Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

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Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey the lizards pair the El Rey del Mundo Grand Marshall Edición Regional Balkani with Quill Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. The guys discuss the long-awaited El Habano Moderno book release, they revisit their frequent disappointment with Romeo y Julieta, they discuss the parallels between wine and tobacco production, and they celebrate Senator’s birthday with champagne.

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 relaxed 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 are normally around 90 minutes long 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, Poobah, Senator Pagoda, and Bam Bam.

And our plan is to smoke a cigar, drink some wine, talk about life, and of course, have some laughs. So take this as your 101st official invitation to join us. And become a card carrying lounge lizard. Plan to meet us here once a week. We're gonna smoke a Cuban cigar tonight, share our thoughts on it, and give you our formal lizard rating.

We discuss the long awaited El Habano Moderno book release. We revisit our frequent disappointment with Romeo. We discuss the parallels between wine and tobacco production. And we celebrate Senator's birthday. 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 Quail Howe Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 with the El Rey Del Mundo Grand Marshall Regional Edition Balcony. [00:01:00] A genius tonight on the pod from Cuba. It's the El Rey Del Mundo Grand Marshall Edition Regionale Balcony. It's a 52 ring gauge by five and a half inches long.

And this is the second genius we've done on the pod. Also, the Connoisseur A from H. Uppman is exactly the same size, as well as the Cohiba Genius, and I believe we did... Maduro, right? Yeah, it's a Maduro, and I believe we did another... Cigar of the same size. And I don't remember which one it was. I think it was either a limitado or a regional or something, but it was also a genius.

It'll come to me. It'll come to me. Uh, these come in semi boy nature boxes of 10 cigars. Now the regional on the pod, this is only the second. Uh, El Rey Del Mundo, we've done. The other one is a cigar that we love so very much, which is the Schwa Supreme. Schwa Supreme. So let's cut this thing, boys. See what we're getting on the cold draw on the wrapper?

It's a beautiful cigar. Beautifully [00:02:00] made. Announced in 2020 and came out About a year and a half ago a little over a year maybe sometime in 2022 classic Cuba very mild on the cold draw You know what? I noticed was the foot smells incredible. Yeah the wrapper not much. No, but the foot smells very good I get

**Poobah:** a lot of like Fig Newton Uh, some fruit, mild fruit.

Yeah. I mean, to me, it's, it's probably sweet.

**Gizmo:** I think this will be a good cigar. It's a really good looking cigar too. Construction. Yeah. And it's not light, but it seems like there's quite a bit of tobacco in it. Any reviews on this cigar that you've read on? I haven't seen much. I've seen stuff like on, on the Facebook groups and stuff with guys who've smoked it and really enjoyed it, but I haven't seen anything formal.

There is, there

**Rooster:** is some fruit on the cold row.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I think the dried fruit fig Newton thing was, was accurate. Yeah. All right, boys. Let's fight this thing. [00:03:00] The El Rey Del Mundo grand Marshall. Again, it's a regional edition cigar out of Cuba. 52 ring gauge by five and a half inches long. Has two bands on it.

The classic El Rey del Mundo band you'd find on the Demi Toss or the Schwa Supreme. Pagoda's out of propane.

**Senator:** Well, I think Pagoda's lighter was about to take some billionaires into space. It was cleared for takeoff. Jesus, look at this thing. What the hell's happening?

**Pagoda:** This is supposed to be the flat flame

**Rooster:** lighter.

Can you put Pagoda in the other room,

**Gizmo:** please? So Pagoda has an 8 inch flame coming off his lighter right now.

**Bam Bam:** Pagoda, your older brother has spoken.

**Pagoda:** Okay. There, there. What

**Gizmo:** the hell's going on?

Really nice on the light.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, wow. Yeah, this is tasty. Very

**Gizmo:** nice. So these were, these cigars were like 35, 40 bucks a [00:04:00] piece. Not cheap. No. Wow. You know, once that second band is on it, that, uh, the classic. MSRP's less. Yeah. Of course. It's like 23. Yeah. Price is always up from there. Did you say what year, what year these were? So they were announced in 2020, um, that's when they were scheduled for release.

But they didn't come out until, uh, last year, mid 22. Well,

**Poobah:** this is, this is tremendous on it.

**Gizmo:** It's

**Senator:** very good on this is really good. This is only my second El Rey Del Mundo. I mean, I've only had the Schwoz Supreme before it. Yep.

**Poobah:** Very good on the light. It's, it's, it's super.

**Bam Bam:** Great combustion on this thing.


**Gizmo:** the draw, the draw is excellent too. The draw

**Poobah:** is excellent. And I almost can tell it's gonna, uh, It's projecting nicely so far. My hypothesis is this is going to be a nice burn.

**Senator:** It's almost surprising because I think Giz mentioned the cigar actually has a bit of weight to it, but the draw is so open.

Yeah, it's amazing. It's true. Really well rolled. I love the

**Gizmo:** design of this band. Yeah, the classical Redondo. Very unique. And [00:05:00] it's so

**Rooster:** typical with Habanos announcing. A new cigar and it doesn't come out for like two years.

**Gizmo:** What are you talking

**Senator:** about? They're always on time, but they ran out

**Bam Bam:** of boxes. So

**Senator:** everything in Cuba always operates.

**Poobah:** Is there a meaning behind Balcony? I think

**Gizmo:** it's from the Balkans. It's a regional edition for the Balkans. They only made 6, 000 boxes, uh, 60, 000 cigars and they come in 10 count boxes. Nice, like a numbered semi buoyant nature. So they have that gold, uh, number on them out of a 6, 000 on each of the box.


**Poobah:** means he made 12, 000 boxes.

**Gizmo:** He's not wrong. So the other cigars that are in current production, we're not, we're going to ignore the other regionals. Cause there are so many, like I said, uh, the Schwa supreme. Which is a wonderful hermosas number four. We love that cigar. I think all of us smoke as many of those as we can get our hands on.

We want as many as we can find such a good cigar. And, uh, also the [00:06:00] Demi toss, which is a, uh, small Panatella, which is 30 ring gauge by three and seven eighths inches. People love that cigar too. Just a little smaller than certainly I think most of us are going to reach for on any regular basis. And they also have an, uh, a yet unreleased 2022 LCDH exclusive.

Called the Royal series, which is going to be a dobless of Robusto extra 50 ring gauge by six and an eighth inch. So like we know about this brand, despite how much we love that Schwa Supreme, and hopefully we'll love this cigar tonight. The cigar, you know, this brand is really used for regionals. If you, you know, if you look at a Cuban cigar website and go through that, the list of cigars that they have on there, man, there are so many special addition.

You know, regional editions. It's, it's, it's kind of crazy that most of what's coming out of El Rey del Mundo is, uh, is regional edition. Yeah,

**Poobah:** it's a portfolio. It's a portfolio, Marco, that, that they, they do basically regionals [00:07:00] with, uh, it's been that way for a while. It

**Gizmo:** has. For a while. And what's crazy about it, and I learned this from, uh, El Habano Moderno, which we'll talk about in a little bit, the new book from Alex Groom, the, uh, The keeper of Cuban cigar website.

com. So El Rey del Mundo was established in 1882. We went through some of this stuff on the Schwa Supreme episode, but there's a couple of new things I didn't know. The name translates to king of the world. This is wild. The brand was considered a premium luxury brand. And was among the most expensive brands available in its heyday in the 1940s and the 1950s, all the way up until the 1980s.

And then it completely fell off. It's classified by Habanos S. A. in the other category as, uh, it's a portfolio brand, as Puba mentioned. And there are only two cigars remaining in regular production, which is just an absolute

**Senator:** tragedy. It is. I'm sorry. It's really so disappointing that that's the case. And I say that because we all love the Schwa Supreme.

I've heard very good things about [00:08:00] that Demitasse, right? That's the other one? Yep. I've only heard positive things about that. There's a New World brand of this. So, like, there was enough brand cachet from, clearly, it's Cuban history, that they wanted to obviously introduce a New World version of it. Where you think about other brands, like we've done like the

light. This is very good. Obviously we love the Schwall supreme. I wish they would invest a little bit more in this brand because I like the flavor

**Gizmo:** profile.

**Poobah:** Couldn't agree more. And it's, it's one of these brands. That's like a, um, I've always thought of El Rey, El Rey, the Mundo as, um, an elevated Portfolio brand.

It's not a discount. Like I consider Cuava a little bit. I guess you'd kind of call it a discount. Marca. Uh, not quite like a, um, not anymore.

**Senator:** Well, but it used to be relatively, we used to [00:09:00] shop. That would always be way cheaper than part of guests or right.

**Poobah:** San Cristobal, like, like that to me, I don't think the San Cristobal anything in the San Cristobal lineup.

What, if this continues the way it does or continues the way a swash Supreme does, even holds a candle, you know, to it, do you know what I mean? It's so, so it's, it's, to me, it's always been a little bit of an elevated Marco that's somewhat limited, somewhat hard to get kind of small batch stuff. Even the regular production stuff.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Schwa Supreme does not come off that often, you know,

**Poobah:** that often. So that, so to me, it's always been elevated. I mean. When there's ever a chance to pick up a box of Schwa Supremes, people generally jump on them. Yeah. They're, they're loved for all the right reasons. So, and some of these limitatas now, I haven't had a lot of them, but if this continues on, like it started, I mean, [00:10:00] the preview right now is,

**Gizmo:** It's delicious.

It's fantastic. Delicious. So what kind of flavor notes are you guys

**Bam Bam:** getting? You're gonna laugh. I, on the, on this burn line and on the retrohale, you're going to have a great time with this one. I am getting a little bit of citrus on this. I am too. A bit, honestly, on that burn line right there. I'm

**Gizmo:** right there.

I agree. Where I'm at, I, I'm kind of comparing this to that Liguria Cubana we did. It's kind of got that Turquino thing a little bit, like a little bit, like it's kind of, that one's

**Bam Bam:** earthier and more coffee than this.

**Gizmo:** And I, but I think it's a, it's got a sister profile to that in a way. And I think there's also a freshness about this that is not that, like you say, you can taste that it's not aged tobacco, but it's not, it doesn't have a harsh harshness to it.

It's not biting. Not at all. It's really smooth

**Rooster:** is the thinking with Habano's like. You know, like coming out with regionals as opposed to regular production. Do they sell [00:11:00] more regionals if, I mean, is that why they come out with more regionals?

**Gizmo:** Higher premium. Yeah, higher, higher price point, I would think.

And it's marketing.

**Rooster:** I mean, if this cigar was regular production and they charge the same price, I mean, this is, MSRP is 23

**Gizmo:** on this. Yeah, but nobody's buying it for that price. Yeah,

**Rooster:** so even if they came out the regular production

**Gizmo:** and they charge you 30. Yeah. They would

**Rooster:** still sell the same amount. So like, what's the, you know, why come out with more regionals in this brand is

**Gizmo:** whatever.

I just think that, A, I don't think the brand is established enough to demand a regular production cigar at 30 I think when Schwa Supreme comes up, we see it once a year. It comes up very infrequently. I mean, how often do we have, when was the last time any of you guys saw Schwa Supreme come up anywhere?

It's frustrating not to see it enough. Demitasse comes up quite a bit on FOH, but Schwa Supreme, you just don't see it. But who's

**Bam Bam:** chasing the Demitasse?

**Gizmo:** They're so small. Yeah, but people are buying them up. But I think that that's an easier cigar for, for Habanos to get out the door. Who chases the small

**Poobah:** club Corona?

No, you're

**Bam Bam:** [00:12:00] right. Yeah, yeah, no, no. You're right. A lot of

**Poobah:** people with the Ramona loan is small club Corona and that Demitasse are probably two of the best small cigars

**Bam Bam:** around and that club

**Senator:** Corona is a home run. So I have to say on the flavor profile, I'm getting a really strong note of something that I normally laugh at in cigar reviews when they say that they get, can I take a guess?

No, please do honey and cream. You're very close. Honey, honeysuckle, honeysuckle. I was about to say that. I'm deadly serious. So I even just looked this up as it's the first thing that popped into my head because I am telling you on the finish It's not regular honey where it's super sweet and like sugary It's like this sweet but slightly floral note And when I looked at what the difference in taste of honeysuckle versus honey, it's described as like sweet and floral Versus like just sweet and traditional honey, I get a ton of honeysuckle.

Yeah. Well, honeysuckle

**Rooster:** is a flower, man.

**Senator:** Yeah, but you can eat it. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** It's edible. And there definitely is a floral component to it. I think that's a perfect way to [00:13:00] kind of marry the sweet, sweetness with the floral. But it's, it really settles for me when I push out the draw, it settles so nicely on the front of my tongue.

It's just, it's just lingers there. It is a great cigar right now. Yeah. Very, very satisfying.

