Sexy Whisky!

For decades I have journeyed across the Highland Islands of bonnie Scotland on a quest for single casks of exceptional, or potentially exceptional, whiskies. The aim has been to nurse and influence the spirit in preparation of releasing a satisfying rare dram which we would use for our award winning range of independent bottlings.

It was on a recent such journey that my companion commented that I used the term Sexy Cask (not really being aware). I realised it was in response to finding such casks as described above. I got to thinking what was it that prompted that statement when examining and tasting the contents on the discovery of such a gem.

Simply, really on reflection, looking at a beautifully put together cask with curved long lines closely pressed against each other containing the inner beauty that it’s outside teasingly promises.

These individual staves, express themselves confidently, be they young or mature, and in unity held together with rings (hoops) of commitment… Yes, “Sexy Casks” indeed.

Then as you get more intimate with the contents, the allure of aromas often are seductive and inviting, perfume of nature and provenance sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy. Followed by the sensation of taste on your lips that fill your senses with excitement and desire… The incredible personalities of some casks and content come to life and bring you along for the journey, so much so that the lingering sensation leaves you wanting more.

Yes there is “Sexy Whisky” for sure.

Here are three such beauties all international award winners.

Benrinnes 20 year old, Auchroisk 19 year old, Ben Nevis 18 year old.

Slainte,

Ron Morrison
Chairman

I’m Baaaaaack! :)

Well I’m back from a rather long break in sunny California 🙂 So far so good, except I came back to some idiot smashing one of the windows at our rather lovely La Casa del Habano Chester. Apparently the idiot told the police he had no idea how it happened. So well done and thank you to Cheshire police and hopefully some justice when this goes to court.

My US trip kicked off with a few fabulous days (and evenings)  at the IPCPR tobacco trade show in Las Vegas. I enjoyed meeting with some of our favourite cigar manufacturers and visiting their stands to see all the latest planned products for the year ahead.

It’s really one big herf and super fun testing out the product 🙂

I spent plenty of time with Regius Cigars, one of my favourite boutique brands and I’m delighted to introduce the 2018 Orchant Seleccion limited editions which are not only ridiculously good value but super popular with our clients:

Regius Seleccion Orchant Robusto – 4 1/2″ x 52
Regius Seleccion Orchant Hermosos – 5″ x 48
Regius Seleccion Orchant Campana – 5 1/2″ x 52

Regius are made by Nestor Plasencia and are a full flavour Nicaraguan smoke that smoke very well straight out of the box as they are already well matured, but also age very well indeed.

We also introduced Plasencia cigars to the UK market and the initial client reaction exceeded our expectations.

Plasencia Reserva Original Nestico Cigar – 1 Single – 4 1/2″ x 36
Plasencia Reserva Original Robusto Cigar – 1 Single – 4 1/2″ x 52
Plasencia Reserva Original Toro Cigar – 1 Single  6″ x 50
Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V Cigar – 1 Single – 7 ” x 58
Plasencia Alma Del Campo Tribu Cigar – 1 Single – 5″ x 52
Plasencia Alma del Campo Sendero Cigar – 1 Single – 5″ x 52
Plasencia Alma Fuerte Sixto II Cigar – 1 Single – 6″ x 60

I was privileged to be invited to the Alec Bradley distributors dinner again (even though I’m a retailer!) and had a great evening with the AB Team as well as Scott from Tor and Steve from Robert Graham Ltd. After the dinner we moved on to the Davidoff Bar which also hosted a 50th anniversary event that we gate crashed 🙂

Our Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion range is one of the most exciting and successful projects I have developed. These stunning smokes are now firmly in our best seller lists and we are planning range extensions before the end of the year.

Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Shorty Cigar – 5″ x 50
Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Chubby Cigar – 4″ x 60
Alec Bradley Orchant Seleccion Skinny Cigar – 5″ x 43

The Davidoff booth was humungous as usual and the UK sales of Davidoff and Avo brands are growing at a frightening rate for us! Perfect quality and great blends. Avo is an exclusive brand for C.Gars in the UK and we are very proud to represent it.

We have a limited allocation of the magnificent Davidoff 50th Anniversary Diademas Jars but when they are gone… they are gone as its truly a limited edition.

I also visited Oliva cigars who make our exclusive range of Oliva Orchant Seleccion cigars:

Oliva Orchant Seleccion Skinny – 5″ x 43
Oliva Orchant Seleccion Shorty – 5″ x 50
Oliva Orchant Seleccion Chubby – 4″ x 60

I can’t seem to import enough Arturo Fuente Cigars to cope with demand! These super premium cigars are incredible smokes and we have the exclusive for the UK.

