UK LFDC – Cuba ERDM!

Davidoff Retail PanelGood grief talk about an exciting week! Started off with a trip to Basel for a Davidoff Europe Retailer Panel meeting last week which was, as always, not only interesting but informative and a lot of fun. I love these meetings as we have the opportunity to meet and discuss the cigar industry with our contemporaries who are some of the finest cigar retailers in Europe as well as learn of all the planned developments from one of the best cigar companies in the world.

Dinner was at the Walliser Kanne restaurant followed by smokes and drinks at Les Trois Rois where I herfed my way through a Puro de Oro Gordito followed by a Davidoff Nicaraguan Toro. Needless to say the Davidoff Nicaraguan line is proving to be a huge success and very popular with our clients visiting Turmeaus cigar shop in Shepherd Market, Mayfair.

Mitchell and Albert Manzone of Davidoff with Zino watching over us on the background!It’s not one for the novice smoker as its quite a bold full flavour blend but experienced cigar smokers will undoubtedly enjoy this finely crafted cigar as a change of pace from a Cuban or perhaps other brands of Nicaraguan cigars. I truly believe these are in a class of their own and if you have not tried them yet… You should! Check out the full range here

Now whilst I was busy in Basel, my lovely assistant Michelle and her Team were herfing the new La Flor de Cano Gran Cano – UK regional edition at the Hunters launch party, from all accounts they had a great evening and enjoyed the cigars immensely. Michelle was seen herfing with famous footballer and cigar smoker Julian Dicks who has been nominated for an award at the Cigar Smoker of the Year at 19th November event.

The new Gran Cano cigars are in stock now and literally flying out the door of our mail order offices and of course available at all of our cigar shops across the country.

Clearly I hadn’t done enough travelling so the morning after arriving back from Switzerland I zipped off to Havana for a long weekend ☺ this was my first trip to Havana in many years when it wasn’t an actual Festival week but I reckon this was something like my 68th trip to Havana since 1997! Typical rainy/humid/sunny weather for this time of year.

My trip included herfing at some of my favourite cigar shops in the world including the Robaina shop at the Melia Habana Hotel, very comfortable lounge, great bar and super friendly staff. The Partagas LCDH where manageress Grecia and her staff were delightful and looking forward to the Partagas Festival in November which promises to be a spectacular event as usual. I understand the gala dinner will be a Tropicana which will be amazing.

The Cuban regional edition this year is the El Rey del Mundo Infantes in boxes of 10. This robusto sized cigar is deeee-licious! same strength profile as a Choix Supreme but a a sweeter tasting flavour. I tested loads of them over the weekend and they were consistent in construction and blend integrity. If you would like some, drop me an email sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Eduardo Cuban cigar roller 2008Back in 2008 we had the pleasure of Eduardo Diaz Gonzales rolling cigars for us in our London office. Eduardo works at the El Laguito factory and was kind enough to give me a factory tour on my visit which I enjoyed immensely. There have been loads of rumours about lack of leaf, lack of cigars, lack of quality control so I wanted to see for myself what the real scoop was… And I did. Well I am pleased to say that it’s all just rumour as all the cigar shops I went to had full humidors and El Laguito as you can see from the photos was in full swing of production.

Cigars Freshly Rolled and Being Sorted in CubaFrom what I could see it looks like the vast majority of the production was the Behike range, huge quantity of cigars were being quality checked and draw tested and the quality of the leaf looked excellent to me. Eduardo confirmed that current tobacco quality is first rate and there were no issues he was aware of. All good news 🙂 there were literally mountains of completed boxes of BHK’s and that’s a great thing as our sales of BHK’s are higher than ever.

Less than 4 weeks till our Winter Cigar Auction and The Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year Awards dinner at the fabulous Boisdale in Canary Wharf. Catalogues have now been posted out and are also available online.

The event is getting loads of publicity and should be an incredible evening, purchase your ticket here.

Next week I’ll be visiting Robert Graham shops in Edinburgh and Glasgow and testing out some of the latest planned Dancing Stag releases.

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Still Herfing… After all these years! :)

Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill Box of 10 cigarsCigar auction is fast approaching so I had a strategy meeting with our auctioneer and friend Jonathan Humbert at the delightful Ritz Casino Club cigar lounge. The lounge is exceptionally comfortable and a lovely location for a quiet meeting. We herfed our way through some Romeo Wide Churchills with a few glasses of Chablis as we went through the catalogue in detail.

It’s a splendid catalogue for the Winter Auction and there’s a lot of excitement around the Spectator Cigar Smoker of the year awards event that follows the auction. Looking forward to seeing old friends from around the Globe as well as meeting many new ones at the outrageous event Ranald from Boisdale has planned.