**Poobah:** The thing that I like about it is that it presents itself, it very distinctly meaning like those flavors jump out at you and they're like, right, they're right there. They're not hard to pick up. It it that, that honey honeysuckle, that honey and floral, it's very easy to pick up 'cause they're pronounced, they're not muddled.

They're not muddled.

**Bam Bam:** It's right there, especially on the retro hill. Yeah. Capture all that

**Poobah:** right there. But you know, how many times, how many times do you light a cigar up, oftentimes with new worlds where you're like, I'm confused, or like, I'm not sure, or, you know, I, I don't, I'm not, I don't know what I'm picking up.

Like it's kind of this, it's kind of that. This is none of [00:14:00] that. This is very distinctive.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. There's an understated elegance, I think, to this cigar. The way it's smoking, the smoke output's really

**Poobah:** impressive. The burn line, the construction, the burn is great. And delicious. It's delicious. I mean, who knows what it'll be like in the last third if it, you know, if it becomes juvenile.

**Bam Bam:** Okay, is he still getting a little bit of that

**Gizmo:** citrus, just a hint? I am. I think the burn line smells incredible. It does. It's very good. But yeah, there is a citrus type, um, I don't, I don't know what word I want to use, but as you pull it through your nose, it kind of tingles a little bit. It's weird, yeah.

It's like, it's

**Rooster:** floral. It's got a little citrus. It's got a little fruit. There's no coffee, no cocoa, no chocolate, no

**Bam Bam:** barnyard.

**Poobah:** None of that, but it's defined. It's very defined. Like it's saying this is what it is. Like, and I like that. Oh yeah. It's there's no mud. There's no confusion about what it's presenting right now at this point in the

**Gizmo:** cigar.

And I think we're seeing too, and I know that we're only in the first third here, but I think we're seeing [00:15:00] what we've been saying with fresh cigars out of a bonus right now. That they're blending these cigars to be smoked younger and be ready faster than they've done in the past. Because I think, you know, you talk about some of the other regionals that we've smoked on the podcast, off the podcast, some of that stuff, even with two, three, four years of age, we're saying.

This is not even close to ready to be smoked, not even at its peak, but ready to be smoked. This is ready to be smoked.

**Poobah:** Maybe this particular regional, like some that come out, it's Cuba being Cuba has been aged maybe a little bit longer than we think has been, the piles have been. Whatever have been, they've been sitting, who knows, have a year old

**Bam Bam:** cigar was sitting in the factory before it was shipped.


**Poobah:** there's maybe some more, like it wasn't, maybe it wasn't as rushed out. Well, what, what, what could they

**Rooster:** be doing different? I mean, they, they get the tobacco, they roll it and they push it out.

**Senator:** I'm just going to say, I don't, I don't [00:16:00] think this is as much about the age as I think it's the blend. It's a blend.

I think the blending here is just fantastic. Absolutely. And I say that because when we reviewed that Torquenos and that's from a marker that is like known for more floral notes. Um, that was super young. What was that? 23,

**Gizmo:** 22? It was November 22. 22. I mean. We smoked that. I think it was what it was six or seven months old,

**Senator:** super young.

And that cigar had no rough edges. It was a little more floral and profile like this is, I think that was just blended so well, so balanced. There wasn't anything aggressive about that blend that needed a ton of time to mellow out the aggression. And I think in this it's blended somewhat similarly where there's nothing, there's not like a ton of Lehar or anything that needs a lot of time to pull back some of the strength of the flavor.

And I think it just marries really nicely, even on

**Gizmo:** the younger side. And the other thing too, I think if you want to talk about what Habanos has changed or what Tabacuba has changed, I think that they've absolutely [00:17:00] lost time as being in their favor, right? You think about COVID, you think about the lack of stock.

I think these blending decisions need to be made such that cigars are ready to smoke faster because as soon as they hit the shelves, they're not sitting around, they're gone. Immediately they're gone, you know, well, before they're even delivered in most places. And

**Senator:** the other thing is the price increases, right?

I mean, they're going to charge more for these cigars and you know, that's some of the great values of certain new world cigars. They're already aged. You're trying to compete and charge more. You you've got to have sticks that are ready to smoke off the shelf. No one wants to pay a hundred percent more than they just paid for a cigar and have to wait, have it sit there for two or three years before that he came in, uh, light up the cigar.

Yeah. So I think it's just a must with kind of the new pricing model. Agreed.

**Poobah:** Yeah. It's not a Leharo heavy cigar at all. Uh, Senator, it's, it's, it's, it's very floral. The primmings are gotta be premium in here.

**Gizmo:** To me, it's a bit QD esque. Yeah. It's a point. [00:18:00] Good

**Poobah:** point. Yeah. Yeah. It has a little bit of that.

**Rooster:** Not, not Xeno esque,

**Gizmo:** more QD esque.

**Senator:** Well, you wouldn't know the difference.

Tell us about the Xeno.

**Gizmo:** Fantastic smoke. So I don't remember if we went through this, but I just think for this exercise, it's interesting because it, it frustrates me quite a bit going through the, the list of discontinued regular production cigars that were canceled in the 2010s. I mean, some of these cigars, man, we would eat them up.

You're talking. A petite Corona from, uh, El Rey del Mundo, uh, a Wansdale, elegantis, gran Corona. That's heartbreaking. I mean, uh, a large Panatella, which is a cool size 28 by six and seven eighths inches. Like there's some just really fantastic things that have gone the way of the Dodo. And, and now this brand is used to.

Make, uh, addition, you know, regional additions. When were those

**Senator:** discontinued, roughly around, like, time period

**Gizmo:** wise? Okay, so the Lonsdale, for example, which we would love, [00:19:00] 2002. Uh, some were cancelled in 2006. There was a Churchill. Churchill that was cancelled in 2006. Uh, called the Tainos.

**Senator:** We need to find some of these.

I know! There's got to be boxes somewhere. There's

**Gizmo:** somewhere. Petit Corona canceled in 2012. I bet that would be fantastic. Famosos too, right? Is that ERDM? No, that's Vegas, Rubenia. Vegas, Rubenia. Imagine a

**Bam Bam:** Lonsdale in

**Gizmo:** this. Oh, I would love a Lonsdale. And the Churchill. I would love both. Oh yeah. You know.

**Poobah:** But I'd rather see them put out less better quality than put out more and be aligned like our, you know.

R and J. R and

**Gizmo:** J. Don't get me started, you know, where they've

**Poobah:** got all these different sizes and, and, uh, and right into the, you can please write into the show. Um, they suck. Um, feel free [00:20:00] to send in the hate mail, but like, they're not really that good. I mean, there's a few here, few and far between that can maybe deliver some satisfaction, but I mean, it's like the Walmart.

Of, of Cuban Marcus. It's true.

**Senator:** Well, Gizmo, uh, Gizmo took the plunge and had a, uh, a pretty baller, uh, R and J if one ever allegedly existed. How'd that work out for you?

**Gizmo:** So, all right. So I got a, um. A 2008 Romeo y Julieta Churchill Reserva. So it had the classic gold with black text, Romeo y Julieta Churchill band on it, and then it had the black Reserva with the two R's that are face each other.

Yep. Yep. And I got it as a bodyguard kind of thing for a charity thing that I did with Mile High Cigar Guy, who I, by the way, I got these cigars from. So thanks to Mile High Cigar Guy out in Denver. Very cool. I want to shout him out. [00:21:00] So, uh, yeah, so he and I... We did a little charity thing, which was cool a while back.

And that was one of the cigars I got with it. Not from him, but from someone else. And I finally decided to light it the other night. I had a good day at work and I was really excited. And I was like, you know what? We, all we do is shit on Romeo. Like, let me try the cigar and send a picture to the boys and, and, you know, let's see if we can change the, change our minds here.

You were adventurous that night. So

**Rooster:** I must say the white Churchill is not. Terrible.

**Gizmo:** That's, that's the White

**Senator:** smokable

**Gizmo:** cigar they made. Yeah, we did it on the pod. What did it get, eight?

**Poobah:** Yeah, the White Churchill's okay. That's, that's one of the ones that I have in my

**Gizmo:** humidor.

**Senator:** We smoked one of those at one of the factories in Cuba when we were there.

Yeah, that's

**Gizmo:** right. So, I cut the cap of the Anahato, poured myself a little, uh, little drink, and the draw's immediately impossibly tight. And mind you, this has been sitting in my humidor at 60 for maybe six months. So the first thing I have to do is take the perfect draw [00:22:00] to a Reserva, Romeo Churchill, get it opened up.

And man, I lit it. I finally opened it up. It would, the draw was fine. Combustion was, it was burning perfectly. You guys saw the photos, razor sharp burn. And it was one of the worst cigars I've had this year. Like if we did that on the podcast, I think it would have probably got. Like somewhere in the fives or six.

How much

**Bam Bam:** does that thing run? I

**Gizmo:** mean, 150, 200 bucks, maybe. Excuse me? Yeah. Maybe even more. Puba, I don't even know. I mean,

**Bam Bam:** I'd fire an employee if they brought me a cigar.

**Gizmo:** So thank God I didn't pay for it. But you know, I ditched it halfway through. And then I went and grabbed a regular production, sir.

Winston from a Chapman and lit that. And I had a phenomenal experience, but I mean, I couldn't believe that even the Reserva, which is supposed to be five years aged, came out in 2012, 2013. It's a 20, 2008 cigar, five years age, supposed to be the top of [00:23:00] their. One of their premium brands, and it was an absolute atrocious

**Senator:** cigar.

As if we needed any more proof that R& J should be discontinued as a line. I'm sorry. If their Reserva cigars at that price point are not at a minimum satisfying, let alone spectacular, they have no business producing

**Poobah:** cigars. I just don't

**Bam Bam:** know who's buying these. Yeah, it's a crime that this marker we're smoking tonight has how many Vitolas in it?

Three? Two. Two? And how many does Romeo have? A hundred? A hundred.

**Gizmo:** It's absurd. And you know, the thing that,

**Poobah:** that's my point, it's absurd. That's my point. Isn't doing less better, better than doing more worse. Meaning if R and J, so we complain about the toll was being discontinued, but wouldn't it be better if R and J had maybe two or let's call it a hat still remained a global, a global brand, but had like six [00:24:00] Fatalas.

Yeah. Instead of how many do they have? I don't even

**Gizmo:** know. 15. I mean, I'm looking at it right now. Current production. You're you're over your I'll do the math. You're right around 20,

**Poobah:** 25, 20, 25. The toll is every single mark.

**Rooster:** I should have like five to six with Tolos have a petite Corona. Have a Robusto, have a Lonsdale, maybe, I don't know, what's the next size?

Churchill and a Bellicoso or a

**Gizmo:** Pyramid. And that's it. That's it. And then a couple have a Lancero and some other special things. Leave it at that. Yeah, that's all you need. And do it extraordinary. So, to your point, Puba, I'm fine with El Rey del Mundo, let's say, having four or five Vitolas. Add a Lonsdale, add a Churchill, add a Robusto.

You know, I know that schwa supreme is kind of close to that, but at a proper robusto or even like, like you just said, like a petite Corona or a, or a bellicose putting

**Poobah:** out hundreds of thousands of boxes, the, uh, uh, Romeo Giulietta, [00:25:00] they're putting out so much, how can you do, it's like, it's like the Budweiser of Cuban cigars.

How can you can accept not as consistent as Budweiser. So, so, so like. So like, how do you, how do you make that much in that many different sizes and have it be okay?

**Gizmo:** There, there are some, there, what I'll say is there's gotta be a pallet. There's gotta be a lot of people out there that have a pallet that is perfectly aligned with Romeo, that that's the brand that they're, that they're reaching for because every time they, they put them out, I watch them on FOH.

They go up and they come right down every

**Senator:** time. I'll just say this. I think, I'm sorry, I have a hard time imagining any serious. Cigar smoker that loves is passionate about R and J. I think that that brand somehow, unfortunately persists because I think they've done a very good job marketing to like novice cigar smokers.

Like if you even think of those, like selección de, you know, Robustos or whatever the case is, there's always an R and [00:26:00] J in there too, alongside respectable brands like Cohiba and the rest. I mean, oil is even in there. Global. And so it's just like, yeah. And I just think like people end up trying R and J early.

I think also a lot of new world smokers are used to that then try Cuban cigars. This is R and J has served a big purpose for new world cigar smokers in that they make some of the mildest stuff you can buy and you can find it anywhere, anywhere that sells any type of cigar. And they kind of get brought into this world through that.

And then they say, well, I've got to try a Cuban R and J. And I think that they just kind of get suckered into spending money on that because that's what they know from the new world selection. But I just think it's a shame because there are so many cigars at exactly the same price point. Like it's not even the case that R and J, the Cuban brand is more excessively priced.

