Davidoff Winston Churchill Tested!

davidoff_cigar_tasting_cambridgeAs the subject suggests, it’s been a bit of a Davidoff week for me 🙂 Our whisky and cigar tasting evening at Robert Graham Ltd – Cambridge was a great success with a capacity crowd enjoying 3 single malt whiskies and the first ever tasting of the new Davidoff Winston Churchill range of cigars. Robert Graham Ltd managing Director Steve Johnstone had made the trek down South to enjoy the evening in our sampling lounge too!

Our guest of honour was Henke Kelner, Managing Director of Davidoff Dominican Republic. Henke is a bit of a legend in the cigar industry having been with Davidoff for around a quarter of a century and I understand the man responsible for the new range of Davidoff cigars in D.R. when the company left Cuba.

Henke is ‘The’ master Blender and it was a great pleasure to learn plenty from him during the evening when he made his presentation as well as took a Q&A from the event attendees.

We smoked the Petit Corona and the Toro from the new range. The Petit Corona was pretty intense due to the slender ring gauge and the Toro was a very smooth smoking experience if not an absolute pleasure, a complete kaleidoscope of complex and balanced flavours with an even burn and cool draw. There was not a hint of harshness or aggression and I really think Davidoff have nailed it with this blend.

It’s a complicated recipe to say the least! The tobaccos in this range of cigars come from Nicaragua, Mexico, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.

The cigars are available in the following sizes:davidoff-launch3

Churchill 6 7/8” length and 47 ring gauge

Petit Corona 4 ½” length and 41 ring gauge

Robusto 5 ¼” length and 52 ring gauge

Toro 6” length and 50 ring gauge

These cigars are highly recommended for the experienced cigar smoker.

davidoff-launchWe had a further presentation from Henke and Davidoff at the splendid St James Court Hotel the next day. It was lovely to see Albert Manzone, senior VP of Davidoff Europe and my thanks to the UK Davidoff team for an excellent afternoon.

I’ve been working on creating a new and unique cigar for the last 3 years and have finally been able to release the first batch of 500 boxes of Inca Secret Blend to the US market in two sizes.

Its unique because it’s the only 100% Peruvian cigar on the market. 100% Hand made with premium long filler aged tobacco.

As 1000’s of my clients will know, I launched a similar Peruvian cigar to the UK market 3 years ago and it is now our best-selling New-World brand in the UK. The UK range is however a different blend and different sizes (different markets do have different requirements!)

As a successful cigar retailer and owner/operator of 11 specialist cigar shops in the UK believe me when I say I fully understand that humidor shelf space is at a premium and we have enough range to last us a lifetime! But Inca – Secret Blend cigars fill a range gap in the humidor because it is unique being a Puros from Peru. I would hope that with 22 years of experience in the cigar trade that I know what I am doing by now!

I’m not trying to make a zillion cigars and a load of baseball caps to sell them with! I’m not trying to compete with anyone. I’m just trying to give the consumer a different choice that during extensive market research sampling across the USA makes me confident that this boutique brand will be well received and very popular.

Inca Secret Blend cigarsTake a look at our website with more details here: Inca – Secret Blend USA

The two sizes that we are introducing are:

Inca – Secret Blend – Imperio 6 “ length and 60 ring gauge, cabinet of 20 cigars Retail price $205.

Inca – Secret Blend – Tambo 6 “ length and 50 ring gauge, cabinet of 20 cigars Retail price $190.

So, if you are in the USA and want to try something delicious and unique ask your local tobacconist for Inca – Secret Blend and if you have trouble finding them drop me an email at sales@cgarsltd.co.uk. We won’t sell them direct to consumers but we can point you in the direction of a local stockist or cigar shop that will give you a mail order service.

In other news this week… I had a great day with Marc and Hal Sinden who were directing me in my new acting role for some C.Gars promotional videos! I can honestly say I am the commensurate professional at walking three steps with a cigar (100 takes later!) thank you Marc and Hal 🙂 If you are following me on Facebook no doubt the marketing team will be putting up some clips in the next few weeks.

Next week I’m off to La Casa del Habano – Chester for another whisky and cigar tasting the finest Havanas and single malt whisky… My kinda night 🙂 Looking forward to seeing the Chester crowd.

That’s me done for another week and if the weather holds up, this weekend is a BBQ herf on the deck with a baggie filled with Inca Secret Blend and Davidoff Winston Churchill cigars 🙂

Have a smokey weekend.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Herfing in Spain!

