Isle of Harris Distillery

We are big fans of gin here and are always on the lookout for delicious gins. Well, Isle of Harris Gin is at the top of that list. Besides having a fantastic tasting product, they are a great family distillery that cares about putting out a gin rooted in true Scottish values.

Located on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, this is a true community distillery. Built on the spirit of the island and a desire to share that spirit with the world. They embrace the nature of the people and try to connect you to part of their community.

As for the gin, they use 9 carefully selected botanicals, one of which being sugar kelp seaweed. The sugar kelp that is a local ingredient that is hand harvested in the springtime by a friend of the distillery. This local diver gathers the sea kelp from underwater harvests in local sea-lochs in a sustainable harvest. This botanical gives the gin that wonderfully intricate maritime flavour. The 8 other botanicals include: juniper, coriander seed, cassia bark, Angelica root, bitter orange peel, cubebs (Indonesian spice), liquorice root and orris root.

Crafted in a small copper still and bottled by hand in a bottle designed to represent the distillery spirit. All done on the island creating a truly unique Hebridean gin.

They have a different way of getting their bottles. You have to either order it on their site for delivery or order click & collect. They partner with local shops to work as the pickup locations and our Turmeaus locations are included in that network! If you are feeling adventurous, you can venture up there for a bottle in person and meet the lovely people.

Check them out for yourself – ​Harris Distillery

Anthony

PLASENCIA ALMA LINES – THE SOUL “ALMA” OF THE PLASENCIA FAMILY

Over the last year Plasencia has come back stronger than ever in the UK with an assortment of new premium cigar ranges blended with the best aged tobacco. I am a big fan of Plasencia, the prices at CGARS and Turmeaus are almost the same as the rest of Europe. Amazing value for such a great tobacco with different ages, strength and flavours. Today I would like to talk more about the 3 Alma (Soul in English) lines.

The common feature of 3 ranges, ALMA FUERTE (Strong Soul), ALMA DE FUEGO (Fire soul) and ALMA DE CAMPO (Countryside Soul), is they all are blended with 100% Top A aged Nicaraguan tobacco. Every line is for a different occasion. The ALMA FUERTE is a medium to full bodied cigar blended with tobaccos aged for at least 12 years, ideal for expert aficionados for maximum enjoyment that delivers dark chocolate, a bit of cinnamon, oak, leather and plumb notes.

This great blend is wrapped in an oily Nicaraguan Jalapa wrapper. One of my all-time favourite wrappers. The Sixto II vitola is a really unique line having a hexagon shape that allows a slower smoke experience. Before enjoying the Alma Fuerte I usually recommend you to start with this little brother from the 1898 line. An extremely great value for the quality of the tobacco and then move to the longer aged version Alma Fuerte.

ALMA DE FUEGO I usually recommend to the Partagas smokers. First time I sampled this cigar it reminds me straight to the Nicaraguan brother of the Old school partagas. Medium to Full bodied and great spiciness, blended with tobacco aged between 4-5 years. These spicy notes remind me of the classic spice of old Partagas. I would like to recommend it as well to spicy food lovers. This spicy blend also delivers fruit flavours like tangerine, wood, roasted nuts and a sweet background thanks to the sun grown Jalapa wrapper that balance all flavours.

If you prefer a milder aged and smoother smoke, I would definitely recommend the ALMA DE CAMPO Tribu Robusto. Smooth, creamy, lots of milky coffee notes, almonds, cedar and a tiny hint of spice. Blended with tobaccos aged between 4 and 5 years.I usually recommend the little brother of this line first. Reserva original robusto, blended with 100% organic Nicaraguan tobacco for a great value for quality.

All Plasencia lines in the UK are available now at Turmeaus Liverpool retail shop and CGARS LTD online.

Enjoy!

David

Cigar Ambassador

david@cgarsltd.co.uk

XXII Habanos Festival

It’s Festival time of the year again! This will be the 21st Festival I have attended out of all 22.  Though I was in Havana for the first Festival but could not afford the ticket to the Gala back in those days! Over the years the Festival and the Gala in particular has grown bigger and better year in and year out. It’s an incredible industry and aficionado gathering from all over the world. Like minded cigar lovers sharing their passion for cigars in Havana, the home of the finest cigars in the world.

The Festival showcases new releases that are planned though they don’t always come to fruition, at least not in the time scale the cigar specialists would dearly love them to. The UK is still waiting for the Hoyo Gran Reserva to arrive which we sampled 2 years ago but we are about to be introduced to the Bolivar Belicosos Reserva in Havana. I’m super excited about this cigar (tobacco from 2016/ limited edition of 5000) as BBF’s have long been my favourite cigar. The Festival will highlight the 145th anniversary of the Romeo y Julieta brand and the 85th anniversary of Montecristo. The La Casa del Habanos chain which we are proudly part of celebrates its 30th anniversary lots to celebrate!

I used to enjoy the whole week of festivities but due to the scale of C.Gars these days I just zoom in for the Gala dinner which is a star studded, entertainment filled event with awards being handed out to the industry, an incredible rare humidor charity auction and of course copious quantities of cigars and rum being enjoyed. It’s the greatest event on the annual Havana cigar industry calendar and as ever I’m proud to be on the Hunters & Frankau table.

