed and at the printers and will be in print and Online in around a week’s time.  I’m particularly pleased with the cross section of Lots in this sale, great range and great quality. Most Lots can be viewed at our London offices by appointment.

The Auction will be held at Boisdale Canary Wharf at 5pm on the 19th November in the main dining room. But the auction is just part of a spectacular event that Ranald and I have put together in conjunction with The Spectator who will host ‘The Spectator Cigar Smoker Of The Year 2013’  following the Auction.




Bringing together cigar aficionados and celebrity cigar smokers from around the world, The Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year Dinner, founded by Boisdale, will be held in the lavish surroundings of Boisdale Canary Wharf on 19th November 2013.

Accompanied by some of the most highly regarded vintage wines and spirits, the inaugural event will celebrate the culture and heritage of the exquisite tobacco product over a jubilant banquet and vintage cigar auction.

The evening will recognise various aspects of the cigar world, with awards categories including cigar producers, retailers, cigar terraces and writers, culminating in The Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year. This will be presented to a high profile individual with a complete passion for the pure enjoyment of cigar smoking, and a persona that exudes the stature, refinement and elegance of the great hand-rolled cigar. The celebrity winner will receive a humidor of rare cigars, and a beautiful JEANRICHARD wristwatch with a value of £15,000.

5.00 – 7.00pm Cigar Auction: On the night, Boisdale will play host to one of the greatest cigar auctions ever seen, underpinning London’s position as the capital of luxury and sophistication. Specialist cigar merchant Mitchell Orchant of C.Gars Ltd has sourced an unrivalled selection of pre-embargo Havanas, Limited Edition Cubans, much sought-after Davidoff and Dunhill cigars, as well as a vast number of collectible Habanos humidors. International cigar collectors will able to place bids online from 15th October at

7.15 – 8.00pm Reception: Following the auction guests will begin on Boisdale’s covered and heated terrace with a tasting of Krug Grand Cuvee and Dom Perignon Champagnes, to find the ultimate aperitif partner for the distinguished Fuente Opus X Petit Lancero cigar.

8.00pm Dinner: During the awards ceremony, guests will enjoy wines from Domaines Baron de Rothschild, and be treated to a sumptuous dinner of expertly sourced Hebridean shellfish and Aberdeenshire Beef Fillet that Boisdale is famed for. The dinner will end with the rare opportunity to taste Hennessey XO and Glenmorangie Lasanta with a Fuente Opus X Double Robusto cigar, to determine whether malt whisky or Cognac is the definitive digestif for this truly exquisite cigar!

Ticket price for the whole event will be £250 but C.Gars clients will have the opportunity to pay the reduced price of just £199 for a magnificent evening.

Book up fast as we expect the event to sell out very quickly

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing


Oh No… ManFlu!

Thanks for all the kind emails after last week’s blog 🙂 I am happy to report that our new Glasgow Robert Graham shop is busier than we ever were in our old West Nile street premises (and that was very busy!). The Whisky range is almost complete finally and the walk in humidor stocks are steadily building up (I’m being modest- the range is huge already!) Truly something for everyone.

I made a flying start to the week zooming over to our Hamburg La Casa del Habano at stupid o’clock on Monday morning. Very civilized on British Airways from T5 but a very very packed flight.

LCDH Hamburg really is a beautiful cigar store and lounge and has an outstanding range of whisky and rum to compliment the huge selection of Havana cigars in the walk in humidor.

We smoked a couple of recent production San Cristobal La Fuerza with maduro wrapper. Outstanding cigars, well aged tobacco but… Not a San Cristobal blend. Very strange.

Paired up a bottle of bubbly with some Bolivar Belicosos Finos from 2007 which worked very well indeed, ‘its all about vintage’ and most people seem to miss that point. It really doesn’t get much better than 2007 in the last 20 years as far as I’m concerned (and most connoisseurs I know would concur) TEB factory code and June/July codes so much the better.

My BBF was simply outstanding, sweet and spice, full flavoured and well balanced, perfectly crafted with a cool easy draw. A Havana cigar at it’s best without any doubt.

I can’t believe my Partner Christoph and I have been in business for so long in Hamburg, the years have truly flown by. I’ve steadily built up stocks of interesting cigars in Hamburg over the years and expect to be releasing many excellent value Havanas over the rest of this year.