And so that's an easier entry point. It's not, it's the same as any of these other global brands, yet the product is so inferior. So. I just think [00:27:00] it's a really damn shame. I mean, clearly it's tremendous marketing on r j's part. Yeah. But it's the detriment of the consumer because there's a lot better it.

Yeah. And there's omnipresent.

**Pagoda:** You can go to any, like, I've flown in a lot of different countries in the world and been to the humid dose and new Lord will find r and j. Mm-hmm. . It's omnipresent.

**Poobah:** Yeah, it is. And, and, and, and it's mass, it's really mass produced, I think in a way that maybe I don't have the numbers on it, but it doesn't work.

Um, I'm sorry. But I haven't smoked, uh, an R and J that was good since the nineties, the first, like I said, I think on the text string, you know, I loved, uh, in the, in the nineties, the, uh, Churchill, the Churchill, when before this is pre, you know, internet buying and all that stuff, the shoe attendant. At my golf club would have the tubed, um, with the gold band, you know, the, the metal tube [00:28:00] Churchill's.

Yeah. That meant I'm not lying. They were great. I'm sure they were, they were really, really

**Gizmo:** good between that and the Monte Cristo number two. That's what every banker in New York was

**Poobah:** smoking. Right. I mean, they were friends. He had money twos. He had the Churchill's and that's what, and he'd have cohibas.

I'd never smoked them from out of the locker room. But what I'm trying to say is, is that there's a lot of history, I think with R and J and they're still living off of it. There's a lot of great history. I, they, I just don't think they're making cigars today. Like they did back in the day.

**Senator:** And I'll just say, I mean, to poop's point about the production vol volume of r and j, it clearly matters because the two brands that we have the most construction issues with, like GIZ Mill's, plug Churchill, we've had that obviously with not even the Reserve aligned, just regular Churchills.

They make it's r and j and it's oil oil, and those two brands pump out more cigars than probably any of the big haos, uh, global. Mm-hmm. ,

**Gizmo:** you wanna hear something crazy? Guess what? The mother factory of El Ray del Mundo is. R. O. J. No [00:29:00] way. What? I swear. Now, what's funny about that is I don't think I've ever seen a, uh, schwa supreme box come in with a Romeo code on it from that factory.

It's always been from a provincial. That's shocking. But the mother factory, you know, again, going back to El Habano Moderno, the mother factory of El Rey Del Mundo Yeah, I know, but they have provincial codes on the box. Yeah. So I'm guessing that the blending is done there. That's what I'm assuming. Oh, and they're rolled.

And they're rolled elsewhere. Elsewhere,

**Poobah:** but you know, who knows what's who's really rolling them, you know, well

**Bam Bam:** on a different note Bam Bam needs a refill Yeah, let's

**Gizmo:** talk about our pairing tonight So we have a we have a cabernet sauvignon from the Howell Mountain quill 2012 vintage, correct? It is

**Senator:** some serious age.

**Gizmo:** So the the thing I saw about quill and Senator I don't know if you know anything about them the one thing I saw is that it's Everything they make is single vineyard [00:30:00] Everything they make is a single varietal on all of their

**Senator:** wines, which tells you it's a premium vineyard period. I mean, the fact that none of their grapes for anything that they produce in bottle comes from anywhere other than their actual estate there in how mountain that tells you it's a premium, uh, premium vineyard.

**Gizmo:** So I saw this bottle and I obvious, uh, thought of you today, Senator, and we'll get to that in a bit. But it comes from Hal Mountain and we did the, uh, The Howl Mountain Sous Vide. Yes, we did. Uh, from Cuvée. Cuvée. Sous

**Bam Bam:** Vide. Damn, the

**Gizmo:** Soufflé. What was the man, uh, it was, uh, Robert Craig. Robert Craig, which was an excellent wine.

So what do you guys think of this? This is the first time I'm having this. I

**Bam Bam:** gotta tell you, when I first sipped my first glass, it took me by surprise. I didn't like it, but As I was drinking it, to me, it's, there's a little savory, a little sweet, and a bit of saltiness on it, which I love. Minerality.

**Senator:** It's delicious.

Yes, which is the soil in Howl Mountain. Now It's [00:31:00] volcanic soil there. Yeah, so as you

**Bam Bam:** drink it, for me, it gets better and better. It's really quite good.

**Senator:** I gotta say, it's very fun for me to hear Bam's commentary on this because truly, this is like watching in real time, lizard palettes evolving, like Bam's picking up all the right notes on this one.

I'm not a wine guy. I know, but you're growing into one is my point. You're saying. Like, everything you're saying very much aligns with my take and I think anybody's take when they would drink this and the thing with Howl Mountain, I think why this, Might for some be a little surprising or off putting at first is the wines tend to be a bit drier than a traditional Napa, California cab.

I think most people see California They take a sip of a cab and they're expecting like a fruit bomb right away. And that's not this similarly that Robert Craig How a mountain cuvee it's not it's a drier more balanced wine. So this is even a little bit drier than that It drinks more like a Bordeaux Uh, but I like that style.

So, uh, you know, for me, this is very interesting. I will say, I think this bottle has aged [00:32:00] at slightly an accelerated pace because this drinks like a wine. That's like 15, even 20 years of age on it. Like you're getting a little more, the acidity that sometimes comes through in a good way, not a bad way with some more serious age.

And, um, I think that that's probably just a product of like, it being stored maybe in some slightly warmer temperatures where it does accelerate the aging process, but it's a very good wine. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** tasty. I think it pairs very nicely with the cigar and I think that it's Outstanding. It's bringing something out of the cigar a little bit.

That minerality and there's like a little earthiness coming out of the cigar

**Bam Bam:** with the wine that

**Gizmo:** takes place. Yeah, it's very nice. It's a wonderful match

**Poobah:** for it. Yeah, it's, it's dry up front and dry on the finish too. I mean, it's not a really fruit forward cab. It's got good body. And, um, it's good. It's, I, I like it.

It's not totally my jam. [00:33:00]

**Senator:** Um, I mean, it's

**Poobah:** probably a little drier than what it's, yeah, it's a little bit drier than like what I would, What I would reach for, uh, nonetheless, it's for what it is. It's, uh, it's very good. Yeah, it's,

**Gizmo:** it's very good. I don't think it would go as well with the steak as it does with the cigar.


**Senator:** Well, that's the thing I will say. The only thing that has surprised me about this. So, I mean, I guess two things. It's a bit drier than I would expect from hell mountain, because usually. A how mountain cab starts out dry and then finishes with some more of the fruit forward notes that you would expect both dry and dry.

Exactly. Which is what a board, a French Bordeaux drinks. Like it's just bone dry all the way through. Um, so that was a little bit surprising, not in a bad way. It's just different palettes, different styles and preferences. But the thing that is surprising to me, a how mountain cab usually has a lot of structure to it.

And this is a little thinner. This is probably the thinnest how mountain cab I've ever had. So I'm. Just confused how that's possible. It may just [00:34:00] be the, the, it could actually be the best explanation for this is probably the year. Probably 2012 was not a super hot. Year in Napa, and maybe that's why this is not as concentrated and structured in flavor.

Um, because the heat's really what does that, like some of the hottest summers in Napa period have some of the most

**Gizmo:** amazing bottles. So similar to tobacco, similar to what we learned about tobacco plants, that they have to work harder in Cuba than they do elsewhere because there's just not much in the ground.

You said that it's volcanic ash and how mountain, is that a similar thing with the heat where the grapes just have to work harder. And you

**Senator:** get a better wine. That's exactly it. And so it concentrates the flavor in each of those grapes a lot more, where if it's cooler or especially a rainier season, basically those grapes are more filled with water.

It just dilutes that concentration, where in the real intense heat of the summer, certain years, I mean, you just have like sometimes a very [00:35:00] jammy, just intense wine. And for calves, I mean, that's great because you usually pull a calf when you want something more structured or a pair with a steak, like is mentioned.

A different year of this may pair well with a steak, but not necessarily this year. But the nice thing about this, this is good for just, you know, drinking, you know, just for table consumption.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Because there's nothing, there's absolutely nothing offensive about it. It just doesn't have a, it's slightly muddled in one dimensional, I guess is what I would say.

But not, not in a bad way, but, but it's not, yes, but it's not, um, it's not bad in any way either. Agreed. It's, it's not bad. Mm-hmm. It's just, um, I guess what I say, I, I, I've had, I've had a lot better , do you know what I'm saying? But it's not bad, but it's not bad. I mean, agreed. Yeah. I just,

**Gizmo:** yeah, completely agree.

How, how much, how much is it. I think, I think at this vintage now, it's probably around 110 bucks. Sounds right. 2012 [00:36:00] bottle. Okay. I've had it maybe six months. There you go. Four months. How much was the souffle? The souffle was free. It came, the souffle came with it. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know how, I don't know how in the last 20 episodes, my pronunciation has become a thing on this podcast, but it really has.

I need to work on this man. .

**Poobah:** Well, it's like, it's a, it's like is a bot. It's like, is a bottle of Jordan gonna satisfy? You know, that's fair, you know, like at a fraction of the price. Yeah. You know,

**Gizmo:** the other thing I saw in this too, I think it says on the back there, Senator, that it's only 2, 800 cases made.

**Senator:** Yeah, it does, which is actually very surprising. I mean, this is a fairly limited production. Um, I think, you know, kind of to our cigar discussion about, you know, El Rey de Mundo producing kind of smaller quantities, higher quality. I think clearly that's what Quill goes for, um, which is commendable. You know, I just think that we've.

We've not probably picked the [00:37:00] best year to get the fullest expression that they would want to. You can say it. Go

**Gizmo:** ahead. I'm not a wine guy.

**Senator:** Go ahead. No, no, I'm not criticizing. I mean. I'm just

**Pagoda:** impressed that these guys have been so polite about this all the way through. Because I've been trying to come up with words.

I said I better keep my mouth shut. Well, we could tell you're. Considering the way I started out tonight, I'm just refraining from passing on my

**Bam Bam:** peers have been turning all night. They're just

**Gizmo:** turning. There's a shank coming. I can

**Senator:** tell us how do you, how do you feel about the wine?

**Bam Bam:** It's in the fire. Jammy and vinegary.

**Pagoda:** No, no, I'm just kidding. It's like, I would never pay 110 bucks for this.

**Poobah:** I think I drank a bottle of, uh, what's. It called shop, uh, shop, uh, shop away. Uh, uh, last week it was 2012 and it was the most ridiculous thing I ever drank in a long time. It's good wine. Yeah. Um, so, but it's, but it's, it's triple the price.

Wow. Uh, but was it a good

**Pagoda:** [00:38:00] vintage?

**Bam Bam:** What?

**Poobah:** Just saying. Um, I don't know, but I'm not a huge, I'm not, I'm not a huge wine guy, you know, I mean, I'm not a huge wine guy. I know enough to be dangerous, but

**Bam Bam:** I don't know enough to be dangerous, but I know when I drink a good wine or when I drink a bad wine, you know, for what this is tonight, like this, you know, the cigar for me, it just, the smoke is getting better and better for me.

Just like what we're drinking tonight. As I take each sip, I enjoy it. The combination of the two, for me, it's, it's fantastic. It's a delicious, it's a great, great experience. But I do

**Pagoda:** think the cigar would pair really well with the champagne. I really do

**Gizmo:** think so. I

**Senator:** kind of agree with that. I will say, when I had the first couple puffs of this cigar, that's immediately where my mind went.

Exactly where my mind went too. I mean, when you think of like, honeysuckle, that's what you get in a lot of champagnes. I, so, I'm Are you still getting honeysuckle there? Uh, I don't think so. I'm so fixated on the wine, I'm not sure.

**Gizmo:** You want me to get the, uh, champagne? Yes,

**Poobah:** sir. Always get, always, always, always get [00:39:00] the champagne.

**Pagoda:** I'm saying, I'm glad it's only 2, 800 cases made.

**Senator:** This guy.

**Poobah:** That's a good one. I should just keep going. Hey, but listen, but it's a 2012 bottle and it's, and it's a hundred bucks. Yeah. So everybody, including myself, needs to

**Senator:** calm down. That's a very, very good one. Good price for that, which I, again, signifies this was definitely not their best year if they're selling it at that price.

Can I just

**Gizmo:** say that this is the last bottle of wine that I'm bringing to the podcast? Why? Because I'm clearly not good at this. We win some and lose

**Senator:** some. Look at that. So boys. Look at

**Gizmo:** that. That's the Ridgewood. So boys, it is Senator's birthday today. And we have some treats, uh, one of

Senator's favorite bakeries in Ridgewood.

**Senator:** It's called Souk. Yeah, Gizmo, when you try that cake, that's a cake. All right, Bam did well. He knows. That's a cake.