I also visited Scandinavian Tobacco who supply our exclusive Mitchellero range of cigars that are an exceptionally popular budget Nicaragua cigar made by Nestor Plasencia. Oh! and we also have the UK exclusive for Macanudo cigars 🙂

Mitchellero Chicos Cigar – 4″ x 30
Mitchellero Grandes Cigar – 4″ x 60
Mitchellero Orchies Cigar – 4″ x 52
Mitchellero Perlas Cigar – 4″ x 38
Mitchellero Sporty Cigar – 5″ x 38

Scandinavian Tobacco recently announced the acquisition of Peterson Pipes. A marriage of two brilliant companies. We love Peterson pipes and probably have the largest range and definitely the best prices in the UK.

Finally I visited our partners at Cigar Oasis, another brand that we represent exclusively in the UK. Awesome products and a great company to work with.

Cigar Oasis Electronic Humidifier – Ultra – 100 capacity
Cigar Oasis Electronic Humidifier – Excel – 300 capacity
Cigar Oasis Electronic Humidifier – Plus – 1,000 capacity
Cigar Oasis Electronic Humidifier – Magna – Cabinet humidors

Reading back all of the above exclusives I shouldn’t be surprised at our sales growth this year. C.Gars truly have the biggest and best range in the UK. I dare say the amazing heatwave in the UK didn’t harm summer sales levels as many of our clients like to smoke outdoors. I hope the great weather continues…

The rest of my trip was taken up with copious amounts of herfing with friends all over LA. I have an amazing crowd of friends who throw the best herfs imaginable. My New York “Rat Pack” smoking chums all flew in to herf and hang out for a week as well! … I think I need a vacation now!

Back to Blighty and putting the finishing touch to our September Auction Catalogue. This looks  like a pretty big 300 Lot catalogue again with a good variety of aged and rare, limited and regionals, as well as Pre-Embargo Havana cigars.

I’ll be visiting Turmeaus Liverpool and Puffin’ Rooms on Wednesday. Looking forward to catching up with friends and clients for the best live music and cocktails, and a late night cigar sampling session at Turmeaus Late Hour Cigar Shop & Sampling Lounge.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

A day in the life of a whisky specialist!

Ron Morrison is the Chairman of the C.Gars Ltd group, but also our in house whisky specialist with a huge wealth of knowledge at his finger tips. Enjoy a snippet of a day in Ron’s life:

I took a leisurely afternoon walk along the sunny Liverpool docks where I could see vessels of every kind resting after a lifetime filled with experiences and adventure. I decided to embark on my own little adventure for the day.

So inspired, I popped in to our beautiful Turmeaus store on Old Hall Street. As I walked into the whisky room, in which lies a spectacular array of whiskies from around the world, I was confronted by someone with a question; what was my favourite type of cask finish for whisky?

Now standing in a room with thousands of whiskies of which many are my favourite, my mind raced through the delights of, bourbons, creamy vanilla freshness or sherry casks with raisin-y nuttiness and berry driven red wine casks.

However I realised from the conversation what they really wanted was a recommendation! So, no problem, the previous evening I had the experience of the most loveliest of drams which paired wonderfully with my Davidoff Orchant Seleccion Lancero cigar. The whisky was a relatively new release from Dalmore, The Dalmore Port Reserve. The dried fruity, orange-y spice notes danced around my palate keeping it fresh then slid away in a smooth satisfying finish. It had a rather generous, and my preferred, ABV of around 46%. That was my recommendation to the customer who happily embraced it.

Whiskies are a real, and relatively safe, adventure 🙂 This one is certainly worth a try!

Slainte,

Ron Morrison
Chairman of C.Gars Ltd

Herfing USA :-)

I think I may have just broken the herfing record, and if not, I have certainly been trying my best to. LOL.

I’m in Los Angeles for the Summer as usual but have also been at the IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas last week. It was insanely hot in Vegas and I even had to take Uber from the hotel to the convention centre ( a 5 minute walk!)

Anyway, back to the point… the trade show is one of the largest in the world and fortunately you are allowed to enjoy smoking cigars as you walk round the exhibitor stands so essentially you are herfing your way round the show whilst trying to do deals on new products. Not a bad way of spending a day or three 🙂

I visited many of our fabulous partners at the show including:

Arturo Fuente – Truly the Rolls Royce of premium cigars and exclusive to C.Gars in the UK.
Oliva – If you haven’t tried the Orchant Seleccion range…you are seriously missing out as they are first rate.
Alec Bradley – Our Orchant Seleccion range is now one our most successful cigars ever!
Cigar Oasis – Exclusive to C.Gars, this range of products is superb for the serious cigar enthusiasts.
Macanudo – Exclusive to C.Gars in the UK- fabulous value, superb quality.
Regius – Our favourite boutique brand, Orchant Seleccion range available in the UK and the USA. Made by Plasencia and incredibly good value.
Davidoff and Avo – I love these brands, probably the best construction and finest blending money can buy. Our exclusive Davidoff Lancero Orchant Seleccion is the best cigar we have ever been involved with.

(blog post continued below Gallery)

No sign of any other UK cigar merchants being spotted at the show. Probably the reason C.Gars has all the latest accessories and cigars? Yes, quite probably, lol.