Talking of value – we are about to introduce some premium Nat Sherman cigars at unbelievably low prices. I think other UK retailers used to sell the same cigars for double the price!!! I love Nat Sherman and always visit their huge town house store when I am in New York so we are very excited to be offering our clients such a cracking deal…

Nat Sherman cigars

Host Harrington
6” length and 48 ring gauge
Singles £4.99
Pack of 5 £24.89
5 packs of 5 £119.99

Host Hamilton
5 ½” length and 42 ring gauge
Singles £4.49
Pack of 5 £22.39
5 Packs of 5 £109.99

Metropolitan University Toro
6 “ length and 50 ring gauge
Dominican Republic
Singles £4.99
Pack of 5 £24.89
5 packs of 5 £119.99

Metropolitan Union
4 ½” length and 50 ring gauge
Dominican Republic
Singles £4.89
5 singles £23.99
Box of 25 £119.89

Metropolitan Anglers
5 ½” length and 43 ring gauge
Dominican Republic
Singles £4.39
Pack of 5 £21.89
5 packs of 5 £109.39

Metropolitan Explorer
6 ½” length and 52 ring gauge
Dominican Republic
Singles £5.49
5 singles £27.39
Box of 20 £109.49

Navigator (Tipped cigars/handmade)
5 1/2” length and 42 ring gauge
Singles £4.19
Pack of 4 £16.69

Tuesday was movie day! Yes, after a lot of persuading I agreed with my marketing department in a remake of the C.Gars movie and professional film crew Dez and Ivan turned our offices into a studio for the afternoon where I was interviewed by cigar journalist Nick Hammond.

The old C.Gars movie was… Well, really old and yet it was still one of the most popular pages on the website (how many times can you watch the same little clip?!… Or was it that viewers were watching my gorgeous assistant Michelle??!!) Anyway despite a busting headache and cold, I made it through the session and am looking forward to seeing the end results as well as having a laugh with the outtakes (which will not be put on the net!).

Unfortunately by Wednesday it was just about game over for me as I have collapsed with acute ManFlu (as my wife calls it!) possibly too many flights and too many sneezing passenger germs over the last few weeks. Who knows, anyway, I’m a tough old bugger (emphasis on ‘old’ as it was my birthday last weekend) and after a few days pampering at home I dare say I’ll be tearing around the Orchant Empire again!

Righto, I’m off for a hot toddy or two 🙂

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing











Open for business!

They let me out the office this week if I promised not to make a nuisance of myself in our retail Robert Graham shops in Scotland!

So I headed up to Edinburgh on a very civilised Virgin Little Red flight (upgraded – i.e. no one sitting next to me, in fact I had the row to myself ) and visited Robert Graham shops in Rose Street and Canongate.

Always great to see the Team and lovely to see the shops brimming with stock and a lot of happy customers.

The Rose street walk in humidor has the largest selection of premium cigars I can ever remember, literally crammed to the ceiling and there are always singles of desirable discontinued, Orchant Seleccion and Limited edition cigars. Great fun searching for the experienced cigar smoker for sure.

Davidoff Grand Cru No. 5 Cigars - 5sCanongate also has a comprehensive selection of premium cigars and both Edinburgh shops now have a range of Davidoff cigars as well which I was very pleased to see. I love Davidoff cigars (not just the vintage Cubans that I sell!) Why? Because they always draw perfectly!… And the flavour profiles ain’t too shabby either 🙂

Both Edinburgh shops have a mouth-watering  and ever changing range of single malt whisky including of course our award winning Robert Graham and Dancing Stag independent bottlings. My Partner Ron and I enjoyed a wee taste testing session on our Dancing Stag Auchentoshan 1991 (my favourite lowland) and Bowmore 1990 a particularly peaty libation. Matched up with a Davidoff Gran Cru no.5 and Punch Serie D’Oro no. 2. Perfect combo’s!

Global Whisky Shop GlasgowMoving on to Glasgow and delighted that our new flagship store is now open on West George street. Already busier than our previous madly busy West Nile street location, this new premises features a huge walk in humidor with a humongous range of premium cigars in singles and by the box.

Again we have a comprehensive range of single malts and are introducing a select range of wines, delicious chocolate and a huge range of pipe and rolling tobaccos.

We have a super comfortable tasting room and are planning a series of whisky, wine and champagne tastings in the near future.

I love our new corporate image – uber cool IMHO, but let me know what you think? All comments welcome good or bad as we want to create whisky and cigar stores that our clients love!

It was brilliant to see so many C.Gars customers popping in to chat, buy smokes and wish us well and I can’t wait to go back to Scotland next month.