**Bam Bam:** What'd I get from Costco? No.

**Poobah:** It's not the sheet cake I get from ShopRite on my birthday. [00:40:00]

**Gizmo:** So, uh, we have some champagne. We have Bollinger. Uh, look at you guys that, uh, the BAM picked up today, put it on ice as of course is tradition, um, BAM.

Do you want to open it or Senator? Do you want to open it? We do not have the saber. I actually, I

**Bam Bam:** think the green bar should be all right. Here we go.

**Poobah:** Sure. Where, where, where I'll do the honors.

**Gizmo:** Okay. We're going to open it. We do not have the saber. Obviously that is in the, Okay. Senator compound. Yeah, the

**Bam Bam:** Sabres, he's got a copyright on it with the group.

No one else can

**Gizmo:** use it but him. I was gonna text Mrs. Senator, but...

**Bam Bam:** So I went on a little adventure with this, uh,

**Gizmo:** bottle. Yeah, it was hard to find, right? No,

**Bam Bam:** that was the last bottle in the whole place. I went to three other places, didn't have it. And none of it was chilled. Oh, man. Yeah, of course. So, you know, I'm getting yelled at by Puba.

You gotta put it on ice. So I go to my local club that I frequent, ran in, got a bucket of ice, put that in there and left it in the car. [00:41:00] Worked out great. Beautiful.

**Gizmo:** Okay. So it's Senator's birthday. And Puba is going to do the honors here of opening the Bollinger Champagne. The band Procured? Lizard. Lizard favorite.

Lizard favorite. One of the favorites, yeah.

**Senator:** Can we get like the James Bond theme song going? We have Bollinger. I mean it's like the official champagne

**Gizmo:** of the

**Bam Bam:** Bond movies. It's a wonderful song. No, no,

**Pagoda:** no. You're talking about James Bond, I don't know what you're...

**Bam Bam:** Oh! Very nice.

**Gizmo:** Very nice. There you

**Bam Bam:** go. That's proper. Puba's

**Gizmo:** now gonna pour?

**Poobah:** Bond. James Bond. I

**Bam Bam:** think Puba would make a good goldfinger. Puba. I think

**Poobah:** Senator's goldfinger.

**Bam Bam:** No, Mr. Bond, I want you to [00:42:00] die.

I love that movie.

**Gizmo:** So we're pouring the, uh, Bolognese now. We're passing it around. So, uh, there's also some gifts here for... Uh, Senator Puba was very kind and procured, uh, some green spot, which we've done on the podcast for Senator to throw in his locker.

And I brought him a, uh, I brought him a cigar, of course, RJ Churchill, RNJ Churchill Reserva. Oh, boy, half smoked. Oh, the perfect draw. Still in it. Perfect. Draw. Still in it. Ooh, look at that. Six. Don't let the, uh, don't let the cover fool you boys. Eagle five. Don't let the cover fool you. Open it up. I want the tuba back.

We're all getting those, right? No, [00:43:00] look at that. Damn boy. Look at that. 2004. Oh, my part of this eight. Ninety is no.

**Senator:** Thank you. Damn homeboy.

**Bam Bam:** Now that's a signal,

**Senator:** right? I was a little confused at Cohiba. I want that to go back all the markets for me, but so hard to guess.

**Gizmo:** You know, 898 from Partagus is a classic Lonsdale, so I threw it in one of my, uh, Sigil 5 Lonsdale uh, two bows that I use for, uh, when I don't want to carry my case around.

It's one of the best. 898. One of the best. So I've actually not had, uh, a cigar out of that box. I tapped it today for Senator, the 2004 box.

**Bam Bam:** Fabulous cigar. It's feeling like a very elegant night. The smoke is, the cigar is beautiful. I'm about to sip this champagne.

**Gizmo:** Wow. It's a boy's. To our friend Senator.

Yes, sir. A very happy birthday. Yes, sir. A wonderful year ahead to you, my friend, our friend. Cheers. Thank

**Senator:** you. Love you guys. Appreciate everything. I love you.

**Gizmo:** Happy birthday, Senator. Cheers. [00:44:00] Love you, man. So that's just the normal Bollinger, right? That we had on the podcast before. Goddamn, that is good. It's very nice.

Excellent. I mean, it's just perfect champagne. Oh,

**Poobah:** it, well, it really is. It's so good. And, and the, I I was turned, really turned onto this champagne, uh, at like a year ago. Um, you were in DC when I was Remember in d Yeah, I was in dc. He sent

**Senator:** me a champagne list, said, oh, that's right, that's

**Poobah:** right. Champagne list.

And I was a, like, you know, they don't have Paul t and I'm, I'm not a, I love champagne, but I'm not a huge vu guy. I, it's too sweet for me. Um, This champagne, um, falls like right in the middle of me. It's like medium bodied and it can, it can really pair with a lot of different things. And it's just, it's got a little, um, it's just got a little bit, a little bit more body that can hold up

and it's just. [00:45:00] I'm drinking it too quickly as I die and go to the hospital with COPD. I love you. I love

**Gizmo:** the champagne. I'm going to do a monologue about the champagne and then suck it into my lungs.

**Poobah:** No, but it is really fantastic. And I did and I did order. I did order and I okay.

**Gizmo:** Happy birthday, Senator.

You can edit the whole thing out.

**Pagoda:** But I'll tell you, the champagne goes so much better. That's just my,

**Bam Bam:** you know, he's not wrong. Of course. Oh,

**Senator:** with this cigar, with this notes, it's really an excellent

**Bam Bam:** pairing. And what's funny for me, this champagne, I think was, I said this the last time we had it, it is a little mineral forward, just a little bit, which works with the cigar, like the wine is mineral forward.


**Gizmo:** speaking of we're over halfway through here, we're just beyond the halfway mark. Yeah. I mean, this. It's really performing wonderfully and to all of your points, I mean, the champagne is really helping [00:46:00] the cigars getting better and better. I agree for me. I agree. And I, this might be the first regional that we kind of celebrate on this podcast.

Maybe aside from the Mantua that we did. Yeah, very early on the punch Mantua, uh, the Italian regional, I believe. Yeah, the Mantua's

**Rooster:** are, they're awesome, they're awesome, they have really

**Gizmo:** developed well. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

**Poobah:** I, um, I was, I was thinking as we were opening up the bottle of champagne that down the stretch in particular, not so much in the first part of the cigar, but maybe the second half.

This is almost it's the flavor profiles almost matching up like, um, it's like if an upman and a QD had a baby, it's starting to present. It's starting to present some of these more dessert flavors down the stretch, which is really very pleasant and unusual. Um, yeah. Where you think that it would start to get maybe, I don't know, [00:47:00] uh, it would show some more youth and look and smoke a little more juvenile.

It's not, it's actually presenting me with some, some more dessert flavors along with that kind of floral and like more fruit forward type thing. And, and to me, that's, to me, that says, It's previewing like it'll age really well and just get more complex over time given how come given the kind of complexity It's having down the stretch given its age.

**Senator:** I agree. I mean, I think everybody in this room knows I am as Anti regionals as exists. Yeah, I see no meaningful purpose to them. We all are this regionals I would happily smoke again. I'm very very happy with this The issue

**Bam Bam:** is the price point. These are

**Gizmo:** expensive sticks. 30 bucks. 35, right? I think, I think they were 35.


**Senator:** I will say for 30, 35 bucks, this, it feels like it's actually a reasonable, fair price point. They come in a box

**Gizmo:** of 10? Yeah, they only come in 10 [00:48:00] counts. You know, and that's what you talk about the punch.

**Bam Bam:** Senator's point, I'd spend 350 on this right now.

**Gizmo:** I would right now. You talk about the punch man to a, that we'd talked about earlier that comes in a 50 cab.

So you're, you're also seeing the habit change with a bonus versus when did that cigar come out? 20 19, 2019, I think, uh, you're seeing the difference in, in how they're changing their packaging too. I don't think we're ever going to see a cigar, a cigar come out of. Habanos ever again in a 50 count in a regional or a limitada.

And I would bet, I'll argue a point that I would bet that most of the 50 cabs that we see coming out now, maybe aside from the RAS, um, are going to go the way of the Dodo. I think that they're going to go away. The poor

**Bam Bam:** lower Naga petite Corona 50 cab. I love that. I hope that doesn't

**Senator:** disappear. I think the Lucy cab 50 cab is here to stay.


**Gizmo:** haven't, we haven't seen those in over a year and a half. The shorts, the

**Bam Bam:** shorts here to stay. The part of the shorts,

**Gizmo:** I hope that stays as well. I think the little ones might stick around, but the bigger cigars. Yeah,

**Senator:** yeah. If the Lucy 50 cab doesn't stick around, I'm not smoking Lucys. The [00:49:00] Lucys out of those boxes.

They're awesome. They're, the dress box, no, they're

**Gizmo:** not. No, he's, he was 50 50. If you're talking to 50 cal,

**Senator:** he's talking about the Yeah. The dress boxes are Lucy's are not great. I

**Gizmo:** think the 10 count dress box, there's a little more room in there. They're not in there. I've never had a dress box. I, Lucy, I have.

That's not great. They're not great. Yeah, they're not as good as the 50. They're,

**Poobah:** well, they're construction issues with, with Lucy's more frequently than, than we'd like, like to, they'd like to admit from Parus. Actually. Don't, I don't, I know.

**Gizmo:** Not in 50

**Senator:** cabs. No. 50 cabs are awesome. I've never had a problem with

**Gizmo:** any.


**Poobah:** had a major problem on the Rob Ila episode, and those were out of a

**Gizmo:** cabinet.

**Rooster:** Really? Those were mine. I've had, I've had a

**Gizmo:** bad experience out of 50 cap. Yeah. Wow. Oh yeah.

**Poobah:** Wow. And

**Gizmo:** like.

**Rooster:** No doubt. With a lot of

**Gizmo:** age on them too. Wow. That's sad.

**Pagoda:** I know. Gizis tried to give me quite a few loosies. Yeah. He's pulling them off on them.

None of them, I've

**Gizmo:** given him like, no,

**Poobah:** there's some inconsistency. I'm not kidding. [00:50:00] It's unlike, unlike the D four where you rarely run into something. It's look, it's a, it's a smaller re engaged cigar. So, you know, it's a longer cigar, which, you know, is harder. It's more difficult to make consistently than a Robusto.

It just is. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Um,

**Rooster:** yeah, but there's plenty of Lonsdale's that have smoked like perfectly. There are no draw issues. It's a double

**Senator:** Corona. It's not a Lonsdale. It's a big cigar. Yeah. No,

**Rooster:** I'm saying in general, like compared to like a Lucy, I mean, Oh, I see what you're saying. Classicals have been like, I haven't had a single bad plugged, you know, or the Mantua's.

For that

**Poobah:** matter. You know, you need, you need a bigger leaf to roll those. And if they're harder, a little bit harder to come by more as consistently, I think. And I think that's part of the issue. Maybe

**Gizmo:** unfortunately there's some hit or miss, not as bad as the Romeo, uh, Churchill, but you know, the Lucy is, uh, I mean, when you get a good Lucy, I don't, I think that's a hard cigar to beat when it's on fire, but when they're not [00:51:00] good, man, they are bad.

Really? Yeah. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Haven't had many. But I've had, everyone I've had

**Gizmo:** has been great. So Senator, what are, any birthday plans? Any, uh, any goings on?

**Senator:** Nothing too crazy. Um, my wife and I went to dinner, um, on the weekend, which was nice. Um,

**Gizmo:** oh yeah, you said the

**Senator:** oysters, man. That's right. Yeah, so I, I was thrilled about this because obviously I'm as passionate about oysters as I am champagne, and my favorite West Coast oyster are cushy oysters.

So for any listener out there, if you love oysters, Especially if you like West coast oysters. Did you say Coochie? Coochie. Oh, sorry. Jesus. My pronunciation again. Yeah, clearly they're, they're creamy. They're as good as it gets, but the thing is it's not the easiest to find them. So I was super thrilled when, uh, this restaurant Montclair that we went to, they had Coochie oysters on the menu.

So we got those. So those were great. I had some Dover sole. Um, it was a great meal. I was very, very happy.

**Gizmo:** I've never had Dover sole. What kind of fish is that? It's

**Senator:** a white fish, flaky fish. Um, it's just, you don't see it very often. Like they've got to fly it in basically. It's [00:52:00] not like something readily available.

**Bam Bam:** It is reminiscent to flounder, right? It's white and flaky. Yeah.

**Rooster:** Yeah. Just in

**Senator:** a butter sauce. Yeah. Burr. Like a burr blanc or yeah. Nice. It was very good. Yeah, had a nice meal. Um, my son's birthday's right around the same time, so I was pleased that I had anything done for my birthday because when my son was born, I was like, well, you don't exist anymore.

