Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

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Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey, the lizards pair the Padrón 50 Years The Hammer in Maduro with Pol Roger 2013 Vintage Champagne and The Balvenie 21 Year Aged Portwood Scotch. The guys celebrate 100 episodes by recapping their favorite podcast memories, reviewing the best and worst rated cigars on the podcast and sharing stories of their lizard origins.

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

website/merch/rating archive: loungelizardspod.com
email: hello@loungelizardspod.com to join the conversation and be featured on an upcoming episode!
instagram: @loungelizardspod

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 episode 100 of 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, Puba, Senator, Pagoda, Grinder, and Bam Bam.

A full house of lizards. And our plan is to smoke a cigar, drink some champagne and scotch, talk about life, and of course, have some laughs. So take this as your 100th official invitation to join us and become a card carrying lounge lizard. Plan to meet us here once a week. We're going to smoke a New World cigar tonight, share our thoughts on it, and give you our formal lizard rating.

We recap our lizard origins, we share some of our favorite pod moments, and we review the best and worst rated cigars on the podcast, all among a variety of other things for the next three hours. So sit back, get your favorite drink, light up a cigar, and enjoy. As we pair both 2013 vintage Paul Roger Champagne and 21 year age The Balvenie Portwood Single Malt Scotch with [00:01:00] the Padron 50 Years of the Hammer in Maduro.

A celebratory Toro tonight on the pod. From Padron, it's called the 50 years. It's the hammer is its nickname. It's a beautiful 52 ring gauge by six and a half inch Toro. And gentlemen, we could not have picked a better cigar for this triple digit celebration tonight.

**Bam Bam:** Outstanding selection. How exciting is this?

What a, what a beautiful cigar.

**Poobah:** I'm pumped. I'm so excited for this episode, guys. I, this is, this is going to be great.

**Gizmo:** We've had this one marked on the, on the calendar for quite some time now. Um, we have a lot to get to tonight.

**Senator:** You know the last time we all smoked this cigar? Puba's birthday. Puba's 50th birthday.


**Gizmo:** right. Oh, yeah. It was here. It was here. It was on this lounge. 1986.

**Bam Bam:** When you were a young man. Oh, yeah.

**Gizmo:** I mean, I just can't believe this is our 100th episode. It's crazy, man. Congrats to you all. We're still together. We're still here. [00:02:00] Yeah. Still living it. Loving it. Oh, man. And there's so much to talk about.

**Poobah:** So much to talk about. So much to talk about. And we're relying on Giz. We're relying on Giz. To help us navigate

**Gizmo:** as always, I'll do my very best.

All right, boys, let's cut this thing. So we're getting on the cold draw on the wrapper, this cigar. Is serious, like when you have this cigar in your hand, like you are not messing around with this,

**Bam Bam:** not to mention the price point. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** it's 50 bucks. Yeah, which is, I guess, coincidental. It's not on purpose, but ultra premium,

**Bam Bam:** ultra luxury cigar.

No doubt.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. This, uh, classic Padrone.

I love that we're doing a Padrone. Yeah. It's like we've always chosen Padrones for these celebratory episodes. We did the, uh, we did the 80th Maduro for our one year anniversary, which by the way is crazy that that's almost a year ago now. That was [00:03:00] episode 53. It seemed like it was. This is episode 100. It seems like it was two months ago.

Uh huh. And here we are with another Padron in our hand, the, the hammer. So what are you guys getting on the cold draw? Getting that kind of classic dried fruit, cocoa, dried fruit, bonyard,

**Poobah:** leather, a bit of leather. It's, it's, it's so complex, even on the cold draw. But you get that

**Bam Bam:** quintessential Padron DNA, regardless of the, of the Padron.

**Gizmo:** But I think it's up another level. You know, it's very different than the 80th. Oh, sure. It's more on the cold draw on the flavor, but. I think

**Senator:** to Bam's point, you get the DNA, and then what Gizmo's saying, it's richer. The delivery of

**Gizmo:** it. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Alright boys, let's light this thing. The Patron. Hold on, hold

**Senator:** on.

Time out. Uh oh. Okay. Can I make a radical suggestion? Whoa! Can we have a little palate cleanser before we dive into this?

**Gizmo:** Oh! I,

**Poobah:** I, I, I know, I know, I know where he's going.

**Rooster:** I thought you were going to say, run this

**Gizmo:** underwater.[00:04:00]

**Senator:** That's, that's one approach. That's, that's certainly

**Gizmo:** the Schwarzenegger. We're going to do that on an episode. It's not this one.

**Senator:** I just think, you know, a little aperitif. I feel like in a celebratory occasion, we need to start somewhere before we get to the main, the

**Gizmo:** main event. Oh yeah. So Senator, we've seen a bottle like this before, but not this bottle looks special.

What do you have in

**Bam Bam:** your hand? I haven't ever seen this bottle.

**Senator:** When you say like this, what

**Gizmo:** do we see like this? Well, just Paul Roger in general.

**Senator:** Oh, for sure. So this is the, the regular non vintage Paul Roger. It's got the white label. Um, uh, basically any of the stuff on the bottles is white. The vintage bottles, uh, it's a black label, uh, gold, uh, kind of text on it.

And this is a 2013 bottle. So 10 years. Oh, amazing. It's supposed to be very, very good. Peak drinking of this is 2022 and beyond. So we're like right in the sweet spot. Damn.

**Bam Bam:** We are now we cooking.

**Gizmo:** So we know by the way, no Sabre, no Sabre to that. So we will be cherishing every [00:05:00] bit. That's

**Senator:** the thing. So I brought the Sabre in case there was.

Objections from the group about me opening this regularly, but the risk of there being this expensive champagne on the floor, it's just not worth it. Let's not do that.

**Gizmo:** Beautiful 2013 bottle of Paul Roger. I can't wait to drink to 100

**Senator:** episodes. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** here we go.

**Bam Bam:** Hey. So

**Gizmo:** I've actually never, while he, while Senator, uh, or Garcon, let's call him is pouring our champagne. I've actually never had age champagne ever. Neither have I. So I don't even know what to expect right now. Not at all. You will find out. From this spirit that we love so very much. It looks darker. So is that a product of.

It does look richer. Does, is that a product of age or is that a product of the circumstance and grapes and It's a product

**Senator:** of age. [00:06:00] Oh,

**Poobah:** look at this. Nice. Coming around. It's a beautiful bottle. Garcon is pouring these glasses perfectly. He's pouring Gizmo's glass.

**Grinder:** Beautiful. I'm

**Pagoda:** really looking forward to this.

This is fantastic.

**Gizmo:** I

**Senator:** was, I was light with the initial pour, so we all are going to get a second glass because I know everybody's going to want more. My mouth

**Bam Bam:** is watering. Here we go.

**Senator:** All right. Hey, Sláinte.

**Gizmo:** To a hundred more. One hundred episodes. Cheers, boys. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers. It's the friendship. This is beautiful.

Friendship. Togetherness. All right, here we go. Cheers, boys. Let's sip this thing. Love you all. Cheers. Cheers. And cheers to the listener out there. Cheers. Thank you. Cheers. Cheers. Here we go.

**Bam Bam:** Wow. Yeah, that

**Gizmo:** is different. That is fantastic. That is magnificent. Oh, it's fantastic. Champagne. Do you see how

**Senator:** creamy [00:07:00] this is? Oh,

**Poobah:** it's so creamy.

**Gizmo:** Can you get a Bam Bam and me a bottle, please?

**Poobah:** Oh my God.

**Gizmo:** It's wonderful. This is absolutely wonderful. You know what

**Poobah:** I think? It's like a woman in the glass. You know what I think this?

Am I wrong?

**Bam Bam:** By the way, that's a Bam Bam line, by the way.

**Gizmo:** I think this is going to stand up very well to this. Expected full cigar that we're about

**Senator:** to light. So I'm glad you said that. That's the thing. I mean, we've had, I think we maybe did one grower champagne, which was fuller in body. Um, a vintage champagne is going to concentrate kind of the flavors more.

This is definitely got a lot more structure than the non vintage Paul Roger that's super light, easygoing. So I'm glad you said that gives, because I mean, this is a hard cigar to have any champagne with, but this can at least hold its own. It is very rich.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Uh, very clean finish, long though. Yes. Yeah, long.

Long, clean finish. But it's sweet and it's dry. It is. You know what? That combination is [00:08:00] exactly right. Very

**Grinder:** unique. And

**Pagoda:** not very bubbly. Although I do feel it in my tongue. It's like a really weird thing.

**Poobah:** Well, the long finish. Really

**Bam Bam:** long finish. Long finish. Fruity and dry. Agreed on the money.

**Gizmo:** It's magnificent, Senator.

Thank you. Thank you, Senator. We start there. That is a good. That was a good place to start tonight. Now we have set a high bar. We have. We have set a high bar for the evening.

**Poobah:** We have. And it's been such this whole journey. It's been the friendship that we've, um, that we formed together, uh, over the years has been fantastic.

And, uh, I think this, this type of a toast is Is in this type of a spirits, very apropos.

**Gizmo:** All right, boys. All right. Let's light this cigar, get into it. The Padron 50 years in Maduro. It's called the hammer again. It's a 52 ring gauge by six and a half inch Toro from the amazing Padron family celebrating. [00:09:00] 50 years of their existence, uh, came out in 2014, and, uh, Wow, this is good.

This is definitely a special occasion cigar. Oh, yeah, celebratory

**Bam Bam:** cigar.

**Gizmo:** It is so rich. Oh, that's magnificent. Such a rich smoke. Oh, man. So complex.

**Bam Bam:** You know, for such a, um, robust cigar, The retro hail on this

**Gizmo:** is very, very nice. And the delivery is so smooth. Yeah. It's not, it's not, uh, this is definitely going to be a full bodied affair. Oh yeah. But it's, it's so smooth that it almost feels medium.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, that's with complexity. I think you can get that in the complexity.

**Poobah:** It's like, it's a real sit. You know, it's a long.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, like when you light this thing, like you're committing [00:10:00] to a real sit down. An hour and a half minimum. And a slow smoke. You know, you don't want to blow through a 50 bill in your hand.

You know, you want to really savor it.

**Rooster:** I mean, it, it does taste like a Padrón, but it's more, you know, it's more complex. It's like more of everything that a Padrón delivers.

**Gizmo:** True. Yeah, this is a magnificent cigar. And I actually think the, the, starting with the champagne, I think set us up for even, an even better experience.

You know, as Senator said, cleansing the palate. I was about to say that. I think I was smart. Good timing. It only took a hundred episodes, but

**Bam Bam:** we finally got the cadence

**Grinder:** started.

**Poobah:** So we've been told, you know, one of the things we talked about, I, I think that it's, it's very appropriate for this. And thank you, Senator, for bringing the bottle. It's very [00:11:00] appropriate that like, we appreciate this type of a bottle of champagne way more than we would have. A year ago. Absolutely. Or 18 months ago.

Of course. Um, we've tried more champagnes, um, Senator was the catalyst to, to, to really bring, to introducing us to, to good champagne and bringing some education around that. And, um, I've gained a greater appreciation for it for sure. And it's, and, and, uh, you know, I appreciate that.

**Gizmo:** I,

**Grinder:** I, a thousand percent, uh, echo that sentiment.

I never drank champagne. And as a matter of fact, I would avoid

**Bam Bam:** it. Me too.

**Grinder:** At all costs. And now, now my wife is like always surprised. Like, oh, you're drinking champagne. I love it now. But only Bully and Bully. Polly and Boley.

**Pagoda:** All right. Polly and

**Poobah:** Boley. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Me too.

**Grinder:** But it, but it's because of this, this, uh, this friendship and [00:12:00] senators, uh, enthusiasm for, for champagne and, and all the things we've learned, uh, about it, you know, along with everything else we discussed in this podcast, it's fantastic.

**Senator:** Just fun to share. Honestly. I mean, for me again. I don't think I ever expected, and I'm sure so many feel like this, I mean, we've all brought kind of different random things to this group that we happen to like that we want to share and see what others think about. I never imagined that everybody in this group would kind of universally embrace champagne and sit here and say, like, I really enjoy drinking this stuff.

I mean, I remember the other day we were at Pagoda's, uh, uh, house in the afternoon and, He's breaking out champagne bottle after champagne bottle. And I said, like, this is amazing. I feel like I'm at home. I don't have to do anything. He's got everything covered. He had Paul Roger. We were all set up. So, um, it's a lot of fun.

I'm just glad. And for me, even now, uh, to have a group regularly that I can explore more stuff that even I haven't tried. I mean, I've never had the 20 through 13 vintage of Paul Roger before. This is my first time having this just like everybody here. And, um, obviously it's a great bottle. I'm very [00:13:00] excited, but there's so much within Paul Roger's line.

I mean, they have some really crazy stuff. Like there's Sir Winston bottles start to get like really expensive, but they have a Sir Winston bottle. Sounds like, uh,

**Gizmo:** they've got some serious one or two of those. That

**Bam Bam:** was his champagne. That's right.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, that was his thing. Wow. That

**Rooster:** might pair well with the Sir Winston cigar that we've never.

**Senator:** That's actually brilliant that you just said that. Okay. I think we know what we're getting for that episode.

**Poobah:** Episode 101, sir.

**Gizmo:** All right. We'll see everybody next week. So boys, what are we getting on the cigar? Cause, uh, on the light in the, in the very early stages of this, it's already set itself up as gorgeous. I got to say

**Bam Bam:** incredible cigar at the burn line. If you can do that. And if you're comfortable retro hailing, I'm getting a lot of cocoa and fruit simultaneously.

It's very unusual.

**Grinder:** It's a very, very unusual. It's a very strong retro hail. I will say. No, I

**Bam Bam:** don't find, for me, I don't find it strong. [00:14:00] I just chase those notes and I get them. I don't know.

**Gizmo:** When you say strong, what do you mean? Is it like a bite for you? Is it just

**Grinder:** oomph? No, it's this, it's very, it's very rich and it's, you know, when you have a horseradish, I had some today.

And there's that little like thing, like, it's like, it's like it cleanses, it's like, you know, smelling salts. That was, that's kind of what it's like, but not even close to smelling salts. It's, it's, what's wonderful, but it's just very

**Poobah:** intense. Yeah. But it's a, it's a Nicaraguan cigar and it's a, it's a Bedronian.

They don't retrohale like Cubans really, it's, they're almost, I almost would like to say the, it's very smooth. I almost would argue that I don't really retrohale Padrones that often and they're Nicaraguan and I don't know if they're really meant for that as much as a Cuban does, is meant

**Bam Bam:** for it. I think it depends on the individual.

Cause I retrohale these regularly. You do? I do. Oh yeah, yeah.

**Pagoda:** I tried retrohaling yesterday. But listen, my recommendation for any guys with sinuses, [00:15:00] listen, think about it.

**Bam Bam:** Take your Afrin

**Grinder:** first.

**Bam Bam:** I'll

**Pagoda:** tell you, the smoke was coming out of my ears and every other...

**Bam Bam:** Oh boy. Tranquilo, tranquilo.

**Gizmo:** So boys, let's talk about the cigar for a second.

Like I said, this cigar was launched in 2014, celebrating 50 years of José Padrón started making cigars, under the Padrón name, in 1964, of course. The cigar is nicknamed after... A small hammer. I think we've talked about this on prior Padron episodes that Mr. Padron received from a friend named Raul Fernandez and Jose Padron would use the hammer to work in carpentry.

And then he saved up the money he made on those jobs to eventually open his first factory and start Padron in 1964, obviously. And the small hammer is visible on every box, every cigar that Padron puts out. And you can actually go and Rooster and I did when we were in Miami. It actually is displayed in the [00:16:00] lobby of their headquarters in Miami.

And they take it to the trade shows too, but the hammer is still there. And it's very, you know, it's a very important part of their story and their history. Uh, it underscores the hardworking family that builds these cigars that we love so very much. And why we choose them for big nights like this. And um, and yeah, it's just a, just a magnificent cigar.

But 10 years plus age tobacco in these, which is incredible.

**Senator:** It is incredible. I have to say the other thing about this cigar... The box that this comes in, the presentation is outrageous. Yes, it is outrageous.

**Gizmo:** So they made 1000 of these custom humidors that, uh, senator's talking about at a price of $5,300 per humidor.

It's a really nice white, I dunno if you'd call it a lacquer or a, a painted yet, it's a really bright lacquer finish, I think. Yeah. Lacquer finish. Mm-hmm. really incredible. And it originally came with, uh, 25. Natural Hammer cigars and 50 Maduro, excuse me, 25 Maduro totaling 50 at a cost of [00:17:00] 106 each. And now you can kind of get them, you know, as singles for around 50.

So their intended MSRP is 106, but you're finding them, our listeners are finding them, we're finding them for, you know, about 50 a cigar.

**Senator:** And then I think I had read, if you buy that... Once you smoke through it, you can get it refilled. And I think then you can choose. You can choose.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. You can get 50 Maduro, 50 natural or the 25, 25.

And the

**Pagoda:** refilling probably is at a cheaper rate.

**Gizmo:** Probably. Definitely. You would hope so. And it's amazing. You know, they're, they've, they've come out. They've been out 10 years. Obviously we've, we were talking about what cigar were we going to choose for episode 100 and I think it, you know, it was important that we chose one that any listener could find.

And this is a cigar for how exclusive the tobacco is, how aged it is, how limited the cigar appears to be. You can really kind of find it anywhere. It's true. Any serious Padron retailer has these.

**Senator:** Well, we also had to choose this because Rooster didn't want to share any of his hundred year age cigars.

That's true.

**Bam Bam:** That he was [00:18:00] smoking in 1942. For crying out loud.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. What a brilliant, brilliant cigar boys. No, no, this

**Pagoda:** feels, this feels like home. Champagne, excellent cigar. This is great.

**Gizmo:** You guys have

**Poobah:** changed. You have changed.

**Rooster:** I mean, drinking champagne in the afternoon. You know, you guys are bougie.

**Gizmo:** Pagodas back lawn.

Very bougie.

**Senator:** Oh yeah. It's lizarding. It's a lifestyle. It was

**Pagoda:** just a perfect afternoon, meaning I just called for champagne.

**Poobah:** It's roving. It's a lifestyle.

**Gizmo:** What a magnificent start to the evening, gentlemen. Oh,

**Poobah:** it's, it's, it's a wonderful smoke. You know, the

**Bam Bam:** champagne with this at each sip, you cleanse your palate and you take another draw. It just starts all over again. It's really unique.

**Poobah:** That combination. Yeah, it is. I totally agree. But it's, it, this is, um, um, Champagne and cigars go well together.

Um, they [00:19:00] pair well together, uh, and, and, you know, the deeper into the rabbit hole, this whole, our whole hobby, um, has gone. It's, you know, it's a, it's a well known established kind of, um, fact, uh, that good champagne and a good cigar is really a great pairing. Yeah. Um,

**Senator:** yeah. Ask Winston Churchill every morning.

**Gizmo:** Churchill.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Uh, it, it, cause there's this cleansing element to it and, uh, you would think it wouldn't work, you know, on the face of it. Yeah. Uh, but as a cigar smoker, you realize, wow, this is actually, this is a wonderful way.

**Bam Bam:** Like Reinder said, I've avoided it. Intentionally, because I never respect the champagne until we gathered here and learned about

**Poobah:** it.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah. And also what you're getting at weddings and celebrations is not... No. As, as, you know, as Grindr said, poli and boli, you know?

**Senator:** And just the mass marketed stuff is just not great. I mean, it's so similar, well, I shouldn't say, I was going to say it's similar to cognac, but I, I've, I think we've actually learned some of that's [00:20:00] not fair, like...

