Hi Honey, I’m Home!

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.


20140819_200231107_iOSAfter 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.

tasting_event_long_ash_winnerThe 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

Peaceful puffing



New Chester Store :)

Do you like me on Facebook? If so you have probably seen that C.Gars has acquired the rather luvlee jublee big shop next door to our existing store on Watergate street Chester.

The builders are crashing away both at Chester and Norfolk and we hope to be opening both new stores in around 6-8 weeks time.

My New Smoking Shop in Chester

I love the retail cigar business as it’s so intriguing for me to continuously try to adapt to what the market needs. I have little doubt that larger shops with large sampling lounges are the way forward and that’s what we are doing in Chester – huge walk in humidor – large and comfortable sampling lounge. Client lockers, complimentary bar/snacks/papers/TV. What more could you ask for?

Norfolk will have a similar offering except it will also have the largest range of loose rolling tobacco and pipe tobacco in the country. All rather exciting especially as I intend to increase the amount of tasting evenings we do year round again due to huge demand.

I remember when I bought the first retail cigar shop which was Turmeaus Liverpool and a lot of people laughed at me and the location. Made me all the more determined to succeed obviously and succeed we have as we continue to go from strength to strength. I’m actually thinking about opening a JR cigars style supercigarstore in Liverpool by the end of this year. Watch this space…

Tastings coming up on the 19th and 20th August at my Liverpool and Chester branches. Jet lag allowing I’ll zoom ooop North and be at both for a little herf activity 🙂 Tickets are available here.

Herfing across Los AngelesI’m still in sunny LA and as you can see from the photos just generally herfing my way across Los Angeles day and night. I think we broke the recent herfing record at 12 hours nonstop with a wonderful catered lunch for 30 guests at my friends house, copious amounts of libations and smokes and the best of company (TY VC) We smoked through ridiculous amounts of Padron and Alec Bradley cigars as well as a box of  Inca Secret Blend Toros.

I had a smashing evening last Saturday (despite the rain!) herfing on the terrace at Mr C in Beverly Hills. They have a resident blues band who are brill and my friend Michael Lington popped over for a smoke and a cocktail. Michael has just launched a boutique range of 3 rather delicious wines. More details on www.lingtonwine.com

Still working hard on my Inca Secret Blend cigars destined for launch in the USA before the end of the year. I know, I know, I’ve been banging on about the launch for ages but what can I tell you? – I’m a perfectionist, sort of cigar OCD. But when these puppies hit the market I believe they will be as popular as the UK Inka Secret Blend range (now our best selling New World cigar!)

I’ll be introducing new ranges of Torano, Oliva, Inka Maduro, Nat Sherman and Regius over the next 4 – 6 weeks. Of course they will be at incredibly low prices and you can’t find them anywhere other than C.Gars and our retail shops because… No one else stocks them 🙂

I’m very excited about the Nat Sherman range we are bringing in due to so many clients requesting these cigars following our testing the market out with some of the traditional Nat Sherman cigars over the last few months. Nat Sherman has a super cool cigar store in New York that I love to visit when I’m in town and Michael Herklots is a dear old industry chum who always gives me a warm welcome. If you are visiting NYC a visit to Nat Sherman is a must.

Regius Campana – Limited Turmeaus Edition 2014 cigar - Box of 10If you haven’t tried the new 2014 Regius Limited Editions you really would be well advised to before they sell out. Half of our stock went in the first week of release! Priced ridiculously well and carefully blended to my specification these cigars are sure to please. Click here to try one for yourself before they’re all gone!

I can’t smoke any Havanas in the USA obviously so my challenge has been to find some New World cigars that deliver enough flavour burst for my palate without the bitterness associated with many of these cigars. I have definitely settled on Oliva Serie V torpedo and Davidoff Gran Cru No. 5 as well as the occasional Alec Bradley Prensado.  These are all really good smokes and hit the spot in terms of blend consistency as well as construction.  That said after 5 weeks without a single Havana cigar I’m looking forward to getting back to the office and having a Montecristo No. 2!

I was looking through our massive range of humidors recently and can’t help but think the Dunhill range stands out in a class of its own. Obviously it’s all personal taste but I love the clean lines and classic designs. The build quality is magnificent and I actually think the prices are cheap for such a top end product. Check out the range. The cigar cases ain’t too shabby either.

That’s all the news from the LA office… Time for another cocktail and smoke by the pool.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,