In Mayfair and London’s West End nothing stops for very long even at Christmas and New Year. The stores close; briefly, and then it’s all a mad rush for the sales. We are not much different at Sautter and we have some great offers in our sale which starts tomorrow morning 10.00am, 3rd of January bright and early. It’s a great time to get yourself a new humidor as we clear out some of our ex-display stock to make room for all of the new stock we have on the way.

The New Year marks the formal opening of the first new Sautter Cigar locations, we are now supplying our fabulous quality Cuban cigars to the first two select partner bars. The first two, in Fulham and Canary wharf. Make sure you follow us on Twitter to get regular updates on events during 2012 and to hear about the new London venues where you will be able to enjoy Sautter Cuban cigars.

The fact that the problem of forged Cuban cigars has recently featured in a story by Reuters confirms that the problem has now become widespread. We have all been offered a box of cigars by a friend who has returned from Cuba or Mexico that turn out to be made of Banana leaves, at best. Luckily in the UK we have the EMS stamp which guarantees not just that the cigars are genuine but also that they have been looked after from manufacture to the store.

We have exciting news of a link up with the Monaco Cigar Club and details of Cigar Training for 2012. Finally if the grey London weather is getting you down, maybe it is time you planned a trip to the sun in Havana for the 2012 Habanos Festival.

So Happy New Year from all of us at Sautter may we all be prosperous, successful and smoke many great Cuban cigars.

Sale Time at Sautters

Post Christmas sales are a great tradition and Sautter is no different. We need extra space to prepare for the new seasons wonderful new humidors and cigar cases so it is time for the Sautter New Year sale. So at 10.00am, 3rd of January, bright eyed and bushy tailed we shall be at work marking down some of our ex-display stock to make room for all of the new stock we have on the way.

The sale will include humidors, cigar cases and other gift items but it specifically excludes cigars because as all of our customers should know by now our fine Cuban cigars just get better with age.

The sautter New Year Sale is only in the store and NOT on our web site but if you can’t get in and you need a new humidor to store all those wonderful Christmas cigars in perfect condition then give us a ring and we will help you select the right item.

Broadway House in Fulham

London is really the capital of the world for cigars, we have the finest selected Cuban stock and despite the efforts of legislators new places to enjoy a cigar are opening up every month.

Sautter is working with a number of fantastic bars and clubs all over London and the South East to bring help bring fine Cuban cigars

We are delighted to be able to formally announce the first two of these to you our regular customers.

Perfectly located on Fulham Broadway is the Broadway Bar and Grill, owned by the energetic and highly experienced restaurateur Brenhan Magee. He has a passion for running great bars and restaurants and he has completely refurbished the entire 17th Century building and have turned it into two separate venues, the Broadway Bar and Grill downstairs and Brasaupstairs. With both restaurants providing quality food and drink and fantastic service.

The Broadway also includes a private members’ club, called Broadway House. The new club sits above The Broadway Bar & Grill and Brasa, making full use of the top floor and boasts two wonderful terraces which are ideal for a drink and a cigar. There is also a cocktail bar, restaurant, rooftop bar with a barbecue, as well as private functions rooms.

The bars have been equipped with Specialist humidors supplied and stocked by Sautter with the finest Cuban cigars and to mark the re-opening of the club after the New Year break there will be a members only Cigar and Cognac evening on Thursday 12th of January.

The club has full wi-fi and a license to open until 1am. It will provide a space where local professionals and residents can relax and socialise with like-minded individuals and enjoy a fine Cuban cigar.

Membership is currently £300 for a limited time only and includes access to special events like wine tastings, screenings, themed parties and poker tournaments.

For further details the web site is at http://www.brasalondon.com/?page_id=469.

To sign up for their newsletter go to http://forms.eject.it/signup.php?fid=2733&pid=14146.

Goodmans

Sautter’s expansion to the East takes in the amazing new Steak House of Goodman’s at 3 South Quay Canary Wharf.

