Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey the lizards pair the New World Dorado by AJ Fernandez in Robusto with Hine Rare VSOP cognac. The guys do a deep dive through Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2022 and Senator shares the history of tonight’s cognac pairing.

Join the Lounge Lizards for a weekly discussion on all things cigars (both Cuban and non-Cuban), whiskey, food, travel, life and work. This is your formal invitation to join us in a relaxing discussion amongst friends and become a card-carrying Lounge Lizard yourself. This is not your typical cigar podcast. We’re a group of friends who love sharing cigars, whiskey and a good laugh.

website/merch/rating archive: loungelizardspod.com
email: hello@loungelizardspod.com to join the conversation and be featured on an upcoming episode!
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What is Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast?

Released every Tuesday, the LOUNGE LIZARDS podcast helps listeners navigate the experience of finding and enjoying premium cigars (both Cuban and non-Cuban) and quality spirits. Episodes range from 60 to 90 minutes and feature a variety of different topics including food, travel, life, sports and work.

The podcast features seven members: Rooster, Poobah, Gizmo, Senator, Pagoda, Grinder and Bam Bam.​

This is not your typical cigar podcast. We’re a group of friends who love sharing cigars, whiskey and a good laugh.

Join us and become a card-carrying lounge lizard yourself! Email us at loungelizardspod@gmail.com to join the conversation and be featured on an upcoming episode!

**Gizmo:** [00:00:00] Welcome to the Lolis podcast. It's so good to have you here. It's a leisure and lifestyle podcast founded on our love of premium cigars as well as whiskey, travel, food, work, and whatever else we feel like getting into. My name is Gizmo an tonight I'm joined by Rooster, Senator Pagoda and bam bam. And our plan is to smoker cigar, drink some cognac, talk about life, and of course have some laughs.

So take, this is your 67th official invitation to join us and become a card carrying lounge lizard, planet Venus here. Once a week, we're gonna smoke a new world cigar tonight. Share our thoughts on it and give you our formal lizard rating. We do a deep dive through cigar fishing, Auto's top 25 cigars of last year.

And Senator shares the history of tonight's cognac pairing all among a variety of other things for the next two hours. So sit back, get your favorite drink, light up a cigar, and enjoy as we pair high and rare vs. O p cognac with the New World Dorado by AJ Fernandez in Rubo.

A Robusto tonight [00:01:00] from AJ Fernandez. It's called The New World Dorado. It's a beautiful box press cigar, 52 ring gauge by five and a half inches long. And boys, beautiful rapper. It is beautiful rapper. It, it smells great. It does. It has our favorite thing on it. A foot bend. Oh yeah. Now this one's not a, you know, fixed to the cigar with a pizza, scotch tape,

But I do see that they use some sort of glue or something that, like the El Centor on my cigar, it's ripping the wrapper off. No way. Right as I. Mine

**Bam Bam:** came right off. Jesus.

**Gizmo:** It's not glue.

**Rooster:** It's Nicaragua spit. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. It's packed in, or whatever they call it. The fruit, which is, has

**Bam Bam:** a lot of viscosity. No, I think you


**Pagoda:** Cuban hands now.

That's what it is. .

**Gizmo:** I just don't, can we talk, can we talk candidly as if the manufacturer was here with us? Why do they do this? What are we doing? Yeah. With these fucking foot bands. More

**Bam Bam:** advertising space, as senator has famously said many times, what [00:02:00] are we doing, ?

**Senator:** That's a gizmo line. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Well, well, maybe it's done to protect the foot.

It, well, it comes in a box of 10, which is a really nice presentation. In a cellophane. Yeah, in a cellophane, in a little coffin in like, it's like a little, uh, tray. Tray inside the box. It's totally unnecessary. Yeah. Anyway, well, sticky feet, . Let's cut this thing, boys. Let's do it. See, we're getting on the cold draw and the wrapper, so the construction's really nice on this thing.

Yeah. As, as Bam said, pristine.

**Bam Bam:** A little

**Gizmo:** soft. Yeah. So I don't think that's a product of humidity as I had this in my tower with the lid open for about two weeks. Mm-hmm. So I think it's just not densely packed, which is a good thing. Hopefully the draw draw is wide open. Yeah, it's wide open. Yeah. Hmm.

Perfect. Nice flavor on the draw.

**Bam Bam:** Honestly, I get a better aroma off the wrapper and the foot than I do to draw

**Gizmo:** the foot. Does smell really nice.

**Bam Bam:** It, it smells delicious. It's [00:03:00] chocolatey for me.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Hmm. I'm getting that dried fruit thing. The plum classic. Uh, you know, Nicaragua tobacco. Little raisin. Yeah.

All right boys, let's light this thing. The New World by AJ Fernandez Dorado in Rib Robusto. Again, it's 52 ring gauge box. Press by five and a half inches long. Feels really good in the hand. I think that extra half inch on it as opposed to a 52 by 5, 52 by five and a half, I think. Mm-hmm. works a little better for me.

Is, um, is this the

**Pagoda:** first AJ Fernandez or it's the first we, we did one

**Gizmo:** before, right? N um, I don't think we did. Nope. This is the first one. Unless, did we do one of those? Um, did we do one of those Cuban imitations that he did? No, I know we talked about it. Senator, do you remember? No. And we're non memorable either way.


**Senator:** Sorry, giz, before we keep going, this is so outta my wheelhouse. I'm not sure why you [00:04:00] keep acting like I know anything about the cigar. . Hey,

**Bam Bam:** Senator, where did you get these ? Like

**Gizmo:** what is he saying? No, but remember we were talking about doing, uh, was it, uh, Ramon iis or there was one of the Cuban Marcus that AJ Fernandez's father?


**Senator:** Some like Ramon onus by

**Gizmo:** AJ Fernandez, but then we ended up not doing it. Yeah, yeah. Hmm.

**Bam Bam:** Nice on the light. Can't say it's bad. Yeah, I like it. Yeah, it tastes good on the light. It feels like I'm holding a, uh, if I close my eyes, it feels like I'm holding an placebo kind of.

**Gizmo:** So we uh, we did very well on these as well, boys.

We were kind of on a run of really, really budget cigars. How much? Seven bucks. Wow. So this the reason why I bought the box at 10. I got it from Atlantic. That's awesome. With the v i p, no D, no coupon codes or anything like that. Just the straight v i p I got it for 70 bucks. Nice. And it showed up and I was pretty impressed with the box when it came.

It's a nice presentation. Very cigars look great. Um, yes, there's [00:05:00] 7, 7 50 a stick. How are you guys feeling off the light here? It's pretty good. Yeah. Not bad. Hmm. Yeah, it's not giving me a lot right now. It's kind of, uh, yeah. But it's kind of muted. Pretty smokeable though. Yeah.

**Rooster:** I always get more out of the, out of the smoke, out of the aroma in the beginning than I'm getting out of the cigar,

**Gizmo:** which is actually very.

They're almost nice. So, uh, this cigar is the first cigar made on the Dorado Farm, uh, and Estee Nicaragua by AJ Fernandez. And this little slip comes in the box that they're, you know, clearly very proud. I think between the presentation, the, uh, the really nice band on the cigar, you know, it's an old world.

I wanna say like late 18 hundreds, early 19 hundreds type of artwork on the band. Yeah. It's kind of nice. You know, they're clearly very proud of what, you know, he's proud of what he made here. Mm-hmm. . Um, and they put a little slip in the thing, and it says in his neverending quest for the perfect blend, Ari Fernandez, uh, is a trailblazer who is constantly innovating and cultivating the [00:06:00] best tobacco in the world from his many farms throughout Nicaragua.

This cigar, the new world, Dorado, is a triumph of AJ's passion and discipline. Hmm. Please enjoy this blend as much as we enjoyed making it for you.

**Bam Bam:** And now you said this is the very first cigar produced off that farm. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Right? Yeah. So, like you said, we were talking before we came on air. Mm-hmm. This is an estate grown, uh, cigar.

Uh, and the Dorado rapper is, it's made up of a sun-grown Cuban seed, uh, and then a Creole, uh, Creole, I can't say that. God, my Spanish , uh, 98 binder. Um, and then also Nicaraguan filler. Um, everything from the farm. I think the, the

**Senator:** cool thing about this, the only thing as I was just doing a little reading before we got on here, um, I hadn't really thought about, there are not many cigars where.

the entire stick comes from one farm. Yeah. Even if we're smoking, let's say a Nicaraguan Piro, it's from a bunch of different farms in [00:07:00] Nicaragua and they're blending all that together. Mm-hmm. , and I love the wine analogy. It's like an estate grown and bottled wine where everything comes from just that vineyard's lot.

Um, it's pretty cool. And honestly, it's a little surprising at this price point that they would be able to do that. I mean, that means you have so much confidence in the tobacco that you're growing on that one farm that you don't need to pull and source from other places to blend to make that into something, you know, enjoyable.

Yeah. Yeah. So I was pretty impressed to see that. It's

**Gizmo:** it's a grower grower cigar. There you go. It's a very cool fact. . You know what's interesting to your point about that, Senator? I didn't think about that till now, but it does there, you know, there's many things I could say.

**Bam Bam:** I know I was just

**Gizmo:** waiting for it to, I tried to, not a show, that's why I tried to jump in.

I was like, something's coming. . Um, I, I mean it's clearly a commitment to his wanting to keep his prices reasonable. I mean, cuz he's got a name that he could put out a, a, a grower, a estate grown cigar, say, you know, [00:08:00] put some age on it, box it like he did even improve the box a little bit and charge 20 or 25 bucks as thick and you know, people would pay for it.

Triple the price of it. Yeah. So, you know, this is a commitment coming out for as proud as they are clearly about this cigar coming out with a cigar for seven, eight bucks, um, is pretty damn. So this, uh, I think Bam mentioned, so the, the plantation, this Dorado plantation's only five years old and the tobacco comes from its first ever harvest.

So we're smoking this, the tobacco from the first ever harvest from the Dorado Farm.

**Bam Bam:** So that's kind of cool. I don't think we've ever done that on any cigar that we've smoked. Yeah.


**Gizmo:** this CI cigar just came out then? Yeah. Yeah. It's just, it's very recent. I think it was, uh, just released sometime in 2022, probably September-ish.

I wonder

**Bam Bam:** how long, so that, did they age the tobacco?

**Gizmo:** There's no age statement on it. I would assume so, because I'm sure, I'm sure the tobacco, you can't put fresh Nicaragua. Yeah. Kill ya.

**Bam Bam:** Hmm.

It's a pretty [00:09:00] tough financial, uh, commitment that you're making there. Yeah. Because you have to continue to produce, to make that farm viable.

**Gizmo:** I gotta say I'm, I'm not finding much in the flavor that No. That is, is making me.

**Senator:** Excited. Yeah. This is what I'm having a hard time with there. There's nothing offensive that I'm getting outta this cigar.

No. Um, but it, it's, it's really subtle. Yeah. It's just a very subtle stick where anything I am getting is very faint. Um, I'm hoping this picks up a little bit, uh, in flavor.

**Bam Bam:** I just retro hailed and you get a very mild espresso and that's

**Gizmo:** about it. But it's weird, the,

**Rooster:** the smoke.

**Gizmo:** It's strong. Yeah. But what you get out of the cigar on the draw.

Yeah. Like really mild and

**Rooster:** faint notes.

**Bam Bam:** Subtle subtles. A good way of, of stating a seconder. Yep.

**Pagoda:** I didn't like it. Uh, you know, when I took it all the way down to as much throat, it felt a bit harsh. Yeah. But I don't know. I I'm gonna give it some time before I make an opinion. You're

**Bam Bam:** taking it all the way down.[00:10:00]

**Gizmo:** You set yourself up for that pagoda hitting the back of your throat, .

**Bam Bam:** It really is. Yeah. Like that. So

**Gizmo:** I'm finding it like, it's almost like, um, it's, I don't know how to describe it, you know, for the listener who may not be smoking with us, but to me it's almost like, you know, you're sitting at a restaurant instead of like being able to taste the food.

Like the chef is in the other room yelling at you. Yeah. Like, this is what you're gonna be eating. There's no distinct, there's just

**Bam Bam:** no distinct note on this thing yet. Yeah.

**Senator:** You know what this is reminding me of.

**Gizmo:** Oh, oh, oh. There we go.

**Senator:** Per gizmo's recommendation. I just order for the first time. Eat clean, bro.

Oh, did you? This just reminds me of eat clean, bro. My experience so far you did that. There's very little flavor in half these things I've been getting.

**Gizmo:** That's true. Yeah, because it's not loaded with shit. Yep.

**Senator:** You can. You don't have to plate, you don't have to put shit to have flavor. That's true. You know how many, just a little gar, garlic herbs have garlics natural actual flavor that [00:11:00] is not adding sodium is not adding

**Gizmo:** fat.

I'll be honest, I actually like the simplicity of the flavor of those meals. I really enjoy them. Yeah, I do. As long

**Bam Bam:** as they're filling. Yeah. That's really the, for us, you

**Gizmo:** know what, sometimes I put on some, for us that are overweight, gotta have flavor. To your point, Senator

**Bam Bam:** Senator's not overweight. I don't know why

**Gizmo:** he's doing this, but, okay.

Something that I

**Senator:** put on, I'll tell you why. Obviously it's clean. That's the thing I, I usually like, my usual diet is like lean protein, tons of vegetables, a lot of salad. Yeah. But having a a baby, it's harder for me to have time to prepare that for myself. Yeah. Yeah. So just having that delivered now helps me try to get back to what

**Gizmo:** I normally, I like putting a little, just a, a dab of balsamic glaze on the salmon or a chicken.

It's a little bit help. Yeah, just a little bit. , you know, doesn't add much. Are

**Bam Bam:** you still doing that guys? Yeah. You

**Gizmo:** are? Yeah. Cool. Cut off it around the holidays and stuff. Cuz Lori, you know, Laura was cooking so much, but Sure.

