Arturo Fuente’s special release for retail members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) has begun shipping to stores.
If it looks familiar, it’s because it is. The cigars are the Fuente Fuente OpusX Forbidden X 13 cigars that the company shipped to stores in late 2011 as part of its 100th anniversary celebration.
- FFOX Forbidden X 13 Nacimiento 1912 (5 1/8 x 43)
- FFOX Forbidden X 13 Heart of the Bull 1957 (5 1/4 x 50)
- FFOX Forbidden X 13 Destiny 1980 (5 3/4 x 52)
- FFOX Forbidden X 13 Keeper of the Flame 2013 (6 1/4 x 49)
- FFOX Forbidden X 13 God’s Whisper 1924 (7 x 48)
- FFOX Forbidden X 13 Torch Bearer 2012 (7 5/8 x 49)
At the moment, five of the six sizes have begun shipping. The Destiny 1980 is not shipping at this time but is expected at a later date.
The packaging looks identical to the 2012 release, except for a TAA 50th Anniversary logo in the top right of the boxes. A representative from Fuente did not immediately confirm if the cigars themselves are identical.
What does seem to be changing is the number of cigars each retailer will receive. Elite Cigar Cafe of Addison, Texas indicated it was expecting to receive roughly a dozen boxes per size. In 2012, most retailers reported receiving only a single box of each size.
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.
Many manufacturers have crafted TAA exclusives, though this is the first time Fuente has released cigars exclusively for the members.