Subscribe to Cigar Aficionado and receive the digital edition of our Premier issue FREE!

Email this page Print this page
Share this page

An Interview with Oscar Boruchin

Owner of Licenciados and 8-9-8 Collection cigars.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Wayne Gretzky, Mar/Apr 97

(continued from page 18)

CA: You have three brands today. Can you tell us the origin of the brands?

Boruchin: The 8-9-8 Collection came about as a result of a [1991] deal with General Cigar. We were going to do something in the Dominican Republic. They wanted to make a good high-grade cigar for us in Jamaica. Today, because of the raw material problems, we will get about 300,000 8-9-8 cigars.

CA: You own that brand?

Boruchin: I own that brand, and it is selling tremendously. We have taken orders [at the August '96 Retail Tobacco Dealers Convention] in Cincinnati for delivery in '97. Even though we are going to deliver 300,000 cigars, you know that is not enough. And, it is a very expensive cigar.

CA: What's the price range of 8-9-8?

Boruchin: Between $6 and $9. We also own the brand, Licenciados, which I started to make with MATASA and Manuel Quesada in 1987. I wanted a mild cigar because the market favored mild cigars at the time. I was smoking Diplomaticos that I used to get in the Bahamas. And I loved the look of the box and it occurred to me that it wasn't registered. I tried to register the brand, but I ran into problems with the name. But I had no problems with the design. In order to expedite the introduction, we came out with the name Licenciados, which means attorney in [Spanish]. We had some second thoughts because the name was so hard to pronounce in the American market. But then we got a 93 from Cigar Aficionado [in 1994], and the brand became extremely popular; the pronunciation didn't matter.

CA: They could pronounce Toro. [Laughter] [Toro is the name of the Licenciados corona gorda that received the 93.]

Boruchin: They could pronounce Toro with the 93. The problem was essentially a very recent problem. We were great in the late '80s, over 200,000 cigars a year. We had 40 or 50 good friends that we had in the cigar business that were helping me with the brand and the brand was a viable brand.

CA: So you created the name?

Boruchin: I created the name. And Mr. Quesada and myself created the brand. We were trying to copy a blend similar to Macanudo. I don't mind telling you. Macanudo was extremely popular and we felt that if we came out with a product mild like this, we would have an edge.

< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 >

Share |

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In If You're Already Registered At Cigar Aficionado Online

Forgot your password?

Not Registered Yet? Sign up–It's FREE.


Search By:



Cigar Insider

Cigar Aficionado News Watch
A Free E-Mail Newsletter

Introducing a FREE newsletter from the editors of Cigar Aficionado!
Sign Up Today