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No 296 - October 18, 2012
New Limited Edition Cigars

“People will buy anything that is one to a customer."  - Sinclair Lewis  

More practically - many people would like to try something that is limited in production.
Quite frequently, the item has been specially made with greater care to the finished product.
There may be some merit in this philosophy – or maybe it is just a form of rationing made to look exciting, and the supply may actually be almost limitless!

Not so with the Habanos Limited Edition (EdiciónLimitada) cigars.
The availability is definitely limited – usually under 200 000 sticks per cigar for the world.

If you’re not familiar with these really special cigars, let me explain:
Every year Habanos (the marketing arm of Cuba Tobacco) produces two or three EdiciónLimitada cigars from selected brands, which usually differ year to year, plus Regional Editions for specific countries.The shape (vitola) chosen for a particular brand will be one that does not appear in the normal  portfolio of the brand.
Take for example, the Punch Petit Piramide (a Regional Limited Edition made only to be sold in South Africa) – the quantity was very limited, and Punch did not have a Piramide in its range.
And the 2012 UK Regional Edition is only 5000 boxes of 10.
At times the shape may later be added to the brand portfolio.

All the leaves, filler and binder and wrapper, will have been matured for at least 2 years. The very special wrapper, which is usually darker than normal, will come from the top, very spicy, leaves of the black Cuban tobacco plant, Tapado, shade-grown to protect them from direct sunlight. The traditional blend for each brand is used, but the leaves are specially aged. The availability of suitable aged leaves may decide the brand and vitola for the chosen Limited Edition each year.
The cigars are handled and made by only the best rollers in Cuba to ensure that the appearance and smoking qualities are of the standard expected by the growers; and by the privileged people who get to smoke such great, Limited Edition cigars.

This year, we are being treated to two Limited Edition 2012 cigars, and a new shape for the portfolio of the Cohiba brand – Pirámides Extra. Not limited – but very exciting.

Partagás Serie C No.3 (140mm x Ring 48)
Box of 10: R2015.00  Single: R230.00
Partagás Serie C No.3This cigar is described as having all the intense flavours and aromas of the famous Red Band range (think of  Partagas Serie D No.4, now our most popular Robusto). Special attention has even been given to the point-of-sale presentation: Boite Nature hinged lid box, with black and red label, and inner “lithographed” leaflet.

H.Upmann Robustos (124mm x Ring 50)
Box of 25: R4770.00  Single: R220.00
H.Upmann Robustos
The description for this cigar is basically a reminder, that all the leaves used come from the valley Vuelta Abajo* (D.O.P), the prime zone in Cuba producing the special features of flavour and aroma associated with Edición Limitada cigars.

Partagás Serie C No.3Cohiba Pirámides Extra (160mm x Ring 54)
Box of 10: R3580.00 Single: R410.00
The Cohiba name and brand, since 1966, has always been made in the exclusive El Laguita factory, using tobacco from 2 prime plantations in Vuelta Abajo zone: San Luisand San Juan y Martinez. The Piramides vitola has been selectively used for Cohiba Special Edicions, but now becomes part of the Línea Clásica range. It bears the new anti-counterfeit band Holographic elements make identification easy.

Reservations for these stunning 2012 cigars, from singles to boxes, without pre-payment, can be made via email. Just remember to specify from which Wesley’s you would like to buy these exciting new arrivals.

To contribute to your enjoyment of these fine cigars maybe one of these combination lighters will suit you, Turbo lighter and Cigar Cutter in one:

From October 25 – November 7, 2012 less 20% on:
55-SM026 Silver Match Bond Street chrome Twin Jet Turbo lighter and cigar cutter
55-SM057 Silver Match Neasden Turbo lighter with magnetic cigar cutter
Normal prices R445.00 each

This offer is limited in two ways:

Only one lighter per customer, and the quantity is only 15 of each model.

Take advantage and order your cigar lighter / cutter now.

Colin Wesley

No.296 October 18 – November 7, 2012

You can read previous articles from "Across the Counter" in The Library.


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No 297 - November 1, 2012
Questions and Answers

This subject is peppered with quotes, such as:
“Ask a silly question and you get a silly answer”
“No question is difficult if you know the answer”
And the one I really like …..
Q: “Where did you find it?” A: “In the last place I looked”

But over the years I have found that in discussing many pipesmoking problems, asking the right question is a real help in giving me the information I need.

