Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey the lizards pair the Caldwell Cigar Long Live the Queen in Queen’s Sword with D'Usse Cognac VSOP. The guys discuss Caldwell Cigar Co.'s recent setback, Jay Z’s involvement in tonight’s pairing, the Masters Tournament and they get frustrated trying find baseball on TV.

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
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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 hello@loungelizardspod.com to join the conversation and be featured on an upcoming episode!

**Gizmo:** [00:00:00] Welcome to the Lounge Lizards 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. Tonight I'm joined by Rooster pba, Senator Pagoda Grindr, and bam bam, a full house of lizards.

And our plan is to focus cigar drinks of cognac, talk about life, and of course, have some laugh. So take, this is your 75th official invitation to join us and become a card carrying lounge lizard. Plan to meet us here once a week. We are gonna smoke a new world cigar tonight. Share our thoughts on it and give you our formal lizard rating.

We discussed Caldwell Cigars and their recent setback. We chat about Jay-Z's involvement in tonight's pairing. We celebrate the Master's tournament and we get frustrated trying

**Rooster:** to find baseball on tv, all among a variety of other things

**Gizmo:** for the next hour. So sit back, get your favorite drink, light up a cigar, and enjoy as we pair doe cognac V S O P with Caldwell's.

Long-lived, the Queen and Queen's sword. A beautiful land Serro [00:01:00] tonight from Robert Caldwell's brand, Caldwell Cigars. It's called Long-Lived the Queen. It's the queen's sword. Of course, it's 38 ring gauge by seven inches. And unfortunately for Rooster does not have a pigtail. What

**Bam Bam:** does not? I'm out.

**Gizmo:** Sorry for the

**Pagoda:** bad news, but, uh, beautiful Maduro.

It is a beautiful cigar. Yeah, it

**Gizmo:** smells delicious. Yeah, it smells amazing. So I didn't take it out of the wrapper until, um, until we sat down and I just smelled it for the first time and

**Pagoda:** it smells amazing.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, it's a good smelling cigar. The band and the the double band are beautiful and the design is fantastic.

**Poobah:** The, uh, the designs on these bands from Robert Caldwell have, are, are always elegant, um, like really nice if you look at the detail of the queen.

**Bam Bam:** Up to you. I love that. And I like the lower band, how stark it is with the text. It's really quite nice.

**Poobah:** But look at the tear. Yeah, [00:02:00] no, it's awesome. See the tear coming out of her eye.

This is unique. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** And

**Gizmo:** look at, look at how they do use the

**Pagoda:** gloss. The sheen. Yeah, the sheen in

**Gizmo:** specific areas of, I guess you'd say her, um, I don't know. Her regal. Uh,

**Pagoda:** it provides good contrast and depth. Yeah,

**Poobah:** it's very cool. So Robert Caldwell, when he founded, um, his company, that he really put a conscious effort into the artwork on the bands and like a thoughtful prescriptive effort into commissioning, um, artists in Miami Beach, um, to do this cigar art.

And when you look at the lithography, um, and the finish, like look, if you tilt it. You can see that her crown has a spot finish on it, and her necklace has this metallic spot finish on it. Yeah, it's so nice. It's, it's kind of, [00:03:00] it's really very nice. And then with the Eastern standard, um, the man's face, that black and white Penn illustration is like really nice.

So like he really puts a lot of thought into every band. And it's, to me, I think it pays honor to, whether you're a fan of Robert Caldwell or not, and like his cigars or not, it, I think that kind of thoughtfulness is, is a refreshing thing in the cigar space.

**Rooster:** Yeah. Did you notice the guy on the, on a unicycle.

On the side?

**Poobah:** No. Oh, yeah. Look at that. Look at that

**Gizmo:** detail. Wow. All right. Let's cut this thing, boys. Yeah, I was

**Pagoda:** just about to say, are you hallucinating already? Well,

**Poobah:** it's interesting. Not, but, but this

**Pagoda:** is interesting.

**Gizmo:** You know what I like? It's the point. It's point. You know what, like about it? As we, uh, we see what the cold draws.

Like, I just like for all the detail on the band, it's not trying too hard. Like it's, it's very ornate and beautiful, but it's not taken away from the wrapper. It's a, it's a beautiful looking cigar. The cold draw, like, I think it's working great. Is really good. [00:04:00] Mm mm Wow. I'm getting a lot of like, milk, chocolate, cocoa,

**Bam Bam:** um, a slight of fruit, hint of

**Poobah:** fruit and cocoa. Yeah, there's like a fig flavor. Mm-hmm. Come on.

**Pagoda:** The

**Bam Bam:** wrapper is beautiful on the cigar. A bit toothy, but really nicely, nicely

**Pagoda:** rolled. Salty. Salty, uh, yeah. Maybe pallet on the lips.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. What, what's the price point? These were not

**Pagoda:** very expensive at all. I think they were.

They look expensive. 12 bucks. They look expensive.

**Gizmo:** 12 bucks, I think 11. 11, $12 ready to rate it.

**Pagoda:** Everyone's had an orgasm on the cigar. We haven't

**Poobah:** even lit it. Let's,

**Gizmo:** it looks fantastic. Let's, all right, boys, let's like this thing. The Caldwell Cigars long lived the Queen. It's called the Queen's sword. Again, it's a Lance Aro 38 ring gauge by seven inches.

Continuing in our block here, which listeners, by the way, [00:05:00] seem to love, uh, our block of Lance Serros and Lonsdale mm-hmm. That we've been on, and I think we've had a lot of nice revelations in this Cuban and non

**Pagoda:** Cuban we

**Gizmo:** have and some fails, but so be it.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, that's so good on the light. I have to admit, it's very good on the

**Senator:** light. This is really flavorful. For some reason, I feel like when we were talking about this before we hit record, someone suggested this may not. Be that full. But this has a lot of flavor

**Gizmo:** and body. It has a really

**Pagoda:** interesting flavor to it.

It's so smooth. Yeah. In the delivery of that flavor. I'm impressed.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. So this cigars made in the Dominican Republic at their El Maestro factory, which is a smaller factory owned by a guy named William Ventura. So Caldwell does not

**Pagoda:** have his own factories, I guess. Is this

**Gizmo:** Sapiro? Uh, it's a four country blend consisting of Cameroon, uh, rapper [00:06:00] Sumatra binder grown in Indonesia.

Wow. Which is pretty wild. And a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler

**Pagoda:** made in the Dr. Interesting. What a combo.

**Gizmo:** So what I'm finding interesting about this is that the resistance is a little tighter than I would normally appreciate, but I'm getting great draw and smoke output. The combustion,

**Pagoda:** the combustion's.

Great. Yeah. What do you

**Grinder:** guys think about the tastes on your, on, in your mouth versus the aroma?

**Gizmo:** The

**Rooster:** aroma is dominating the,

**Pagoda:** the flavor so far. Yeah. I'm not, I'm, I get the opposite of that. I'm getting,

**Gizmo:** I find the flavor to be very interesting. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** I'm getting a,

**Grinder:** I don't know why, but I'm, I'm getting like this wonderful aroma and my, my flavor on these, at least these first few draws, is so peppery and like stringent Wow.

**Rooster:** To me, it, it hasn't caught up

**Gizmo:** to the aroma, the aroma

**Pagoda:** that you're getting from the

**Grinder:** cigar.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Interesting. Yeah, no, I'm getting on the front a bit of, uh, a little bit of saltiness and [00:07:00] some earth tones. And on the finish meat, the middle to finish cocoa, fruit and coffee.

**Gizmo:** I think you nailed that. Bam.

**Pagoda:** That's, it's really

**Gizmo:** good getting a lot of cocoa a touch of coffee.

I'm getting a little bit of that salt that Grindr was talking

**Pagoda:** about on the front. Yeah, yeah. For me. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** I'm gonna retro hell, I'm

**Poobah:** gonna give it a, give it a second to kind of cool off from the light and uh, it's unusual. Add some commentary. Yeah. Sometimes it, these lane Sarahs, I feel like, you know, they can get hot up front off the light and then once they just settle down

**Gizmo:** they change.

So the, uh, the line, this line just came out in August of 2022. So that's why when I was looking, uh, to do a Caldwell, cause we had talked about doing Caldwell so many times. We've gotten a few listener emails about Caldwell. Um, I pulled these because they just came out. Reviews seemed good. I liked that it was a Maduro in Olan.

Um, And I just like the, I liked the interesting blend of all [00:08:00] the different countries that this tobacco's coming from. It's

**Pagoda:** not a pure, I think that's kind of cool.

**Bam Bam:** Forgive me, did you quote the price

**Gizmo:** on these? Yeah, I think it was, I think we paid the m s MSRP is somewhere around 15, but we paid I think 11 or 12.