Hennessy's mass marketed and we've done some Hennessy. And we're like, well, that's actually pretty good. Uh, but with champagnes, it's like all anybody sees is a bottle of Vuclico and they think like, that's the only champagne or like Moet or one of these others, nobody, 90 percent of people have no idea what Paul Roger is.

Right. Yeah. Like people who are serious about champagne and you know, places like the UK, like this is what they choose. Bollinger again, you're not going to see. That on many menus. So it's, um, you know, I've been lucky to, to have met people throughout my life that have at one point or another introduced me to one of these brands.

And I'm just glad to, you know, keep passing it forward. Yeah. Don't

**Rooster:** forget us. The Spumante.

**Gizmo:** Oh,

**Bam Bam:** with a sugar cube.

**Poobah:** Yes. And Friesian

**Gizmo:** A.

**Senator:** So that's why Rooster doesn't drink anymore.

**Gizmo:** Speaking of, uh, passing it forward, can I have some more? Oh, yes.

**Bam Bam:** Everybody all around. Yeah, I got chipped. Let's go.

**Poobah:** I didn't think there wasn't any.[00:21:00]

**Rooster:** That's why I don't

**Gizmo:** drink. So you guys can have more. You're so generous. Of course. It's very noble.

**Bam Bam:** You know, honestly, Verve Clicquot and the other champagnes, when you drink this. You know, me as a novice champagne guy, immediately see the difference. It's incredible how much body

**Gizmo:** this

**Poobah:** has compared to that.

Yeah, Voodoo is, is, is, it's not my jam. It's just a little too... Thank you. It's a little fruity and it's a little acidic. And it's just something about it that I don't love. It is acidic, isn't it? It is. Yeah. It is. And it, it, I, I don't think it drinks like the price.

**Gizmo:** You know, I, the other thing I wanted to say is I do see a parallel, which was un, unattended to my brain before we came in tonight.

I obviously haven't had the... Age Paul Roger prior to this, but it, it, it, the way that the age Paul Roger is kind of performing versus how great young Paul Roger, the standard run of the mill bottle is, is very similar to an Exclusivo from Padron or an 80th from Padron [00:22:00] to this 10 year age cigar. I mean, it's not that much of a drastic jump in quality.

What we smoke all the time. Invo that 80th or a family reserve or, yeah, a a 1926 line. We take's not that far off from

**Bam Bam:** this, those cigars we take for granted, but they're world-class

**Gizmo:** cigars. Absolutely. Right. And this is just another Oh yeah. Well if you were to

**Poobah:** take a, a bottle of poer in, in an exclusive in Maduro in 19, uh, 1964.

1964 in Maduro and just pair it up, it's like, it's just like a, it's just like a step down in complexity from what this is, but it, it's like parallel. Exactly. And in terms of, you know, on a regular, if you're just going to have a regular night,

**Senator:** really nice. That's why I think we, we just chase brands with great DNA that kind of across their line from more entry level to mid range to some of the high end stuff.

Like there's something that satisfies us at really every one of those stages. And I think those are two great examples of brands that we feel [00:23:00] exactly that way about.

**Bam Bam:** One thing I'm going to take a stab at. The 26 line and the family reserve line, we tend to avoid those, right?

**Gizmo:** Except the 80th. Except the 80th.

All of us smoke the 80th, and Rooster smokes a lot of family reserve. He

**Bam Bam:** does, and I used to, right, but I gravitated away from it, but with this champagne, I would challenge you, Senator, in particular, to try a family reserve or a 26 line with this because it's so cleansing. Well, I'll tell you what It could be a pretty good

**Senator:** experience.

I'll tell you what I think would work really well of the family reserve line. I mean, again, some of them that are I think even bolder than this cigar we're having much bolder, I don't think would pair well with champagne. But Grindr, there's a, there's a family reserve one that you like in natural. Yeah.

The, it's

**Grinder:** more medium 50. The 50 with, it's a smaller one. It's also a 50, but it's the 50 of the 26 line Family Reserve. Yeah. Family reserve there, sorry. Yep. And that is a. That's one of my favorite cigars in the natural. Um, the, the Maduro is also splendid. It's a little stronger, obviously, but the [00:24:00] natural, it's, it doesn't taste like a natural.

It tastes like a, it tastes like a Maduro. Frankly, it tastes like a, a Padron, but it's just very compact and it packs a

**Gizmo:** lot of punch. It's a, it's a Robusto, isn't it? It's a shorter Robusto. Yeah, I'd call it a, yeah, it's a short Robusto. So that, you know, that's a great point, Grinder. For the listener out there, you know, the cigar that we're smoking tonight is in its own line as far as Padron goes.

This is not a member of the Family Reserve line. And as Grinder just said, there is actually a Family Reserve cigar that has the 50 symbol on it. This is not that cigar. Yeah. So this specific Padrone has its own band specifically made for this cigar. It has a serial number. It kind of looks as the 1964 does with the multiple bands.

They kind of designed it that way, but it's one band. Um, it's a lot, it's a lot bigger and it has a 50 years, uh, with the serial number 1964 to 2014. And then there's kind of an embossed little hammer on both sides of the, of the, uh, the writing. So this is not to be confused with the family [00:25:00] reserve. Fifty year cigar.

Which is also excellent. And you know, we did the sister cigar to that, the 85th, we did on episode 85, if you guys remember. Right. Which was also an excellent cigar.

**Senator:** Excellent cigar. But I mentioned that that 50th that grinder likes, because I remember he gave that out to a bunch of us and, um, my experience with the family reserve line had been pretty limited, especially naturals in it.

And that cigar just remember is like very nutty, which pairs really well with champagne, like those like nutty brioche notes. And then the earth you get in a lot of padrones, like the minerality that you get out of these champagnes, like just really pairs well. So. That stands out to me when Bam mentioned like try some of the family reserve cigars with champagne.

I feel like that would actually pair really well.

**Grinder:** I think so too. You're right. Because it would, I think you could drink a couple of glasses, like a couple, maybe three glasses of champagne and finish the cigar and be done, you know? And it's not going to be an hour and a half. And you won't feel

**Bam Bam:** overwhelmed by the strength of the cigar either because of the champagne, I think.

And it's just,

**Grinder:** it's just such a tasty cigar,

**Gizmo:** you know? Oh, it's fantastic.

**Bam Bam:** Not as good as this. [00:26:00]

**Gizmo:** No, this is amazing.

**Senator:** I will say what's bizarre to me. So I love this in Maduro. I think all of us obviously have smoked this before. I've had, how many of you have had this in

**Gizmo:** natural? No, I have never. This is. A major step above the natural for me.

That's the thing.

**Senator:** So years ago when we were at a former lounge of ours, uh, for my birthday, uh, one of my buddies had gotten me this cigar in natural and Maduro and me being me on my birthday at the lounge, I smoked the natural and then the Maduro right after each other. And I really did not like the natural.

And I was like, so I thought this whole 50 years kind of, you know, blend was maybe just flawed or something. And then I had the Maduro and I said, wow, this is spectacular. So. I'm not sure why. I mean, obviously I have a, I guess a bias because I don't really smoke many natural padrones, but grinder gave that 50th family reserve and I enjoyed it.

I thought it was a great cigar. I just didn't get the same feeling when I had this in natural for some

**Gizmo:** reason. I agree. I just, I don't know if the natural just doesn't with 10 [00:27:00] years on it before it's rolled. It just doesn't mature as, as roundly, I guess, as this one does. Could be in a blend. It's not as smooth to me as this one.

More age on this. No, we're comparing to the, uh, to the natural version of this. The natural version of this Yes. Oh, natural version of this specific cigar. So

**Rooster:** you should also try like the 1926 series in

**Gizmo:** the natural. Yeah. Is

**Rooster:** that, think it's just like a little step below the interesting duo, but it's still,

**Gizmo:** it's still

**Grinder:** a lot.

It's complex. It's still a lot. And I, I, I mean my, I like that. I like that. For me, that's still a lot of cigar.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And that's what Jorge Padro, I agree. Jorge Padron, I think across his line, prefers natural to Maduro. Is that right? His favorite cigar is the 45th Family Reserve in natural. But

**Senator:** I think we're saying the 26th line itself, the regular, it just packs a punch.

It does. And even those, like, yeah, I just, man, they're too

**Poobah:** much. Certainly does. Yeah, it's been, I've had that experience. I've actually, at our former lounge, I remember [00:28:00] buying some and then having one and then walking and Back down and be like, I can't

**Senator:** swap them out. I think I remember that poop. It's like anybody got a Coke.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Yeah. You need a Coke because when there's, they're, they're, they're nicotine heavy. I find, I find the 26 line to be more nicotine heavy, excluding the 80. Yeah. That's the outliers, the 80th, um, excluding the 80th. I find, and you need a Coke. You need a, a legit. Coca Cola or sugar to offset the borderline nicotine poisoning that you can, you can experience.

I mean, not everyone does of course, but it's, it's, it's strong. It's strength. You know, they, they, they pack legitimate

**Gizmo:** strength. Yep. So speaking of that lounge boys, that's where we all met. Yes, sir. We all met during the Early COVID days, you know, some of the lizards knew each other well before that, but the, the core [00:29:00] group of seven here met, uh, at the lounge.

Yep. And, uh, that's where we started this whole, the whole journey. That's actually, we got our lizard names well before we ever thought about a podcast. It's pretty

**Rooster:** amazing like how many guys used to go there, how many people we used to see every day. But yet somehow we clicked, right? We kind of got together, we started doing the pod away from the lounge, but we all just clicked.

You know what? We were still friends with a lot of the other guys, but

**Gizmo:** it's just attributed to our

**Bam Bam:** like mindedness I think. Yeah,

**Senator:** I guess. I mean. There are lizards and there are cigar smokers.

**Grinder:** Absolutely. I remember I used to get, they used to tease me because I would spend the

**Bam Bam:** entire day at the lounge.

Working. Working. Grinding. You were grinding. You were grinding.

**Grinder:** Because that would be my, my office. And I would, I lived two blocks from that, that lounge and I would go in the morning and I would open the place and I'd have it all to myself and I would work and it would be great. And I'd smoke, you know, I wouldn't even, I [00:30:00] would smoke four or five cigars.

You, you weren't,

**Gizmo:** you weren't

**Rooster:** teased for. Being there all day.

**Gizmo:** I was definitely teased for being there all day for more

**Rooster:** about kind of spreading your wings,

**Bam Bam:** his laptop, his notebook, his charger over here. Oh, don't forget the cup of coffee and the thermos over

**Gizmo:** here.

**Rooster:** And like, who's sitting here? Oh, grinder.

Who's there? Grinder. Where's grinder right now? Oh, he's on a call.

**Poobah:** Well, that's how he got the name grinder.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. So he was always grinding

**Rooster:** away. Yeah.

**Grinder:** I mean, it fits, right? So, uh, you know, it was, it was, it was a great, uh, place to work. And, you know, obviously that's, I'm finding

**Gizmo:** found other places

**Rooster:** to work.

Literally like two blocks from your house at that time. It was so convenient.

**Senator:** Super convenient. Management. Love that. The more time we spent there, the happier they were. Absolutely.

**Gizmo:** The more money we spent, the more time it was like an inverse, inverse relationship. The more we were there, [00:31:00] the more we were spending, the more they hated us.


**Rooster:** right. Well, one, one good thing came out of that place was we all met there. That's true. We'll always remember that for that. Yeah,

**Poobah:** that's for sure. Yeah, I walked in there and, and it was, uh, it was at the, like, the beginning of the pandemic. I remember your first day there. And, uh, it was that unforgettable.


**Bam Bam:** guy, this big dude walks in with white shorts on, tennis shirt, handsome, the blonde hair whipped back with the

**Grinder:** glasses.

**Gizmo:** Like you say, formidable? Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** I guess so. Not for Bam Bam, but you know, for most,

**Gizmo:** you're taking shots,

**Bam Bam:** but no, not at all. He was, he's, he's

**Grinder:** got an imposing personality and an imposing physique.

Oh yeah. And you know, it's a lot to take in when you first, you gotta like,

**Poobah:** you gotta see what, what is this guy about?

**Grinder:** He's got such a force in the room. He, yeah, he takes space and he was like this new guy. He's like, he's just like [00:32:00] controlling the conversation and talking about all this varied, like Renaissance bullshit.

And we're just like, who is this guy talking about derivatives

**Bam Bam:** and market analysis and branding. That's why I pooped. I clicked. It's delayed.

**Gizmo:** Well, I think the thing that ties the room together, and I think maybe the difference that you just said between cigar smokers and lizards is just curiosity. I think that I think what really formed this group's bond, aside from the laughing and the person that, you know, the common stuff that creates a friendship.

But I think the genuine shared curiosity that grow in our knowledge of cigars and our cigar smoking. And then into Cuban cigars, which I don't, I think we went crazy diving in the Cuban cigars. Um, and, you know, that, that was a product of, I think, the group's curiosity and wanting to just continue to experience new things.

I think that was, that was,

**Grinder:** that was, I think, a watershed moment when... [00:33:00] Puba started, you know, Puba started talking about the, the various social media groups that he, that he had and the, the, the Cubans that were coming into the, into the discussion. And then, and then everyone was trying them and then everyone was loving them and smoking them.

And that changed the kind of, it was like a new tidewater.

**Poobah:** That's partly true, but people were smoking, you know, Senator was smoking Cubans, people, you know, there were, you know, there were D4s around and there were other Cubans around. There were Monty twos floating around. There were Monty twos around. Uh, you guys were smoking Cubans long before me, you know, I found a particular, let's call it alleyway.

And I kind of shot the, I shot that lane and kind of started to talk about that. And then it was just, and then, and then we, we started to talk about these things and research these things more, but I certainly wasn't like some sort of Cuban expert. [00:34:00] No. And I mean, I mean, Senator turned me on to cigar terminal at the time.

It wasn't like I was some kind of Cuban expert.

**Senator:** Right. I think the way I would describe it, I think Puba kind of leveled up our procurement of Cuban cigars and enthusiasm for it. And I think the funny thing is like a number of us in this room, we're smoking Cuban cigars for a very long time. I mean, I was since my college days and, um, I remember Puba at one point in the lounge, um, had asked me, he's like, cause I guess he probably saw me with a D4 and he's like, Where do you get this stuff?

And how do you know it's real? Because most of this stuff is fake. The perpetual challenge that we've all faced. And I said, look, I've never had a bad experience with Cigar Terminal. We got turned on to I have as well. Um, and then I know Puba had started ordering some stuff from there. And then I think as Puba started smoking more Cubans and getting really excited about them, I just remember I used to get these calls from him where like, He was studying so much about Cuban cigars from some of the guys that put out great content on YouTube and kind of other sources, and then [00:35:00] found his way into all these other avenues for us that you can procure these in a much easier way than waiting, you know, four or six weeks to have something shipped from Europe.

Like there's just a lot. Um, some other options. And I think that just really took our, you know, interest in Cuban cigars to the next level because it became so much easier for us to procure interesting stuff that we were looking for. So, um, I think we're all extremely grateful, obviously for the work that was put in there.

I think that really kind of opened the floodgates for all of us. It

**Bam Bam:** was an adventure. Really?

**Rooster:** I think. It's also, before that time, we, I mean, I personally only had like a desktop humidor, two of them. That was the limit of cigars that I could really stock. Same. Look at you now. Look at all of us. Look at now.

I mean, I think it wasn't until we got a tower. We

**Gizmo:** were like, shit, we got to fill this up. Yeah.

**Rooster:** And it was, it was COVID and we had a lot of. Free time and the

**Gizmo:** prices hadn't gone crazy. No, [00:36:00] they were still reasonable. We were getting boxes of D four for 215 bucks.

**Poobah:** Exactly. They were reasonable. And then there was a point where, um, there was a point where we started to understand and appreciate age, um, during this process.

And, um, there were a couple of cigars that were catalysts for that. And, and, and, uh, there was some skepticism, I think around it. I think the group came around and, um, realized, okay, well, wow, this is, this is, there is a, this premium is worth it. And then the rabbit hole, you know, opens up because now you're on the chase and that, and, and, and we really.

Collectively got on, really got on a chase and started to, you know, explore different things and then wounded, you know, everything came full circle to part of this and up and everything came, came full circle, full [00:37:00] circle to Vegas for Banya, uh, You know, certain Vittolas, it was, it was really kind of like this journey that's taken us kind of around where even, you know, QD, you know, I remember in the beginning of, of this journey, we would talk about QD and, uh, and Grindr liked QDs.

And we were like, well, you know, they're too, you know, this, that, and the other thing, but then all of a sudden, guess what happened? Everyone came around to QD. Now we all have boxes. Now we all have boxes and, and Grindr was a big proponent of QD. And so, so when you look at our towers and you look at our collections, it's really, it's really come around.

And now later in the cycle, you start to see. Uh, uh, we were, you know, we're all, not that we're pro cohiba, but now later in this cycle of this journey, uh, you see, I'm pro cohiba, right? I know you are . Um, you see more cohiba, um, has have [00:38:00] entered some, some of our collections. Yeah. Um, in some, in a somewhat limited way.

But, but again, it's, it's so, it's a journey and, and, you know, you keep we've explored a lot of cigars in this podcast. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** We've done a hundred and. Probably 10 at this point between the short smokes we've done too. We've done some special episodes. I mean, and that's just different, uh, you know, markers and Vitolas that we've done on the pod, but I mean, there's so much more to do, but I think to your point about the, you know, for me, it was obviously developing a palette, but then also the consistent, constantly redeveloping of that palette that I think changed preferences, changed understanding of how tobacco tastes, how tobacco tastes young with age.

You know, different varietals, different regions of tobacco. And I think, you know, it's all kind of tied together with a nice little bow on it because of the podcast. Yeah, I think

**Senator:** on that, the thing that's so cool about this, if we all look in our towers, it's [00:39:00] like every one of us individually is kind of responsible for one of those cigars making it into our tower.

That's 100 percent right. I can look around this room and literally, Each and every one of you has introduced me to something that I have fallen in love with so much. I want to hear them that I'm going to go around. It's like, I'm going to start with BAM. BAM introduced me to the millennium pyramid. I'm obsessed with that.

I love it. It's always in my humidor grinder, anything QD. I would have never given a chance. I always said it's probably too mild for my palate. He got me hooked on qd. I have several different S in boxes in my humidor, uba. The Upmanu. Every time I look at it, I think of Uba. Yeah. Like I always liked up man, but I never really got into up man the way that he is.

And that kind of brought me into the fold and, and the half Corona.

**Gizmo:** I think the whole

**Senator:** marker marker. I found half the whole marker. Oh, that's

**Gizmo:** true. Through our I'm Upton's brand ambassador. You are .

**Senator:** Rooster. I have to give credit. I'm obsessed with the Padrone 80th and Rooster actually gave me my first Padrone 80th back when we met at that lounge and that's when I was so inspired to buy a box [00:40:00] and smoke four of them consecutively in one night.

That's how much I fell in love with that. Had I not met Rooster, I truly never would have smoked that cigar and I think it's one of the greatest cigars of all time. Like Pagoda, I think of the Davidoff Dominicana all the time. Every time I see Pagoda. He's got that cigar in his hand. Amazing smoke. Gizmo will be surprised.

The Pargus eight, nine, eight. I actually think of you for it. Not the Lucy. Cause I had a Lucy 50 cab before I met you, but I had never had an eight, nine, eight, and you had given me the first, I'm pretty sure eight, nine, eight. I had it and it was excellent. So like every person in this room. Is responsible for like introducing something to me in my tower.

And that's what I love about this group. Vice versa. That's what makes this, I think, really special. That's

**Grinder:** awesome.

**Pagoda:** And you know what I find interesting is that whoever's been introduced to it, then they share it with somebody else. And like Russo introduced me to the 898. You introduced Giz to, um, the Exclusivo.

