For the second year in a row, Illusione will have an exclusive release for retailers who are members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA).
The Illusione TAA ESP 2022 is a 6 x 56 toro extra that will be made entirely of Nicaraguan tobaccos from AGANORSA, including corojo 2006 viso leaves in the filler. Dion Giolito, founder of Illusione, told halfwheel that it is a completely different blend than the Illusione TAA Exclusive 2021. Like most Illusiones, it’s being produced at Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. in Nicaragua.
Illusione says it will have an MSRP of $15 and will be limited to 1,500 boxes of 10 cigars. The company does not have an estimated ship date.
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—which began Sunday and runs until Thursday in Cabo San Lucas—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.
Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Inc. has told halfwheel that it will have a TAA release for 2022 but that many of the details about the cigar are still being finalized and are subject to change.