I’m Inspired!

Back from a long trip up North to my Turmeaus whisky and cigars retail empire 😉 I think I have finally got my whisky, cigar and pipe product mix right judging by how busy the shops are and the feedback from many customers over 4 days travelling back and forth between Liverpool, Knutsford and Chester. 6 very busy shops indeed! I do love retailing, its constantly challenging for me and the team to get the right products at the right prices as well as provide the best in customer service and ambiance at our beautiful stores, bars and sampling lounges.

I finally decided to put a full wine department into Turmeaus – Knutsford and the wine room is now open! It will take another week or so to get the full range in but when complete we will have almost 1000 bottles of wine in stock. Something to suit everyone’s budget from around £12 quid a bottle to £1000 + per bottle. My colleague Andrew at Turmeaus – Knutsford is a bit of a wine buff and will be holding regular samplings and is a mine of information. Andrew has plenty of sampling stock too so Knutsford is a great place to sample wine as well as cigars 🙂

chester_tasting_march_2016Chester – La Casa de Habano hosted another first rate whisky and cigar sampling event for Paddies Day with a flight of Irish and Single Malt Scotch whiskies paired up with some of our finest Havana cigars. The choice of cigars is endless at our Chester location with the LCDH humidor having a massive range of Havanas from all brands and in all presentations and the New World humidor having a huge range of all of our favourite brands such as Davidoff (have you tried the Winston Churchill range? it’s quite excellent) Oliva, Fuente, Alec Bradley, Padron as well as our best-selling range of Inka – Secret Blend from Peru.

I popped into the lovely Ten Manchester street cigar terrace for a quick herf this week, the menu has changed and he food was quite excellent as the service. Parking is always easy outside so this herfing location is highly recommended.

STOP PRESS! C.Gars are now the UK Exclusive Distributor for STG handmade cigars which include Macanudo, Torano and Don Tomas. We will be rolling out the product range over the next few weeks and launching the superb Macanudo Inspirado at an event on the 11th April at The Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge. Limited availability book early to avoid disappointment. It’s great to be the importer, distributor and retailer as we cut out the middlemen and ensure our clients get very keen pricing on some very very good cigars.

As expected tobacco got a fair bashing from the Chancellor at last week’s Budget. Between tax increases and manufacturers annual increases we expect prices to increase by 6-10% depending on range. We are holding prices as long as we can so clients can grab a stash of their favourite cigars ate pre Budget prices.

The latest cigar from Havana is out! Partagas Corona Gorda Anejado. Aged for between 5 and 8 years these cigars pack a full flavour punch and are for the experienced cigar smoker. I smoked them in Havana recently and stashed a few boxes in my locker which is high praise from someone as fussy as me. That’s said my favourite Anejado is still the Hoyo Hermoso No. 4 which is simply delicious.

4 day weekend coming up and I can’t wait to kick back. The baggie is crammed full with:

Davidoff Winston Churchill Robustos

Oliva Melanio Figurado (I’m smoking one as I’m typing this blog!)

Partagas Corona Gorda Anejado

Inka – Secret Blend Robustos

And for a little treat! A Davidoff Chateau Y Quem.

All matched up with a bottle of Glendronach 25 Year Old #yumm!

Happy Eater weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Habanos Festival

Just back from the 18th Habanos Festival and by my calculation I have attended 17 out of the 18! I’ve attended all but one Partagas Festival too. I’m steadily heading for my 100th trip to Cuba over the last 20 years ☺ It’s a tough job and all that…

The Festival celebrated the 50th anniversary of Cohiba in great style. Well over 1000 people attended the gala dinner with Chuchu Valdez heading up the non-stop entertainment over a very long and rather loud evening!

Cohiba-50th-memorabilia-2We were presented with a beautiful twin pack box of the Cohiba 50th Anniversary Cohiba Majestuoso 1966 which I don’t think many people smoked (its rather collectible at this stage!) I can confirm mine are well and truly smoked and were thoroughly enjoyed.

We were also given heaps of other cigars including the more or less impossible to find BHK 54, Cohiba Robustos and Siglo VI. We also tried out the Cohiba Medio Siglo which was a good smoke and a perfect size at 4 inches and 52 ring gauge.

The 1966 Majestuoso measures in at 5 9/10 by 58 ring gauge, think of a Robusto Supremo on steroids. It will be presented in 1966 humidors of 20 cigars.