It's great price, pretty, very

**Pagoda:** good value. I got these for small, small batch cigars. Those guys are great over there.

**Gizmo:** It's, it's nice indeed. Oh yeah.

I love the combustion. Mm-hmm.

**Rooster:** It's perfect. I'm kind of surprised we haven't come deeper

**Gizmo:** into this line, like, yeah, this is the first one we've done. Would you consider

**Rooster:** this like a boutique brand?

**Gizmo:** I would say it's a boutique brand, but maybe in between. It's not like some tiny thing because they, the only place I found these was on small batch cigars.

They do make a lot of stuff. Yeah, they make a lot. But they've, they recently had a major issue. There was a fire, so the, so the, the, the fire that they had was at a. Facility in Florida. Right. Puba. It was just a, it was like their warehouse, their distribution center. They had a massive fire Yep. And [00:09:00] lost I millions of dollars of inventory of these cigars.

Yeah. Which is terrible for a, a company like that. I mean, you know. Yeah. I hope it's not devastating for them, but hopefully they can. I'm It's unsure. I hope so. But, you know, but you're losing so much stock, you're Yeah. And the time. Yeah. You know, especially with, you know, a lot of new worlds, they, they aged them.

Mm-hmm. You know, to try to smooth them out a little bit. Keep up with the other David Off's, PE drones, you know. So this, uh, line comes in four sizes and, uh, this is the Queen's sword as we mentioned. Lance. The Queen's court is a Robusto five by 52. The Scepter is a Toro six by 50, and the Queen's Club, uh, which what they call is a to, uh, Toro.

Gordo is a 56 by six. And then, I guess, um, There's gonna be a very limited run of a fifth size called the Ace of Hearts, which is, uh, gonna be 52 by six. Uh, only gonna be

**Pagoda:** 700 boxes of that, [00:10:00] which is a little bit like a rib

**Gizmo:** Robusto extra. So yeah, our first Caldwell on the pod, boys. How's everyone

**Pagoda:** doing one inch in

**Gizmo:** roughly?

I'm, I'm, I'm about a half an inch, I guess. I'm pretty, I'm pretty happy with

**Pagoda:** it's settled

**Bam Bam:** down. Like settled in like this. Yeah. I like it as p you know, said earlier, I'm not getting the, um, that punch of flavor that I did on the light. Mm-hmm. I'll tell you that.

**Gizmo:** It is little like mellowed out. There's like white pepper.

**Pagoda:** Yes, yes. It's

**Senator:** peppery. Yeah. Uh, that's the thing that's standing out to me when I, it's still smooth for some reason. The cold draw, that was very milk chocolate. Think that, uh, gizmo described it as earlier. I, I was getting a lot of that and I expected it to be mm-hmm. Smooth and creamy, but flavorful. At first I was worried that there were just some rough edges here, but I think it's just a lot of pepper I'm getting right now.

Yeah. Which is overpowering some of the other notes that I like in this. So that's the only thing that's competing right now for me that I'm not that happy about. What's

**Bam Bam:** unusual for me. I'm sorry. So early, the first half inch, I'm about an inch in a bit [00:11:00] ahead of a few of you. The first half inch was extraordinarily flavorful.

After that, the white pepper started to settle in and it, it is taking over. But for me it's, I enjoy that it's not

**Grinder:** offensive to me. I mean, I mean, I said it as soon as I lit it about, I made the pepper comment and it's the still, it hasn't really changed for me. It, it may have, it may have changed from a black to a white pepper.

Mm-hmm. Uh, if, if you're that, if we're a sticklers.

**Gizmo:** Um, I don't know us to be sticklers, do you?

**Senator:** Yes.

**Grinder:** Um, but yeah, I, I would agree. I I would, there's the, there for me, it's on the, on the pallet I pronounce pepper. Yeah. Now I still think the aroma is fantastic and, and I'm, I'm, that's what I'm going for. Did you

**Pagoda:** try a retro hailing?


**Grinder:** yeah,

**Bam Bam:** actually. It's a, it's a nice retro Hell yeah.

**Pagoda:** It's retro. It's peppery. It's peppery, but

**Grinder:** it's, I don't know. I like the, the, the, as Michael Scott would say, the afterbirth on, on in the palette is, is is [00:12:00] still peppery and stringent to me. The, uh, retro hell is a lot smoother and, and I prefer that over right now.

The, uh, uh, the

**Gizmo:** aftertaste. What I'm finding is that I think the flavors on the light that I was

**Pagoda:** really enjoying. Yeah. Like I

**Gizmo:** said, I don't, I don't know if they're still there. They're not, or they're gone. They're gone and, or, or if they're still there and they're just being overwhelmed by that, it could be that pepper thing.

It's being dominated. Could, that white pepper could be, which is unfortunate because I really enjoyed the light. Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. Let, let's see if it changes. Could be. How are you guys? So, uh, sorry, ba I just want to answer Ruth's question. Of course, of course. So Caldwell Cigars was started in 2013. So that is the, uh, that is the, the, uh, that's the reason it's on the band.

Um, it was started by a group of friends, obviously headed by Robert Caldwell. Um, and, uh, he also owned and operated the Hotel Humidor company. Cool. Which was a hospitality

**Pagoda:** centric cigar company. Hmm. Um, I guess prior to, uh,

**Gizmo:** prior to running the, uh, [00:13:00] Caldwell doesn't Fuente

**Rooster:** use, uh, Cameroon wrappers on their Hemingway series

**Gizmo:** on, I think it's on the rare pinks, just the rare Pink.

I thought

**Pagoda:** the short story

**Gizmo:** too. Yeah. Short, short story. Short story. Maybe you're right. I don't remember. Yeah, yeah, you're right about that. The show series. So maybe it is on the whole line. And that is, so it must be on the Hemingway

**Pagoda:** series. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** And that is a delicious cigar. That

**Poobah:** little guy, this is pepper, like this is different than my ex previous experience with, uh, with Caldwell.

Like this is a little bit. Better or worse? No, it's like the Eastern standard and then the long lived, the king in Maduro was not like, this is a different cigar. I mean, it's.

**Rooster:** Doesn't the Eastern standard use a Connecticut?

**Poobah:** Yes, it's a, it's a lighter rapper. It's a lighter rapper, but like the, the long-lived, the king, um, was in a Maduro rapper in that cigar.

Eh, just different, I mean, uh, wait, is

**Rooster:** it, is it long-lived? The king or a [00:14:00] king is dead?

**Gizmo:** They have two. Oh, they have both of they? No, they have both. Oh, okay.

**Poobah:** There's long lived the king and the king is dead. I've had both of 'em. They're both, they were both good. I, I, I, I mean, they were good, but that this is more peppery than any

**Grinder:** of those.

I, I, I'll be, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and maybe you guys will laugh at me later. The peppery, the pepper ta flavor for me is, is, is really awful. Um, I don't like it at all. The, the aroma still is still great. The retro hail is great. The pepper taste, the, after the, the finish on this so far is, is un is unpleasant and I, I'll use stringent.

It's kind of, it's, it's bitter.

**Poobah:** Yeah, I, I,

**Gizmo:** I don't disagree. I will say, this may sound like a disagreement. I don't know if we're talking about the same aroma, but at the burn line, which I obviously, you guys always see me doing that sniffing the burn line very close. Mm-hmm. Just like this. I don't, I don't think it smells very great, but the aroma of the smoke coming off is fine.

Yeah. But Oh, yeah. The burn line, which I'm constantly,

**Pagoda:** yeah. No, I mean, I'm, I'm like you're referencing Yeah. I'm referencing this and [00:15:00] the smoke

**Bam Bam:** come out. Yeah. When the smoke pulls away from the cigars

**Pagoda:** and,

**Grinder:** and, and, and the recycling of what I'm puffing outta my mouth as well. And that's kind of cooler. It's, it's, the smoke changes a little bit from right off the, the burn, you know?


**Pagoda:** I

**Poobah:** kind of agree with you. It's, it's not, it's not. How are you?

**Pagoda:** Um, it's

**Bam Bam:** not a guy. How are you guys feeling about the, uh, spirit

**Pagoda:** tonight? I haven't

**Gizmo:** sipped it yet. I'm very excited about it. I haven't either. All right. So pronounce it for me again, Senator.

**Pagoda:** What's it called? It's deuce.

**Gizmo:** Deuce,

**Senator:** that's right.

It's French. Yes.

**Gizmo:** Just lie. Cheers. Did Jay-Z come up with that name? Cheers, Jen. Cheers, boys. Native deuce little cognac vs. O p tonight cognac.

**Pagoda:** Ooh. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Ooh. So I have to say, that's a little harsh. It's not like the other xo. It's not Yeah.

