After 12 months without a new release, and over a year the company describes as being marked by several challenges, Lou Rodriguez is declaring “I’m back!” with the announcement of the release of the Double Nickel.

The Double Nickel is the second collaboration between Lou Rodriguez and Justin Andrews, the company’s vice president. It’s the pair’s first cigar since the “Lou Rod,” and Rodriguez was looking to challenge himself with a project that featured both a unique shape and flavor profile that wasn’t in the company’s current portfolio. It was due to Andrews’ background in pro sports that the Double Nickel came to fruition.

The Lou Rodriguez Double Nickel uses a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and Nicaragan filler from Estelí, Ometepe and Jalapa, with the company’s G&G Cigars S.A. handling the production. Fitting to its name, the cigar measures 5 1/2 inches in length with a 55 ring gauge. It will be available in 20-count boxes when it begins to arrive at retail in mid-August, with a single stick MSRP of $8. It joins the company’s line of regular production cigars.

The name Double Nickel comes not only from the size of the cigar, but it is also a reference back to the “Double Nickel Game” that Michael Jordan had on March 29, 1995 against the New York Knicks. Jordan was trying his hand at being a professional baseball player but struggling to master America’s pasttime as he had done with basketball, and on March 18 declared “I’m back” by rejoining the Chicago Bulls. With Lou Rodriguez Cigars being a North Carolina-based company, and Lou being a fan of Jordan, it seemed only fitting to create a cigar in a nod to His Airness.


Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.