**Bam Bam:** Her famous marinara that we've yet to try.

**Gizmo:** Rooster tried. I have. Yeah, it's good.

right? What the hell? It's

**Senator:** awesome. Ru Rooster. [00:12:00] Veto band. Being able to try, I'm

**Gizmo:** sure it is. Cut out. It's . Cut 'em out. Because she normally puts like either Panche or some kind of movie. Yeah. Pepperoni. So she made some like, uh, like a batch. Just meat. Meat. She puts that in the marinara. Yeah. Pepperoni in the, lemme tell you something, pepperoni.

I've never heard of that. But by the way, pepperoni in the red sauce is incredible. It softens the, like, it it like it's the fat. You terminated

**Bam Bam:** my bolognese. Lemme talk to him about the marinara .

**Gizmo:** I hope it helps. Tell him, uh, tell him she, uh, it's mind blowing actually. The first time that I had it with her, she puts, sometimes she'll throw like a half a stick of pepperoni in there and the pepperoni gets, it takes all the harshness out of it Gets so sweet.

It adds a lot of like, a little bit of a spice. Wow. It. Phenomenal. Highly recommend using pepperoni as your, uh, as your, I've never had it that way. Yeah. Your companion between, I've

**Rooster:** never heard of pepperoni, but I've heard of like, Panetta. Panetta. I haven't, you know, because you render the fat that comes out of the Panetta,

**Gizmo:** it's like, acts like butter and there's a lot of fat pepperoni too, you know?[00:13:00]

Yeah, yeah. True.

**Bam Bam:** You guys are talking my language. Mm.

**Gizmo:** All right. Get back to eat, bro. Okay. . I like it. I like

**Senator:** it. No, no. I look, uh, the, the portions are good. Um, the quality seems to be good enough. I just, um, It's the simpler dishes, like the ones they have, like where it's just chickens, like a vegetable, rice, um, I mean just some spice on any of these things would help like garlic with the Yeah.

You know, broccoli or something like that. Some, but the, the dishes that are designed to have more flavor, those are, are, are pretty good. So why don't you send them a letter to a off to a decent state, put a letter in the mail. You know what they need to do dear? They need to do what Dear Eat clean

**Gizmo:** bro. No, no, no.

They need to do what Wonder does. Well Wonder doesn't do much anymore. Oh, let's not, let's not disparage or Wonder Shut down man.

**Senator:** Wonder after you have a meal, immediately sends you a survey. Yeah. They give you a $5 credit off your next meal if you complete the full [00:14:00] survey. And they ask really smart questions.

It's like really thoughtful trying to understand how to improve the flavor of everything. If I got one of those from E Clean bro, I'd happily give yous

**Gizmo:** some

**Rooster:** feedback's. That's cool. Cause E Clean bro has been out for a while. Wonder is new. Yeah. So they need that feedback. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe they did that

**Gizmo:** before.

You know, and you know, I should continue to do that. I, I just think the more simple dishes, like if you order something that like, you know, sometimes, uh, my stepson loves some of the crazier meals they have. Mm. They'll talk about flavor, like, it's too much for me. Okay. You know, they're like, it, it, it's the other end of the scale.

So I just think some of the more basic ones, they keep it

**Bam Bam:** easy. Well, regarding flavor, this

**Gizmo:** cognac is helping this. Yeah. Let's talk about the cognac, cuz the cigars not doing much for me yet. . So Senator, you were very excited about this as you were the cigar. Uh,

**Bam Bam:** right, right up for us. I

**Gizmo:** will say. Um, tell us about

**Bam Bam:** it.

So hold on. Senator,

**Senator:** have you had this before? No, I haven't. So I've been wanting to try this for a while. Um, so this is Hein.

**Gizmo:** That's right. Mm-hmm. rare. The original cognac. [00:15:00] Fein Champaign.

**Senator:** So Hein has a bit of a cool story because a lot of the cognacs we've done, um, have been really French in origin as you would expect, the cognac region being in France.

Uh, but Hine is one of those few that actually kind of the. Origin story, despite it being made in France, uh, is English. Hmm. Um, so the history of Hein goes back to the late 18th century, and this guy, Thomas Hein left England, uh, for France to visit the cognac region. This guy was fascinated by cognac. The problem with his timing was this was.

as the Revolutionary War began, uh, the French Revolution and, uh, Brits were basically not welcome in France during all this. Mm-hmm. . And so Thomas Hein was imprisoned. Oh. And ironically, I couldn't believe when I read this, but, uh, in 1793, he, he was briefly imprisoned alongside Mr. Hennessy [00:16:00] who founded Hennessy.

What? Cognac. Wow. Both of these guys really aggressively wanting to pursue developing cognac in France, but at a time where they were not welcomed. So they had a brief stint in prison together. They became Bunkmates . .

**Gizmo:** Wow.

**Senator:** They became bunkmates. And, um, after someone intervened, uh, they were freed. So this guy, Thomas Hein marries this woman whose father is actually the creator or founder of.

Hein cognac. He owns the land. All of this, this guy marries in, but he's like the cognac geek that wants to really make something of this. Just a grape fanatic. Oh yeah. Love it. So this guy just completely takes over the operation. He eventually renames it after himself. Thomas Hein . Nice. Um, cuz the original guy's name is not Hein, actually.

It's really crazy how all this comes to be . And, um, the thing I was fascinated with, Thomas Hein, and, and I guess this has carried [00:17:00] on all the people after him that have been responsible for, for making this stuff is, uh, his fascination with wine and applying. Kind of the process and approach that's taken to producing wine to cognac in the sense that this is one of the few cognacs that entirely comes from a single, uh, grape variety.

Usually, uh, they'll have a few that they kind of blend together. Um, this is, I, I think I know this is, and I think even almost everything they make is all this une blanc grape that they, they used to make this. Um, so just a cool story. And, um, this is really beloved in the uk. Um, there's kind of like a Royal Accord that was awarded for, for Hein, just like we've talked about with some of the champagnes that cool again, made in France, but have really become so, uh, beloved in the uk like Paul and Boge.

So, um, I've just always really wanted to try this. The bottle is

**Gizmo:** beautiful. It is, it is. It's a very nice bottle. Gorgeous. It's

**Senator:** a heavy bottle. I mean, it literally looks like a [00:18:00] decanter that you put on your

**Gizmo:** farm. Yeah, that's what it does look like a decanter worth keeping. I think I also love the, I don't know why it reminds, obviously it reminds me of Damore because of the deer, but I like their logo.

Yeah. Which is the, that's eye catcher. The, you know, bold letters. Yeah. The deer sitting down with antlers. Mm-hmm.

**Senator:** and their cognac has gotten a number of awards. I mean, I, I think I've mentioned that actually. I'm not sure how much we've talked about this, but from a wine perspective, I hate, like the reviews from Robert Parker and James Suckling.

I mean, I'm not a huge. I tend to disagree a lot of the time with a lot of their wine recommendations, but I think wine spectator more times than not gets it right. And I think wine enthusiasts to a lesser extent, but still pretty good gets it right. And I saw their V S O P, I think wine enthusiasts gave a 92 or a 93, which for them is, is pretty good praise.

Um, and I know they've won a number of medals in international competition, so I've always wanted to try this. And I will say, first

**Gizmo:** sip, it's really good. Very pleased. It is. Yeah. You [00:19:00] know, I, I feel like we're kind of accidentally doing or not on purpose, doing like a Battle of the cognacs. Mm-hmm. , like we've really, we've kind of hit a Yeah.

We've kind of gone deep on cognac. I know for me, I've really enjoyed, I think I've mentioned it several times since we did the Remy 1738. I've been drinking a lot of it for,

**Bam Bam:** for me it's eye-opening cuz I was never a cognac guy.

**Gizmo:** And I think it is, I would say this is a definitive statement. That you guys are so resistant to be saying.

I think cognac is one of the best spirits to pair with cigars. I've definitely learned that. Amen. Like, I don't know. I, I don't know if I'm gonna sit at home and just sip cognac for the hell of it, I'd probably reach for something that has a little bit more oomph to it. Yeah. But cognac with a cigar is just, it's working.

Yeah. It's, it's definitely helping. This, it is, it really is. Pagoda. I mean, I

**Senator:** just want to know the, the reason I'm immediately impressed with this brand, this is A V S O P, which is kind of middle of the line, right. There's VS. V S O P xo. Mm-hmm. . . I can't, I mean, [00:20:00] most VSOP that I've drank, and I think we've even tried a little bit of ice helps like we had Remy vs.

O p. You can drink that meat, but I prefer Remy vs. O p with just a chip or two of ice with a chip or two

**Bam Bam:** of ice. It is, it's perfect. It's heavenly.

**Senator:** It is. But what I give this, I mean, it's really remarkable. We, every one of us is drinking this neat. It

**Gizmo:** means I I don't want an ice cube. Nothing. I don't want an ice

**Bam Bam:** cube.

Yeah. Yeah. It's so smooth. It is extremely

**Senator:** drinkable and it's different in style. I mean, I think you'll probably immediately notice by the taste, like it's lighter than certainly Remy 1738. We love so much, and obviously a lot of the XOs, which benefit from age, that produce that richness. Um, but it's a, a lighter.

um, more fruit forward, kind of going to the wine conversation. Yeah. Very accurately.

**Gizmo:** Just which I think by the way, to Pagodas point is really helping the cigar. It is because without it, this, you know, the trajectory of the cigar for me without this cognac is, is gonna be [00:21:00] very different. Liz Puba. . So I have a couple questions for you.

So did you say is this the vs. The vs. O p xo of this V vs o p? This is the vs. O p

**Senator:** um, which means that everything in here is minimum four years aged. Got it. Okay.

**Pagoda:** Interesting. And you know, it's the flavors just a fill your whole mouth app, like, you know, it's not like concentrated in one part I think. And it's got a long finish.

I agree with you. Ba there. Yeah. So what is the,

**Bam Bam:** uh, so the finish on this is very long

**Gizmo:** enjoyable. Very Pam, what's the price point on this?

**Bam Bam:** I paid under $53, just double 53 bucks for this. Wow. Now I will tell you, this was the very last bottle in a massive cognac department here. Um, so it says something. I think people like this,

**Gizmo:** it's a very accessible

**Bam Bam:** price, and I went to two other places and they didn't have it.

They ran out. Wow. So,

**Gizmo:** huh.

**Senator:** I think it's pursued. They do. And it, it's really perfectly priced in the sense that most VSOPs are right around 50 bucks. Yeah. Remi vs. O p, Corvassier, Martel, any of them. Usually [00:22:00] 50 something on the, the low fifties. So I think for a brand that, I mean, the way this drinks, th this is a premium spirit.

Absolutely. It, to me, the definition of a premium spirit is almost any spirit that sips really well Neat.

**Bam Bam:** It actually, I think, punches above its pay grade. It looks, it drinks like an expensive spirit and the bottle looks

**Gizmo:** very expensive. I would think that this, I would not have been surprised if you said this was 85 bucks.

Yeah. Agree. Look

**Bam Bam:** at how it presents. It's beautiful. Yeah. Yeah.

Now back to the cigar on the retro hale. Now for me, it's actually quite good on the retro, on the typical draw. Not that great, but you've gotta do a retro,

**Gizmo:** there's to get something there. There's a weirdness that I'm getting. as you know, um, at the end of the draw or as it's sitting in my mouth and I'm pushing it back out, that I'm just really not enjoying.

Really, I wouldn't go that far. Yeah. I'm not enjoying it. I'm not hating

**Senator:** it here. Here's my take. I mean, I'm starting to get, there's

**Bam Bam:** something coming in

**Senator:** more. The [00:23:00] chocolate notes are kind of getting a little more accentuated and there's a little saltiness to this now, which I like. Um, but the funny thing as I'm smok this, I'm just thinking like, who would this be for?

Cuz it doesn't perfectly fit my palate. This, to me is a really good cigar for a person who wants

**Gizmo:** a cigar

**Bam Bam:** Someone who wants well

**Gizmo:** played

**Senator:** like a cigar with more flavor, with a darker rapper. But is used to smoking mild cigars and so needs that delivered in like the lightest subtest way

**Bam Bam:** possible. This could be a gateway for someone like that wanting to elevate into a more robust cigar.

**Senator:** I think it's like a starter in that

**Gizmo:** category.

It's like before you

**Rooster:** get into a padron. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** you could try this. I think that's accurate. You guys have the Had the Padron. The Damaso? Yeah. No. Have you had it? The mild? Yeah, it's good. Is it similar review it? No, it's not even close. No, that's a Connecticut. [00:24:00] That's a Connecticut wrap. Padron. It's mild, but it delivers the performance and quality of the 64 and the 26 wine.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, but you can't complain about the quality of the cigar. I, here's what I'm saying.

**Gizmo:** The draw, the construction's very good right now. Like I'm concerned that I'm still gonna be tasting the cigar in the. . Like, wow, I, I don't know. It's something, there's something with the mouth feel or the taste that's a long fe that is not

That's a really long know, you know, when you have a cigar that's not great and it kind of lingers. Like you always hear guys complaining, ah, when I smoke a cigar, you know, I taste it the next morning.

**Senator:** For me, my problem's the opposite in that it, it's so fleeting. Like nothing on this lingers for me. No, not at all.

It's just a weird mess. I'm worried in, in 30 seconds. I'm not gonna taste

**Gizmo:** this cigar. It's got like a soapy, I don't know what it is. It's just a mouth feel thing that I'm not enjoying.

**Bam Bam:** It could be, it could be a little, sorry, a little minerally, that thing that you're getting maybe, but I'm not getting any of that.

I kind of think it's a little creamy, a little bit, but the retro, it's actually not that bad.

**Pagoda:** Listen, not that I [00:25:00] have any refined taste or anything. Sure you do, but, but I can tell you this, I like, I was trying to, I thought it was very, like the smoke, at least in the beginning was somewhat ansy. I couldn't figure out what it was, but there was some weird.

