Happy Birthday to Us!

Oh. My. Gosh. What an insane week! I don’t think it’s possible that you could be reading this blog and not know about what’s been going on, but just in case: We’re in the middle of our 200th Anniversary Celebrations! It’s been one hell of an intense week so far, but also extremely satisfying. To give you an idea of how insane this week has been, I’m squeezing in writing this blog during the second set of a performance by Opera singer, Russell Watson at the fabulous Opera Grill in Chester, before Chad and I go back to providing cigars for the guests. While puffing away on a Belicoso Figurado from the Drew Estate Liga Privada No.9 Sampler, naturally. Meanwhile, our colleagues in Liverpool are simultaneously in the middle of hosting another packed out tasting night… talk about all-go!  But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s backtrack.

The birthday celebrations began on Tuesday, starting off in Chester with a huge range of guests providing free samples of all sorts of fun stuff including Masons Gin, Liverpool Gin and Jura Whisky. There was even the option to take a virtual tour of the Isle of Jura, thanks to the magic of VR technology… I told you we were going to go all out, didn’t I? Best part: That was only the first part of the day! We rolled straight into another one of our ever-popular cigar tasting evenings, with the help of Scott Vines of Tor Imports. The event had a New World vibe and we focused on Oliva cigars, a portfolio that contains (IMHO) some of the finest cigars to come out of Nicaragua.

We started the evening with the aptly named Oliva Orchant Selection Chubby which measures up at a stocky 4” x 60rg. The hefty gauge makes for an exceptionally cool and easy draw with delicate but satisfying woody flavours. This was our starter cigar, as it’s got the perfect blend for tantalising your palate and getting you in the mood for more cigars. We then moved on to an Oliva Serie V Belicoso as our main course. Even though I love Oliva Cigars, I’d somehow missed this one out and never tried one. Well, let me tell you: It blew me away! Full bodied, rich and spicy, but perfectly balanced with notes of cocoa and nuts. Definitely making its way into my rotation from now on. I’d definitely recommend trying one if you haven’t already.

On top of the delicious cigars, our guests were offered our (now award winning) Orchant Selection Cigar Malt and Stalla Dhu whisky or a selection of Cuban Rum for refreshments. But we weren’t done there. As this was our big two-oh-oh we also had a specially made birthday cake to mark the occasion. But we’re still not done! We carried on the hi-tech vibe of the daytime, with another VR tour, this time of the Oliva tobacco farms and cigar factories. We finished off with a good old fashioned  British raffle, which had some absolutely ridiculous prizes, including bottles of Tomatin Whisky, Colonsay Gin, Davidoff cigar accessories, Kopi Luwak Coffee and our star prize: A complimentary meal at Chester’s incredible “Upstairs at the Grill” followed by cigars and aperitifs at Bar Lounge. Very Jealous of the winner of that one.  We finished with delectable Dictador coffee and then called it a night. It was one of our best evenings yet, big thanks to all the staff and customers who made it so special.

Next up, the following day it was Knutsford’s turn. As soon as I finished in Chester I hopped on the train to lend a hand there. It was pretty much the same set up as Chester’s event, so I won’t repeat myself, but it was fantastic to get back over to the Knutsford store and catch up with their staff and customers, many of whom I hadn’t seen for nearly a year. I was gutted that I missed out on the Liverpool Gin themed Tesla that we had parked up out the front, but you can’t win them all.

That brings us to today. As I type this, the Liverpool tasting night is in full swing. I can’t tell you too much about what’s going on over there, but I trust it’s an awesome night us per usual. I’m sure you can see all about it on Social Media.  Meanwhile, Chad and I are just getting our table set up at the Russell Watson show at the Opera Grill, so we can provide post-show cigars for the guests. We’ve brought along a few of our favourites, including Davidoff Yamasa Toro, Joya de Nicaragua Cabineta Short Churchills, Inka Secret Blend Rojo Robustos and the classic Montecristo No.4. So we have something for all tastes!

I’m going to have to sign off there and get back to my post, but I hope I’ve given you a rough idea of just how amazing this week has been. It’s a real sign of just how much the company has grown and I genuinely can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. Here’s to another 200 years!


Until next time: Put that in your pipe and smoke it!


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