This is going back in the beginning. Yeah. And

**Bam Bam:** I

**Gizmo:** literally, literally his first day at the lounge. Yeah. With, with, with

**Bam Bam:** Bruchard.

**Gizmo:** Hey, it was 1926 [00:41:00] naturals with a little tobacco, the Broussard chocolates might do good with it.

**Rooster:** Actually, actually Pagoda introduced me to Zeno's

**Gizmo:** not too

**Rooster:** long ago. I'm very grateful for that.

**Bam Bam:** I thought that was a cutie. I thought I would have gotten...

**Gizmo:** Wasn't that a cutie

**Bam Bam:** 54? It was a

**Gizmo:** collab. Listen, it's hard to get Rooster going, but... That story of you guys giving him.

**Pagoda:** By the way, the first Ras I ever smoked was given to me by Puba and Puba won't remember it, but the first time we met, it was you, me and Danny and we were drinking, uh, at the old lounge and, uh, we exchanged, uh, I think we gave you a new world, maybe an EP career.

It was in, it was an EP. Yeah. And then, uh, you gave us the Ras. Yeah. Yeah.

**Poobah:** The Rass. The

**Gizmo:** Rass.

**Poobah:** And I love the Rass. I feel like, I feel like I may have introduced the Rass to the group, uh, potentially.

**Bam Bam:** Well, definitely the Club Corona for

**Senator:** sure. I would say you reintroduce it. And I say that cause like before most [00:42:00] of you guys joined, so like the newer members, like when we went up to the Dylan that time, I brought a whole box of Rass with me actually that night.

So we were smoking them before, but I wasn't enamored with that cigar. I liked it, but didn't love it. And then you kind of brought it back and I fell in love with

**Poobah:** that cigar. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I, maybe it was the, the cabinet, they need a little bit of time and maybe there was a cabinet. It was the cabinet. Um, um, grasses that, that, that maybe, maybe brought things

**Gizmo:** around a little bit.

That was a, by the way, that was a huge revelation in the group too. When we discovered the difference between the sliding lid box and the cabinet versus the dress boxes and the experience that we'd had even with young cigars. You know, coming out of a, uh, a cabinet or a, uh, a sliding lid box, which is basically a small cabinet, but where they rest on top of each other, instead of stuffed next to each other,

**Rooster:** you know, I mean, had we not had the towers, I mean, there's no way you could fit a 50 cab off anything in a desktop.

Here we go. That's it. So I think that's, that's what changed everything. And I think [00:43:00] grinder. Was probably the first one, but

**Gizmo:** he was, he had the first, I don't know. What year did you get your time? I got

**Grinder:** my tower in 2019

**Senator:** on 19. I think that's right. Cause I got mine in 20 and

**Rooster:** then I think Puba

**Gizmo:** got it before,

**Poobah:** but I was during when it was during, well, well, no,

**Senator:** I think it was grinder.

Me, UBA. Then probably you two,

**Gizmo:** he's pointing to Gizmo and uh, rooster. Sorry, gizmo and

**Senator:** Rooster. I got mine last week. Then and then did it

**Gizmo:** go to get his before? Bam? Oh yeah.

**Senator:** Or was bams delivered before? But he didn't actually set up Exactly. That's a very

**Gizmo:** complicated, yeah, don't ask, please, by the way. Let's just say, oh, there's more er.

All right, so this is not another age bottle. We're not that boujee folks. This is a non vintage, non-vet bottle of Paul Roge. Still delicious, I'm sure. Oh yeah. Aim

**Bam Bam:** at a Senator. Cheers. And those

**Poobah:** are those cross contaminate. [00:44:00] It was great times because we were, um, there's only, I'm not saying there's only so many places to go, but we've got a lot of places, you know, we've, we've explored a lot of, of what's good.

Um, and I think that finding those foundational, those foundational markers, the foundational of the toll is that. That really belong in the humidor all the time. Um, that hold true, you know, that we know hold true, which are the D4, which is a RAS, which is a part of a short, I think everyone should have a part of a short in their cabinet, you know, um, and, and up in half Corona.

Um, foundational things like, like you should have up in twos. Um, you know what I mean? Stuff that, that, that you can get. That's it. That's accessible

**Gizmo:** for the listener out there. Go through, go through our ratings archive on the website and you'll see which cigars [00:45:00] Cuban and non Cuban you can live that line up exactly what those cigars that Puba just that mentioned live by that list.


**Poobah:** You know, and some of the QD stuff, I mean, I'm not talking Corona Claros, which are, I think, you know, somewhat limited and boutique and boutique. I'm not talking eight nine eights, which are somewhat limited. I'm not talking E2s from Partagas, which are somewhat limited. But the stuff you really want staples, you know, the staples that are going to satisfy you all the time that, that aren't going to come out at such a high premium, you know, if you have those, you're going to be okay.

Yeah. And you lay those down. They're going to be really great. If you, if you, if you, you know, um, we all have in our humidor is, um, D four smoke rate. They smoke great young. There's some years that are better than others. But at the same time, you know, you lay those down for a while. They just get better and better and better.

So I think we all did a [00:46:00] pretty good job of staggering and staging our collections where we were. Thank you. Where we, we bought young stuff to lay down and bought vintage stuff to smoke kind of now and, and backfilled our collections. I mean, that's what I did. Yeah. I think we all, we, we, we, we went in hard and kind of got, you know, some age stuff on the secondary market and then, and, and, and, and print through private sales.

And then backfill their collection with younger stuff to lay down on her own. I mean, I got boxes that I've, I've, I've had laying down that I haven't touched for years. Yeah. Yeah. You know, everybody does. And

**Pagoda:** if you need help, you know, we are more than happy to

**Gizmo:** come and help

**Poobah:** you. But, but we all do. I'm just saying it's,

**Senator:** it's, I was going to say, I just, for a quick second, want to go back to the 50 cab discussion because. For me, that was truly game changing. And I do have to give Puba credit because I'm pretty sure he's the first one that kind of really got me to [00:47:00] see the incredible value of pursuing 50 cabs.

And I say that because obviously long before I met everybody in this room, I was smoking the D4. That was always my favorite Cuban cigar. It still is. But that only comes in a 25 count box. So my assumption was any 25 count box, you know, is just as good as the next. There's no reason to pursue a 50 cab.

It's just a change in quantity. And the RAS it's so funny when, you know, we're talking about Puba reintroducing that cigar. As I think about it, I had only had the RAS in dress boxes for years prior to meeting Puba. And then he pursues a cab and I have one of these, I say. This is so different than the experience I've had with all these out of dress boxes.

And it's like that light bulb went off. And I remember like the two of us, we were going on cigar terminal every day, trying to score a Lucy cab, a Lucy 50 cab. And Puba said, get the cabinet, not the box. And eventually the two of us were lucky. We caught it once it had popped up and we each were able to order it.

But, [00:48:00] um, I just think it was game changing because like rooster mentioned. All of us at one point when we kind of started, we all had desktop humidors. We did not have towers. I couldn't buy a bunch of 50 cabs and have a place to put it. There just wasn't the space for it. And that's where the tower really became essential when you start to understand how you want to procure these different cigars you love and that you're going to need the space to do it.

And it just made it a no brainer to have to get something that, you know, you could do that and really collect. I'm kind of

**Rooster:** glad that we bought the boxes when we did. Yeah. Just going back,

**Gizmo:** even like just from the point of view of price, we got very lucky with

**Rooster:** timing. We did. I mean, the prices have like doubled, if not

**Gizmo:** tripled on

**Bam Bam:** some of the markets.

I remember there was a three week stretch where. Gizmo was procuring one 50 cab of RAS after another. We all benefited from that greatly. I thank you for that because I still cherish that.

**Gizmo:** The two that I have. I lost global entry because of it, but

**Bam Bam:** we love you for that.

**Gizmo:** But so be it. America's

**Poobah:** most wanted.[00:49:00]

Yeah, no, but I think to your point. Senator, um, yeah, the, there's, I mean, I'm not going to compare my Lucy, my Lucy cabinets to, uh, to Gizmo. Who's got, I don't know how many eight of them, eight or nine cabinets boxes. But I mean, I've got a couple of cabinet boxes. I mean, I haven't touched them. I got eight, nine, eight boxes.

I haven't touched them. I haven't touched them. I haven't touched them. I don't plan on touching them for a little bit for a while. Well,

**Gizmo:** the problem now too, with all those cigars. The problem with them too is the price. When you pull one of those cigars out, it makes this 50 Padron that we have in our hand.

It's seem like it's a budget stick. It's tremendous. You know, it's crazy. I haven't

**Poobah:** even opened. I haven't even opened it. We're just thinking about it now. Like, dude, I haven't opened some. Some stuff like just to even check on them. And so long, it might be, it might be time for a little check.

**Gizmo:** No, no.

**Poobah:** But I know they're so fine.

I know they're, [00:50:00] I know they're totally okay because everything else is okay. And I just know they're just marinating in Worcestershire. Am I wrong?


**Gizmo:** of age, you know, we've, we've talked about, you know, age Cubans quite a bit on the podcast and we've smoked young stuff, old stuff. And we've talked about. Aged Nicaraguans and Dominicans. And there's this often debate on the internet. You see that Nicaraguans, Dominicans can't benefit from time and you're smoking a 10 year plus age cigar, you know, the tobacco, and this is 10 plus years of age, and I think that we're really experiencing a next level.

Let's not forget of Nicaraguan

**Bam Bam:** tobacco. Let's not forget the 80th that we smoked. Yeah, exactly. You had them for what? Three, four years. Yeah, they were

**Gizmo:** spectacular. So I think we've debunked. Several times now, the fact that Nicaraguan tobacco cannot benefit from age. I

**Senator:** also think the easiest proof point to that is try a Padron 1000 series and try 1946.

And that [00:51:00] four year difference does a world. It's tremendous. Sorry, 64. It doesn't make

**Pagoda:** a world of... Win

**Bam Bam:** Russo bought those.

**Gizmo:** No, 42. Seneca's gone dyslexic.

So we're into the second third here of the Padron 50 years hammer in Maduro. I am loving the cigar voice. Fantastic. The first third was excellent. Yeah. Hey, you

**Pagoda:** guys are smoking very slow. I

**Grinder:** dunno what's going on. Well,

**Bam Bam:** we're savoring. We were told to. Oh goodness. .

**Gizmo:** Look at pagoda. You can't rush through this.

Jesus and

**Poobah:** Savage.

**Gizmo:** He's a savage. He is

**Poobah:** a savage. They're real guy. Well, someone cut him off in New Jer in New Jersey. They say you're a real goon goon .

**Grinder:** He's got an inch on me.

**Gizmo:** Yeah.

**Grinder:** Is

**Bam Bam:** that really true? Bad porn.

**Poobah:** Bam's like, let me show you mine. We don't want to see the anteater.

**Bam Bam:** [00:52:00] All right, enough.

**Gizmo:** So has this thing changed at all for you guys as we've gotten into the second third now?

**Bam Bam:** It's gotten for me creamier, if possible, smoother. But I'm still getting that cocoa and fruit combo, which is so

**Gizmo:** unique for me. And I think it's delivering such a complex flavor that for me, it hasn't changed too much.

It's maybe gotten, like you said, a little creamier maybe, but it's delivered so far a very, very pleasant experience. But the complexity is really keeping it interesting because I feel like every time I draw it, I'm getting a little something different. I'm getting the cocoa, a little espresso, a little earthiness that Rooster mentioned.

**Bam Bam:** And I'll say something. And if you were, if you were. Apprehensive about a retrohale earlier in a cigar. It's much smoother now. I would attempt now. I've done it the

**Gizmo:** whole thing. I've been doing it every four or five draws. Dude. Excellent.

**Bam Bam:** You're capturing things that you won't get traditionally

**Gizmo:** on a smoke.

I think the burn line, the aroma at the head of the cigar, it's incredible. It's crazy.

**Grinder:** I, I've, I've, I think I just [00:53:00] need an acclimate because I've, yeah. Retro hailed since. And it's much better. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Much better.

**Poobah:** Yeah. It's a great smoke.

**Gizmo:** So boys, we've done, um, we've done a hundred episodes of this podcast now.

And, uh, I've got some moments that certainly stick in my mind as far as, like, memorable, like, line in the sand moments, um, in the podcast, different things we've talked about, things, things that we went crazy over, obviously Bam Bam, Accountability Hour with his tower, I think is one of my favorite, uh, segments that we've ever done on this podcast.

Did we, did we do that?

**Bam Bam:** You know what's funny about that episode? There are two guys on CX2 that. Direct message me that still bust my balls on that. How many, how long ago was that? I can guess who. Yeah, that's one guy. And there's another guy that lives down South that we, some of you guys know.

**Gizmo:** That's almost eight or eight or nine months ago, I guess.

Ridiculous. It's crazy.

**Bam Bam:** You guys got listeners. You got

**Gizmo:** to let it go. Bam. This is [00:54:00] bam. .

**Poobah:** Bam. This is bam. .

**Bam Bam:** That was hilarious. I dunno what line of

**Gizmo:** the picture, but, okay. . Well, was you talking to yourself? Remember? Yes. When you were, you were,

**Poobah:** yeah. You were trying to be introspective. I stepped outta myself. Had to really get you.

We had to get you to. Right. To really think about your actions. Yeah. We, we, we remember, I know you try to forget,

**Grinder:** but it was a very enlightening hour. I'm going to take each of you out behind the shed and teach you a lesson. We know what kind of damage you can

**Pagoda:** do. I'm already hurting, please.

**Gizmo:** So as far as some other moments, guys, what other moments come to mind is a memorable.

For you guys on the podcast.

**Poobah:** Well, I think that I, for me, I think there were a couple of guests that were real memorable, who, who we can, who I think we should talk about. Yeah. Well, uh, one is Dan, Dan Shashini, I think cigar salute and cigar salute. And

**Gizmo:** Dan came on and did, uh, did a full run [00:55:00] of the fake money for tuna box of Cohiba.

Robustos that I bought that was a part of a big counterfeiting ring that was really advanced. And Dan came on, uh, this time last year, I guess. Yep. And we did a Hermoso. And we did, uh, the St. Louis Ray, uh, Regios with him.

**Senator:** Yeah. That was a great the new CSI Lizard, uh, series was launched.

**Gizmo:** CSI.

**Poobah:** Yeah. I mean, he's so knowledgeable.

And I think we all, you know. He was great. He was, he's fantastic. And he, he, he, he knows so much. Yeah. He's so knowledgeable. And, um, so I think we should make a toast to Dan. Oh. Dan. And, uh, and say thank you,

**Gizmo:** toast to Dan. Cheers

**Poobah:** everything that you do. Um,

**Gizmo:** we love Dan. Dan's a great

**Poobah:** guy. We love Dan, uh, and also

**Gizmo:** Rob.

Rob Iowa, FOH. We did, uh, that was November of last year. We did, uh, Particles Lusitanias with him. Had a great discussion about all things FOH, Bond Roberts, um, [00:56:00] the cigar industry. And that was obviously right around the time that prices really started getting crazy. So he was, you know, super helpful and knowledgeable about that.

And I think the thing that I took away from that conversation. It was when we were talking about runs of cigars and how he isolates various runs of factories and beers. Yeah, that was interesting. You know, of great tobacco or mediocre tobacco. I,

**Grinder:** I, I especially connected with that because I have a bit of a manufacturing supply chain mindset and, and that was very, when he said that, I'm like, Oh, everything clicks.

That makes total sense. And it was so simple. Yeah. And I was like, Oh, obviously. Yeah. I mean, and just to have that conversation and like. Level it out and be like, this is what happens. And like, Oh, this is organic material. It's subject to variability and you're going to have some consistency and then you're going to have some doings for a while.

And that's just how it goes. I think when thinking back to special moments, it's not one necessarily special moment, but I remember. I, I recollect fondly to the, [00:57:00] um, Senator Lounge and those days and, uh, Before we

**Gizmo:** came to 1086, we recorded

**Grinder:** there. We were, we were young and innocent. Yeah, we were, we had just begun this journey of recording and I used to get so giddy.

Like, I was, I would wake up and I'd be like, Just get me through the day so I can go down the street and smoke cigars until, you know, one in the morning. And that's what, you know, that, that, those were great times. We had a lot of fun. I, I had a lot of fun and I, I rec, I, I remember fondly and I feel like this is still a continuation of, of some of those, some of those

**Gizmo:** funds.

Yeah. And for the listener, I mean, we recorded in Senator's garage for a year. Yeah, we did. Yeah. Which was, you know, and we've been at 10 86 now almost a year, which is. And like the, it's almost like the second year of this podcast has been here at 1086. Like every great

**Senator:** startup, it started in a

**Bam Bam:** garage. So Michael Dell and Senator Lizard.

**Poobah:** Yeah. I mean, he would open up the garage door and then we'd all go out and take a [00:58:00] leak.

**Gizmo:** In a line.

**Poobah:** And all the smoke

would pour out of his garage. In a leak and look at the bears and the deer or whatever. And, uh, And then come back in. Um, and it, and it was during COVID too, which was, I think brought us together. There was, you know, I mean, I can't, we're like putting like hand sanitizer on and, and, and, you know, and it was just, uh, It was just nutty paper towels.

He had a paper towel stash in the Lutheran cabinets and the green, the

**Bam Bam:** green,

**Poobah:** the green Lutheran cabinets. Lutheran made these, these, these, these, these are Protestant cabinets. Like the Catholic, I

**Gizmo:** don't know how you remember that, but that's incredible.

**Poobah:** You know, I'm like, these are Protestant cabinets and Protestant in, in, in, in Ridgewood made these anyway.

Um, so we had a good time there.

**Gizmo:** [00:59:00] Um, and you know, what other guests we must mention that we actually recorded in Senator's garage was our tequila run. Oh, two episodes with chef Ricky Camacho. Ricky Camacho. Incredible. All right. So we got to do a cheers to Ricky. Cheers Ricky. We have to. Cheers to our guests.

My man, Rick. Cheers. So we're very selective with our guests. I'm sure as the listeners know, and, uh, because we don't have many of them on and, uh, you know, the three that we've had on so far have really been home runs. And for me, the most important thing about bringing someone on is not promoting a product or a brand or a new cigar or a new, you know, tequila or something it's.

Offering more value to the lizards and it's the learning

**Senator:** process. Yeah, that's right. Something new. I think the big thing is, you know, we really value people who are passionate about. What they do and whether that's someone in the cigar business, whether it's someone in the, you know, tequila business, whatever the case may be.

And I think for Ricky, his passion, when each of us met him at one point or another, and we all kind of looked at each other at [01:00:00] some point and said, we've got to have this guy on the podcast. Like I have never met anyone in my life. Who's as passionate. About tequila as Ricky Camacho or knowledge. It's like infectious.

The guy has gone to Jalisco. Like he just as, as deep down the rabbit hole, as we continue to dive in cigars, he's done that in tequila and he opened all of our eyes up to all this artisanal tequila, understanding how to discern what's worth our time. What's not. And, um, I'm just so grateful that, uh, that we got a chance to, to make

**Gizmo:** it.

Tequila Psalm. Oh, sure.

**Bam Bam:** And again, another spirit that I avoided.

**Grinder:** Before, before

**Bam Bam:** walking into 1086. I'm with you, Bam. Me too. I know other guys here are tequila. I never avoided it. No, you don't avoid anything.

**Gizmo:** No, but Bam, to your point, I mean, without the podcast and this friendship, we're talking, for me specifically, but we're talking.

