Monday 3rd December saw Boisdale of Canary Wharf honour both cigar aficionados and celebrity cigar smokers from around the world at the highly esteemed Viña Carmen Cigar Smoker of the Year Awards Dinner 2018.
Hollywood and silver screen star Chris Noth was awarded the ultimate recognition of the night and announced the Viña Carmen Cigar Smoker Of The Year 2018, whilst legendary British actor and Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons scooped the Boisdale Lifetime Achievement Award.
The glamorous evening, hosted by prominent food writer, critic and three-time event host Tom Parker Bowles and Ranald Macdonald (see speeches in appendix), saw the good and the great - from British acting royalty through to Hollywood stars - attend the celebrations, with guests including: 2016 Cigar Smoker of the Year winner Kelsey Grammer and wife Kayte; singer songwriter Rebecca Ferguson who performed on the evening; entrepreneur Nancy Dell’Ollio; Cuban Ambassador, Her Excellency, Mrs Teresita de Jesús Vicente Sotolongo; Ricardo Coriani, Deputy Head of Mission for the Nicaraguan Embassy; George Herbert, Earl of Carnarvon, owner of Highclere Castle, the setting for the television drama Downton Abbey; the Madness of King George film producer Stephen Evans as well as Love Island reality television show stars Rosie Williams and Charlie Brake.
As well as being crowned the The Viña Carmen Cigar Smoker Of The Year 2018, Chris Noth also received a humidor of rare cigars and a number of stunning gifts including a Montegrappa fountain pen, Boisdale cufflinks and The Glenrothes 18 year old whisky.
On receiving the award Chris Noth graciously accepted his win, thanked Boisdale founder
Ranald Macdonald for his hospitality and said that “a cigar on any occasion is a great occasion”.
Boisdale Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jeremy Irons commented on his experiences visiting Boisdale: “finally, a place where I’m allowed to drink, talk and smoke. You sit there and you think ‘what is it about this place?’. I have gone back 30 years and I don’t want to leave. It’s full of like-minded people who don’t give a shit”.
Hosting this year’s event was prominent food writer, critic and three-time event host Tom Parker Bowles, whilst Randolph Churchill, the wartime Prime Minister and avid cigar smoker’s great-grandson hosted the auction in aid of Lennox Lewis’s charity - League of Champions Foundation – LOC - a boxing academy for young people who are not in education, employment or training and have an interest in boxing.
On the night Lennox Lewis delivered a video message in which he said he was, “a great fan of Boisdale”, thanked Boisdale founder Ranald Macdonald for his support and urged the guests to bid and raise funds for this worthwhile project. The one lot auction of the Davidoff Churchill Humidor signed by Lennox Lewis and Randolph Churchill raised £10,000 for the former super heavyweight champion’s deserving community project.
The global cigar community was well represented by Jemma Freeman MD of Hunters & Frankau, the exclusive importers of Cuban cigars to the UK; Daniel Marshall of Daniel Marshall Cigars fame, the Earl of Carnarvon, who has just launched Highclere Castle Cigars; Mitchel Orchant MD of the UK’s largest cigar distributor C.Gars Ltd, and Scott Vines of Tor Cigar Imports. All in all, 240 cigar smokers gathered and approximately 920 cigars were smoked on the Cigar Terrace.
The reception featured Scottish canapés, The Glenrothes 10 year old cocktails, Boisdale Premier Cru Champagne and cigars (each guest received on arrival one of each of the four cigars that have been nominated for Cigar of the Year 2018).
The sumptuous dinner comprised of Bowmore whisky cured smoked salmon with Devonshire crab tian
accompanied by the outstanding Carmen Premier Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2015, Casablanca, Chile; the main course of finest dry aged Buccleuch Estate fillet of beef, braised oxtail, chervil root, Scottish chanterelles, Boisdale claret sauce was perfectly complemented by Carmen Gran, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Alto Maipo, Chile.
A selection of British farmhouse cheeses and Cigar Box Reserva Malbec 2017, Mendoza Valley, Argentina followed and the event culminated with The Glenrothes 12 year old Speyside Single Malt Whisky and more cigars on the heated Cigar Terrace.
Boisdale of Canary Wharf is the perfect venue in which to host the event as it offers the most comprehensive choice of handmade cigars of any restaurant in Europe. Boisdale has nurtured close relationships with suppliers over the years, enabling the opportunity for customers to sample old and rare Havana cigars in this unique indoor destination for cigar enthusiasts.
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CATEGORIES & NOMINEES 2018:
- Cigar Smoker of the Year – Chris Noth – presented by Jorrit Gerritsma
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Jeremy Irons – presented - by Edward Sahakian
- Cigar of the Year – Davidoff Late Hour Churchill -
- Cigar Terrace or Cigar Lounge of the Year – The Arts Club
- Cigar Writer of the Year - Tobias Gorn
- The Cigar Retailer of the Year - James J. Fox
- The Cigar Producer of the Year - Joya De Nicaragua
Nominees: Stephen Evans; Jeremy Irons; Lennox Lewis; Jeremy Piven; Chris Noth