TAA Exclusives 2023—The Complete List
The Tobacconists’ Association of America kicked off its trade show this morning in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Cigar Aficionado is on site, attending the show. The organization consists of 79 retailers representing more than 250 cigar shops, along with several premium cigarmakers and cigar accessory companies.
Many of the cigar companies who attend the show create TAA exclusives, cigars made exclusively for these stores. The special smokes will be offered to the attending retailers later this week and will make their way into the retail chain later this year, some as early as April. They will only be sold to participating TAA stores.
Here is a comprehensive list of the TAA exclusive cigars planned for this year, and the one TAA exclusive accessory.
La Flor Dominicana is introducing a new cigar called LG Emeraude, a Dominican puro named in honor of the 55th anniversary of the TAA. Emeraude is Spanish for “emerald,” and 55 is considered an emerald anniversary. The smoke, which has a dark, oscuro wrapper, comes packed in striking emerald boxes with the silhouette of cigarmaker Litto Gomez (in his trademark hat) and his first name in script. The cigar is 6 inches long by 54 ring gauge, comes 10 to the box and will sell for $25.99 apiece. The cigars have green, emerald bands and a secondary band with the TAA logo. “This will be the first time in eight years that the LG line is seeing the light of day,” said John Carney of La Flor Dominicana at this morning’s meeting. “This will be made to order—we will ship them when they’re ready.”
Brick House Ciento Por Ciento Toro
Ciento por Ciento (Spanish for “100 percent”) is made by J.C. Newman just for the TAA, and this year the company is releasing 300 boxes of the Ciento por Ciento Toro, cigars that measure 6 1/4 by 54. They are made entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco, with wrappers grown in Jalapa and binders from Estelí. The smokes won’t ship to retailers until October and will sell for $10 each, or $100 for a box of 10.
La Gloria Cubana Double Robusto
La Gloria Cubana was born in Cuba, made famous in Miami and moved to the Dominican Republic. This Honduran version, which is made at the HATSA factory, is a TAA exclusive, rolled with an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Honduran Habano binder and a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. The company behind it says it’s been aging for four years, a rarity nowadays. The La Gloria Cubana Double Robusto TAA 2023 ships in June, measures 7 1/4 by 54 and will have a suggested retail price of $11.99. They come in boxes of 10. Only 850 boxes are being released.
Sixty By Rocky Patel Bala
The Sixty by Rocky Patel is the cigarmaker’s most heralded brand, and the Sixty size is Cigar Aficionado’s No. 2 Cigar of 2022. Rocky Patel has added a shapely size to the brand just for TAA retailers called the Bala, a figurado with a shape somewhat reminiscent of a bowling pin. He’s used the shape in other cigars before. The Bala is 5 1/2 inches long with a 54 ring gauge at its fattest point, and is made with the Sixty blend: a dark Mexican San Andrés wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan filler. The cigar will retail for $19 each, and is limited to 30,000 cigars, which amounts to 1,500 boxes of 20. “These are probably going to ship in July—the cigars are ready just waiting on the boxes,” said Nimish Desai of Rocky Patel.
Espinosa Murcielago D’Oro
New TAA member Erik Espinosa spoke about his TAA exclusive, the Espinosa Murcielago D’Oro. The cigar measures 6 by 54, comes 20 to the box and will retail for $12.50 each. “Ever since I got in this industry I’ve always wanted to be in TAA,” said Espinosa. “It’s ready to ship.” He said it’s made with a Mexican claro wrapper and is medium to full in body. The cigars come 20 to each box, limited to 2,000 boxes.
Ferio Tego Timeless
Boutique cigar company Ferio Tego is once again releasing a Toro size in its Timeless blend just for TAA retailers called Ferio Tego Timeless TAA 2023. The 6-by-50 smoke is made entirely of Nicaraguan tobaccos, and is rolled by the Plasencia family in Estelí, Nicaragua. The smoke, which comes wrapped in tissue paper rather than a box, is limited to a run of 8,000 cigars, 1,000 more than the 2022 release, which sold out quickly, according to Ferio Tego. The cigars are more expensive this year too, retailing for $16.50 per cigar. The wrapper is grown in Estelí (a region of Nicaragua best known for filler tobacco) while the filler is from Jalapa, traditionally a wrapper-growing region. They will ship in April. Herklots said this would be the last year it’s released in paper, rather than boxes.
Quesada Casa Magna Liga F Toro Box Press
Quesada Cigars is releasing a TAA Exclusive smoke for the show from its Casa Magna brand. The Casa Magna Liga F Toro Box Press TAA 2023 is a box-pressed toro measuring 6 by 54 and will retail for $11.70 per cigar.
“The Liga F is the first Dominican made Casa Magna and now we are adding a very interesting new size and shape,” says Quesada Cigars president Manuel Quesada. He said that blending a pressed cigar gives “different notes and intensities using the same tobaccos as the original,” and called the smoke intense and flavorful. Packed 10 to the box, the Casa Magna Liga F is made from a mixture of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers, Dominican binder and a sun-grown, Corojo-seed wrapper from Ecuador. Production has been limited to 300 boxes, or 3,000 cigars. They will ship in June.
The first-ever Sancho Panza rolled in Nicaragua is a TAA exclusive from Matt Booth (of Room101 fame) and Justin Andrews. The cigars, which are owned by parent company Scandinavian Tobacco Group, are made with a blend that incorporates Honduran Jamastran wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder from Jalapa and an all-Nicaraguan filler. The cigar is said to be medium in body, and comes in one size, a 5-by-50 Robusto. They are $8.99 apiece and ship in June. The 10-count boxes have a vibrant, new take on the Sancho Panza name, done by Booth.
