Friday, May 31, 2013


With the TAA (Tobacconist Association of America) annual meeting wrapping up several weeks ago, I wanted to give you a quick look at some of the special released cigars only made available to TAA member retailers. For those of you that don’t know about the TAA, here’s a short overview.

Established in 1968 by tobacconists, they exist to provide education, research, advocacy and support to those in the industry that are members. According to the TAA objectives they strive to meet three main goals:
1. To establish a forum where members can exchange information and share solutions to mutual problems.

2. To be represented by experienced tobacconists who promote professionalism in the industry through training and exercising fiscal responsibility. The representatives are full-line tobacco retailers who wholeheartedly comply with applicable state and local laws, are well established in the industry and the community.

3. To function as a buying group that takes advantage of industry close outs and passes huge savings to members, and exclusively provides high-quality cigars and pipes manufactured by TAA associate members and under TAA-owned trademarks.

Here are three of the special released cigars of 2013. The La Flor Dominicana Habano Double Press, ACID Big Bang and Ashton VSG Robusto Especial. All three cigars are carried by Corona Cigar, which has been a long standing member of the TAA.

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La Flor Dominicana Habano Double Press
Country: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Wrapper: Ecuadorian
Strength: Medium Strong

When I mention the name Litto Gomez, you can't help but think of great cigars. He has been producing some of the best cigars on the market since the early 1980's. The Double Press is another cigar to add to his growing list of sought after cigars. Available only to members of the TAA, it's a medium to strong bodied cigar and made in the Dominican Republic. The dark Ecuadorian wrapper is flawless and with good reason. Each cigar is hand inspected and any cigars that don’t meet Litto's high standards are removed.

My pre-light inspection found a earth and hay aroma to the cigar. On lighting up, a full peppery backbone was front and center dominating the first half-inch of the smoke. That subsides for a time and a hay and coffee tone emerge. One third of the way in, mushroom and pepper tones start returning. The draw is nice and airy with just enough pull to it.

At the halfway point, the peppery backbone is back in full force, with a hint of spice on the palette. The burn has been consistent and the ash is still hanging on. On the back half, expect more rich peppery tones, coffee and earthy notes.

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Ashton VSG Robusto Especial
Country: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Wrapper: Ecuadorian

Strength: Medium

For all the rich medium bodied cigars lovers out there this cigar is for you. There is plenty of complex flavors to go around for you in this 5.5”x50 cigar. A premium cigar that meets all the standards a premium cigar should meet and then some. A super premium Virgin Sungrown wrapper grown in Ecuador encases this beautiful cigar. Grown on the private estate of the Oliva's in Ecuador this wrapper is grown for the Fuente family and exclusively for the Ashton VSG.

The initial light I was immediately hit with a burnt marshmallow flavor that lasted for the first few seconds then quickly disappeared. A rich dark spice tone is heavy in the foreground with a hint of fruit. The wrapper has a nice oily sheen to it with slight veining. A full third of the way in and the draw is nice and smooth. A long white ash has form and the cigar is producing big bold clouds of smoke.

The final two thirds a range of flavors are found. Expect tones of cinnamon, almonds, spices, black pepper, earth and coffee. I smoked the cigar a full halfway through before the ash even began to give hints of breaking off. A true smoking pleasure awaits you in this cigar. Great burn, spot on draw and bursting with flavor.


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Acid Big Bang
Country: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan/Brazilian
Binder: Cubano
Wrapper: San Andreas Negro
Strength:Mild to Medium

Jonathan Drew, revolutionary cigar maker, is back at it again with his newest addition to the ACID line. The ACID Subculture Big Bang is a enticing 5.5”x54 cigar to say the least. He has given this cigar an extra year of aging and it shows. The extra year of aging brings out bold herbal flavors that are pleasant and refined. Slight peppery undertones compliment the herbal aroma and a nutty tone similar to cashews compliment both. The infused tobacco leaves a nice sweetness on the palette and the aromatic herbal aroma is pleasant. Expect a smooth draw with lots of bluish gray smoke. Hints of fruit, spices, black pepper and cinnamon all are found. A cigar that is sure to please all the ACID cigar fans. It's balance of tobaccos and herbal infused flavors are delectable and enticing.


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