The deep dive on champagne. We're talking the deep dive on tequila. Cognac. Scotch. Armagnac. [01:01:00] Scotch. Armagnac is ridiculous. But the Scotch wasn't as much of a revelation. Cognac and Armagnac. But Cognac, Armagnac. Unusual. And non alcoholic beer as well. But I want

**Bam Bam:** to go a little deeper. Like, it's not just the podcast.

It's every cigar lounge across the country. Gives every cigar smoker an opportunity to meet someone and learn about that person. What they do. And learn something new. That's what I love about it. Smoking

**Gizmo:** cigars and we hear that from listeners to sit down and say, I went to a lounge, I brought some cigars and I met some great folks.

And yeah, it's, it, this community that has, it's just an incredible community. It

**Poobah:** really is. And I, and I was, I'll never forget this. I was sitting, um, I was sitting in, in our former lounge. And, uh, I'm sitting across from Senator and we're having a conversation and I think there were, maybe there were other people there and then maybe there weren't, I can't remember, but remember, and he said, he said, uh, he said, you know, he goes, the cigar is the great, he goes, [01:02:00] it's the great equalizer.

Yep. And, cause we were talking about. The group and we were talking about, you know, this is, we got a cool thing. It was like right before the podcast concept and talking about recording these kinds of conversations we'd have, because we were having conversations that were exactly like that we're having now, but just more informal.

**Gizmo:** None of us would have met each other. No, let's take the geography out of it. We're all in different industry. We're all at different points in our lives. Yeah. You know, it's, it's this cigar, this thing of ours. To your point, it has brought this very diverse group of human beings together. I mean, it's, it's incredible, right?

**Poobah:** And I think that the, I think that the, the, the, like the tie that binds, it's kind of this notion that cigar people are like, so they're most, not all, but most are kind of social animals. You know, they [01:03:00] want the interact. They're into relaxing, appreciating things that are good and, but they're also social. I think at the core, I think most cigar smokers want.

You know, to have a conversation, most, not all, but want to have a conversation. They're interested in people, they're interested in things, and they appreciate good, they appreciate things. And I think that that, that plays into

**Senator:** it. I agree. I mean, I think this is a hobby that you, you can't enjoy everywhere.

You have to seek out. A place, especially in the winter time where you're going to be able to sit down and actually enjoy a cigar and the number of people that are going to go and pursue somewhere that they can actually sit down and have that experience, right? That's a small but very strong population of lizards.

And I think it's there that, you know, you're not sitting in a cigar lounge just on your phone the whole time. There's no virtual, you know, technological component to this. You're having [01:04:00] conversations with people that you're meeting from all walks of life. And you know, that line, it's the great equalizer.

When I lived in DC, um, Shelly's backroom that I've talked about, obviously many times, one of the things I love, I used to, I'll be honest, I was frustrated with Shelly's about, and then I grew to really appreciate Shelly's for at least 10, if not more years, installed something in the ceilings that scrambled cell signals.

And you could not get cell service in Shelly's by design. I like it. It was the craziest thing I had seen. I was like, why are they making my life so difficult to communicate with the outside world in here? But it was brilliant because it forced people to get off their phones and appreciate what this is all about.

That's great. And mingle and talk. Is that for real? I kid you not. I've asked the owner. I, cause when I was in DC, I lived a few blocks. And my first department in DC was a few blocks away. They're blocking that? Blocking cell service from inside the place. You want to take a call or do anything? Go outside.

Not in here. This [01:05:00] is to appreciate what we're smoking to talk, to enjoy each other's company. Is it still like that? So, no. So there was finally so much pressure within the last few years. They finally got rid of it. Now you can get service in there, but I just thought it was brilliant. And it was someone who I met in there and we were chatting and he said, you know, it's really the great equalizer in the sense that he's like, I never would have met you if it weren't for this place.

And even if they didn't have this, we might have been in here. We wouldn't have spoken to each other. We might've sat at separate tables, been sitting there on our phone the whole time, and we wouldn't have actually had this happen. And so it was just such a revelation for me. And I really respect kind of what they had built at that place.

Cause it's a very communal kind of environment. And, um, we're lucky that we've been able to find so many other places that we're able to, you know, enjoy ourselves like that.

**Grinder:** I, I, I was going to, I was taking a cynical lens to that and suspecting some kind of, uh, Covert psyops who is trying to dissect your, your cell service and stuff like that.

And that's Grindr guys. [01:06:00] Um, but, but I, I, I, the, the sentiment that you're, that you're relaying here is something that I've reflected on a lot because for me in my life, um, This is something that's important to me, interacting with you guys, having friendships with other men who have like interests and you can just talk.

And I'm not, I'm not trying to be silly or too deep on this, but a lot of my day is spent in front of, in front of a screen or managing chaos with a toddler and a, and a baby and a stay at home mom and my office upstairs and traveling all across the country. And there's just a lot of bullshit. And. I don't get to smoke as many cigars as I used to, but I do look forward to connecting with you guys because I need that connection.

Yeah, we all do. I need to sit here without looking at my damn phone. And I need to, this is something that I think men need. And, and, and, and we should embrace and, and, and, and have this place of ours to, to [01:07:00] share in our. frustrations, our joy, our love. And, um, you know, every time I leave, I'm inspired by, by you guys.

And I get a little burst of energy and, and, and I crave it. I find myself seeking it out. Um, and it's not so much the cigars, it's just like the atmosphere, you know, the, the, the talking about things that are introspective, talking about things that are mundane, it doesn't matter. Um, and that, and that's what I, I think that's something that we can all enjoy and embrace.

And, and, and I'm sure our lizards enjoy as well. They're lizard

**Gizmo:** listeners. And, you know, before we get back to the cigar, we have to note that since this podcast started, we've had two lizards that had babies. Yeah, man. Grinder and Senator. We've gone through this journey. We have lizard infants. Lizard infants.

Yeah. True lizards. Geckos.

**Bam Bam:** Geckos. They graduate to lizardhood.

**Gizmo:** Mini iguanas. It's incredible how many life things we've all [01:08:00] experienced together and we're still experiencing now. I mean,

**Bam Bam:** once

**Grinder:** reading cigar magazines, that's what I

**Senator:** was going to say, you'll be proud to know my son's first proper crawl was to pursue a cigar aficionado magazine that I had on the floor and he crawled right up to it and grabbed it.

This, this is,

**Grinder:** this is,

**Poobah:** did you whisper in his ear bullshit ratings,

**Grinder:** I was going to say this is like a, this is like an era. Um, for me in my life, and it's, and it's, it's around these things and there's, there's clear lines of, of transition in my life from buying a home, getting a dog, having a baby, and getting married. And I've, I've shared all that with you guys. Yeah. You have.

Yeah. And now it's who I am. Yep. And I get to, I mean, I, god damn, I, I'll be friends with you guys for life if I have any control over that, right? Yes, sir. And, um, it's something that I really value and I'm so grateful

**Gizmo:** for all of you. And the fact that we've been able to extend that beyond these walls, you know, through these [01:09:00] microphones to these amazing people out there that listen to us every week.

Yeah. I mean, for me, like a formative moment with this group in our podcast was when we started getting emails from listeners or how about gifts? And now they're sent, you know, spirits, spirits, cigars and cigars. Amazing. We're revealing, I mean, we have a a, a run of cigars coming up that are all listener set.

Unreal. That's unreal. That's incredible.

**Rooster:** But you know what? I got to mention something about none of this would happen without Gizmo. Of course. No, there would not be a podcast.

**Gizmo:** Our fearless leader. That's true. So we're very grateful to you. I wanted to let everybody know now that we're at episode 100, Bam Bam's going to be taking over

**Bam Bam:** as the producer of the podcast.

I'll be like, Mrs. Bam Bam, get the checkbook. We're going to hire this out.

**Grinder:** I'm subcontracting

**Senator:** that work.

**Bam Bam:** Episode 101 will

**Senator:** be airing in 2026.

**Bam Bam:** We're on hold for about a year.

**Poobah:** Senator Bill O'Reilly would

**Gizmo:** say. [01:10:00] That's tomorrow. That is

**Senator:** it for us today. We will leave

**Bam Bam:** you with a, I can't

**Grinder:** do it. Fuck it. We'll

**Bam Bam:** do it live.

**Gizmo:** That Bill O'Reilly moment was hilarious. That was early on. Oh yeah. Pagoda. Something happened with Pagodas headphones or his mic or something.

Oh yeah.

**Senator:** GI G started losing his shit. and then they,

**Gizmo:** UBA Puba pulled up the clip. . Incredible. So boys we're about halfway through here on the paone. 50 years. Mado the hammer. Half it for some. Yeah. Pagodas almost done. Yeah, he is. He's gonna have to light another one. True, true. Episode 100, you're gonna have to have two fifties tonight.

Absolutely. But this is, uh, this is incredible. At

**Senator:** this point I feel like what's gonna. Enhance the flavors we're getting we have an additional pairing tonight that I absolutely need to

**Gizmo:** let's do it boys, please So we have the Balvenie which we've done. I believe two other Balvenies on the podcast We did the double wood 12 that we all love and the 14 karat.

Yeah, Caribbean cask fantastic Tonight we have the 21 year aged port wood, which [01:11:00] was a special expensive bottle special Yeah age 21 years finished in port cask is are we allowed to take a drink now? Let's take a sip boys

**Poobah:** It's

**Gizmo:** fantastic. Oh my gosh, it's fantastic. So now here's yeah, so this is a 350 bottle 21 year age scotch

**Senator:** Which you know, what's a shame during the pandemic during 2020. This bottle was 250. It's got up 100. No, what's

**Gizmo:** crazy, dude This was actually marked down where I bought it from 4. 20 to 3. 50. That's, I mean, that's like Habano's price model.

Am I crazy?

**Bam Bam:** Are people

**Grinder:** drinking that much scotch anymore? That like these prices are just, I'm sure. Oh yeah.

**Senator:** Guess who we have to thank for that? The

**Gizmo:** Asian market.

**Grinder:** But you know, things are gonna change. Uh, things are changing in Asia. , ,

**Pagoda:** even over here, as people go back to work, uh, I, I think a lot of, uh, the drinking's gonna be down and a lot of cigar smoke's gonna be down.

**Grinder:** I think. I think the [01:12:00] drink, it, it got, I mean, if people are going back into metropolitan areas and commuting, there's gonna be more city drinking. Elements as well, but you're not going to be finding these rare, you know, high. Yeah,

**Pagoda:** I'm talking about the bottles, right? Like, you know, the prices hopefully will stabilize.

Yep. All right, that's it. I think inflation speaked.

**Gizmo:** So, you know what I want to say about our pairings tonight? On the first half of the cigar, I really liked having the Paul Roger with it. And now that we're kind of at this halfway point, moving to the Balvenie. Is, is, it's an amazing start to that second half of the experience tonight.

The experience

**Bam Bam:** has become much richer and bolder, and I think the pairing is outstanding. And if I'm crazy, maybe I'm crazy for you, all of you experts in this room. When I take my first sip on the front, I feel like I'm tasting the barrel itself. I can taste that barrel. It's unusual. It's like a oaky, a little sweet and very rich and a faint hint of sherry in the background.[01:13:00]

**Grinder:** Fantastic. I don't know anything about this gotch, so, uh. This is, this is a blind tasting for me. That's also

**Gizmo:** surprising. Yeah. I was in shock. It's just the first time you've had this. I know, right? this. He's dumbfounded. Me too. I've not had this before. And we appreciate it. Wasn't expecting

**Grinder:** that. Neither was I.

It's definitely blind and it's definitely delicious.

**Pagoda:** This is the most aged scotch I've ever, ever had in my life. Really? 21 years, yeah.

**Gizmo:** Wow. Yeah. This is, this is really, you know, you talk about pairing complexity. You know, the complexity that we discussed in this cigar, even at its halfway point, it's still throwing things at me that I was, that I'm not expecting.

You know, the draws are, are, are brilliant. Every draw, I'm getting a little something different. And when I put this scotch in my mouth and draw the cigar with it, I'm actually getting more. You are. I think I'm getting more of the earthiness. I'm getting more of the cedar. It's, it's really a match made in heaven.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, for me, it's pulling more sweetness out of the cigar for me personally.

**Grinder:** For sure. This is, you can definitely taste that port, Ben. Right? Yeah. It's [01:14:00] like an aftertaste of port.

**Bam Bam:** I'm, I'm glad you said

**Senator:** that. Really, it's right there. Yeah. This is the thing I think Balvini does better than anybody with Scotch.

We, we, Giz mentioned we did the Caribbean cask, right? That's finished in a... X rum barrel. This is finished in an export barrel. The flavor that in the crazy thing is like this is 21 years. If you read on this box, it says the first 20 years are in. It doesn't specify. So either American oak or a sherry cask.

It's the last year that's finished in the port would

**Gizmo:** Cask and it's taking so much of that on. Exactly.

**Senator:** It's unbelievable. And I think you get that throughout what they do. Like same with the Caribbean cast, you get those like little rum notes in there. It just like balances out the flavors. So, well, I haven't seen really any other distillery in Scotland do that as well.

Like when they finish it in a particular type of cast, that's had some other spirit before you really get it. And it's not in like a gimmicky way that it. [01:15:00] overpowers the traditional scotch notes you would get, it just complements it perfectly.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, and you have to assume because port is so rich, that brief moment that it's in that cask, it just takes so much flavor out of it because

**Senator:** it's so rich, right?

Are we even, I guess, I mean, Dalmore, I'm not a huge fan of, but we did that Dalmore cigar malt once. That was incredible. And that was finished in like, I think a wine, an ex wine barrel. That was delicious. And we were getting those notes, we were like, this is incredible. These, these blenders and distill, I mean, some of the stuff they do is just remarkable.

**Poobah:** Yeah. There's like a little bit of a fruit note that's going on in the be just, but it's not overpowering. Mm-hmm. And, um, that port comes through. But I will argue, I could argue that drinking champagne through this whole cigar would've been

**Gizmo:** is fantastic. Yeah. It would've been just fine. I know, it's actually, I, I was like, I would, we didn't need to drop the three 50 would've been

**Poobah:** fine.

Yeah. I mean, because, because the interplay of the. This cigar is [01:16:00] very balanced and I don't want to imply that it has any kind of overpowering strength at all because it doesn't for me. It's, it's super, super balanced. The cleansing aspect, like how the champagne cleanses your palate between draws, like to me, if I actually had to choose between.

Taken a journey. If you're like, all right, you can drink champagne or you can drink this through the cigar. I'm drinking the champagne through the

**Gizmo:** cigar.

**Pagoda:** No, but you know what it is, what you start off with, right? If you were doing the belvedere from the very beginning, then that you're sticking with

**Gizmo:** that.

Then you're sticking with it. I'm happy with the half and half here. I'll

**Senator:** be honest. So obviously I'm, I'm love champagne. I'm obsessed with champagne, but for me, perfectly candidly, I prefer champagne with Cuban cigars. Um, and I prefer a spirit with more body with new world cigars. Now to Puba's point, I do think, and everybody, I think agrees on this, that that first half paired really well with the [01:17:00] champagne.

I take nothing away from that, but I do think this as you, especially once we get to the last third, it's going to pick up even more. And that's where I think it does benefit from something with a bit more intensity and structure like a scotch, especially something this premium that. Just personally, I, I prefer as a pairing, but with Cuban cigars, I mean, truly, we've, we've obviously talked many times about the, you know, night out on my deck, the caviar night that night.

I don't remember that night. Well, most

**Gizmo:** of us remember

**Poobah:** everyone except you. We're not surprised. I

**Pagoda:** think that that's a night we should discuss.

**Bam Bam:** Wasn't the plumber called that night? I mean, I

**Senator:** became the plumber that night. I

**Gizmo:** tried, I got fired as the plumber.

**Poobah:** Senator had to come out with like, like tools that like he had never used, that he, that he bought off of Amazon.

**Gizmo:** They still had the plastic on them. Yeah. They still had like

**Poobah:** the plastic on, on, on, on like the [01:18:00] top of, you know, on the top of the wrenches and stuff and like bringing this thing out.

**Rooster:** All I remember from that night is Senator telling me. Can you get Gizmo out

**Gizmo:** of this bathroom?

**Senator:** The funny thing for the listener, just imagine I'm out on the deck and I'm looking through this sliding glass door into my own house and there's a line to use the restroom. I'm like, why would there ever of us were men? How long does it take to use the bathroom? Like, how could there be a line if I go in?

And Gizmo has been in there for God knows how long, trying to unclog a sink that he's, uh,

**Grinder:** he's clogged. This is a form of an accountability.

**Gizmo:** The second time, Bam, a year and a half later. Oh, it's

**Bam Bam:** well deserved.

**Grinder:** He

**Bam Bam:** lives,

**Poobah:** he lives that. Reality. Every week we do

**Bam Bam:** this. I'm very bitter

**Grinder:** about it. I'm still on retainer, by the way.

So yes, you are. Send me your invoice.

**Poobah:** And the sink, the sink is like, the sink is very beautiful and very

**Gizmo:** modern and

**Poobah:** [01:19:00] minimalist. And it's like, it's like the last. The first type of thing that the sink was designed to

**Bam Bam:** accept was a gizmo

**Poobah:** was, was vomit. And uh, and why, you know, no one's still to this day really knows why, why the vomit actually ended up in the sink instead

**Senator:** of the toilet, right next to

**Poobah:** the toilet, right next to it.

So it was a complete loss of, of, of function. Um, I think, I think

**Grinder:** that night to me made me realize it. that you're just, you, you need to, you need to mature your palate when it comes to liquor. And I was thinking to myself, I feel like this is the first time this

**Poobah:** guy's puked because of, because of booze.

Because like,

**Gizmo:** Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Goddammit grinder. Oh

**Poobah:** no, no, no, no, no. It was not. It's regal. It's not the first time he puked.

**Gizmo:** Rooster's car

**Bam Bam:** went from

**Grinder:** gray to green. [01:20:00] Accountability hour. Redux.

**Poobah:** Are we, are we going here?

**Gizmo:** Two very memorable episodes on this podcast. Boys. Yes.

**Poobah:** Two very memorable episodes. I mean, uh, Hey, look, you know, Uh, kids had to do payroll. It was two in the morning and he said, I have to go do payroll. And, uh, I looked at rooster, rooster looked at me and, uh, we said, payroll, it's two in the morning.

**Gizmo:** It was a Saturday night.

People got to get paid. It was a Thursday night, Thursday night, because I left. You left because I, yeah, we got kicked out of the lounge and we went to another place to smoke and no, it all happened there. Well, yes,

**Poobah:** that's true. And then, uh, then I say, then I proceeded to save your life. You

**Gizmo:** did. Oh, no, I'm very grateful.

As I said on that episode. Uh, yes, but I think, I

**Grinder:** think, I think Rooster has, uh, some, some. Uh, life [01:21:00] saving skills in this narrative as well. Yeah, you guys sure you chauffeured

**Gizmo:** him home. Yeah, I drove me all the way home and I lost my glasses. His car

**Grinder:** paid the price. Oh yes, that's right. But

**Gizmo:** you're a good car wash in the morning.

You're a good man. It wasn't, it wasn't so bad, dude. But I do

**Poobah:** think that.

**Gizmo:** No, no, no. My man rooster.

**Pagoda:** Thank you, but that, but that fable was returned, I guess, to rooster as well.

**Bam Bam:** Did I miss something? I

**Rooster:** wasn't

**Senator:** too much.

**Rooster:** That's just funny. Cause I don't

**Bam Bam:** see that. Pagoda is keeping secrets.

**Grinder:** We leave it at that. I don't see that. You were there,

**Senator:** the Bonnie Ellis night.

**Rooster:** Ah,

**Gizmo:** he drove me home, but that was it. That was the extent. There was no car. There was no car wash. We will never know.