After the show the herfing continues with aperitifs at the Davidoff lounge followed by the Alec Bradley dinner on Sunday and Sinatra’s at the Wynn on Monday.

Great to hang out with our partners Steve Johnstone of Robert Graham Ltd, Akhil from Regius cigars, Scott Vines from Tor Imports and Keith & Lindsay Allen from Tabac World.

I thought the show was not as bizzy buzzy this year, which was fine by me as it was easy to blast round all the stands. We have some very exciting new projects that will come to fruition over the next 6 months.

Zooming back to L.A. on the Tuesday and straight over to Gran Havana Room for a wonderful dinner herf (thank you P.L.) with some of my best pals and smoking chums from both Los Angeles and New York. (Yup… my Rat Pack pals flew over to C.A. to herf)

I had planned to have a day off on Wednesday but that didn’t quite work out as friends and clients descended on the hotel pool area for another 10 hours of herfing by the pool 🙂 I think we may well have drank all the Champagne the hotel had lol.

Finally (for last week at least) it was time for the legendary annual San Diego herf (thank you V.C.) a monumental all day / evening event for around 70 attendees. We had perfect weather, delicious lunch and dinner, opera singing entertainment and copious amounts of cigars. Truly the best herf with some of my best friends on the annual schedule.

Our multi award winning Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt Whisky featured at this event and I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of compliments about this Scotch. That said it is a huge success story, great value and perfect with a premium cigar. We literally can’t keep the shops stocked up fast enough with it.

I’m taking a couple of days R&R now (I think I deserve it!), then back to a full on herf schedule with friends all over L.A.

Have a great week.

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell

Awards / New stuff / Hotter than July :)

Greetings from heatwave London 🙂 I can’t remember such a prolonged period of simply amazing weather (can you tell I’m English / weather obsessed?!) Well, there are two things I love doing; 1. herfing, and 2. driving. So, you can imagine what a fun Summer I’m having so far 🙂

No fun when the air conditioning broke down at Turmeaus Mayfair last week, but fortunately we had the entire system replaced a few hours later (pretty important for the huge stocks of cigars!)

The weather has kept sales soaring (thank you dear customers!) I’m thinking: outdoor smoking / BBQ’s / car herfing / sunshine makes you want to herf more 🙂 – who knows? I can only say that we are going through some crazy sales volumes and packing orders 24/7 – 7 days a week to get your smokes and booze to you on time.

Talking of booze, our rather deelish brand of Stalla Dhu single malt whisky seems to be picking up more and more awards. The Ben Nevis is my favourite and quite stunning.

The Orchant Seleccion Cigar Malt also has a silver award. It’ the perfect pairing with a premium cigar – we’re going through mountains of the stuff every week!

Our Summer auction was another successful sale with a very high sale rate. Good quality limited and regional editions continued to attract strong bidding and prices achieved. Pre Embargo prices looked a bit mushy to me with patchy interest and up and down results indicating a thin market. Millennium jars which were super-hot over the last few years passed which was a surprise. Prices on humidors were as expected.

We have two more auctions planned for this year in September and December for a total of 5 sales this year which I think is a record in the cigar world. Always happy to advise – just drop the auction team an email at auctions@cgarsltd.co.uk

The new H. Upmann Connoisseur B has just arrived and I’m smoking one right now 😀 Measuring in at 5 7/8″ length and 54 ring gauge, this is truly a flavour bomb and probably the best new Upmann I have tried in a long time. Recommended.

We have just made some more Cohiba 1966 Limited edition boxes. English Market Selection from 2011 available. Amazing smokes!

We have started the works on our new fabbie headquarters building. This beautiful 244 year old historic listed building is one of our most ambitious expansion projects yet and the whole team are very excited about it. C.Gars President Ron Morrison, our architect from the brilliant Liverpool firm Brock Carmichael, and I visited last week and started to plan the layout of the new premises. Note to self: change smoke detectors to heat detectors… yes of course we set the fire alarms off whilst testing out one of the sampling rooms.

Last week we held tasting events at Turmeaus Liverpool and Chester. The samplings featured Michter’s whiskyKavalan Scotch, and Oliva cigars. Sold out events as ever. In fact two sessions sold out at Chester. My thanks to Brain Shapiro from Oliva cigars who kindly zipped over from New York to talk about the wonderful range of Oliva cigars.

Spammy message from my sales and marketing teams… We have a humongous range of Colibri lighters… of course at the lowest prices in the UK.

Okay, so it’s July (unbelievable fast first half of the year!) and its bloody hot in London, so I’m off to Los Angeles(!) until the end of August. I’m looking forward to the annual IPCPR cigar trade show in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks’ time and already planning some more exclusive Orchant Seleccion cigars as well as scouting for the latest cool cigar accessories. I’m looking forward to attending some great herfs with friends all over California… my kinda Summer.

Have a smokey week,

Peaceful puffing,

Mitchell