E.P. Carrillo’s exclusive release for retailers who are members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) has begun arriving at stores.

The E.P. Carrillo TAA 2021 is listed by retailers as a 6 x 52 toro that uses Nicaraguan tobacco for the wrapper, binder and filler. In addition, the filler blend contains Brazilian tobacco. Retailers have listed the cigar for $9.50 per cigar and it is offered in boxes of 10 cigars.

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 convention, the organization hosts two distinct selling events. One is known as the Dream Machine, an optional event where manufacturers offer the entire group of retailers tiered specials and discounts. The more the group collectively agrees to buy, the better the discounts and deals are for every retailer involved. In addition, the week includes a more traditional trade show which oftentimes sees some of the most aggressive discounts of the year.

This year’s convention was held virtually in March, though an in-person event is scheduled for October.

For consumers, the TAA is most known for its Exclusive Series Program. Participating manufacturers produce exclusive cigars that are only sold to the group. A portion of sales is donated back to the TAA.

This year, a total of 13 different companies announced TAA ESP releases, less than half of them have shipped to stores:

During the last 24 hours, David Spirt and Lissette Perez-Carrillo did not respond to emails from halfwheel asking questions about this release.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.