Goodness it feels great to be back in Blighty after 5 weeks in the US of A!
5 weeks of 5 cigars a day and not a single Havana, obviously, which presented quite a challenge of what to put in the daily rotation. Fortunately I was somewhat spoilt with choice including Davidoff, Padron, Fuente, Regius and Alec Bradley to name a few.
Being ‘forced’ as such to only smoke New World cigars on a daily basis made me truly realise how much the cigar industry has changed over the last 20 years . I remember when I started in the cigar trade that we would rarely sell a Non Cuban cigar and no one that was used to smoking a good Havana would even consider trying them out.
The ranges were limited in the UK, quality (except for Davidoff of course) was a bit patchy, presentation was a bit dodgy and unimaginative and there was no buzz around these cigars at all. My my, how times have changed! Many of my Havana cigar smokers frequently mix a few or a lot of New World cigars into their orders and their humidors, quality is excellent, and presentation first class. Many clients can’t wait for new and limited edition releases and sales on just about all of our HUGE range of New World cigars are literally booming.
Clearly smokers tastes have changed, generations move on and we have listened well to our clients requirements. We have a huge warehouse humidor full of New World cigars as well as comprehensive ranges in our retail cigar shops across the UK. Don’t diss them before you try them! You may be as pleasantly surprised as me.
After just one day back in the London office and having decided to give up on all hope of sleep due to jet lag it was time for me to hit the road! I headed up to Turmeaus Liverpool on Tuesday where Scott from Tor Import, co–hosted a wonderful cigar tasting evening to a capacity crowd. Lots of old and new faces enjoyed drinks, canapés and a long ash contest 🙂 I think the winner had something like a 5 1/2 cm ash on a Nub. The Nub was a delight to smoke. Volumes of cool full flavours from start to finish, no harshness, perfect construction and very sweet flavours.
The Nub was followed by a Cain Daytona which was a lot meatier and full bodied and enjoyed by all. Despite the weather forecast
(what a surprise they got it wrong) the weather was dry and very mild so we cracked on as you do, herfing till midnight. I love the crowd in Liverpool and have such a great laugh with them. Can’t wait for the next tasting.
Wednesday and it was time for a cigar tasting at Turmeaus Chester. The tasting was held the rather lovely Bar Lounge (highly recommended/great smoking terrace, food, and service- outstanding) where Scott again hosted and we enjoyed My Father Cigars and followed by an Alec Bradley Prensado. Pretty good weather again thankfully and a capacity crowd on the terrace. Fair to say a great night was had by all.
The new Chester shop is taking shape very well and I can’t wait to get it open in around 5 weeks’ time. It will be the coolest cigar stores and sampling lounges in the UK 🙂 If all goes to plan the humidor will be huge and the range mouth-watering.
Norfolk Turmeaus is making good progress too. Now that’s quite a project as we are literally building the shop from scratch . I understand we now have a roof! fingers crossed, should be a fully operational Turmeaus in around 6 weeks or so.
OK so that was complete New World overload for me for the best part of 6 weeks! And time to get back to my first love, Havana cigars of course 🙂 The unique combination of sun, soil and skill of Cuba that produces what I consider the most incredible cigars in the world still. Depth and complexity, kaleidoscopes of flavours that never cease to amaze and please me and dare I even admit that I decided I deserved a Cohiba Behike day! 52, 54 and finally a 56. Each cigar crafted to perfection, beautiful to the eye and like honey to my palate. Delightful cigars that I can’t recommend highly enough.
3 weeks till my birthday (it’s the big FIVE OHHHHH!) and I’m looking forward to releasing the birthday edition of the latest Orchant Seleccion Havana cigar. It’s still under wraps by my marketing Team so I can’t reveal what it is or I will have to shoot you!
Can’t believe it’s already August bank holiday! I’m kicking back this weekend with a bottle of our very own Robert Graham Ltd Treasurer Auchroisk 1996 and pairing it up with a baggie filled with BBF’s (still my fav!) Monte 2’s and a PSD4’s… Luvleeeeee
Have a smokey weekend