IMG_5041The Cohiba 50th Anniversary Elie Bleu Humidor will be a limited edition of 50, with number 1 having sold for a whopping €320,000 at the auction. The Cohiba 50th Anniversario cigar is a monster, it measures 7 inches by 60 ring gauge. We hope to see these cigars later in the year.

As usual I was sitting on the Hunters & Frankau table and next to Jemma Freeman (the chairman!) we all missed Simon Chase being at the gala and look forward to seeing him at the gala next year.

The auction lots were at least as stunning as all other festivals and some €865,000 was raised for the Cuban National Health service.

I love going to the Festivals as I meet up with so many friend from all over the globe to share in our common passion for the finest Havana cigars. The rum’s not too shabby either!

I don’t think I have ever seen Havana so busy, tons of tourists generally and a huge number of Americans as travel restrictions seem to be more or less lifted. Most of the cigars stores were well stocked with standard lines and selling tons of stock to the tourists.

Various areas around the Capitolio building and National ballet look like they are being well spruced up in readiness for President Obama’s visit. It’s so sad to see so many crumbling streets if you look just a little further. I hope as the embargo ends and investment rolls in this beautiful city is restored to its former glory and full potential and even more important a better life for the Cuban people.

The two other new cigars I tried in Havana were the new Partagas Corona Gorda Anejados which was a pretty decent smoke from my favourite vintage (2007) and the UK regional edition Juan Lopez Seleccion Superba due out later this year which was no less than Magnificent. For those who remember the Juan Lopez Seleccion Suprema, you are in for a treat as this cigar was even better.

So, I’m finally back in the UK for a few weeks at least and looking forward to heading up North to my Turmeaus Empire next week 😉 Wednesday evening I’ll be enjoying a whisky and cigar sampling evening at La Casa del Habano – Chester and I understand we have some fabulous entertainment lined up which should be a great laugh!

Our next Cigar Auction is already booked for June 20th at The Bulgari Hotel and by the look of the Lots coming in already, I have my work cut out for me for the next month or two. Email us if you would like any details about our vintage cigar auctions.

In the baggie this weekend I have :

Hoyo Anejados
Por Larranaga Sobresalientes
Bolivar Belicosos

… and a bottle of Robert Grahams Dancing Stag 19 year old Deanston.

Have a smokey weekend

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

Pictures from the Festival: 

February Auction

Our February auction attracted bidders from across the globe numbering some 200 online at its peak. Almost 300 Lots were offered with a very high sale rate. Dunhill’s were again the star of the show as the market shows insatiable demand and record price trend continuing.

Davidoff prices looked soft considering the weakness of Sterling at this time. Regardless, all Davidoff Lots were sold. Perhaps C.Gars auctions have done such a good job sourcing sellers that bidder demand remains temporarily subdued despite the quality of the Davidoff stock in this sale being unparalleled.

Limited edition prices showed some declines particularly for Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reserva and Sublimes which came as some surprise. Pre Embargo prices remained robust with substantial interest for quality Lots of all shapes and sizes..

Highlights of the sale included :Davidoff_175_5

Davidoff 4000 cabinet of 25 £2,250

Davidoff 5000 cabinet of 25 £3,000

Davidoff Chateau Yquem cabinet of 25 £3,010

Dunhill Malecon box of 25 £7,810

Dunhill Don Alfredo Seleccion no.51 -10 singles £1,710

Dunhill Cabinetta 5 singles £1,310

Dunhill Mojito box of 25 £59,10

Cohiba humidor made for the 170th anniversary of Partagas £15,740

H. Upmann Varieties Pre Embargo cabinet of 50 cigars £4,800

H. Upmann Upmann’s Sealed box of 10 cigars from 1905 – 1012 £2,610Cohiba_35_th_1

Hoyo de Monterrey Humidor Pre Embargo cabinet of 50 cigars £6,410

La Corona Pre Embargo cabinet of 50 cigars £3,610

Ramon Allones Coronas de Lujo Pre Embargo cabinet of 100 cigars £12,760

Cohiba 35th anniversary humidor £7,200

 

Total Sale revenue (including buyers and sellers premiums) was some £395,000

 

Our next Vintage cigar auction will be held on the 20th June. This sale will be held at The Bulgari Hotel and as with our Winter auction will be available for live online bidding as well. We are accepting Lots now: auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

 

I’m looking forward to the gala dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cohiba brand and I can’t wait to try out the gob stopping 60 ring gauge Cohiba 50th anniversary cigars  full report and photos next week when I’m back.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Peaceful puffing

 

Mitchell

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