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No 283 - April 19, 2012
It pays to visit

This has been a “war cry” of ours for many years.
For example, the pipe bargains we find in the Lorenzo warehouse have been much appreciated by our loyal pipe customers; our cigar customers are more than happy with the assorted colour budget cigar cutters - the cutting action is far superior to most other budget cutters; and just look at the cigarette case
we found.

This year we again struck it lucky in the showroom of our major supplier of cigar and pipe accessories.

Burl Veneer Humidor On a table with other “sell out” items was a beautiful Burl Veneer Humidor
for up to 20 cigars – a perfect desk size item.               
But what about the quality of the instruments required to generate and measure the humidity in the humidor?
I raised the lid and was pleased to see just a simple oasis-type humidifier lying loose in the box – no funny little analogue hygrostat, and nothing fitted to the inside of the lid.
My immediate thought: “Perfect for a Paradigm Hi Tech System
My question: “How many are there left?”
The answer was 10 – so we bought them.                 

Back home – the shipment has arrived, the humidors are as good as I remembered,
and I set to work.

Naturally the wood is pretty dry, so the first thing I must do is to get the humidity
inside the box to 70%.
First I attach the Velcro to the inside of the lid, ready to hold the Paradigm.
Using a fine spray I damp the wood (avoiding the Velcro), let the humidor stand for a few hours, then measure the Relative Humidity (RH) with a digital hygrometer.
Oooops! Not nearly enough moisture – the RH reading is only 45%.
I spray on a little more water – I don’t want to overdo it and possibly affect the joints. Besides the wood will absorb the moisture more thoroughly and evenly if it isn’t swamped.
After a few more “spray and stand” operations the RH inside is still round about 75% when I check an hour or so after spraying.
NowI immerse the Paradigm in distilled water for 10 Minutes – it is ready to use.I stick the matching Velcroto the Paradigm.
I open the lid and quickly attach the Paradigm inside – then leave the humidor closed overnight.
Next morning – I hold my breath and open the humidor – the Paradigm is doing its stuff
– the RH is 70%.
A final spray for encouragement and the job is done.

The last 9 are done 3 at a time, and I have 10 beautiful desk-size Humidors set up
ready for you to use.
But only 10 – so don’t delay – they are available from April 26 until sold out at only R975.00

Of course the relative humidity may drop when you add your cigars (even though are probably reasonably moist having come from a humidified storage area**), but leave the box closed for at least 24 hours to enable the Paradigm to stabilise the atmosphere inside the humidor back to around 70%.
**Your cigars are too wet or too dry? Click here for how to bring them back to good condition.

If you miss out on this offer, or just want to upgrade your humidification system to
the Paradigm Hi Tech System …………….

We’ll offer 25% off all Paradigm Systems
But only for the 14 days from April 26 to May 9, 2012

The Paradigm System is tried and tested – it works!
Take the hassle out of looking after your cigars ………. and relax.

Colin Wesley

No.283 April 19 – May 2, 2012

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No 284 - April 19, 2012
Dunhill - the first 2 years

(Since being back in South Africa, that is!)

