Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey, the lizards pair the Oliva Serie V Lancero with Hennessy VSOP Cognac. The guys explore a budget lancero, they read listener email about the cognac journey, they share lizard-listener inventions and they debate their first serious breach in ratings protocol.

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 range from 60 to 90 minutes and feature a variety of different topics including food, travel, life, sports and work.

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

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

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

**Gizmo:** [00:00:00] Welcome to the Lounge Lizards podcast. It's so good to have you here. It's a leisure and lifestyle podcast founded on our love of premium cigars as well as whiskey, travel, food, work, and whatever else we feel like getting into. My name is Gizmo. Tonight I'm joined by Rooster, Senator, Pagoda, Grinder, and Bam Bam.

And our plan is to smoke a cigar, drink some cognac, talk about life, and of course, have some laughs. So take this as your 99th official invitation to join us. and become a card carrying lounge lizard. Plan to meet us here once a week. We're gonna smoke a New World cigar tonight, share our thoughts on it, and give you our formal lizard rating.

We explore a budget lancero, we read some listener email about our cognac journey, and we have our first ever serious breach in ratings protocol, all among a variety of other things for the next two hours. So sit back, get your favorite drink, light up a cigar, and enjoy. As we pair Hennessy VSOP with the Oliva Siri V in Lancero.

The Nicaraguan Lancero tonight from [00:01:00] Oliva. It's the Siri V Lancero. It's a 38 ring gauge cigar, of course by 7 inches. And guys, this smells incredible. The wrapper

**Bam Bam:** smells amazing.

**Grinder:** It smells amazing. It looks amazing. It smells so rich, you know. It smells so Nicaraguan.

**Gizmo:** It does, but it, there's a sweetness to it too, that's, yeah, like a floral sweetness.

Raisin. Right? Yeah, raisins are good. Just on the wrapper.

**Bam Bam:** But it's so beautifully made.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, this is a, this is a very nice looking and smelling cigar. Yeah. Looking forward to smoking it tonight. Let's cut this thing boys. So we're getting on the cold draw.

We've done a lot of Lanceros on the pod. Alonsdales, and, uh, we are back tonight after doing a lot of, uh, Bicker Ring Gauge stuff over the past few months.

**Bam Bam:** Getting raisin on the cold draw for me.

**Gizmo:** Mmm. Right? The cold draw is really nice. It's very good. Really, really

**Bam Bam:** nice. Like a currant type [00:02:00] thing. I'm getting dried apricot.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, this is really good.

I can't wait. Let's light this thing, boys. The Oliva V Land Cero. Again, it's a 38 ring gauge cigar. By 7 inches long.

**Bam Bam:** I am excited

**Grinder:** to smoke this. I, um, I'm very much more cognizant of my cut recently because I sent a picture to the, to the lizard chat. Oh yeah. I think I was smoking a Raz or a QD or something.

It was a QD. And immediately,

**Senator:** I think it was a D4. It was a D4. It was

**Grinder:** a D4. And immediately Gizmo, everyone on the chat started fucking, started, uh, Aggressively lambasting my gizmo cut

**Gizmo:** and how I've regressed. I think we should change the name of the gizmo cut to the grinder cut after that photo.

**Bam Bam:** Uh, no. I don't

**Grinder:** know.

Summarily dismissed.

**Bam Bam:** That's a no. As it always is. We'll get [00:03:00] back to the cut, but this is so good off the light. Yeah, this is great.

**Gizmo:** It's, uh, very rich.

**Bam Bam:** I'm getting


**Senator:** I gotta say, I'm shocked. I mean, first, just looking at the cigar, this is the best looking olive I've seen, period. The wrapper, the roll, I mean, it looks flawless.

**Gizmo:** The seams are like, completely invisible. Opposite

**Bam Bam:** to that Churchill that we smoked.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, that was a little, uh, I don't want to use the word rustic. It was a little more rough than this is. And the

**Senator:** flavor on the light. Wow.

**Gizmo:** And, and I love the, the wrapper is, is dark and oily. Like obviously it's a sun grown Nicaraguan wrapper on this, but man, it is so nice.

And the thing that I love about this line, and we experienced this with the Churchill is for a Nicaraguan Puro, how smooth the delivery of the flavor is. Like it's not kicking you around so many Nicaraguan manufacturers. I want to punch you in the face on the light and Aliva doesn't do that and I'm very grateful.

**Bam Bam:** [00:04:00] This is really good. I am, you know what it is, I'm going to have a hard time smoking this at a mannered pace. I was just

**Grinder:** going to say the same thing. The problem is, Bam, smoking this at a faster pace or even just a fairly average, moderate pace. Yeah. You get, you get this kind of stuff happening. Yeah. And I'm getting that.

You get

**Gizmo:** uneven burn. And the most important thing, you know, to grinders. Uh, joking about the cut. The thing that's important, we talked about this with Lanceros, and I've actually had some listeners emailing us asking for clarification. Uh, we've talked about when you cut a Lancero sometimes, if you don't cut enough off, or if you're a smoker who puts a lot of saliva on the head of the cigar.

and you're pulling a lot, you're going to really set yourself up for a nasty tar blast, which if you cut it again, which I'll often do, I might even do that on this tonight. I often do that with a Lancero, just the second small cut, open it up a little more, get the saliva out of there, put you in a better position and not get, it's very open.

There's, there's a [00:05:00]

**Grinder:** piece, that piece of my heart that dies every time I see some Joker slobber all over a stick. I agree.

**Gizmo:** I'm sorry

There's some sort of joke there that I'm not constructing in my head and I'm not gonna do it. Not gonna do it. Rooster

**Grinder:** it to go there. But Rooster, I'm not gonna do it. Rooster. Rooster took that leap. Never you

**Gizmo:** rooster. Never. So boys, what kind of notes are you getting on this thing? 'cause I'm getting a lot, I'm getting that dried fruit.

I'm getting espresso. I'm getting dark chocolate. That's it. You got it all. We're done. It's really, really . Let's write. All right boys, we'll see you next week. . No, this is, uh, this is really something.