Johnny is a big steak man with a ‘Mayfair constitution’ and his discovery of Goodman’s just off Bond Street after many years eating fine American beef was a revelation.

So it was logical for Sautter to team up with the team at Goodman’s when they opened their latest fine restaurant in Canary Wharf. Sautter has installed a specialist humidor and will be supplying fine Cuban cigars and arranging regular cigar events at the restaurant. There is a covered heated out door smoking area with a fine view of Canary wharf in which to enjoy your fine cigar.

Goodman has been recognised by the Meat eaters of London as the finest steak house in the metropolis.
You will not have tasted meat as good as this side of the Atlantic but for Johnny, our arbiter in these matters this is the finest steak house in the whole of London.

All meat is selected from traceable, grain fed herds and matured in specially constructed dry ageing rooms, hand cut and then cooked to perfection over charcoal to produce the greatest steaks in the capital.
But don’t just take our word for it, read a recent review:

Square Meal Review of Goodman Canary Wharf

The march of the steak restaurant shows no signs of abating in the capital, so it’s understandable that Goodman’s high-gloss concept has branched out eastwards to Canary Wharf. Decor-wise, this is classic alpha-male territory – all dark wood & dark-leather banquettes,… a gargantuan porterhouse & bone-in rib delivered flavour in spades. Fans of luscious transatlantic desserts won’t be disappointed, either, & the US-leaning wine list features plenty of beefy reds by the glass. … this is a serious steakhouse.
Read the full review here http://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/london/view/106886/Goodman_Canary_Wharf

Goodman’s at Canary Wharf is open Monday to Saturday 12 to 10.30. There will be exciting cigar events during 2012, follow @Sauttercigars on Twitter or watch out in future Newsletters for further details.

Reuters report on fake Cuban Cigars, aren’t you glad we have EMS.

When fake Cuban cigars feature in a story on Reuters you know that the problem has become a world wide issue.

In a recent report Jack Kimball visited a Cuban ‘factory’ where perfect looking Romeo and Julieta cigars were carefully packed, complete with thin waxed paper and official guarantee stamp. His story highlights that It’s hardly surprising that Cubans should try to supplement their salary by making black market cigars and it is estimated that as much as 20% of goods go missing in the distribution chain and get mixed up with forged cigars and in most cases you will find it difficult to tell the difference so good are the forgeries.

For the forgers it is often possible to obtain either high quality counterfeit warranty seals and there is also a very active black market for warranty seals and cigar bands stolen from the legitimate manufacturers.

However, we are very lucky in the UK because since 1993 we have had the ‘EMS’ (English Market Selection) stamp on all boxes of UK Havana cigars. This stamp guarantees not just that the cigars are genuine but also that they have been looked after from manufacture to the store.

The EMS stamp is a full guarantee that:

1. Every box has come directly from Habanos S.A. in Cuba via Hunters & Frankau to us.

2. Every box has been shipped and stored by experts.

3. Every box has passed a UK quality check.

4. All UK Duties have been paid.

5. Every box carries correct UK health warnings.

So you can relax in the knowledge that every box of cigars carrying the stamp is genuine and that no banana leaves are involved!

If you would like to read the full Reuters article it is available at

http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/12/15/us-cuba-cigars-idINTRE7BE1N220111215

Trinindad Fundadores

Every now and then something amazing is found in our cupboards, or in the back of Hunters and Frankau’s warehouse/humidor and this month is one of those occasions. We have recently acquired the very last stock of amazing Trindad Fundadores with the gold bands signifying that they came from the last batch produced at the Cohiba Factory at El Laguito. These are cigars with real history:

Trinidad cigars were first released to the public at the beginning of 1998 in one size only, the Fundadores or Founders (7 1”/192mm x 40 ring gauge). However, long before that Trinidad had earned a reputation all over the world among aficionados as THE mystery cigar from Havana.

Production of the Trinidad brand was started in 1969 at the iconic El Laguito factory famous as the home of Fidel Castro’s Cohiba cigars. Initially small quantities of cigars were made and then exclusively for the Cuban Council of State to give them as gifts to foreign diplomats and visiting dignitaries.

