Davidoff Retail PanelGood grief talk about an exciting week! Started off with a trip to Basel for a Davidoff Europe Retailer Panel meeting last week which was, as always, not only interesting but informative and a lot of fun. I love these meetings as we have the opportunity to meet and discuss the cigar industry with our contemporaries who are some of the finest cigar retailers in Europe as well as learn of all the planned developments from one of the best cigar companies in the world.

Dinner was at the Walliser Kanne restaurant followed by smokes and drinks at Les Trois Rois where I herfed my way through a Puro de Oro Gordito followed by a Davidoff Nicaraguan Toro. Needless to say the Davidoff Nicaraguan line is proving to be a huge success and very popular with our clients visiting Turmeaus cigar shop in Shepherd Market, Mayfair.

Mitchell and Albert Manzone of Davidoff with Zino watching over us on the background!It’s not one for the novice smoker as its quite a bold full flavour blend but experienced cigar smokers will undoubtedly enjoy this finely crafted cigar as a change of pace from a Cuban or perhaps other brands of Nicaraguan cigars. I truly believe these are in a class of their own and if you have not tried them yet… You should! Check out the full range here

Now whilst I was busy in Basel, my lovely assistant Michelle and her Team were herfing the new La Flor de Cano Gran Cano – UK regional edition at the Hunters launch party, from all accounts they had a great evening and enjoyed the cigars immensely. Michelle was seen herfing with famous footballer and cigar smoker Julian Dicks who has been nominated for an award at the Cigar Smoker of the Year at 19th November event.

The new Gran Cano cigars are in stock now and literally flying out the door of our mail order offices and of course available at all of our cigar shops across the country.

Clearly I hadn’t done enough travelling so the morning after arriving back from Switzerland I zipped off to Havana for a long weekend ☺ this was my first trip to Havana in many years when it wasn’t an actual Festival week but I reckon this was something like my 68th trip to Havana since 1997! Typical rainy/humid/sunny weather for this time of year.

My trip included herfing at some of my favourite cigar shops in the world including the Robaina shop at the Melia Habana Hotel, very comfortable lounge, great bar and super friendly staff. The Partagas LCDH where manageress Grecia and her staff were delightful and looking forward to the Partagas Festival in November which promises to be a spectacular event as usual. I understand the gala dinner will be a Tropicana which will be amazing.

The Cuban regional edition this year is the El Rey del Mundo Infantes in boxes of 10. This robusto sized cigar is deeee-licious! same strength profile as a Choix Supreme but a a sweeter tasting flavour. I tested loads of them over the weekend and they were consistent in construction and blend integrity. If you would like some, drop me an email

Eduardo Cuban cigar roller 2008Back in 2008 we had the pleasure of Eduardo Diaz Gonzales rolling cigars for us in our London office. Eduardo works at the El Laguito factory and was kind enough to give me a factory tour on my visit which I enjoyed immensely. There have been loads of rumours about lack of leaf, lack of cigars, lack of quality control so I wanted to see for myself what the real scoop was… And I did. Well I am pleased to say that it’s all just rumour as all the cigar shops I went to had full humidors and El Laguito as you can see from the photos was in full swing of production.

Cigars Freshly Rolled and Being Sorted in CubaFrom what I could see it looks like the vast majority of the production was the Behike range, huge quantity of cigars were being quality checked and draw tested and the quality of the leaf looked excellent to me. Eduardo confirmed that current tobacco quality is first rate and there were no issues he was aware of. All good news 🙂 there were literally mountains of completed boxes of BHK’s and that’s a great thing as our sales of BHK’s are higher than ever.

Less than 4 weeks till our Winter Cigar Auction and The Spectator Cigar Smoker of the Year Awards dinner at the fabulous Boisdale in Canary Wharf. Catalogues have now been posted out and are also available online.

The event is getting loads of publicity and should be an incredible evening, purchase your ticket here.

Next week I’ll be visiting Robert Graham shops in Edinburgh and Glasgow and testing out some of the latest planned Dancing Stag releases.

Peaceful puffing


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