Our new Dunhill pipes are on the website (finally) and made us think - 2 years down the line, do we still think as much of Dunhill products as we wrote in March 2010:
                                       The White Spot
Our first shipment has arrived, and we have a problem.
That is, we have had to consult a thesaurus to find descriptive adjectives other than “beautiful” for every item we unpacked.
The Humidors and Humidification System -Storing cigars in optimum condition thanks to the specially createdHumidity Control System; … perfect closure (just a puff as you drop the lid)
The Travel Humidor - “Somebody had a lot of fun designing this!”
The Cigar Cases -Sophisticated styling, with the distinctive white spot – a symbol of perfection
The Cigar Cutters -Razor sharp, smooth action, durable material, a perfect cut
The Pipe Tools - Precision Engineering; Compact and stylish; Practical design
The Pouches - High standard of workmanship throughout, with exceptionally neat stitching
The Pipe Cleaning Accessories - Highly absorbent chenille cleaners, restorative polishes, Silicone cloth to protect the finish of the pipe
The Cigarette Holders - Very slender, finely engineered with a lasting metal thread; Double filtration system
The Lighter Cases –To protect against damage through accidental dropping.Useful!
The Dunhill Flints - Optimum spark with less wear on the flint wheel and less residual dust
The Dunhill GasNot only for Dunhill lighters - The purity of Dunhill gas ensures that valves are less likely to clog and malfunction; and the anti-corrosive properties protect all metal parts, thus considerably extending the life of your lighter.Turbo compatible – turbo mechanisms require extra-purified gas.
The Pipes – The quality of wood and workmanship: only 5 out of every 100 ebauchons entering the factory leave as Dunhills.  Just look at a pipe: see how the line of the shank flows seamlessly into the mouthpiece; feel the smooth inside of the bowl, and the hard rim. No filter – just an aluminium tube to hold the juices. Dunhill pipes were first made before the advent of the flavoured tobaccos. When these arrived on the market Dunhill developed some “filter” pipes (like the Airstream or the Driway) and even paper filters, but they weren’t popular with customers – the traditional Dunhill was still the most in demand.
And still is today…. a Dunhill can be passed on from generation to generation, still retaining its value, its beauty and its “cool, sweet smoking”.

The answer is a re-sounding “yes”, and more.
We wrote just 4 weeks ago about the Silicone Cloth; Dunhill Gas works so well in Turbo lighters; and something we hadn’t thought of before – Dunhill Shell pipes have a smooth area under the shank to allow the stampings, and this means that most of them can stand on their own when put down.
And the Refurbished Dunhill pipes are wonderful quality and in great demand.
In fact all the Dunhill products are a joy to own.
To make it a little easier …….

We offer from May 10 – 23, 2012
Less 15% on Dunhill products (other than gas, flints and filters)

All stock is in Johannesburg at present; you can view the complete range on the website, and enquire at any Wesley’sThey will be happy to access two or three items for you to see (and admire).                                                                                        
Our direct association with Dunhill and “The White Spot” goes back to 1968 – and we are very proud to be their sole agent in South Africa.
We can’t say it better than the words on the US website of El Fumador:
Dunhill is widely known around the world as a manufacturer of high quality pipes, accessories and leather goods. Dunhill products are masculine, inventive, glamorous, worldly, effortless and of ultimate quality.

Colin Wesley

No.284 May 3-16, 2012

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No 285 - May 17, 2012
The demand for Premium Cigars

The premium handmade cigar is often referred to as “one of the world’s most affordable luxuries”, and has created a demand, especially in the USA, which seems to be almost insatiable. This, despite all the growing restrictions as to where one may indulge in this luxury product.

Recent statistics from the USA show that the premium, handmade cigar market, which is about 9% of the total cigar market in the US, grew by 7.7% in 2010 – 281 million up from 260.2 million  - amazing.
In fact the total of large cigar imports into the US in 2011 was 2.93 billion sticks, an increase of 65% on 2010 – more amazing! This is slightly lower than in 2004 (and definitely lower than the boom of 1995/6) but is once again on the way up.
This demand is not only for quantity, but also for quality – and has dictated the taste and format of the cigars.

With Cuba still out of the legal picture, the beneficiaries of this “insatiable” market have been
1. The Dominican Republic (41%), 2. Nicaragua (37%) and 3. Honduras (21%).
Together they control 99% of this segment of the market!

The technical qualities of these cigars can only be described as outstanding – comparable to, and sometimes better than, the best from Cuba.
As it is the soil from each area that determines the taste of the tobacco produced, it is up to the skills of the blenders to create the great brands, and they have. We spoke about this in June 2009 – Blending“outside-the-box”, in which we quoted from a James Suckling article on the taste qualities of tobacco from various regions.

Our original imports in 1987 of non-Cuban cigars were from Honduras and Dominican Republic. Nicaraguan cigars were only introduced in 1993, and were considered to be really good. But the unsettled political situation has, over the years, prevented Nicaraguan cigars from achieving the market share their quality deserves. The situation seems to have improved, and for the first time in 2009 Nicaragua supplied more premium cigars to the US than Honduras did.