Already planning our next whisky and cigar store acquisition… Watch this space 🙂

November 19th Auction catalogue is more or less full now and we are closing catalogue and going to print at the end of the month. Details of this fabulous event soon and catalogue online 4-6 weeks before the sale

Online Auction Lots being added and sold almost daily now – join in the action on the Online Auction website

Day off Saturday for my birthday (19 forever!) and planning on a nice old bottle of 1989 Bilecart Salmon and a Dunhill Cabinetta to help the celebrations planned with friends.

Monday I’m zooming over to our fabulous La Casa de Habano in Hamburg and look forward to herfing with clients in our cigar lounge.

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing,



robert graham glasgow tobacconist robert graham glasgow tobacconist robert graham glasgow tobacconist robert graham glasgow tobacconist
robert graham glasgow tobacconist robert graham glasgow tobacconist robert graham glasgow tobacconist robert graham glasgow tobacconist

Freshies? I love them!

Superb tasting evening last Monday at Robert Graham – Cambridge. It was yet again a totally sold out event, packed with attendees both upstairs where we had Arlety rolling fresh cigars and downstairs where we sampled some great cigars and whisky in the tasting lounge. Even the outside armchairs were filled with customers herfing away on a very, very warm Summers evening 🙂

Arlety 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. 2s and has also spent time teaching trainee torcedors in training school.

The evening kicked off with a delicious, snack-sized H. Upmann Half Corona: Don’t underestimate these shorties as they punch above their weight for their size. Lovely creamy flavours with a hint of spice towards the end. If you haven’t got much time to enjoy a larger cigar, these are a great alternative!

To accompany the first cigar was a dram of Cearban, a blended scotch whisky exclusively bottled by Robert Graham. Needless to say, the sample bottles were very quickly polished off!

The night was rounded off with the latest Limited Edition cigar, the Punch Serie D’Oro No. 2 and another dram of whisky, this time one of the award winning Dancing Stag whiskies, Glenallachie 1995.

The Punch is a beautifully crafted cigar that did not disappoint, cool easy draw, medium to full strength and delicious medium sweet flavours throughout. I am not a huge fan of many of the previous limited editions and I don’t particularly enjoy maduros but this was an exception. The blend is a true Punch blend of merit and the cigar is highly recommended.

The Glenallachie is a very powerful whisky, from the first sip you get a huge explosion of flavours on the palate that linger on the tongue with a superb long finish – this one will be a huge success.

Throughout the night fresh cigars were being rolled and were available to buy, I haven’t smoked my one yet but I’m sure it will be very enjoyable! If you’ve never tried a fresh cigar, they’re worth a go, very unique.

Fresh Cigars available online here.

My thanks to Arlety of course as well as Jimmy (sporting a new bearded look!)  and Tim from Hunters & Frankau. Great to see many regular and new customers enjoying the evening and a great pleasure to have James and Michael from C.Gars Ltd – Norfolk office assisting Cailin and his Cambridge Robert Graham Team for the evening.

We’re already planning our next evening at Robert Graham Cambridge and our newsletter subscribers will of course automatically receive details by email.

Just released another few cracking and unbeatable offers (as ever whilst stocks last) Firstly a mixed box of 25 Saint Luis Rey Serie A and Regios at a ridiculous new price of just £222 which equates to a measly £8.88 a stick. What a bargain, better hurry though as we have only allocated a few hundred boxes!

Secondly for the budget conscious I am making available our C.Gars bundles of Nicaraguan Epicures made by Torano. Handmade and long filler, full favoured, medium strength and excellent quality:

Singles £4.99
Pack of 5 singles £24.89
Pack of 10 singles £49.89
Bundle of 25 £119.99

May as well face the fact – no one can touch us on service or price in the UK. If I’m wrong my personal promise to our customers is that we will gladly price match any bona fide cigar shop in the UK.

So I’m wrapping up on Wednesday for our New Year holiday and looking forward to kicking back for a few days with some great smokes. Especially looking forward to my baggie filled with 2002 El Rey del Mundo Tainos and 2007 Bolivar Belicosos Orchant Seleccion. Always English Market Selection of course.

On Sunday I’ll be heading over to our Robert Graham Edinburgh shops and Monday onwards I’ll be at our new Robert Graham Glasgow shop for a few days. Can’t wait to see it 🙂 (I’m always the last to see our new shops!) pop in and sample a dram with me.

Oh and finally, happy anniversary to my Co-Director and wife, Karyn!

… And finally, finally, congratulations to my daughter Tasha for getting such fabulous grades in her GCSE’s! (Tasha is now officially C.Gars French & Spanish interpreter and translator!)

Peaceful puffing