On Last Week’s Big News — Last week, the Tobacconists’ Association of America (TAA) held its annual meeting in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The TAA is a membership organization that consists of about 80 of the country’s most prominent brick and mortar cigar retailers and around 40 or so manufacturers. While the other main cigar organizations have a more prominent lobbying role, the TAA is much more focused on its annual meeting and conference. The highlights for most retailers are probably led by either seeing work colleagues at a resort or the large discounts that are offered during TAA. For consumers, it’s largely about the exclusive cigars that manufacturers make for retailers in the group.

This year, there appear to be a dozen of those cigars. We’ve written about cigars from the following:

Furthermore, Rocky Patel and E.P. Carrillo have plans for releases.

One thing that caught Patrick and I off guard last week was just how not finalized a lot of the details about these cigars appeared to be at the start of the week, something that is not usually how these announcements go. While we are still waiting to hear back from E.P. Carrillo, Rocky Patel Premium Cigars, Inc. says it still hasn’t finalized the blend—and as such a number of other details—about its cigar. Rocky Patel is not alone; the press release from STG’s Forged wasn’t exactly the most enlightening and Gurkha’s initial press release about its TAA cigar was missing a lot of basic info. There were two things that came to mind as potential reasons for this. One, this is the first time TAA has held an in-person meeting at its normal spring date since 2019. Second, I wonder if the higher sales from 2020-2021 and the supply chain issues that continue to plague many companies meant that some companies had much more pressing things to focus on than TAA exclusives. — Charlie Minato.


Cigar News


  • Kansas House of Representatives Approves Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase Bill, Sends to Senate — via LeavenworthTimes.com


Deals From Our Sponsors

Overall Score

Avatar photo

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.