E.P. Carrillo’s 2020 exclusive for the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) will be from its Perez-Carrillo Encore blend.

The cigar is the Perez-Carrillo Encore 656, a 6 x 56 box-pressed toro extra. It’s a follow-up to the line that debuted in 2018, which is made entirely of Nicaraguan tobaccos. Some of those tobaccos are aged using tercios, an old school method of placing tobacco in bundles and then wrapping them with leaves from the royal palm tree.

E.P. Carrillo says this is a size that he enjoys blending in, a larger ring gauge, and the company has promised a number of releases planned for 2020, which marks the 50th year of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.’s time in the cigar industry.

According to the TAA, the cigar will retail for $13.25 and is limited to 750 boxes of 10 cigars.

It is listed as shipping in May, though given the Dominican Republic’s cigar factories are shut down to coronavirus COVID-19, it remains unclear how realistic that date is.

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 meeting was supposed to take place this week but was postponed due to coronavirus and then canceled. Instead, the group met via an online platform on Wednesday where retailers had the opportunity to place orders.

Some of that buying included at least 14 new exclusives for TAA members from the following manufacturers.

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 handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.