Full report on my return… I’ll be happy to have a few days of herfing in the sunshine.

In other news…

Siglo VI are back in stock in small quantity in both 25 cabs and tubed packs of 3, Lanceros and Esplendidos have also returned to our shelves. Still no sign of Piramides Extra but we are ever hopeful (I love these big flavourful cigars)

We are still hoping to see the long awaited/overdue UK regional La Gloria Cubana Britanicas Extra in the Spring…perhaps even soon after the Festival and just in time for some better weather in the UK.

I recently enjoyed a few weeks in Florida and the Caribbean and had a splendid time visiting our colleagues at LCDH – St Kitts.  Super hospitality and quite a few of the Caribbean regional edition La Gloria Cubana Paraiso 2014 were thoroughly enjoyed in this beautiful cigar lounge. The store has an incredibly stocked humidor and bar. A must stop for anyone visiting the island. Thanks to Mike and Orlens for the super hospitality.

No shortage of places to herf in Florida that’s for sure but I made myself very comfortable in the Montecristo lounge in Boca Raton and herfed my way through a load of Davidoff Late Hour Robustos. I absolutely love this cigar. it’s a total flavour bomb that is great from the first puff to the last.

It’s the last days of our February competition for a Quid you just may win a Game of Thrones set!

It’s also the last days of our end of line clearance sale lots of bargains to be had.

The Spring Vintage cigar auction catalogue is filling up fast. We have some splendid Dunhill cigars, pre embargo cabinets and magnificent limited editions that will be sold. The catalogue will be online on 7 days before the sale concludes on the 15th March.

Righto… I better get my suitcase packed… Havana here I come.

Have a smokey week

Peaceful puffing

Mitchell

DREW ESTATE ORCHANT SELECCION

Drew Estate is at the moment the biggest Nicaraguan Cigar factory which I personally visited couple of years ago. The professionality of each member of the Drew Estate family is amazing. First thing I have seen when I came in was a pile of cigars that has been rejected to warranty aperfect experience in every single stick in the box. Each step needs to be taken as maximum professionalism and care. From the seed in the ground until the customer enjoy it is a long process that evolve hundreds of people.

Drew Estate rarely make private blends, but we are extremely pleasant that they made this wonderful line exclusive for us. The wrapper that we use is one of the most expensive and rare wrappers in the world that only Drew Estate cultivate. Stalk-Cut and cured sun grown Habano cultivated in Connecticut river valley, USA. Connecticut River valley is famous for their silky, creamy and rare expensive wrappers. Now days most of the Connecticut wrappers are cultivated in Ecuador and Honduras and just a few in the original USA Connecticut.

Drew Estate wanted to create something unique and special, so they grow Cuban seed in the river valley but cultivated in the traditional Stalk cut way. The result is this amazing oily, dark colour and rich wrapper. This wrapper is exclusive use by Drew Estate in their top rare cigars of the Liga privada T52 and Unico line until now. But also used to blend our Orchant Drew Estate range for an amazing quality – value. The filler is a combination of tobaccos from Nicaragua for intense and rich notes; Dominican Republic, for a bit of sweetness and creamy notes; Connecticut broadleaf for an intense rich dark chocolate and oily notes; and Indonesia, famous for their spicy and hazelnuts notes. The binder is also from Indonesia cultivated in the Sumatra island that gives an interested spicy-woody note.

And finally, the extremely rare stalk cut Connecticut that delivers great sweet nuts, bit of dark cocoa and caramel. A great value for such a rare blend in 3 different sizes that allow you to enjoy them at different times including a 3.5” x 46 for a short break at work perfect with your espresso.

If you want to try this unique blend and combination of flavours this is your opportunity for such a great value.Enjoy!

David

Cigar Ambassador

New things coming out of the Westland Whiskey camp, and it sounds exciting!

This Friday, Westland is releasing their new American single malt in partnership with Filson Company. Coldfoot. The name comes from a pilgrimage that 2000 determined fortune seekers took to 175 miles above the arctic circle to the remote area of Coldfoot, Alaska. Out of those 2000 travelers only 200 made it through the grueling journey to stake their claim in the frozen north. They forged their own path, and they stayed for the independence that journey awarded them.

This whiskey was created by these two companies to honour those tough folk’s ceaseless spirit and serve as an inspiration to stay the course! Though Westland and Filson create different products, this whiskey represents their shared commitment forge an authentic path with true integrity!

Coldfoot will be limited to 978 bottles. Matured for 60 months in 1st fill ex-bourbon, new American oak, and Oloroso butt. This American single malt offering will be peated. Since we don’t have our hands on a bottle yet, we will have to provide you the distillery’s tasting notes:

“On the nose dried apple slices and walnuts lead before dessert notes of waffle cone and whipped cream join in. The palate is rich and complex with more creaminess, dried blueberry, and cacao but also deeper notes of marble rye and espresso.”

We can’t wait to get a bottle on this side of the pond! Until then, check out some of the company’s other bottlings!

Untill next time,

Sláinte

Anthony.