**Bam Bam:** RA Raisin and Current. And you mentioned Apricot. That's pretty accurate. I think. Does this

**Gizmo:** come in a 50 cab?

Because I want,

**Grinder:** it does come in a cabinet. It does come in an S L B, like it's not like

**Gizmo:** a cabinet of 36. Yeah, kind of what, 36? This comes in a 36 cabinet. Yeah. I'm gonna order a

**Bam Bam:** box it. It looks nice too. Can you please procure a box for me, please? I'm getting a

**Gizmo:** box. I have two. Two at home. Me? Me too. Put

**Bam Bam:** me please.

All right. All

**Grinder:** right. All right. It's just a joke. I was so excited [00:06:00] when you told me you were doing this today. I was like, oh, I have, you know, I smoke these. fairly frequently. Oh, you do? I have two box at home. Really? Yeah. How do you think I brought the, I brought this the last time we'd had a Lin Sero night at the, at the former lounge.


**Bam Bam:** that was a great night.

**Gizmo:** Back in the day. How come, how come this didn't get a

**Rooster:** high rating? I mean, we, we chose another

**Gizmo:** one over this.

**Senator:** Well, yeah, actually. Was it from? No, no. I could. We had the Herrera. Are you sure we got that from you or did? Because I thought we just had to buy all the stuff downstairs.

We got it from the lounge. We bought it downstairs. Because honestly, this cigar, the way this is smoking is unrecognizable to what we smoked that night. And I don't think, I don't think your humidor has ever run high. No. And I think that night, we bought all, I think what we did is we had this Lancero idea very last minute.

We went downstairs in the humidor and we basically bought every Lancero that we could. And I think that these were wet down there because I remember the flavor. We were complaining that there wasn't enough flavor in this cigar. And we picked some Drew Estate Lancero we had that had [00:07:00] more flavor. So I think it just wasn't kept properly where this is

**Gizmo:** like a game changer.

We had the, uh, Herrera Esteli. Yeah,

**Grinder:** that's right. Didn't we do the same? No,

**Rooster:** no, no, no. There was another Drew Estate.

**Gizmo:** We did three. Yeah. The other Drew Estate, the two Drew Estates. This is really good. This is out of your cabinet? No, this is great. So I, I, I got this out of the humidor here at 1086. Just say yes.

Probably about five or six months ago. And it's been in my tower. At like 64%, um, since that time. So it's been in my tower, you know, for about six months. I have to

**Senator:** say, I'm just really glad we're doing this because that night, that Lancero night really kind of ruined this cigar for me. I've never smoked it since, and I just thought it's not a great cigar.

Totally, totally

**Gizmo:** changed my perspective. And I, I think that what we were talking about earlier, you know, with, with the cut and, and getting that tar blast. And I think the same thing with the size of the cigar to overall humidity. I think a cigar like this over humidified is really gonna give you a bad experience.

**Grinder:** [00:08:00] I, I strongly recommend you lizards to do a very gentle retrohale. Not just let it just let it just roll out before you do

**Bam Bam:** the retro. I have a recommendation. Okay, get your nose to the burn line. It is heavenly. It's very good. It's very nice. It's unique,

**Gizmo:** honestly. So, what's interesting, so what I did actually before Bam mentioned that, I took a sniff of the, at the burn line, I took a normal draw and then I pushed it out through the nose in the retrohale.

All three are really, really talking to each other.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, and on the retro, so it's the similar note that I get on the burn line, which is this unusual, fruity Cocoa type thing. I'm getting more of a pronounced experience in the retro helms. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** it's like, it's

**Senator:** like fruity pebbles and cocoa puffs all in one.

**Gizmo:** You know what? Bam Bam. Bam

**Rooster:** Bam.

**Bam Bam:** You laugh. I loved those two when I was a kid. I grew up on that cereal.

**Gizmo:** That's why you're named Bam Bam. Okay. Among other reasons. So

**Grinder:** we smoked another cigar recently where [00:09:00] some of the lizards were commenting on You know, different, not a full flavor in the mouthfeel. Yeah, and the finish.

And this is very, this is a full mouth experience. I'll tell you what.

**Gizmo:** Would you guys say this, where would you say this, this lies on the strength category? I would say it's firmly medium. Firmly medium, yeah. I don't think it's reaching full for me yet.

**Grinder:** I think it's on the, on the fuller side of medium, if there's a medium range, but it's

**Gizmo:** still in between a medium

**Bam Bam:** and a full.

Yeah. And let's distinguish. So the flavor, the flavor separate from the body of it, I find the flavor is on the fuller side, but the, the body of it, the strength of it is medium. I would

**Grinder:** say it's medium plus as opposed to full. I

**Senator:** like medium plus. I like that. Well, I would say, sorry, for, for most sites that review, they'll say medium.

Medium full and full. Thank you. So I think if we're saying in between just to maybe be a little consistent, medium full would be

**Grinder:** probably where I think he's right that you don't need to apologize for that. Isn't that? I think that's a very standard.

**Gizmo:** I just totally [00:10:00] forgot about

**Bam Bam:** medium.

**Rooster:** We're forging our

**Bam Bam:** own shopping for clothes.

We're grilling

**Grinder:** steak right now.

**Bam Bam:** I'm going to go to Kohl's and get a medium plus.

**Gizmo:** This is really good, man. Now, here's the best part about this cigar for me. Is it's ten bucks. Dude, what? Really? This is a ten dollar, delicious Lancero. Shocking. I don't know what to say

**Senator:** right now. I'm just gonna, I will say one thing because I owe Gizmo an apology.

Thank you. We've done

**Bam Bam:** regardless of

**Gizmo:** what it is, you can

**Bam Bam:** say anything

**Gizmo:** anymore. I'll take it

**Senator:** a little bit. Yeah. Okay. Continue. I say this because we've done a lot of Lanseros on the pod and I've given Gizmo some shit. I'm like, how many more Lanseros are we going to do? But no, no, no, no,

**Gizmo:** no, no, no. That's not what you said.

You said, If I have to look at another Lancero [00:11:00] on this podcast, I'm going to kill you.

**Senator:** That's probably more accurate, but I say that because this right now is a revelation for me that I think my conclusion already is that some of the best value cigars happen. New world happened to be Lanceros. Totally agree.

