Some things to actually look forward to!

Right, I’m going to be very careful of what I say here, as I vaguely recall saying “It seems like there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel!” around May last year… Oh dear. Well, at the time of writing, it’s mid-March 2021 and the UK is hopefully only a month or so away from taking some big steps back towards normality [frantically touches every piece of wood within reach] so we might actually have some stuff to look forward to in the coming months. However, as last year proved, that is far from guaranteed. So, on a more positive note, I’m going to use this blog to take a look at some new and exciting products that are definitely coming out this year (or have just been released).

New Havana Cigars:

  1. H.Upmann Connoisseur No.2

This is great news for me; H. Upmann has been one of my go-to brands ever since I first started smoking cigars, both from a consumer and retailer’s perspective. They’re such a versatile brand: their light to medium blend means I’m confident to recommend them to anyone who is curious about trying cigars as well as any more experienced smokers looking for an easy, reliable choice for a daytime smoke. It’s also why I always like to make sure I always have a few on hand in my personal stash. So, any new addition to the brand is going to be an immediate winner for me, but the Connoisseur No.2 brings some genuinely new things to the table. Firstly, it’s a brand-new size for Habanos, known as “Bohemios” and measuring 5 ¼” x 51 RG. Fellow cigar nerds or people with OCD may have noticed their second unique property: the 51 ring gauge. Yes, this is the first time ever that a 51 gauge Havana has been released. So, a brand new format, from a very reliable brand: What’s not to love?

Hoyo de Monterrey Rio Seco Tubed

This might not be quite as sexy and exciting as the previous entry (at least from my perspective, as you may well have guessed from the 200 words of gushing praise, I just gave it) but I feel it’s still worth mentioning. The Hoyo de Monterrey’s 56 gauge behemoth, the Rio Seco is now available in cedar-lined tubes, in either singles or packs of three. As always, tubed hand-made cigars are a convenient option for travelling as they offer both physical protection and resistance against drying out, if you’re going to be away from your humidor for a while (remember, we might actually be able to go away on holiday at some point this year!)

I feel it’s worth mentioning that both these cigars fit in a very specific niche that I personally really like: Beefy, 50+ gauge cigars that contain a mellow blend. There’s just something about a cigar giving copious amounts of creamy, delicately flavoured smoke that I absolutely love.

New pipe tobacco


Chacom is a new-ish brand of pipe tobacco which arrived on the market last year with a range of four blends. I was personally very impressed with how competently this pipe manufacturer turned its hand to pipe tobacco blends, which I covered in this blog. It seems like I’m not the only person they impressed, as they have been popular enough for them to add another two blends to their range: Chacom No.5 and Chacom No.6.

Chacom No.5

The original quartet of Chacom blends consisted of three ready rubbed mixtures/shags and just a single flake cut (Chacom No.4.) So, fans of flakes will be happy to hear that they are redressing the balance by making one of their two new releases a flake cut in Chacom No.5. While No.4 was a simple but effective Virginia/Perique combo, the No.5 ups the variety by building on the VaPer combo while also utilising a bold amount of rich Latakia and Black Cavendish. These additions, combined with the use of a darker Virginia in the base creates a true English flake that is darker and more robust than the No.4, while remaining as tastefully refined as you should hopefully expect from an English style blend.

Chacom No.6

In the last entry, I mentioned the ratio of tobacco formats across with range. But what about the other distinction between pipe tobacco blends: Trad/English blends (/aromatics) Vs Cased Aromatics? So far it stands at three English (No. 1, 4 and 5) and two cased aromatics. So it’s nice to see that Chacom No.6 rounds this out to 3:3. In my original blog on this range I commented on how much I appreciated them going a bit off-piste with their casing choices, shunning the more tried and true flavours such as cherry, in favour of things like Yellow Plum and Vanilla Bourbon. I’m ecstatic to see they’ve carried this ethos forward by using a combination of Rum, Espresso and Caramel, topping a classic aromatic base of Black Cavendish, Virginia and Burley.

It always baffles me that coffee isn’t more common in casings, considering that it is one of the most universally popular pairings for all forms of tobacco, from humble roll up cigarettes to fine Havana cigars. I’ve always loved Coffee flavoured pipe blends and one of my favourite “Pudding” blends happens to also involve caramel: the insanely sweet American CC (Coffee Caramel) so I had very high hopes for this blend.  I was a little surprised to see the espresso actually takes something of a back seat in this blend, with the rum and caramel doing a lot of the heavy lifting, which gives it a sumptuous character, vaguely reminiscent of Rum n Raisin fudge. Not at all what I was expecting, but still a very worthwhile addition to this fantastic range.

So that’s my quick rundown of some of the more exciting new releases. Hopefully it’s a sign of more good things to come this year after everything that happened in 2020. If you’d like a more in depth note on the things I’ve talked about today, keep an eye on our

 YouTube channel, as I’ll be doing video reviews covering all of them in the coming weeks.

Hopefully I’ll see you there.

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


Store Manager @ Turmeaus & La Casa del Habano, Chester

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