Festival del Habanos

Greetings from sunny Havana where I am enjoying the annual Festival del Habanos.

Just arrived and enjoyed an LFDC Gran Cano in the airport whilst waiting for my suitcase… How civilized 🙂

My able assistant Arturo met me and my chums as usual with our regular driver Hector who had a bottle of HC7 and a bucket of ice waiting for us, perfect to decompress after a very long Virgin flight.

Never mind unpacking, we were hitting the ground running and straight off to the Robaina shop at the Melia to get some serious herfing started.

Kicking back with a Partagas Gran Reserva and some Havana Club 15 for a sublime combination whilst seeing numerous friends from all over the world that are in Havana to celebrate the finest cigars Havana has to offer and introduce to us this week.

Staying at the Nacional as ever, I reckon the terrace is one of the best places in the world to herf.

Looking forward to the gala dinner where I understand we will be trying out the new H. Upmann Reserva.

We understand the following line up are due to be launched this year although goodness knows when exactly!

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan  150mm length and 54 ring gauge, cabinets of 10, 25 and tubed

Partagas Serie D No. 6  90mm length and 50 ring gauge, cabinets of 20 and 5 packs

Trinidad Vigia 110mm length and 54 ring gauge, cabinets of 12 and tubed

Romeo y Julieta  Julieta 120mm length and 33 ring gauge, boxes of 25

Quintero Petit Quintero 105mm length and 43 ring gauge, bundles of 25

Romeo y Julieta Cedros de Luxe 140mm length and 50 ring gauge, boxes of 10

Por Larrañaga Picadores No.1 127mm length and 48 ring gauge

H. Upmann No. 2 Reserva Cosecha 2010 156mm length and  52 ring gauge, cabinets of 20  Limited edition of 5000

Cohiba Robustos Supremos Limited Edition 2014 127mm length and  55 ring gauge, boxes of 10

Partagas Seleccion Privada Limited Edition 2014 160mm length and 50 boxes of 10

Bolivar Super Coronas  124mm length and 50 ring gauge, boxes of 25

H. Upmann Humidor Antique Replica 50 Butifara Limited edition of 450 humidors

Partagas Coleccion Habanos Serie E No. 1 170mm length and 54 ring gauge, limited edition of 1000 numbered books

I can’t wait for the Cohiba Limited Edition Robustos Supremos, what a funky size with a whopping ring gauge. If the blend is as good as I hope, I’ll be stashing away a huge amount!

Trip photos on my next blog.

Have a smokey weekend… I know I will 🙂

Hasta luego,

Mitchell

Spring Auction

Herfing in LA

Lack of blog last week due to a little R&R and a little business to take care of in sunny Los Angeles ☺ so here is the news…

I spent a week in L.A. organising yet more focus tasting groups for Inca – Secret Blend. The results were overwhelmingly positive and very encouraging.

Nice to be herfing in 80F sunshine instead of the constant rain in London. Whilst not easy to find locations to herf in LA, we managed to get through quite a few cigars between Inca taste testing sessions. I enjoyed Davidoff Short Perfecto in the morning and Nicaraguan Toro in the evenings, man that’s a bold sophisticated smoke, no wonder they are flying off our shelves. I also snuck in a few Alec Bradley Prensados which always hit the spot for me.

Inca – Secret Blend (that’s the version destined for the US market and beyond) is also making some progress as we have signed up US distribution with one of our very favourite cigar companies (more details to follow.) The first production batch of cigars have been made and are amazing smokes, the bands are made and look very cool if I do say so myself!… And all we need now is ‘the box!’ We have been working on the bloody  box development for the last year. It’s a bit different so it’s taken a bit longer than we would have hoped but I am cautiously optimistic that we will have the final pre-production prototype mid-March which I’m very excited about.

Inka -Secret Blend for the UK market expected to be back in stock next week in sizes requested by our customers, that’s the petit coronas and robustos that have been more popular that we would have ever imagined. Apologies for the delay and hopefully we have such a huge imported quantity flying in now that we will not stock out again!

Pound for Pound I don’t think there is a better quality handmade cigar available in the UK. The blend is deliciously sweet and accessible and makes me want to smoke them back to back. It seems that 1000’s of C.Gars and Robert Graham customers would agree with me ☺

So back in my little London HQ and thankfully with no jet lag (my body clock must be broken after years of travelling!) and happy to announce our first ever Spring Cigar Auction. This is an Online only auction with a splendid selection of mature, aged and rare Havana cigars. It works much like eBay… Think of it as CBay! Bidding opened on Thursday and the auctions finishes every few minutes from the 7th March. We will have another 100 or so Lots to list and hope to have them up next week.