• On Saturday a customer was trying to decide between two shapes – Savinelli Dry System 2614 or 2622.
My question: “Which pipe tobacco do you smoke?”
His answer: “Holland House Aromatic, why?”
Simple – I explained that since Holland House is a relatively fine-cut, easy-burning tobacco, the 2614 shape which is taller than the wide, shallow bowl of the 2622, would be more suitable and give a better smoke.
“With the 2622, you will be finished before you get started – especially if you are smoking outdoors.”
He settled for the 2614.
If his reply to my question had been “Fred’s Blend” my next comment would have been “I’m not familiar with the tobacco, what is it like? Is it a slow-burning flake, or an easy-burning mixture or something in between?”
From his answer I could suggest the more suitable shape, the thick-wooded, wider bowl of the 2622 would give a broader burning area for the flake.
In between” – either bowl, but consider how you pack it.

• A question often asked:
“I see you have Houseblend tobaccos. What are they like?”
Question 1: “What kind of tobacco do you smoke?”
Possible reply: “A Latakia Blend”
Question 2 (most important): “Are you looking for a Latakia Blend, or would you like a change?”
The answer to this question can save a lot of time and unwanted information being given.

• This question came via email:
Should one have different pipes for different tobaccos?
A two-part answer:
Using the same pipe for different aromatic tobaccos is probably no problem.
But not so with the natural blends. The pipes would need proper cleaning and a dose of
CGA Pipe Cleaner Spray to neutralise the taste of any residual flavour.

• Another common question:
“Which way should pipes be rested between smokes, bowl up or bowl down?”
An easy answer:
“Bowl down – so that any moisture left in the pipe will drain down into the bowl and evaporate away”

• This last answer is used so frequently, it doesn’t even need a question:
“Remember, the cleaner and drier you keep your pipes, the better they will smoke.
Store them correctly (and clean them regularly) – you will taste the difference!”

For correct storage, we offer elegant wooden pipe racks for 3 or 5 pipes. And for the next fortnight:

From November 8-21, 2012
25% off wooden pipe racks for 3 or 5 pipes
Normal prices R395.00, R475.00

(Maybe use part of your discount to buy a can of CGA Pipe Cleaner Spray– the easy way to keep your pipe clean and fresh.)

You will increase the enjoyment of your Pipesmoking Pastime.

 Colin Wesley

No.297 November 1 - 14, 2012

You can read previous articles from “Across the Counter” in The Library.
They answer more questions such as:

“Wet Smoking?”
“Tongue bite?”
“Other e-questions”


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No 298 - November 15, 2012
New Laws, New Ideas, Same Care!

Being a Tobacconist today ………..and tomorrow?

Much has been made of the effect of the anti-smoking restrictions on the smoking public – and quite rightly so.
Nobody should have to be exposed to tobacco (or other) smoke if they don’t want to be.

Mind you, I remember being in a car with a cigar supplier in Florida some years ago: the moment we approached a truck with its diesel exhaust fumes, he rolled up the window, changed the ventilation to re-circulate, and made derogatory comments!

However those smokers who enjoy their legal pastime are the lifeblood of our business. We thank them for their support and sympathize with them – especially our premium cigar and pipe smokers who are all entangled in the restrictions aimed primarily at cigarette smokers.

And what about us, the tobacconists who love their business and who want to continue to offer the best surroundings and service to the wide variety of our customers who rely on Wesley’s for cigars, pipes and accessories; and to those who prefer their tobacco in cigarettes.
The current draft regulations on the display of tobacco products at the retail level is not going to be easy to comply with, and at the very least will mean drastic modifications to fixtures, and severe reductions in the product ranges stocked. 
But that’s display – we will still offer you almost everything you need in our field.

To highlight a sampling of these proposed regulations:
A specialist tobacconist will be allowed 4 square meters of continuous shelving to display his total range of tobacco products; except cigars which may be located in a separate humidified area, with restrictions.
(There is no clear definition of “a tobacco product” to be included in the 4 square meters.)
“Non-specialist” tobacco premises (think Supermarket) will be allowed 1 square meter of display area, for not more than 100 tobacco products.
There are further restrictions on display – regarding lighting, branding, size of labels etc. etc.
None of these restrictions will apply to premises of less than 15 square meters (think Spaza).