There was no car wash. And there was no,

**Bam Bam:** we choked roost. Uh, what was it? Raccoons at night.

**Gizmo:** Oh, boys, this thing of [01:22:00] ours. It's beautiful. Even in it's even in its nightmarish moments, it's still beautiful. I

**Rooster:** remember you looking at

**Poobah:** me. He's looking at me, Mr. Mr. Singh,

**Rooster:** he's

**Poobah:** pouring shivers regal and he puts his hand over his cup and

**Rooster:** he pours his hand over

**Poobah:** his cup and Mr. Singh just looks at him and this guy's got a turban on there, knives in it, like, you know, like

**Rooster:** he's fully weaponized this

**Poobah:** guy. He's like a restaurant owner. He's a millionaire and he like, he like looks at him and he, and he just like moves his hand away and just, he moves, gives his hand away and just fills his glass up with shivers.

**Rooster:** And I remember him

**Gizmo:** pouring

**Rooster:** through his fingers. He poured

**Bam Bam:** through the

**Rooster:** fingers. He poured it through the fingers. It's like, no, you must. No, you must.

**Gizmo:** Indian hospitality. [01:23:00] Yes. Yes. How do you say

**Poobah:** no? Yes. And, and, and, and he was like, okay, okay. And then, you know, 25 minutes go by and he goes, I have to do payroll.


**Gizmo:** bullshit. It was all of a sudden I got to do

**Rooster:** payroll.

**Poobah:** Giz is so

**Rooster:** uncomfortable right now.

**Poobah:** If this

**Grinder:** were a

**Rooster:** video,

**Bam Bam:** I love it. I love it. I'm moving. I'm

**Gizmo:** squirming. Stop

**Rooster:** squirming. He's

**Poobah:** a justice. Sing the mic endlessly and needlessly. Guess knows

**Pagoda:** the truth. He can edit all of this.

**Gizmo:** And I won't cause I'm content first boys. So I have a little surprise for you guys tonight. Wow. I haven't shared with you. You always have surprises that I thought was pretty cool.

So earlier this year, I actually, even after all the stories, we just told all the stories. I don't know. I'll pass on the bouchard. No chocolate. [01:24:00] Uh, so earlier this year, I had this brainy idea. I was working with, uh, with an artist that I know, uh, who I love. And, uh, he does some amazing stuff. I have actually some things in my home that he's done.

And I actually had a, Lizard watercolor done custom what that I got you guys all prints of what and I sent him pictures of all of us and he built What the lounge scene

**Bam Bam:** I got to get up and look at the

**Gizmo:** lizards We have to get up so this is all is that this is the seven of us in abstract I told him to make it whoa crazy, and I

**Bam Bam:** actually see pagoda clearly

**Gizmo:** Beautiful.

Beautiful. So here you are boys. You can take it. Pass it around.

**Bam Bam:** I see Rooster's head.

**Gizmo:** So it's abstract. It's not, uh, I told him I didn't want absolute likenesses. Um, but I asked him to make a cigar lounge type of view. You can see the Lizard logo in the back.

**Pagoda:** And let me start the Lizard [01:25:00] lounge.

**Gizmo:** You can see the Lizard logo on the wall.

How many people are in that? I, I told him to put eight. I actually sent a picture of, uh, Lizard John. You can see Lizard John's in there too. Wow, it was right after John passed. So is that a scene from here? No, it's a scene I asked him to just make something abstract with watercolor. I sent him some photos, I said use these as reference.

And kind of paint his vision of what a cigar lounge is. So I actually have prints for all of you guys. Oh wow. That I'll give you in the next coming weeks. But it's a pretty large watercolor done. That's a

**Bam Bam:** tremendous gift. Yeah, it's awesome. And I'm looking

**Gizmo:** at you with serious eyes. I love you guys.

Tremendous. And I love this thing of ours. That's crazy. So I have that hanging in my office now. Wow. As, again, it's abstract, but... Yeah, it's cool. Huzzah. I sent, uh, sent the seven photos of the boys. Is that

**Poobah:** me with the glasses, like, in a

**Gizmo:** huge pot of smoke? It could be. It could be. There's no specifics of who's who.

It's very abstract. I just sent some photos and, and, uh, he painted a picture of a [01:26:00] cigar

**Senator:** lounge. I think the only one that's not in the abstract is Rooster on the left.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, that's very accurate. This is

**Poobah:** wild. Oh, my God,

**Gizmo:** it's heavy. Yeah, so I had it framed at Michael's, but I have prints for you guys in frames coming.

I didn't want to bring it all tonight because it would have been a lot. You are the man. But, uh, yeah, so I got that done earlier this year. It's really, uh, it's pretty cool. Too much. Artist is named Frank Koran, K O R A N. He does incredible watercolor work of buildings, of people. And, um, yeah, so I had him do this amazing.

I think I talked to him in March. Beautiful. And I've been holding onto this for three months. Oh, wow.

**Grinder:** This is why you have a good

**Gizmo:** frame guy. I do have a good frame

**Poobah:** guy. I

**Rooster:** think I'm, I'm, I'm the balding guy in

**Poobah:** the glasses.

**Gizmo:** So that, I like this discussion. I said, don't make it specific. I wanted it to be abstract.

Yeah. And you can see Lizard John in there too. So yeah. [01:27:00]

**Rooster:** There's a John

**Grinder:** very cool. We should we should you should uh, let his sons know that I will

**Gizmo:** Yeah, I first I wanted to let you guys know first, of course, but you yeah you so I actually already have frames and stuff I'm just waiting on the prints. And yes, I'm the next I think

**Poobah:** that's so cool.

Thank you so much. I think that's so cool That's awesome. It's really awesome. He's

**Gizmo:** a good artist. Yeah. And I sent them the lizard logo to put in the back. I see that. I said that has to be in there. I don't care what else is in there, but the, the lizard logo, would you say that's

**Rooster:** that's so from the left, that's me.

And then Puba

**Gizmo:** Senator Puba that Senator on the rooster. I'm sorry. Rooster Puba. Um, I would say that's me. I would say... The guy standing up is

**Senator:** Pagoda. Who am I, honestly? I think I'm

**Gizmo:** standing up. that could be. That's Lizard John with the hat. Yeah.

**Senator:** Oh, that

**Gizmo:** makes sense. My man.

**Poobah:** Beautiful. That's gotta be Pagoda standing

**Grinder:** up.

I think I'm standing [01:28:00] up. I think Pagoda's sitting down. He's darker. He's a darker man.

**Gizmo:** So I'll put this up on the Instagram

**Bam Bam:** so the lizards

**Poobah:** can fucking racist. How is that racist? Oh, let's keep it

**Gizmo:** civilized. I cursed. Is that okay? Is that okay? It wouldn't be the first time. It won't

**Rooster:** be the last.

**Gizmo:** That's awesome. I love it.

**Poobah:** That's really cool. I mean, I love it. It is really. It's a really cool paint. It's just a cool painting. It's excellent.

It is really

**Gizmo:** excellent. Yes. You guys will have prints of it too. I want

**Poobah:** one. I'm going to put one in my office. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** and I wanted it to be abstract enough that if somebody came in your office, they're not like, Oh, that's you. Right. You know what I mean? Like, it's just a, uh, portrait of, uh, that experience that we're talking about sitting in a lounge with your friends, having cigars in conversation, maybe two, three conversations happening at the same time.

It's really depicting your bad self. This thing about it. Look at your bad self. Listen, we're very [01:29:00] lucky, man. When you

**Bam Bam:** do something like that, that's abstract, it makes it timeless.

**Senator:** I just, gizmo, the gizmo, the growth is just

**Rooster:** unbelievable.

**Gizmo:** Look at him. I mean, we went from puke stories to, here's a custom painting.

**Rooster:** He's commissioning art now. He is.

**Poobah:** Unbelievable. He's commissioning art. He went from eating Bouchard chocolates. puking in this car, wearing hoodies, puking in your sink. And now it's commissioning art.

**Rooster:** I

**Poobah:** think it's a technical, technical

**Grinder:** genius. I think, I think all of us go through that cycle at some point.

His learning curve was just a little

**Rooster:** steeper than

**Gizmo:** pretty intense too.

**Pagoda:** It's from Costco all the way to Balvini 21. If you would have graphed that within a year,

**Bam Bam:** this is

**Grinder:** speaking of Balvini, this is The port on this is so, I think right now it's blending perfectly

**Gizmo:** with the cigar. Yeah, I just took the band off of [01:30:00] my cigar and I'm definitely sensing it, as Senator was saying, starting to pick up a little bit.

A bit. In strength, but it's still so smooth. Very smooth. Like I would say it's not a medium cigar. I would say it's a full cigar. But the delivery is just so complex and smooth. Yeah. It's world class,

**Poobah:** man. Oh, sure. I mean, this is like...

**Senator:** Oh, man. The, the funny thing about this, uh, this Balvenie 21. So, a few of the Lizards will remember this.

I think, uh, Rooster was definitely there. I think Bam was there. During COVID, when, uh, some of us had went up to, uh, Woodstock. Um, basically everyone was so cooped up. And, um, we had organized at our former lounge, just a little trip up to this hotel that a guy knew the owner of. Oh, yeah. during the pandemic.

So we can just go somewhere. And, um, they had a great giant fire pit. We brought a bunch of cigars and we did a little fun thing with scotch where we said, everybody has to bring a different bottle of scotch. Nobody can bring the same thing. Nothing younger than 12 years, nothing younger than 12 years and nothing more than I think we set a cap on like maybe 150 a bottle.

Everybody followed that [01:31:00] except one, our very good friend, Dave. Um, who brought the Balvenie 21, uh, Portwood, and then we had tried all these different scotches and we did like a kind of blind ranking of which were our favorites and this one handily as you'd expect. I mean, it is just, honestly, to me, this is one of the best high end scotches, period.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Most of the. Scotches that are over 18 years old. They're not interesting, right? We prefer the 12 year for some of those makers. This

**Senator:** is different. And the other thing I will say, again, I've been very lucky. I've had 30 year scotches, some crazy stuff. A lot of those higher, more age scotches, some of them are too intense.

Like they, they have a real serious bite. Like they're not enjoyable. I, for me, a really premium spirit. You, you kind of just want to be able to appreciate neat. We're all drinking this neat, every single one of us and enjoying it. It's smooth, but flavorful and complex and a lot of these other ones I've tried.

They're [01:32:00] just so aggressive. I'm like dying to just throw a few ice cubes in there because it just needs to mellow out. So I just think it's like the perfect, it's the perfect pace for like a really enjoyable kind of refined evening.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And, and that's exactly it. I think if I'm going to sit at home and sip a scotch on a birthday, Christmas, something, I'm not going to go this crazy.

But what, in a moment like this where you're celebrating with, with friends, people you really care about it, this is delivering what I think is the value that I'm getting out of it tonight. Yeah. I, I think it's a really, really excellent scotch.

**Bam Bam:** You know, the more I drink it, I'm getting honey notes and it's settling in and it just gets tastier and tastier as I get

**Senator:** deeper in.

So I'll read the, it has tasting notes on the side of the box. It says. A perfume of ripe raisin notes and fruit skins is backed by a dryness with hints of almonds and walnuts to taste it. Is silky with fruit, syrupy [01:33:00] honey sweetness, as Bam was saying. Uh, leather oak, a number of guys talked about the oak, uh, in the barrel.

Uh, tannins and notes of ginger and cinnamon. Its finish is long, gentle, and nutty. I think that fairly well sums

**Gizmo:** up. Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of the times when, you know, we read these tasting notes on the side of the box, it's a little...

**Pagoda:** I mean, we, we keep trying to look and

**Bam Bam:** look for those

**Poobah:** inspirational.

**Rooster:** I

**Gizmo:** think, I think contrived.

Yeah. Yeah. And forced. Yeah. It's, you know, it's like fruity decadence, right? I mean, it's no honeysuckle tonight as we've laughed about, but this is just, it's just such, such an excellent spirit, even at its age. I mean, and the fact that it's only been in a port barrel for under a year. is shocking, how much you're getting of that, that finishing, uh, flavor.

But it's

**Grinder:** not, it's not, it's not overwhelming, the port. No, it's just like a little, you just get it, you know. It's definitely there, but it's not something that you're like, wow. You [01:34:00] don't taste, it doesn't feel like you're drinking a

**Poobah:** port, in other words. No, how much is a bottle of Macallan 18? 3.

**Gizmo:** 50. Around this price?

Yeah. Oh, please.

**Poobah:** So, you see what I'm saying?

**Gizmo:** I'd have this any day the week go, I'd take this 10 times outta 10 would take this over it. That's what I'm saying. Yep. And that's to BA's point, you know, the Macallan 18, we well prefer the take price out of it. Take price out of it. We well prefer the Macallan 12.

Yep. Sherry cast, Sherry cast, I

**Poobah:** think on the exception grind grinder. Yeah, I was gonna say grinder. Put your point of view forward. 'cause I know you love that. I think I, I

**Grinder:** just, it, I think the, if you go from 12 to 15 to 18, there are gaps. That are there and you can taste it, but the jump from 12 to 15th is, I think it's very noticeable.

I think the jump from 15 to 18 is very small. Nonetheless, I think the 18 is fantastic and is so smooth and I love it. However, it's something that I only, it's not something [01:35:00] I seek out. I would, if sitting down having a cigar, I'll go for a 12. Nine outta 10 over an 18, because 18 is just

**Rooster:** a special

**Gizmo:** occasion for me.

But do you prefer this

**Rooster:** over the 18 Macallan? Uh, 18, I mean, price, price point being the same.

**Gizmo:** Um,

**Grinder:** no, but, but very soft. No. , if that makes any sense. .

**Pagoda:** No, that makes sense. And the Macallan 15 is, it's not very good. I, I dunno. So

**Senator:** I wanna just go there. So I am, I'm, I'm actually. I'm not far from where Grindr is in the sense that I recently, this year, re explored Macallan 18, and I was very pleasantly surprised.

It was much better than I remembered it. Um, so I think there is merit to Macallan 18. The value of the 12 year is just so hard to argue with. Um, so with Macallan, we love the 12. I very much, I used to shit all over the 18 full disclosure. I've come to appreciate it more. I think everything grinder has said about the [01:36:00] 18 is exactly right.

The only problem I have is the 15. So ironically that night we went up to Woodstock during the pandemic. And I was telling that story where we had this, someone brought McCallum 15. I. Really think McAllen, that one year, that one expression, they have like, totally missed the mark. Like, McAllen 15 tastes nothing like the 12, nothing like the 18.

It's harsh, it's got a bite, the flavors were muddled. I, that's the one thing I just really don't appreciate that they've done. And I love McAllen as a brand. The thing I'll give Balvini credit for, I'm stunned. I've, I think I've tried just about everything they make. I've had the 12 and there's two 12s, right?

There's 12 double wood and then the 12 single barrel. That's right. We've done the 14. Yep. I've had the 17, which I really like. We've done, uh, we've all had the 21 now. The Caribbean 14. And yeah. And every single one of those is a great bottle. They're delicious. There's not one of them that [01:37:00] I have a problem with.

We're McAllen. I just. If they could just fix that 15, I really think that there's, it's inconsistent with the brand. I don't

**Grinder:** know. I, my experience with 15, I think I don't, I don't see the inconsistency there. Um, I think for me. I think if you were, if, if Puberter asked me the question right now, thinking about it more, I'd probably say not, not a soft, not a soft yes, but I don't know, is the right, is the right answer.

**Gizmo:** You're saying between the, the Macallan 18 and the Balbany 21.

**Grinder:** Exactly. Okay. Uh, because, because for me, for me, the Macallan, when you have those gradations, and then. You, you justify with the price points. The only thing that, that I, that I consistently came back to was like the jump from 12 to 15 and then jump from 15 to 18, the price difference is not commensurate with the taste difference.

And that was always a little troublesome for me. Got it.

**Gizmo:** And, uh, how much is the 15? I just want to. Point to that really quick. [01:38:00] Is it like 175? I think it's 150. 150.

**Senator:** Okay. But then again, sorry. It was 150 a bottle a few years ago. So now maybe it is closer to what you're saying. While

**Gizmo:** you're talking, I'll Google.

I'll do some Googling really quick. Uh, grinder, I didn't mean to

**Pagoda:** interrupt. The way I look at McAllen's and Belvaney's are like Davidoff's and Padrone's, meaning they're both very, very good. That's a good point. They're excellent. They're our go to scotches. And they're go to cigars.

**Senator:** I'm very glad, Pagoda, that's, I think, a brilliant comparison, and I just say that because When we were deciding what we were going to pair as far as, uh, a Scotch for tonight, um, someone threw out, like, should we get the McAllen Rare Cask?


**Gizmo:** I've had... We actually had a couple of listeners say, are you guys going to do this? Yeah. And we threw that

**Senator:** around. So I was at a friend's place for dinner and a fantastic friend who I, I have to just give... Quick credit too, because a lot of champagne that I've tried and fallen in love with and shared with everybody in this room has come from a friend of mine, uh, Alex, uh, New York.

And, um, I mean, I think you guys remember when I'm, you know, uh, [01:39:00] a 1990 something bottle of VUV Clicquot, like, you know, vintage, like crazy stuff I've drank with him. He's got an amazing palate, and we opened up a bottle of McAllen Rare Cask one night, and it drinks like a barrel strength, high proof bourbon.

It's very, very aggressive. And for some people, I get, like, they like that. For me, I need ice. I cannot have something, and I know it is higher proof. I don't know what the proof on that spirit is. You're very delicate. But... Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. I mean, we're sitting here saying McAllen 15 is harsh, let alone this.

And I just think like the, the analogy Pagoda makes, it's like, you know, Davidoff, as much as there are some cigars that they make that we absolutely love, they come out with a lot of these really random releases and they're very hit or miss. And I do think that McAllen, I mean, if you look, they have like, there's some crazy stuff.

Like I've seen people bring it. I'm like, I've never seen that before. And it's this random [01:40:00] release that McAllen came out with. And at the price point they're selling it at, you try it, you say it's good, but it's really not great. And it's certainly not worth 300 a bottle. And you just don't have that happen with Balvenie.

Like Balvenie just has a core line. There's no like random special releases. It's the 12, 14, 17, 21. That's it. They don't have these random other, um, releases. So I kind of like the Davidoff, Padrone comparison, and that's not to knock McAllen because some of the stuff they make is incredible. And I think they make, in my opinion, the best 12 year, the Sherry cask.

Um, but I, I almost wish they would just focus on a core line and not have so many others that I don't think live up to the same that the core many derivatives.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And I just think from my experience, obviously having the 21 now, I just think I prefer overall. I prefer Balvenie as a pairing scotch to my cigars.

Me too. Yeah. Like I, I'm always reaching for Balvenie over McAllen. When [01:41:00] I'm when I'm having a 12 sherry. Yeah, I love the double wood. I think

**Bam Bam:** I prefer the double wood with a cigar. I think Pumba would probably agree with you. I'm guessing. Oh, yeah.

**Gizmo:** No, no.

**Rooster:** Okay. Please make my case. No, I

**Poobah:** don't agree. No, I mean, uh.

The double wood is great. It's it's very approachable and it's, and it's, but it's not McAllen 12 Sherry cask, which will always, always forever from now until eternity, until the earth disintegrates and then regenerates itself will always be to me, We're getting

**Gizmo:** an astronomical, we're in the galaxy now of all

**Rooster:** time.

I think, I think this, this is a window into Puba's mind.

**Poobah:** No, like, like the Balvenie double would, yeah. Do you see a lot of it in my locker? Sure. But you see a lot of McAllen in my locker a lot too. I mean, um, no. [01:42:00] So the answer is no, it's a hard no. And McAllen 12 is, is the bee's knees in my view, in terms of an all around Scotch on a desert Island, if it's my last drink and I'm going to the, I'm going to the chair, I'm, I'm, I'm having a McAllen 12.