**Gizmo:** I can't pinpoint it. I feel like mine fell in like a bucket of Tide pods and I'm like, he's saying a little smoking

**Bam Bam:** like

**Gizmo:** detergent or something, you know?

**Pagoda:** You know the, uh, you know when it's,

**Rooster:** uh, cooked up. I have no fucking idea. .

**Bam Bam:** Oh my lord. That's it. You know, you just had some the other day. , which

**Pagoda:** is Anac seeds.

**Bam Bam:** Oh man.

**Gizmo:** I know what he's talking about. Yeah. I love when Rooster Shanks pagoda. Oh yeah. Listen to

**Bam Bam:** the bam,

**Pagoda:** bam shank. May he, uh, rooster Shank. I think

**Bam Bam:** that's it. This is, I didn't shank you

**Senator:** I don't know. It's to me like. I dunno if it's the cognac, but I'm getting some of these sweet notes to me. This is like a [00:26:00] diet dessert. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** It's like a low calorie. Yeah. Kind of a, it's a low calorie

**Senator:** cigar. It That's true. Like I'm not even That's true. What it reminds me of, it's very mild

**Bam Bam:** cocoa. Yeah. Mild.

Mild. Mild. Yeah. The

**Gizmo:** flavors are mild. Yeah. I'm finding it to be not pleasurable at all. Wow. I agree with you. It's burning great. It's smoking great. Mm-hmm. , the draw is great. The combustion's great. My ash looks great and the flavor is just not good. Okay. The problem is you

**Rooster:** had an oh four unito. , you had a Sir Winston 2014 the day before.

What? So,

**Gizmo:** so you're like, kind of like maybe you're spoiled. No, I'm not you. No. You're spoiled like there. Yeah. You

**Senator:** know, gizmo. Just put him down. Put your pinky out as you're smoking that .

**Gizmo:** That is

**Bam Bam:** not true. Can someone turn off Gizmo's mic please? . Oh, I forgot. He controls the mics. .

**Gizmo:** I mean, he's tasting Tide pods out

**Senator:** of this.

Yeah, I'm surprised. Hear you say that there. There's truly nothing offensive to me. Nah. About the

**Gizmo:** flavor. Listen, [00:27:00] maybe it's my ice, so maybe it's my cigar. I agree. Everything. Maybe it's my cigar. I mean, we're talking $7 cigars. Save the helmet. It's

**Bam Bam:** the same box. Uh, these are very consistently made. You can

**Senator:** tell Were you doing laundry before you got here?

You have tied all over your hands or what's going on .

**Gizmo:** We'll see how it develops. I'll, I'm gonna keep the faith as I always do. I don't put stuff. Yeah, we're gonna, uh, it, it does taste a little young. Oh, it's definitely young. Yeah. There's no question about that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like I think with time, what does young taste like?

But here's a question I think this is gonna balance out really well. Tell later here, here's a question blow, blow

**Bam Bam:** through it. Quick question for you guys. This was ranked on the ca top 25, correct? Yes.

**Gizmo:** Number 14. Really? That's very, very high. Number

**Bam Bam:** 14, high

**Gizmo:** praise for the cigar, which is frustrating to me because I wanna smack the guys at cigar fish anda, who put this over almost any other cigar we smoke on the podcast.

How is that possible that this is the 14 number, 14 cigar? I can tell you someone got a big payday. Yeah, somebody put a nice big ad in this magazine, but that was a rocky, that was the number two cigar. Yeah. Well, we'll, we'll through that. That I agree. I [00:28:00] want to go through the, I wanna go through the full list.

Let's do that. Um, but yeah, I just, I'm, it's, I'm having a little bit of different experience than you guys are. Maybe paco's a a little closer aligned with me, but. Um, we shall see. Yeah, the only thing I would also say,

**Senator:** smoke

**Gizmo:** it slow. I am, I don't, I don't feel like I'm

**Senator:** blowing through it because it's not densely packed, so No.

Like the air is really moving through it. Do

**Gizmo:** you guys, I I mean, I'm ahead of

**Bam Bam:** you. It's, it's easy to go through. Senator,

**Gizmo:** to your point. Yeah. I don't feel like I'm smoking it fast at all. No, you're not. I'm, I can inch in a quarter in maybe.

**Bam Bam:** I think pagoda and I are pretty far

**Gizmo:** along. Alright, so, uh, we usually talk, well usually we did it last year.

Uh, we talked about the cigar, Fisha top 25 as, uh, Grindr said Bams malfeasance, uh, delayed that a couple weeks. I don't remember that with his , the saga of his tower. Uh, so here we are on Valentine's Day, by the way. Happy Valentine's Day boys. Thank you. Um, we're gonna talk about, let's go through the, uh, top 25 here and to all the

**Bam Bam:** lizard

**Gizmo:** wives out there of [00:29:00] the cigars of 2022 from Cigar Fisha.

So, uh, we'll go in reverse order. I'm curious, have you guys seen the list cuz everybody looked at it? No. No. A little bit. All right, good. I'm curious what everybody thinks. So number 25 this year, uh, was the Placencia Reserva original Corona .

**Pagoda:** Whoa, that low ?

**Senator:** I'm kidding. . Damn.

**Bam Bam:** You grinder. Yeah. Can I just say something about Placencia?

Every cigar club I go to Placencia is a huge seller. They've rebranded, they have a whole line of Atlas, and actually the banding is beautiful. So people are going to those cigars. I'm not surprised. It's on a list.

**Senator:** I mean in, in its defense. Yeah. We've only tried That's true. The album of Fuerte .

**Gizmo:** We, we really, I love that.

You can't say it unless you say it like that. .

**Senator:** We really ought to try something else that they make.

**Bam Bam:** So there's one that I had, it's got an octagonal. It was, it was a, that

**Senator:** is the one boy got fantastic, by the way, strap in. What is [00:30:00] that called? I don't know. I don't remember this spa's

**Bam Bam:** favorite cigar. It was okay.

It was okay.

**Gizmo:** You realize this? Isn't that the one cigar we had on my deck late night? No, no,

**Senator:** no, no. That's Alma forte long like looking. This is the

**Bam Bam:** brickhouse. That was pornographic cigar .

**Senator:** It was, but this octagonal one, you remember the story I told right? When Grindr used to, obviously Grindr at one point liked that Alma fuerte and pagoda tells this story about how someone gave him this octagonal shaped cigar that was a placencia, and that was the worst cigar he's ever had.

Oh, is that right? Yeah. My

**Bam Bam:** mouth was all warped. I couldn't,

**Gizmo:** okay. That was, uh, the first time that I realized that the pagoda name was perfect was that night. It's true. It was that night because he was on a grind and Grindr was sitting there just, it was

**Senator:** kept ashamed, but didn't know every time he made the point that he hated that cigar.

He said, and Grindr, let me tell you, it was the worst cigar

**Gizmo:** ever had. So yeah, the Placencia Reserve, original Corona all Nicaraguan, I would've thought otherwise. [00:31:00] Um, got a 92 rating this year. Number 24 was the Dominican from General Cigar, LA Gloria Cubana classic Glorious, which is a, uh, 43 in green gauge by five and a half inch cigar.

I will tell you,

**Bam Bam:** I like the series, the R series.

**Gizmo:** Is that, is that good? I, I've seen a lot of

**Bam Bam:** guys like that. I, I, when I first started smoking cigars, I went toward that line. I liked it. Like

**Senator:** it, I just say it is literally chocolate. It is really, I, if I handed you a chocolate bar Yeah. That's what it would taste like.

Honestly, I think Grindr gave me the first one I ever had. . I bought a few from a, a tobacco shop that was nearby. Mm-hmm. . I gave one to Rooster one time at my place. Do you remember this? No. . Oh, Jesus. No, I, I'm positive because I needed validation that this thing just tastes like straight chocolate. Did you like it?

And Rooster smoked it? Said the exact same thing. It's just a hundred percent chocolate. It's,

**Bam Bam:** you know, the series R number five. I kind of like that. I haven't had it [00:32:00] in many, many years. I think pot worthy, my opinion.

**Senator:** Hmm. It's

**Gizmo:** a budget stick. We should try that somewhere. Oh yeah, yeah. They said, I mean, they're, they're listing it as $7 and 30 cents.

I mean, I'm sure we can get it really cheap. Getting a little tired of budget sticks. . Yeah. Cuz that's what you're smoking all the time. Yeah. It's

**Bam Bam:** inflation man. It's inflation coming from the connoisseur corner. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Next, so this is one I've never heard of. Number 23 is the Esposa knuckle sandwich. Havana Havana, Corona.

Gorda. R. , which again, I like this ring gauge 46 ring gauge by five and five eight inches.

**Senator:** Hmm. Has anyone had an Espinoza cigar? I've never familiar with it.

**Bam Bam:** Never heard of it.

**Gizmo:** So unlike the knuckle sandwich . Yeah. So the reason why apparently, so this is another AJ Fernandez cigar. Um, I guess it had something to do with, uh, guy Fieri.

The chef. Oh Jesus. Oh boy. Who's closely Art Pass? Yep. Who's closely involved with the brand And as Cigar Fisha says, you can't [00:33:00] mention one without mentioning the other. Is there hair gel on the wrapper? .

**Pagoda:** Hey, that's Chef's Edition. What are you saying? That's a chef's

**Gizmo:** edition. That's an $11 50 cents stick.

Another 92 rating. Oh my God. All right, let's move on. Number 22, the TAA Kappa Espec Al Cote, which is a, uh, short rib Boosto 40 re gauge by four inch Cigar Rooster. Have you had that? Yeah. Really? Is that pretty good or what? Fantastic. Really? We gotta, you know, I, we have had some listener emails asking why we haven't done more tattoo on the pod.

We should do more tattoo eyes. Yeah, we should do some more. No shit. Because people, let me tell you, man, people love, oh, they love that. Those cigars, the whole line. They

**Bam Bam:** love, they love them. I f it's fallen out a favor with me, but I don't know.

**Gizmo:** It's

**Senator:** funny you say that though. I mean, we're talking about a lot of brands that people like to smoke, like Bam mentioned, obviously, uh, Placencia really, there's a lot of demand and a lot of retailers for it.

Yeah. But the intensity among Tahe fans, I feel like is [00:34:00] almost unmatched. It's like a cult. It's like a cult. It, the guys that love that stick, they, they talk with such passion about Tai

**Gizmo:** cigars. But you know what though? The thing that I like about the Tahe fan base, I like Pete Johnson. I like his story. I like his passion for it.

There's like other cigar clubs and there's other things that people get passionate about that I think is a little. . I don't know. It kind of gives me like the creeps a little bit. But TAA is one that like, I appreciate the cult following that he's kind of developed. And I think some of the cigars that I've had are really good from him.

They don't make their own cigar, do they? No, they've made it My father. My father. They makes it for them. Yeah. Believe so. They made it to my father factory. Yeah. Interesting. Peppin. Peppin. Yep. Yeah.

**Rooster:** Done. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** You know, I, I want to tell you, so I, I just read off four of these cigars and I hadn't hit the New World Dorado. I think that this cigar has taken a little bit of a turn for the better. Yeah. So maybe I just had a half inch, or could be like a rough patch. Whatever was going on there. What are you getting now?

It's definitely moving more to like, [00:35:00] chocolatey, sweeter. Mm-hmm. . Um, more of what I would expect from a Nicaraguan, primarily Nicaraguan cigar. You know what I've

**Bam Bam:** found? You've, you have to take a lot of smoke in to capture notes here. You can't lightly draw on this thing,

**Gizmo:** but this is definitely better than it was 10 minutes ago for me.

Yeah, it's pretty good. I just, maybe, you know, maybe it had a half inch of just dud space, you know? Yeah. It happens. All right. So, uh, number 21, another cigar that I wasn't familiar with until some of the guys at the lounge, uh, I believe gave one a senator the Allegria Robo, a 52 ring gauge by five inch cigar made by aga Noso leaf.

We're looking right at Senator on this one. . Yeah,

**Senator:** so I, I was sitting at the lounge and, um, it was a cool thing. I'm sure a lot of listeners probably do this with their friends and if, if they don't, I recommend it cuz we're kind of bad about doing this and we should do this every holiday. It was really fun for me.

I'm sitting at our clubhouse one night and a bunch of guys come in, mostly members, but they brought some guests and friends [00:36:00] and uh, they were there just an annual holiday gathering they have where everyone shows up with a different box of cigars that they want their friends to group to try. That's cool.

And they hand out a stick to each person. So you leave with like, you know, 20 sticks. There must have been 20 of these guys there. That's awesome. Nice. And, um, they're very generous. Uh, I was sitting there and, um, just chatting with them and so a number of guys are just coming up to me, want you to try this, want you to try this.

And uh, one of them was that cigar. I did smoke it. I will not say it was my favorite cigar . Um, it's an afternoon smoke. It's not something, was it like light? It's it's medium at best. Mm. Um, how's the quality? It's it Dominican or the, the construction? It, it was a petite

**Gizmo:** Corona. It's a Nicaraguan Piro, ah,

**Senator:** the, the size.

It was a, a smaller ring age of petite Corona. Um, usually get flavor in that pet. Yeah. The, the flavor. It was not traditional notes that I pursue. Um, I do remember. Pretty decent amount of spice, but not aggressive, just kind of mild [00:37:00] spice, a lot of cedar. Um, it just didn't do much for me, but I can see why someone who likes that profile doesn't want something full flavor, why that may appeal.


**Gizmo:** this specific, uh, the viola that they smoked, it was the five by 52. They're calling it medium full here in cigar, fish and auto. And I actually like some of the notes that they called out here. So maybe it was a different blender, just a different size. But they're saying, um, almond tangy wood licorice or orange peel, salted pecan, and then a strong finish of espresso and sambuca all over it.

So, ah, yeah.

**Bam Bam:** That's very

**Gizmo:** interesting. Those notes are pretty interesting. That's, that's an ambitious lesson. And the other thing that makes me, the other thing that makes me want to lean into trying this, aside from the endorsement from our friends here at the Lounge is that, um, it's made by euc. Ah, interesting.