I just say that because like. We, we've done the, uh, the Don Pepin Garcia, uh, Lancero. That's like a 10 stick and I still smoke that to this day since we did on the pod and Rooster gave me my first of those. Um, we did the, my father, my father, number four guys like that also under 10. This is under 10. I mean, there are like a lot of the other new worlds that we do there, you know, we do an Ashton that's like 15, right?

There's not that many that are under 10 that deliver a really, really satisfying experience. And I just, for me, it's all coming together that like. LAN's where the value's at? I agree. Don't

**Gizmo:** forget the Warped. Yeah, [00:12:00] the, yeah. Oh yeah. Yep. Was That was a Lawndale. That was a Londale. Lonsdale. Very close. I mean, close.

It's similar. Similar. Similar, yeah. Similar. But you know, at this ring gauge, here's my problem with when I walk into a humidor and I'm uninitiated on a cigar, when I look at a $10 cigar, that's a sero. The first thing that goes into my head is, There's likely going to be construction issues in the cigar because Lancero's are, you know, that's a lot of tobacco in a very small ring gauge, notoriously hard to roll, not in a new world, but the new world, it has been a revelation is my point, having not done these on the pod, I never would walk in and reach for a Lancero, I didn't know.

Right. Cause I would just assume the worst. But we've learned that these new world manufacturers are killing it. You smoke way too many Cohiba Lanceros. That's true.

**Senator:** No, but it really just, it makes you even more frustrated with kind of Cuban Lanceros. And I just say that because like to Gizmo's point, I had not had many new world Lanceros until we started doing these on the pod.

And obviously we've had a number of [00:13:00] fundies. I have those in my, my

**Gizmo:** tower. That's the Trinidad front of doors. That's right.

**Senator:** We've, uh, we've obviously smoked the Cohiba Lancero. I'm just used to having draw issues with them. So like Ismo saying, I really always expected in my mind, it was the Lancero's one of the hardest things to roll.

And so I just expect problems and I'm realizing like Ismo, you know, these new world manufacturers have clearly figured out how to consistently make Lancero's great. We don't have to worry about draw

**Rooster:** issues. I mean, in general, when was the last time you had a draw issue

**Gizmo:** with a new world? It's rare. It's rare.

It's honestly very rare. It's very rare. The only one that I've had on the podcast, I think Senator mentioned this, was that my father, number four, lancer. I have had some draw issues with that cigar after we smoked it on the pod, but nothing that was not fixable, but it's rare. Perfect draw. I'm saying like New World in general.


**Rooster:** very rare. You're not Spencer.

**Gizmo:** You're right. He's right. That's true. Any, any Vitola, you're right. You don't have dry issues. Exactly right. Yeah, and I think also the, you know, the tobacco. outside of Cuba is just less [00:14:00] prone to having issues when there's more moisture present, which is obviously why we like to smoke them at lower humidity, get the moisture out because Cuba doesn't age tobacco.

Yeah. And there's tobacco is, is aged.

**Rooster:** So it's already losing moisture. And then they're rolling it. So Cuba is rolling wet leaves. They're not really

**Gizmo:** aging the leaves as well. And there's a quality control issue too, right? It's just gotten better, but you know.

**Rooster:** But the point is, you know, if you're going to spend like 40, 50 for a Cuban Lancero, and out of a box of 25, you're going to have like 5, 6, like 20 percent of them being clogged.

I mean, that's unacceptable.

**Gizmo:** So on a 10 Lancero,

**Rooster:** even if there's like a couple that are plugged. You know, you don't feel so bad and it's so rare that they've never

**Gizmo:** plugged. Yeah.

**Senator:** The other thing I have to say about this, the combustion is incredible. The smoke

**Gizmo:** output is

**Senator:** brilliant. For this small of a ring gauge, amazing.


**Bam Bam:** yeah. You know, I would think a lot of novice cigar smokers that are just getting into the hobby [00:15:00] of smoking would probably shy away from a Lancero or a Lonsdale because they look at it, it's thinner. They probably assume they're not going to get a full experience. I urge every initial guy that's, or girl, that's had a cigar, try this cigar.

I would say

**Gizmo:** start out with a Lancero. Absolutely. Or a Lonsdale or a Lancero. Petite Corona, small ring gauges. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** most people would stay away from that because they want the fuller cigar, they want a fuller experience. They're missing out on

**Gizmo:** this. And I think this just feels so good in the hand. Oh yeah.

I mean, we've had that conversation so many times, but I mean, the look of this, the band is really complex and, and I think very complimentary to the cigar. Like that's a sharp looking band. You could be a

**Bam Bam:** hand model.

**Gizmo:** You know, bam, I'm going to look into that. I think you should have a cigar hand model, but you know, the band is really ornate.

It's quite large actually. Um, it's one piece, but. You know, it just looks and feels really good in the hand. Like, you can hold it like a pencil, you know? Yeah.

**Senator:** Um, [00:16:00] I know, I feel so productive when I'm holding this. It's like, I'm smoking, I want to sign my name in Ashton

**Gizmo:** with this thing. You could do like a PowerPoint presentation with this.

**Pagoda:** And we've typically rated Lanceros very high, overall, I think. You know, when it comes to... They have been good.

**Gizmo:** They have been. Yeah, this is quite a revelation. So, Aleva has a really... Interesting family history. They're obviously, you know, they're a big corporate entity. Now they were acquired and, but they were, you know, they were founded by Melaniel Oliva who cultivated his first tobacco crop, of course, in Pinar del Rio, Cuba in 1886.

And then in the early 1920s, his son Facundo Oliva took over the growing operations. He cultivated the family tobacco fields for several decades. Uh, and then of course, as Cuba became overrun by. The communist, uh, revolution, uh, everything changed. And then they went to Honduras, then Panama, then [00:17:00] Mexico, the Philippines, and then Gilberto Oliva found what they call found fertile ground in Nicaragua.

And Gilberto, along with his family are Nicaraguan's second largest grower of Cuban seed tobacco. So long history there for the family. And this specific cigar was ranked number six. Uh, Cigar Aficionado's ranking in 2019. Deservedly so.