Uh, period, hard stop, no negotiation. That's

**Senator:** it. Yeah. I just think for me, again, I'm not knocking Balvenie Doublewood. I love the Doublewood. I have a bottle right here. Right. I think when Puba says like, it's very approachable to me, the difference is the Balvenie Doublewood is like supremely drinkable that for like a.

Night of volume consumption. It's doable. It's fantastic for that. Yeah. But I think that the McAllen 12 Sherry has more complexity. And so when I'm just going to have like a glass or two of scotch and I just want something to be complex and really pair with a fantastic cigar, I think that it's hard to beat the McAllen 12 Sherry.

That's, that's all

**Poobah:** in a conversation or [01:43:00] anything, the McAllen, McAllen 12, if you're going to sit down and have a talk, you're going to sit down with your, with your dad, you're going to sit down with your best friend. You're going to, to me, um, if I'm in a bar, I'm just saying, I want McAllen, you got McAllen 12 share.

Okay. That's what I'm going to have. That's what I'm ordering. But I'm

**Pagoda:** out. By the way, in Carnegie, we're known as the Balvini corner. Everybody drinks. Everybody drinks.

**Poobah:** Oh, yeah. Okay. I mean, I'm down with it. Yeah. I'm just saying it's too close to my heart. You know, it's, it's too personal. It's personal that I, I mean, my dad's cat,

**Rooster:** it's named McCown.

**Gizmo:** This is a family affair.

**Poobah:** I mean, it's like, you know, he named his cat McCowan, McCowan, cat animal. Pat, the other one's named Brian Williams. All right. Cause he came by during [01:44:00] the nightly news, a stray, and he took it in and it was

**Gizmo:** during, by the way, the vet sends reminders like Brian Williams is due for his, his rabies shot.

**Senator:** Does he have a

**Rooster:** button in his litter box that closes the door? No, that was Matt Lauer.

**Gizmo:** That's the next. Cat, I

**Rooster:** swear to God,

**Poobah:** though, you got to get this cat kept coming by, kept coming by, kept coming by. And, uh, finally they take this cat in, you know, he's down in Florida and they take the, the cat keeps coming by and the cat comes by at the same time.

And Brian is on the Brian Williams on this, call them Brian. That's pretty, that's pretty awesome.

**Gizmo:** That's pretty awesome.

**Poobah:** So, there's McAllen, he's drinking McAllen, and then he's got a cat named McAllen, and then the cat of the cat comes by, he calls him Brian Williams.

**Senator:** If I, if I

**Grinder:** have another dog, which I probably will, um, I, McAllen is in there, is in the roster [01:45:00] for, uh, potential names.

**Gizmo:** Absolutely. Just call him

**Rooster:** Mac for short. That's it. Hey, Mac, I was thinking the same thing. Call him Mac.

**Gizmo:** Mac. Mackey. Little Mac

**Poobah:** all, and by the way, all this cat does, it's totally not like a Macallan does. Which is, which is like what a Macal foster, it's like a catalyst for like socialization, . This cat hides into the bed like 24 hours a day.

You can't even find this animal. can't. You can't even find it. It doesn't even exist. It's hiding constantly. I'm like, where's Macau? He's like, he's outta the bed

**Bam Bam:** somewhere. He is somewhere.

**Pagoda:** I think it should be named it. It should have been him to drink with Rooster God last week.

**Gizmo:** The Haitian

**Bam Bam:** rum. The Haitian rum.

**Grinder:** What's the, what's the Indian scotch that you guys referenced before?

**Poobah:** Fucking cats under a bed. It's like rolling its own cigarettes.

You know what I mean? Like making appointments on a BlackBerry,

**Gizmo:** [01:46:00] BlackBerry

**Rooster:** blackberry,

**Poobah:** right? Sending its own emails and shit.

**Gizmo:** Oh God.

**Poobah:** Zero fucks about anyone else. I got a whole world under there. Exactly.

**Gizmo:** So boys, what are some other moments that you can think of that you point to as a seminal moments for you with the podcast?

Anything come to mind? I know, I know Pagoda's driving was a big one. Yes, it was.

**Bam Bam:** Thank you, Giz.

**Gizmo:** I haven't been in a car with Pagoda since.

**Bam Bam:** I don't think anyone should be.

**Senator:** That's why Pagoda got a car that drives for him. It's a Tesla now.

**Grinder:** I think the um, one of the most... Fun episodes and just general like you could you what you could remove the the mics from that that night and it would have been it would have been the same was the when we did the Particus Uh, Calabra.

**Gizmo:** Calabra. Yeah. That was special. That was a great night. That was a lot [01:47:00] of fun. That was, that was such a revelation. And, and you talk about cigars that we've done, that when we were, even before we hit record, we're sitting there going, holy shit, what is this going to be like? Is this, I mean, is this even like an episode that we're going to be able to do?

And then we split these age collaborators up. I think there were 12, 13, 14 years age. I don't remember that, that Rooster brought. And we, we liked them and we turned into like giddy little boys. It was, it was

**Rooster:** euphoric.

**Senator:** It was euphoric. It was. I remember we're sitting there smoking. Like this is amazing poop.

It's like, you know, what pair amazing with this right now? Champagne. Yeah. Senator,

can you go to the cellar and I, I literally, I ran in, got a vial, savor it. was just so. Unexpected. Spontaneous. Yeah. And unscripted and spontaneous. It was amazing. I showed

**Rooster:** up like

**Grinder:** midway through the pod from like a outing or something coming out, an Uber singing like some silly song, and I was already pretty drunk.

**Gizmo:** Had you, you [01:48:00] guys had a Collibra before that night? No. Never. Not? No. I had not. Had no, 'cause we thought it was gimmick.

**Senator:** Yeah. Every box of Calabria's I ordered was after that night. Me

**Gizmo:** too. Same. And there's, you know, you talk about a value cigar. People don't seek that cigar out. So you can find reasonably aged stuff at decent prices.

**Poobah:** Oh yeah. You, you, you know, I have some age ones that I picked up, which I was lucky enough to pick up before the prices went up and, uh, they. Age really, really, really well. I mean, phenomenally well, my hypothesis is that I would attribute it to one. It's, it's really good tobacco to that. The closeness, the, that, that coffin that the Calabras come in and how they set up over time together, just sitting together as three.

It really just, I think, creates magic that [01:49:00] if you haven't experienced it, do it because it's a different experience. It's floral. It's got the part of its DNA, but it's got this floral aspect to it that's really sophisticated. It's actually, it's kind of... Ironic or, or in that it's, it's, it looks so ugly, it does, but it's all, but, but it's so elegant.

**Gizmo:** It's out. Yeah. So for the listeners out there, Google part of his collaborate right now, if you don't know what we're talking about. So what it is, is it's three cigars. Kind of, how would you describe that? Intertwined. It's like they're braided. They're braided together and, and, and banded. They're rolled pretty wet so they can do that.

So when you take them apart, there's three cigars in there that you have, you smoke and you share with two friends. We obviously took a couple, uh, uh, braids apart for the podcast. And you take this thing out and it's this crooked, you know, Puba joked about Peyronie's disease. It's this weird, uh, [01:50:00] it's this weird looking cigar that you have in your hand and it's like, What in the hell am I lighting?

And then with this age on it, it was miraculous. It was incredible. That was maybe, that was probably the first cigar that we did on the podcast. That was an absolute shock.

**Bam Bam:** The dessert notes that we got on that was off the charts, off the

**Poobah:** charts. Very sophisticated smoke. Very. Yeah. It was incredible. In terms of flavor, flavor profile, like very, very complex.

They set up really nice. If you like part of this, the DNA. It's, it's, it's funny because it's ugly, but so

**Gizmo:** beautiful. And you know, that was some of the best Cuban tobacco that we've ever had. Yeah. Was that part of his Calabria? And that's the weird presentation.

**Pagoda:** I remember bang being very excited about it for some reason.


**Bam Bam:** bam, this is bam. Honestly, the first three draws into that. I was in love. It was very floral. Ah, and a lot of dessert spice in them. A lot of

**Poobah:** cinnamon. It's got that. Then it's got that part [01:51:00] of it.

**Bam Bam:** There's a biscuit note in there too. Delicious.

**Gizmo:** Really good. I want to smoke on right now. Me too, man. And you know, we talked, you know, we mentioned it earlier.

It's just like. Because of the podcast, you know, we put an episode out each week, alternating Cuban and non Cuban. We have to explore these cigars and marcas and Vitolas that we would have never reached for otherwise. And we've been able to share so many of those moments. I mean, it's honestly incredible how many cigars that we've, that we now have in our tower, because we said, you know what?

Let's do it

**Bam Bam:** so many new worlds. We'd never would have considered buying. Absolutely.

**Poobah:** Yeah. And still don't consider buying. No,

**Gizmo:** that's not true.

**Bam Bam:** No, no, no, not

**Pagoda:** true at all. And Puba has fallen in love with you. You fall in love. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** you have, you talk a big game, but you're not always a grumpy old man over there.

**Gizmo:** Let's talk about it.

**Rooster:** My biggest

**Bam Bam:** surprise.

**Rooster:** My biggest

**Senator:** surprise speaking of new worlds and Puba was we were going through, I think our short smoke. Specials. Yep. We have one coming up, by the way. And I [01:52:00] remember we were talking about the Papas Fritas. Oh, and I just remember looking over at Puba and he's just got this funny smirk on his face as if this cigar wasn't new to him.

And I've certainly, I'd never heard Puba mention a Papas Fritas before that. And he told us a secret. And he told us a little secret. He's like, I may have some of these by Hubidor. And he

**Rooster:** kind of kept it quiet from us, but he was very

**Gizmo:** familiar with the Papas Fritas. What? Photos he sends on the group chat.

Oh, yeah. And what photos

**Rooster:** he does not. Well,

**Poobah:** As the short smoke goes, the Papas Frutis, which is,

**Gizmo:** uh, By the way, we have that coming up in a few episodes. Yeah, it's a Liga Provada Papas Frutis.

**Poobah:** It, it, is a, is a good, it's a good short smoke. It comes in a little tiny 50 cap, and they are actually good. Um, They're delicious.

But, I mean, I'm talking, but, but more broadly, I mean, We've had, there's been some, there's, we've had some real collision [01:53:00] courses. We've had some head on collisions.

**Gizmo:** Look at the Las Calaveras, the Nightmare Before Christmas. I can't even remember these

**Poobah:** names. You know the names. I mean, what are the names? What are the worst cigars that we smoked?

**Senator:** Pull them up. What Gizmo just said, that is by far the worst. The worst cigar. We have ever smoked was I here for that

**Grinder:** wasn't here for it. I think you got very lucky. It was intentionally not here. Thank you.

**Poobah:** Jesus been baby Jesus that I wasn't here. The didn't have to waste the the

**Grinder:** true estates that we've tried were were always pretty

**Gizmo:** good.

Yeah, I think so. So some of the worst cigars we've ever smoked. What are the worst cigars? The Hoyo de Nicaragua Antonio was a 5. 0. Dude, that broke my

**Grinder:** heart. That really did. Because

**Senator:** that, that's, but that, so I'm with you, Brett. It's because it was a large ring gauge, which you should never smoke that in. And it was a little wet from that.

Very wet,

**Gizmo:** yeah. So, uh, another one that did not perform well was My Father the Judge. Got a 5. 6. [01:54:00]

**Poobah:** I was there

**Gizmo:** for that. That was shit. San Cristobal de la Habana. Shit, I was there for that.

**Senator:** La punta. La punta. La punta.

**Gizmo:** La

**Poobah:** punta. It's like a

**Bam Bam:** punt. It does make, it makes

**Gizmo:** good fertilizer. 5. 9 on that. Thank you again, man.

Yes, sir. I'm just, I'm just going to do some fives. The Atabay Brujos Robusto got a 5. 8.

**Pagoda:** That was a shocker, right? This one. That was an

**Gizmo:** expensive one. Yeah, that was. Very expensive. This one was a major shocker. Oh, I know where it's going. The Opus. Yep. The, the, yeah. Oh,

**Bam Bam:** dude. That is so

**Gizmo:** expensive. Yeah. Oh, man.

That was a bad one. The Opus X Perfection 888. We got, that was a 6. 6. It wasn't in the fives. The one I was going to call as far as a major surprise for me was the Roman Ionis LCDH Superioris. Yes. Which got a. 5. 7. Very disappointing. Um, I'll skip over that one as we go through. Uh, what looks like the second worst cigar we've ever done on the podcast was a Cuban [01:55:00] Hoya de Monterrey, elegantes LCDH.

So that's two LCDH cigars with that extra band under five that got a 4. 8. The Caldwell long live the queen. Queen's sword got a 5. 1. And the San Cristobal, another San Cristobal, uh, it just, you know, in regional hero, Mal, Malaya, the Malaysia. Uh, regional was a 5. 8. And of course the worst cigar that we've done in a hundred and some odd episodes of this podcast was the crowned heads, Las Calaveras EL 2022 with a 3.


**Bam Bam:** Thank you. That's like, that's like

**Gizmo:** zero. Yeah, that was, uh, that was a bad one. That was a bad one. You know, it's, um,

**Senator:** I will say this though. I don't, I don't regret any of these cigars. No, I just say that because for any of the things that we're passionate about, that there's so much to try in that category.

Like people say, how do you, how do you know, you know, all these wine recommendations because I've spent a lot of money on bad wine to find good wine. [01:56:00] Yeah. It's just comes with the territory. And I think for all of us, it's like, We've tried to navigate this cigar world, figuring out, you know, what's great.

What's not. And the only way to do it is to try it all. And I think a huge value that hopefully we're providing for the listener is, you know, saving them some money for some of these absolute duds that we would go so far as saying, there is no smoker that would enjoy this cigar. Those are the cigars that they don't have to waste their time with.

That we've done that work for them. And for others, you know, some of them it's for a certain type of smoker. They would like this. And for others, they may not. And then obviously the spectacular ones that we think it doesn't matter what you like, you're going to love that cigar. And I think that's a huge value add.

**Gizmo:** There's a lot of cigars that have rated anywhere between, the lizards here, between 6 and 8. You know, and that's tying to your point of preference, just palate preference. Which is why we put up the individual ratings. So, you know, if you align with one of our palates more than another, It's, it's helpful to reference that, but the cigars we just named were just everybody across the board was [01:57:00] abysmal.

What was really bad? What are

**Poobah:** the top 10

**Gizmo:** new worlds? Top 10 new worlds. That's a great question. It's got to be the, my,

**Pagoda:** my father. Well, there

**Grinder:** was the number

**Bam Bam:** four, the warped. Don't forget America. Don't forget that's the

**Gizmo:** allegiance. That's a great cigar. Yeah. Okay. So, so some of the top cigars we've done here, not new world, the pledge, the L Senator, So, uh, do you want me to exclude Padrone or no?

Keep it in. Okay. So, uh, the best cigar we've ever reviewed as far as New Worlds go was on episode 53. We mentioned it earlier. The Padrone 80th anniversary Maduro, a flat 10. 0. The Davidoff Chef's Edition was a 9. 2 from 2021. The Padron 1964 Exclusivo was an 8. 6. I think the second highest cigar we've ever done, as far as New World's go, of course, boys, is the Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark, which was a 9.

9. [01:58:00] Oh yeah. That was an incredible cigar. Um, we've had a lot of nines. Davidoff Millennium Robusta was a nine flat. Warped Maestro Del Tiempo was a, of the 5205. That was a flat nine. That was a great cigar that we all rushed out to get. For 10

**Senator:** a stick. I had never even heard of that market before

**Gizmo:** we did that.

Yeah. The uh, Davidoff Millennium Lancero, 9. 1. Padron Family Reserve, number 85 Maduro, 9. 2 was another good one. And the Millennium Pyramides also from Davidoff, a 9. 0, uh, another Davidoff, again, Padron and Davidoff taking the, taking the heat here. Davidoff, late hour, Churchill, 9. 2.

**Poobah:** What about Cubans? What are the top Cubans?

Top 10

**Gizmo:** Cubans? So the top Cuban that we've done on the podcast was a flat 10 was the Ramon Iones, number two EL from 2019. That was a 10. 0 right behind that was the super aged, brilliant Lubb 14. Uh, H up in number two, which was a [01:59:00] 9. 8 Particus, uh, excuse me. Cohiba Lancero, 9. 6. The Los Stato's deluxe delirios from the 1970s that Rooster brought in a connoisseur corner, 9.

7. And the Vegas Robania Classical, of course, that we did on the New Year's Eve episode was a 9. 9. Oh boy. Yeah, so we've had some really, uh, really excellent, excellent singers. I could tell you right now, uh, I could tell you right now, his name is Pagoda. Pagoda! Jesus! Goddammit!

**Rooster:** Jesus! You can't drive and wait!


**Bam Bam:** I gotta keep it real. You gotta keep it real.

**Gizmo:** That's a

**Rooster:** 10. That is a 10. That cigar is a fucking 10.

**Bam Bam:** It's a 10 now. Listen,

**Pagoda:** I'd give it a 10, a 10, a 10.

**Senator:** On those ratings though, it goes back to what Puba said before and I appreciate him for this. Obviously Puba's been very militant about age with cigars and if you look at the only cigars I think that you mentioned that got a flat 10 [02:00:00] across every lizard that rated it.

Two. One was the Padrone 80th. That already is aged that I just tucked away for an additional four years and did wonders for that cigar. And the other was that Ramon Iones, uh, Limitada that also, like Poobah and I both bought boxes. He's the reason actually I, I had even pursued it in the first place. And when we both smoked those at first, we were very underwhelmed with that cigar.

And I just tucked it back there and didn't touch it for years. And brought it out for that pod and age, that's how that got a 10. It was a dramatically different smoke from when we first got those boxes.

**Gizmo:** I mean, some other nines, nines that we have to mention because we talked about them tonight. The Partica Series D number four, we did for the 2021 New Year's Eve episode 9.

2. The Coronas Callero QD 9.4. That was a great cigar. What about the

**Bam Bam:** leg, Gloria? That we did? What did we rate that? Remember that? Ooh, the Turo.

**Gizmo:** Turo. The Turo was an 8.8. Okay. We didn't do, we did the [02:01:00] number two, right? No, we did not. We did not do, we did not do the MD number two. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, that would be, you

**Gizmo:** know, that's gonna get, but that one's been discontinued for over 10 years.


**Poobah:** that's, that's a ridiculous.

**Grinder:** This is, this is, for the listeners, um, Gizmo is, is, has a cigar

**Bam Bam:** kebab right now. It's nothing like kebab. Cigar

**Gizmo:** kebab. I have a perfect draw stuck in the end of my. It looks like you're

**Poobah:** smoking a roach. It's

**Gizmo:** designed for that. It is. It's working brilliantly. I'm going to do that right now.

**Senator:** Yeah. I have to say, it's funny that, that Grindr This is

**Gizmo:** the first time I've ever done this on the

**Senator:** podcast. That's true. I've never seen you do that. Uh, it's funny grinder mentions this for whatever reason, just recently, the number of guys I've seen cigar smokers in our club, in our club, even outside of our club that have put some form of a modified roach clip basically to really smoke that cigar all the way down to the end.

I'm seeing this happen way more now than I've ever seen it. [02:02:00] There may be some merit to it. For me, it's very hard to imagine myself

**Rooster:** doing it. Really? But I would like to see that. It's just, it's a little undignified,

**Senator:** but there may be some merit to it. And

**Bam Bam:** I, I think it looks very classy. I think,

**Grinder:** I think you look like a

**Gizmo:** very,

**Grinder:** you look like a Victorian aristocrat smoking your little cigar, your little cigarettes slash

**Senator:** cigar.

To Griner's point, with the perfect draw, it actually does look dignified. I've seen some guys doing it with a toothpick lately, and it's not quite the same effect.