At our October 2011 Cigar Dinner, we blind-tasted three Coronas – Dominican, Nicaraguan and Cuban. The Dominican “Casa da Garcia” scored the highest points: superb technical qualities and smoothness, but was generally found to be short on fullness of taste. We have put together 10 only Selections of the 3 cigars from that Dinner at R270.00.
At our next Dinner (May 21, 2012) we will blind-taste 3 Robustos: 2 distinctively different Dominican Republic brands, and a Cuban Robusto. I look forward to seeing how the guests rate them.

In my last “Cigar Article” (April 19) I described how I prepared 10 special Burl 20-cigar Humidors (73-J1013) with Paradigm Humidifiers, to ensure that they would be stabilised ready to receive their cigars.
I said at the time that they would be on sale “from April 26” - but they just didn’t get onto the website - (lost their way??)
To make up for it, they will be there, and at some of the Wesley’s franchises, from May 24 – at less 25%.
And for those cigar smokers who missed out on the Dunhill offer last week, we will extend the less 15% offer on cigar accessories only.

From May 17 - 30, 2012
Less 15% on Dunhill Cigar Accessories
Less 25% on Humidor 73-J1013 (Normal price R975.00)

 Back where we started this article – enjoy “one of the world’s most affordable luxuries” kept in perfect condition!

Colin Wesley

PS – Read the articles - has dictated the taste; Blending “outside-the-box”even more amazing!

No.285 May 17 - 30, 2012

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No 286 - May 31, 2012
The Churchwarden Pipe

A churchwarden is a tobacco pipe with a long stem, in relation to the bowl size.
And usually relatively slender (we haven’t seen a stem thick enough to take a 6mm Teflon peg). Actually, it is the mouthpiece that is extended – the shank is normally standard length as determined by the
ebauchon. Some churchwarden pipes can be as long as 30 cm, or as short as 18cm, with the size of the bowl in proportion.

The history of the churchwarden pipe, or at least how the design is said to have come about, is fascinating and varied:
Such pipes were very popular as an Oriental influence from the 17th century onwards in Europe. They remained most popular in Eastern Europe, as an emblem of the “Hussars”, cavalry troops with roots in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who went from Russia to France and England during the Napoleonic Wars and brought the pipes with them. It was even known as the "Hussar pipe" at the time. Engraved portraits exist of men smoking such an instrument. This long stem pipe type has its origins in the Ottoman Empire, geographically and historically.
In German the style is referred to as "Lesepfeife" or "reading pipe," presumably because the longer stem allows an unimpeded view of one's book (or Kindle).
Churchwarden pipes were reputedly named after churchwardens who used to put their pipes' long stem out of the church windows so they could smoke in church.
Alternatively (or as well) the story goes that at one time when churches never locked their doors, a watchman kept an eye on the building at night. Since these "churchwardens" couldn't be expected to go all night without a smoke, they had pipes that were made with an exceptionally long stem so the smoke and the pipe wouldn't be in their line of sight as they watched after the church.

Churchwarden pipes generally produce a cooler smoke due to the distance smoke travels along the stem. They have the added benefit of keeping the user’s face further away from the heat and smoke produced by combustion in the bowl.
Unfortunately they are also more prone to breakage since more pressure is placed on the tenon when the pipe is supported around the mouthpiece.  (Hold the pipe close to the join when removing/replacing the mouthpiece.Also, we’ve lubricated the tenons to help prevent breakage – using the Dunhill Silicone cloth naturally.)

Long ago, churchwarden pipes made of clay were common in taverns; sometimes a set of pipes would be owned by the establishment and used by different clients like other service items (plates, tankards, etc.).

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote one of the more famous openings in literature when he penned this line: "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. . . " An entire industry for churchwarden pipes was created once his books were filmed. The scenes of hobbits smoking the long pipes started a trend about as big as the cigar boom of a few years previously. (Thanks to wikipedia.org, with some alterations and additions)

With the opening definition of Churchwarden pipes, it is obvious that they can be of different sizes.