**Grinder:** That's a vsp. It's not an

**Bam Bam:** exo. It's vs. O p, I'm sorry. Okay. It's not like the other vs o p that we've had, or honestly, any other cognac

**Pagoda:** that we've had

**Gizmo:** so far. Yeah. To me, this tastes closer to a vs than a [00:16:00] vs. O p.


**Pagoda:** To me it doesn't, it tastes good. D didn't we try one of these? Uh, vss probably right

**Senator:** one. Yeah. Mm-hmm. It's, um, I

**Gizmo:** forget the brand brand, but I, you know, was it either Remy or, uh, no. No, it was. Or Hennessy?

**Pagoda:** No. A smaller brand. It

**Bam Bam:** wasn't, uh, hyen was it? No.

**Senator:** No. Um, oh,

**Gizmo:** uh, cro. Cro, that's right. Yes. I'm waiting.


**Rooster:** right. I'm waiting for pub's reaction. He just

**Gizmo:** told, that's today.

**Pagoda:** What's the word? It, it may, honestly, I think it might need an ice. It may need a chip of ice. Yeah.

**Poobah:** I, well, I have a chip of ice in mine. It's approachable, but I mean,

**Gizmo:** that could help. Let me pass around a Cuba ice. Yeah, yeah. Let's pass around the ice bucket.

Let's do

**Senator:** that. So this is a good kind of learning experience for us because most VSPs honestly, this is a mid-range spirit of V S O P. Right. There's vs. Which you would never drink neat vs. O p, that sometimes you would drink neat, but a lot of them still need ice. And then xo, it's like a sin to put ice in that glass.

That's true. Um, so some of them need [00:17:00] it. I mean, honestly, as much as I like Remy, V s O P, there are times that I open if you open a fresh bottle of Remy V S O P, that you're like, ah, it's got some rough edges, and you may just want a little bit of ice to kind of tone it down. So I think this falls in that, in that camp.

Wow. But I will say the flavor profile in this is very like, Rich and deep and you get some like citrus and fruit, but then even like a little bit of cocoa on the finish. That kind of reminds me a little bit of Macallan really. Um, that's what I get. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** This, to me tastes more like a scotch than it was.

Yeah, it does, than it does A cone. Deep is true. Like if it, if you told me this was a, a single malt, I'd be like, all right. That's a really interesting, of all the

**Bam Bam:** climax that we've had, this one has the most bite a hundred percent. Um, which is not always an offensive thing. This tastes okay, but there is a little hint of like a medicinal type of a thing for me that I'm getting, that I'm not

**Senator:** liking.

I don't get the medicinal, honestly, the thing I do like about the finish. That little bit of cocoa. I know it's weird to say, but I swear if you have Macallan [00:18:00] Cherry, you get just a little, little hint of it on the finish. And I get that here. Um, I like the deep flavor of this. I don't like the delivery of it.

I mean, with ice now, this is opening up. That's much better with

**Gizmo:** ice, way better with ice, like

**Senator:** night and day. Um, but the flavor profile itself, I don't have a problem with at all.

**Grinder:** Yeah. I, I haven't noticed anything different,

**Pagoda:** um, from

**Bam Bam:** this. I'm kind of moving toward Grindr's Camp on this

**Grinder:** one. Yeah. I don't, I haven't noticed much difference.

Yeah. Um, I've, I've let it open up enough

**Gizmo:** taste. What

**Pagoda:** do you think? Pagoda? Yeah. For me, I think it started off with the real sharpness and then it's like you got the flavor profile and then just fell flat. It's like, I can't

**Poobah:** describe it. I'm with you with the, I'm confused by it. It's a little perplexing.

It's kind of not. It's a little, uh, Anti-climactic.

**Senator:** When you say anti-climatic, that, that resonates with me in the sense that I do think the finish is a bit short, short for like how much flavor there is on the front of your palette when you first start sipping it on the finish. It just so quickly [00:19:00] dies very dry almost.

Yeah. Yeah. So that, that end with you, that that's kind kind of

**Gizmo:** like the cigar, but

**Poobah:** dry and like not the good way, like a dry tequila maybe. You know, like where that dry finish with the tequila because the upfront is, is so much complexity that you want it, it just doesn't Well, yeah, I'm not into it. I'm just not into, I don't, I'm not that into this.

Like I wouldn't buy it. Agreed.

**Senator:** Agreed to. Well, the funny thing about this, this validates there's, there's a really interesting story behind this cognac, um, and a huge legal battle especially that kind of culminated recently around all this just, uh, just last year and I think got settled either late that last year, early this year.

Um, the funny thing is now hearing, I, I've never tried this before. This is my first time like everyone here having this, and I think this is an average spirit. I don't think there's anything special about this. Um, I think very much validates the lawsuit that happened over this spirit. So the story basically goes, the, uh, deuce was [00:20:00] founded by, uh, created by, uh, Jay-Z, and he partnered with this guy, um, Michelle, let me look up his name.

He's very famous in the cognac industry. Um, Michelle Veia, um, who created this in 2012, but it's made in one of the oldest cognac houses in the cognac region. It's over 200 years old. And so there's a ton of history there, like very respected. This guy is a huge deal. So very smart on Jay-Z's part. This is the guy that you basically want making cognac.

Um, so they build this brand. They make, he has this great master distiller, produce the, the actual spirit Bacardi partners with Jay-Z to bring this to market. So Bacardi and Jay-Z are the majority shareholders that own the brand and company and are, are bringing this to market.

**Poobah:** Let me guess. Bacardi ruins everything.

**Senator:** Uh, not, not that they changed anything, they just, there, there were some financial challenges, uh, financial battles [00:21:00] between them and Jay-Z. So it comes to market. Now we're all saying this is a mediocre spirit. No one here is singing. Its praises. The irony is this is the fastest growing brand in the entire cognac category globally.

Well, by, well, I can't imagine why.

**Pagoda:** There's a reason why,

**Senator:** right. Jay-Z Of course. And he knows that and he deserves it. Bad for you son. I got 99 Cognac

**Gizmo:** A one.

**Pagoda:** There you go. Yeah, boy. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** he has some problems, but it ain't cognac, I

**Senator:** guess. So very cleverly. He obviously is able to market this for them. It explodes and he eventually says that he wants to sell, um, all or a big portion of his ownership stake in the brand because he's built it so much now. The valuation's really high. So he wants to cash out on that and Bacardi, and to, for him to value the business, he needs to understand the sales, all the [00:22:00] numbers.

So he, Bacardi manages all that, right? He's not in the spirit business. And from the manufacturing perspective, Bacardi's doing all that. So he asked Bicardi for all the sales, all the numbers so that he can value his stake in the company. And then he wants to sell it. They're being really shady and they won't share any of these numbers with him.

And so everything's kind of a guessing game. And he says, well, I'm sharing my, I'm selling my shares of the company. And uh, if you're not gonna gimme this, I can only guess what this is worth. And so, based on the market, I think my shares are worth one and a half billion dollars. But Cardi says to him, well, sorry, we're only gonna pay you like 380 million for it.

And he's like, well that's bullshit. Put some numbers behind that. Yeah. And maybe I'll agree to that. But

**Bam Bam:** didn't they, didn't they cook the books?

**Senator:** I don't, no, no. They just hid the books. They didn't cook. They hid the books. They hid the books. That was the problem. So Bacardi's offer, sorry, not 360 was 460 million.

Jay-Z was claiming it was worth closer to one and a half billion. Uh, Jay-Z files a lawsuit. [00:23:00] Uh, The sale basically, I think eventually goes to arbitration where they forced Bacardi to get, give him the numbers basically. And what they eventually settled at was, uh, Bacardi paying him 750 million, but not for his whole, all the shares of it that he owned for a portion of it.

So that tells you that. His stake was worth closer to one and a half billion, exactly like he said. And they convinced him to still stay significantly invested. So I think he still owns maybe 20, 25% of the business, um, to keep growing the brand. So he basically got to cash out 750 million, which he would argue for his hard work without him.

I mean, this proves it, us trying this, I knew nothing of this brand before this. Mm-hmm. Right. But now I side with him. I mean, clearly he built this brand. It's not the spirit that's selling. It's the confidence of, oh, a celebrity behind this. And look at

**Gizmo:** our experience tonight, right. In the liquor store.

Yeah. Let's try that. Because of the interesting story, we, we haven't

**Pagoda:** had it one s Exactly right. [00:24:00] Interesting

**Bam Bam:** thing. Every liquor store I've been in has this product. It's well, very well placed in the marketplace. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Well, having,

**Gizmo:** having

**Pagoda:** the carts are distributor doesn't hurt. It's wide. It's

**Grinder:** everywhere.

Yeah. So does everywhere. Does that segue into how, like the quality of the, of the spirit though?

