January Blues!

Greetings from sunny London, the newspapers are talking about ‘Blue Monday’ but there seems to be no sign of the blues with C.Gars clients as we have kicked off January with record sales. Clearly stocks were being enjoyed over the Christmas holidays and humidors are being replenished 🙂

I can’t believe how amazing the weather has been over the last week, great topless car herfing weather… so off I went to Turmeaus Norfolk 🙂

I met up with C.Gars President, Ron Morrison, at our new and almost completed headquarters in Norfolk after a 2 and a half hour roof off drive and herfing my way through a Partagas Salomones, Romeo Wide Churchill and Por Larranaga Picadores.

Norfolk is an awesome county to drive across, flat B roads and awesome countryside. Smoking a good cigar in the car is truly paradise for me.

Our new premises is taking shape and will be complete in around a weeks’ time. The furniture has arrived and looks pretty amazing to say the least.

The humidor room, whisky room, pipe room, retail shop, sampling lounge, sales office, marketing office, photographic studio, IT office and a zillion other rooms are finally completed and our move from the existing premises will commence in a weeks’ time with a soft opening planned before Valentine’s day and a launch party in March.

It’s actually taken us over a year since we first planned to relocate due to the breathless pace of the business expansion. We have had every obstacle thrown at us from an abortive acquisition a year ago to objections to licencing, slow planning departments etc. etc. but… we have as ever beaten them all, one by one. If I do say so the results are quite stunning and no doubt our new HQ will be a destination point for cigar and whisky aficionados from all around the region.

I had my AGM at our esteemed importers Hunters & Frankau last week and it looks like it will be a very exciting year ahead. We are hoping (and very excited) to get the latest and overdue UK regional edition Havana fairly soon.

Wednesday and Thursday evening herfing was enjoyed at The Lanesborough (still my favourite!) where I enjoyed Bolivar Soberanos, Hoyo Rio Seco and Hoyo Churchills 1999 paired up with some excellent Glendronach recommended by Mario. Perfect combo.

Our new whisky website is due to go live in early February and promises to have one of the largest ranges in the UK, undoubtedly at the lowest prices in the UK. Watch this space.

If you haven’t tried Tomintoul single malt whisky yet may I highly recommend this range… we introduced the range to Turmeaus retail shops and Puffin’ Rooms in December and the feedback has been super positive. Plenty of offers on the range great value and the 14 year old is quite stunning with a good cigar.

I’m looking forward to a Burns Night herf at Boisdale Mayfair on Thursday evening and then I’m off on vacation for a few weeks… at last a real vacation 🙂

I have my baggie filled with:

Hoyo Churchills 1999 vintage – 20 year old cigars at a regular price, super value for a great smoke.
Juan Lopez Seleccion Super UK regional 2016 – last call on these as they are almost sold out and one of the best regionals out there.
Bolivar Super Coronas Limited Edition 2014 – smoking like a dream, an old style Bolivar blend, bold and full flavoured, earth and spice.
Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Shorty – ridiculously good value and the sweetest blend.
El Rey del Mundo Orchant Seleccion Choix Supreme – the perfect morning smoke, light, mild flavour bomb.
Avo Orchant Seleccion – I can’t get enough of these, truly an excellent blend.
Qua D’Orsay No. 50 – I tried these when they first came out and “didn’t get it”. Now, they have come into their own. An excellent medium flavour and medium strength smoke.

That should keep me going for a few weeks!

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,


Happy New Year!

Happy new year to all of our C.Gars, Turmeaus and Puffin’ Rooms customers and guests 🙂 and my thanks for making 2018 our most successful year ever.

We had record sales in mail order and retail with a growth rate that literally takes my breath away (or it could be that I’m smoking too much!) Clearly we must be doing something right as we have 10,000 more customers than a year ago so… welcome newbies, you have found the right cigar specialist to take care of you 🙂

The huge growth area was as expected New World cigars but not at the expense of Havana cigar sales which also increased substantially. I think it could well be a new generation of cigar smokers coming through that want to try cigars from different regions and are happy to explore the different blends and brands from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Honduras in particular.

I remember when I started out and the only New World brands we stocked were La Invicta, Don Ramos and Santa Damiana. Well the last two don’t exist anymore. La Invicta is still very popular and it’s been joined by around 70 other brands that make up our full and largest range available in the UK.

Pricing is good (always a bonus), quality of construction is generally spot on and blends seem to get better year in and year out. We are predicting by 2020 half of our premium cigar sales will be New World. Quite a shift in the market.

Some of my favourites include:

Regius Orchant Seleccion 2019 Limited Edition – Just released and unbelievable prices for a quality Nicaraguan

Avo –  Great range, packaging and super good value for a premium cigar

Avo Orchant Seleccion – …well I’m biased but I think this is just a splendid blend

Arturo Fuente – best of the best

Inka and Inca Secret Blend – the only cigars made 100% from Peruvian tobacco and rolled in Peru, a very sweet smoke

Macanudo – great smokes at a great price

Nostrano – Italian cigars, bit of a wild card but don’t dis them until you try them as they are a really good whiff

And my very favourite Davidoff Orchant Seleccion London Edition – last few boxes now released. When they’re gone… they’re gone!

I should have mentioned that all of the above are exclusive to C.Gars Ltd and Turmeaus… well of course they are/we are the biggest and best cigar specialist in the UK 😉

On the Cuban front we have just released the latest Orchant Seleccion which is an El Rey del Mundo Choix Supreme. You will have to hurry though as they are already almost sold out.

And on the whisky front we have just bottled our latest single cask Stalla Dhu called ‘Saorsa’. A perfect dram with a good cigar.

Karyn and I enjoyed ‘working’ at Turmeaus Liverpool, Knutsford and Chester over the week before Christmas and spent most evenings at Puffin’ Rooms (my diet starts tomorrow!) are these the most beautiful cigar and whisky shops in the UK?… I think so, they certainly seemed to be the busiest! Great to catch up with my Turmeaus retail team and chat with so many customers over the week.

We also went back to Liverpool to enjoy the New Year’s event at Puffin’ Rooms. This brilliant party was booked up within minutes of tickets being released. Fabulous live music, Champagne, cocktails and delicious food…who could ask for more?!

Back in the London office for the next few weeks and getting ready to launch a couple of new brands… watch this space!

Have a smokey weekend,

Peaceful puffing,