In fact we offer 4 varieties:    
  Bowl height Overall length
The Lorenzo “Lectura” – shape L1, billiard 5cm 30cm
Lorenzo “Lula” - shape LLU6, billiard 4.5cm 19.5cm
Marca “Mignon” shape MM2, billiard 3.5cm 18cm
Clay Churchwarden” flared bowl  4cm 30cm

Guess what……………… the Churchwarden will be the next special on offer.

From June 7 - 20, 2012
Less 25% off the Wesley’s Churchwarden Collection – 4 varieties

Enjoy a relaxing smoke using your “cool” Churchwarden: read your book or Kindle, or watch television, with an uninterrupted view.

Colin Wesley

No.286 May 31 – June 13, 2012

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No 287 - June 14, 2012
Selections  – Trial without Error

One of the joys of a pleasurable hobby is finding out more…..
And the hobby of cigars is no different: is the “very best” that much better than the “best”?
What other cigars might I enjoy?

When I started these “Selections” many years ago, my thinking was to make it easy for cigar smokers to try a bigger variety of brands and sizes at affordable prices and in manageable quantities.
Because when you want to experiment, it is helpful to have some idea of what you’re doing!

Our selections mix up different brands in the same sizes, or different sizes in the same brand; they traverse the whole gamut of premium cigars: Cuban, Nicaraguan, Dominican, long and short filler. They introduce new brands, new sizes, some Limited Editions when available. On occasion we create a “Blind Tasting Selection” by covering the bands. (Of course you can simply uncover the bands – and enjoy the cigars without the mystery.)
Enclosed in each Selection is an informative leaflet which may include ratings from Cigar Aficionado and other tasting panels, and you can download a Tasting Score Sheet to help you make your assessment.
Two or three friends together each with the same selection, discussing the cigars and comparing notes, can have a lot of fun and increase their appreciation and enjoyment of their cigar hobby.

Our selections are a great starting point from which to build and improve your humidor stock, and a great opportunity to break from your normal choice. You can try new cigars without being afraid of expensive errors. All in all our cigar selections are always well worth looking at – very seldom does a browser leave without finding a selection to try, confident he’ll enjoy the experiment.

Now you can try one of life’s great luxuries – without costly mistakes!
International Selection (R495.00) – something of everything in a travel case, ideal gift especially for a novice.
Torpedo Trio Selection (R399.50) Tapered cigars, easy in the mouth, the flavour and body are gentle over the broad burning area, and gradually grow in intensity as the cigar narrows. A limited “Regional Edition” is included.
Robusto Selection (R399.50) - Judge for yourself how a Dominican cigar with Ecuadorian wrapper stands up to the most popular Cuban Robusto.
Davidoff Selection (R425.00) – 3 different blends (Original, Millenium and Puro) from the world’s top (non-Cuban) cigar manufacturer – only 10 available.
Corona Blind Selection (R270.00) – here’s your chance to test your senses, cigarwise. Very limited!!
Petit Corona Selection (R270.00) - this is the size of the Montecristo 4 – the biggest-selling single cigar from Cuba. In 2 formats: “parejos” (parallel sided cigars) and a “perfecto” (tapered both ends).
Budget Cuban Selection (R195.00) - Compare 2 budget Cuban cigars with a fully handmade cigar;we’ve all heard of the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba, but have you tasted a cigar from the VueltaArriba, where cigar leaf has been grown since the 16th Century?
Short Selection (R125.00) - What about an in between smoke,what will give me the same pleasure when time is short? From Belgium, Holland and Spain - short filler, short cigar!

Click here to read more about these Selections.

Unfortunately we are not permitted to post these cigar selections to distant customers in South Africa – so visit your nearest Wesley’s. There is still time to buy them for Father’s Day (June 17) – or for the next celebration day.

Instead ………..
you will need to
cut all but the short selection cigars, so here is the offer:

From June 14 - 27, 2012
Less 15% on Dunhill Cigar Cutters
Less 25% on all other Cigar Cutters

To all Fathers, Grandfathers and honorary Fathers – Happy Father’s Day on June 17 – enjoy your hobby and celebrate your blessings!

Colin Wesley

PS For Father’s Day – June 17, why not buy any selection in an attractive and useful travel box.

No.287 June 14 - 27, 2012

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