**Senator:** No, it just segues into like, clearly the, the, the emperor has no clothes in that. Like, this is not a particularly great spirit. This is just great marketing. Marketing and it's got the backing of a global icon, celebrity, whatever you want to call 'em.

That's how it's grown faster than anything in the category. It's, it's

**Gizmo:** amazing to me that there were a billion dollars off though. Like that's a big delta. Yeah. But,

**Poobah:** but, but it's not really because at 750 million, they actually paid him that. So if he's got 25% left of that, that's basically a billion dollars and that's supposed to grow.

So whatever. It was pretty

**Gizmo:** close to what he was asking. No, but I'm saying that I, it's amazing that they came back and thought that they'd get away trying to pay him. Right. Million when he has a stake that's worth over a billion argument.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, there's

**Grinder:** still [00:25:00] three, three multiple out, out, you know, of course they're a third of what they would've paid

**Gizmo:** him for the score's.


**Rooster:** Any idea what the initial

**Gizmo:** investment

**Senator:** was? Exactly That. I'm not sure. That's not disclosed 20 grand,

**Grinder:** but

**Gizmo:** that's like Warren Buffet. Uh uh, Berkshire

**Senator:** hath sure it is. I give him a lot of credit in all this because he also has done something similar with a champagne brand that he owns. And it's like he basically, he finds like the best of the best to help produce the product, gets the distribution channel, puts his name on it, and backing behind it, markets the hell out of it and takes this smart, completely unknown entity.

Smart makes it huge. And he's able to cash out big time.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. So here, here's my question with this, with this cognac, right? You're telling me he hired what? What is the best of the best guy? So how does the best of the best guy. Produce something that we're sitting here saying is

**Senator:** mediocre at best. It's a good question.

So they only produce two different types of this, [00:26:00] the V S O P and an xo. I would have to imagine that the XO is probably very good. I would try it at some point just to have, just to try it. Sure. I mean, this is what we do here. Um, I think that the V S O P, Jay-Z it sounds like wanted a, a richer, deeper flavor profile, which very much I think aligns with a lot of our flavor profiles.

We love MAC 12 and some of these others that are in that category, but I think clearly he couldn't do it in a way at, at only four and a half years of age that is smooth and doesn't have those rough edges. I would have to imagine if you let this age, um, and I'm sure obviously the blend is a little bit different, that that rich flavor profile would be there but delivered incredibly smoothly, and that would be a far more interesting spirit.

**Pagoda:** Mm-hmm. How much was that bottle? 68.

**Gizmo:** Okay. That's a lot of, that's, you know, that's at that

**Senator:** place. Next story. That's an inflated, most places you'd probably find that 55, 60 bucks. Okay.

**Gizmo:** Right, right. So it's not, it's a nice presentation. The bottle's really nice. It's a beautiful bottle. It, it's a cool, cool [00:27:00] bottle with a beautiful, you know, a copper looking type of, uh, and

**Bam Bam:** honestly, the color of the spirit's gorgeous.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. Yeah. It's very

**Gizmo:** rich looking. So, again, I'm, I'm just interested in, you know, if you're, if you're the best of the best cognac master distiller in the world, I understand the XO maybe is incredible, but when you also put your name on a vs o p that's delivering a. Maybe it is a good scotch comparison or something.

But as far as cognac goes, this does not compare to any of the

**Pagoda:** other VSPs we've had that Remi,

**Bam Bam:** 1738

**Pagoda:** blows this out of the water.

**Senator:** Absolutely. Out of which, it's not a VSOP p it's in between a vs. P an xo. That's

**Gizmo:** a little, that's a high up. But both Heinz that we did, we did two Hein vsop

**Senator:** and there were both, no, no one Hein Vsop P sucked.

The other was great. Yeah. Oh, that's right. That's right. The Hein

**Bam Bam:** Rare was excellent. Yeah, that

**Senator:** was excellent. The H

**Bam Bam:** by Hein we hated. Yeah. The rare blew this out of the water as well. Yeah. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Marketing

**Gizmo:** guys, it's, it's, yeah,

**Senator:** but that's really what it comes down to. I honestly like the whole celebrity endorsement.

Like, it, it's very clever. I mean, I'll fully admit and [00:28:00] Will, will find this funny cuz I brought this bottle to, uh, a, a birthday, uh, uh, bourbon tasting had once, uh, mks, we've talked about a bourbon that is universally regarded as an excellent bourbon. They make some very high end stuff that goes for a lot of money.

I only tried MIT's because I, I watched, uh, would watch Billions on Showtime, and all of a sudden I noticed there's this intense product placement of a bottle of Miar. It was the MIT's 10, which is like 400 a bottle, and it was always on Bobby Axelrod's desk in that, and I'm like, this is a show called Billions about a billionaire if they deem this a spirit that a billionaire would drink.

I'm like, it's gotta be pretty good. I mean, there's no, you, you wouldn't allo, you wouldn't put a bottle of Remy vs. On a billionaire's desk. Obviously they're not gonna drink that. So I just not blind Faith. Went into a liquor store, bought it, tried it. I'm like, wow, this is pretty good. I gave it to a friend of mine who's a really big bourbon drinker.

He loved it. And then I had brought it to this bourbon tasting and it scored high there. So, [00:29:00] There's, there is merit to this kind of celebrity marketing. Marketing, because sometimes you end up, you know, it does work out, but a lot of the time it's bullshit.

**Gizmo:** And Well, let's also, let's also be clear though, that billions product placement, there's a lot of product placement on Billions.

Yeah. Yeah. A lot of paid for product placement. It's true.

**Poobah:** Yeah. There show. Right? And they're also, they're also, they're playing both things against the, I mean, the producers are going, this is what this person would drink. And then, you know, whether, whether they have an agreement with H B O Max or not, who knows about the placement, but they're doing it in to honor the creative, in other words, to make it real.

Like those details are the details that make. That make it authentic.


**Senator:** mean, even here though, it's, it's the same thing. Like with ju say if you watch the Grammys this year, there, there was, uh, I guess Beyonce was honored for something maybe at it, and that they show the camera pants to the table and [00:30:00] Jay-Z sitting there next to her and he's got a big bottle of j say on the table.

Sure. And you're sitting there saying like, if this billionaire, if it's good enough for Jay-Z, it's gotta be

**Gizmo:** pretty good. Well,

**Poobah:** well, that's right. But, but, but he's also a billionaire. He's got an equity stick. What I'm saying is on billions, they're the creatives. On the show, they're never gonna sacrifice the authenticity.

I don't think of what Bobby Alot Rod would drink, whether it's a product placement or

**Pagoda:** not.

**Senator:** Totally. But I'm saying, you know what I'm saying? I don't, I fundamentally don't believe that Jay-Z is gonna drink a spirit regularly that he doesn't enjoy. Absolutely. So that's why like I think the XO is probably pretty damn

**Gizmo:** good.

So here's my question on this. I'm here, you know, you said that you had a friend that loves bourbon, that likes it. We're talking about maybe a comparison to Mac 12 in a way, some scotch. Is this like a, is this a bridge to cognac? Like the Jay-Z is kind of thrown out to his fan base to say, Hey, try this cognac.

It's a little closer to what you like and maybe spend a little more on the xo. And that's a real [00:31:00] cognac experience. I cuz I this


**Pagoda:** don't understand. I know about that.

**Bam Bam:** I would, I think if someone has never had a glass of cognac and has this, may never go back to cognac ever again. That's my opinion.

**Pagoda:** I don't

**Poobah:** know.

It's not

**Pagoda:** that good guys.

**Gizmo:** It's not, it's, I'm not saying it's great. I'm just asking. No. Saying


**Bam Bam:** great. Yeah. Yeah. I will say I love Jay-Z I love Beyonce even more.

**Pagoda:** I don't know anything about

**Bam Bam:** him, but I, I do not like, I do not like the spirit.

**Poobah:** The, I mean, you know, it's, but

**Rooster:** you know, XO should be

**Gizmo:** better than this.

We should try it. No doubt

**Pagoda:** about it.

**Gizmo:** We'll try it. We should try it. Yeah. All right, boys. We're into the second third here on the Caldwell. Long-lived the queen, queen sword. It's gotten a little better for me. I'm, I'm definitely happier than I was, I would think in the middle of the first third. I agree

**Senator:** with Gizz.

It's smoother. I, the pepper, really what Grinner was talking about earlier, I, I was in full lockstep. I mean, the pepper was off-putting Yeah. Overwhelming and forget white pepper. It was black pepper for a lot of it. [00:32:00] Um, but about halfway through or almost there, wherever I am. That has dissipated and now I'm starting to get some of the sweeter, more enjoyable flavors of the cigar.

So, um, the first third was a dud, but right now this is settling into something that is smokable.

