Treachery, lechery, power struggles and family secrets. These are the primary components of your basic Fox network melodrama, and Empire, starring Terrence Howard, is no different. But that's not to say the show isn't instantly addictive. In fact, Empire has just ripped into its third tawdry season, and while there isn't a heck of a lot of cigar smoking throughout the show, Meier & Dutch is helping to lionize the series with an Empire-themed cigar line, as well as a bold set of blinged-out accessories that look as though they came straight off one of Empire's many lavish stage sets.
Empire's story revolves around street-hustler-turned-record executive Lucious Lyon who found big success as a hip hop/R&B artist and even bigger success as founder of Empire Entertainment, a record company built on the drug money of his former street life. Now he's looking to pass on the legacy to one of his three sons—but he's undecided as to who will inherit the business. As is the case with many self-made tycoons, Lyon is perpetually disappointed in his own offspring, frustrated by their lack of drive or tenacity.
So, Lyon does what any egomaniacal, overbearing mogul would do: He pits his own sons against one another in a semi-sadistic contest for the company's crown—and the drama begins.
This is, of course, a simplistic synopsis of the show. There's plenty more going on, and the show is definitely binge worthy. And this kind of binging is all the more fun with a good smoke.
The Lucious Lyon cigars are the result of a licensing partnership between Meier & Dutch and the Fox network (the same kind that created the Sons of Anarchy Cigars a few years ago). Individually tubed, each smoke consists of a Connecticut shade wrapper, Mexican San Andrés binder and a filler combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco. They're made at the Scandinavian Tobacco Group Danlí factory in Honduras and come in three sizes: No. 1, measuring 5 inches by 50 ring gauge; No. 2, 6 by 54 (torpedo); and No. 3, 6 by 52. The cigars are packaged in decorative 10-count boxes that reflect the theme of the show.
"The characters of Empire personify a lifestyle associated with success, luxury and an insatiable appetite for only the finest things," said Steve McDevitt, director of sales for Meier & Dutch. "Creating a compelling, limited-edition offering of premium products around Lucious Lyon came naturally and the project literally took on a life of its own from day one."
Meier & Dutch is also releasing a Lucious Lyon set of cigar accessories, all designed by Xikar. There's a crystal ashtray ($125), lighter ($125) and cutter ($125), which both come in gold finishes. There's even a 75-count humidor ($375) appropriately embellished in black and gold.
The cigars and the gear are all limited-edition products. Like any empire that's ever ruled the world, corporate or otherwise, they won't be around forever.