Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has always enjoyed making thick cigars, and now the owner of EPC Cigar Co. is applying his big ring gauge expertise to his lauded Encore blend for the Tobacconists Association of America.
A size created exclusively for TAA members, the new box-pressed Encore TAA 656 will come in at a chunky 6 inches by 56 ring gauge, making it the fattest cigar in the Encore line. The blend uses only Nicaraguan tobaccos just like the other cigars in the line, including the 96-point Encore Majestic that was named the 2018 Cigar of the Year.
Encore TAA 656 is set to retail for $13.25 per cigar and comes in 10-boxes. Only 750 boxes will be made.
According to the company, Perez-Carrillo chose this blend for his TAA exclusive because it’s his 50th year in the cigar business and he wanted to make it especially meaningful.
Like all EPC Cigars, the Encore TAA 656 is being rolled in the Dominican Republic at Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza cigar factory. Since the factory is closed at the moment due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the date of its release is still not set. It was originally slated for May, but the company says a June release is more likely.
The TAA consists of 77 retailers and accounts for nearly 240 stores across the United States. It has postponed its annual convention this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Each year, some of the biggest brands in the handmade cigar industry produce special cigars that are only sold through the retail shops of the organization’s members. Last year a dozen new cigars were created for TAA, and when the company celebrated 50 years in 2018, 21 cigars were commissioned.