**Grinder:** I actually stopped smoking it, so I'm, I just re-lit it so I can maybe catch up based on the merits of the conversation. There

**Gizmo:** you go. But there is, there is still pepper, there is still pepper, A little, but not the retro hair as, as

**Pagoda:** pronounced.


**Bam Bam:** just backing up on what Senator said, I am getting some of the original notes right on the light, but it's very, very subtle. It's not backing into anything that's substantial as far as the sweet notes that we had. I'm still

**Pagoda:** waiting for, not

**Poobah:** for me anyway, the construction on the, on the smoke is terrific.

It's beautiful. It's rolled locus, it's really rolled well. Beautiful cigar. Uh, But for me, for my palate, um, that pepper's still there yet? Yes. It's, it's, everything's mellowed out and kind of settled in. All the oils are kind of like coming out [00:33:00] and the, the cigars becoming a little bit more balanced, but that notwithstanding for me, um, there's something, it's strange.

It's not, it's not like awful for me. But it's just not that great for me. It the, the the There's something, it, there's something off putting about

**Grinder:** Yeah, I, I'll talk about it. I'm sorry. We're,

**Senator:** we're,

**Pagoda:** we're,

**Gizmo:** we're just, I don't understand. Theres

**Pagoda:** a sidebar

**Poobah:** going on. I don't know what it is

**Pagoda:** doing

**Gizmo:** my commentary.

I'm just sitting here. We're look at ba cigar.

**Senator:** We're completely confused how bam is almost finished with the cigar. I'm only halfway through. Like for

**Grinder:** the listener. For

**Bam Bam:** the listener. I'm not almost finished. I've got almost the final third. Yeah. This is, I don't want to interrupt what Poopa is saying, but it is much You did, but

**Pagoda:** I'm sorry.

You're like an

**Poobah:** alien. I am.

**Bam Bam:** So it

**Pagoda:** is. You're like a draw master machine. I have. Is a human, an alien?

**Bam Bam:** It is much more smokeable at this point. I have to say it's gotten better. Clearly you're [00:34:00] enjoying it. Yeah. No, it's gotten better. It has gotten better. Clearly. Didn't

**Poobah:** even look at my cigar. I'm like, barely through the third, first 30.

You're in


**Bam Bam:** last 30. You gotta get through hell to get to heaven. All right, so go

**Pagoda:** through the hell you're getting. That's a, that's a good note for the listeners. Is that a

**Grinder:** bamm or is that Cuz I, I never heard, I live my

**Bam Bam:** life by that. I don't

**Poobah:** know. Maybe somebody would, there's somebody out there who probably like enjoys this type of a of a, of a flavor profile.

It's not like it's terrible, but it's just, eh, it's kind of me. Yeah. For me, yeah. There's like some off-putting qualities and then there's nothing that throws it over the top. I

**Senator:** think the way I would describe it there, there are a number of flavor notes in this cigar and the ones that I would prefer to be the most pronounced are not.

I agree. The ones that I would in bar. Right? That's exactly. And so for someone who maybe loves a pepper bomb of a cigar and wants those other sweeter. Um, fruitier, chocolatey notes to be more in the [00:35:00] background, then this will be great for them. That's what it is. But for someone like I think most, if not all of us, who prefers those, like chocolate dried fruit.

Dried fruit, yeah. Dessert notes to take the lead and the pepper to be in the background. This doesn't do that. No, but

**Bam Bam:** it does a, as you get through it, the pepper dissipates. It will

**Pagoda:** dissipate. Just gotta get

**Rooster:** through. I

**Gizmo:** kind of feel it on the back of my tongue. Exactly. I do too. Exactly. I do too. I do like that harshness and Exactly.

**Poobah:** Feel it all right in the back. Exactly, exactly. On the back of your

**Gizmo:** tongue. Yeah. I don't know, um, in any scenario where this would fit into a rotation. I'm, I'm certainly

**Poobah:** you mean the scenario where mine's in the ashtray.

**Grinder:** I had to re I I don't, I, I put mine down for good like maybe 10, 15 minutes ago. I re reli it because cuz everyone said it was changing, but it apparently only bam said that he

**Bam Bam:** loved it, so.

Yeah. Well, I am really far ahead, so I think you gotta get through hell to get to heaven. Okay.

**Poobah:** Yeah. What if, what if


**Rooster:** is just

**Pagoda:** too,

**Gizmo:** there is hope. So there is some [00:36:00] hope, there is a little hope on this one. I think so. I'm not, I'm not urged to put it down. Right. I've done that before. Yeah. We've had other cigars that it's really I'm suffering through.

I I, this is not a cigar I'm gonna reach for or buy again, but. It's not something that I'm, I'm like suffering right now. I'm with you. I'm fine. I'm

**Senator:** with you. I agree. If it, if the pepper bomb in the beginning were still here, I'd have to put it down. Yeah. And I think it's at least taken enough of a backseat that I can continue to smoke it.

Sure. I'm just not loving

**Gizmo:** what I'm, and it's given me enough that I think that the final third might be interesting. We'll see.

**Pagoda:** Pagoda. What's pagoda? What's up? No, nothing. I, you know, like a part of me was feeling then. I think you used the word stringent. I, I was trying to look, whether it's mustiness or whether it's a little bit of pungent, I don't know.

There was something which is, yeah, in the beginning, I think that's also dissipated now. But now it's just like a smoke. I'm not getting the sweetness I'm seeking.

**Grinder:** I used, I use, I use the word I used, I said stringent and I also said bitter. And I think for me, the stringency is still there, but the bitterness is really amped [00:37:00] up.

**Pagoda:** Oh, oh really? Wow.

**Poobah:** Yeah. I'm out. You know, and for that, like Mr. Wonderful would say I echo that, uh, grinder. And for that reason,

**Pagoda:** I'm out.

**Rooster:** Sounds like

**Poobah:** Shark Tank. That's, that's Mr. Wonderful. Mr. Wonderful.

**Bam Bam:** That's my man right there.

**Senator:** He sounded more Cuban than Mr. Wonderful. But we'll take.

**Gizmo:** So, uh, something else I'm out on. Which is a good segue. Grindr, uh, was texting the group chat today. Uh, with a constant frustration with the Major League Baseball organization and the way that they've sold their TV rights.

It is impossible to watch a baseball game. Are you, have you guys

**Senator:** experienced

**Grinder:** this? The, the whole, the whole concept is ripe for disruption right now because they're still operating on a, this like disseminated network of cable news and local TV network stations that just don't [00:38:00] fucking exist anymore.

Like who watches local news kind of thing. But they're doing it on a national level because it's major league baseball and they can't do it. And they're, they haven't adapted to streaming very well. So as a result, you have this unbundled mess of a nest that you have to navigate to find all your baseball games.

I have, I have all these subscriptions and I can't watch a Phillies game. And, and I, I can't even watch a, i, they're playing the Yankees. I can't even watch the game. The Yankee, uh, and I live in northern New Jersey, by the way. We all do. Yeah. And I can't fucking watch the Yankee, my, and I'm thinking, oh, I'll go on MLB network.

Nope. Nope. Every time this, this

**Pagoda:** gotta be. Yes. So I get

**Grinder:** it's gotta be, but I don't

**Senator:** have, yes, because I'm not a Yankee fan. I hate to be the one to break it to your grinder. You live in the wrong market to watch the Phils, oh,

**Gizmo:** well, today was a Yankees game. But here's my problem with it. Here's my problem with it.

But you, I mean, yeah, no, my, my issue with it is that not only is it difficult because they have 'em on espn, [00:39:00] let's just talk Yankees. Right. But this goes for any, pretty much any market in the country. They have 'em on ESPN. Pr, uh, Amazon Prime. Some games are on, uh, yes. Network. Some games are on, uh, apple tv.

Some games are on Hulu and N b NBC

**Pagoda:** Mets play on what? Uh, S n y s n y

**Gizmo:** s n y. Yeah. But the problem is, is not only is it difficult to find them, but it's also the information isn't out there as to where the game is being broadcast. You go to you, you, you, I went to uh uh, mlb.com and looked at the game. It said NBC Sports Network.

Yeah. It's like, no, it's on Yes. Network. Yeah. Like, I don't understand. Well, it's, it's always on Yes. Network. No, it's not. It's because sometimes it's on TV exclusively. Yeah. Sometimes it's on Prime, exclusively. And, and it's not only the issue of these, like you said, the nest of all these freaking prescri, uh, subscription services.

You have to get to. But they don't tell you which one

**Senator:** it's

**Grinder:** on. It's, it's highly, it's [00:40:00] highly, uh, confusing to navigate. And it's, and actually it's, it's, it's just dumbfounding. There's no, there's no answer. I, I still don't know

**Gizmo:** the answer. My grandmother, my grandmother died at 94. She watched every Yankee game, every single one that she could find on her television and home.