**Bam Bam:** Who's the, who's

**Grinder:** the biggest grower?

**Gizmo:** Padron? I'm not sure. Fuentes. In Nicaragua?

In Nicaragua, no. Nicaragua might be Rocky Patel or... I'm

**Grinder:** not sure. It wouldn't be Patel, it would be... Well, it would probably be, uh,

**Gizmo:** AJ. I bet it's AJ Fernandez. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's a good point,

but yeah, this is a, this is really performing well. We did okay with the Churchill when we did this, we had some folks, you know, request this in our, you know, Lancero block, because I think out of all the Lanceros we've done new world Lanceros, this is one you can probably [00:18:00] walk into most humidors and find, you know, the Oliva V line is available.

Everywhere. You see it, I, I don't know a humidor I've been in that I don't see Oliva. Mm hmm.

**Senator:** That's cause some prefer to only smoke Oliva. That's true. That's

**Bam Bam:** true. We've met them. We've met them for sure. The Churchill

**Grinder:** is very popular. Very

**Gizmo:** popular. But I actually had a few listeners ask us to do this when we were doing the block, because they said this is the only Lancero that they've ever had out of their local brick and mortar humidor.

Great recommendation. And. Man, this is, dude, this is

**Grinder:** delivering. These guys win cigar, like, they're in the top, you know, granted, uh, the, the rankings are dubious considering the, the cap, the investment that is, is, is considered to be a part of these rankings. But they're always very highly ranked, you know, ranked.

Some of those cigar, I think one of their cigars, the Robusto, uh, the, uh, what is it? It's like a, it's like a thick Robusto. The Milano? No. They had a little torpedo that ranked very highly. It's like a 97 point cigar.

**Bam Bam:** Hmm. The Melanio

**Gizmo:** is [00:19:00] excellent. Yeah. The Melanio, they have a, they have a few different lines.

Yeah. They have the Siri V as we we're doing now. Mm-hmm. They have the series V in Maduro. They have the Siri O, the Siri G, which is very popular. Mm-hmm. , they have the Connecticut Reserve, they have master blends. Oh boy. They have Florida Oliva, and then they have Gilberto Eva. Obviously the namesake of their founder.

You can find this cigar, I just

**Rooster:** looked it up, for 260 for 36 sticks. Wow. I mean, that equates to 7.

**Gizmo:** 25. That's crazy. That's insane

**Bam Bam:** value for what we're getting right now.

**Gizmo:** Wow. Yeah, this is pretty remarkable. Is that Atlantic? No, some other site.

Wow. I would definitely say it's leaning more full now. As I'm coming out of that first inch, inch and a half, but very, very smooth and pleasant.

**Bam Bam:** Incredibly smooth and pleasant. Yeah. Yeah. I

**Grinder:** think it was the torpedo. I was referencing that one. Like I think it won cigar of the year or something. [00:20:00] Really? Yeah.

**Gizmo:** I'm gonna look at their top rated cigars. They are rated

**Rooster:** pretty high.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I remember the Milano was rated high. That was rated high.

**Grinder:** Yeah, Milano. I like that cigar. I think that's an overrated cigar. I think it's overrated, but I do like

**Senator:** it. It's nice. I just say that because when I didn't have that much exposure to Oliva, I think I first had the Milano and I thought it was a good to decent smoke.

The Maduro? No, I think it was the regular

**Bam Bam:** one. The Maduro is the one you want, I think.

**Grinder:** Interesting there.

**Pagoda:** There's only one

**Grinder:** I think, is it two? There's no really,

**Gizmo:** aren't there? They're the beautiful there. There there's two. There are two, the regular melanio and then there's a millennial mado. The regular millennial is like this

**Senator:** color.

**Bam Bam:** Yes. The Mado of course is darker. It's very tasty. Is

**Senator:** it? But once I had, I mean, honestly it was when we did the, the, uh, the V Churchill, I, I, I thought that's much better. And having the, I think the regular V line wipes the floor with the

**Gizmo:** Melanio. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** And I really enjoyed the Churchill. I think when we did it, I don't know what we rated

**Bam Bam:** it, but [00:21:00] it's fuller.

I think it was in the eights, if I remember correctly. I

**Senator:** just, the Milano to me, it's, it's, it's so much Barnyard. I remember getting into that cigar where I, I like this V standard V line profile much more.

**Bam Bam:** I gravitate to Barnyard from time to time. I kind of like that funky.

**Gizmo:** I think the Milano wine, just for comparison's sake, I think the Milano wine is aged quite a bit more.

I think it's five years at least aged tobacco. Um, so I think that they, they're softening the experience a little bit. Where are they aging it, in

**Senator:** a barn? I mean, I just don't know. Like, it doesn't taste

**Gizmo:** that much smoother. In

**Bam Bam:** a butcher shop.

**Gizmo:** You know, this cigar is

**Rooster:** so good that I'm almost considering, like, buying another tower. And just filling it up with boxes and boxes of... Sub 10 Lanseros and Lonsdale. So it's just like a new age. Welcome to the new world. Welcome.

**Gizmo:** Age him even longer, by the [00:22:00] way, to hear Rooster say that I was, I don't know if there's a bigger compliment for this cigar right now to, I'm not even being funny. It's not a joke to hear Rooster say that who is probably more than any of us. So far down the rabbit hole stuff, the connoisseur corner. All jokes aside, to hear that kind of compliment on a cigar like this, I mean, it really validates the value and flavor in this cigar.

Gizmo, just say it. Rooster, you've changed. You've changed.

**Senator:** That's the standard

**Gizmo:** Gizmo line. You've changed. But usually I mean that in a negative way. This is, I'm very happy for him. Isn't it true? Don't you agree? It is. I agree. It's worth doing that. Rooster,

**Bam Bam:** I could probably, I would do this back to back tonight if you gave me another one.

No problem. It is just so, it's, I won't give you one. I don't have it. I

**Gizmo:** know.

**Bam Bam:** Delicious, delicious experience. Yeah, this is really elegant. And I'm sure you'll tell

**Rooster:** you like that. it. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Giving [00:23:00] the people what they want. Yeah, this is, uh, this is really, really elegant. I'm going over to Grindr's house tomorrow and picking some up.

**Bam Bam:** He's got two boxes. 17

**Grinder:** dollars each. I'll ride him over on my bike. E bike. E bike. Can we try some, uh, Cognac train, boys, tonight.