And at Crito re robusto we did. I love that cigar. It was good. So the one they reviewed is a larger ring gauge? Yeah, it's a, it's a, it's effectively pretty close to this. It's a, uh, okay.

**Senator:** It's a, it's the one I had, it was a petite corona, very [00:38:00] small ring gauge. So we, we should try it maybe in a larger

**Gizmo:** Yeah, we're gonna definitely put that on the list, I think.

Nice. Yeah. You were probably getting more of the wrapper. Um, mm. Another one that we're not familiar with came in at number 20. The Casa Magna Colorado Rao. Heard of that made you have, I have not heard of it. Made by Cassada Cigars in another RAO 52 Reengage Manuel by five and a half. What was that? Manuel Cassada.

Right. Got it. I, I'm not sure I've, I've

**Pagoda:** had a few Casa cigars years ago because the, I think Nat Sherman. , uh, they used to partner up with them for their cigars. If, if I remember clearly, there was some kind of a relationship.

**Gizmo:** I'm not sure. Interesting. The, um, So the reason why you may have heard of it Rooster, is, is it was the cigar of the year in 2008 maybe.

Um, yeah, the Casa Magna. Yeah. Rooster

**Bam Bam:** does study the top 25 every

**Gizmo:** year. He does, he buys them all. , just the top five. Uh, and that's a Nicaraguan [00:39:00] Piro. That's cigar. Um, okay, so let's move on. It's got a nice band,

**Rooster:** right? Like a colorful band. It doesn't

**Gizmo:** look as own Nate. Uh, yeah, it's pretty cool. I mean, it's just, that's what it looks like there.

So, um, okay, so let's go to number 19. The, uh, my father Cigars owns the San Cristobal name, I guess ex Cuba outside of Cuba. The San Cristobal Classico. Again, another rub. Robusto five inch by 50 ring gauge. So far, Nicaragua's dominating this. Uh, this is, uh, Nicaragua Filler Binder and an Ecuadorian rapper.

That's a popular cigar owned by, owned by Ashton, made by my father, number 18 boys. The Brick House, Churchill, no way. You're joking, right? That's a medium cigar, 50 ring gauge by


**Bam Bam:** and a quarter. That's like smoking rolled up. Newspaper. I'm sorry, . That is a awful, awful cigar. [00:40:00] It's mild. It doesn't even mild.

It's It's not a cigar. . I don't know


**Gizmo:** it is. It's like the Las CVEs. Yeah. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** number 18.

**Gizmo:** Number 18 of the year, boys. All right. This is

**Bam Bam:** bordering

**Gizmo:** criminal, so that's a JC Newman cigar. We haven't done any JC Newman. We should probably do one of those. I had a couple emails

**Bam Bam:** that is just. That's a cigar you get in a restaurant when you're dying to puff on something regardless of what it is.

Holy cow.

**Gizmo:** It's a really mild thing. Yeah. So, uh, number 17 is our first Cuban on the list and I'm interested to hear what you guys think of this one. Number five, the Cohiba 55 Adversarial Edition. Liata 2021. If you remember, that was the one that, uh, cigar, Fisha unboxed. And one of the bands was different than the other.

We all thought it was fake Ohoh 320 $320 cigar. Have

**Bam Bam:** you had that Brewster? Many? No. You've had .

**Gizmo:** It just came out every day. It just came out pretty good recently. We, we little soon. Oh

**Bam Bam:** yeah. I'm [00:41:00] Gizmo's Dime . Yeah. Right.

**Gizmo:** So, uh, the thing I don't like about it and I this, I like talking about the dimensions cuz this is a reason why 57 ring gauge, oh, forget about it by five and seven, eight inches.

It's like un unenjoyable. That's like, what is that? A Gordo extra, I mean, I don't understand the trend. It's a double Toro, like bam, . Um, it's a double, double godo. It's a double Toro. That's a callback to the first episode we ever did. Folks Double Toro first ever. Um, yeah, that's just a big ass cigar. $420 for a cgo.

Thank. Can you imagine that? No, thank you. Talk about criminal. That's criminal. That is, is that, is that the price in Cuba? The price in Cuba align srp. Yeah. That's where it winds with every everything. Yeah, but you're not gonna find that on a shelf in Cuba cuz as soon as they make 'em they ship 'em right out.

So is that the most expensive cohiba? Uh, I would think so right now. But I gotta imagine the grand


**Senator:** I mean that's gotta beat pizza Bek

**Gizmo:** for sure. Sure. Reservers, reservers are more bks are are crawling up there though. I mean, I think a Beka [00:42:00] 56 is probably close to two 50. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. That's still got a hundred bucks to go.

I know. It's crazy. Ship him without age and everyth. Um, alright. Number 16, another Cuban. The Romeo Juta. We saw a lot of these in Cuba. Bam. Yeah. The Romeo Jutta, line De or Noble. So those are the ones that come in the nice red boxes. Yeah. I would say out of any cigar when we were in Cuba, that was the one I saw the most.

Boxes of boxes. Three sizes?

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, three sizes. So almost every destination we visited, we saw that

**Gizmo:** box and they were piles of them. Nobody was buying 'em really for a reason. Yeah. Do you remember the price of those? Um, I'm, I, I'm seeing them at $50 a stick. Um, box of 10. Yeah. So about 500 bucks. Probably a little more.

**Bam Bam:** You know what turns me off? I go back to Senator's experience with his Churchill at dinner. . Which Churchill? The Romeo. Romeo Churchill. Oh yeah. Fuck dude. . That is, that has kind of tainted my view of what Romeos are. Really? Yeah.

**Gizmo:** So that, so that [00:43:00] Churchill,

**Bam Bam:** it's an uninteresting. If you, an interesting marker.

I'm sorry.

**Gizmo:** If you can get your hands on

**Rooster:** the vintage Churchill, which has the old band, that's a

**Gizmo:** fantastic song. Let me tell you something, lemme tell you something. You won't catch me dead with that cigar. the old one. No, I'm not touching Romeo Romeo's dead to me. Have the new ones. The new ones. Romeo's dead to me.

No, I had em 2013. Hold on

**Senator:** the, the Romeo you just mentioned, rooster bought a box. Did you ever try one of those? The one that he just said

**Gizmo:** was No, he sold it 20 The line day. Oh no. Sold. You had one of those red shoulders you sold that. I see. So the one that, uh, they named number 16 here, they gave it a 93 rating.

It was a 56 ring gauge by five and three eight. So again, the two of the Cubans that, that made it in, in the list so far are over 55 ring gauge. Unbelievable. Which is, which is crazy. . Um, so yeah, the, these are made to, you know, these are havana's trending toward producing high dollar, low box, you [00:44:00] know, uh, low count in the box.

Yep. So you're getting 10 in a box, high price. You know, they're just really that moving that's larger, larger engagements and that's where they're moving. Yeah. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Um, you have to wonder if that's the Asian market's driving that.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I don't know. All right. So, uh, number 15, the La Paul Goldie Liitto number two, which is a 38 ring gauge, which it's a small ring gauge by six inches.

$23 cigar made in the USA Wow. Of Dominican, Republican, Nicaraguan Filler and Ecuadorian Binder and Rapper and Patterson,

**Bam Bam:** New Jersey Filler .

**Gizmo:** So this is actually made in Miami's, uh, little Havana. Ah, okay. Alright. That's cool to see. It is cool. I like, you know, when you hear Lito number two, obviously, you know, it has a pigtail on it, just like the Lito number one.

Mm-hmm. Which is the cola. Um, the Jibo Ander. What's the

**Bam Bam:** strength profile? Mild to medium.

**Gizmo:** Medium to medium. Full. They're calling it. [00:45:00] So it's made by El Titan. Deb Bronzes. I've never heard cigar to boutique cigar. Yeah. Sounds like it. Mm-hmm. . So, apparently according to La Paulino, you know, we've talked about medi, uh, meti.

Which is the coveted top, you know, the top two leaves of the plant, which is what behi is kind of famous for, is the medit. Um, there, there's arguments now if behi even has that anymore cuz it's so hard to, to, to harvest. But, um, apparently amounts to a peppery nutty smoke. They say, finally detailed with oak chocolate and a walnut finish.

I would love to try that cigar and see if I find a single one of those notes in it, but I'm a naysayer boys . Very negative today. This one, number 14 is the cigar. We're smoking. We'll pause here. The new world Dorado. We're buso again. 52 ring age by five and a half. I'm coming up on about halfway. I know I've been talking a lot more than you guys have.

Um, what are you guys thinking about the cigar right now? For

**Bam Bam:** me, it hasn't changed. It was [00:46:00] okay and it's still.

**Senator:** I'm in the same boat. I mean, there's nothing that's offensive that's jumping out at me right now, but it's still the same. Yep. It's picked up slightly. Yeah. I mean, to BA's point, I don't know if maybe when you said you kind of gotta draw a lot more to you do, to get the flavor out of this cigar.

Yeah. Um, so I'm getting a little bit more, but I still want more out of this stick.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Mine has improved significantly. Sure. That's good. That's great. Had it stayed where it was, I would've been a four. This has really improved significantly. I'm still finding the flavor to be muted. Um, and not really defined, but, um, I get, I get, it's much more pleasurable.

I get a bit of like

**Rooster:** a nutty flavor too, like some kind of nut. I don't know if it's walnut

**Gizmo:** or I'm getting like a chocolatey thing too now. Yeah. Yeah. Cocoa still. I'm not getting any of the salty. It was

**Senator:** early. Oh yeah. I'm not getting as much now. Now it's like picked up in sweetness.

**Gizmo:** True. So this cigar got a 93 rating.

Um, Guess, have the numbers [00:47:00] reversed? How are they

**Bam Bam:** judging these? I mean, how do they come up with these ratings?

**Rooster:** Well, do we know the number 25 was a 92, right? Yeah. I mean, they start on the bottom

**Gizmo:** at 92. Yeah. That's crazy. That's crazy. So, uh, number 13 Boys is the Hoya de Nicaragua. An Antonio Oh, . 1970 Churchill, which is a 48 ring gauge by sixth and seven eighth inches cigar, Nicaraguan Pirro.

Um, we did the cigar in the podcast, didn't we? Not the Churchill in a, in a large ring gauge. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** And it plummeted. It was, it was

**Gizmo:** number five or six. It was a Bella coso and it got a 5.0. It was tough. Yeah. All the guys in this room gave it either a six, uh, or a five. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Not very good. All right, moving on.

Number 12 was the Lalo, DOA Oro Chisel. Oh boy. 54 ring gauge by six inches.

**Bam Bam:** [00:48:00] So I've had that and I know you have Rooster the chisel. That is probably one of the strongest cigars Shall smoke. Really? Oh yeah. I, I kind of liked it. I can't say I hated it. Is

**Gizmo:** this the patented.

**Pagoda:** the, no, that's double Jiro. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Oh,

**Bam Bam:** the double lero Chisel.

I'm sorry. That, I'm sorry. That's L fd I take it back. That's the one that's the, probably the straw. It's the different

**Senator:** cigar. Okay. Yeah. What, what's the story? The patented one,

**Gizmo:** so they patented the shape of that cigar. The chisel, L f d literally has a patent where they advertise the cigar fishing out that the only cigar that ever had got a patent approved was for the shape of the chisel cigar, you know, from Lalo.

Do, what does it look like? Picture the end of the

**Rooster:** cigar if you pinched it all the way down. So it was like touching both,

**Gizmo:** you know, it's, you

**Bam Bam:** know what it's like, it's like the plastic at attached attachment that you put at the end of it. Yeah. That comes down to a tiny rectangle profile. it. They've rolled it.

Somehow press like a,

**Gizmo:** like a plastic tip. Cigar. Yeah. This sounds like a Philly blunt. .

**Bam Bam:** [00:49:00] It's . Well, the shape .

**Gizmo:** So has anybody had it powerful smoke? Not that one. I've had, I've had it. But you've had, you we're talking the lfd chisel not the one that was rated in, not the double

**Bam Bam:** defic arrow,

**Pagoda:** the, oh no, I

**Bam Bam:** haven't had the chisel.

There's two different, so you mentioned I've had

**Gizmo:** it double four doa, oral Chisel. That's it. But

**Bam Bam:** not double the her.

**Gizmo:** I've had the double her,

**Rooster:** the oral, the oral comes in gold tubes, right? Is that the one?

**Gizmo:** Uh, it doesn't say that it's in a tubo. Um, I'm not seeing that. But yeah, it has a, it has like a gold ornate band on it with oral.

We should review a Lalo product. Yeah. We haven't done one of those yet. All right. Number 11, the EP Cardillo Pledge. Apogee, which was a new size introduced, uh, in 2022, I think. Pledge, obviously Apache

**Bam Bam:** or Apathy. A .

**Gizmo:** well played, bam. Uh, the pledge prequel obviously was the cigar of the year, two years [00:50:00] ago, um, which was its second number one cigar in two years.

Uh, this is a new size. It's 58 ring gauge by six and a quarter, which that's a big cigar, man. That's a, I just, we've talked about this a thousand times on this podcast. They're just getting, getting bigger. I don't get the trend. They're getting bigger on that list, as they cut down. What the heck? Yeah, so, um, just amazing.

They're gonna be at 60 ring gauge soon. Okay, we're now in the top 10. Top 10, uh, number 10, Arturo Fuente Rare Pink Vintage 1960 series. You ready for this one? Boys. The viola is called the Sophisticated Hooker.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, I've heard of this cigar. I've, well, well, it's pink. Don't go there. ,

**Senator:** bam. Knows this cigar.

**Gizmo:** Well, .

**Bam Bam:** Okay. I've heard of this. , the

**Gizmo:** rare pink hooker . Oh

**Bam Bam:** my God. They're, well, they're, I think he

**Gizmo:** knows are really well. The first, the first sentence, by the way, the first sentence on the review [00:51:00] is the name is certainly curious. It is. So, uh, this is obviously made by the Fuente family. I mean, that is a hell of a name sophisticated hooker.