This is gonna be the last birthday I'm probably having for, uh, until he is 18. But, um, no, it was, it was, uh, it was very good. And then it was nice because, uh, just being here for the podcast, uh, you know, number of friends like, oh, what are you doing tonight? And I'm like, I'm actually gonna record the podcast.

And I can't think of a better way to spend, uh, there's no better,

**Gizmo:** no better way. We're happy to be here with you, man. So appreciate everything guys. Yeah, it's awesome. So boys, the, uh, Long awaited delivery came in the last few days of El Habano Moderno, the amazing encyclopedia and just vast amount of knowledge stuffed in printed pages.

I [00:53:00] forgot.

**Bam Bam:** Sorry.

**Senator:** I was going to say this may, these were coming, this may have been the best unintentional birthday gift I've received this year. I mean, amazing. When we got these spectacular publication,

**Gizmo:** I was

**Rooster:** shocked at the weight of the box

**Gizmo:** and the quality, the quality, it's really well done. So long, you know, we've been talking about this.

I mean, we mentioned Cuban cigar website on every Cuban episode. I literally sit here with an iPad and we're constantly referencing this incredible website that Alex groom runs. Uh, and he's been running for quite a bit of time. Um, and, and he decided to put it together in a book, which effectively is the successor to the Min Ran Ni book, which is the encyclopedia of post, uh, Havana reso revolutionary cigars.

And that came out in 2002, I believe. So this covers pretty much everything after that book to current. And, I mean, Alex Groom, again, what a brilliant job this guy did putting this book together. I mean, they must weigh 20 pounds. At least. Yeah, at least. I [00:54:00] mean, I felt like a UPS truck driving around to you guys to drop them off because it's like, I needed a, like, A hand truck.

Yeah, we need a hand truck to bring it in here tonight, you know? Um, so, a couple different editions. I know we all got a variety of different editions. There's... The regular red, red book retail version, which is just a massive several hundred pages, thick ass book. And then there's a blue version, which is the Kickstarter version, uh, which some of us got.

And then there's a collector's edition, which is, uh, broken into two parts. There's, uh, like a background part, which kind of more so than the Min Ran Ni book goes into anatomy of the cigar, the industry, the presentation, the different things we talk about. Packing codes, box stamps, seals, leaflets, different types of releases.

So there's, you know, over a hundred pages in that part of the book. And then the second part broken in, you know, in the collector's edition there's a second book just for the encyclopedia, which is very similar, uh, to the Minera Knee book as far as just [00:55:00] a picture description, all the details about every brand that's been out since 2002, 2003, uh, and every cigar that's been released since.

And it's just, yeah, a phenomenal. Production. It's

**Poobah:** spectacular. Yeah. The lithography is spectacular. And I, when I look through, um, because it's important, the markings of the band, how, how cigars look, the appearance, things like that. The lithography was very, very good in the book. The finishing is good. And, um, and it's in the tradition of the men, men run knee approach, but.

But plus, which is, which is really, really nice. It's a lot looks, it's a, it's hard to, it's, I don't know how many thousands of hours. I can't imagine how much time you probably put, put into it, but it had to have been, it had to have been a couple of thousand hours

**Gizmo:** minimum. It's [00:56:00] brilliant. And, and what I love about it too, You know, we talked about, we've talked about the min run knee book, which is, you know, prior to this was the, you know, uh, gold standard of Cuban cigar knowledge, uh, outside of the internet.

And Alex groom is effectively min run knees chosen successor. Min run knee helped him with this book, allowed him to use any information from the prior book in this book. Like they, you know, he, he was an advisor to Alex among so many other people in the industry, but this thing is just, uh, It's such a gift to the cigar industry, the Cuban cigar industry and understanding, you know, authentication, what's real, what's not being able to literally hold your cigar up to the book because all of the pictures are life size.

Yeah, they're to scale. They're to scale. So you can hold your cigar up to the book and it's a, it's quite literal, you know, quite literally a match. So if you have a Cohiba. That's potentially fraudulent. You can hold it up and really do a comparison. It's amazing. It's a deep dive. [00:57:00] Very deep. Into the, uh.

Expansive information, man. Did they sell out? So they've sold out of the original collector's edition, which was a white dress box type presentation with the two books in it. It actually looks like a, like a, uh, a Habanos dress box. It even has like a, a warranty seal on it and some other stickers and whatnot.

But, uh, They are offering a second edition of the collector's edition, which is going to ship early next year, which is red, which I'm sure Senator will like, uh, cause he ordered the red one. Uh, but the blue Kickstarter edition is done. The original first edition of the El Habano Moderno is done, but they do have on Helios dot house, which is the publication that, uh, the publication house he used to print them.

They do have the pre order of the second edition of the edition, and they also have a signed first edition, the red book, uh, still available. So you can go on Helios dot house and purchase them. And the price, uh, price on the first [00:58:00] edition signed is 115 pounds, British pounds. And the collector's edition is 250.

British pounds. So

**Poobah:** Alex, he's, he's British. Uh,

**Gizmo:** he's actually Australian, but I believe that, yeah, I believe that. I don't know if they use, if they're in Canada or the UK or something, but for some reason they're pricing using, uh, using the pound. But so Alex is, uh, he and I've been communicating and he's actually going to come on the podcast and we're going to interview him about the book in the next few weeks.

So. Um, but I just, when those books came in, it's been a year and a half, I think, since we ordered them. It's been a long journey waiting for these books, but certainly well worth it. And the thing I really appreciated, I'm sure you guys did too, is he included in all the shipments, a copy of, uh, an additional like leaflet book of all of the cigars that have been announced and released since he sent that.

to publications. Very thoughtful detail. It was, it's really kind of, you know, it's really quite complete. Do you think he

**Rooster:** would continue to add that each year?

**Gizmo:** [00:59:00] I believe that he's not planning to produce another version of this till 2027. You know, about five years after the original, but I think that there's going to be supplemental stuff that comes out because every year or two, there's going to be, you know, probably 20 more pages of stuff.

So for example, the cigar we're smoking tonight, the grand Marshall from El Rey del Mundo, this regional is on page six of that additional leaflet. It's not in the main book. That's cool. Yeah. Cause it was released after what's, what's

**Rooster:** funny is like every time they announced a cigar and then it's, then it's like two or three years later, the actual cigar comes out.

So what, I mean, what's

**Gizmo:** the point of announcing early? Well, you know why they do that is because they make demand, they make the distributors prepay for regional allocation. So when they announce it, they're actually, Habanos is actually getting paid for that regional. Well, before it ever comes out, you know, the distributor has to sit around and wait for, you know, that's true.

Oh yeah, absolutely. [01:00:00] Same with limitata or any sort of other, uh, yeah. And then special allocation,

**Poobah:** right. And then downstream the LCDH, uh, retailers, um, And Hibana's retailers only get allocation based on their pull through of, of the, uh, regular of the regular production

**Gizmo:** cigars, which is, which is why the gray market exists.

**Rooster:** Yeah. So hence the incentive of producing more regionals because they get the money up front. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Way up front. And it's certainly more per cigar. Yeah. Cause they're counting on presentation. They're counting on smaller counts. They're counting on that second or third band really adding quote unquote value to the cigar, you know, which I mean, there's a lot of folks out there that buy into that.

I think the group of us, we don't buy into that. We'd much rather regular production

**Poobah:** cigars. It's hit or miss. I mean, you know, it's good marketing.

**Senator:** I think the thing with the, the book for me that I was really happy to see is the whole beginning, obviously there's a ton of value in us understanding with all the different marcas and all [01:01:00] the different vitolas and everything that's being made currently, but um, the beginning really does, I think, a really nice job of diving into the process.

Yes. And I think our Cuba episodes, obviously there was so much knowledge that we gained in Cuba about how this stuff is made, the different types of leaves, the blending process, the rolling process. All of it, the growing conditions and it goes into a lot of that. And I think it did a really, really nice job.

Um, you know, also distinguishing between as we've talked a ton about, like Cuba tobacco, Habanos SA and kind of all these different entities and who runs them and what they really mean to that whole process. Who's really making certain decisions. I just think for anybody that is passionate about Cuban cigars, it's got almost everything you could possibly need to know to truly understand the magic that makes this possible.

**Bam Bam:** And you know, if you're, if you have, if you're fortunate enough to have the book and if you're even more fortunate to get to go to Cuba, you read up on that, that process and you get to go and see it firsthand. It's just as rich of an experience to [01:02:00] see it prior to

**Gizmo:** getting the book. Absolutely. Right. Yeah.

And I mean, any, any Cuban cigar enthusiasts out there needs a copy of this book. Yeah. Because, you know, as Senator said, there's so much to learn in the first hundred and some odd pages, just in the process, the factories, the detail, I mean, there's pictures of a cigar cut up, you know, he cut up a cigar and you can see the different leaves broken out.

I mean, unless you're taking one of your Habano cigars and doing that at home, which at the current price, I wouldn't advise doing. You know, you, you can open that book and really see what's in the cigar that you smoke. That's,

**Senator:** that's one way to detect a fake. Yeah. I mean, all these guys will remember we're sitting there at El Aguido.

Yeah. In Havana and talking to the production manager there, Danilo and he's telling

**Bam Bam:** us. Didn't he? Hold on. Didn't he split open a bahica? I mean, can you imagine like

**Senator:** a 200 plus dollar cigar just cuts it open with a knife right on the table right there. And he says, anybody ever gives you a bahica and you want to know for certain whether it's bullshit or not.

So you don't even need a [01:03:00] band on there to tell it says, just cut that thing open. And you're looking at all the long filler that's actually in there and those whole leaves. And you'd instantly be able to tell. And he said, what's remarkable about these fakes He's cut some of these fakes open that people have said, you know, is this real or not?

And he sliced it open to really be able to dissect it. He says, remarkably now, he said years ago, you'd cut it open. It's all short filler inside. You'd spot it in a heartbeat. He says, now you'll actually see a good amount of long filler in there and you really got to dig around and then you start to see the short filler.

So, I mean, that's. Again, you don't want to cut open. What did

**Gizmo:** he say when he cut it though? He said, it's like, he said something like a burial. It's like, I'm cutting open my heart,

you know, for the science of it. Uh, he, he gave us a good demonstration. Uh, so you know, what's cool about, uh, regional additions. And again, going back to El Habano Moderna, which I have a copy of here, I learned actually some things about the regional edition program that I wasn't aware of. So what [01:04:00] happens is.

Uh, the distributor of a certain large region. So we're talking maybe in the world, there's 12 or 15 distributors that then distribute to the, you know, the La Casa Del Habanos or the Habanos specialists or other retailers out there, the distributor approaches Habanos as a, with the concept for a cigar.

They ask for approval, uh, and then the cigars are only cigars that have never been produced in the market in that Vitola. So for example, in El Rey del Mundo, there will never be a Hermosas number four regional edition because the Schwa Supreme exists. So there'll probably never be a Lonsdale because in the past, there's been a Lonsdale in that, in that brand.

So they only select Vitolas that have never been produced by that, by that market. The other thing that's cool too, he says in here is that the distributor is sent three different prototype cigars with different blend options. And then they're able to smoke them [01:05:00] and choose which of the three they prefer.

And the

**Bam Bam:** three that they're getting are based on the concept that they've presented.

**Gizmo:** Exactly. The size. And I guess the blending decisions are made by whoever's in charge of who's ever in charge of the market. And

**Poobah:** that, and that tells you why a lot of these, some of these smaller. Um, what you'd want to call either regional or portfolio, um, markers within the catalog, that's why they're doing, they're doing regional releases.

Because when you've got a global marker that produces. Uh, a million, but toll is there's nothing there. There's nothing there for a regional

**Gizmo:** release. So

**Poobah:** I'll re so we, if you're, if you're going to do regionals, I'll read the Mundo is a marker is, is, is that kind of a marker? Well, Gloria Cabana is another one.

Well, Gloria Cabana is another one. Yeah. So, you know, there it's, um, part of this has a lot of sizes. Um, [01:06:00] so, and Cohiba has a lot of sizes, it's not, so there's a, there's, there's a method to the madness, I guess, is what I'm trying to, is what the point that you're making.

**Gizmo:** Absolutely. Um, and, and certainly I would think that, you know, when Kai Dorsey, let's say puts out a French regional, that's going to be a very successful cigar in that market.

I mean, the French smokers are going to, are going to of course buy that up. So, you know, they're able to do that. Across the world in various distribution areas, um, you know, to, to, to bolster sales. QD is

**Poobah:** another great example of, of, of an elevated, kind of an elevated non global, non global

**Gizmo:** brand. Certainly for the European market.

**Poobah:** It's an elevated cigar.

**Senator:** I mean, I agree. And it's funny when you look at the brands that QD is kind of lumped in with, It's like brands that have so few Vitolas and that I feel like don't have the same brand cache that [01:07:00] QD does at this point. It's honestly surprising. I mean, there are a number of different QD Vitolas that we regularly smoke.

