Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s Forged Cigar Co. has announced its 2021 release for the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) Exclusive Series Program: Diesel Disciple.
It’s a 7 x 38 lancero that uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper and an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder. The filler is made up entirely of habano tobaccos grown in Estelí, Nicaragua. Like the rest of the Diesel line, it is being made Tabacalera AJ Fernandez Cigars de Nicaragua S.A.
The MSRP is set at $8.99 per cigar and it will be offered in boxes of 10.
“Diesel Disciple is the first Lancero that AJ and I worked on together and it also marks the first exclusive offering for Diesel,” said Justin Andrews, brand manager for Diesel, in a press release. “That would have been exciting on its own. But when you look at where we started with Diesel as an internet/catalogue (sic) brand and how we built the brand in partnership with retailers, you’ll see why it’s big news that Diesel Disciple is part of TAA. To make a cigar for the top 80 retailers in the country shows that Diesel is a true retail brand and it speaks to our ongoing commitment to the brick and mortar community.”
Diesel started as an exclusive for STG-owned Cigars International before branching out to brick-and-mortar retailers through General Cigar Co. Earlier this year, STG announced that it was splitting General’s portfolio of brands in two companies: General and Forged Cigar Co.
The TAA is a fairly small group of some of the country’s top tobacconists, about 80 retailers as well as 40 or so manufacturers. The association 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, 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, usually around 50 cents per cigar.
The TAA hosted a virtual meeting earlier this week and then plans an in-person event at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic this October.
This year, there are 12 companies releasing new TAA ESP cigars:
- Crowned Heads
- E.P. Carrillo
- Forged Cigar Co.
- J.C. Newman
- Joya de Nicaragua
- La Flor Dominicana
- La Palina
- Rocky Patel
Update — The original version of this story incorrectly stated the typical donation to TAA.