**Bam Bam:** there are a lot of guys that are looking for the cigar right now. The rear pink. Yeah. Yeah. That I know in our group in town where I live, and they want that cigar I can kill.

**Senator:** Yeah. I mean, sophisticated hookers clearly are in demand. Well, well , so it's a, I'm sorry, just can I, I would just love to understand the origin of a name like that, please.

That would be great. And

**Gizmo:** you know what's weird about it is this cigar wine, the rare pink, I believe, was designed as a breast cancer awareness. That's right. You're right. And also that's true that they're donating some of the proceeds to breast cancer awareness. Didn't you have one of these? No. I thought, I've never had

**Bam Bam:** a rare pink, so many people are looking for this.

The whole line of these pink cigars. I don't. I don't understand it because if you have it, I haven't had it. No. Fuente,

**Gizmo:** you know, I mean, it's a very, it's very, very, it's part of the money goes towards, uh, cancer research. Yeah. Breast cancer race

**Senator:** ratio. I don't know which is [00:52:00] especially why the name is really dub, I mean,

**Gizmo:** why's weird, you know, it's, uh, I don't understand it.

All the boxes are pink. The labels are pink. I think he in involved his daughter in all this. I, I'm not sure. I'd love to ask him some time, but, um, the dimension on, on this specific cigar. So I think really what this was, and you guys could tell me if I'm wrong. I think what this is, is I think these are variations of the Hemingway line.

Yes. So I think like there's a, there's a rare pink. Short story. I think there's a rare, there is pink signature there. There is, there's

**Bam Bam:** a rare pink, there's a few of them. Yeah. And we should try one for

**Gizmo:** our recording. We should do one. We should, I don't know if I wanna do the Sophisticated Hooker, not only because of its name, but it's also a 53 ring gauge by seven and a quarter inches.

Wow. Oh, that's, that's a big commitment cigar. They do

**Rooster:** make a lot of

**Gizmo:** cigars. They do a lot of different cigars. It's crazy. And I think too, how many different lines there? Yeah, there's so much stuff. I think, I think that the other thing too, that about it, and I mean just for marketing, I guess Carlito's a little bit of a genius, but literally he put the word rare [00:53:00] in the name of the cigars, you know, so Fuente folks thinking that rocks used that as well.

Thinking that this is a rare, you know, a rare find, you know, people running out to buy it. Maybe that's part of the case too. Maybe let's, let's about his cousin, . They gave this a, uh, 93 rating. Number 10. Um, in this year's, uh, top 25. All right, number nine. The Nicaraguan Romeo Juta Reserva Real Nicaragua Churchill, which is a 50 ring gauge cigar by seven inches, which that's a big cigar.

That's this, that's seven inches effectively, which is, that's a big

**Pagoda:** thing. I, I think you've said it's a big cigar

**Gizmo:** at least 20 times. Well, that's the whole point. I mean, we talk about, there's so many on the podcast, like why are there no lawns tales? Yeah. Why are there no land zeros? There's not a lot of Coronas.

I think there's one Corona so far. Yeah. Loto,

**Bam Bam:** certainly those two theola are just incredible. There should be more of those in

**Gizmo:** the market. Yeah. Um, so Altais, obviously this is their brand. Nicaraguan [00:54:00] Pirro, um, Romeo is their best selling premium cigar brand, as, as I'm sure we could have guessed. They gave this cigar a 93, which is a high rating.

All right. Number eight, Padron makes its first and I believe only appearance, the Padron 1964 anniversary series. in Principe. Nice. Which is a 46 ring gauge by four and a half inch cigar. Arguably one of the patron drones, aside from the number 35 in the 26 series, that could make it into like a short smoke special, like smoking outside in the winter.

It's a little guy that,

**Bam Bam:** you know, number 35, Senator, I think you turned me onto that. Yeah, it's, I love that little cigar. It's a home run. It's a great end to an evening or the start of an

**Senator:** evening. Yeah. That little cigar awesome. Gives you. the most flavor for a short smoke worth every a penny. Goodness worth.

**Rooster:** Penny PrPE. I think Rob, I, when we

**Gizmo:** had it all, I was gonna say that's Rob's favorite. [00:55:00] He mentioned that cigar. Love that. Yeah, we should try that. We should. It's an excellent cigar. We should really, the only place we could do it at that size, I think is in a short smoke special. Um, you know, and it's, it's, you know, pretty close to, I think you can get them pretty close to 10 bucks.

Mm-hmm. , you know, they come, I think the Inboxers are 25 or 24. So, um, finally a

**Bam Bam:** good cigar, a list,

**Gizmo:** the Patron 1964 anniversary series in Prince Pay. Um, you know, if you're looking to get into the 1964 series, you know where Padron fanatics on this podcast No. Denying it. Um, that's a really nice, try it before you buy it, kind of cigar with patron, you know, spend 10, 15 bucks at a, b and m a brick and mortar and, uh, try the, uh, try the pedron with the ncip pay number eight.

Okay. Number seven. The . My father Le Bju, 1922 in Churchill, and before I say anything else, senators eyes just rolled into the back of his head. Wow. Yeah. That's a death sentence. It kind of

**Bam Bam:** is not a good, by the way, hold on. [00:56:00] It does come and it's smaller Viola than I happen to. Like it's very small but very good.

It needs

**Senator:** to be. It has to be. It's not a strength in that cigar. It's true. You just, it's gotta be a short, yeah.

**Bam Bam:** That short one's, you know, I don't know if it's pod worthy cuz it's so small, but really

**Gizmo:** flavorful. That is a dark cigar. ACU wrapper. Nicaraguan Piro. And they gave that cigar a 94. Damn. So what did the say about the cigar?

Full? Yeah. No, they say medium full. , they don't even list it as full. Maybe the Churchill is a different oa. I don't, you know, a different, uh, blend or something. Yeah. Sounds inaccurate. I mean, I

**Rooster:** remember all the entirely bejo lined, like

**Gizmo:** to have a lot of strength. Yeah, A

**Senator:** lot. Yeah. Yeah. We like full flavor, but that thing is over the top

**Gizmo:** next level.

Yeah. . Yeah.

**Rooster:** I'm surprised you haven't mentioned the Oliva

**Gizmo:** so far. That's common, I'm sure. Mm-hmm. , I'm sure it's all right. Number six, the Alec Bradley Black Market Churchill. Another 50 ring gauge by seven inch cigar. Interesting blend on this filler is Honduran and Panamanian [00:57:00] binder is Ecuadorian and the rapper is Nicaragua.


**Bam Bam:** I don't think I've ever heard of any Panamanian leaf filler, what have

**Gizmo:** you ever. Yeah, it's very interesting. It's made by the Placencia in Honduras, of course. Um, like I said, covered in a Nicaragua wrapper, Sumatra seed binder. The Panamanian thing is really, really interesting. Very unique for cigars for sure.

I don't know if we've ever smoked a pan, uh, Panamanian cigar. No. Don't want to. Hmm. Pako

**Pagoda:** does. I'll, I'll give anything a try. Yes, sir. That's good. I think it's, yeah, I might revisit the bi You,

**Rooster:** we haven't done any

**Gizmo:** Alec Bradley. Yeah, we have to do that. No. Yeah, we have to. I think JC Newman, Alec Bradley. You know, there's a couple on this list that we, even if we don't do the cigars that made it in the top 25, we definitely need to visit some of these brands.

People love

**Bam Bam:** that. Alec Bradley line. Jason

**Pagoda:** Newman does, uh, doesn't it do that bubble, uh, what's it Jewel? It's, they do these, uh, isn't it based out of, uh, [00:58:00] Miami? It's based out of the us. I'm not

**Gizmo:** sure. Yeah, I think so. I think so. I'm not sure. All right. Before we get to the top five here, boys. Um, I think we're coming into the last third here.

Certainly I am of our, uh, new World Dorado, Rob Robusto tonight. What are you guys thinking for seven bucks? I mean, I'll say

**Senator:** the one thing I like that the smoke is, uh, It's almost velvety as it leaves your mouth. I, I really love the combustion in this cigar. I just want more flavor. Yep. Out of that.

**Bam Bam:** It has taken a step up in flavor.


**Senator:** has a step. If, if it started here all the way to this point, I would feel differently. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I am. I, it's definitely right now where it's at is the best that it's been since I lit it. No question. Far down. You're about two inches away. Uh, yeah. We're about the same. I'm in the last third. Yeah. Yeah.

There you go. Yeah. Rooster, what do you think? So far?

**Rooster:** Yeah, same. I mean, it, it didn't really start out like that. Great. I mean, the, the [00:59:00] smoke was. Delicious. I mean, he could really smell it, but I mean, I'm getting some sweet, like a little bit of sweetness and some uh, little nutty cocoa, a little bit like faint something

**Bam Bam:** like overpowering the cognac is really helping it a lot cuz the, this thing has such a long finish, right?

When you pull the smoke in, they're mingling quite nicely. Yeah. I will say. But I think any cigar wood with this cognac.

**Gizmo:** All right, so we're into the top five of 2022 cigar aficionado's top 25 of the year. Always a controversial list. Number five boys. Not controversial in this room, which was a big surprise to us.

The Ava Siri v Churchill extra. Hmm. Which was a 52 ring gauge by seven inch ci. It's always there. I think we

**Pagoda:** rated it pretty high. We did nothing

**Gizmo:** around eight. Yeah, we, yeah, no, it was

**Senator:** very smokeable. Yeah. I, I, I was actually

**Gizmo:** really surprised. So for the listener, we did that on episode 37. Good cigar. And uh, we gave it a 7.3.

Yeah, it's a good, recommend everybody in the [01:00:00] room, which

**Senator:** especially for a Churchill extra. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's a time commitment and if that could hold our attention that long. I mean, that that does

**Gizmo:** say something. It does. I think that was the episode, the Roast of Gizmo episode with the Shiva . Uh, we all gave it a seven except, uh, pagoda and bam gave it eights.

**Bam Bam:** I did, yeah. I take it back. . I'm

**Gizmo:** kidding. So that's a Nicaraguan Pirro again, 52 ring gauge by seven inches. So if you're interested in that cigar number five of the year, we did it on episode 37. Check it out.

**Bam Bam:** I don't think Rooster got his car cleaned since then. . , we traded in. You gotta written it after that.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. All right. Number four, boys. The Cuban. Number another Cuban, which is interesting. There are quite a few Cubans on the list this year. The Hoyo de Monterey Elante, which is a, I believe it's a profe perfecto, uh, 47 ring gauge by six and a quarter. I think I have some of these coming for us, actually, so we can do it on the pod.

I've heard very, very good things about this. [01:01:00] I've never had it, girl, haven't. I'm sure you've had it Ro you've had it Rooster. Yeah. Yeah. Good. How was it? How was it? Eh, , uh oh.

**Rooster:** It was okay. It was a, you know, I'm not a huge fan of Hoyos. The

**Gizmo:** Hoyos need a lot of age, a lot of time.

**Bam Bam:** I don't think most of us are big fans of hdm.

I, I

**Gizmo:** like the Epi two. Every once in a while I may smoke that. Yeah. Four times a year. A morning smoke. Yeah. Yeah. But that's not

**Senator:** at four times a year, not a ringy endorse.

**Bam Bam:** So, so here it is. So when we first started doing this whole Cuban. . I had a lot of those cigars. The Epi two s, I don't have any now and I'm not pursuing them.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I don't chase 'em either. Yeah. Yeah. Now I bought a box of those for my father-in-law for Christmas. That's a nice gift. And he was Florida. He loves it. It's a nice gift. So having,

**Rooster:** having said that, the la the la HOK series is I, I go

**Gizmo:** for that. Is that, is the Rios secco in that series? Uh, yeah. That's a good cigar.

Yeah. Big ring gauge though. I don't like that. It is, I think it's a 54. I like the smaller, like the layout. I want to do

**Senator:** that on the pod though. The Rios Secco. Because

**Gizmo:** if San [01:02:00] Juan and the, did Rob Ila say that he

**Senator:** liked that cigar? I'm not sure. I feel like someone who's opinion we trust mention that they liked it, Dan, but I want to do it Dan, or maybe Dan did someone.

because I've heard good things. But then I'll never forget Puba lit one up when I was with him once and he put it down a few puffs. Oh God. So I just, I kind of have to see how

**Gizmo:** this ,

**Rooster:** remember I gave you one of those La Hoyas, the small stick? Oh yeah. That had a

**Gizmo:** lot of flavor. It did for

**Senator:** this little cigar.

Really? I was really

**Gizmo:** surprised. Wow. Yeah. So that's a gar, that's Cigar got a ringing endorsement from Cigar Fish Art this year. They got it. They gave it a 95. Wow. Wow. Wow. That's a hell of an endorsement. Rio Psycho.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. No, I do love the oil. That double Corona that they make, that, I do like that.

**Senator:** We should try both of those because I, there are two brands I'm hard out on.

One is, uh, r and j Romeo Julietta, the other is Oil. And, um, if those got those high scores, I'm willing to give each a try. I, I, I can't get in into either of those

**Gizmo:** on have,

**Rooster:** I'm gonna, I'm gonna [01:03:00] bring a Romeo

**Gizmo:** that I have that you guys will will. Alright. Listen, it's a panatella. It's a really small steak.

**Rooster:** Oh, I bet that's, but it's from

**Gizmo:** 1990s.

Of course. . Of course it is.

**Rooster:** It's, it's in cellophane. You've never

**Gizmo:** seen a cigar,

**Bam Bam:** Cuban cigar in, so let's record that. So every single listener can never, ever get it.

**Gizmo:** Well said. Then that's a rooster's conno corner episode, like the last Los Deluxe that we, those do, those do come

**Rooster:** up on br occasionally, and it's, it, it wasn't that much

**Gizmo:** cool. But the cigar

**Rooster:** has so much aroma. Like you just opened the cellophane, it just fills up the room. It, that's cool. It smells

**Gizmo:** unbelievable.

All right, so number three, first appearance from Davidoff on the list. The Davidoff, Nicaragua d. Which is a 50 ring gauge cigar by six and a half inches. Nicaraguan Piro, it's my least favorite. Vedo. . Big,

**Senator:** big time. The [01:04:00] Nicaragua series. Yes. Hundred percent agree. I have not fallen in love with that at all.