Back from my jaunt on the Costa del Sol 🙂 Although I gather it was hotter in London than Marbella! That said no issues smoking cigars in Spain as the weather was lovely and dining was al fresco so I don’t think anyone is too bothered if they have a smoking ban.

I took a baggie filled with Cohiba Robusto Supremo, Cohiba 1966 and Monte 2’s (heaven forbid I should ever arrive anywhere without my smokes!) and chilled out herfing with my father for a few days. Popped into any local cigar shops I passed but can’t say I was overly impressed with range or storage conditions which seemed a bit humid to me. I even spotted a beetle in one of the humidors… Yuk.

I can’t get enough of the Cohiba Robusto Supremo. I thought that I would hate it due to the huge size but the volume of flavours are unbelievable, sweet and almost fruity. Every one has a perfect draw and they have been our best selling Havana cigar so far this year.

Back in the saddle today and working hard on the next vintage cigar auction catalogue which is just about full. Looks like we will be offering some 250+ lots on June 15th at the Bulgari hotel. Tickets for the auction and event will be online next month. We have a wonderful catalogue of Pre Embargo, Davidoff, Dunhill, Vintage and mature cigars as well as Limited Editions, Reserva, Gran Reserva and jars.

From next week Turmeaus Chester will be offering a fine range of single malt whisky and Cuban rum by the dram in the whisky room. That’s a first for us as our shops only sell by the bottle but we seem to have so much demand from clients that want to try before they buy from our vast range we varied our licence and opened a load of bottles 🙂 So clients can now sample cigars in the cigar lounge as well as sample libations in the whisky bar 🙂 We also have some super special offers on featured whisky and rum in-store.

Whisky available by the dram – at Turmeaus Chester!

turmeaus_whisky_chester_blogWhisky & Rum Menu

Turmeaus Living cask

Speyside

Glenrothes 1999
Strathisla
Linkwood 25 year old

Highland

Featured single malt whisky: Dalmore Cigar Malt

Alien Mor
Dalmore 18 year old
Macallan 18 year old

Islay

Hoebeg
Ardbeg Uigeadail
Caol Ila 18 year old

Islands

Jura 16
Glenkinchie
Tailsker 57 degree north
Arran 17 year old

Campbeltown

Spring bank 15 year old
Glen Scotia 21 year old

Cuban Rum

Featured Cuban Rum: Ron Mulata 15 year old
Ron Cubay Reserva

I can’t wait for our next whisky and cigar tasting evening at LCDH – Chester on the 28th April. Always a great night and a fabulous bunch of chaps attending our events. I shall dig out some delightful Havanas for the tasting, perhaps some of the great LCDH exclusives we sell instore.

We have Alec Bradley tastings coming up at Turmeaus Liverpool and Turmeaus Chester in May with George Sosa from Alec Bradley as guest of honour. Always a pleasure and very amusing to have George at our events!

Next week we are proudly welcoming Henke Kelner from Davidoff at Robert Graham Cambridge which should be a terribly interesting tasting evening.

If you haven’t tried the new Anejados yet now’s a good time! The Romeo Piramides are a superb cigar and the Montecristo Churchill isn’t too shabby either. Tobacco aged between 5 – 8 years for a smooth well rounded smoking experience.

In other news, the latest edition to my smoking shop empire, Turmeaus Norfolk, is going strong. We’ve had a steady flow of smoking enthusiasts (including the local MP!) coming to see our unbelievable range of pipe tobacco (the largest in the country) and walk-in humidor crammed floor to ceiling with delicious Havanas and wonderful New-World cigars. We’ve also had a good rotation of people enjoying a smoke in the superb sampling lounge. If you live in the area or fancy a nice weekend in the Norfolk countryside, make time for a visit, we’ll assure you the warmest of welcomes 🙂

Ok, so that’s my one day working week completed 🙂 Off to herf on the deck in the garden if the weather holds up. This weekend’s baggie includes Montecristo Double Edmundo, Punch Double Coronas 1999 and Romeo Wide Churchills plus a bottle of Dalmore… My kinda weekend 🙂

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Ramon Allones – Hunters & Frankau Aniversario 225

I’m getting super excited about the launch of the Ramon 225! I tried this cigar in Havana at the February Festival and it’s the perfect expression of an old style Ramon blend.
I have to be patient for a while longer though as the cigars will be launched at the H&F Summer party on the 19th June and they will be available a few days later.