**Gizmo:** We have the Hennessy, very special old pale, the VSOP tonight. I want to give a

**Bam Bam:** shout out to Lizard John, the owner of our club here, 1086 in Hawthorne. Johnny, we're having cognac tonight.

**Gizmo:** With, by the way, this fantastic cigar out of his humidor. This is out of his humidor? Out of the 1086 humidor. Johnny! And happy, happy birthday, John.

Happy birthday, John. Yeah, that's right. Happy birthday. John's birthday

**Bam Bam:** was yesterday.

**Grinder:** You're coming through big for us, boy. John's an avid listener, so I'm sure he'll get these messages. Yeah, he loves it.

**Bam Bam:** John, we love

**Gizmo:** you. All right, boys. Let's try the Hennessy Very Special Old Pale VSOP tonight. I think this is the second Hennessy [00:24:00] we've done, if I'm not wrong.

Oh, wow. Okay. Hello. We're in for a good night, boys.

**Bam Bam:** On the nose, before it gets to your palate, it is fantastic. And once you take down, it's like nectar. It's amazing. That's really, really good. It's

**Grinder:** so damn good.

**Senator:** It's like honey. It's like honey. The pairing with the flavor profile of this cigar is perfect.

**Gizmo:** It's perfect. Yeah, it's very complimentary and neither is like vying for attention. They're very, very much in the same lane, I think, as far as flavor profile. I think you could also do a rum with this. I agree. I agree with that. Yeah. Because it's, it's

**Rooster:** a full bodied

**Bam Bam:** smoke. How much is this bottle? Um, do we know?

**Gizmo:** You're looking at me. Are you looking at me? He's just always

**Bam Bam:** staring at you. I noticed that. Well, you're right in my sight lines. I thought you would say, would

**Pagoda:** you look at what you're looking at?

**Gizmo:** So we've done the Hennessy EXO. We've done so many different cognacs on the pod. Um, and this is the first time I'm actually [00:25:00] trying the VSOP.

This is an excellent VSOP,

**Senator:** guys. Yeah, so I have to give a shout out to, uh, one of our lounge members, Jay, who really put us

**Grinder:** onto this. My

**Senator:** man. Um, I mean, the funny thing is, I think our minds were really blown when we did the, the Hennessy XO. Yep, that was a good one. And the Hennessy VSOP is like really the kind of standard, like club drink almost.

Like when you see people get like a bottle of Hennessy, like it's the VS or the VSOP. Right. And so there's always been, I won't lie, like this little stigma for me of like, well, that's not for a serious night. It's in many

**Grinder:** rap songs. Right. Right.

**Senator:** I mean, I mean, NOS is their brand ambassador, truly like the ambassador for Hennessy.

And so I just never took it seriously, the VSOP, because I just associate with like a night out clubbing, not a serious, like. I just want to relax, have a fine spirit, a nice cigar, and um, Bam and I were at the club the other night, and uh, Jay had a bottle of this, and neither of us had ever tried it. And, I mean, it was so funny because we had one glass, and we were like, wow, this [00:26:00] is really good.

Next thing you know, he The bottle was gone. He had to leave. He just left the bottle, and we just killed it. He was like, just enjoy. But we really, really took to this, and um, with this cigar right now, I mean, man, I'm very happy. Do we know the price? Yeah. It's uh, like 60, 65 a bottle. Which is roughly in line with most V SOPs,

**Grinder:** bro.

That's worth every dollar. I'm trying to find my receipt in my email, but it's not coming up. I think I paid, like I got it delivered, so I think I paid a little more like 70, 73 bucks. Wow. It's still a great value.

**Bam Bam:** That's a great, that, that included VSP delivery. Yeah. Yeah. The, the color is rich and beautiful.

**Gizmo:** It is. It's, it's a very, very dark, deep color. Yeah. Yeah. Gorgeous. It's, it's a viscous spirit for V S O P too. Mm-hmm. . You know, um, but yeah, it's a very rich experience in the mouth. You know, I, I love how a Cognac, a good Cognac coats your mouth and, and really compliments the, the draw. You know, when you take a draw your cigar, you take a sip of the Cognac.

When those are working together, it's such an elegant experience for

**Bam Bam:** me. [00:27:00] Agreed. What a learning experience this pod's been for all of us regarding the Cognac experience. Senator, your dad was a big Cognac and cigar guy. You learned from him. We all learned. You can't beat a Cognac and a cigar. You just

**Senator:** can't.

Yeah, you really can't. I mean, it's one of the most surprising revelations. I never understood. I'm like, why do people drink Cognac? And it took a sip of Remy Martin with my dad that I said, okay, I kind of see why this is a thing. And now we've really gone down the rabbit hole and I'm never turning back.

**Gizmo:** Speaking of the Cognac rabbit hole, I want to mention this Cognac. I'm going to cut that clip and just drop it. I'm going to get like a button. I can drop

**Bam Bam:** by. I love

**Gizmo:** that. I love that. So I think max from Australia, New South Wales was probably lizard max is probably one of our first listeners that ever emailed us.

Oh, you know what? Two years ago, you know, next week is episode 100. We're coming up on a hundred episodes. Like [00:28:00] Lizard Max from Australia is one of our, one of the first listeners that ever emailed us and he sent us, sent us an email, uh, last week and said, um, Cognac Trail. Gents, good to hear that the Cognac rabbit hole we went down a long time ago is working well.

Forget Brandy, the Armagnac Trail is amazing. Glad all is sounding well. And I love the longer play episodes. By the way, what's with the white underwear on the Blizzard merch store? Ha ha ha. Keep up the good work. And please keep my seat warm. Max, lizards are sexy. Yea,

**Senator:** I was gonna say, I think that's a question for Bam.

There's no way

**Gizmo:** around it. By the way, I sent him that. That the only reason that I put those lizard underwear in the merch store was just simply to write on it that Bam Bam had ordered several pairs for himself. Bam Bam approved. Ha That's the tagline on

**Bam Bam:** the uh,

**Pagoda:** on the merch store. He's old school. Tidy white is go long way.

**Gizmo:** But always good to hear from a listener and, you know, hear from one of the OG, uh, listener, Max, who's been listening for [00:29:00] two years now. That's awesome. That's amazing. Yeah, this is, uh, this is really a wonderful pairing. Wow. It's a rich

**Bam Bam:** experience through and through.

**Pagoda:** This is how it should always

**Gizmo:** be.

**Bam Bam:** Thank you,

**Gizmo:** pagoda. You know, we have it so hard sometimes when cigars aren't, you know when cigars are sevens and I don't know how we do it. . Yeah. We sit around and smoke cigars and drink scotch. We, we have no, we have no reason. It's a tough, tough life. It's not, it's not too bad. We've all gotta make sacrifices.