As predicted tickets are more or less sold out now. Possibly the last chance to get booked up. Tickets available for both parts of the event here

Catalogue will be out in print later this week and the PDF will be online too. If you can’t wait, you can see the Lots online already here

If you can’t make the event you can always bid online of course

We had the pleasure of Arlety rolling fresh custom blend Havanas throughout last week at our London offices and it was a pleasure to welcome so many clients and friends for the rolling demonstrations.

I asked Arlety to make ‘mas fuerte’ robustos not for the novice I assure you as these puppies pack a punch!

Office Herf We had a sampling herf with friends on Tuesday at the office and the smokes really knocked our socks off. Arlety is one of the finest rollers we have ever had the pleasure to welcome to C.Gars Ltd.

Had another sampling herfette at Alfie Turmeaus cigar shop in Mayfair on Friday but this was with Inka – Secret Blend cigars matched up with Dancing Stag Bowmore 1990, one of the award winning range of independent bottled single malts from Robert Graham Ltd. Peaty, smokey but oh so good 🙂

Our Mayfair shop is compact but has a HUGE range of Havana cigars, Davidoff cigars, Fuente cigars, Inka – Secret Blend cigars and other premium smokes and you can of course sample them in our cosy lounge whilst sampling a wee dram of the water of life 🙂 Perfect place to pit stop and chill out on a cold and rainy day.

This week’s travels take me to Basel for a Davidoff retailer meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday which I’m looking forward to and just in case that’s not enough action for me for one week, I’m off to Havana on Thursday for a long weekend! Staying at the Hotel Nacional as usual and heading to Pinar del Rio on Friday and no doubt all the usual and very lovely cigars shops over an action packed few days (any excuse to get some sunshine herfing!)

Hasta luego

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

London Herfing Rocks!

Another crazy week at the Orchant Cigar and Whisky Empire HQ 🙂 which started off with yet another overseas trip on Monday, this time to Geneva to do a valuation for a client on a delightful collection of 1980’s Cuban Davidoff.

I thought I wasn’t going to make it to Geneva as I have never known such bad turbulence on a flight in my life!… Anyway I live to tell the tale and enjoyed smoking a Davidoff Chatuea Yquem in Geneva with the owner of the collection which definitely soothed my nerves.

Inka - Secret Blend Small PacksInka Secret Blend cigars came back into stock last week and are selling like crazy. The new pack of 4 half coronas has proved a great success as have the hand rolled pack of Minis which are selling like crazy.

Made with 100% Peruvian tobacco in Tarapoto Peru. The tobacco is aged and the flavours as a result are full and sweet.  From wrapper to filler these cigars are 100% Peruvian and the only Puros from Peru on the market

I designed the packaging to be perfect to slip inside a gentlemen’s jacket or briefcase without being too bulky. 

If you don’t love these cigars I will gladly refund your money… Can’t be fairer than that!

Suitable for the experienced cigar smoker although also to be appreciated by the novice experimenting with flavour characteristics from different tobacco growing regions. 

My range of Inka – Secret Blend cigars are now our best-selling Non Cuban cigar range by a long stretch. 1000’s of my customers are enjoying them which speaks volumes for this brand that is exclusive to C.Gars Ltd, Robert Graham and Turmeaus shops across the UK. No one else can sell them as they are exclusive to C.Gars Group <insert maniacal laugh!>

We are very lucky to be spoilt with choice for herfing venues in London, great terraces and sampling rooms all over Town. The latest to be thoroughly tested out was the sampling room at Ten Manchester street. We have been enjoying herfing on the terrace for the last few years but there is also a dedicated sampling room tastefully decorated and comfortable with first rate service from Manageress Paula.

Ten Manchester Street Cigar HerfMy cigar smoking chums and I enjoyed herfing the new Montecristo Double Edmundo that have just been released with copious quantities of expertly mixed Old Fashioned cocktails (as good as the Wellesley… and that’s saying something!) Ten Manchester street – highly recommended.

Winter Cigar Auction catalogue is closed and at the printers now. Lots will be online late next week and what a great catalogue we have… As usual 🙂 It promises to be one helluva event as we are not only holding an Auction but following the auction with a decadent evening second to none. The Spectator Magazine Cigar Smoker of the Year Awards dinner follows the auction and full details are on the this link.

You may have to book soon though as half the tickets sold out in the first day they went online!

Davidoff cigars… What’s going on with them? The more we offer, the more popular they have become. I reckon it’s down to the quality of construction and consistency of blend, second to none in my book or should I say my humidor. The new Nicaraguan is definitely one to try for the experienced cigar smoker.

Robert Graham Cambridge Whisky Cigar Emporium Davidoff window displayWe have a smashing new window display at our Cambridge Robert Graham store and a comprehensive range has just arrived at our Mayfair Turmeaus store.

Next week we will be welcoming Arlety to our London offices to roll some fabulous Havanas and if you would like to see a demonstration simply drop me an email sales@cgarsltd.co.uk 

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.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

C.Gars Autumn Leave Cigar Cartoon