However, while our cigar and pipe people wait patiently for the opportunity and venue to enjoy their choice of tobacco, cigarette smokers are not quite so fortunate: Places to smoke are becoming increasingly rare.
Yet all is not lost………“No smoking… No problem … Use Snus.”

Our future may be filled with troubled waters but those of us committed to the trade will soldier on, and do the best that we can for our customers.
You can get the same friendly service from Wesley’s franchises at …………..

The Smokey Owl, Dullstroom – Carol will help you at the same time with secondhand and collectable, even antiquarian, books;
Wesley’s East London – Paul and Val also offer a wonderful range of gifts, and they really do care;
Wesley’s Nelspruit (inside DDL Liquors) – see Audrey for your smoking needs; and fine bottles of wine or whiskey, or a great liqueur are also available;
Wesley’s Port Elizabeth – Pieter, with the help of Jody and Natasha, will sort you out with a smile; if you don’t see it in the little shop, just ask;
Wesley’s in Smugglers Cove, Richards Bay – nobody nicer than Dave and Mary assisted by Ulundi and Alice: AND they offer a huge range of pocket knives, gifts and some very stylish luggage;

And “back home” at ….
Wesley’s Rosebank, JHB – Sandra, Irene, Rosemary and Nokwazi take it in turns to be there, with student Michelle, and Colin Wesley in attendance most weekends.

Talking of soldiering on – the Rosebank Mall Shopping Centre is undergoing a massive re-development, so Wesley’s Rosebank is on the move. The current plan (after several changes of date, time and place) is to re-locate post-Christmas, to temporary premises in the vacant Kodak shop (towards Pick’n Pay).
The shop will be there until we move (who knows when) to our new-look Wesley’s which will be on the right-handside of the stunning double-volume entrance from Cradock Avenue (in the area where we are now).
All part of the new Rosebank precinct – with its enormous Standard Bank building, and very convenient Gautrain station 3 minutes away (if you walk fast).

But let’s consider what is happening at Wesley’s Franchises now  ……..

Over the next few weeks many of you will be enjoying breaks away from home – hopefully taking some appropriate cigars with you.
You must protect these luxury items!

Here are some ideas:

73-J4562 R395.00 Brown leather case for 10 cigarillos, with Magnetic closure

73-J3621t R150.00 Double glass tube carry case – “EchteLeder” (just feel it), the only case with a belt loop

73-CGTravelCab5 R137.50  or 73-CGTravelCab3 R99.00
Wooden Travel Cigar Cabinets - Two sizes with 5 or 3 glass tubes held firmly in place on scalloped ridges

73-DHHS2009 R2665.00  Alfred Dunhill White Spot Travel Humidor - It is brilliant!”

From November 22 through to December
Less 25% on the Cigarillo Case and/or the 2-Cigar Case with belt loop
Less 15% on the Travel Cabinets and/or the Dunhill Travel Humidor

You might like to include in your chosen travel case a few of the wonderful “EdicionLimitada” cigars featured in the last cigar “Across the Counter” article – ask your nearest Wesley’s!
Or maybe one of the 3-pack selections


Colin Wesley

No.298 November 15-28, 2012

You can read previous articles from “Across the Counter” in The Library.


Across the Counter
Fortnightly Articles
"Conversations with Customers"
Back to:
Aspects of Pipe Smoking
Aspects of Cigar Smoking
Commentary Articles
Complete Archives Index

No 299 - November 29, 2012
Travelling with pipes

Referring to our last article, which included a brief look at travelling with cigars, a pipe is a much easier travelling companion. But there are a few things worth thinking about.

How far are you going?
How much tobacco should you take?
In what will you take it?
Which of your pipes is most suitable?
Will you have an opportunity to have a pipeful on the way?

In many cases you can take your normal pipes; and the accessories can be packed in your tobacco pouch or carry case – no problem.
But I’m thinking about the occasions when you need a smaller, more pocket-size pipe.
One that you can pre-pack and pop into a pocket ready for:
while you are in the car, walking on the beach, hiking in the hills, fishing at a dam, even mountain biking.
One which will be ready for you to light up and relax when you finish, or just stop on the way.
A “thoughtful pipeful” you might call it - when in true pipesmoker fashion you reflect on the occasion, the surroundings and on life in general.(Click on the link – a delightful profile!)