All right, so, We have another email. This one's a little more critical. Uh oh. Lizard Raz. First of all, congratulations for the show. One of the few, if not the only one, who is discussing with objectivity Cuban cigars. I've listened to all the episodes and wish you a long existence. On the cigar podcast scene, I was like, Oh, what's he setting us up for here?

Lizard razz. Now I'm writing to [00:30:00] you after, after your request for Brandy's recommendations. I must say I was really horrified. About your taste in Cognac, the four major Cognac houses, especially for their younger expressions. VS and VSOP are using sugar, a ton of caramel E 150 and Boise, which I didn't know what that was.

It's boiling oak chips in Cognac over and over again to produce a dark syrupy liquid in order to sweeten the final product and to give it a darker hue, giving it the illusion of an aged Cognac. I'll give you some suggestions of good Cognacs made by smaller producers. Like in the Champagne region in Cognac, the small producers make the wine and then they sell a big chunk of their liquid to the major houses, but keep for themselves 15 to 20 percent of their production to age and sell on their own.

So he sent me a whole list of stuff to do, but I found that to be... What are, what are some of these brands? So some of the revelations, Le Roque XO, uh, Raymond Desi XO [00:31:00] Cognac, uh, Raymond Ragnoud. I can't pronounce French, you know this. Ours, Ours, Deage, Aja. You know, Aja. You asked me.

**Bam Bam:** Keep going. Horse, Deage. No.

**Gizmo:** Uh, Landier XO Artisanal Cognac. And then he also sent, I mean, this is, this is quite an amazing, uh, uh, extensive email. He also sent some Armagnacs as well. So we'll have to get some of these, but Oh, absolutely.

**Senator:** The key is going to be our ability to find

**Gizmo:** that. That's the problem. That's so he's overseas.

Lizard Raz is overseas. So, you know, we'll see, see if we can get some of this stuff. I'm going to try to procure it for us, but emails from Lizard Max and Lizard Raz and so many other listeners who've emailed us with Konya recommendations, reviews, thanks for recommending this. Like we love hearing from the listeners on this.

It's amazing. And, and to me, anything that's going to open our eyes to greater spirits and helping us continue down as, as Lizard Max said, the rabbit hole. Like, I think [00:32:00] it's fantastic.

**Bam Bam:** It's the most exciting part of this whole thing that we're doing is the open communication with listeners. There's just

**Pagoda:** no doubt about that.

Because we're a medium, right? Yeah. He's educating us and we'll educate the rest of the listeners. So he's essentially educating the rest of the listeners, which is great. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And we're not experts. We're just, you know, on the journey. We're conduit. Yeah. We're just, we're, we're with the listeners here on a journey.

We need to

**Grinder:** copy paste. Uh. Uh, Lizard Ricky for every spirit, just give us the, give us the, the one on one.

**Gizmo:** Exactly. So, you know, having said that, knowing that we were doing Hennessy VSOP tonight, it made me think, like, I wonder how much of this experience is colored by some of those, those things that, that Lizard Raz mentions.

So, we'll have to see. Yeah. So we're, uh, you know, our promise to all the listeners out there. We're going to continue, obviously we're enjoying this, so we're going to continue down these rabbit holes. Yes, sir. Uh, and by the way, speaking of Chef Ricky, I should mention it. Um, I spoke to him last week. [00:33:00] We're going to be putting a date on the calendar for the Mezcal deep dive.

We're having him back? Artisanal Mezcal. My man. Yeah. Lizard, uh, Lizard Chef Ricky is going to come on and, uh, we're going to do a Mezcal deep dive. So very, very cool. So we love, love, love hearing from listeners. So please. Do reach out, tell us what you're smoking, what you want us to smoke, and, uh, of course, what you think of our pairings and what you want us to drink.

**Bam Bam:** I can't control myself from smoking right through this cigar

**Gizmo:** because it's so good. Pagoda, slow down with that cigar. No, it's good. He's taking the band off already. Jesus.

**Bam Bam:** It's too good to

**Gizmo:** stop. He's, he's almost done pagoda. I just read

**Rooster:** this

**Gizmo:** is a 90 minute smoke, 90

**Bam Bam:** minute . Not in his world. I'm not alo

**Gizmo:** It is a. You gotta smoke this slow. I

**Pagoda:** know. I've been trying.

**Grinder:** It's too good though, isn't it? You are on fire.

**Rooster:** It's just like, you keep holding your cigar, you're like, what am I going [00:34:00] to take

**Pagoda:** the next one? I'm

**Rooster:** enjoying it.

**Gizmo:** Patience, my lad. Patience. So, boys, what are you thinking about the Oliva V, man? I mean, this is really, really, really good.

**Bam Bam:** It's hard not to go through it. It's so good. And I

**Pagoda:** think the consensus is everyone's enjoying it. You can just feel it in the room.

**Rooster:** It is a

**Gizmo:** bold smoke, though. Not too bold, though. Yeah. I'm getting a little bit more spice now in the second third. It's a little more on the front of my tongue. I'm getting a little more oomph to it.

But it's very pleasant. I

**Grinder:** feel that, I would guess this is on the higher end of the nicotine scale. Yeah. From how I'm feeling, I'm feeling

**Bam Bam:** a little good,

**Grinder:** getting high nicotine does that. I mean, you know, it's, it's, it's an offer and it's really good for you. Actually, actually it is, it

**Senator:** is,

**Gizmo:** we're going to have an FDA strike on this episode.


**Pagoda:** Pagoda. This is one Indian business got nothing to [00:35:00] do with medicine or technology. I don't know what the hell

**Grinder:** is that? I got the wrong genes. There's a celebrity doctor on the, like on various channels, uh, it's not Sanjay. It's, uh, Dr. Attia, A T T I A. And he, this guy choose nicotine gum on a regular basis and is a proponent of it and is telling people like, because of all the positive health benefits nicotine can have on yours.