I can't imagine these Yankees fans who've been fans forever, who are, who are seniors, who are people trying to navigate this, trying to find these games. Yeah. That's tough. Tough. It's torture. Yeah. They just wanna watch a baseball game. She wasn't the Phillies fan. No. She was a Yankees fan. Mm-hmm.


**Pagoda:** how, but,

**Grinder:** but a Yankees fan in North Houston, Pennsylvania, which, where I, where I'm also from, you have the unique opportunity to have access to New York and

**Gizmo:** Philadelphia places.

Yeah. You get both. Yeah. But I, I, I just think that, you know, mls, you know, is a much smaller, uh, uh, uh, uh, organization, no doubt. But they did a great job every single game. Is on Apple tv. It's the only place you can find 'em. Well,

**Senator:** nobody else wants 'em.

**Gizmo:** Okay. One, [00:41:00] one place that's not nice. One place you can find 'em.

But I'm saying that that's a great model to get all 30 MLB clubs to rally around, sell the, sell the rights for a cajillion dollars to YouTube TV or something that everybody can get to, put 'em all

**Senator:** in one place. I'm, I'm with you. Here's my thing. I agree. All of the games should be on Yes. Network period.

Right? Agree. Like that's why I have cable. I only pay for cable and I can't cut the cord because that's the only way I can watch the Yankees and the nets. I don't have a problem with them selling rights to Amazon or Apple or whoever the hell they want to. But that should be an additional broadcast for people who live out of the New York market to have access to be able to watch just those games.

But I, it is ridiculous that I pay to have the Yes network. And there are some games that do not get broadcast on now, today actually was on. Yes. So I could see today's game, but there are some games where I have to turn on Amazon Prime or I have to, which I at least [00:42:00] have, but Apple TV, I don't pay for their premium thing.

I can't watch. And the broadcast, by the way, it's so bad, is horrendous

**Gizmo:** on Apple tv. It's not Michael K And, and uh, and those guys, it's a totally different broadcast team.

**Senator:** Awful. Honestly. It's

**Grinder:** unwatchable. It's hard to listen to. Yeah. The uh, I do like for Mlbtv cause I got Mlbtv thinking like, oh, I'm a, I I'm out of network for the Phillies.

At least I can watch all the Phil Phillies games there. And then, you know, I'll deal with, I'll, I'm, I'm not gonna get the home games as, as well. Yeah. Right. Yep. At least with M L B I can when I'm looking. I was watching Baseball Day today in the background as I was doing work because I got on at the kick trying to get, you know, find the game and then I just watched these other games and I loved it.

Cuz there's all these games that I can watch. And then when you click in, if they're, if it's not blacked out or blocked out, would've blacked out. Blacked out. Yep. You have the option to watch the broadcast in either of the, of the networks. So I was watching the Tampa, I was watching the Tampa Bay game, which is a great team, by the way.

They, um, [00:43:00] I was watching, I was switching between the Washington Network and the Tampa Bay Network, and it was pretty cool to watch. Like just to, you know, get some, if you're, if you're like baseball, it's cool to like see the different announcers and, you know, watch the game from a different perspective. I don't know, I'd like that.

It's pretty

**Gizmo:** cool.

**Rooster:** Yeah. But it comes to a point like, how many subscriptions are we going to

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Need. It's, it's, it's insane. I think I have 10 or 12.

**Pagoda:** That's outrageous. It's crazy. It's like we're paying, wait, you gotta

**Rooster:** share. We're paying more now than we did when we had cable, probably. Yeah. And the whole point was to cut the cord and, and choose what you want.

But we, you know,

**Gizmo:** and

**Senator:** now it's like they got clever. At least there's a separate subscription you can buy just for the Yes. Network for people who have cut the cord because Yes. Is not included in YouTube, TV or Hulu or any of the others. But the ridiculous thing is like if you're gonna pay $20 a month just to be able to watch the Yankees, there are still games that are on

**Gizmo:** other platforms.

60% of the games, right? Right. It's unbelievable. That's weird. And even the NFL [00:44:00] is trying to fix this, you know, they still have the, the local games that are kind of, uh, you know, like, like, uh, fenced out, you know, like that you have to go to the local Fox or CBS affiliate. But at least now, you know, they've, at least they've pulled it from DirecTV, they're sold it to YouTube.

So you're gonna be able to buy an, uh, an additional subscription and be able to watch all the N F L games in one location, which is a market improvement.

**Senator:** This is what's sad though. This is happening in all the major sports where basically the fans are getting fucked and the only people that are winning in this are the tv, the owners.

That's true. And the owners look at the, and the owners, you look at what's ha Well the irony is, I give, I'm gonna bring up the NFL as an example. I dunno if you saw in the new agreement that they just signed, so you know how the NFL has flex games? Yeah. Where if you're supposed to plan a certain day, they can flex to the next day, which can be a hassle because if you're a season ticket holder and you're planning to.

Be with your family at a one o'clock game on Sunday and all of a sudden they're telling you the game is now at eight 30 on Sunday and you've got kids that need or Monday to be up or Monday, [00:45:00] and you've got kids that need to go to school. You're sitting there saying like, is getting home at midnight really ideal on a school night?

Probably not. And you kind of get screwed outta that, and then they have to try to sell the tickets and you can't actually use, they now in the new agreement, they can flex all the way to Thursday, back to Thursday, which is insane. I mean, imagine like you buy season tickets and spend a significant amount of money knowing that you're gonna see your team play almost all the time on Sunday, sometimes on Monday, sometimes Thursday, and you're getting ready for a Sunday game, and all of a sudden they're like, Nope, we're gonna change the matchup and move it.

We want it on Thursday night. I mean, most people don't have the time on Thursday when they have a family to do that with their kids. So after

**Gizmo:** they drop probably two grand for three or four tickets. Yeah. I mean it's not like they're spending 30, 40 bucks a ticket. Oh, well, yeah. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

**Poobah:** It's also, let's say you bought 'em on the secondary market and you could get screwed. Totally. Um, you can get screwed that way badly because you know, that would suck. You buy the tickets on the secondary [00:46:00] market, then your game gets moved. That would suck. Um, but also fans have been getting screwed. Season ticket holders have been getting screwed since the PSLs.

Yeah. PSLs were good thing we're, we were, were initiated and then so many people got screwed on that. Yeah, that's true. But Giants

**Pagoda:** fans and Jet fans, PSL should be outlaw psl. Yeah.

**Senator:** They really should be outlaw. I did appreciate at least John Meer, the Giants owner was vehemently opposed to flexing to Thursday.

He had a small group of owners that hated the idea, but I think they got out voted. Yeah.

**Rooster:** Horrible. Yeah. I wonder what this is doing to the viewership, like with all the streaming stuff and the games not being on

**Gizmo:** Well,

**Senator:** that's why they did exactly this stupid thing of now flexing Sunday games all the way to Thursday without any consequence.

Because all the Thursday night games they picked last season were shit

**Gizmo:** games. I thought Al Michaels was gonna quit literally in the middle of some of these games. Literally. No, but I'm talking about mlb. What was your,

**Rooster:** the, what's happening to the viewership is that, uh, declining? Because if you can't watch the games, I mean, how many [00:47:00] different subscriptions are you going to

**Gizmo:** have?

I don't know. I mean, I gotta imagine there early to tell. I gotta imagine there's a big segment of people who are unable to find these games. I mean, listen, we're pretty tech savvy and the fact that we're going back and forth on a group chat all day trying to find baseball games. I mean, that's a pretty wild thing.

Think, you know, and, and we're young and we're good at this stuff. Imagine being, uh, someone who's, you know, who's not good at that stuff. Older. Lifelong fan of a team and you can't find a game Rooster, can you

**Poobah:** find the game?

**Gizmo:** Lemme see. I

**Rooster:** think I might have to

**Gizmo:** download the

**Pagoda:** Is, this

**Poobah:** is p check.

Where am I? Chicago.

**Pagoda:** Check my sim card.

**Poobah:** I dunno where I am.

**Senator:** As you're smoking a Caldwell in retirement.

**Pagoda:** I'm gonna

**Gizmo:** put mine down.

**Poobah:** This is, oh, mine's been down. Mine's been down for 10

**Pagoda:** minutes. I'm, I'm still Guys don't give up [00:48:00] on it. I'm not, it's not that

**Poobah:** bad. He'll never. He does, he wouldn't give up. I'm, I'm

**Pagoda:** telling you. I'm telling you. Ma'am.

**Gizmo:** I don't know. I'm imga. I'm still in

**Pagoda:** hell.

You're in Hell yeah. I'm still in hell. I, I

**Rooster:** gotcha. I gotcha. I don't, I don't, I

**Gizmo:** don't see heaven

**Pagoda:** coming up. Huh? Coming

**Grinder:** up. No. Silver lining. Well, there's

**Bam Bam:** a little

**Poobah:** bit of a silver lining. I think we should just kill the queen.

**Pagoda:** Oh, bad.

**Gizmo:** She's already in tears.

**Pagoda:** That's it guys. That's put her out of her misery.


**Gizmo:** The one thing I will say is, while we were talking about uh, MLB and nfl, I did do another cut cuz of the, because of the, the moisture on the uh, on the, yeah. On the, on the head of the cigar. Mm-hmm. Just cuz it's such a small ring edge. I did another cut cuz I was starting to get a little tight.