Pba, I feel like smokes says he smokes it sometimes. Some of the guys, if it's kind of a polarizing cigar, but if I'm gonna try it, I want to do exactly that. Viola,

**Gizmo:** that's a big ci cigar, man. What is, and what is it a profeta? What's a dimension? No, it's uh, no, I think it's a, either A be coastal or a torpedo.

Okay. I mean, I'm not sure it's not, it's not a Churchill or they gave it a 95, 5 and a half inch, six and a half O by 50. But

**Senator:** I'm saying we have to review that cigar at some point. So I wanna do it in that

**Gizmo:** exact vitola. Yeah. We haven't done David off in a minute.

**Bam Bam:** No, we haven't. That whole Nicaragua line is very mild.

But they mild I. , like the box press that they had. Oh, it's not that mild. Not mild. I found it to be mild.

**Gizmo:** I they,

**Rooster:** they had the 7 0 2 series that

**Gizmo:** was, that was also

**Rooster:** Nicaragua. That was great. And that was great. And they discontinued. Yeah. That was set

**Gizmo:** more. Yeah. So I prefer the Yama. I

**Pagoda:** love you. I was wondering dude, because I like one of the two.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, I like the Yama. [01:05:00] The

**Gizmo:** YaaS Theasa. Think that, is that a Nicaragua cigar or a Dominican? No, it's Nicaragua, I believe. I believe so. I don't know,

**Rooster:** but no, I might be wrong. It's a good stick. Might be

**Gizmo:** Dominican. Here's flavor. Here's my question about Davidoff, and we can talk about this when we record this episode.

When we do that cigar, have they ever released an EL or a year of the, or any sort of special cigar? Yes. That's Nicaraguan tobacco. Oh, I can't speak to the tobacco because now here's now the reason why I ask that question. If Davidoff is so high on their Nicaraguan tobacco, which they released 10 years ago, why is none of the special stuff?

Mm. Nicaraguan now? I don't know if it is, but it seems like everything I've seen is. Highly Dominican.

**Bam Bam:** So I had the year, the Tiger, it was 50 50. It was okay. The year that

**Senator:** you, you mean you had the The rabbit. The rabbit. I had,

**Gizmo:** I had that as well. Was the tiger

**Senator:** the one that was striped? I've had the tiger. Yes, I've had the tiger.

That was the biggest waste of $57. That was totally, yeah. Yeah. That's literally what I had to pay. I was that a a That's right [01:06:00] in, in Houston. That's so I've had that cigar too. I couldn't believe that

**Bam Bam:** was so disappointing. It's, it's not a great cigar. Yeah, and the rabbit was very, very mild uninteresting.

But there are two annual releases that I do like the Snake that they released a while ago. And the ox, those are pretty, pretty good. I

**Senator:** didn't love the ox. Okay. Tremendous combustion. That was like a great chiney cigar, but I can't say the flavor was all that exciting. And you had the stink, I think,

**Gizmo:** at the ox.

So again, the reason why I just questioned Davidoff Nicaraguan tobacco is if they're not using that to release special stuff Yeah. Then they must not be big believers in it either. I think it's a great point.

**Senator:** Honestly, I never thought about it that way, but I don't remember seeing any of these year of, or, uh, Ellie's that they put out every year with Nicaraguan

**Gizmo:** tobacco.

Because you would assume that the, the, just in from your eye, uh, I don't know the makeup of everyone. Right. I would think that the label would be black or some sort of not the white typical or red typical that they've released on the le I would think [01:07:00] they would've used the, the, the davidoff black labels, which they use for the Nicaragua tobacco.

Yeah. Um, another thing I see here, that's interesting, I didn't know this. They only have released Nicaraguan tobacco from Davidoff. for 10 years. 2013 was when they released that you Yeah, it's fairly new. You know another thing, we, we were talking

**Rooster:** about this the other day. Um, the blenders at, at Davidoff.


**Gizmo:** Hendrick Kellner was the uh, yeah. Had his son left was and

**Rooster:** they both there gone. Yeah. And a Lotio was the other blender that came on after Hendrick Kellner. And maybe he was there at the same time, but he was part of the Master Blend series and

**Gizmo:** stuff. So he is gone. He left too left, weren't they?

**Bam Bam:** They left what, three years ago, roughly? Two, three

**Gizmo:** years ago. Eladio did. It's been a while. And then Kellner left before that. Yeah. Hmm. So I

**Rooster:** wonder what's gonna happen to the, uh,

**Gizmo:** Davidoff line? I would like to try this one to Senator's Point. Uh, also because this is a Figu Auto. Cool. I don't know if we've done a Figu Auto on the podcast.[01:08:00]

Think so. We should do it. What's a Figu Auto? We'll figure it out. . I'll leave it there. All right. Number two. Rosty. You ready? You put people, we're gonna need you to buckle your seatbelt. No, please. You know what this is? I'm gonna take

**Rooster:** my, take my,

**Gizmo:** uh, headphones off. . We know what it's, I know what's coming.

buckle up. Does this Start with an R. Just don't do an r Do exit your seat until the captain turns off the seatbelt. Light number 2 20 22 cigar the year. Rip that page off. The Rocky Indian brother . Fuck that. The Rocky Patel. 60. 60. 60. Which by the way, is the biggest cigar on the list. 60 ring gauge. Holy moly.

By six

**Senator:** inches. You know, what's the funniest part of that for me, . So, there's a lot of things. I mean, there's a

**Gizmo:** lot, there's a lot to

**Senator:** unpack here, but I had no idea what the ring age on that cigar was, but I do remember when I got the magazine and I saw that Rocky was number two. Mm-hmm. If you [01:09:00] look at the photo of that ci.

there is by far more bands that, oh yeah, cover that cigar than you can actually see. Look at, look at the bands more than the fact that this is a 60 ring age cigar makes this even more. Look at the bands.

**Gizmo:** I mean, it covers three quarters of the ci. It's

**Bam Bam:** absurd. The whole cigar, actually, 80% of the cigars covered.

**Rooster:** That means the rapper sucks. They gotta like put like

**Gizmo:** fucking bands on it to cover it off.

**Bam Bam:** No, I mean, truly protecting that. Truly

**Senator:** though, protect, in all seriousness, how many times I've been cellophane, how many times do we look at a cigar and we say, wow, that rapper is just beautiful. You can't possibly have a rapper that's worth anything.

Right? If you want to cover it almost Exactly. Entirely with packaging, you want to see

**Bam Bam:** the damn rapper .

**Gizmo:** Wow. Bruce, how was that? S. What,

**Pagoda:** you know, he had a box at home. You know it.

**Gizmo:** He smoked a lot of those. 60 . 60 ringers

**Bam Bam:** every morning. Good coffee. Oh my God. But hold on, there are Rockies that we have to try here.

I totally agree.

**Gizmo:** We have to try it. Rooster's gonna be [01:10:00] conspicuously absent that night. No, he won't be. So the filler and binder are Nicaraguan. Rapper is Mexican. They're saying it's medium full. I mean, I, I, I'll be honest, there is no chance in hell that I'm gonna present that for this podcast. Not, not a 60

**Rooster:** ring gauge.

I'm willing to try a Iraq,

**Gizmo:** but his best. Yeah. Yeah. Like, I don't know. Is but

**Bam Bam:** a r Well, I don't know if that's the best. There's a little, there's a little rocky that they make, which is actually very good. It's little small. I think I,

**Pagoda:** I think I used to like the 15 year or something. They have so many anniversaries.

**Gizmo:** There's too many. He has a lot of anniversaries. Rocky. Yeah. Yeah. There you go. And you know what I love, before we get to number one, I love that. Um, Oh, . I dunno if you guys saw this. All of the New world retailers are, are advertising that the Rocky Patel, 60 60 is the number one non Cuban cigar of the year.

As they, you know, cuz they can't sell Cuban cigars. So they're, they're advertising, [01:11:00] even though they're number two, number, they're advertising it as the, the best cigar of the year. That's not Cuban. Wow. Even more reason not to try it. Yeah, I just thought that, I just think that's very, very funny that they, uh, that they've been advertising.

I've seen tons of, I'm sure Rocky is prompting them to do that, but, or feeding them the, the marketing materials to do so. But, um, yeah, they gave that a 96 boys. 96. 96. Oh my Lord.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. When, when was the last time you smoked to 96? It was a pledge, I think

Right? Wasn't that written in 96?

**Gizmo:** All right boys, the number one cigar of the year. And I gotta say, I think they must have listened to our podcast Uhoh. I think they must have listened to it. What could it be? The Huppman number two from Cuba? Of course. So, okay, so a couple things here.

**Bam Bam:** Tremendous. Finally, fucking cigar.


**Gizmo:** Tremendous. So we did that for the Listener. I really encourage you. It was a wonderful [01:12:00] episode and I don't say that a lot cuz I'm very self-critical, but episode number. , we gave that cigar 9.8. Now we smoked 14 old, we smoked eight year old at the time, uh, up the number twos. But that really is some of the best of Cuban what, what Cuba has to offer.

So when I saw this came up as number one, I was really, really excited about it.

**Bam Bam:** Do you really have to smoke an aged up in two to love it? Because I would, I have young ones

**Gizmo:** and I love 'em. So I would say this my, it's funny on one of the groups that I'm in, we're in, um, somebody put up the other day talking about the Montecristo number two versus the up and number two.

And to me the montecristo number two, when you're smoking, when you're smoking the two of them young, I'll take the money to any day over the Upton two, those are both 20

**Bam Bam:** eighteens if, if I'm correct, right. 20 eighteens the two of them. What do you mean? Those two cigars that were. They were both 20

**Gizmo:** eighteens I think.

I'm not sure, but I, whoever was smoking them was asking, which do you prefer? To [01:13:00] me young, I prefer them on crystals number two. Mm-hmm. with age, I absolutely prefer the up. And number two, I have some 21, 22 boxes of up and twos. They just, I think they need time. So that's what's interesting is seeing cigar fishing on a rate a 20, mid 20, 22 box of up in number two is number one, is number one cigar of the year.

Wow. I'm happy to see it. Absolutely. But I'm also like, it's still kind of confusing to me.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. But they came to the senses when they came to

**Gizmo:** the top cigar. Yeah. I mean, it's the first time in, I think 10 or 12 years that they've given Cuban the, the Cuba, the top spot there. I

**Senator:** just think the thing Isma was saying that I agree with it is surprising.

Right. What was the score? 98. 98. I mean, as much as we love the UPK two, there's no way that, not that would give a 2022 up, two that high. A 98 point. That's true. I mean, we just wouldn't, that's not what it is.

**Gizmo:** By the way. 14. We gave, we gave the love 14 in 98. Right. Fantastic. Mean it's a great cigar. I think if we were

**Bam Bam:** to do, now, a lot of people won't know what lub [01:14:00] is,

**Gizmo:** by the way.

It's just a factory code. Right. We talked about it on episode number 40 again for the listener. Listen to episode number 40. Mm-hmm. , uh, we really love the up and two, we smoked in age one. I think they need a little age. We have a B R E, which is a factory code, eighteens and nineteens. A bunch of us do.

Mm-hmm. . Um, they're smoking really, really well, but agree again, I still think that they might need a little bit more time versus what, what we got with the, the 2014, but, you know, it's interesting to me. For them to pick this specific cigar because there are so many cigars coming outta Cuba. And we talked that, we've talked about a thousand times on the podcast that mm-hmm.

are smoking so brilliantly young. Yeah. The D four, the mon two, um, the P two, even from RGUs.

**Bam Bam:** Honestly, the Royal Corona,

**Gizmo:** the BVAs are the BVAs smoking Great. The Bbf are smoking rates. So it's interesting to see them choose this one, which out of all of them I think needs the most time. Mm-hmm. and I would bet if we smoked from the same box, [01:15:00] the cigar fish anda, had we smoked that May or June or whatever it was, 2022, that they smoked and gave it in 98.

Mm-hmm. , I don't think that we would've cracked nine. I don't think we would've cracked the nineties. I

**Senator:** agree with everything you're saying, but the one thing I'm actually really happy that they picked that cigar in particular, even young, is I don't think the up men two. Gets as much credit as it deserve.

A hundred percent. You're a hundred percent right. I say that because it's just not as ubiquitous as like, uh, you know, Monty Twos, you can find anywhere. Europe, Asia, doesn't matter where you are, you can find them. Parus D four, my favorite. You can find it anywhere. Even a P two P two, same thing. You can't find, I mean, I'm truly, every time I'm in London, I'm in Asia, I can't find Upmanu s you don't see that laying around most retail stores.

Yeah. So I feel like

**Bam Bam:** they also don't come up online very

**Senator:** often. Yeah, they don't that as well. They don't, I feel like you have to really pursue that cigar to actually be able to experience and understand how great it is. So I like that they gave it. [01:16:00] The spotlight that it deserves. So that hundred sucks. No, they should actually

**Gizmo:** pursue that.

Totally, totally. I I love that they gave that cigar the rating that they did and put it, number one, that's awesome. But to your point, it, it's, it's just an interesting choice. Mm-hmm. , you know, because even, you know, even in our battle of the pyramids, had that not been as aged as it was, it would not have taken number one.

Hmm. It just wouldn't have,

**Senator:** Hmm. I'll just say the thing that frustrates me. So I think putting that cigar, number one, I don't have any problem with whatsoever. I, I want that cigar to get its time. The thing that just surprises me is the, the actual raw scores they give these cigars. I don't know why they have to be so high.

Yeah. I mean, honestly, I agree. The cigar of the year could be a 93 point cigar and I'd be fine with that. It doesn't have to get a 98. And the thing that doesn't compute for me is that cigar aficionado. From the exact same company that Wine Spectator is. And one of the reasons I was talking about wine ratings earlier, what I like about Wine Spectator is they give high scores [01:17:00] sparingly.

