Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Citizen Borhani

In case you missed it, I'd like to draw your attention to a wonderful article that appears in the April '08 issue of The Cigar Report Magazine titled, "All That Glittered," by Nick Kolakowski. It's an insider's look at the career of Tony Borhani, one of the cigar industry's most fascinating personalities. It reads like a mini documentary, and I found it to be, you'll pardon the expression, "fair and balanced."

So why do I bring this up? Well, I've gotten to know Tony over the years and he's always been a true gentleman. I've also had the pleasure of interviewing him. Plus, he's never refused me any request, be it cigars for reviewing, providing a comment for the Famous Smoke Shop catalog, or making time for me at the RTDA trade show (now IPCPR).

My most recent experience with Tony was in Esteli, Nicaragua last November. Tony drove us all over town, treated us to meals, gave us a tour of the Tabacalera Tambor factory, where most of his Bahia cigars are made, and introduced us to Abdel Fernandez, a very talented young man who is producing the Bahia ICON cigars.

True, Tony does have a yen for partying into the wee hours of the night. On our last night in Esteli, he took us to a quiet little out-of-the-way sports bar where we were joined by several of his friends. It was already past midnight, and we, including Tony, had to be at the airport in Managua by 5:30 A.M. Wine and appetizers ensued, and when we left it was about 2:00 A.M.

Just to give you some insight into Tony's heart; when we left the bar there was a man lying passed-out in the street. Tony couldn't help but want to stop and move the man up onto the sidewalk so he wouldn't be run over by some other driver.

I know Tony's been, as my old friend Jimmy used to say, "goin' through some changes" lately, but I'm pretty certain he'll survive. If anything, Mr. Borhani is one cat who always lands on his feet.

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