A few years ago, we hosted an Alec Bradley tasting night. if memory serves, it was possibly our first ever New World cigar evening in Chester… definitely one of the first few anyway. In fact, it was long enough ago that it was actually before we opened Turmeaus Whisky in Chester, so we had to host the event outdoors at our favourite local venue, Bar Lounge, Chester.
Even though we love Bar Lounge, we felt we could do a little better now that we have dedicated New World Cigar Sampling areas, meaning we can sample New World cigars indoors! So, last week we invited our customers and friends to join us for another evening with Alec Bradley. Once again, we were honoured to be joined by George Sosa of Alec Bradley Cigars; An industry legend. George was there to tell us all about Alec Bradley and the special cigars we had for that evening (more on that shortly) as well as telling stories of the cigar trade and entertaining us with his rapier sharp wit.
We were also joined by Scott and Helen from Tor Imports, plus David and Mark from Turmeaus Liverpool & The Puffin’ Rooms, so this was a pretty full house for us! On top of all that, we also had platters of ridiculously delicious food from the aforementioned Bar Lounge and a cake!
So, you might be wondering why we laid on so much this time? Well, obviously, it’s because we really like our customers and want them to have the best time possible when they come to these evenings, but it wasn’t just that. This evening was the launch of our very own exclusive line of Alec Bradley cigars!
We’ve had some wonderful results with our own exclusive ranges of cigars so far… Inka Secret Blend, our Peruvian Puros, were our first proper
step into own brand cigars (We did have some exclusive “C.Gars Nicaraguan” cigars available when I first started, which were delicious, but now long gone) and have always gone down well with our customers. From what we see, people really appreciate the quality of the cigars compared to the price. The fact that they’re totally different to pretty much anything else available in the UK is a huge plus too! Following the success of Inkas, we branched out to offer a premium premium version: The Inca Reserva D’oro, which features the notoriously hard to grow Pele D’oro leaf, giving it a delicate, sugary sweet flavour.
After the success of Inkas, we launched something else a little different for us: The Orchant Seleccion Olivas. This was the first time we’ve had a pre-existing cigar manufacturer make us an exclusive cigar under their own name. I’m glad that Oliva was the brand chosen to do this, as they’re hands down my favourite range of Nicaraguan cigars (Especially the Flor de Oliva Robusto & Churchill and pretty much everything from the “Melanio” range!)
That’s without mentioning cigars that aren’t technically our own brands, but that we do have exclusive UK distributions rights for. Such as Regius and Avo.
So the next step is the Alec Bradley Orchant seleccion. This range comes in the same sizes as the Oliva Orchant Sleccion: Shorty, Skinny and Chubby. They use tobacco from Honduras and Nicaragua for a smooth, sweet blend. Interestingly they also use a double binder, which makes them a suuuuper sloooow smoke! During our launch, our guests were given a Shorty (Robusto) and a Chubby (Bombaso) to sample and even thought it was a 2-hour session, most guests only just finished the Chubby in that time!
Of course, that might be because we kept distracting them with talks, food and cake. We also sampled some whisky from Highland Park, including their latest release, the Highland Park Valkyrie, which continues to embrace the Viking heritage of Highland Park.
Once we’d finished, the crew hit the road for Liverpool, ready to do it all over again the following evening for our friends and customers in the other side of the Mersey.
These events were exclusive early tastings for the cigars, so they’re not fully available yet. However, if you’re lucky, a few of our shops might have a few left over from the tasting. If you flutter your eyelashes at the staff, they might just be able to sort you out with one to have your own exclusive early tasting. Failing that, watch this space for news on the full launch of the range.
If you missed out, there a short video on youtube showing the fun and frolics at the Chester event, which can be found here.
Also, don’t forget to check out our Upcoming Events section so you don’t miss any fun in the future!
Until next time: Put that in your pipe and smoke it!