Mm-hmm. Yeah. Truly, some of the best bottles of wine that you can reasonably source at a local wine shop, wine Spectator will give like a 93, A 94, you find a 96, 97 90. I mean, some of these bottles can ca, I mean, they can be $500 bottles of wine. It's very sparingly that they hand that out, and I don't know why the same doesn't translate over to their

**Bam Bam:** cigar publicies.

It's disappointing because from what you're saying, wine Spectator is very discerning, then it is. Why the fuck is Ca not so discerning? Well, I'll tell you this. You're all holding a 93 rate of cigar. ,

**Senator:** how about that? It's

**Gizmo:** just crazy. This is not ridiculous. This is not a 93. It's not even gonna come close

**Bam Bam:** to that.

And I didn't know they were both owned by the same, yeah. Marvin, Marvin

**Gizmo:** Shakeen. I had no idea. Same with

**Senator:** Whiskey Advocate, really

**Gizmo:** the same. Wow. Well, I mean

**Rooster:** like this, this being a 93, even the, even the 25th, like the one

**Gizmo:** on the bottom, like, would that get 93, 92, 93, 2 and 92 And the up

**Rooster:** and two is at 98 . [01:18:00] You

**Gizmo:** know, and if, if, if you open cigar fish auto right now, the latest that, the latest issue that just came out with the, with the guys from um, uh, the Fox N F L Morning show.

Uh, Howie and Terry and Jimmy and, and Kurt, those guys. Um, don't forget Strahan and Shan. Yeah. Well, we can forget Strahan. Of course we can forget. Please name him first. . I

**Senator:** knew the Eagles fan in the room. It was very intentional that he left off the one giant on that set.

**Gizmo:** It wasn't intentional, but maybe it was, it was subconscious.

We need a football episode. Uh, we do. I'll stay home. . Um, what's interesting is if, if you open that up to Senator's Point, very rarely, even in a normal issue, do they give cigars under a 90 mm. Like you look at the top, Lawnsdale, Churchhill, REOs, uh, whatever it may be, you know, uh, torpedoes. I mean, if they list 15 cigars, maybe only three or four of them get eighties.[01:19:00]

Hmm. And they're all high eighties. They never, I never have seen, I don't think I've ever seen an 83 in 87, in 80, 85, because, you know, and, and, and for me as a reader, they've trained me to believe that when I see an 80, that it's a horrible cigar. Right. As if, like, almost parallel to us training our listeners that if we give a cigar under a five, don't go out and buy the cigar.

Mm-hmm. . And, and to your point, it's just, it's an absolute miscalibration agreed of their scoring system, that they're giving a cigar that if we smoked it for how much we love it, it wouldn't even come close to a 98. The two,

**Bam Bam:** well, tonight's ratings, I think will be, you know, very telling Yeah. To that rating system at the Absolutely.

Whatever it

**Gizmo:** is. And I mean, most of the top 25, we just went through them. I mean, I can't see us most of those

**Pagoda:** cigars. How many cigars do you think they really smoked to come up with the top 25?

**Bam Bam:** That's a good questions question, and we've asked ourselves that question.

**Gizmo:** So what they, apparently, what they do is they take the top [01:20:00] ratings from all the entire year.

They use the same box or get new boxes. They rebound them blind, they send them out to their people and they raid them , but they don't smoke the whole cigar. They're not smoking that whole cigar. You know how long that would take? I mean, we, we we're degenerate, right? We smoke a lot of cigars. It would take us a while.

Yeah. And especially to smoke them down. I mean, I, I can't imagine that these guys are smoking these cigars past the halfway point. Senator can do it. I could do it in a week. Yeah. .

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I think

**Gizmo:** he can, I'd love to buy, you know, I'm gonna buy every one of these cigars, give 'em the senator and see how long they take.

Not that

**Senator:** list. , the unbonded, the lizard list. I'll do it a week. Oh, okay. Not that list. That

**Bam Bam:** list he would drop and after three cigars out.

**Gizmo:** Oh, man. So, um, you know, the other thing that I found interesting too, because I, you know, I just, I didn't do the math on it. I mean, they're, they're pricing this, they're pricing, uh, an up in two at $32 Mm.

[01:21:00] Which is an $800 box fresh, which is, the math isn't right on that. It's a little high. Um, but, you know, if it's not crazy, I mean, given Havanas pricing, I mean $32 for that stick young is a lot of

**Pagoda:** money. What do, do you think, do, do you think a lot of these, uh, Cuban cigars. Since their price increase. They've got a larger marketing budget and they've started coming into

**Gizmo:** CA now.

Very well. Could be. I mean, they're not running ads, but I don't, who knows? Yeah. I just, they're for me, I'll put it very simply and very lightly without much accusation. I have trust issues with the list that we just went through. I have trust issues with it. I just don't, I mean, I do every read. I just don't buy it.

I don't buy it every year. It'ss a fact. Togo

**Bam Bam:** to, hold on. It's a known fact. Yeah. To Bogota's point, there's new ownership in Havanas. Right? Very wealthy ownership. You don't know what's happening behind the scenes. Of course, all of a sudden, ownership changes or, or additional, [01:22:00] an additional owner comes on.

and now you're seeing Cubans in the top 25. Yeah. Where before it hasn't really been very

**Senator:** prevalent. Yeah, yeah. Send, send Hanen some like, you know, pre Castro, Cubans or a yacht

**Bam Bam:** take, send them a yacht. for that guy out of China is a drop in a bucket. Yeah. I'm

**Gizmo:** sorry. No, I, I just, I, I, it, it, it does present when you go through this list, not even being jaded, I mean, our data speaks to it that we actually, I think, rate new worlds better than we do Cubans at this point.

Um, but it, it really presents serious trust issues for me with this, that it bothers me that this is the authority and we go through this list and it's like the ones we have smoked. I mean, we disagree with the ones we haven't. There's no way in hell that they're 93 point, 94, 96 points cigars. It's just not the.

**Senator:** Be interesting. We need to start our own magazine. Yeah, there you go. The lizard. The lizard ledger.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. .

**Bam Bam:** Oh, if we publish that lizard ledger, it'd be very, it'd be very [01:23:00] incriminating . It would be very damning .

**Gizmo:** A lot of things end up in the, the ledger that we don't want publicized . All right, well that's the, uh, cigar Aficionado top 25 of 2022.

Nice to go through it again with you boys. We're gonna smoke a few of those. And, uh, we're smoking number 14 right now. The New World Dorado in Rubo by AJ Fernandez. Coming to the end of this thing here, boys, what are you, uh, what are you thinking? What's, uh, what's, what are the

**Senator:** vibes? The only thing I'm.

Gonna give this credit for is that I was able to smoke this all the way down. I'm you with nothing offensive. It's true. From the stretch. That was the biggest surprise for me with this cigar. I've got about, sorry, I'll complain about how I want more from this cigar. It did pick up in the last third, I think Bam was mentioning that earlier.

But I am shocked. I mean, I see gizmo's down to the nub. Bam is I'm close to it. Mm-hmm. . And I'm not offended by anything I'm getting in the cigar.

**Pagoda:** No, no. But you know, that's going so much has got to do with the construction, the smoke output. Mm-hmm. You know, I [01:24:00] think whether, whether or not, uh, you know, we think about it, I think it adds to Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** to your point, the experience is good.

Yeah. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** It's a little boring though.

**Rooster:** Yeah. Yeah. There's, it's not, I mean, it makes you

**Gizmo:** wanting

**Bam Bam:** more if you can, you're about an inch and a half from the bottom. I got a half inch left. There's a lot of decent pepper here now. Not,

**Gizmo:** I'll tell you this. I, I, I'm, I'm thinking the, for the last 10 minutes I've been thinking about, okay.

When we end the podcast tonight, , what cigar am I gonna smoke next? Am I gonna have a, my father lands, am I gonna have a league a nine Corona? Am I gonna have a patron? Am I gonna have a Cuban, like I'm thinking about what's in my solo and thinking about what is actually gonna satisfy me after I put the cigar down tonight?

Hmm. That, that is the problem with the cigar is that's where my mind has gone. This has not satisfied me. You've already moved on. Yeah. I'm already mentally out

**Senator:** of it, so I agree with that. But the only thing that's gonna factor into my rating, this is one of those few cigars [01:25:00] where I can see the person who might like this cigar.

I agree. There are some sticks that we review that I don't enjoy, and I also can't understand how really anyone can enjoy. For anyone who likes a mild. But somewhat flavorful cigar or that wants to venture into, um, cigars that are more padron like in flavor notes and strength. This can be a very gentle, friendly entry point into getting on that journey.

So I do see some utility now for me, much further along in that journey. This doesn't satisfy for all the reasons that guys have mentioned. That's right. But I can at least see there are people that might enjoy

**Gizmo:** this stick. Yeah, I totally agree

**Rooster:** with that. Yeah. I mean, I, I, I wouldn't go out and buy a box or even a no, even a five pack.

I mean, I might buy some to hand them out. I don't think I would like keep any in my humidor to. [01:26:00]

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there's so many

**Rooster:** other sticks. Yeah. Yeah. Even at that price point, that will satisfy

**Gizmo:** me more. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Agree. We can name them all right now. Yeah. The $7 sticks that we love.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. You know, to your point, I, I am certainly not gonna pursue this to put in my guest humidor.

I'm not gonna hand this out to anyone. Mm-hmm. , I can think of so many other cigars that will fill that slot. Mm-hmm. to me, this has just been a very mediocre cigar tonight, unfortunately. Radio. All right, boys, are you ready to do the, uh, formal liquor rating on the Hein? Rare? I guess it's a vs. O p you said?

Uh, cognac. Yes. Nine, nine. Bam. Bam. You're up nine for a Hein .

**Bam Bam:** You know, I'm, I am going between an eight and a nine because I really do, I do love this. Yeah. It drank so smooth. You get a little bit of a apple note. A tiny bit of caramel. It's really quite, it's quite fucking good. And for the price, [01:27:00] How can I not?

I'm giving it a nine. Excellent.

**Gizmo:** Pagoda? Yeah. A nine. Yeah. All right, Senator.

**Senator:** Wow. I honestly, I thought I was gonna be the highest score on this. Put your nose

**Bam Bam:** in there. Just it, the aroma is intoxicating. It is. It's it's crazy.

**Senator:** Wonderful. It's crazy. It's, it's fantastic. Really good for, for the price. So, uh, my only complaints, it's slightly thin, slightly, um, and I, I want a little richer flavor, but there's a time and a place for everything.

And I think by design, this is not like Remy, this is not like some of the other ones that we've reviewed, I think for what they're trying to do here, they've done it, they've like completely hit it out of the park. I, I truly, this is the only V S O P that I would every single time drink. Oh, every time. The neat,

**Gizmo:** that's a big component of this is neat.

Well, and there

**Senator:** aren't, there aren't, but that's a testament to the spirit. Right. I totally agree. Like if we're being honest when we have to add ice, it's just [01:28:00] because there's some rough edges that we just wanna smooth out a little bit. Yep. And there aren't

**Bam Bam:** many spirits that we've had that we haven't had to put

**Senator:** ice in.

That's right. I mean, usually it's like an XO that's 200 a bottle. It's a 18 year single mall and you know, it, it, it's something you have to pay a lot to experience. Yeah. Yeah. The fact that this is 50, close to 50 bucks and a vs. O p I'm, I'm also at a nine. I would slot this in regularly. I would buy another bottle and I would certainly be drinking this again.

**Gizmo:** To piggyback on Senator here, I'm absolutely going to buy a bottle of this. Me too. No question. Yeah, it's a nine all day for me and I will use the

**Bam Bam:** bottle as a decanter cause it's quite nice. .

**Gizmo:** It's excellent. Um, and, and I think the price point, if this was a hundred dollars bottle or 120. I think the value might be questionable, but at 50 bucks, this is a nine all day

**Senator:** long and you just sparked a thought.

Cuz when we started drinking this, I think it was Gizmo who said, you know, I [01:29:00] could see if this were an 80, $85 bottle. And that's a testament to just like the value you get out of this. And I agree, literally, if this was priced at 75 bucks, I would take a sip of this knee and say, wow, this is incredibly smooth.

Yep. There's some really nice complexity in terms of flavor notes, little thin, but my complaints would be very sparing. I could see this at a higher price point, and I think that's why this is easily deserving of a nine at where this

**Bam Bam:** is. Here's a question though. Let's say it went up to, let's say this was 80 bucks, but because it lacks the legs that you mentioned, would you see it dropping to an eight rating, which is still an excellent score, by the way, if this

**Gizmo:** was 150, I'd be at an eight.

Yeah, 150.

**Bam Bam:** Wow. For sure. I'd be, he's saying

**Senator:** he's saying 85, 80 bucks. Um, at at 85. , I might drop it down to an eight because at that price point, I would be more inclined to pick up a Remy 1738 than I would this. But at this price point, I'm gonna drink a lot of this.

**Gizmo:** Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Big time. I agree. [01:30:00] And that Remy, that you mentioned is it's got so much flavor.

Does it's really delicious. It's like, it's it's a, it's, it's like a meal. Yeah. It's so tasty. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** All right, boys, I don't need to do the math. It's a flat nine for the Hein rare cognac. V S O P. What a delicious, delicious cognac.

**Senator:** I'm just gonna say something real quick. There's a theme here. Yeah. Now, if you look across spirits, wine, anything we've done the Brits know their alcohol

I'm, I'm deadly serious. . No, no. I'm not saying this to be funny. I'm deadly serious.

**Gizmo:** Can I, can I just. I feel like we need to make a trip. Oh, for business research. That would be nice. For Blizzard research. We need to go to Scotland. To Scotland. To Scotland. We need to go for sure. Our next

**Bam Bam:** Cuba trip is all business.

I'm just saying the Brits because, and that's what Mrs. Bam BA's gonna hear. . .

