So it looks like another 3 weeks of total lockdown and therafter who knows how much longer or if the restrictions will slowly and no doubt very thoughtfully be reduced. How long it will take to get back to any semblence of normality is anyone’s guess at this stage.
My recovery is going well, I’ve put back on the 10 Pounds in weight that I lost in hospital thanks to Karyn’s cooking! I’m taking good walks every day though nothing like I did pre Covid… that will take some time to build up to. I’m back to enjoying 3-4 good cigars a day and an occasional dram of Orchant Selection Cigar Malt (for medicinal purposes!) I’m lucky as I’m able to work from home with my study being a mirror image of my office, surrounded by some of my favourite very old Cuban photographs and with super fast WiFi its business as usual for me minus the herfing with friends and clients and the crazy travel schedule.
I miss visiting the retail stores, our HQ and sampling lounges but look forward to a better and safer day for everyone when we can all enjoy a dram and a herf together again. So the good news is that our retail stores are open with the exception of Norfolk at this time but obviously our sampling lounges remain closed. Our mail order division is still cracking away at 100% efficiency 24 hours a day. I’m very proud of our Team who are handling a huge uplift in order volumes as our customers stay at home. I think we hit the record of all time last week with over 2000 packages a day being shipped.
Shipping is slower than usual but 95% of orders are arriving on time. Has to be said that Royal Mail are doing an amazing job. The bad news is that Havana cigars prices will increase substantially at the beginning of May. We were fortunate that there was no increase last year and this one is pretty late but its going to be a fairly hefty increase this time round. We have good stocks and will try to hold prices for a week or two but invenitably they will be going up. At least you have a little pre warning to top up your humidors at pre increase prices.
No update on the release date for the well overdue UK regional edition , La Gloria Cubana Britanicas Extra. Its delayed I understand as so many cigar specialist are closed during the lockdown so it would not be fair to the UK cigar trade generally to release them now which makes sense to me.
The weather forecast is looking great this week, should be sunny and warm so its perfect garden herifng weather which I hope is some consolation if you’re stuck at home.
My rotation for the coming week includes:
Partagas Serie D no.5 – smoking so well now and a perfect 40 minute smoke for me
Davidoff Lancero Orchant Seleccion – what a treat.
Alec Bradley Orchie – the sweetest blended cigar I know of.
Inka Secret Blend Robustos (red) – always a good smoke
Montecristo Dantes – these are now smoking very well with 4 years box age
Regius Orchant Seleccion Hermosos – great ‘Nic Kick’
Trinidad Esmeralda – I love this new cigar
Trinidad Topes – I adore this new cigar!
…and a bottle of Stalla Dhu Speyside 😉
Stay safe and have a smokey week