Association of Independent Cigar Specialists

Expert advice and service

The AICS has been set up to represent the interests of the premium cigar retailer trade in the United Kingdom as well as the EU. Cigar trade suppliers are also welcome to join the AICS. AICS supports Freedom to Choose
Latest News and Events

Association of Independent Cigar Specialists - Annual Awards

The 2012 Annual Awards for Cigar Retailer of the year and Cigar Trade Supplier of the Year will take place at Boisdale Canary Wharf on the 2nd July

An evening of drinks, smokes and canapés recognizing our industry colleagues for their outstanding contribution to the specialist cigar trade in the UK and Ireland

The Retailer Award is given to our members for customer service, expertise, range and merchandizing

The Supplier Award is given to our members for speed of delivery, promotions, quality of goods and packaging

The event coincides with the C.Gars Ltd auction event which starts on the cigar terrace at 6pm

We look forward to welcoming AICS retail and supplier members for a memorable evening

Mitchell Orchant- Chairman

Guy Hancock – membership Secretary

AICS 2010 Dinner

The annual dinner and awards for the Association of Independent Cigar Specialists (AICS) were held at Boisdale in Belgravia last night and a great evening was had by all especially as we were enjoying UK exclusive regional edition Punch Serie D'Oro no.1 which are just incredible smokes. In fact the more the mature the better they become.

Cigar buyers are assured specialist cigar advice and guidance from AICS members.

All of our members are strictly vetted by the AICS to ensure that they have the relevant knowledge and experience in the cigar trade as well as the correct storage for cigars as well as a substantial range of Cuban and non Cuban cigars.

UK members will assure you that only English Market Selection Havana cigars supplied by Hunters and Frankau are sold from their humidors- your guarantee of the finest quality Havana cigars

Advice always welcome - simply email on

Chairman: Mitchell Orchant Winner of the Silver Chaveta award from Hunters and Frankau “UK specialist in Havanas of the year 2005”

Guy Hancock: Membership secretary/group buy co-coordinator

AICS approved suppliers who are corporate supplier members of the AICS include: Tabac World, Gift International, Cafe Cuba, CubaWelcome Travel, Brilliant Media, Vigia Cuban Rum

A message from the AICS Chairman

I have enjoyed smoking Havana cigars for the last 31 years, my Father is a Havana cigar smoker and my Grandfather was a Havana cigar smoker. Many years ago they used to tell me stories of all the great cigar merchants they visited around the world so back in the mid 1990’s it struck me that times had changed, particularly in the UK where I struggled to find a decent cigar merchant let alone one of the great cigar merchants clearly from a bygone age. The merchants I dealt with seemed to lack knowledge,passion,enthusiasm range, adequate humidors and ….customer service. They lacked it all and clearly many still do.

I remember meeting with my smoking buddy Guy Hancock around 1997 when we were both starting our businesses and over some Partagas SD no.4’s we discussed how we would be cigar merchants that actually cared about the products we sold as well as the environment we stored them in and the service that we wanted to provide our customers with. Money was not the sole motivation but a pride in our trade was and still is.

We learned our craft by looking at our competition and doing just about everything the opposite to them and we have built our businesses into massive successful enterprises that have not lost their ethos of value for money, the finest customer service and the best quality cigars money can buy.

But that wasn’t enough for Guy and I as we wanted to put the UK and Ireland back on the map as the best places in the world to buy premium cigars and for aficionados to be able to come for the best advice and information about premium cigars. So we decided to set up the Association of Independent Cigar Specialists (AICS) as there seemed to be no trade association that exists to represent the Specialist cigar merchant and we wanted to again give the customer the choice of specialist cigar merchants that we recognize are truly specialists in the cigar trade.

You will be assured the same level of exceptional service from any and all of our member as customers have come to expect from Guy and I.

Buy less- buy the best and let the AICS members take care of your cigar needs for your total cigar smoking satisfaction.

Good smoking and best wishes

Mitchell Orchant and Guy Hancock

The Association of Independent Cigar Specialists

Associate Members

Vintage Wines Ltd

Vintage Wines Ltd. is a well-established independent company and is recognized as one of the leading suppliers of fine wines and spirits in the midlands. Founded in 1948 by Reg Haward after he left the R.A.F., the company quickly established itself as a specialist supplier to the restaurant trade, corporate accounts and private individuals.

Hollands Fine Wines

Welcome to the Hollands of Bray. Located on the Main Street in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Our pub and off licence provide the perfect setting for a quiet drink or a meeting point for you and your friends.

Our Suppliers

  • TabacWorld
  • Ben Wade
  • Gift International
  • Cafe Cuba
  • Cadogan
  • Tor Imports
  • Hillwood UK Ltd
  • CubaWelcome Travel
  • Brilliant Media
  • Vigia Cuban Rum
  • Boisdale

Membership Benefits

  • Details of legislation updates affecting our trade
  • Group buy product access
  • I.T. advice
  • Co-operation between professional expert cigar specialists in all aspects of the business
  • Access to marketing know how
  • Own cigar banding service
  • Access to drop ship program
  • Access to stock with no minimum order requirements
  • Membership fees apply