Smokin’ Joe’s in Alcoa, Tenn. has announced that they will be receiving a store exclusive size of LUJ Cigars’ Kuro, a 6 x 46 corona gorda that is expected to be available in April.

Cody Hicks, general manager of Smokin’ Joe’s and Old City Cigar, told halfwheel that while the entire line of LUJ Cigars has been selling very well, the Kuro is something special. “We sold three boxes of Kuro in about 30 minutes,” he said, adding that it was then he knew it would make sense to bring in a special size for his customers. “It’s one of the better cigars I’ve ever smoked,” he noted.

Just 50 boxes of 10 cigars are being produced for a small run of 500 sticks. The LUJ Kuro Corona Gorda comes with an MSRP of $24 per cigar and $240 per box, though the store is offering a $15 discount during a pre-sale launched today on Smokin’ Joe’s website and in their physical stores.

For Luj Oluyeba, the decision to make the cigar for Smokin’ Joe’s was an easy one, as he told halfwheel that after spending just two hours with Cody and his father, Mike Hicks, who owns the store, he immediately felt like family and that the reception he and his cigars got filled him with gratitude for their support.

Kuro was launched at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, and while LUJ Cigars has not disclosed the blend specifics about the Kuro or which factory in the Dominican Republic makes the cigar, on the company website it is described as “a dark, oily and very aromatic masterpiece, intended to be an outstanding premium cigar, instead, it redefines the total experience expectations of a premium luxury cigar.” It is also available in three regular production sizes, a perfecto (5 x 58), 00 (“double zero,” 7 x 47) and toro (6 1/2 x 54).

Oluyeba said “the Corona Gorda intensifies everything…kind of like using a straw as opposed to drinking from the fountain.” He said that he had tried the 6 x 46 vitola in a prototype but found the intensity to be so strong that he decided to go up an inch and one ring gauge to help mellow it out a bit for the 00 release.

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.