DAV933-FEB2014There are some top end Davidoff and Dunhill that collectors love as well as smaller single Lots for smokers. Could be some decent bargains to bag. See the FAQ’s here and shoot me an email sales@cgarsltd.co.uk if you have any questions.

Most of the Lots are in our London humidor and if you can’t visit to personally inspect you are always welcome to email us for condition reports sales@cgarsltd.co.uk

Next week is the Festival in Havana which I’m looking forward to immensely, especially as we expect to be tasting the H. Upmann No. 2 Gran Reserva (I love Reserva and Gran Reserva) HUM970-Feb2014Expecting to herf with friends and clients from all over the world and joining the Hunters & Frankau table at the gala dinner as usual.

Just back from lunch at the lovely Ten Manchester street Hotel with friends from Davidoff. Smoked the rather outrageously good Limited Edition Year of the Horse. What a perfect venue for a lunch herf, great service, delightful menu, comfortable and warm… Who could ask for more. We are just starting to build a web page with details of some of my favourite places to herf. You can check out the work in progress here.

If you’re not already signed up to our newsletters you could be missing out as we are planning a series of whisky and cigar taste testing sessions at our beautiful Cambridge branch as well as Liverpool and Chester over the next few months.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

online auction cartoon

Best value and range in the UK? Oh Yes :)

Last day in the office for a week or so as I leave the rainy, windy weather of London and head to sunny Los Angeles 🙂 A little R&R and a little work on Inca – Secret Blend project, destined for the US market sometime in the near future. My kinda vacation, sunshine and smokes 🙂 Mainly Davidoff short perfectos which have become sort of a go to smoke when I’m in the USA, great size and shape, sweet blend and always a perfect draw

A warm welcome to Liam, our newest member of staff at our Norfolk offices. Liam’s brief is to ensure that our products have the best prices in the UK and to check all competitors 7 days a week 🙂 So if you find a lower price that he’s missed  just shoot us an email and we’ll gladly price match or make our prices even lower! <insert maniacal laugh>

Liam’s line Manager, James from our Marketing Team has been having fun putting together some wild mixed box and unusual box offers for our newsletter subscribers this week and we have been amazed at the popularity with orders up 40%! Certainly keeping my London Team busy packing and shipping, we couldn’t even see the door for packages yesterday!!!

Our Rose street Edinburgh branch has had the walk in humidor rebuilt band it’s now double the size so it has a bigger range of cigars than ever. Hope to have some great photos for the website from lovely Manageress, Jo. In the next 24 hours.

Jo and Danilio are passionate about cigars and are always on hand for some helpful advice and recommendations and our shop has a great as well as quirky range of single malt whisky as well as a comprehensive range of pipes and pipe tobacco.

Our little Mayfair outpost is also going through a retrofit with the addition of new cabinets over the next week or two just to make it a little more cute than it already is. Mayfair may be small but it has a super range or premium cigars including many of the limited editions past and present. (It also sells pipes, tobaccos and single malt whisky and you can sample in store!)

Pre Embargo Ramon Allones and CocktailI was invited by my old chum Robert Emery to have a smoke at the new Dunhill shop at 1 St James’s earlier in the week and all I can say is WOW. What an absolutely splendid humidor, sampling lounge and shop. Classier than classy, super comfortable and a great range of aged and rare cigars too. Well worth a visit if you are in Town and C.Gars wish them all the very best for a long and successful future.

Yesterday was my annual briefing at Hunters & Frankau headquarters which as always was interesting and exciting as we were updated about all the planned releases of new cigars (some still top secret!) for this year, but after a very long afternoon, Michelle and I found ourselves in an even longer traffic jam due to the train strike/rush hour/rain/mad drivers! We persevered and just about made it on time for  some serious herfing at The Wellesley with some overseas clients and friends.

One of my Pals offered me an incredible Dunhill Ramon Allones Seleccion Suprema No. 82 pre embargo which Nubbed!I can tell you I nubbed till there was just about nothing left! This cigar was so sweet and complex even I was amazed how perfect a smoking experience it was. Possibly one of the best Havanas I have ever smoked. It’s all down to storage of course ‘colder and dryer’ slow down that maturing process and its incredible how the cigars improve over the long term (always assuming good vintage in the first place as a bad vintage will only become an aged bad vintage cigar)

We followed the Dunhill Seleccion with Cohiba BHK54’s which are smoking like a dream and paired them up with some excellent Argentinian Malbec. I reckon the Wellesley staff must be some of the best trained in the business, right up to ‘Master of Cigars’ exams passes. They are always on hand to advise and are a really good bunch of Guys.

Ok that’s the news for now and I’m outta here to pack my perfectos and my sunglasses!

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell