Retailers in California have taken delivery of the Tatuaje TAA 2017, but it’s good news before the bad news.
Pete Johnson of Tatuaje told halfwheel he decided to ship cigars to the California retailers ahead of the national debut because of the massive California tax increase that takes effect on July 1. That tax, which passed as ballot measure in November, will increase from 27.3 percent of the wholesale price to 65.08 percent.
The Tatuaje TAA 2017, which has an MSRP of $11.95, likely retails for around $15.21 in California per halfwheel estimates. Once the new tax goes into effect, that will likely jump to around $19.73 in California before any sales tax.
As for the cigar itself, it’s the same cigar as the Tatuaje TAA 2014. The 6 x 52 parejo has closed foot and a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers. That blend is based off the Tatuaje Pork Tenderloin and Barclay Rex.
The cigar uses the same packaging from a few years ago, with the boxes and bands reading TAA 2014. However, there are two ways to tell boxes apart. First, the date stamp on the bottom of the box will be from this year. Second, there’s a small “17” located in one of the feathers of the Tobacconists Association of America logo on the box.
Johnson told halfwheel the rest of the country should receive TAA 2017 by August.
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.
In recent years, many of those manufacturers have made exclusive cigars for the organization.