They measure in at a length of 5 1/2” and ring gauge of 50, well matured as they were rolled some years ago and perfectly crafted for a perfect draw. Wrapped up in a smooth colorado maduro wrapper and double banded ‘Hunters & Frankau – Aniversario 225 – 2015’

Made to celebrate the 225th anniversary with a limited edition of 225 numbered humidors.

Prices will not be known until the cigars are released. No doubt whatever the price, these are sure to become a collector’s item.

C.Gars will be offering the cigars in singles, cabinets of 25 and humidors of 100 cigars including a specially made bottle of 25 year old Havana Club Cuban rum.

turmeaus_tobacconist_liverpool_front_display_banI was busy up North again in Liverpool and Chester Turmeaus last week which are now sporting the rather lovely new shop image due to the ‘display ban’ that came into force this week.

The UK law now states that we can’t show a tobacco product if you are standing on the street looking at the shop. How bizarre. I can’t imagine it will stop anyone from wanting to buy a pack of pipe tobacco or a premium cigar! In fact I think our shops look better than ever with their cool new signage. We actually started to ‘cover up’ the shops at the beginning of the year in readiness for the latest stupid nanny state law and what are the results? Well so far we are 20% up on sales in comparison to the same period last year… You couldn’t make it up.

Pity the poor corner shop and CTN’s/small supermarkets who can’t even display tobacco in their stores. So much for freedom of choice. It’s a legal product after all, at least it was last time I looked!

We are still selling an extraordinary amount of Inka – Secret Blend cigars, I literally can’t keep up with the demand so apologies for the odd size being out of stock now and again.

Most popular since the start of the year are:


Inka Bombaso Blue


Inka Petit Corona Red


Inka Robusto Red

They are great value but don’t confuse them with cigars at the same price as Inka are a premium cigar totally hand made with premium quality well matured tobacco. Sweet Peruvian 100% tobacco – filler, binder and wrapper. They are in fact our bestselling New World cigar for the last 2 years.

I have now released the last 25 boxes of the wonderful 2013 Regius Robusto – Turmeaus Limited Edition full flavour and medium to full strength, a man’s cigar! Great value at £99 quid a box. The additional age on the cigars has rounded off the blend nicely. A smooth, full bodied Nicaraguan smoking experience.

If you want to try something cool and funky I still have a few boxes of my Turmeaus Limited Edition Regius Culebras a bargain at £59 Quid and a great smoking experience.

I’m looking forward to being at LCDH – Chester for our next tasting evening on the 28th April the best Havana cigars and a few drams of single malt whisky, should be another brilliant evening. Book up soon as I believe the event is almost sold out now. Chester’s whisky room is now fully stocked with some incredible single malt, a mouth-watering range from £30 – £3000 a bottle . Not the sort of stuff you can find in the supermarkets! Loads of tasting bottles open so you can try before you buy in the comfort of the tasting lounge.

walk-in_humidor_cigar_pipe_specialist_near_yarmouthWe weren’t sure what to expect in the way of trade after we opened Turmeaus Norfolk a few weeks ago but have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of clients in Norfolk that have visited and enjoyed smoking in the lounge. A paradise for cigar and pipe smokers! I can’t wait to visit next month.

I’m just finishing off the catalogue for our next vintage cigar auction. It always amazes me how this all comes together and we end up with a super range for the auctioneer to knock down. We have some incredible Pre Embargo cigars as well as Davidoff, Dunhill, Limited Edition, Vintage and Mature Havana cigars.

The auction will be held in the cinema room of the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge at 2p.m. on the 15th June. Tickets for the event will be on sales in the next week or so and early booking is essential due to limited space. This is an auction for the serious cigar smoker and collector.

I went to the Bulgari (Edward Sahakian Cigar shop and lounge) last week and had a splendid evening. This really is one of my favourite places to sample a cigar. The best of service always, great food and super comfortable. My business partner Ron was over from Florida and we also met up with Robert Lockwood from Smokes magazine. My regular smoking chums Dov and Joe also herfed with us.

I’m a bit of a part timer these days, just the odd few days a week in the office as I’m working on Turmeaus at The Albany project in Liverpool and travelling here there and everywhere meeting clients (herfing!) and still working on the launch of Inca – Secret Blend in the USA. Next week I’m off to Spain for a few days R&R and a bit of herfing with my Father which is always a welcome break from my business schedule.

That’s the news for now… Next report with a sun tan from Spain 🙂

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell