Recent Posts

The birth (and subsequent rebirth) of Trinidad

As part of La Casa del Habano franchise we are very fortunate to have access to the most comprehensive range of Havana cigars in the UK. This gives us quite a unique view on the current cigar zeitgeist as we sell brands of hugely varied levels of popularity. From legends such as Cohiba and Montecristo, that even the most casual cigar smokers have heard of, to comparatively unknown brands, such as Fonseca and Rafael Gonzalez, we sell them all and get to see how people respond to them.

One brand that has been fascinating to observe over the last few years has been Trinidad. Relatively speaking, they’re an extremely new brand. Released in 1998, they’re barely toddlers compared to some of the centuries-old industry standards and for a majority of their life, they flew under the radar.  This has always mystified me, as the Trinidad blend is amazing. Creamy, delicately sweet and aromatic, they are often compared to Cohibas, which is fitting as they both originated as diplomatic gifts from Cuba, before being released to the public in small amounts.

So, why the apathy towards them? Other than the slightly confusing naming convention (I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had someone say “No, I said I wanted a cigar from Cuba, not Trinidad!” when I’ve recommended a Trinidad) in my experience, it was down to one main issue: unfortunate timing.

As I said, Trinidad was launched to the public in 1998 and at the time it was available in one size only: the slim, elegant Fundadores, which measure up at 7 ½” by a 40 ring gauge. Within ten years of their launch, smoking bans had started to creep their way across the globe and long, 1hr+ burn time cigars like the Fundadores began to decline in popularity, in favour of shorter, stockier, more compact cigars. The Fundadores were eventually joined by three more vitolas in 2003; the Reyes, Coloniales and Robusto Ts, but out of the four sizes, only the Robusto T could be considered a heavy gauge cigar. However, the Robusto T was already overshadowed by Robustos from far more established brands and it was eventually dropped from their portfolio. So, it came to be that Trinidad remained an often overlooked hidden gem; Slim, graceful relics of a bygone era, lost in the ocean of their stouter, more contemporary rivals.

However, in the middle of the 2010s something happened; something called the Trinidad Vigia. Standing proudly at 4 1/3” and a hefty 54 gauge, the Vigia was a true cigar for the time. People who had previously overlooked the brand started trying it and those people started loving it. The Trinidad blend had always been fantastic, but now it was being showcased in a far more accessible format and it really didn’t take long for word to get out about it.  Over the last few years Trinidad has grown to be one of our best-selling brands at La Casa del Habano – Chester. The fact that in the last year the Vigia has been joined by two more, similarly chunky Trinidads (The Topes and the Media Luna) with a third – the Esmeralda – due to hit stores any day now, shows that we’re not the only cigar shop to see this cigar brand rise from the ashes.

All in all, it’s been amazing to watch the Trinidad trend change over the last few years, from a relatively unknown brand, to one that can stand toe to toe with the big boys of the industry, all in the space of just 22 years, all thanks to one small (or should I say big?) change of direction.  If you’re yet to try a Trinidad, I can’t recommend them enough. We now have the Esmeraldas available!

-Calum

Store Manager @ Turmeaus & La Casa del Habano – Chester.

This one’s in the bag

The UK tobacco trade is a funny old thing. Well, by “funny” I really mean “often near tear inducingly frustrating.” From the extremely heavy tax, to the rainbow of blends and flavours of cigars and pipe tobaccos we aren’t allowed to carry for whatever reason, there’s always something. One thing that has stood out to me in the decade-plus that I’ve been in this trade (Crickey…) is “Snus.” Hugely popular in Scandinavian countries, Snus is basically a teabag-style bag that contains a snuff-like tobacco, which is placed between the lip and gum. I’d been given a few bags to try from various people over the years and I’d always enjoyed the sensation and taste, but the powers that be had always prevented it from being sold here for… reasons.

Now, this is very much still the case. However, a few enterprising sparks have created “Chewing bags.” Functionally, these are basically the same as Snus, but are juuust different enough to be classed as a different product (For example, the chewing bag tobacco is finely cut whereas snus tobacco is finely ground) and can therefore be sold in the UK. I’m no expert in Snus, having only had limited experience with it, but as far as I can tell, there isn’t any discernible difference between the two.

While they aren’t something I use often, I do really enjoy the odd chewing bag. They have a very unique flavour and are genuinely quite invigorating. As a self-confessed caffeine fiend, I occasionally find myself hit by a caffeine crash and I’m often amazed at how much a chewing bag perks me up when I’m in danger of nodding off at work. It’s been amazing to see how much these have taken off in the last year, going from something unheard of in the UK, to something available in a variety of flavours and even some tobacco-free “nicotine pouches.” Even the newsagent around the corner from our Chester shop stocks a few now!

The range has exploded so much in the last 12 months, it can be quite baffling to get your head around at first, so here’s a few of my personal favourites to give you some ideas.

Thunder Iceboom

Not gonna lie: It was partially the name that attracted me to this one. However, once I tried it, I realised these bags had a lot more going on than just a cool name. Their fresh mint and fruity flavour are extremely refreshing, but their nicotine strength is definitely high enough to get your attention.

Oden’s Siberia -80 Degrees Blue

These are one of our best sellers in Chester, which goes to show one thing: our customers are brave and like it strong! They have an extremely high nicotine content, which is balanced out with a very cool and refreshing spearmint flavour. With so many menthol varieties of tobacco out there, I always like it when a brand puts a twist on the formula with a spearmint taste instead, so these are a winner in my book too!

ZYN Citrus (Tobacco Free)

Here’s an interesting quirk of chewing bags: the “Tobacco free” versions aren’t completely awful! Anyone who has ever tried a tobacco free smoking mixture/cigarette will know what I mean… However, I was very surprised when I tried my first non-tobacco pouch. The nicotine is extracted from the tobacco, but everything else is left out. ZYN pouches are also available in a menthol flavour, but I’m a big fan of citrus flavours, so I was naturally drawn to these. They have the same satisfying tingle and are just as invigorating as the tobacco versions. They also taste absolutely delicious, like a bag of lemon sherbet with an added punch of nicotine. Well worth a try!

If you’ve been intrigued by these new products popping up, now’s a great time to try. They’re a very unusual way of tasting tobacco, as well as being discreet (and consumable anywhere!)

-Calum, Store Manager @ Turmeaus & LCDH Chester

The menthol ban: What you need to know.

Remember 2016? It was a bit of a downer year: Political chaos (at least we’re not still talking about Brexit, four years later, eh…? <sobs internally>), a tidal wave of celebrity deaths and the introduction of some of the most prohibitive tobacco laws to date. Yes, this was the year where “plain” (read “disgusting”) packaging, minimum pack sizes and a ban on all “Characterising flavours” were all introduced to the UK. Well, at the time of writing (end of January) 2020 is starting to look like the new 2016. Not even a month into the new decade and we’ve already had devastating fires, scary virus outbreaks, some deeply saddening deaths (RIP Kobe, Terry Jones and many, many more… already!) and just to keep in line, the continuation of 2016’s tobacco flavour ban.

2016’s initial flavour ban focused on what they called “Characterising flavours” which basically translates to anything that is an “actual” flavour, e.g. Cherry, vanilla, chocolate, etc. However, menthol flavours were given a reprieve… until 2020. So here we are; on May 20th 2020, on the four-year anniversary of the initial ban, they’re back to finish what they started in 2016, by banning all menthol flavoured cigarettes and rolling tobacco from the UK market. Because smokers aren’t allowed to enjoy being smokers, remember?

If you’re a menthol fan, you might be asking “Well, is that it then?” Fortunately, the answer is no; while the ban removes actual menthol cigarettes and rolling tobacco from the market, there are still some options for anyone who wants to keep enjoying the taste:

Menthol Tips: This is the most obvious and easy solution. While menthol tobacco will be off the table, menthol flavoured tips will not be included in the ban. This is the option that a good proportion of roll up smokers use for mentholating their cigarettes already, so they’ll be breathing a cool, menthol-tinged sigh of relief that they’ll be able to continue doing so.

 

Flavour Cards: Ok, so menthol tips are a good solution for roll up smokers, but what about premade cigarettes? There is an equally easy, but lesser known solution: Flavour cards. These actually work in the same way that menthol cigarettes are flavoured now; it’s a heavily scented card that can be put into a pack of cigarettes or tobacco in order to transfer the flavour (in the same way current menthol cigarettes are lined with a heavily menthol scented foil for flavouring.) Leave in for around an hour to transfer the flavour, the longer it is left, the more pronounced the taste will be. These also come in a variety of flavours, including some cool twists on menthol such as Double Mint and Lime & Mint (AKA: A Mojito!).

Flavour Sprays: These handy little sprays use the exact same flavouring that Gawith & Hoggarth used for flavouring their range of Auld Kendal flavoured rolling tobacco, prior to the 2016 ban, just in personal form. On top of their classics, such as Cherry and Vanilla (and Cherry & Vanilla) they also feature a standard menthol and a spearmint flavour spray. Officially, these are designed for tobacco, but they can potentially work with cigarettes too, you’ll just need to let them dry before smoking. The aforementioned cards are much more practical for premade cigarettes though.

Coarse cut: As was the case with the initial flavour ban, the law applies specifically to rolling/fine cut tobacco. “Coarse cut” tobacco is technically pipe tobacco, but it is the finest possible cut it can be before being classed as a rolling tobacco. This means it is possible to use it for rolling (you might just find it needs a bit of shredding beforehand) but none of the rolling tobacco rules apply to it. So it will still be available in menthol, as well as a variety of other flavours.

So, there you go; 2020 might already be shaping up to be another rough, uncertain year, but at least menthol smokers have one less thing to worry about.

-Calum

Store manager @ Turmeaus Chester

Setting up your Humidor

Havana cigars mature like fine wines, in fact they will continue to improve for up to their first 15 years and in many cases much longer, but they do need a little basic care.

The humidifier in your humidor should be topped up with either humidification solution or distilled water (available from most petrol stations). Humidification solution is a mixture of distilled water, polyglycol and a mould inhibiter and will guarantee that your humidor is kept at 70% relative humidity (+/- 2%).

Try to site your humidor in a location with a temperature, which never exceeds 70°F. The temperature range you are aiming for is between 66°F and 70°F. The relative humidity that you are aiming for is ideally 67–70%. You should be able to use the humidor as soon as you add the water to the humidifier, there is no need to wait a few days.

To test the condition of your cigars, press with the pad of your thumb just below the band of the cigar. The cigar should feel firm but springy if it is in good condition; if it feels hard and brittle then the cigar is under humidified. If it feels soft and spongy, then the cigar is over humidified.

Havana cigars need fresh air! Be sure to open your humidor periodically and be sure to rotate the cigars, i.e, if you are not smoking regularly, at the end of each week put the cigars from the bottom layer of the humidor to the top layer of the humidor and so on.

>View our PDF Humidor Set Up and Care Instructions here.

Filling the Humidifier
– Fill a cereal/soup bowl with distilled water or humidification solution.
– Immerse the humidifier into the bowl until it soaks up the maximum amount of water/solution.
– Remove humidifier. Wipe/shake off any access water/solution.
– Place humidifier back in your humidor.
– You can re-use any access solution to top up the humidifier when needed.
– Simply store it back in the original bottle.

Visit our store for a full range of Cigar Humidors.

To age or not to age… that is the question!

‘ To age or not to age’ … that is the question ! ( with thanks to our friend Reuven Zasler for this article)

Aside from my own hands-on experience concerning the topic of ageing, as well as the positive experience of other enthusiasts, there exits a body of literature, albeit quite small and chiefly confined to certain websites, which deals with this subject. The various writers agree – almost unanimously – as to the benefits of “long-term” ageing. Only one expert seems to dissent: Mr. Sebastian Zimmel, the “Cigar Doctor” of the excellent European Cigar Cult Journal which is published in English and German and appears every three months. Mr. Zimmel, who answers readers’ questions, has twice, within the past year or so, claimed that cigars cannot age like wines, and are best smoked when they are “fresh.” Such claims obviously aroused the curiosity of not a few subscribers, including yours truly, for Mr. Zimmel saw fit to clarify his position. Unfortunately, his “clarification” turned out to be gross distortion of his original statements.

On the other side of the ageing-issue spectrum stand connoisseurs of unimpeachable authority such as Min Ron Nee and Vahe Gerard. Mr. Gerard, for those who may not know, owns and operates the very distinguished cigar enterprise Gerard Pere et Fils (as well as its website) and was chosen “Man of the Year” in Habanos merchandising by Habanos S.A. at its recent Habanos Festival. Additionally, he has authored several aesthetically pleasing books on cigars, and is one of only two authorized purveyors of Habanos since the legendary Alfred Dunhill and Zino Davidoff (the other being Christopher Wolters) who has been permitted to offer for sale custom-brand Habanos. Mr. Gerard is mentioned in this writing since a significant portion of his considerable income is earned by aging premium cigars for his well-heeled clients.

Mr. Min Ron Nee, a renowned Hong Kong collector and connoisseur, unequivocally states his views on the ageing process on pages 6-11 of his widely celebrated “An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars.” I am quite convinced that were it not for Mr. Nee’s shining modesty and self-depreciation, he would challenge Mr. Zimmel to a duel.

Pre-Ageing 101: Balancing Act
Immediately upon bringing home newly-purchased cigars, one should gingerly transfer them to a well-regulated humidor and leave them entirely unperturbed for a period of two to four weeks. l believe this practice is applicable even to cigars which have been aged prior to acquisition, inasmuch as the change in climate, namely, temperature, relative humidity and proximity to other cigars, is liable to destabilize the chemical balance within the tobacco leaves, resulting in less than optimal enjoyment if the cigars are smoked in such a condition.

Pre-Ageing 102: Preparing Cinderella for the Ball
It is no secret that tobacco leaves that are destined to comprise cigars need to be cured, that is, dehydrated, after harvesting. The curing process alters the leaves’ colour from green to golden brown, but its chief purpose is to rid them of their sap, which contains bitter tannins.

Having been cured, the leaves are then subjected to two (or three, in the case of leaves which will constitute the Cohiba vitolas) fermentations, the objective of which is to remove the remaining sap and initiate a chemical change which destroys the nicotine therein but leaves behind important oils which are not merely benign, but have a very beneficial effect on the cigar’s aesthetic potential to deliver a pleasing bouquet and flavour. Unfortunately, there is also a downside to the fermentation processes, for in addition to purging the leaves of undesirable materials, they also create ammonia – the very same pungent substance used in powerful household cleaning fluids. This rather offensive by-product is once again created when, just prior to rolling, the fermented leaves are made pliable by moisturizing them so as to facilitate their manipulation.

Aged Pre Embargo Romeo y Julieta cigarsAnyone who has ever experienced tobacco fermentation first-hand, or has had the dubious “pleasure” of having to employ an abrasive cleaning agent, need not be convinced of the odious qualities of ammonia. Could anyone imagine tasting anything that smelled so atrocious? In point of fact, if you are one of those who has bemoaned the mediocre taste of young cigars – you indeed have, for the presence of lingering traces of ammonia is partly responsible for your predicament.

As indicated above, the manufacturers once stored their finished cigars long enough so that by the time the smoker lit up, all traces of ammonia had long been history. Sorrowfully, this stockpiling practice itself is now history. A final note concerning the riddance of ammonia: since exposing fresh cigars to air greatly hastens the elimination of this matter (as well as the short-term ageing process), it is highly recommended that one open the lids of one’s humidors at least once a day. This routine practice is, of course, also essential for checking humidor temperature and relative humidity, as well as for rotating the stored cigars, so there is a triple benefit in performing it.

Invitation to the wedding
The three types of tobacco leaves which constitute the filler – ligero, which bestows strength and flavour; volado, which ensures proper combustion and seco, which adds finesse and sophistication, need time to “marry.” In other words, they have got to blend if they are to furnish the taste and fragrance which characterize a premium cigar. This blending action is facilitated chiefly through the secretion of oils harboured by the leaves, which is brought about by properly regulated temperature and humidity within the humidor, and periodic exposure of the cigars to air (as previously indicated). The oils secreted by each tobacco type tend to migrate within the cigar and interact, thereby producing the blend. Further on in the ageing process, the blended oils migrate to other cigars in the vicinity (that is, inside the humidor), initiating an interaction of the blended oils. This phenomenon explains why it is unwise to age Cohiba Esplendidos alongside Partagas Lusitanias.

From Mellowness to Excellence
As a result of the amalgamation of the oils and hence the merging of the tobacco-leaf types, it can be said that the cigars in question have reached “maturity.” In this state, they will assuredly delight the senses, but they may not have peaked out yet. This is because cigar ageing is a continuous occurrence (assuming the cigar continues to receive proper maintenance) in which the tannins continue to decompose, thereby effecting a constant chemical change in the integrated filler tobaccos. This in turn will bring about a richer, more complex flavour, an even more agreeable aroma, and improved burning and drawing qualities.

Be that as it may, there are thorns amongst the roses: firstly, although ageing is indeed perpetual, it cannot perpetually improve a cigar, which will eventually peak out and then experience a gradual decline; secondly, although most hand-rolled cigars will improve with proper ageing, not all brands and vitolas will show significant improvement; thirdly, diverse brands and vitolas will peak out at the end of different durations of ageing; finally, different strokes for different folks: since taste is decidedly subjective, one smoker’s determination of “peak-out” may very well not be another’s. Nevertheless, certain generalizations can be made which are likely to be quite helpful to the enthusiast who wishes to establish personally ideal storage periods. First of all, in consideration of the relationship between the particular brand/vitola and storage duration, it may be generalized that the stronger the brand/vitola, the more slowly it ages, and hence the longer it needs to be aged so as to effect peak-out. It would follow, then, that a Bolivar Belicosos Finos would peak out after a much longer storage duration than would a Fonseca No. 1.

A generalization may also be made concerning the relationship between the cigar’s production date and the effect a certain period of ageing will have upon it: the more recent the date of manufacture, the greater the effect of ageing. For example, six months of ageing will markedly alter the traits of a recently produced cigar, whereas it will have a negligible impact on a twenty year old cigar.

A fly in the ointment
It was mentioned beforehand that exposing stored cigars to air accelerates their ageing, which would seem to be very desirable indeed, especially for those of us who possess less of the virtue of patience. Nonetheless, there is , of course, a catch: the oxygen in the air, whilst speeding things up, also has a negative impact on the quality of the ageing process, thus precipitating less beautiful and complete results. The only remedies for this, as you might guess, are 1) not to open the original packaging and humidor till the termination of the storage period, and 2) wait patiently with a stiff upper lip. You can’t have your cake and eat it.

Spooks, demons and goblins
Assuming he/she favours several cigar bands and vitolas, it would be truly advantageous for the cigar aficionado who wishes to scientifically determine all of their peak-out times to be a well-to-do masochist. The mental, financial and material resources required for such a venture would be vast indeed, so if you are somewhat less wealthy and anal, you will need to compromise and settle for a relatively less comprehensive plan of action.

Let us assume, for the sake of example, that one wishes to start from scratch and accumulate a decent collection of well-aged smokes. Initially, having procured a modest inventory of cigars, it would seem that one must cope with a vicious circle (or a Catch-22 or conundrum, if they sound less threatening): if one stores the cigars, they cannot be smoked; conversely, if one smokes the cigars, they cannot be stored.

There is, happily, a way out of the forest. One can begin amassing a modest store of aged cigars by setting aside a fixed percentage of newly purchased smokes, in accordance with one’s financial state and degree of self-restraint. This simple system will ensure a growing reserve of nicely aged cigars whilst guaranteeing a supply for the here and now. For each new “purchasing binge,” I would recommend the obtaining of two types of cigars: those that may be enjoyed even when relatively fresh, such as the Hoyo Epicure No. 2, and those which need at least a few months to mature minimally, such as the Partagas Serie P No. 2 or the Ramon Allones Belicosos.

Once the enthusiast has been stockpiling for, say, six months, he/she should now possess sufficient smokes for a monthly tasting which would be instrumental in ascertaining peak-out.

O Magnum Mysterium
Cigar maturation and ageing are phenomena which have by no means been thoroughly investigated and documented by the scientific community (or, for that matter, the cigar-smoking community), and, as such, remain shrouded in mystery and conjecture. Even so, there exists a body of useful information which has been compiled as the result of experience and trial and error. Cigar smokers who want to know what cigar smoking is really about should take the trouble of acquainting themselves with this data. They would do well to enable their sumptuous investments in pleasure to spread their wings and blossom, for ageing exceedingly enriches an already eminently delectable experience.

Best wishes

Reuven Zasler

How to cut and light a cigar?

How to cut and light a cigar, this is an art that will maximise enjoyment of your chosen smoke. Every Havana is made from three components; filler, binder and a wrapper leaf that is sealed at the cigar’s ‘head’ with a cap made from a piece of wrapper leaf.

To cut a Havana, you need to remove most of this cap with a single slicing movement across the shoulders of the cigar. A guillotine cutter or special scissors are best suited to the task. The bottom section of the cap should remain, as it secures the wrapper leaf and, therefore, the contents of your chosen cigar.

You may have heard talk of piercing the end of a Havana with a match to prepare it for smoking, but we don’t subscribe to this method, as it causes poor draw.

The main bone of contention is the band, the question of whether to remove it or not has probably been debated ever since cigars were first made. Most of the meticulous ‘banding’ of Havanas is done by women; the process apparently requires a feminine touch. The most sensible advice seems to be to remove the band only after the cigar has been alight for five minutes or so, by which time warmth will have made it easier to remove. Any earlier attempts at removal could quite easily damage the wrapper leaf.

This, it must be said, is quite justified. The wrapper (or Capa) comes from the Corojo plant, and costs more to produce than all the other tobaccos in a Havana. The wrapper is also most precious because it dresses the cigar, dictating its appearance.

Consider all this, and you will agree that even when the sensible 5 minute rule has been followed, you would still be advised to peel rather than pull off the band.

Our recommended brand of cigar cutter is Colibri, with Colibri, you’ll be assured that your cigars are prepared with a precise cut.

View our full range of Colibri Cutters here. 

Lighting your cigar
Quite unlike lighting a humble cigarette, the noble Havana is demanding, and requires more time and attention. The fatter the cigar, the longer it will take, because you must be sure to light the whole of the foot to avoid uneven burning. Cigars are also fussier in terms of the type of light used. Petrol lighters are to be avoided because their aromas interfere with that of the Havana’s tobacco. The best implements are the odourless flames of wooden matches (but let the head burn off first) and butane lighters.

Appropriate flame in hand, you should first char the end of your Havana to increase the chance of its even ignition. Once glowing, gently blow on it to make sure that it is burning evenly. Further increase its chances by rotating the Havana in your fingers whilst drawing the flame onto the cigar.

It is not unusual for a Havana to go out before its smoker has finished enjoying it! The many first time cigar smokers amongst us did wonder what we had done wrong and thought about abandoning our charred remains! But it is easy to reinstate full burn status with some gentle re-lighting, without even putting the cigar to your mouth. Clear the ash from the foot of the Havana and then heat it in a flame. If in doubt, we discovered, always re-light, because you will be disappointed if you try to smoke a Havana that has partly ‘died’. Oh, and one more point to remember don’t tap your Havana during smoking.

Reproduced with kind permission of Hunters & Frankau – December 2000
(Havana cigar importers with over 200 years experience)

Flying Dutch Cigars

Dutch cigars are popular all over the world. Each year around 2 billion Dutch cigars are exported to over 100 countries. Therefore Dutch cigars are the most exported cigars in the world. World-wide the Dutch cigar industry is the second largest cigar manufacturer.

Flying Dutch cigars have been blended to produce a sweet tangy smoking experience with a touch of spice and a cool easy draw. Made exclusively for C.Gars Ltd and created by Mr Orchant these cigars are perfect for cigars smokers looking for a decent smoking experience at a very reasonable price.

Packaged in ‘slip in the pocket’ handy packs, we believe our range of Dutch cigars are the best quality and value available in the UK. Only available from C.Gars Ltd online and Turmeaus specialist cigar shops in London – Mayfair, Chester, Liverpool , Knutsford and Norfolk. Each cigar has a unique blend of Sumatra, Java and Brazil tobacco. The Flying Dutch range of cigars are smooth and satisfying.

 Reviews

Flying Dutch Wilde Senoritas Cigar

Comes in a handy pack and is perfect for them quick outdoor smokes at the pub. Really nice aroma to it and well balanced flavours. there was nuttiness and hints of coffee, for the price this cigar is definitely worth picking up a couple of packs.

    ★★★★★

 Flying Dutch Corona Cigar

Amazing value for a tasty cigar. Subtle creamy coffee flavours a perfect mild to medium smoke. Really enjoyed it

 ★★★★★

New World Cigar of the Week

No photo description available.

Balmoral Anejo XO Petit Robusto

Buy Now – http://bit.ly/36Rnyyj

Balmoral is the creation of Royal Agio’s 4th generation CEO, Boris Winterman who embodies the philosophy that relentless, passionate curiosity is essential to discovering and enjoying the best experiences in life. This philosophy has driven him to freely explore the globe in search of highest quality, select, exclusive tobacco that will ultimately combine to deliver a cigar experience unlike any other.

Balmoral Anejo XO cigars are the result of an intensive blending process with aged cigars combined with Balmorals exclusive, signature Brazilian Mata Norte.

XO stands for ‘Extra Old’, so each meticulously crafted and aged Balmoral Anejo XO cigar is crowned with a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper that is aged on average for 10 years.

After blending the cigar it takes another 6 months in the San Pedro de Macoris factory in the Dominican Republic to marry all its flavours.

Tasting Notes
You will note the brownish ash from the cigar that demonstrates the age of the tobacco.

It is a flavourful cigar with complex notes of cedar, cacoa and peppery spices that finish with a smooth underlying natural sweetness.

Happy Herfing!

 

AVO Orchant Seleccion Cigars

Exclusive to C.Gars and Turmeaus stores across the UK.

“During my travels across the world I discovered this very special AVO cigar that I am pleased to bring exclusively to all UK cigar lovers” – Mitchell Orchant Inspired by the cosmopolitan lifestyle of Avo Uvezian, AVO’s Master Blender has ventured to the untamed heart of Central America. Capturing sweet and spicy flavours from the rich, volcanic soil of Nicaragua and blending them with the soft, creamy notes of the finest Dominican leaves. Resulting in a smooth and balanced box-pressed cigar with unexpected depth and complexity.

AVO Syncro South America Ritmo is wrapped in a Ecuadoran wrapper leaf, South American Ritmo also contains a Mexican binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, Peru, Brazil, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

Reviews

AVO Orchant Seleccion Syncro Robusto Cigar

Comes in a handy pack and is perfect for them quick outdoor smokes at the pub. Really nice aroma to it and well balanced flavours. there was nuttiness and hints of coffee, for the price this cigar is definitely worth picking up a couple of packs.

    ★★★★★

Sporting an impressive box-pressed wrapper, pale camel brown and mottled in colour with the look and feel of the leather binding of a well-worn, well-loved old book, with dark visible veining and the odd shelf-pressed wrinkle. Pre-light aromas, and draw, of baked earth and warm, stewed apricots, with a little almond biscuit. A good clean draw, and thick char line with a pillar of strong pale yellow-grey ash. Tons of naturally sweet brown-sugar spiced biscuit smoke, with a little suede and light ‘green’ wood. Chilli and cucumber on the retrohale (if that’s your thing) which settles into a strong coffee. A really tasty offering all round and perfect with a creamy afternoon coffee or a little light rum

   ★★★★★

First review ever – felt I had to! Dont usually like non-cubans, but with the online hype I thought Id try. In humidor at roughly 65% RH for 1 week. This is a spectacular cigar. Excellent flavour progression: Pepper/spice/fruit -> cocoa/cream -> amaretto -> smoky charcoal -> peanut butter -> nutty chocolate. Peppery smooth finish. Good with a subtle whisky or bourbon. Cant say Ive had a cigar with such variety before. You can really taste the different fillers as stages. Mild-Mod in strength. Not the best burn, as others said, with canoeing and 1 relight, but I didnt care too much. If you like dominicans and cubans like HDM / Cuaba, its like a mix of all 3. Try it!

   ★★★★★

Reviving your cigars

There has been much discussion and argument over whether cigars can be restored to their normal state once they have dried out. If a cigar has become dry and the wrapper has not cracked and unravelled, then it can be restored. But this must be done slowly and patiently. If the wrapper has actually broken then the cigar should be discarded. If it has completely dried out, it will fall apart between your fingers regardless of how gentle and careful you are.

Remember, that although dry cigars could be brought back to an acceptable smoking condition, they will probably never be as good as they originally were. There are several ways of treating dry cigars, depending on their condition. They must be removed from any cellophane wrappers, cedar or aluminium tubes before any restoration process. If they are not excessively dry, the box with its lid open should be placed inside a large walk-in humidor or, if one is not available, in a cellar or similar dampish location, where they can be exposed slowly to dampness, as close to 70% humidity as possible. After two or three days the top and bottom rows should be interchanged and should remain in that position for another two or three days.

Romeo y Julieta Romeo de Luxe cigars LEIf you do not have a walk-in humidor or cellar then you can probably undertake a similar process using two ‘Zip N Seal’ plastic bags. Firstly, puncture the smaller bag with many little holes and then insert the open box and close the bag. Place that bag, now containing the cigars, into a larger ‘Zip N Seal’ bag containing a wrung-out slightly damp sponge. Seal the second bag. After four to six days the cigars should be removed from their box and exposed to the full humidity. Sometimes small water bubbles may appear under the wrapper, but there is nothing to fear as long as you give the cigars a 25% rotation every two or three days. Complete the process until the cigars have been fully rotated at least twice, providing even exposure to the humidity. By this time any bubbles will have disappeared. This process can take up to three weeks.

At the end of the treatment the wrappers will again look and feel smooth with only the normal gentle crackling sound when the cigars are pressed between fingers, they can then be returned to their original box.

Please remember the following points before you start:

– If you use the ‘Zip N Seal’ bags, ensure the wrung-out sponge is just damp, not excessively wet
– When the cigars are not too dry they can sometimes be restored by simply wrapping the closed box in a damp (not wet) towel for about two weeks.
– After treatment it is best to leave cigars for 6 to 12 months for the three components (filler, binder and wrapper) again to equilibrate before smoking. Just check on their condition every three months.
– It takes only a few weeks for a cigar to become dry in adverse conditions, but it takes a few months to restore them to a smokable condition.
– It is best not to mix cigars of different brands, particularly Havanas and New World, but to store them separately.

Restoring Extremely Dry Cigars: If you provide extremely dry cigars with too much humidity, too quickly, then the wrappers will split. It is best to keep them in their box in a large or walk-in humidor or ‘Zip N Seal’ bag for about a month before opening the lid. Then they can be removed and then undergo the previously described rotation method.