Mm-hmm. Maybe a little tarry, you know, just from pulling on that, uh, closed up draw. So I did another cut. It opened right up. Sure. Which is much better. Please. Um, you know, the other, the other thing I wanted to say too, you know, talk about people who've done it a hundred percent Well, uh, as far as streaming and, and in, you know, fan interaction, [00:49:00]

**Pagoda:** no.

Nba, you know. Well, no,

**Gizmo:** I, I can't stand the nba. I know you can't, the master,

**Senator:** but I'm sorry. You have to admit though, they do that. Well, they do that very well. Sure. Every Net's game's on. Yes. Or espn, like a simple channel every b

**Bam Bam:** it's awesome. You never want to admit you can't, you can't miss

**Pagoda:** a game.

**Gizmo:** But I can't, NBA

**Poobah:** is a better product than it was.

**Pagoda:** Oh yeah. 15

**Gizmo:** years ago. I mean, oh yeah. I'm just glad it's almost over cuz Baseball's back. All right. Alright. And all right, let's all agree on something. Can we mute,

**Senator:** can we mute his mic?

**Gizmo:** His

**Pagoda:** band was, take it easy. I

**Poobah:** mean, the nba, I mean, if there's a, there was College Hoops. Was, was, was, was the cats meow for a million years until College Hoops became a one and done sport.

Now the N NBA is where all the players are at. You. Sure. I mean, it's, it's, that's a good point. At least you can follow it. At least you can. What don't you like about

**Gizmo:** the N nba? I'm just not a basketball guy. I mean, I didn't watch a single game of the, the, the tournament. It's just not for me. Mm-hmm. But let's all agree on something.

The masters, so this episode is gonna come out two days after the Masters we're recording right before the masters This weekend. Yeah, the [00:50:00] masters. One weekend a year. This club of this exclusive club of. Of Old Guard have found a way to absolutely nail every single thing about the experience, the broadcast, the fans, the app, everything is great.


**Pagoda:** giving

**Bam Bam:** me goosebumps as he's saying it. Yeah, me too. Because

**Grinder:** I, I love it in lockstep

**Bam Bam:** with everything he's saying. The app, Hey, I'm

**Gizmo:** getting goosebumps right now. The master app. I'm not even a golfer now. Fuck that. I am obsessed with the masters because they provide me with such quality entertainment's every single year.

And I, I can't wait to watch that.

**Pagoda:** But

**Bam Bam:** the television product is

**Pagoda:** also, it's

**Gizmo:** unbelievable. It's outstanding. And you can open the app and you can watch seven different broadcasts from seven different

**Pagoda:** holes.

**Grinder:** Holes. It's awesome.

**Bam Bam:** It's

**Poobah:** unbelievable. So this is the, this is the delta in terms of the quality. So if you go on the, if you wanna talk about one of the greatest broadcasts in sports, I think of all time.

All time is the masters. All time you, you get [00:51:00] my wife who does not watch golf ever. Ever, ever, ever watch golf. She watches the Masters. You wanna know why that's cool? Because it goes on high def.

**Pagoda:** It looks amazing. Jim

**Gizmo:** Nance comes on the music place, hello

**Poobah:** friend. You see the flowers, the

**Gizmo:** gorgeous and

**Rooster:** the music,

**Poobah:** the, there's a buddy, there's a Bloody Mary

**Pagoda:** somewhere.

Somewhere in there.

**Poobah:** And she sits on the couch and she's like, I never watch golf. But I love, it's an amazing product. I'm watching the masters because it's an amazing product. Sure.

**Grinder:** Um, it's so beautiful to watch

**Poobah:** too. Like, it, it's beautiful to watch. It really is. There's the, it's the delivery. It's Nance, it's the production staff.


**Pagoda:** that music's, it's the photography, it's the fake, fake birds.

**Gizmo:** It's the music's,

**Pagoda:** all that. I have a

**Bam Bam:** golf, a little golf perspective from a young golfer that I have in my house and, you know, he's part of a team [00:52:00] and they watch golf and you know, I'm sitting with my kid on a couch watching live. And then we go to the masters, right?

And it's, they're starting the, the, the production of that's on now. And all of his friends, not all, but a lot of them, they talk about the comparison between Liv and the pga. And from a young kid's perspective that loves the pga, they all gravitate to the pga. Of course. Yeah. It's a better product. And that says something when the young golfers are looking toward the accepted, the longer term entity that's there, like the pga.

Yeah. They

**Pagoda:** prefer that.

**Gizmo:** Well I think that, I think they can see the institution, right? Oh yeah.

**Pagoda:** And the, and the quality product. And they

**Bam Bam:** respect it. They respect it at a young age, they respect it. So

**Grinder:** I was, I was gonna want to come back to something Gizmo said earlier about, you know, these, this, this old head, this maybe anachronistic private club.

Um, how are they getting it right? So, well, I've been

**Senator:** very lucky to be at the Master's in person three times [00:53:00] and. They care about the fan, the patron experience in a way, no one in history ever has, and. Literally, as soon as you just walk into Augusta National, you will see the happiest, most appreciative staff that you've ever seen your life at.

Any sporting event ever put on it. It's so nos. Like I was literally taken aback. I said to my friend who graciously brought me all three years, I went and I said, why are they so ha Like I've never, it's like they're treating you like you're literally family coming into a home. Mm-hmm. Every tiny little detail.

They care that at every moment you're having the perfect experience. And Grindr with how they haven't changed the concession prices in decades. Literally a dollar 50 for a, the famous pimento cheese sandwich you get at the Masters or egg salad, it's a few dollars for a [00:54:00] beer. Uh, they put them in Master's cups.

They don't even tell you what beer you're purchasing. It's a secret every year, although anyone who's tasted them nose the light beer is Miller Light. The imported beer is Stella. It's not Schlitz, but it's just like, I I, it's mind blowing. And it goes to even like we're talking about the TV broadcast, like Yeah.

Every little detail is so remarkable. And the coolest thing for me, honestly, if anyone ever gets the chance to go to the Masters, the fact that there is to this day, and this is what bucks the trend of the entire p g a tour, it is the only tournament. You cannot bring a cell phone mm-hmm. Into Augusta National.

I love that period. That's cool. You can't look up the score. You can't take a photo, you can't record a vi. You can do nothing but focus. On what's happening live in front of you, and you're looking at even the, how they're keeping the, the leaderboard and the score. It's manually a person turning each

**Gizmo:** card.

I mean, that's cool. I think the thing that, that, to answer Grindr's [00:55:00] question about why it's working for Augusta National is for how stuck in tradition they are and how old guard they are and how it's, it's generational

**Pagoda:** ticketing. Well, I don't

**Bam Bam:** think it's stuck in tradition.

**Pagoda:** I think it's deliberate. What I'm

**Gizmo:** saying is, is that despite all that Sure.

They've not been afraid of technology. They've not been afraid of in using that technology to involve the millions and tens or hundreds of millions of people around the world who can't go to Augusta National. I feel great

**Pagoda:** when my masters come on, the app is magical because they make me feel

**Gizmo:** like I'm there.

Sure. And they, they give me a really good experience. Yeah. And when Jim Nance comes on and the music starts playing and he goes, Hello friends. It's like gives me chills and I don't play golf.

**Senator:** It's, it's true, dude. So on what you just said there, giz, this is so true. So the app was obviously game changing years ago when they did that, and it gets better every year.

Every year you get angles from every different, you get views from every different angle on certain holes. It's incredible. I, we were talking about the concessions and the experience and [00:56:00] obviously it's really hard to recreate unless you're there. They're so committed to you as a fan, as a viewer, being able to feel like you're there.

That, I just saw this the first year, everything we're talking about. You try the pimento cheese sandwich there, you get all this different stuff, they now ship. This to you? Ooh, to your house. You buy like a giant party pack, basically. I like it. You get the exact pimento cheese breads that they use and make the sandwiches, the exact chips that they sell at Augusta National, all of it.

I think we're gonna end up

**Gizmo:** at Senator's House Senator's on Sunday.

**Senator:** They'll have that delivered. And the funny thing is, like, you know, I like every patron who, who goes there, you collect the master's cups and they actually, uh, print the year of each one on the cups. I went 13, 14, and 15. And, uh, now with this pack that you can buy, they'll actually send you master's cups to drink the beer around uss just like you're there.