These cigars, known unofficially as Trinidad ‘Diplomats’, were thinner than the Fundadores, in fact they were standard Laguito No. 1s like the Cohiba Lancero, but contained a very different, fuller flavoured, tobacco blend. They remained unknown outside diplomatic circles although rumours circulated and some very lucky collectors were able to get small quantities from ‘non smoking diplomats. Then in until September 1992 when their existence was revealed in the first issue of the Cigar Aficionado magazine.

After this article Trinidad became the cigar that every collector and cigar enthusiast wanted to get his hands on because they were virtually impossible to obtain. A few were tasted and some were auctioned for the Cuban Health Service in boxes signed by Fidel Castro at Cigar Aficionado’s Dinners of the Century in Paris in 1994 and London in 1995.

Soon afterwards the Cuban industry decided that with auction prices so high for the very limited number of cigars available it was a good time to launch the cigar to the public and in the brand was launched in Havana in February 1998.

The production Trinidad was different from the original Diplomatic issue cigars. The factory took the original essence of the Trinidad Diplomat and softened it to produce a blend that concentrated on the aromatic fragrance of Cuban tobacco with a distinct medium flavour. Above all it has an approachable taste designed to please both the novice and seasoned smoker alike.

The cigars that Sautter have obtained are the very last of the UK stock of Fundadores made at the El Laguito factory because at the end of 2004 demand for Trinidad had outstripped the production capacity at El Laguito. It was decided that the manufacture of all the brand’s sizes should be transferred to the Francisco Donatien factory in the heart of Pinar del Rio City. 

It is here that Trinidad is made today within a few miles of the famous Vuelta Abajo plantations where all its tobaccos are grown.

To mark this move the brand of the Trinidad cigars was changed from the historic classic gold band to the new Trinidad band we are all familiar with today.

So now, if you are very quick, it is possible to snap up a little bit of history, and a really great cigar at Sautter in Mount Street

(We are grateful to Simon Chase for his original notes on the history of the Trinidad brand, used in the preparation of this item.

The Monaco Cigar Club

The Monaco Cigar club is a club based in the principality and London which runs regular meetings and “informal smokes” in London and Monaco.

Sautter is delighted to be working with the club and Magali and the team will be involved in a number of events in the coming months.

You can follow the club and their events at their web site http://web.me.com/monacolife/monacolife.me.com/MCC.html

Cigar Training

If you have always liked the idea of cigars but never known where to start, of if you would like to know more about Cuba, the way Cuban tobacco is grown and how Cuban cigars are made then Sautter cigar Training is the ideal place to start.

A recent ‘trainee’ gave us this feed back on a recent Saturday Training session: "Extremely educational. Very relaxed and friendly. Often very funny. Nic is a superb and very natural teacher. He managed to make the session feel very informal."

The training dates fixed for early 2012 are:

  • 14th January
  • 17th March
  • 14th April


There are still some places left so call the store for full details or for full details and cost check our web site: http://www.sauttercigars.com/sautter-cigar-training/

A new innovation for 2012 will be our ‘Cigar Homework’. A series of samplers in light and medium which will gently introduce you to a number of cigar brands and sizes. These will be available to purchase on our web site and for those who join our training there will be a special extra ‘mystery’ cigar with every sampler bought.

Full details of Sautter Cigar training are available on our web site: http://www.sauttercigars.com/sautter-cigar-training/

The first three dates for 2012 are:

  • 14th January
  • 17th March
  • 14th April


Come and join us and learn how to enjoy a fine Cuban cigar.

Havana Trips

In just under two months the Sautter tour groups will be in Havana for the 14th Habanos Festival and you too could be enjoying a fine Cuban cigar and a Mojito on the terrace of the Nacional Hotel, one of the finest places in the world to enjoy a cigar.