Oh yeah. Right. The Cronus Claros. Obviously I love the QD 50. A number of us love the QD 54. Like they make multiple Vitolas that we regularly consume a lot of. So. You know, I'd almost hope over some time that certain brands, I hope that that's not like a static thing. And it clearly hasn't historically, because we talked about how Kuwaba was apparently initially designed to be this premier brand up there with Cohiba.

**Gizmo:** They wanted it to be a global brand, which is

**Senator:** crazy to think about now, but obviously this is so fluid that at one point that's where they started. And now they're this small little portfolio brand, but. You know, some of these others, I just hope that this is fluid over time because I would like to see an LGC, a QD, some of the brands that we really enjoy.

I mean, even this El Rey del Mundo that we're, we're enjoying this cigar. We love the Schwa Supreme. I'd love for them to have an opportunity to get [01:08:00] elevated in that kind of classification.

**Gizmo:** Yeah.

**Poobah:** And the global brands put out limitadas. I mean, you know, so it's really, I think. This regional, the limitada thing, it's LCDH releases.

It's all just kind of marketing to, to, you know, introduce something that's outside of regular production. And they put a band on it and whether it's, whether it's a limitada or whether it's a regional it's and

**Gizmo:** what's the diff. The thing that we learned in Cuba, certainly that I've fallen in love with unbanded cigars is that it's all the same tobacco.

Yeah, there's really not a special process. I know some of the limitados may have some age. Certainly the reserve is ground reservists have some age on that tobacco, but it's all the same tobacco with just a different band on the outside or not a band or not a band. And some

**Poobah:** of the on a hottest are great and

**Gizmo:** some of them are.

Yep. Right. Yeah. So the other thing I wanted to mention too, again, learning from El Habano Moderno is that. If a distributor wishes to have a special [01:09:00] primary band foil wrapping or any other unique packaging outside of normal Habano's packaging, they must commission those packaging decisions themselves and pay for them and then send them the Cuba tobacco to be put on the cigars.

They have to pay for it. Really? Yeah. Wow. So some of those, uh, you know, your Phoenicia anniversary or Pacific Cigar 50 year anniversary, um, they have to pay for those bands and send them to Cuba. Wow. You

**Poobah:** know, ultimately, I think ultimately like net net on the whole conversation, they're successful sometimes with these things and they're not.

Sometimes it's just a lot of trial and error. Sometimes these on a hot toes. We've had the upman on a hot toe and Robusto. Oh, shit. This is, it's like one of the best cigars that is there. And then it's an incredible cigar, right? And then, but then you have other on a hot toes that you're like, what the, what the, what the fuck is this thing?

And then you have a limitada that's, that's really good. And [01:10:00] generally not as much luck. Some of them are great. And then some of them aren't. And you're just like, I don't see the big, I don't see the big whoop. And then, you know what I mean? So it's just all trial and error.

**Senator:** It, this is why I don't love the regional program at all.

Yeah. I mean, number one, if the whole purpose is to introduce these certain cigars to a particular region, that whole premise is bullshit. The cigar we're smoking a cigar that's meant for the Balkans here in the United States, right? Like these cigars make it everywhere. They're, they're not just for any region.

So I think the whole premise that we're releasing cigars for certain regions. It's completely flawed from the start because they go everywhere. It's not really for that makes no sense. Honestly, how many Italians are smoking the, um, the men to, uh, versus every other country. I mean, everyone's trying to get their hands on those.

It's not just in Italy. So that is problematic for me. And the even bigger thing is how many of those cigars as poop is saying are a miss versus the few that are a hit. I wish that they would just focus on the ones. They're [01:11:00] making prototypes. They're obviously trying these and making decisions. Focus on the ones that are great and make them part of the regular production portfolio.

Like this cigar we are smoking. If this was part of El Rey Del Mundo's regular standard production portfolio, I'd buy it and I'd smoke it regularly. I think this is a great cigar. I just wish that

**Poobah:** they may not, but they may not have the raw material for the blend.

**Senator:** They do because it's all coming from the same place.

It kind of is there. They bullshit us when they tell us that there's something special in these. I'm telling you, when Gizmo says we're talking to people making this stuff in Havana and they're being totally blunt with us and saying, look, as much as there's all this hype about these regional limits, it's the same stuff.

**Gizmo:** No, the only cigars that have a different tobacco, you know, are the beacons because

**Poobah:** the media

**Gizmo:** team, that's it. Yeah, that's right. That's um, but I, I

**Senator:** really believe that I just would love to see that. Like, you know, that Upman on a hot toast, there is not an Upman Robusto that [01:12:00] exists that I can regularly buy and smoke.

I love Upman, but I wish it wasn't the case that the things that I chase all the time with Upman that are standard production, obviously the Upman number two. I would love that on a hot dose. I don't care if it doesn't have 10 plus years of age that now, I mean, the last time they released what, 2011, right?

I just got another box of those. I would love if there's a young box that comes up, I'll happily age it myself. And I would love to in perpetuity, be able to smoke a great upman Robusto.

**Gizmo:** What's interesting about the, some of the on a hot hose line, which is totally different than the regional or limitadas is you look at the H upman, uh, Robusto on a hot hose, that's not a cigar that was ever in regular production for.

Uh, for a Chapman, even the Royal Robusto, I think is a different size and then has an LCD sticker on, or, you know, a band on it, that's not a regular, that's, and that's not a regular Robusto. So what's interesting is that that cigar specifically is, was never a regular production cigar. Probably. It's probably something like that.

I [01:13:00] don't remember what it is. It's slightly smaller, but I mean for a brilliant cigar, it's not a cigar that you can go out like the, uh, Romeo, Julieta, Churchill on a hot house. You can go out and buy a box of 2023 cigars and age them. If you so choose fine. But that H up in the year talking about you can't go buy one.

You can't. And

**Senator:** I just think it's a shame. I would love a regular production upman Robusto the same way I would love a regular production of what we're smoking right now.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Yeah. And expanded. El Rey Del Mundo

**Gizmo:** catalog. The one thing that we have seen, and I think we've talked about this on a prior regional episode, but sometimes when a regional is very successful, like the Punch Mantua, I anticipate based on what I'm, you know, I've learned from the book here and, and seeing other regionals be re released, they keep producing them.

So they say, Oh, there's a limited production initially. And then they continue to continue to put them out because the distributor has done well selling them. So it, it

**Senator:** becomes a, That's why when Kuba said 6, 000 boxes, you mean 12, 000 boxes. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** exactly. [01:14:00] Exactly. So, you know, we've seen some of them that have been more successful than others.

And certainly on the groups, you see regionals that are really chased. And I think this is going to be one that, uh, that joined those ranks.

**Poobah:** Wonderful. This is, this was a wonderful cigar. It is. Uh, what was the box David?

**Gizmo:** It was, uh, 22. Yeah. Mid 22. I mean, yeah. Great cigar. So the other, the other thing I want to note, uh, before we, uh, before we get to our ratings is that.

Coincidentally, in 2019, the regional program was curtailed for a year, so they didn't announce any new cigars in 2019. Obviously, the Mantua came out in 2019. I think that was announced in 17 or 18. They were preparing for COVID before COVID. Well, they know everything. Exactly. Yeah. They see all, uh, but they curtailed it for a year because so many of the releases has been slipping to like a two to three year delay and then COVID happened obviously and pushed it back even further.

So, [01:15:00] um, yeah, COVID undid their effort to try to catch up. Their goal was to make it a year in advance, but it ended up being two to three and sometimes four. And Habanos has announced that I don't think are ever going to see the light of day.

**Senator:** I have to say, there was something in the book that I came across that was very bizarre.

This is the only thing that I was like, genuinely shocked by when I read This is crazy. In El Habano Moderno, and I respect this book so much at this point that I, I think we have to try this with our shittiest cigar in our humidor because I would never want to ruin a great cigar. Let's get a

**Gizmo:** cigar out of Bam's humidor.

I was, I'm shaking

**Bam Bam:** my head no, that ain't happening.

**Senator:** But listen

**Bam Bam:** to

**Senator:** this excerpt from the book. It says perhaps the most extreme example of preparing a stored cigar for smoking is the practice of holding a cigar, particularly an old cigar, we are not doing this with an old cigar, [01:16:00] unless it's a Zeno, under a running tap. Of water for 10 seconds before cutting and lighting it.

This is far from a widely accepted technique. However, your author does it regularly, as do many great aficionados. Although there is some debate about what exactly takes place during this process, the consensus seems to be that it improves the evenness of the burn of the cigar. And at least that it does no

**Poobah:** harm.

Okay. Can I, can I say something? This I've heard of this before.

**Gizmo:** Min Rani does this by the way. Wow. Yeah.

**Poobah:** So, um, the he's what's the guy's name on the internet who does the Dave dude, Dave dude, you guys know the guy I'm talking about. He, he, he has. He has a lot of vintage, really, really old cigars. His name's Dave dude.

He Googled it. Google him real quick. I want to say I've, [01:17:00] I've heard him talk about this with that. It's to do that. He's done this with really, really, really. I've it's not the first time I've heard this. I'm talking to like 20 plus, right? He's, this is, this refers to 20 plus year old. Yeah, it's

**Gizmo:** old stuff.

Old, old, old, old,

**Poobah:** old stuff. Wow.

**Gizmo:** Very bizarre.

**Bam Bam:** So let's take the rarest cigars you can find and put them under the tap. Sure. Wow.

**Poobah:** I don't think they're running like, like down the foot. 10 seconds. I'm saying like, like just on the wrapper. It's not the first time that I've heard this. I've never heard this.

It's not the first time I've heard this.

**Bam Bam:** Now, hold on. Does the connoisseur corner rooster do this?

**Poobah:** Oh, yeah, all the time.

**Pagoda:** Um, he also does have a tequila, by the way. Well, I was about

**Bam Bam:** to say Arnold. Yeah, he does it. He rubs down his cigars with his tequila. Maybe he's not wrong.

**Senator:** We have to do this. I'm sorry. We have to do it now.

**Gizmo:** Like I've heard this before. Maybe we'll do it when Alex [01:18:00] groom comes on. We can ask him about this and then we can do this. With him and an experiment, maybe he can show us. Here's the problem. I have with it is running it under the tap Like why wouldn't you get a gallon of distilled water and use that versus just opening the sink and just

**Senator:** yeah It's some nice County water

**Gizmo:** That's a minerality

**Senator:** I'm getting notes

**Gizmo:** of lead Dioxin. I've been doing this. My dentist says my teeth look great.

**Senator:** This PFAS note I'm getting is amazing.

**Gizmo:** Wow. Yeah. So El Habano Moderno, if you don't have a copy, if you haven't ordered it, go purchase

**Poobah:** it, please. Here we go. I have it. Actually right here. If you, so this guy, Dave dude is, is a respected guy right here.

Why do I put a vintage cigar underwater? No,

**Senator:** I know there's plenty of people that do this. I just think they're nuts, but [01:19:00] you know, don't knock it until you try it. So we have to try it. Wow.

**Gizmo:** There was a whole discussion on FOH about this, actually. Yeah. A big time discussion.

**Bam Bam:** I wonder if you're saturating the wrapper.

Are you in the bathroom right now?

**Poobah:** He's talking about it. The burn

**Dave Dude:** also seems to be quite a bit better with the cigar as well, once I run it into the water. So those are some of the reasons that I do it. He's not a maniac, I'm telling you. And as an example, I believe I was, uh, smoking a Dunhill Estependo. A

**Gizmo:** Dunhill?

He's, um,

**Dave Dude:** this is, that's crazy. A couple of gentlemen, we were smoking, uh, some 20 year old Sanlos Rays. Wow. 20 year old cigars. And they didn't. And, um, it was a windy day. We were smoking outside. And my cigar... Burned spot on, uh, didn't have any issues. And the other two gentlemen did have issues. So

**Poobah:** anyway, so what I'm, what I'm trying to say is, is that it's not with stuff that this guy's not a [01:20:00] lunatic.


**Gizmo:** here's my issue with it. Here's my issue with it. My issue, my issue with it is that I don't think that I would put a vintage cigar that I have in my humidor. Maybe I don't have as many as Dave dude does or somebody, somebody else. Or as much as rooster, maybe, you know, I seriously, I don't think I would pull a 20, 30 year old cigar out

**Senator:** to start.

But clearly if we try this craziness and it works, then sure. I, I mean, I'd have no hesitation with anything, but would you literally

**Gizmo:** walk in that bathroom right now and pour it into the top? No, I'd

**Senator:** bring like some nice water. Yeah. Yeah. But how

**Poobah:** many, how, how many? Some,

**Gizmo:** some Avion . But how many, some

**Poobah:** Icelandic, how many?

20 or 30 year old Dunhill or whatever. No. Do we have this? This guy has like crazy old stuff. I just, I

**Gizmo:** just handed, uh, Senator for his birthday, a 20 year old, Cardigas, eight, nine, eight. And the first thing

**Senator:** I thought of when I saw it is I can't wait to run this underwater and then smoke it. We want to see

**Gizmo:** that.

Yeah, please do it. Anyway. No, I'm not saying that he's crazy. I'm just saying that it's so unorthodox. It's [01:21:00] so unorthodox. And what's funny, you know, calling back a hundred episodes ago, this was an episode one discussion, I think with Arnold Schwarzenegger, if you remember about him pouring tequila on his cigars, this is, it's just.

