While it was not amongst the 20 or so cigars unveiled in March, the Alec Bradley TAA Edition is beginning to arrive at retailers that are members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA). The Alec Bradley TAA Edition is a 6 x 52 toro that uses a criollo 98 wrapper from Trojes, Honduras over criollo 98 binders from Estelí, Nicaragua and the Jamastran Valley in Honduras. Fillers include criollo from the Jamastran Valley and Trojes as well as criollo 98 from Jalapa, Nicaragua. The cigar was rolled at Raíces Cubanas in Honduras.
The MSRP is set at $13.99 and production is limited to 500 boxes of 10 cigars.
“Alec Bradley is a dedicated supporter of the TAA’s Exclusive Series program and when it came to developing the blend with our partners at Raices Cubanas, we set out to bring multiple perspectives to light,” said Jonathan Lipson, senior brand manager for Alec Bradley, in a press release. “The blend is inspired by a profile preferred by Alec Bradley smokers, combined with the preferences of the factory’s master blenders. We believe the blend will have tremendous appeal at retail.”
The TAA is a membership group, which also includes approximately 40 manufacturers, that gathers annually to discuss issues facing the industry and retailers, as well as to have its annual trade show, a unique event that works on a group buying format in order to secure exclusive deals for these generally high-volume merchants.
During the event—which took place March 26-30 at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic—the organization holds two selling events, one known as the Dream Machine, where the retailers collectively order to secure larger discounts, while the other is a more traditional trade show. Typically, around a dozen manufacturers release new exclusive cigars for the retail members of the organization under the TAA Exclusive Series Program banner. Those manufacturers agree to give a portion of the proceeds to the organization, a minimum of 50 cents per cigar.
A press release from Alec Bradley says, “the blend previously debuted to retailers” though there appears to have been no announcement about the cigar, including from the TAA itself.
TAA 2023 exclusive cigars from Alec Bradley, CLE, Crowned Heads Espinosa Premium Cigars, Ferio Tego, Forged Cigar Co., General Cigar Co., Gurkha, J.C. Newman, Joya de Nicaragua, Kristoff, Miami Cigar & Co., My Father, Plasencia, Quesada and Rocky Patel have already begun shipping, as well as an exclusive cutter from Quality Importers Trading Co. In addition, E.P. Carrillo, La Palina and Tatuaje have announced their TAA 2023 releases.
Earlier this year, Scandinavian Tobacco Group purchased Alec Bradley. It is now distributed by Forged Cigar Co.