We have planned two great weeks in Cuba for our customers

The first week is an enthusiast trip with two days in Pinar Del Rio to see the tobacco harvest, tours of the Cohiba factory and old Havana’s sites and cigar stores. We will stay at the historic Nacional hotel and the trip includes a short beach break at one of Cuba’s wonderful beach resorts.

First week prices ranging from L1,800 up (excluding flights)

The second (Festival) week includes a range of Festival events and cigar tastings and the very special Sautter Churchill cigar dinner in the Presidential suite at the Nacional Hotel (where we will stay) with prices from L2,500 up (excluding flights)

Full details of each weeks programs are shown below and we do still have a few places available for each week so email events@sauttercigars.com for further details and to arrange bookings.

Cigar Enthusiasts trip 19th – 26th February 2012

Sunday 19th February
Fly Gatwick to Havana with Virgin
Arrrive Havana Sunday evening
Transfer from Airport


Sunday 19th
Check in to Hotel Nacional, Havana
Evening meal at El Ajibe


Monday - 20th Nacional
Walking tour of Old Havana
Lunch at Ambos Mundos, the hotel where Hemmingway stayed
Tour Of Havana in old convertible cars
Evening meal at Old Havana restaurant (barbecue atop Spanish centre)


Tuesday - 21st
Breakfast at Hotel
Leave early to visit Vinales Pinar del Rio
Barbecue lunch at Local Tobacco Farm in Vinales
Overnight in a Casa Paticulares
Evening at Music spot near Church


Wednesday - 22nd
Breakfast at Casa
Drive to Pinar del Rio to visit the farm of Alejandro Robaina
Lunch at Café near Robainna farm
Return to Havana and the Hotel Nacional
Evening meal at Old town restaurant


Thursday - 23rd
Factory Tours
Morning tour of El Laguito Romeo y Julieta/H.Upmann factory
Lunch at Templete
Afternoon tour of Cigar Stores in Old Havana)
Evening Meal in Havana (La Guarida)


Friday 24th
Transfer to Sol Palmeras (Varadero) after breakfast.


Friday & Saturday nights in Sol Palmeras
Sunday afternoon Transfer from Sol Palmeras to Havana for Sunday evening PM return Virgin flight (Lands in the UK on Monday morning)

If you would like to bring your Partner with you on this trip there is an option to depart to Varadero on Tuesday morning for those who would rather head to the beach than the Tobacco fields and factories. You can then meet up again on Friday in Varadero.

Habanos Festival 26th to 4th March

Sunday 26th February
Fly Gatwick to Havana with Virgin
Arrive Havana Sunday evening
VIP Reception at Airport
Transfer from Airport


Sunday Evening - 26th February
Check in to Hotel Nacional
Evening meal at El Ajibe


Monday - 27th February
Tour of Old Havana
Walking tour led by historian
Lunch at Ambos Mundos
Afternoon at leisure at the Nacional Hotel
Evening Habanos Welcome event


Tuesday - 28th February
Breakfast at Hotel
Trip to Tobacco Farm
Lunch
Return to National in the afternoon
Evening Cigar Tasting and dinner in Presidential Suite at Nacional


Wednesday - 29th February
Breakfast at Hotel
El Laguito Factory Tour
Lunch at Old Havana restaurant
Afternoon Tour of Partagas Factory
Evening meal at La Guarida


Thursday - 1st March

Breakfast at Hotel
Tour of Cigar Stores
Lunch at il Templete
After lunch walk to Condes de Villa Nueva
Evening Cigar Dinner in Presidential Suite


Friday 2nd March

Breakfast at the Hotel
Tour of Havana in classic old cars
Lunch at a old town restaurant
Afternoon at leisure at the Nacional
Habanos Gala Dinner


Saturday 3rd March
Breakfast at Hotel
Baseball Game against the rollers
Early evening drinks and Canapes outside the veranda outside the Presidential suite


Sunday 4th March

Day at leisure by the pool at the Nacional
Sunday evening transfer to Airport for return flight


Monday 5th March

Arrive Gatwick Airport