Kristoff Announces 685 Woodlawn Box Pressed Toro for TAA

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Kristoff will be releasing a new limited edition size of its 685 Woodlawn line to the Tobacconists’ Association of America at the group’s upcoming virtual meeting and trade show in March.

Glen Case told halfwheel that his company will be releasing a 6 1/4 x 54 box pressed toro to the group, with 800 boxes of 10 cigars being produced. Pricing is set at $12 per cigar, before taxes, with shipping set to start at the beginning of April. While the company has not yet released pictures of the cigar, Case said that the cigars will have a band indicating that they are a TAA exclusive release.

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The 685 Woodlawn is a limited edition that was released in May 2013, with its debut occurring at that year’s TAA meeting. Kristoff offered the first 1,000 boxes to TAA retailers, with another 1,000 boxes being released at that summer’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. The cigar debuted in a 6 1/2 x 60 perfecto vitola and uses a wrapper from Brazil, a binder from Nicaragua, and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, as well as a portion from undisclosed origins. It is made at the Charles Fairmorn Factory in the Dominican Republic.

The cigar gets its name from the suburban Chicago house in which Case lived until he was 21 years old.

The Tobacconists’ Association of America 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. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group had to move its event to a virtual format in 2020 and again for 2021.

During the event the organization holds two selling events, one of which is 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 and 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.

In 2020, Kristoff released the same box pressed toro size for its San Andrés line as a TAA exclusive.

This year’s virtual event is scheduled for March 21.

Update (March 25, 2021) — The original version of this story incorrectly stated the typical donation to TAA.

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I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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