Well those Guys and Gals in Hunters know how to throw a cigar party.
Thursday morning started off with an early trip to the airport, with a quick stop off at the election centre to cast our votes in the European Election, but it wasn’t long before we were rummaging through the vintage cigar wall in the walk in humidor at our shop in St James’s Street. From there it was a skip up the stairs to the sampling room, 1997 Hoyo de Monterrey Churchills in hand, Andy had brought a bottle of Yellow Spot with him, Pete and Paul, our UK cigar forum counterparts had brought a bottle of Glenfiddich 12yo, so we spent the rest of the morning arguing which was better, with both sides claiming victory as we broke for lunch.
Tummies full, and after a visit to the Martin Gallery to view the Facing North Exhibition by Oliver Comerford, it was back to the sampling room. We were joined by Rob and his guest, who over the course of his cigar smoking life had tracked our businesses progression from Grafton Street, to Burlington Gardens and St James’s Street. We were also joined by members of the Cigar Aficionado Forum members, and by the time we tucked into the Romeo Short Churchill and Glass of wine it was standing room only, with over 30 cigar smokers sampling away.
A quick taxi ride had us at the Langham by 6.20. On arrival we were presented with a pack containing a Hoyo Short Piramide LE 2011 and two Punch Medallie d’Oro RE Gran Bretagne 2012. We all immediately tucked into the new Punch cigar. It’s a Robusto Extra, with gold foil similar to the Bolivar Gold Medal. First impressions were that it was quite mute until the 2nd 3rd, when flavours really opened up. Construction and Burn were excellent. Overall, it’s a very good cigar, and goes particularly well with the Laurent Perrier Champagne, Hine Cigar Reserve, Dalmore Cigar Reserve, Mojito’s and Falafels, all of which were in free circulation during the event. Needless to say, all of the Fox samplers had now made their way to the main event, along with 100 or so other cigar enthusiasts. Foxes were well represented. Me from Dublin, the Fox brothers were bouncing about too, with Bogusha trying to keep them behaved. Emil was there from Selfridges, Labin from Harrods and Halil from St James’s.
Sean and Jemma from H&F spoke about the H&F UK Cigar Party, which is now in its 7th year. It’s a fantastic real “must attend” event at this stage.
They also spoke about the cigar and about the Regional Edition series in general which, to be fair to Hunters, they have embraced with open arms. They talked through previous releases all of which are classic cigars.
The weather held off as we made plans for a Dublin Herf for our UK cigar forum chums and discussed the likely itinerary for this years Che festival in Kilkee. Hands up who wants to head west for a Rum and Cigar tasting in September. This year’s festival is more about Latin America than exclusively Cuban.
As the event wound up, we gathered the usual possie of die hards and headed left and left again to the Fox after party in the No5 Club on Cavendish Square. More cigars, this time with beer.
It was an early flight home the next day, but all in all it was another great cigar adventure.