We need to get this

**Gizmo:** guy on the pod. No. I am very, very happy. I wanted to ask you a question about the, uh, the cognac, what to say. The cognac V S O P. I'm getting a, um, a, a, a touch of like a licorice type flavor on that. Are you guys getting that? Call it, um, an, an nice anise or a, you know, I'm, I'm kind of getting that black licorice, a little bit of it.

Am I crazy? No, I'm not getting that.

**Grinder:** So I think, uh, if you were to, I kind of is my answer. If you do, um, like there's distant different taste buds in your [00:36:00] mouth, the back part of your mouth, whether it's like the sour side, I kind of get it when I, when I, when I bring it to the back of my mouth and let it coat the back of my tongue, that's when I feel it really enveloped me.

And that's when I get a very more. Kind of punctuated taste that you're describing.

**Senator:** I don't think you're crazy. I get a little bit of it, but it's not very pronounced. Cause I don't, I don't really love a licorice flavor. I think it's just in the background. That's,

**Gizmo:** that's the important thing about it for me is I don't love the flavor of licorice or anise, but the way that this is being delivered.

It's perfectly complementing the cigar, like it's totally fine for me. But it is very present, like I'm noticing it, you know, as I sip it. And I think the cigar is working well with it too. I think, you know, the flavor of this Nicaraguan tobacco, with the profile of this VSOP, it's really working. I think

**Bam Bam:** the, someone said it earlier, the pairing is just fantastic.

Very rich, delicious experience.

**Grinder:** Through and through. I so hope that guy was wrong about the, these,

**Bam Bam:** lizard rashes. [00:37:00] I'm going to ignore that for a moment and enjoy my, I'm going to enjoy my cognac. No, no, no,

**Senator:** where that lizard is correct, all cognacs have some added sugar. I mean, brandies, it's to an extreme.

That's why I don't like brandy. Right. Um, and technically, you know, all cognacs are brandies, but I mean just straight brandy, not from the cognac region. So there's sugar in all of them. There's no, no dispute there and the better stuff definitely has less added sugar than the cheaper stuff. There's no question.

If you look at VSOPs, I guarantee it's the high sugar content than vs. Sorry. VS than V S O P and the XOs. It's like very little residual sugar they add. But like what people also should understand, I mean even wines. Have some residual sugar that are often added. So, you know, it's a delicate balance. And I think, like, the brands that deserve criticism are the ones that take it to such an extreme that, like, you take a sip of it and you just feel like you're having candy.

I mean, that, that's obviously not reflective of the spirit at all. Yeah. Um, but

**Gizmo:** I like And also, and also doesn't work what we're doing. It doesn't work for what we're doing tonight with the cigar. [00:38:00] Totally. You know, you have a sugar blast. It just doesn't work for me. Agreed. You know, this is very

**Pagoda:** disappointing by the way, you know, I mean, you know, on Instagram, you have these guys now who do all these sugar spikes with a lot of different, you know, alcohol and, you know, they'll try a lot of different things and they.

tell you how much your glucose levels gone up or,

**Gizmo:** and, uh, what, what is your Instagram algorithm feeding you? Remember he's Dr. Pagoda. You're down some sugar.

**Senator:** He's deep in the medical community.

**Pagoda:** So now I've got to tell you something with, uh, with whiskey, your blood sugar levels don't spike as

**Senator:** high. Well, that's because there's a lot less, uh, added sugar there.

And, and if you look at the calorie content of like any cognac versus a whiskey, whiskey's got like half the calories. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And,

**Pagoda:** uh, red wine. I was surprised. Same. Yeah, exactly. And so, I'm like, hey, listen, I gotta continue these habits,

**Bam Bam:** you know. Dr. Pagode, it's good for you. [00:39:00]

**Gizmo:** Just like the nicotine.

**Bam Bam:** You know, I'd like to do more Armagnacs.

We've only done one. Yeah. We need to do more. Yeah, we need to do more. And I, of course, I don't really understand. I don't have clarity on the difference between an Armagnac and a Cognac and a Brandy. And I'd be curious to know what the profiles are, if there are less or more additives in an Armagnac than there is in a Cognac.

**Senator:** I mean, I think it's, they're all Brandys. Okay. But the difference is that Cognacs... Our brandy's from the cognac region and Armac from the Armac region. Ah, okay. Got it.

**Rooster:** Everything in in France is region based. Right. That's just like wines. Right. They're named up the

**Senator:** region. Interesting. Right, right. That's why like in France, like we, we say Sauvignon Blanc for French, for French people, they drink Sandsara.

That's a, a Sauvignon Blanc. That's from the Sandsara region. Right? Right.

**Bam Bam:** That Armac was spectacular that night. So good.

**Gizmo:** So boy, it's an interesting, um, news story. Coming out of Tampa the last few weeks. I don't know if you guys saw this. I think, Senator, you sent this around maybe. You, you, [00:40:00] you put this on the chat.

But, uh, J. C. Newman, uh, at their Tampa headquarters unveiled cigars that they purchased from auction that are 134 years old that were salvaged from a wreckage. At the bottom of the Atlantic, where are they on the Titanic? Well, no, well,

**Senator:** you know, it took, it took, it took billionaires to get in a submarine and almost and to kill themselves just to retrieve these cigars.

I'm joking. Thankfully, it did not. Thank God. But no, it's a crazy story. I mean, they're saying these are like some of the oldest cigars that like you can basically see that somehow have been preserved how these. It's still exists being down the ocean is beyond me. They must

**Gizmo:** have been in a great like Tupper door or something like a Rubbermaid, a gizmo approved

**Senator:** Tupper door,

**Gizmo:** 18 thirties.

**Bam Bam:** But technically though, they would have to be in like a zero oxygen environment for them to stay preserved over such a long period of time. Yeah. Oxygen oxidizes.

**Gizmo:** So it was on the SS Central [00:41:00] America. Yeah,

**Senator:** the story is actually pretty cool. Crazy. Uh, just when you hear about it. So it says in, in 1857, the SS Central.