E.P. Carrillo Box Pressed Toro
Cigarmaker Ernesto Perez-Carrillo has come out with the E.P. Carrillo Box Pressed Toro as his TAA exclusive, a 6-by-52 smoke packed 10 to the box. Made with Ecuadoran wrapper, binder from the United States and a Nicaraguan and Dominican filler blend, the cigars sell for $13 each, with production limited to 1,000 boxes. They will ship in June. Perez-Carrillo called this “a cigar with many nuances…that is balanced and complex and can be enjoyed at all times of the day.”
Plasencia Alma Del Fuego Cortez
This is the first time Plasencia Cigars has created a TAA exclusive, and the Central American cigarmaker is coming out with Plasencia Alma del Fuego Cortez. The smoke is a figurado measuring 5 3/4 by 56 ring, will come 10 to the box with a retail price of $21 per cigar. The company said there is some tobacco from Ometepe, Nicaragua, in the blend. Production will be limited to 1,500 boxes, and there is no word on when they will ship.
Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Edición Americana
Joya de Nicaragua is bringing back the Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco Edición Americana as a TAA exclusive, which debuted back in the summer of 2021. The box-pressed belicosos utilize the bald eagle for artwork, a symbol of America. They measure 6 by 54 and are made with a Nicaraguan Criollo wrapper, Dominican binder and Nicaraguan filler. The cigars will retail for $15, and should be ready soon after the show. As it was back in 2021, there will only be 550 boxes made, each containing 10 cigars. The Edición Americana is ready to ship now.
Eiroa Dark 11/18
One of the distinctive smokes from Honduran cigarmaker C.L.E. Cigar Co. is the 11/18, a plump perfecto that bulges in the middle to a 60 ring gauge. Rather than bomb-shaped perfectos, the tapers on the 11/18 are subtle. The Eiroa Dark 11/18 TAA 2023 is a Honduran puro, with wrapper leaves harvested from high on a tobacco plant, making them extra dark in color. The smokes will retail for $16.70 and will be limited to 10,000 cigars, or 500 boxes of 20.
Don Pepin Vintage Edition
My Father Cigars is taking a different approach to this year’s TAA exclusive, releasing not one cigar, but three under the brand name Don Pepin Vintage Edition. The line comes in three sizes: Robusto (5 by 54), Toro (6 by 52) and Toro Gordo (6 by 60). “It’s a retro look to the original Don Pepin label, from back in the day,” said Jose Ortega of My Father Cigars. “Medium to full—it’s not overly strong.” Production is limited to 800 boxes per size (each one containing 10 cigars), prices will range from $13.50 to $14.50 per cigar and they will ship in April.
Kristoff will offer a perfecto shape measuring 6 1/2 by 60, made with tobaccos from Ecuador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The cigars are rolled in the Dominican Republic, and will sell for $13 each. Shipments should begin in May. It’s a mild to medium-bodied cigar with an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper.
The Lost Angel 2023
Crowned Heads is going back to its TAA exclusive roots with The Lost Angel 2023—it’s made by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, who rolled the first TAA smoke for the Nashville company nearly a decade ago. “Our first TAA Exclusive was released in 2014, working with Ernesto, and we felt it was time to take it back to where it all began for us,” said Jon Huber of Crowned Heads. The standout part of the cigar is the wrapper, described as a dark, oily, sweet and rich leaf of hybrid Ecuador Sumatra. The binder is also from Ecuador, and the blend is Dominican, Mexican and Nicaraguan. The smoke measures 6 by 54, and sells for $13.50 per cigar. It’s limited to a run of 20,000 cigars, or 1,000 boxes of 20, and will ship at the end of May.
Tatuaje TAA 2023
Pete Johnson spoke about his Tatuaje TAA Exclusive, which won’t be on the market for some time. Details on the smoke were rather vague. “November 2023 is probably the release, but maybe we’ll go January again,” he said. “It is a limited run, about 2,000 boxes.” At $15 each, the cigar measures 6 3/8 by 54 and will come packed 20 to the box.
La Palina White Label Connecticut Figurado
La Palina’s 2023 TAA exclusive is the White Label Figurado, measuring 5 1/4 by 52. The cigars come 20 per box, will sell for $10 each and ship in April. “The cigar is creamy and buttery,” said Sam Phillips, adding that it’s made with an Ecuador Connecticut wrapper around an all-Nicaraguan blend. Production has been capped at 1,000 boxes and La Palina estimates the Figurado to ship at the end of April.
Gurkha Nicaraguan Colección Especial
Gurkha is coming out with a shaped, all-Nicaraguan smoke measuring 6 1/8 by 54. Production will be capped at 1,500 boxes, and the cigar will have a suggested retail price of $15. Shipments should begin in May.
Villiger TAA 2023
Villiger passed out its TAA exclusive, a box pressed toro, at the registration party on Sunday night during the convention. The cigars come 20 to the box, are limited to 500 boxes and will sell for $15 apiece. Shipping will happen in April. The cigars have light brown wrappers, and bear secondary green bands that read “TAA Exclusive 2023.”
Miami Cigar & Co. is offering a flavored smoke from its Tatiana line called Groovy Blue as a TAA exclusive.
A Xikar Cutter
In addition to all of the cigar exclusives, there’s also an accessory being made just for TAA retailers. Quality Importers Trading Co. showed off a special version of a Xikar cutter at the TAA show called TAA Exclusive Xikar Xi2–The Tobacconist. The cutter has the familiar teardrop shape known to Xikar users, and it has the TAA logo layered upon a tobacco leaf. It’s the first TAA exclusive from Quality Importers, has a suggested retail price of $64.99 and will ship in May.