Like, there's no other sport that does stuff like this. Wow. It's so cool.

**Gizmo:** But, and I think that, I think that the, the, the, the overwhelming thing that's interesting to me about this is [00:57:00] again, not as, I'm not a golfer. Mm-hmm. And for listeners out there who maybe. Because they're not golfers. Haven't tuned in, haven't cared about the Masters.

Really give it a shot, because I think it's one of the best television ex and it is sporting experiences, even if you're not a golfer. It's an

**Pagoda:** unbelievable, but we

**Bam Bam:** can't, one thing we can't forget is how dramatic and riveting the golf itself is. Yeah. And when you have kids that are glued to the TV screen, to a golf match, says something,

**Grinder:** it says a lot.

I, I, I mean, I says a lot. I remember the 97 Masters, like Yeah. Like, that was a, that was a pretty pivotal moment in my life. Yeah. You

**Gizmo:** know? So let's make our productions, even though this comes out two days after the Masters Award, it's an

**Pagoda:** incredible event. Is Tiger gonna win?

**Gizmo:** No.

**Pagoda:** No.

**Gizmo:** Unfortunately. I know. I'm kidding.

I'm kidding. So let's start first with our cognac. The the deuce. V s o P. Let's start with that. Bam. Bam. What's your rating on that? I'm gonna give it a six. Six grinder. Uh, three. Three. Ooh. Pagoda. Six. [00:58:00] Six, Senator. Wow.

**Bam Bam:** And the silence is deafening.

**Senator:** Grindr's rating was very harsh. Yeah, very

**Grinder:** harsh.

**Senator:** I'm, um, I'm now, I'm between a six and a seven.


I'll give it a six. That, that's what it is.

**Gizmo:** Okay. It's six for me, for sure. Puba,

**Poobah:** I wouldn't buy it. I wouldn't order it. I'm out. Mm-hmm. It's just in the middle of the road for me. It's a

**Pagoda:** five.

**Gizmo:** Okay. The former Liquor rating boys is a 5.3. Yaa on the Duce vs. O p cognac tonight. Yaa. And now we've come to the end of the Caldwell, along with

**Pagoda:** the Queen.

Some of us have

**Gizmo:** queen sword. See how this goes. Let me get the calculator out for this

**Poobah:** one. I'm disappointed cuz I wanted to lay

**Gizmo:** a cigar. Me too. Yeah. I

**Senator:** point I've never had a Caldwell cigar and I've heard a few guys actually speak pretty highly of, of the brand, including me, including [00:59:00] Puba. Mm-hmm. Yeah. So I was really excited to try this in the presentation of it.

I mean, the bands look beautiful. The The Rapper. The rapper, rapper. Nice. The converter construction was good. Yeah. And, but man, it just really didn't deliver flavor-wise. And actually giz what was happening with you? I'm, I was getting tar at the end. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yep. Same. Not great. I mean,

**Rooster:** it was promising in the beginning.

Know, had it like continued and I would've been very happy, but yeah, true. I mean, I don't know. It started like heaven and then went straight to hell and stayed in hell for you and stayed in hell. I I, I never quite reached heaven again. You didn't

**Gizmo:** even make a

**Pagoda:** stop in purgatory. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** no, the middle, the middle third was the best for me.

And then I, I had hoped going into the last third and then that was the end

**Pagoda:** of it. Hmm. I was about to say, if you only spend the time on the blending as opposed to the label.

**Rooster:** Good point. We should, we should do the Eastern standard. I mean if, yeah,

**Poobah:** we'll do, if

**Pagoda:** we can find them. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** we'll find 'em. They don't make 'em anymore.

I, well I think they had the fire issues, so there's semi discontinued, but we'll see. But, uh, I will definitely find some, so, alright, let's do the [01:00:00] formal lizard rating on the Caldwell. Long-lived, the Queen, queen Sword Rooster, you're up. Um, give rid a six. Six. A generous six Pubah.

I don't know. A four. Okay. I'm gonna also give it a six. Senator. Five. Pagoda. Five

**Grinder:** Grindr. I was between a five and a four. I'm

**Pagoda:** giving it

**Gizmo:** a four. Okay. And bam,

**Pagoda:** he loved it. No, I didn't love it. A nine.

**Bam Bam:** I I'm gonna give it a six. Six.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. What happened to heaven? Wow. His look at,

**Senator:** he smoked it down. His

**Gizmo:** fingers are burning, still smoking.

He's very diligent. Get the rating and we'll talk. All right, so the formal lizard rating on the Caldwell long move, the queen, queen sword Lance is a 5.1. Wow.

**Pagoda:** That's not good. That's, that's brutal. Brutal.

**Gizmo:** Not, not good. Again, that is definitely the weakest here. Here's my take hard pass. That's the weakest

**Pagoda:** lancer we've done.


**Bam Bam:** the first half inch off the top. [01:01:00] Get rid of that three inch in the middle. Just get rid of it. Take that half inch down and bring it down to the final two. It's delicious. That, but that's an

**Pagoda:** awesome, so

**Gizmo:** you're saying a half inch of the seven inch cigar we smoked tonight

**Pagoda:** was delicious. Three inches of it was pretty

**Bam Bam:** good.

I, I think that's what they call the short story. Yeah. Well, I mean, I think it's, the rating is what it is. I think it's accurate. So

**Senator:** buy this cigar, bring a pair of scissors and some duct tape, then you're gonna have a great smoker. That's perfect

**Pagoda:** scotch tape. Just, just grab a mole, uh, a

**Poobah:** mole, grab a mole to some kind of ritual and a circumcision, and, uh, maybe you'll get there.

So, so obviously

**Grinder:** for, for the, for the lizards, if you're arithmetic is not as strong. The, uh, harshness and pepperiness of the cigar did not pair very well with the, uh, of offensive. It's a rough night of the, uh, rough night.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, it

**Gizmo:** was, it was a harsh pairing tonight on both

**Senator:** ends. The other thing I'll say, I mean, we've talked about how hard it is to roll a lot of these smaller, engaged cigars like landeros.

But I've, [01:02:00] my appreciation somehow, which is already very high for it, has grown even more in the sense that when I cut this cigar on the cold draw, I thought it was pretty open. Mm-hmm. And I didn't expect to have any problems. And the fact that even cutting this, I had a better draw on this than probably half the fundies I've even ever smoked.

Yep. And yet down the stretch, and it's not like this, you'll look at the tip of my, at the end of my cigar. It's not wet or anything like that. It really closed up and it had a hard time. The the smoke really the air getting through and that goes into rolling and, um, whoever, I mean, they just have not done a great job with this land Zero

**Bam Bam:** that, that

**Pagoda:** outsourcing of them

**Gizmo:** rolling.

Yeah. Yeah. It's a bit disappointing

**Rooster:** because when we, when we took the cigar out of the cellophane, I thought this would be, everybody was

**Gizmo:** impressed. I thought this was, I mean, it smelled great, look great, and uh,

**Senator:** I would've rated it just on the cold draw. I would've given it a nine.

**Gizmo:** Mm-hmm. Yeah, true.

**Rooster:** Before smoking it, I was like, uh, maybe it's like between eight or a

**Poobah:** nine.

See, I, I, [01:03:00] but I think with Coldwell, I've had. The long lived, the king I've had, the king is dead. I don't know if these cigars are still around anymore. Um, the AJ Fernandez won and also the Eastern standard. And guess what? They were head and shoulders above whatever this is. I don't know what the cigar is.

I don't know why. It, it, it, they were, those cigars weren't, would rate. You know, I'm not saying they're nines, but they'd rate much higher than, than this. This was not, not a good experience. So. Well, we have, we've had good luck with

**Rooster:** Lances lately, so

**Gizmo:** it was a good, yeah, it was due, we, we were due for a, we were due for a dud in the Lance Serro block here.

Yeah. And this is definitely the one,

**Poobah:** unfortunately, just, but I don't know if those cigars are available anymore. Who the hell knows. But, uh, if they are, we'll find 'em. It was years ago and over the last

**Gizmo:** years, but I don't know, like, listen, like we're dealing with a lot of other violas, we're gonna go back to some of the ones that disappointed us.

We'll try 'em again and, uh, try some other stuff from them. We're not gonna give up on Caldwell, but [01:04:00] certainly tonight was a, uh, was a big miss. Yeah. Yeah. All right, boys. So we had a 5.3 on the deuce V S O P cognac and a 5.1 on the Caldwell. Long lived the Queen, queen sword Landrow. Perfect. Pairing Deuce.

You don't say, all right, boys. That's it for tonight. We'll see you next week. Pew Smoke. 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 pod.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, if 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. We really appreciate your time and we'll uh, we'll see you next week.[01:05:00]