**Senator:** I'm just saying the Brits, because they're not making any of these spirits we love. Right. Single malts are not coming from the uk. Yep. This is [01:31:00] not coming from the Y cognac. It's certainly not. It's coming from France, but it's amazing to me.

You just look at this British guy goes and explores cognac and produces this wonderful spirit that we've all enjoyed. You look at Paul Roge, you look at Boge have become institutions more so in the UK than they have in France where it's actually made, and

**Gizmo:** with lizard. That's correct.

**Senator:** Well, well, so I'm just giving credit it true.

I'm just sorry for any of our British listeners out there discerning pallets that seem to align with mine because for whatever reason, I mean, honestly I do pursue like why I wanted to try this. I knew that there are many Brits that really appreciate this and I wanted to try it because I happen to align for many reasons.

**Gizmo:** Look at the smile on Pagodas face. He's very, when you're complimenting the Brits, look at him. He's satisfied. He's so happy. , look at No, no, no, no. Can

**Senator:** I not compliment their palate in

**Gizmo:** No, no. I, let's just, let's not compliment their entire pallet because their breakfast choices are a little [01:32:00] questionable.

Well, I agree with that. I mean, beans really well, beef

**Bam Bam:** dripping beans makes, well they put beef drippings on toast. That's weird. Alright.

**Gizmo:** Okay. That's a little weird. . That's a lot weird. I did say

**Senator:** spirits .

**Gizmo:** So true. All right, so I just wanna briefly, because I think this is valuable, um, let's just briefly run through the cognac ratings we've done before we do the cigar.

So we, uh, the vs o p from Remy Martin got an 8.4. The xo, of course, one of the best spirits that I think I and we have ever had. Uh, the XO from Emmy Martin was a 10. The Crot vs. Got a 7.8, the Remy Martin 1738. We've talked about quite a bit, a 9.3, and I think that's it. Did I miss one? Did you say this? The he, the Hein and the Hein?

Yeah. 9.09. Yeah. 9.09. I,

**Senator:** I think, and I hope it's perfect rating at this point, that it is clear and safe to say we love cognac.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. How cool, cool is that I was in [01:33:00] Florida. I,

**Bam Bam:** before this podcast ever started, I never had cognac. Me neither. It wasn't in my world. I

**Senator:** mean, I told you the only reason I finally wanted to give this go, my dad always wanted to pair cognac with's.

Right? He always, I'd come by his place. We'd, we'd have a little cognac and I just, you know, I could appreciate it, but I just was skeptical as to how much breath there was in cognac that I would enjoy, and I cannot believe I, I mean, truly, it's preferable for me at this point. I'm not even kidding. I feel great when I drink cognac.

Me too. It, I, I never have a bad hangover. It, it's, no, it's just a wonderful, complex, smooth, refined spirit that's deserving

**Gizmo:** of an excellent cigar. And with any cigar. It pairs perfectly. Yep.

**Bam Bam:** So I had one conversation with Mr. Senator Sr. And you know, we were talking about something and it all culminated to one thought, let Senator think about it.

Very accurate. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** that's a compliment. He's a mench. . Senator's a mench. , he's brought it to us. And excellent pairing tonight. [01:34:00] And, and again, I can't tell, um, lizards out there who are looking for wonderful pairings for their cigars. Wonderful alcoholic pairings. Uh, try cognac, man. Try some of these cognacs.

You don't need to go xo. Clearly there's a lot of $50 spirits that we've done in cognac that are really, really working. How much is even the crot at a 7.8? I mean, that's like a $30 bottle. That's a $30 bottle

**Bam Bam:** performed brilliantly. I do remember we put some ice in that because it did have some edges.

**Senator:** Little That's a vs. And and there's nothing wrong with putting out No, no. The majority of bourbons, even a lot of single malts that we drink agreed. We do put a little bit of ice. , but it's a testament When you have a spirit that you actually prefer without ice, it's that smooth. It's not gonna rip apart your throat.

That that's exactly the kind of spirit that I think is just deserving of extra praise. Right. That they've been able to

**Gizmo:** produce that so well, and I, I was in Miami last week, I think you guys saw the photo mm-hmm. and where I was, they only had a VS of, uh, Cosier and I Great. [01:35:00] It, it was, it was really, really serviceable.

That's awesome. It wasn't amazing. Mm-hmm. , it was serviceable, but I preferred that to the options that they had for scotch and some of the other things. Like it really worked and I I was totally satisfied. You're actually a

**Bam Bam:** connoisseur outside this door. , I'm a

**Gizmo:** cigar insider as you Yes. You are. your own words.

Yes sir. I throw them back at you, but how

**Senator:** crazy is that? I know. Yeah. Crazy. I mean, who would think that he never Gizmo would sit down at a bar and his order preference would order cognac? I mean, I love

**Bam Bam:** that. It would not have happened for without this podcast. It


**Gizmo:** not have no doubt. No way. All right, boys.

We have reached the end of our evening here with the New World Dorado in Rao by AJ Fernandez. Are you guys ready to do the, uh, formal lizard rating? Yep. All right. Rooster, you're up? Uh, it's a six. Okay. Because I don't think I would

**Rooster:** buy a box and if there's, you know, if, if it's a cigar that I'm gonna go for, like, I'm gonna buy a box, it's gonna be higher than a seven.

Yeah. If the

**Gizmo:** cigar [01:36:00] just,

**Rooster:** just kind of felt me like, like it needed more, it needed more flavor, I was getting more flavor out of the, out of the smoke coming outta the cigar than the cigar itself. So, so for that, I mean, it's, it's smokeable, it's, you could have it, you could give it to a guests. I mean, it's, it's mild to medium, but just needed more out of it.

Yeah. Especially for a Nicaraguan blend. I think it needs more.

**Gizmo:** So for me it's a six. Alright, Senator.

**Senator:** So I don't, I don't disagree with anything Rooster said there. I'm, I've been debating between a six and a seven and I'm feeling generous in the sense that I can't discount some of the things that this cigar did shockingly well at its price point.

The fact that I could smoke it down all the way to the end and not an ounce of harshness, the flavor didn't turn. It was consistent. Is it, does it have enough flavor for what I pursue? No. That precludes it from an eight, [01:37:00] nine, or a 10. Will I buy a box of these? Absolutely not. If someone handed me one of these and I had no cigars, am I gonna be offended and all that upset?

No, it's very smokable. Um, can I see this being really attractive to someone who traditionally smokes mild cigars and is. Trying to kind of step up in terms of flavor and even a little bit of strength that, that maybe this could be a really good bridge for them to some of those cigars that we pursue with a lot of flavor.

I think it could, the construction I thought was really tremendous. I mean, seriously, I looked at every, everyone's cigar in the room burned evenly. Mm-hmm. Ash held on the structure. I mean, even Gizmo doesn't have ash in his

**Gizmo:** lap. You know, I resent the implication.

**Senator:** I mean, nobody, so I see

**Gizmo:** a little bit of ash , fuck yeah, that's right there.

There's no ash. That's not ash. Okay.

**Senator:** Pastor. And so it, it deserves credit for that. And I really enjoyed just even just blowing out the smoke. It was velvety. While I wanted a little more [01:38:00] flavor in that smoke, it was enjoyable from that, uh, from that sense. So while it's not something that I'm gonna pursue actively, I can see the utility, I think, for what it may be designed for.

There is a market and a smoker for it. So I'm gonna round up to a seven.

**Gizmo:** So I had a, I had a rough experience, you know, about a quarter of the cigar was a little tough for me. Mm-hmm. , um, I'm at a six for sure on this. I think I would've gone seven, had that quarter of the cigar been better for me, but I'm absolutely a six.

I will not buy this. I have five more cigars in this box. I'll be handing it out to people. I will not smoke another one that is probably the last new world Dorado that I will ever smoke in my life, unless we do it again on this podcast. But absolutely a six for me all day. All right. Pagoda is a five

**Pagoda:** for me.

Yeah. Um, whoa. Yeah. I didn't even get. A bit like, I thought it was just really, so-so I think the only reason I think it ended up getting a five is because of the [01:39:00] construction and the smokeout, but, and it was velvety and you know, it's one of the things I was just smoking mm-hmm. Without feeling anything really.

Yeah. So, and yeah, slide Coco here and there, but you know, that doesn't do enough for me to, uh, justify and giving it, uh, a highest goal.

**Gizmo:** So let, let's assume the microphones weren't here. Yeah. Right. And I handed you the cigar. One of us handed you to this, this cigar. Would you have finished it? Maybe not. Or would you have put it down had it not been for the podcast recording, would you have put the cigar down or would you have smoked it down?


**Pagoda:** didn't think it was pleasant in the first third at all. Even, uh, all the way up to the first half. It didn't improve, uh, dramatically for me to continue smoking until the end. I do think it did become better in the last third, but nothing significantly,

**Senator:** you know, I mean, I'm honestly not that surprised to hear that from pagoda.

He likes a full-flavored new world cigar

**Gizmo:** and he likes an interesting new world cigar. Yeah. And

**Senator:** this is not full flavor. That's, this isn't even close to full flavor. Never. You know, even my rating, I'm not giving it, [01:40:00] uh, I'm being charitable only because there were things that surprised me about this cigar, like the construction at its price point.

Mm-hmm. the combustion, and then I could smoke it down and not have anything offensive. That just made me want to throw the thing.

**Rooster:** And I think we all agree with, with everything you said about the construction. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** the draw. The ash holding up. Yeah. All of, because of

**Rooster:** all of that, you know, it does deserve some, there's merit

**Bam Bam:** 607, there's

**Gizmo:** some merit

**Senator:** to that.

There's there never being a point. I mean, giz obviously his first, uh, quarter that he was offended by what he was getting. But there was never a point where I was smoking it than I said, oh my gosh, this is just horrible. Yeah. I just said, I want more, just giving me more flavor. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So that's why I was charitable, but I can see why Pagoda would not appreciate this.


**Gizmo:** And bam. I know, I know. You have to give your rating. Yeah. But the other thing I wanna say quickly about the construction and. Is, thank God that I had the amount of time that I did in the tower, cuz can you imagine smoking this thing wet? It would've been Well that, I mean, that's any cigar, honestly.

Yeah, it would've been really, [01:41:00] really?

**Pagoda:** Yeah. Yeah. I think it was a blessing in disguise with the cognac pairing because that really helped the cigar a lot. I agree. Like if there's one cigar, you want a bloody dip in

**Bam Bam:** the cognac. This is it. . Or you could pull, I'm kidding. You could pull an Arnold

**Gizmo:** in the puppet.

You're not kidding. It's so true. . You're not wrong. You're not wrong. All right. Bam. You're up. I

**Bam Bam:** have to give this a seven. Okay. I think there's en enough merit in it and that the, the, the analogy of it being a bridge cigar, I happen to think that we have some responsibility to the listener to give them options.

This is a perfect gateway or a bridge cigar to a higher flavor profile. And I was not offended at all. And I happened to love medium to full flavored cigars. I liked it from the beginning. It was okay. The last half inch, half inch was actually quite flavorful. Those peppery for me. It was, it was okay. A seven is an okay

**Gizmo:** rating.

There was nothing offensive about it. It's an

**Bam Bam:** okay cigar. Right, right. Yeah. I do take offense to the five and a six.

**Senator:** I'm the six I can [01:42:00] understand. I'm gonna put, five is hard for me, but knowing Pagodas palate, that's true. That like very true raves flavor. I can understand why

**Gizmo:** this was hard for you now given everything you guys just said about, you know, uh, disputing the ratings, the formal lizard rating on the cigar is a 6.2.

Yeah. That's not a recommend. I think that's perfect though.

**Bam Bam:** I don't, I don't think it's accurate. I do. I, to me it's a recomme I would

**Senator:** recommend it. I do bec well, I, I think it's accurate. Tough.

**Gizmo:** The reason I can live with that rating here. Listen, you could buy five cigars from me today. No thanks . Okay, well then that's not a recommended,

**Bam Bam:** it's not for me.

But you know what, someone out there would fit with that

**Rooster:** profile. Yeah. But when, when you're rating a cigar, if I'm rating it, it's based upon if I like it or I not, I know, I know. I'm not rating because if somebody else will not I know Like it or not

**Gizmo:** so Well, you know, that's a tough one.

**Senator:** No, that's all true.

That's all true. I, and I think what bam and I are saying is, If we had no cigars and someone handed us this cigar, I would smoke. We would smoke it all the way. Of course, of course. Yeah. And not be so upset or offended. I would not put it down. We would just then be asking and we didn't put it down. I know.

[01:43:00] Yeah. After we finished it, we'd be asking for another cigar, cuz we, we would just need more.

**Bam Bam:** I put the cut

**Pagoda:** virus down, by the way, ,

**Bam Bam:** I smoked red. I mean, I'm just

**Rooster:** kidding. This is better than the last

**Gizmo:** CVA Harris. Yeah. No, it's, it's it bad about it. Listen, let's not even talk about that cigar. I

**Senator:** smelled toilet paper over the last CVEs.

**Gizmo:** I like the way

**Bam Bam:** BA said newspaper rolled . That's a new one. That's that break. I like that one.

**Gizmo:** Oh man. All right boys. So an excellent evening. Despite the cigar not performing as we'd hoped, we got a, uh, we had a 9.0 on the Hein rare cognac, V S O P and a 6.2. On the, uh, new World by AJ Fernandez, Dorado in Ravo for a $7 cigar 6.2.

I guess that's fair. Performed. Uh, I think that's an appropriate score of milli too. Okay, , I'm in agreement. All right. Ba kind of. All right, boys. An excellent night. Great chatting with you all, and, uh, we'll [01:44:00] see you next week. Hope you enjoyed this episode. Thanks for joining us. You could find our merch store and ratings archive at our brand new website, lounge lizards podd.com.

That's lounge lizards, p o d.com. Don't forget to leave us a rating and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. If you have any comments, questions, do you wanna reach out? Say hello, tell us what you're smoking, email us hello@loungelizardspod.com. You can also find us on Instagram at Lounge Lizards Pod.

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