I'm not making fun of the guy. I'm not saying he's crazy or wrong. I'm just saying for me, I can't imagine taking a prize possession out of my humidor and walking in and pouring it under the

**Senator:** sink. I know, but again, he's doing it with prize possessions because clearly it works for him. So that's why I want to try it with something shitty.

Now, if it works and it's amazing, then sure. I wouldn't hesitate to do it with anything. We've gotta just kind of, you know, try this out and see how it goes. And I think, so did you notice on

**Gizmo:** the video, like the way he was holding the cigar was, was with the capite up, right? Yes. And then That's correct. He explains And it's precut.

It's precut. It's not cut because No, it's not. It's before the cut. It's,

**Senator:** it's before it's meant to run, run down the whole thing, but not go into the cigar.

**Bam Bam:** Right. And the foot,

**Poobah:** the foot stays dry. He's got a minute left. Do you want to hear what he has to say? Yeah, go ahead. Okay. Just put it

**Gizmo:** close to the mic.

I'm [01:22:00] smoking a cigar out

**Senator:** in the

**Dave Dude:** wind there. It's, uh, it's going to make it so it doesn't canoe every single time, but I've had, I've had really good luck with this and, um, you know, my wrapper doesn't crack as much and I, my smoking experience seems to be a lot better. So, um, Like I said, with a cigar that's, you know, 15 years old and up, I normally run it under the water and do a five second to six second dunk under the water, uh, with the head, of course, up and the foot down.

And I don't even wipe the water off anymore. A long time vintage smoker told me I don't need to do that. I just hold it under the water for five or six seconds and, um, then I either cut or punch the cigar and then light the cigar. And the water dissipates, uh, gets absorbed into the wrapper or whatever within 30 seconds to a minute and a half to two minutes, uh, that all of that water that's on the outside of the wrapper just dissipates and goes away.

So, um, anyway, for me, it enhances my [01:23:00] smoking experience. If you haven't tried it, um, I think you should at least once or twice and see if it helps you um, and That's all i'm saying so, uh anyway I have rambled

**Gizmo:** on enough about this. Okay. So the other thing that's crazy to me, too Is, is taking that cigar outside and smoking it like he's not a lunatic.

I'm not, no, I'm not saying he's a lunatic. I'm just saying this is just so opposite of what I would do. It's the opposite, but I'm willing to try it all day. If, if Min Ranee, Alex Groom and this guy are saying to try it, I'm willing to try. We've had this

**Senator:** conversation. It took me reading this in this book from an author that I respect.

Obviously, he knows what he's talking about. You read that book. It's impossible to think. Otherwise, the fact that he's doing it. Is the first time in my life that knowing that people do this, I've said, I have to try it. Yeah, there's some validation. I am dying to try this. Now hearing this on top of it. Wow.

This guy's putting 20 year old Dunhills under the, I mean, we have to do it. So that means, I'm just so curious.

**Bam Bam:** That means Rooster needs to give [01:24:00] us 2003 cigars. Ha ha ha ha ha. Cause they have to be old. Ha ha ha ha ha. And you have more old stock than anyone here. Ha It's very

**Gizmo:** true. I'll try it first. Ha ha ha ha

**Bam Bam:** ha ha.

**Pagoda:** But, but just, you know, just to comment on that, right? Like, I was in Columbia. And, uh, you know, we met, uh, another one of the Lizard listeners over there, and we were talking about this, uh, that we were smoking some New Worlds over there, and in the heat and the humidity, it was great. You know, you do get a lot more flavor when the cigars get a little bit more humid.

Sometimes it draws a bit tighter, but having said that, the flavor profile... somewhat feels a little more intense. And, you know, I, I'm not saying that, Hey, listen, I've tried water, but I do know that certain cigars, at least when they're a bit humid, taste a little more

**Gizmo:** flavorful. So to your point, I, I, I was watching a video the other day.

I think I sent it to you guys of a Davidoff of London, the Sahakians. Uh, Eddie and Edward, what they said is that for their old stock, and these guys have [01:25:00] more old cigars, maybe than anyone in the world in their, in their, in their humidor, they try to store them at like 60 percent humidity, cold and dry.

And then prior to smoking, they try to bring them up closer to 65, 68 to reintroduce moisture to the cigars. So, I mean, it's kind of like, everything's kind of lining up to this. Yeah, this is maybe not

**Bam Bam:** crazy. My hypothesis as an amateur. is if you have a heavily aged cigar that's been sitting, like you say, at 60 percent humidity, when you run the water on it, the saturation takes place on the wrapper only.

It, that water's not getting into the binder and into the filler, it's the wrapper. So I guess If you're rehydrating the wrapper that's been sitting around for so long, it may make sense. There's some validity

**Gizmo:** to that. As he said about cracking and whatnot. Yeah. And that'll happen on

**Bam Bam:** a very dry

**Gizmo:** cigar. You know that.

I'm sure some of the

**Rooster:** water is being a bit, you know,

**Gizmo:** getting into the cigar.

**Bam Bam:** [01:26:00] Yeah. I think beyond the wrapper, unlikely, but I don't

**Senator:** know. I can't wait to do this. Yeah. We got to

**Gizmo:** try it. We got to try it. We got to figure out a cigar to do. That's like a low risk cigar. And, and I think we need to smoke them dry.

Is that 20 year old, uh, Cohiba? You know, smoke them dry and then, and then do the same cigar under the, under the, under the water and see how it does.

**Poobah:** Sounds like, I mean, if Min Ran Nee, Andrew Groom, this guy Dave dude. Poopa's

**Bam Bam:** face is like alive right now.

**Poobah:** I'm just saying, if these, these are guys who have.

More vintage experience, like really, really old than most. It's

**Gizmo:** worth it. It's worth, it's worth, sorry.

**Senator:** I got distracted for a minute, but go to turn the thrusters on a spaceship. And he just did it over to bars.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. He elevated about three feet off the couch. What's going on with your lighter,

**Pagoda:** dude? I don't know what's going on.

I, I, you know, I recently bought the lighter because it's got the flat flame. I said, you know, this is going to be interesting because you're supposed to [01:27:00] essentially like kind of painted. Um, He still has

**Senator:** the, like, uh, the UPC sticker on the back.

**Bam Bam:** It's been two weeks. He might have stolen this. A true connoisseur.

**Pagoda:** It's been two weeks and it's dead already.

**Gizmo:** Oh man. Alright boys, so we're coming to the end of our evening here. What are you guys thinking about the, uh, the cigar? The wine? Great experience

**Bam Bam:** overall.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I think both were very, very good. I thought the champagne really elevated the second half of the cigar as well.

Yeah. I thought, I thought both were very good. Pleasantly surprised with this cigar. Oh yeah. Me too. Beyond, beyond my expectations. I think Cabanos is doing something right in there, blending with these new cigars.

**Pagoda:** I, I. Do we give, do we give credit to the Chinese? I, please. I'm just kidding. All right.

**Senator:** Just a quick thing as we're thinking about how all of this is paired now that we've had the champagne as a bit of a palate cleanser.

Try the wine again.

**Gizmo:** I did. I thought it was very good. I think it's even better. Yeah. [01:28:00] Yeah.

**Poobah:** I did the same. Oh, it's

**Gizmo:** actually sweeter.

**Senator:** Yeah. Yeah. It's really good. That's what I'm saying. I just think like we came into this. I mean, I won't lie. I had a little bit of a scotch before we hit record. And it is your birthday.

You're allowed my birthday. Exactly. And I think just, you know, some of the sweetness that comes from any whiskey, really, it was a shock to my palate, how dry the wine was in contrast to that. We're now having the champagne to kind of reset my palate. I feel like the, the wine is more balanced than when it first started and I think it's actually pairing really well.

**Gizmo:** Agreed. It also probably opened up while it was sitting in your glasses. That too? Yeah, that's a good point. Yeah. Yeah. So you guys ready to do the formal liquor rating on the 2012 Quill? Cabernet? Yeah. Bam Bam, you're up.

**Bam Bam:** Um, I'm gonna give it an eight. Okay. Honestly, like, it was, again, my initial sip was, uh, took me by surprise, but as I went through it, I enjoyed

**Gizmo:** it.

**Pagoda:** Pagoda? Don't, I'll tell you, now it is tasting a bit sweeter. It's great, [01:29:00] actually. It's not as dry. Uh, I'm enjoying it a lot more now. I, and I don't know why. I'm telling you,

**Senator:** your palate's reset. It's,

**Pagoda:** uh, um, I was going to give it a six. I think it's definitely moved up to a seven considering the beginning.

Now, if I were to rate it just in the end, I would like to rate it an eight, but I, I don't know. I'm a bit confused here. Um, seven with the original thought.

**Gizmo:** Okay. Senator, um,

**Senator:** I'm at a firm eight. I think the, I think it's, it's actually fairly well balanced. I'm now like, this is the perfect kind of speed of what many how mountain cabs should drink like, which is some of those fruit forward notes, but some of the minerality that Ben was talking about and just overall a balanced wine.

The only reason that I can't give it a nine or 10, that just really, that's the one thing I'm confused about. Is it just lacks the structure that a typical Howell Mountain wine should have? And I suspect [01:30:00] it's a product of the year, but that obviously factors into the rating. So I'm at an eight. Would I drink it again?

Yes. But would I pursue it? And you know, would it, is it, are you, am I going to find this in my cellar? Probably not. With the price point, I

**Gizmo:** think it's, it's a tough, that's another thing. That's the problem for me. No, no,

**Senator:** no. It's actually, so what I have to say when Pagosa is the price, you know, one of the things, the price is commensurate with the experience in the sense that for a single estate bottle of Howell mountain cab with this kind of age on it at 110, you cannot find anything in Howell mountain.

That's as fresh as 2020 at the earliest, but even 21 or definitely 22, that's what you'd be paying entry level for anything in how mountain, the fact that this has over a decade of age on it and is still being sold that price point. I looked it up. You're exactly right. I think it, it, it's a recognition that this probably wasn't their best year.

It's a very pleasant drinking bottle, but it's not necessarily something [01:31:00] that you would pair with a great meal that has the structure to hold up against it. So I actually think the price for a single estate, how mountain cab is, is commensurate with the experience, but that's because, you know, that starts at a high price point and they've made this, they've kept this at the lowest end of that to reflect, I think the year.

**Bam Bam:** It makes sense.

**Poobah:** Yeah. And for all those reasons, it's kind of a seven for me. I'm, I'm, this isn't a wine. There's so many other wines that I would choose to drink, um, over this. It just didn't have the level of the stroke. It didn't have the structure. It didn't have really the body that I'm looking for. I appreciate the style, um, but it's to me, it didn't, doesn't exemplify, I think there's Probably better examples of the style of wine, kind of a Bordeaux style, style cab, you know, cab that [01:32:00] I would drink over this.

So for me, it's a seven. I mean, I'm not, you know, it's a 2012 bottle. It's priced the way it's priced because of all the reasons that Senator stated. So it's a seven for me. I wouldn't pursue it. Not at that price point. I, if, if you offered me a case of this or a case, I drink Jordan all day over this, you know what I mean?

All day. Every day and twice on Sunday. I just, as pedestrian as that may sound.

**Gizmo:** No, it's fair. Yeah. So I, I kind of started between a seven and eight after I had the champagne, even before you mentioned that I finished my glass, I actually thought it was way better after we had the Bollinger. It would kind of move between an eight and nine.

So I'm, I'm kind of settling in an eight. You know, I think the price point, you know, is not bad for how old it is. I did wish that it had more legs than it did. It's unfortunate that it didn't, but it's an eight for me.

**Poobah:** But so the question is, are you paying 300 for this in a restaurant? Are you buying a bottle of Jordan?[01:33:00]

**Gizmo:** Of course you're buying the bottle of Jordan. No, there's no

**Senator:** question. There are better values. And nothing to just be clear, nothing that anyone has said. I disagree with at all. It's true. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** I just, so the formal liquor rating boys on the quill 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a 7. 6. Okay. That's fair. I think it's the right score for how this performed tonight.

So are you guys ready to do the formal lizard rating on the El Rey del Mundo Grand Marshall Edicion Regionale Balcani? Rooster, you're up. Yeah.