**Pagoda:** Senator, you will evolve for sure. Well,

**Gizmo:** I said on one of our recent episodes. You'll get here. It's all about

**Poobah:** value. You're squeezing as much value as you can.

**Senator:** I said on one of our recent episodes, I very much want to try, not with an expensive cigar. Clearly, if the guy, if Alex Groom, if, um, Who's the guy that wrote the [02:03:00] famous book before him? Oh, Min Ran Ni. Right. If these guys are willing to pour liquid on a cigar and smoke it and say that it actually enhances their experience, I'm

**Gizmo:** willing to try it.

So, but on what cigar would you do that? Because they do it on aged, like heavily aged cigars. Yeah, super old stuff. Padron

**Bam Bam:** 2000.

**Senator:** It's not a bad place.

**Rooster:** You're not willing to

**Gizmo:** risk.

So let me, let me name some

**Poobah:** other, let me name some other Cubans that

**Gizmo:** have done well. Well, I have it up here. The H up in Robustos on a hot host that we love got a 9. 6 spectacular cigar. This one was surprising to me cause I was expecting it to be a little bit of a dud. Uh, just knowing how the Anahatos program works and the Robustos Anahatos from Uppin being kind of an outlier, it wasn't the Partagus Coronis Gortis Anahatos got a 9.

7. That was an excellent cigar. Yes. Uh, and the Chidorce Senodorus EL, uh, was a [02:04:00] 9. 0. Yeah. I mean,

**Poobah:** can I editorialize for a minute? Sure. The Uppin Anahatos from Robusto is... Great cigar. Incredible. Yeah. That's a great cigar. That was... It's like nine. To me, it's a 10. I'm sure I

**Senator:** gave it a 10. That just, uh, about a month ago popped up on one of our sites.

May or may not have scored another box of this.

**Gizmo:** Oh boy. You know, one of the, uh, one of the cigars I didn't mention, uh, that I should have as far as new worlds go was the Davidoff Dominicana got a 9. 2, which is in Robusto is a great cigar. It's an incredible cigar. That's a lot. Have you guys had that in any of the other Vitolas?

Yeah. What is it? Short Robusto. Short Robusto. Short Robusto. Is that would you? Compare that. Was that similar to the, uh, it's actually

**Pagoda:** very good. I've got a few of those, right? Yeah, it's, uh, and by the way, it smokes really slow, like, really? Yeah,

**Gizmo:** you wouldn't, you wouldn't put it on a short smoke special kind of

**Pagoda:** thing.

No, I thought I was going to do it as a short smoke, but I ended up spending about an hour smoking [02:05:00] that. So I was pleasantly

**Gizmo:** surprised

**Rooster:** when we do the short smoke. Are you going to mix it up or you're going to keep it like Cuban?

**Gizmo:** Cuban and new, you know, we always do a Cuban in a new World, so mm-hmm. , uh, what we have coming up on the Short Smoke special, actually in two episodes, the punch short to punch and the, uh, the, the Papas Fritos that we just talked about.


**Poobah:** did we do the half Corona? Did we do Partica

**Gizmo:** Short? Yes, we did. We've not done the Half Corona. We haven't, I believe we've done the Partica short. Oh my goodness.

**Senator:** Actually, it's good. We haven't done the half Corona. I thought we'd, that's a 10. 'cause the supply of those would dwindle very quickly after that episode.

So we're gonna stock up before that.

**Gizmo:** We'll do that at some point, but yeah, we, if the part is shortcut. I don't know if we've actually done the Partika Short. I think we did.

**Poobah:** We did that. I

**Rooster:** thought we did. if we're going to

**Gizmo:** review shorts. Oh, we did do the Partika Short. It got an 8. 0. Right. Flat 8. I think that that's a low.

It might have been a younger cigar. Yeah. Could have been. Could have been. Because that outpunches

**Poobah:** its

**Gizmo:** weight class. Yeah, it's a great cigar and it only comes in, uh, well, it [02:06:00] comes in 25 and a 50 cap counter box dress boxes, but you gotta get the 50 cap. You have to, and you know what, they're pretty available.

I mean, they've been coming up quite a bit on f o H and some of the other sites. Punt is out.

**Poobah:** Just the, just get the 50 outta its weight class. Just get the 50 cap. That's actually a sophisticated cigar in a way. Yeah, it's,

**Gizmo:** it's so the other, the other thing we need to mention boys, you know, is some, you know, uh, uh, grinder and Puba weren't able to come with us, but you know, we were able to go to Cuba and we were, you know, we were able to learn so much about Cuban tobacco and the process.

And it was just because of this podcast and this friendship that we ventured into the. Into Havana. And it was such an incredible experience. The learning experience was tremendous. And I get so many emails from listeners who are planning to go and are asking, you know, what do I bring to give to the Cuban people?

I, you know, those four episodes were a

**Senator:** lot of fun for us. I just think I quickly need to say. For every listener listening to this, please go to Cuba because for whatever reason they're cutting direct flights are [02:07:00] done. So there's not enough tourism clearly happening. Please go to Cuba. Yeah. I learned more in that week there than I have ever learned in my life combined about cigars.


**Bam Bam:** Everything from the cultivation and the whole

**Gizmo:** process. It's amazing. Yeah. And I'll point the listeners. If you know, if you're a listener who hasn't heard those episodes, check them out. If you're a passionate about Cuban cigars, we've, we did a deep dive on all things from culture to we visited a few factories, the food we talked about food.

We talked about everything. People, rum. The Santiago. Yeah. Yeah. Speaking of rum, I've, I've been drinking a lot of that Mount Gay rum that we did on the podcast. The Mount Gay XO, that's the closest thing to Cuban rum that I've ever had. So I

**Senator:** think, I think Puba missed that episode. I think he was texting us while we were doing that.

As someone who I know appreci you appreciate rum, we all said that was the closest to Cuban rum that we've had. It was excellent. I was truly

**Gizmo:** shocked. Yeah, I gotta try it and it's it's [02:08:00] very reasonably priced. It's under 60 bucks. Yeah, is this it's

**Poobah:** not the

**Gizmo:** regular mount gay mount gay X. Oh,

**Senator:** yeah, it's like their highest like

**Gizmo:** their highest.

Yeah. Yeah, and I found it at my local retailer They had it which I was surprised about and and

**Poobah:** it's not the one It's not the one that they put in the foot as a floater. No,

**Gizmo:** no, this is this is a really nice Sipping wrong exactly and for cigar pairing. I mean you can't beat it. Where's that made? Barbados.

So the other thing I wanted to mention, boys, because I remember this is a seminal moment as far as our laughter goes on a very, very early episode. You know, the, uh, the tennis finals just finished. The U. S. Open. And going back to... Microfiche. The microfiche Medvedev. Storing the micro feast back in the garage days.

That, that was, that was Earl. What was that episode? 1, 2, 3? It wasn't one, I think one, it could have been episode one. I thought it was one. I thought we did, uh, on the Maduro one.

**Senator:** Yes. Cardus Maduro. Yeah, Mado. That's when, uh, Grindr was the Pitmaster that day. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** yeah, that's right. He [02:09:00] brought food. Oh, yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Talked about the food was good. Talked about the Serengeti that day. ,

**Gizmo:** Serge. And it's just, it, it's amazing to me as I think about that and I, I remember that laughter and thinking like, wow, that we, we have something that. That I think is going to be a lot of fun for us to do every week. And, and just thinking that that's almost two years ago.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, it seems like last month.

**Senator:** And the irony that like the final two years ago that we were all laughing about was Medvedev and Djokovic. And two years later, the U. S. Open final, exact same two guys. That's right.

**Grinder:** That's right.

**Poobah:** Yeah. He was a villain. He's a villain. You're just watching them throw temper tantrums.

I'm like, yeah, I'm like

**Gizmo:** this guy he's storing the microfiche handle.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Yeah. He's so evil that he's, he's like working with the embassy, he's working with the Russian embassies. Like he's like infiltrating shit. He's got microfiche, he's got data like in his tennis, tennis racket. [02:10:00]

**Gizmo:** Can I ask you, can I ask you a question as well?

How many episodes did it take for Puba to break the first Adirondack chair? Oh, yeah. At the Senator lounge. Oh, it was a

**Poobah:** lot.

**Grinder:** It's 20 episodes.

**Rooster:** 20 something. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** that's about right. We 20. Because then we got him in a separate chair. Yeah. We got a director chair. We had the

**Rooster:** director chair. That's

**Poobah:** what we got a director

**Bam Bam:** chair.

And you felt at home after that.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah,

**Poobah:** yeah. What'd you say? Senator had to go to like Camp Warren, get me like had to go to like the camping store and get me like a camping chair. Well, he... Well, I'll just say the Adirondack chairs he has are in there were shit. They were cleared. They were bought at like stop and shop.


**Gizmo:** you know, there

**Senator:** is a clearance. There is a weight limit to them, but

**Rooster:** yeah, but I mean, these are not.

**Poobah:** Meant for like

**Rooster:** real adults, real men? No, no, no, no,

**Poobah:** no. These were, I'll just

**Rooster:** say, I'll just say, bam. Bams a formable man. He did not break my chairs. I

**Bam Bam:** [02:11:00] almost

**Gizmo:** broke a chair. Well, he doesn't get as an animated as Puba dust.

No, I

**Poobah:** don't. This thing was like, like, like all of a sudden it was lopsided. Then it just like

**Rooster:** collapsed on me. The best part of it was while it was

**Senator:** happening, just watching the entirety of that episode. The panic poop. No, no, no. Puah is just getting

**Rooster:** lower. And lower and lower to the ground. And it was as if like his

**Senator:** entire back was just parallel with the ground.

**Rooster:** By the end of the episode, it

**Senator:** was

**Rooster:** amazing. He's finally like, is something wrong with this chair? It was great.

**Poobah:** And, uh, we concluded that the chair was destroyed.

**Gizmo:** It was defective. It was

**Senator:** totally defective. That, that went out for bulk day. That's for sure.

**Gizmo:** Oh yeah.

**Poobah:** Yeah, yeah, yeah. But then I got, then I, then I, I received the special chair.

That's right. You got

**Gizmo:** an upgrade. I got an upgrade. Definitely got up, which I was grateful

**Poobah:** for. Thank you. The whole thing that's going on right now with you, Giz and the, the nubbing thing you're doing. Is outrageous. How's the ass

**Gizmo:** doing? [02:12:00] It just

**Poobah:** fell all over my pants. Is this outrageous? Gentlemen,

**Gizmo:** is this outrageous?

I love it. I find it to be very civilized. I like it. I

**Grinder:** think it's a nice change of pace. It is something I, I, I hope you don't do often.

**Senator:** Okay.

**Gizmo:** So in all my time of cigar

**Poobah:** smoking. This is just visually

**Gizmo:** disturbing. And all of, all of the time on the podcast, it's the first time I've nubbed a cigar. Yeah, me too.

**Bam Bam:** But I

**Grinder:** like the way it's done. I'm

**Senator:** sorry. Not the first time Bam Bam's done that. No,

**Gizmo:** Bam does it all the time. No. Yeah. me? You're, you're

**Rooster:** like. I've seen you do that before. You're the biggest proponent of a roach clip. You're the

**Poobah:** like. The fingertip formula. You're like all over the finger, like you're,

**Rooster:** you're fingertips.

What does that mean? I love the alliteration. That was great.

**Bam Bam:** I do take cigars all the way down. That I do. I

**Gizmo:** do that. All right, boys. So we're coming to the end of our evening here. It's time to do three ratings. Any final thoughts on this cigar or any of the two pairings before we rate them? I mean just a very rich experience.

I mean all three all around really just delivered everything [02:13:00] and more Oh, yeah, I've certainly what I was expecting tonight. I'm really really happy with all three Yeah, indulge a great night overall. Yeah, absolutely.

**Senator:** I would just say on this cigar I think the the final third, especially the final fourth definitely picks up in strength.

Yes, but in a very good way Yeah, it's it there's no rough edges. It's not kicking you around But it, it really, it's like the culmination of like all these great flavors you've been getting all the way through. And then it just kind of packs a very nice soft punch at the end in a good

**Bam Bam:** way. And it's rare to see Senator with a cigar that's an inch long.

Yeah. Because he's taking that down. I am. I'm proud of you.

**Gizmo:** All right, boys. So first.

**Poobah:** Do you need a road trip? There's so much we could do with that. Let's

**Gizmo:** get

**Senator:** him a toothpick. All I'm going to say is I'm still holding it in my hand. Unlike some of us. That's true.

**Gizmo:** Hey, don't judge. Hey, I know. Right. All right boys, so let's do the formal liquor rating on the aged 2013 vintage Paul Roger Champagne.

**Bam Bam:** So I'm going to put price [02:14:00] aside for everything we're drinking tonight.

**Senator:** We actually never talked about the price point. Yeah, what is the price

**Gizmo:** on an aged bottle? I don't care. I don't

**Bam Bam:** want to know what it is. No, no, but we

**Senator:** should. No, of course, of course. It factors into everything in some way, shape, or form.

Um, so the funny thing is the price range is actually really wild on this for some reason based on the, you know, retailer that you get it from. I've seen it as low as, and obviously, you know, I've, I'm always pursuing the best price, as, and I forgot this, because when I came in I thought this was 200 bucks.

There are plenty of places that sell it for 200. You can get this for as low as like 120. No way. Which I think for what it delivers,

**Gizmo:** that's a very good price. This, this to me is a perfect indulgence for New Year's Eve. Like a New Year's Eve spend with your family. Can you imagine this with caviar? I mean, oh my god.

Off the charts. Can you imagine?

**Rooster:** Yes. No. No. Yes. Absolutely. No. No. Yes.

**Bam Bam:** That's a silly question.

**Poobah:** Can I imagine it? Uh, no. I can make it a

**Gizmo:** reality. All right, Bam Bam. On the Paul Roger, a 10 for me. [02:15:00] Absolutely. Grinder. 10. Pagoda. Ten. Senator. Ten. Puba. Two.

**Rooster:** Times five.

**Poobah:** It's a, it's a ten. Quick on

**Bam Bam:** the math there, Giz. I like that.

**Gizmo:** It's a ten for me too. It's a flat ten for the Paul Roger 2013.

**Senator:** So I want to tell you something funny. The thing with vintage champagne. And this is the beauty of exploring it. Every year is different. It's just like a wine, right? Whatever year is on that bottle of wine. Every year is going to drink differently.

Every year of vintage champagne will drink differently. Only non vintage champagne will drink the same. Cause they're going to blend it to make sure that it's exactly like. You have come to know it. And the funny thing is that 2013 was actually one of the toughest growing years, uh, in the champagne region.

So some 2013 bottles from not Paul Roger, clearly some other, um, champagne houses. Are mediocre, few are great. And so I read that this is one of the best of that. You like [02:16:00] Paul Roger somehow really killed it that year, even though most did not. And I'm glad I was honestly a little bit worried because this could have gone either way and it's just, this is the fun about trying this.

Like, you know, I, I can't wait to do a 20, uh, a 2014, a 2015 bottle. even older than that. That's what's so exciting about this. None of them are going to drink the same. It's like anyone who's ever tried Dom Perignon. It will never taste whatever bottle you had at whatever point in your life. You try Dom for the first time.

Every other one you try after that is going to be different. They're all Dom Perignon does not make non vintage. It's all vintage champagne. And that, I think, is what's so cool about exploring it. Yeah. And

**Bam Bam:** you're not allowed to have any more champagne unless we're with you. I agree. Done. I agree.

**Gizmo:** That's a rule now.

Bam! We're in the triple digits now. Okay. That's solidified. 100%. You gotta enforce that. I will. I do. Yeah,

**Senator:** you do. I will say, I actually got a really great gift when my son was born. Uh, someone got me a vintage bottle of, uh, [02:17:00] Vuclico Grandam that had, um, my son's name engraved in the bottle. Oh, that's awesome.

I have not opened it, but now hearing these ratings and seeing that the lizard palates clearly have evolved and can really appreciate fine champagne. The day I decide to open that, I want to open it with this group.

**Gizmo:** Let's go. My man. Episode one Oh one. Thank you. Next week.

**Rooster:** Let's go home and get it now.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, we'll wait. We'll wait. You know, the other thing I want to say, while we're talking about center, we didn't mention wine. You know, we really dove. Another one headfirst into wine on this podcast over the last hundred episodes. And, and as far as palate expanding and purchasing expanding because of Senator and the experiences we've had, my wine collections really grown really in line with what we've done on the pod.

Cause I'm not a wine guy. Yeah. I,

**Bam Bam:** I've learned a lot from Senator and from Puba's commentary. Both of you guys have more experience in the wine world than I think any of us, me for sure.

**Gizmo:** Absolutely. [02:18:00] So I wanted to note that because that's been another important journey and we've, you know, gotten a lot of emails from listeners, Hey, what's a good 2030 and then I'll text Senator like, Hey, what, what, what should I suggest to this listener to get, you know, in a certain price range and honestly, it's very

**Bam Bam:** helpful.

If you remember that Oberon that you recommended, that is a fantastic table. Why buy that by the case? It's just great to have in the house. It's fantastic. The

**Poobah:** house. Yeah. By Jordan.

**Senator:** Excellent. Excellent. Yeah. And the thing with wine, honestly, I think of all of these things, there are, there are more wines than anything as a category period, right?

We can talk about scotch, we can talk about champagne, we can talk about cognac, you name it. There is more wine out there than any spirit we will ever dive headfirst into. And that's what makes it so intimidating. It's just like, there's so much to try. I mean, I've tried so much and I haven't even scratched the surface of what's out there.

And I, one of the reasons for me, I, [02:19:00] I, I love trying to share at least what I have found that I think is really good. And there's still so much more to learn is just the only way you're ever going to find that is really just sacrifice it. You know, it's like, you're going to have to sit through some really shitty bottles to get to some good ones.

And I'm glad that we have found at least enough good stuff that we like. And there's so much more, I think that we're

**Gizmo:** going to do. I was at a wine store today, picking up this Balvenie. Cause I couldn't find it at a couple of my local shops and I walked in. It's like a really nice wine shop. It's called Gary's wine marketplace.

I was. So overwhelmed to even trying to find the scotch section of where this bottle would be that we're about to rate that like I was like, they have so much wine here that I can't even comprehend where to start and I feel like we've gotten a pretty good head start here on the pod and and through this group, but I was completely overwhelmed.

There's just so much, there's

**Poobah:** so much out there. And so like, when I say like by Jordan, I'm only saying that not because, not because that's [02:20:00] for a wine connoisseur, they're going to say that's somewhat pedestrian. I'm saying just for the average person, if you need something dependable and consistent, you're going to get that.

Yeah. Bye. Snipe Artemis. That's what we

**Gizmo:** are. Keep

**Poobah:** it in the house, like, yeah, like, like if you're out at a restaurant and there's Stag's Leap Artemis, you know, it's a win. Stag Leaps, Stag Leaps Artemis because or get the Jordan if you're confused because you get a wine list. There's so much stuff on there.

Half of it is shit.

**Gizmo:** Yeah.

**Senator:** And going back to our point about Rob Isla and runs. Wine is the exact same way because when Puba mentioned Stag's Leap Artemis, I sit here and I say to myself, there were years of Stag's Leap Artemis that were absolutely fantastic. A number of us in this room, we went to dinner one night at an Italian restaurant.

I know Rooster had made friends with the owner and we had kind of a cigar patio out there. We were smoking late [02:21:00] into the night and, um, obviously, you know, folks would give me the wine list and Artemis was on there. It's like, nobody's going to be disappointed with that. We drank it. It was. Excellent. Years later, I think Artemis is not the same.