One such pipe I especially have in mind is the Marca Sport.

Using fine quality briar, this short, chubby bent is designed for “out-and-about”; very comfortable in your hand or pocket. The shorter mouthpiece, with metal arrestor, offers less leverage and less possibility of breaking when you’re transporting it.
(Though of course you always have to be careful removing and replacing the mouthpiece.)
And, as far as smoking goes, it’s a very handy size: inside bowl diameter is 18mm and depth 35mm!
And the wood is quite thick, 35mm outside at the widest part – definitely suitable for outdoors.
Now that’s a comfortable handful – in rugged sandblast, or 2 smooth finishes. 

But that’s not all (as they say) – a recent shipment from Savinelli included
Roley de Luxe pipes in gift tins.

This swivel-stem design pipe was originally known as the “Vest Pocket” pipe – think old-fashioned waistcoat pocket. Many years ago we purchased our first Vest Pocket pipes from Simmonds in Burlington Arcade, London.
The flat “disc” bowl snuggles safely into any pocket, backpack or pannier, and the flat base enables it to stand.
Good thick wood surrounds the oval bowl 27x12mm and 35mm deep.
And just look at the quality of the briar - the deep chestnut highly polished finish shows plenty of lighter hard wood, and fine grain, and blends perfectly with the “Cumberland” mouthpiece.
To top it all, the mouthpiece holds a 6mm balsa filter in the Teflon peg, and the “Oom Paul -type” curve makes it feel very light in the mouth.
Remember – we only received 5 of these pipes – at R795.00 an incredible bargain.

And there’s still more …..

For those pipesmokers whose reflections lean towards the philosophical - the “Yin-Yang” set of pipes, manufactured by Design Berlin and designed by Nils Thomsen, won the pipe awardat the Dortmund Intertabac Fair in 2011
The twin pipes symbolise the two complementary forces of life - “Yin” and “Yang” (dark and light) which together make the whole. One without the other is meaningless, as one can’t understand light if there is no dark, and there would be no shadows without light.
For further “philosophy” consult Wikipedia
For the story behind the design, read Nils Thomsen and click on

But we’re interested in the smoking qualities of the pipes.
The briar is just beautiful – flawless with well-defined birds-eye and flame- or cross-grain in the lighter finish “Yang” pipes, and just a hint of the same in the deep, rich brown “Yin” pipes.
Good thick wood makes them suitable for the out-and-about pipes we’re considering, and the relatively narrow, deep bowl will prevent finer-cut tobaccos from burning too fast.What’s more, the bowl capacity is the same for large and medium (18mm diameter, 45mm deep).
Two mouthpieces 80mm and 120mm (with 6mm filter option), give you a choice of length.
The “rocking-chair’ shape allows each pipe to stand on its own.
The traditional circle formed by the two pipes together, fits snugly into your pocket (or backpack or pannier); pack the mouthpieces separately.
Two sizes – large and medium (the medium is only very slightly smaller).

But here’s the rub –only 4 large pairs @ R3200.00, and 9 medium pairs @ R2600.00
– and those prices are for 2 pipes each time!

And now, here is an offer  ………..

From 6 December 2012 to 9 January 2013 – less 25 % on

MARCA Sport: Natural R309.50 R232.13
Sepia-brown R299.50 R224.63
Black Sandblast R289.50 R217.13

SAVINELLI Roley de Luxe: R795.00 R596.25

YIN-YANG Set of 2 pipes
Large R3200.00  R2400.00 
Medium R2600.00 R1950.00

A final thing –

One set of large Yin-Yang pipes arrived with a chip off the shank of the Yang pipe.
We have the chip – all ready for a touch of invisible mending.
Are you prepared to have a go?
You can have the set for R1500.00
(That’s equivalent to R750 per pipe)

First come ………….. send me an email.

I thank you for your support, and wish you and yours everything of the best over the festive season, and peace and good health in 2013.

Colin Wesley

No.299 November 29, 2012 – January 9, 2013

Relax this holiday season and spend time in the Library …….
the Wesley’s online
Look at the Subject Index – you’re sure to find an answer to some of your questions, maybe some you didn’t even know you had!
Click here for some thoughts.

You can read previous articles from “Across the Counter” in The Library.