**Rooster:** Good cigar. I mean, I would definitely recommend it to anybody who would like to try one. It's got good aging potential. I think this will really develop into a really good cigar.

Give it a

**Gizmo:** couple of years. Uh, for all the, all those

**Rooster:** reasons, I'm at an eight. Okay. Puba.

**Poobah:** Interesting.

**Bam Bam:** I

**Senator:** gotta get a picture of

**Bam Bam:** this.[01:34:00]

**Gizmo:** Come on, I gotta take a piss.

**Poobah:** Relax. Um, I'm kind of between like an eight and a nine. Yeah, me too. Um, I'm between, I'm kind of, nines are tough to give out, but. I'm leaning a little bit towards nine because do it. I'm leaning a little bit towards nine. No influencing people what they want. I'm leaning a little bit towards nine because of just the construction, the combustion, the burn, the consistent flavor profile.

It was a little bit of a two act play. I'm just breaking it down. Like it developed towards the end and it built into something, not in a superbly dramatic way, but it did, it did. Present itself differently in the second half. It's kind of a two act cigar. Um, it was really pleasant. There was no bitter, I got to give it a nine.

I mean, I, [01:35:00] I, I, it really performed well and, um, I, it's an, I think it's a nine.

**Gizmo:** So it's, it's definitely a nine for me. I think the thing that kept it at a nine and, and did not pull it down to an eight, which by the way, on the light, I was still expecting it to be pulled down in the last third with some youth or some harshness or some bitterness or some ammonia, something that indicated that the cigar is only a year old out of Cuba.

And none of that happened. None of that happened. And maybe it's the ring gauge, maybe it's the, you know, it's the pack, it's the, the blend. I don't know what it is, but it stayed excellent the entire way through the cigar. All what, almost an hour and 35 minutes of it? Long smoke. Um, it, it was a really, really, really good cigar.

So I'm going with a nine for sure. Senator.

**Senator:** So I've been in the exact same camp where I've been debating between eight and a nine, pretty much the whole way through. I've reached a similar conclusion as the last two [01:36:00] that I'm rounding up to a nine. I think the construction and burn obviously flawless. Um, I give a lot of credit to wherever this was rolled, but the blend was really elegant all the way through.

And I think it's very rare that for A young cigar to describe as elegant. And that's the word that comes to mind first and foremost with this cigar. I really liked the floral notes. I thought it was really nicely balanced with some of the sweetness, some of the minerality. There was just enough complexity that it stayed interesting to me all the way through.

And I was just thinking of, we say this a lot, like where would this slot in for me? And someone mentioned, you know, QD. I think maybe Puba said it. Did you mention it was like a QD and an upman? And I think also Rooster mentioned a QD. And You know, I, I like the QT 54. I, I have smoked plenty of those. This would slot in ahead of a QT 54 for me.

So like for me, it rounded up very easily to a nine because there is an exact place that I would, [01:37:00] I would have this cigar and enjoy it. And, uh, it edges out a cigar that I already enjoy very often. So I'm, I'm at a nine and I'm really glad we did this again as someone who shits on regionals all the time.

This is one of the rare few examples of an excellent regional for

**Poobah:** me. Yeah, I would have loved to have shit on this regional. Do you know what I mean? Like, like, it would have been my pleasure to do it. I'm totally with you. I mean, like, like the band means nothing to me.

**Pagoda:** Pagoda. Yeah, this is, this is an interesting one.

I, like, it's, uh, you know, I know you, you guys talked about a little bit of the citrusy flavor. I was trying to, uh, really, um, understand the flavor because I've experienced it before. I don't know. I was associating with some drink before I couldn't figure out exactly what it was, but I think we had smoked a cigar and we talked about the orange marmalade kind of, you know, the orange rind kind of flavor.

It's got a little bit of bitterness, but it's [01:38:00] citrusy. It was very, very pleasant. Let's put it this way. Um, for me, I really, really enjoyed it. It is definitely one of the cigars I would like to go, you know, I'm really, I'm trying to understand how my flavor profile is changing. Uh, you know, obviously Ras is something I really, really love.

Um, you know, there's a slightly different floral saltiness to some of the Cubans, which I call the Cuban esque flavor. I didn't get that particular flavor, but it was very, very enjoyable. Slightly different floral. Citrusy, slightly the orange rind kind of, I couldn't place it, uh, flavors, but very, very pleasant experience.

And I think with the champagne, I enjoyed it more with the champagne for sure. Uh, I would rate it at a nine. Okay.

**Bam Bam:** Bam. Yeah. I'm also at a nine. I found what's unusual about this. There's a proportion to the density and the weight, which is unusual. It felt and smoked like a dense cigar, but it was light in the hand.

That's unusual. And as you draw, it was so [01:39:00] creamy and smooth and elegant, but I found it to be a very complex cigar. And the citrus notes for me were right there. Nine. You know, and the price, I've kind of backed away from it. I would spend 350 on this box. Yeah, I would too.

**Gizmo:** Oh yeah, no doubt. So the formal Lizard Rating, boys, is an 8.

8. Great score. Which I think is a great score. Also, I want to say like,

**Rooster:** Well, I gave it an eight because I want to give it some room, like in about four to five years, maybe it does become a nine for me.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. You know what I mean? So that's why I have

**Senator:** to say though, I'm, I was genuinely shocked by Rooster's

**Gizmo:** rating.

That's well, that's why I paused for a second. I'm saying, uh, I was looking

**Senator:** for a little bit more for one reason and one reason only, I think floral notes. You have any of us. It's really chase and pursue LGC. That's why you love that. Marca. So honestly, when I, when we lit this cigar, the first thing that popped into my head before even a flavor note was rooster, literally said to myself, I was like, he's going to love this cigar.

It's super floral. So I was a [01:40:00] little surprised by the,

**Poobah:** I I'm, I'm picking up what you're putting down because. As Pagoda was talking about it, I'm saying to myself, this is like a different kind of, I, I was expecting you to give it an eight because, because your power alley is, is, is, is kind of cigars that pack a little bit more oomph, that have a little bit more of a Harrow or you love big Nicaraguan cigars.

You love those. And, and. Rooster tends to like these floral scars. Like when I think of this cigar, it's like a hybrid almost between it had a little bit of an upman at the end, but it was like a QD and an LGC up front with these floral notes. And then it got deserty at the end. And I'm thinking, I was thinking, Rooster's going to really, this is going to really like this cigar.

And it was distinctive in its presentation. It, it. It was defined there. It wasn't muddled. It didn't [01:41:00] pack a lot of power, but it packed a lot of flavor and complexity. And I thought that that was a merit, you know, in this thing. And, and, uh, anyway, I was, so I was very surprised that actually I would have thought the ratings

**Gizmo:** would have been opposite.

I was gonna

**Rooster:** in between an eight and a nine, but just being that this is such a fresh cigar. So I think the potential in about a few years, it will be

**Bam Bam:** a nine. What Puba said that was very telling it because his power alley is so strong. I thought he would be at an eight. No, but, but what he said, it's, this is a unique cigar flavor is change.


**Gizmo:** flavor profile

**Bam Bam:** is evolving, but also it's like,

**Gizmo:** no, I think

**Poobah:** it speaks

**Gizmo:** to the cigar. That's the I'm saying.

**Bam Bam:** So what he was saying, it's, it's very unique, right? It's a light. You smoke it, it's a very light cigar, but very flavorful. It's in that flavor delivery, in a very smooth, creamy way, that captured Pagoda.

**Pagoda:** And that's why he gave it a 9. I like that size, you know, it's a very, very good size. [01:42:00] Yeah, it's a great ring gauge. It's a great ring gauge. It feels really good. The smoke output was great. The construction was great. Everything was just positive all the way through. Now, when I started off, you know, when I got those flavors, you, this is, you know, Puba, you said distinctive notes, very distinctive notes.

Like, It's like, if you smoke this, you will feel it, you will taste something, you may not be able to identify it, but you'll taste something which is very pleasant. And the one thing I really liked about it was, because I was a bit worried that, hey, it may be too mild for me, but I think It delivered more like a medium cigar for me, as opposed to a mild cigar.

Yeah. Even though, and

**Gizmo:** I can't really explain it. And I thought, yeah, it had a very rich flavor to it. For me, what I take away, honestly, from a size thing, and Puba's going to think I'm crazy here, but if you were to go and get the same exact Genio size, the Robusto Extra, the Connoisseur A, to smoke that at a year old?

As we did tonight on [01:43:00] this cigar, a connoisseur A needs a lot of time as a lot of Upman does. So, you know, at a similar price point, maybe the Kanye's a little cheaper. Maybe in the mid twenties, but for a few extra bucks, I wouldn't smoke that Kanye at a year old, this cigar performed brilliantly. Yeah. You know, it's like this slots in perfectly as a Robusto extra to Pagoda's point, it's a great size, feels really good in the hand.

I think this is a win win. I think my

**Senator:** takeaway, just from everybody's commentary that I think has been excellent in just trying to make sense of this cigar is that there is something in the cigar for everybody. And there's not a ton of cigars that we always say that about. I think like Puba said, I also thought that Pagoda would probably be an eight.

I thought Rooster might be at a nine. And the fact that Pagoda is feeling just as strong about this cigar as some of us that don't necessarily pursue as full of cigars as Pagoda does like. It doesn't matter what, where you are on the spectrum of strength and flavor. There's something in this for everybody.

And I think that this cigar deserves a world of

**Gizmo:** [01:44:00] credit for it. I think complexity always wins. Oh yeah. When you have something that's different, unique, complex, no matter the strength or, or how rich it is. And I think this was a rich flavored cigar. Yep. That's always going to win because it peaks your interest for the entire 90 minutes of the show.

Well, it put a stake

**Poobah:** in the ground and it said, this is what it is, and it was defined. And I think for me, and, and what it delivered was, was really, really good and tasted really good. At least it stood for something.

**Gizmo:** And it didn't get harsh in that last third. At all. Which we've experienced so many times.

You know, so well, this was another revelation boys. And I think probably aside from the punch Mantua, one of the best regionals that we've done. Yeah, I mean certainly at an 8 8. I mean that's who

**Senator:** would have thought birthday birthday resolution try more regionals Who would have ever thought I'd say those words, you

**Gizmo:** know, it's an outlier The next regional is going to be like a four.

I [01:45:00] know it's also the point

**Rooster:** that Habano's is making some, the

**Gizmo:** fresh cigars that are being rolled. They're better now. They're better. They're good. They're smokeable. They don't need to sit for a while. That's right. So whether it be a regional or

**Rooster:** regular production.

**Senator:** And it means they don't need to water pour it all over them.

**Gizmo:** No, that's, that's only for the Chateau Margos.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. No, but the, you know, it's, it's the quality control has showed up there. Right. You know, we've met the leadership there and you see that they're committed to trying to produce the best cigars again. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** So I wanted to say, cause this is very interesting.

This is the identical rating that we gave the LaGoria Cubana Turquenos. Interesting. An 8. 8. So for how many times we kind of called back to that, and it's a similar size to, it's like a Robusto extra type of size. I think, um, it's, it's interesting to see that, um, match up. Certainly some of the other regionals that we've done, Oh, dogs.

I mean, some of them have very much been dogs. [01:46:00] What was the Duke? The Mantua, we never rated the other punch we did. We did the punch Duke. Which got a 6. 6. That was a Mexican regional, which was not very good. We did the, we did an on a hottest, which is not a regional. That was a part of his Corona scored us, which is a 9.

7. Uh, with the upman, uh, reboost us on a hottest. We mentioned earlier was a 9. 6, not a regional, but we talked about it. And then. What was the other region that we did here? We did one recently, didn't we? Ah, did we did the, uh, San Cristobal, Hiramal, Malaya, the Malaysian, uh, Edicion Regional, which got a 5. 8.

So that, you know, 8. 8 to a 5. 8, that's quite a big swing. Yeah, but it's

**Poobah:** San Cristobal, which is,

**Bam Bam:** that's a garden, uh, fertilizer.

**Gizmo:** But boys, what an excellent night. What an [01:47:00] excellent pairing. Uh, the champagne was fantastic. Senator, I hope you enjoyed your birthday celebration tonight. It was great. Yeah.

Appreciate it. Happy birthday again. Yes, sir. Happy birthday. We love you. I love that. Yep. Love you guys. So, uh, the Quill from 2012, the Cabernet Sauvignon was a 7. 6 and the El Rey Del Mundo, uh, Grand Marshall, Regional Edition Balcani. Was an 8.8, an excellent night, excellent pairing, and we'll see you all next week.

Keep smoking. Hope you enjoyed this episode. Thanks for joining us. You can 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 want to reach out, say hello, tell us what you're smoking. Email us hello at lounge lizards, pod. 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.[01:48:00]