The most recent vintages of Artemis are, they're not bad, but they're not great. They used to be great, and that's where you've gotta really find and chase the runs. And I think, like, to Puba's point, Jordan right now is actually on a good run. I think their stuff is very, very solid. Where I think Artemis is not, is it a little bit in a rut and hopefully he's going to have some better yields going ahead.

So it's very similar to cigars. You got to chase those runs. You

**Gizmo:** do

**Poobah:** just like, like Silver Oak. Like sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's like kind of great. You know, you know what I mean? Sometimes I'm going to capture that sound effect. Well, it is, but, but what I'm saying is, you know, it's hard. You know, you go into these stores and you go, if you try and go by price and you try and get, and you don't do the research, you're, you're going to wind up with like, let's say you go in [02:22:00] and you buy a case of wine, it's the holidays or whatever, and you try and mix and match and you talk to the jerk in the store who may or may not know what's up, you wind up with half a case of wine, that's.

That's that kind of sucks. And you go, you know what? I should have just bought a case of Jordan or I should have bought it. Just a case of half. It was a half for 20 bucks or whatever. Right. You're you're going. So anyway, just go with what's safe. If you don't know what you're talking about, because I'm not a wine connoisseur.

But you got to know what's what, you know, what's good. What's what's going to work and what's not going to work for the money. You know what I

**Gizmo:** mean? All right, boys. It's time to do the rating on the Balvini 21 year aged Portwood. Yes. What a fantastic Scotch. Amazing. Bam,

**Bam Bam:** bam. You're up. So I'm, I'm going to, because it's our hundredth episode, I'm taking price out of this because it's so outrageously expensive, but I've never had a Scotch that was so honey forward.

I've never had that experience. I'm giving this a 10 tonight. [02:23:00] Okay. Grinder.

**Gizmo:** I'm giving it an 8. An 8? Whoa. I want to hear about that in a second. Yeah. Pagoda.

**Pagoda:** I'll stick to a 10. Today I'm in a very generous

**Bam Bam:** mood. Exactly.

**Gizmo:** Senator. I'm a little shell shocked.

**Bam Bam:** You deflated me, Grinder.

**Senator:** I only say that because when Rooster asked about the McAllen 18 and the Balvenie 21, If you would have said, like, I think the county is way better than I would have expected an eight, but you sound like they were close for you.

That's why I'm surprised. Have another sip. But my, my, my rating, um, I'm going to have to give it a 10 and I just say that and I'm factoring in the price point again. I've been very lucky. I've had some scotches at this price point and even much higher than it. And I have not found I think there are so few at this age expression that are this smooth, yet really flavorful and complex and just check all the boxes that I'm looking for in like a very, very high end spirit.

[02:24:00] So for me, it's a 10. You didn't need

**Pagoda:** a chip of ice. Not at all. Not at all. Not

**Bam Bam:** a chip. Puba.

**Poobah:** I enjoyed it. Um, Grindr's rating is, is throwing me for a loop because I respect his palate when it comes to Scotch so much. Um, but it was a 10 for me. I mean, uh, I, I, I, I, I couldn't find anything wrong with this and, and at all.

Uh, but we can discuss. I, I, I really, I really thought it was a 10 and it's not the fact that it's the, it's the 100th episode or that, that, uh, That this is an expensive bottle. I really enjoyed it.

**Gizmo:** I, I agree. It's a 10 for me for sure. I love Balvony. I love how this tasted tonight. I love how it paired with, with the scotch.

I thought it had a really interesting flavor profile, very complex taking price out of it. You know, taking hundredth episode out of it. It's absolutely a 10. I'd give this a 10 any day. And this is going to be a special occasion, Scotch, for me, [02:25:00] for sure. Agreed. Agreed. Absolutely. It's a 10. So, the formal lizard, uh, formal liqueurating boys on the Balvenie 21 year old Portwood.

It's a 9. 7. Okay. So Grinder, I want to ask about that 8. What is with the 8?

**Bam Bam:** Um,

**Grinder:** I think the, I think it's a wonderful scotch. I think you can definitely taste the age. I don't like the port taste. And the port aftertaste is something that just is, I, it's repulsive in a way to me. Really? And not in a, I don't mean to be.

Overly aggressive or militant to use that word. Well, you is a

**Bam Bam:** little aggressive. That's pretty bad.

**Grinder:** I don't like port. I hate that taste. It's a little too liquor y. The mix of that, that port is wine. I know, but it's, I don't think it's good wine. It's like shitty wine that you, that you put it, you're putting Scotch into the cask.

So that's my, that's

**Bam Bam:** my point of view. Well, it's just a year of poor. [02:26:00]

**Rooster:** Maybe it was a bad run. Maybe it was a bad run. It could have been a bad run for the port.

**Grinder:** All right. But that's, but that's why I

**Gizmo:** think it was a wonderful 9. 7 on the Balvenie. And the most important factor of tonight's episode is the Padron.

Yeah. 50 year, the hammer in Maduro. It's time to do the formal lizard rating for the 100th time. I'm going to give it a 50.

**Rooster:** It's a 10. All right. I mean, it's an incredible cigar. It's it's one of the best cigars that Padron I think makes a, I mean, I think I would even edge it over the 80th slight edge, but yeah, I think it's, it

**Gizmo:** is one of the best.

Yeah. For those guys

**Bam Bam:** that have that stronger palate, it's there

**Gizmo:** right there. It's a

**Poobah:** 10. Yeah. It's a 10 for me. I mean, it's, it's, it was a big cigar. Um, Nicaraguan and [02:27:00] for me, it, it, it smoked, it smoked tremendously. I loved it.

**Gizmo:** Such a fitting cigar for tonight. Absolutely. Perfect cigar for tonight. So it's a 10 for me.

There's no question about it. It's the best of Padron. It's the best of cigars. It's the best of new world. It's the best of the best of the best. Fantastic and a perfect cigar for our celebration tonight. It's absolutely a 10. It delivered everything and more than I expected. I haven't reached for this in quite some time knowing we were going to do it on this episode.

So I was really looking forward to it and it delivered even beyond my expectation. So, absolutely a 10. Senator.

**Senator:** Alright, so I'm fully prepared to be the contrarian in the group. Um, it's a nine for me. Wow.

**Gizmo:** I'm surprised. Well,

**Bam Bam:** look, nine's

**Senator:** an elite rating, but I'm surprised. And it's an excellent cigar and folks should not be surprised because if I, if I thought this was a 10, I would smoke this as much as I do the 80th.

I [02:28:00] mean, the price point, obviously it's more, but it's not crazy. The difference, right? We're talking like 36, 38 a stick to 50 a stick. Um, I, I love the 50th. I think it's an outstanding cigar. It's really rich. It's full flavored. All of that. I just, any day, if you were to put in front of me, if any of you were to hand me and I said, I just, I don't have a scar on me and I want a great smoke.

And you handed me an 80th and a 50th. I'm always going to take the 80th. And I just think that there's. Um, a bit more complexity in the flavor profile. I, I just am obsessed with the Figurado. Um, it's again, outstanding cigar, but it doesn't check every box for me to earn that perfect

**Gizmo:** 10. It's not a, not a Padron guy.

I just gave the idiot the

**Senator:** 10. And the reason I say that the last thing I'll say is when, when Giz said it's the best of Padron. I think the 80th is the best of Padrone, and I think this is [02:29:00] just right below it. So, you know,

**Bam Bam:** I'm just going to venture a guess. You know, there's a power alley, um, quality to this.

There's power to this cigar. And you're, that's not exactly your profile.

**Senator:** No, the flavor profile is there. It's just like, you know, I guess what you're, to your point, and I'll agree with this. I couldn't smoke four of these back to back. I could smoke four of a

**Bam Bam:** lunatic

**Rooster:** to smoke four of anything. One of our listeners wrote, you

**Gizmo:** know, Senator, when he smokes 15 or 16 cigars in a day, you know, he wouldn't slot this in.

You know, he wouldn't smoke four of these back to back. Can I just say

**Senator:** that, like, when I've had either, you know, a really high moment that I want to celebrate with a cigar or just a really difficult day and I just need a great cigar to kind of just get me through it, I, I do, I, I've smoked plenty of these and I spoke plenty of AIDS.

I always, the first thought for me is an 80th. There's just something about that cigar that I think the, the flavor is not as dense as in this cigar. [02:30:00] And that's not. That's not a problem with it. It's just for my palate. I just, I think the flavors not delivered as intensely and as densely that it allows me to appreciate more of the flavors out of the 80th.

Then I do this again. I love this cigar. A nine is a great score. It's a great score when I have to, you know, put the two against each other and I can only do that. I can't say that for me, it's at exactly the same level as the 80th. I think it's just below if I could give decimals, it would be a little over nine, but I've got around down to the nine,

**Bam Bam:** lots of unpack

**Gizmo:** here.

Ly a little

**Poobah:** bit. Yeah. See, I would give both of them. I, I think the 80th is a 10. Yeah. And I think that the fifth, that this is a 10, but if I

**Senator:** handed you both and said you could pick one, which would

**Poobah:** you want? Dying on an island? Yeah. . If I see, this is where the thing goes. Where it's like preference. Where you gotta go decimals, instead of whole numbers.

You're asking me to split hair?

**Senator:** No, no, no. Take, take scores out it. And if I just handed you both, and I say you can only have one, you're on an island. Last cigar. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. Forever. Which, which are you taking? [02:31:00] That's all

**Gizmo:** I'm saying. Okay.

**Poobah:** Yeah. All right. I mean, yes, if I, like, because it's more versatile, it's, it's, that, that.

**Gizmo:** All right. Pagoda.

**Pagoda:** Oh, for me, it's a 10 and, uh, you know, I, I see where you're being slightly comparative, but for me, uh, it's all about the experience today. And I want to evaluate the cigar based on how I really enjoyed it today. Um, as. This is an isolated experience, but then you've got to think about this fits in, you know, right into my palate.

I love the exclusive rose. I love the ideas. I love a lot of the patrons. Um, and then, you know, being paired with Paul Roger champagne to begin with, with one of my favorite champagnes and then Balvony, which is one of my favorite Brands of, you know, scotch. Uh, so it's been a wonderful night for me from that perspective, being the hundred, uh, you know, episode, the experience, the con conversation, the camaraderie, you know, it, it feels so good for all seven of us [02:32:00] to be here together again and enjoying this moment of time.


**Gizmo:** is a 10. Yes. Well, some of the

**Poobah:** parts. The sum, well said. The 10. 10. 10. The sum. The sum is a 10. Give to

**Rooster:** people. 10.

**Gizmo:** Pagoda.

**Rooster:** Give to people what they want. Well said. 10. Well, well said. It's a 10. . .

**Poobah:** It's a 10. All right. Grindr, it's a 10.

**Grinder:** Uh, I, I share a lot of this. The same, uh, feelings as Senator. Um, and everyone else.

Um, but I'd still give it a 10. I think it's a great 10. I think it's a great cigar. There are other 10s that I've given that may rat, you know, if I were doing a, you know, a zero sum game and choose this or that and that's all you get. Yeah, I mean, some I'd choose over this, but it's still a fucking 10.

**Gizmo:** All right,

**Bam Bam:** bam.

No doubt. Yeah. Uh, you know, I think both the 50th are both tens because they're so unique. They're different cigars. I don't see how a nine is applicable for this particular cigar personally because of the way [02:33:00] it's made. They're both flagship cigars. They're right at the pinnacle of the Padron family for me, both tens.

**Gizmo:** All right, boys. So the formal lizard rating on the Padron 50 years, the hammer in Maduro. It's a 9. 9 spectacular score. Spectacular. It's, it's not good. It works out. I mean it is. It's perfect. It's not good. All right. So let's. I said it's not good.

**Rooster:** It's not good.

**Bam Bam:** I stand corrected,

**Gizmo:** dude. All right. So let's just briefly go through the other Padron ratings we've done on the podcast.

We'll go bottom up. Padron 2000 got a 7. 5. The Padron 1964 Torpedo and Natural, which we did because it was Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year. That got a 8. 7. Then we had the family reserve number 85 in Maduro was a 9. 2. Padron 1964 Exclusivo Maduro, which we all love is a 9. 6. This tonight, the Padron Hammer 50 years in Maduro got a 9.

9. [02:34:00] And finally the Padron 80th anniversary in Maduro that we did on episode 53 or one year celebration. Was a 10. 0, flat 10. Yes, sir. The, look. Senator knew what he was doing. All the math, all the math. Senator knew what he was

**Rooster:** doing. I just, look, I'm going to challenge everybody

**Senator:** a little bit in this group.

I'm just, again, I'm not saying this is, there's anything wrong with this cigar. It's a great, it's a fantastic cigar. I'm just saying, I firmly believe that if everybody in this room truly was as obsessed with this cigar, it's the greatest of all time. We would all stock a lot more of these. I have, I have literally in my humidor right now after I just pulled this one, five of these.

If you were to tell me I could never smoke another one of these again, I'd be mildly disappointed. 80th for the rest of my life, I'd be almost on the brink of tears. I can't. Not have that cigar. I just don't feel the same

**Gizmo:** way about negative. That's a double negative. So here's, here's what I'll say about, are we doing grammatical checks?[02:35:00]

So here's what I'd say about it. So

**Rooster:** what do you work for the school newspaper?

**Gizmo:** So for me,

so for me, so here's what I'll say in rebuttal to what you just said. Both of these cigars for me are tens. When I had a great week or something great happened at work, I just want a really perfect cigar. I reach for the Padron 80th when I'm celebrating a holiday, a birthday, a milestone, I always reach for this.

There's something to be said. So I think that they neither are in competition with each other for me. It's just the moment at which I'm reaching for it. Obviously the Padron 80th is a 30 cigar. This is a 50 cigar. I'm reaching for them at different moments, but they're equals to me. Of course.

**Bam Bam:** They're absolutely parallel.

Can't be competitors because they're so unique. But if you just the standalone cigars of the, for me, the 50th. [02:36:00]

**Gizmo:** Yeah. This is a phenomenal. Yeah. Yeah. It's a, it's a richer, fuller experience. It is to me.

**Rooster:** Yeah. And you know,

**Gizmo:** if that's your flavor profile, they're complex, what you like, you would love. I think what you

**Senator:** said there is exactly.

Yeah, that's

**Gizmo:** true. That's

**Poobah:** true. The interesting thing though, for me about the smoke in, in, in, you know, in closing, I guess for me is that that typically this would be like, you're like, it's a richer, stronger thing would be too strong for me. It wasn't. And it was a big cigar and it was, and it was very, very smooth.

I think for the, so for me, the experience is different than what an 80th presents. This, this was actually kind of big and bold, but it didn't overpower me at all.

**Rooster:** It, it, it

**Poobah:** was good all the way through and smooth all the way through. So it had [02:37:00] all that kind of like muscle, but I was still able to get through the whole thing and really enjoy the whole thing.

And smoke it slowly. And I think that's a merit, like the fact that it delivered that much power and was that approachable at the same time showed a very sophisticated thing where the 80th is much more approachable and kind of, you know, if I had to pick one cigar, right, like forever, sure. I'd pick the 80th, but boy, oh boy, for a big cigar with some muscle for me, the fact and the size of it.

I think it's a merit in the smoke. No, it is a

**Pagoda:** merit in the smoke. Because if you had the 90th, I think you'd rate it as an eight. Like that's what my thought would be. Yeah. Because I'm very, very like that. Yeah. Too strong. That's a cigar. And this is able to really just, it kicks

**Bam Bam:** you around. It kicks you around.

It was

**Gizmo:** balanced. Not rooster. Not rooster. Just look at [02:38:00] Rooster's like, I'm going to have that tomorrow morning

**Poobah:** for breakfast. Am I crazy though? But it was like big, but it was, it was big and bold, but it didn't overpower you. You're

**Gizmo:** not crazy.

**Senator:** No, I agree. I agree with all the commentary. That's why, like, you know, we talk about when would this slot in.

And I think even where I'm very understanding of what Gizmo is saying, like there's a very particular occasion that this cigar slots in for you. It's also a 50 cigar. And yeah, totally, totally. But again, that's the 80. It's also not a cheap cigar. Yeah. And I'm just saying for me, there are certain cigars, like the cigars that I've given tens are cigars.

It's like, you know, a great D4 is a 10, a great Exclusivo is a 10, a great 10. Those are cigars I just want all the time. I agree. And that, and again, I'm not saying everybody should rate that way. Just for me, I have to always crave and want that cigar for it to be a 10. And I just sometimes crave and want this cigar, but not all the time.

It's a good perspective. And that's the only reason it was a 9. It's a good

**Gizmo:** perspective. Yeah. And it's also the size of the cigar. That too. Yeah, it's a six and a half inch. It's a commitment. I tend to pick up [02:39:00] this cigar all the time. Right. Yeah. But for special

**Rooster:** occasions, I mean, this is

**Gizmo:** right. It can't be beat.

Just delivers. All right, boys. So before we close it out, we have to say thank you to a few folks. First off, we have to say thank you to our host 10 86 cigars here in Hawthorne, New Jersey. Where we record each episode now going on what over a year or a year. So we're very grateful to John, the proprietor here and 10 86.

We have to thank our social guy, Max. And before him, Nick, um, have been really, really helpful helping our socials move because the seven of us are not great at it now. Beautiful work. And we're not a video podcast, so it's a, it's a lot of work. And finally, I think all seven of us. Uh, can really, really celebrate and thank, because I think we do it every day.

The incredible lizards out there who listen to this podcast every single week obsessively, who listen to episodes back and forth, and who've listened two and three times through the entire catalog of a hundred episodes. It's really an [02:40:00] incredible

**Bam Bam:** thing. Yeah, sending back comments and criticisms.

**Gizmo:** It's amazing.

Yeah, and now, you know, the emails moving into sending us cigars to review. Spirits. Spirits to review. I mean, it's really an incredible thing, and I feel very lucky. And

**Senator:** please, keep sending us emails, keep sending us feedback. Oh, yeah. These listeners are why we do this, and I think why we stay so excited to continue to do this.

That's exactly right. Yeah,

**Pagoda:** because, you know, we keep talking about the community, and this is the extended community, right? We're trying to reach out. And we love to hear

**Gizmo:** from you guys. Oh, yeah. And finally, I think the most important thing that I think we've touched on a few times, we've kind of waxed on a little bit, but this friendship in the room, it's, you know, the podcast is amazing, but the friendship is just really what fuels, you know, we see each other so much outside the podcast and we have for two years now.

And to have this podcast is great, but also have this friendship. I mean, you guys are my closest friends in the world now and it's like, you know, this is, this has just been a beautiful thing. And thank you guys

**Rooster:** for the,

**Gizmo:** for [02:41:00] the gift. Oh, that was beyond love you guys. Amazing. Awesome. Prince are coming. Yes, sir.

**Senator:** All right, boys. Sorry, but you know. Bam, we love you, but I think we're going to keep Gizmo as the producer.

**Rooster:** Good call.

**Bam Bam:** That was like,

**Rooster:** I had no fear.

**Bam Bam:** Where does this plug go?

**Gizmo:** All right, boys. So a phenomenal night tonight. Three excellent, uh, cigars and drinks that we had. The Paul Roger. Vintage 2013 was a flat 10.0, the Balvenie, 21 years aged, Portwood was a 9. 7, and the Padron, 50 years, the Hammer, in Maduro, was a 9. 9. What a phenomenal night. Oh yeah. Great conversation, great pairings, great cigar, and a great first 100 episodes. Yes sir. That's a century. Major [02:42:00] milestone. Major milestone. M2. Many, many more, and, uh, we'll see you all next week.

Cheers. Cheers, thanks. 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. LoungeLizardsPod. 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 LoungeLizardsPod. com You can also find us on Instagram at Lounge Lizards Pod. We really appreciate your time and we'll, uh, we'll see you next week.