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Written by Patrick Lauer

Thursday, 01 September 2005

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Toraño Cigars enjoyed the spotlight at two prestigious events recently, enhancing their visibility and reputation on the international scene. The fourth-generation family-owned premium cigar producer is the only company to own factories in all three major cigar-producing countries: Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

The Toraño family took top honors at the 2005 annual "Cigar Awards" evening, sponsored by Europe's most widely-read cigar publication, European Cigar Cult Journal. Coinciding with RTDA 2005, the awards presentation was held on August 7, at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. The Austrian publication's Editor-in-Chief, Reinhold Widmeyer, presented the award for "Best Honduran Brand" to Vice President Charlie Toraño. The award was based on results of extensive tasting by a panel of experts, and reflected the Toraño's overall superiority as a Honduran cigar maker. It was determined largely on the quality and performance of the Toraño Exodus 1959 and Exodus 1959 Silver Edition, two cigars that have earned top ratings in other cigar publications. Vice President Charlie Toraño, in accepting the trophy, expressed "gratitude and pride at being chosen to represent Honduras and its great tradition of cigar making."Charlie Torano Accepts Award

In addition to being honored for cigars with their own name, the company also manufactures CAO International's Criollo Mancha cigar. This cigar not only was honored as this year's "Best Nicaraguan Cigar," it is the first cigar in the Journal's 10-year history to score a perfect "5 Star" rating. Toraño is also the first cigar maker to be honored with nominations (in 2001) for top honors in more than one "Best Cigar" category, for their cigars from Honduras and Nicaragua.

The second event was the 13th annual TELUS Skins Game™, a celebrity ProAm competition that drew some of golf's legends together for a relaxing game, away from the pressures of the tournament circuit. Jack Nicklaus, Vijay Singh, John Daly, and Stephen Ames were featured players, and the event drew 50,000 spectators, who bought out the box office in 30 minutes. The outing was held on July 4-5, at the Nicklaus North golf course in Whistler, British Columbia, a popular tourist spot in a spectacular mountain setting.

Toraño Cigars was the sole cigar brand invited to participate, and they scored a hit with the celebrity players, by presenting each of the four featured stars with a box of Toraño Reserva Selecta cigars, trimmed out with personalized brass plaques. Toraño hosted the Cigar Bar at the VIP Players banquet at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort , handing out 200 cigars to distinguished dinner guests, as well as cigars to the 40 VIP attendees.

TELUS purchased the cigars from Nuestra Familia Cigar Company, Ltd., Toraño's Vancouver-based exclusive Canadian distributor. The Canadian businessmen/owners of the company also own ROBUSTO, a year-old Vancouver cigar store and lounge that features the "Toraño Experience," a walk-in humidor devoted entirely to displaying every brand the company manufacturers.

Canadian telecommunications giant TELUS is the Skins Game title sponsor and Canadian rights holder / owner. The event, which offered a $360,000 purse, also enjoyed sponsorship and products by leading names like PGA British Columbia, Cobra , Infiniti, and Avis. Televised live nationwide, the Skins Game benefitted KidSport's TELUS Little Links program, which provides registration fees and equipment purchases to Canadian youth who otherwise could not afford them.




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