**Bam Bam:** I have no idea.

**Gizmo:** What just happened?

**Bam Bam:** No, it's just a tidbit

**Rooster:** from BAM. It was very intellectual. I don't know. I forgot, I forgot it looks at me. It just goes. Oh, oxygen, oxygen. That

**Bam Bam:** is fantastic. Uh, you need to mute their mics right now.

**Senator:** All right. There's the sugar in our Kodak. And

**Gizmo:** the

**Bam Bam:** nicotine. You are all high

**Senator:** right now. Go ahead, Senator. I was going to say, no, there's just a really, uh, a pretty cool story about the ship. So in 1857, the SS Central America that Giz was talking about, uh, was heading for New York City by way of Panama, which I understand one of our lizards is going to be visiting.

Hmm. Uh, when it got caught in a hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas, [00:42:00] um, the ship obviously did not, uh, did not make out well. Uh, it sunk, it took 425 crew and passengers along with it. Oh, that's horrible. And on this ship were heaps of gold from the gold rush, uh, that were from San Francisco that they were transporting.

And the crazy thing is, so this went like 7, 000 feet below the surface, um, it took recovery expeditions in the late 20th century and as recent as 2014 when they were finally able to extract a bunch of the stuff that was down there, including the cigars. And the, the wild thing is just how the ripple effect that something just this one ship had, they claim that the sinking of the SS Central America, uh, many believe that it was a huge contributor to the panic of 1857, America's first major, uh, major financial crisis.

Wow. And apparently that banks in New York were counting on these shipments of gold to fortify their reserves. And the gold never made it when the ship sank. Wow. And so, uh, they said at the [00:43:00] time, the gold cargo aboard was worth 1. 6 million. This is in the 1800s. So imagine what that's worth now. Wow. And none of it obviously made it to New York.

And so it really caused a big

**Gizmo:** financial problem. That telegraph coming in, the gold is gone.

**Bam Bam:** But it seems like somebody lost their job. It's

**Pagoda:** like, if they recovered the cigars, somebody recovered the

**Senator:** gold. Uh huh. Well, so apparently a bunch of it was all over the seafloor and in this area that they started to find it, they called it the garden of gold.

And it's literally, they have like a photo. In this article of just like gold all along the seafloor. And I imagine people, pirates and whoever else made out finding some of this stuff and making a good penny

**Gizmo:** pirate band. So J. C. Newman

**Rooster:** probably went to looking for gold and he

**Gizmo:** found cigars.

**Grinder:** That's so cool.

That's amazing. That's such a great. That's

**Gizmo:** so what part of the story? What were the cigars in that they were in the truck? So I was reading it. They were in the trunk of a first class passenger. What? Like a, like a. [00:44:00] Waterproof trunk, like a, some sort of suitcase created a situation in which these cigars were 18 cigars.

**Senator:** So they, they also 18, they also did some things to restore the cigars. So from what it says here, it says that they were, they credit the unique water conditions and a minimally breached trunk that Giz was mentioning. To the resilience of the cigars upon discovery, the cigars were extracted and ultimately slowly freeze dried over a few months to reach essentially the same stable condition that they were meant to be.

**Bam Bam:** Did they pour tap water? They were in

**Rooster:** water for

**Gizmo:** 200 years.

**Senator:** It's crazy. They have a photo. This is the trunk that they were in. They got it off the ocean floor.

**Bam Bam:** Unreal. It's amazing.

**Pagoda:** That's cool. I'm just impressed that there were lizards even then. Were they? Oh

**Bam Bam:** yeah, baby. I wonder if they were, were they, what were they?

Padrones or?

**Gizmo:** I just, I just think it's amazing that they were able to think [00:45:00] about it. You're talking about tobacco, a leaf rolled up, survived at the bottom of the ocean for like almost 200 years. They pulled them out, they freeze dried them, and now they're in their Display case at the front of their Tampa headquarters.

Can you imagine how that's incredible?

**Grinder:** Unflavorful. That is

**Gizmo:** the crazy

**Senator:** thing is they are very confident that these are the oldest cigars in the world. And it says that the reason that they believe this is number one, previously the oldest known cigars in the world were from 1863. This ship predates that number two, it says that.

They were rolled by hand without cigar molds, which didn't become popular until the late 1800s. So, they, this is probably the oldest cigars that exist. That's amazing. It's wild.

**Gizmo:** Wow. That's crazy. And they'll

**Bam Bam:** be kept, they'll be kept on

**Gizmo:** display, I guess. But do we know the, any

**Rooster:** source of the

**Gizmo:** cigar? Like, are they Cubans, or?

It says they

**Senator:** were unbanded, so they don't. Hmm. Impossible to

**Grinder:** know, then. Yeah. [00:46:00] Where was it, what was the, uh, disembarkment site? Where did, what was the port?

**Senator:** So it was heading to New York, and the, the ship sunk off the coast of the Carolinas. Where

**Grinder:** was it coming from?

**Bam Bam:** Panama.

**Gizmo:** Oh, from Panama? Panama. Yeah.

Incredible. As

**Bam Bam:** incredible as this cigar we're smoking right

**Gizmo:** now. This is so good, man. Off the charts. Yeah, we're about halfway through here, boys. The Oliva V. Off the charts. And Lancero. I am going to buy a cabinet of 36 of these. Before we leave here tonight right behind you. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** send me the link

**Gizmo:** Already ordered it.

Did you really well? Well,

**Pagoda:** that's that's really graduating. I know instead of like, hey, can you buy me one? Thank you. Listen Pagoda

**Gizmo:** next week is episode 100 I think bam can find himself some aleeva cigars. I like the collaboration

**Bam Bam:** here. It's nice.

**Gizmo:** It's a nice way to put it

**Grinder:** It's called enabling, actually.

**Gizmo:** [00:47:00] Boy.

So the other news story, boys, that we should touch on, uh, we talked about this maybe two months ago discussing the first quarter imports of cigars in the United States. Um, Cigar Aficionado, uh, reported that cigar imports were down again slightly through the second quarter of the year, 3. 4 percent decline on import, but obviously with price increases and whatnot.

Uh, they're still making a ton of money and the revenue is actually up. But, you know, I mean, we were talking about this. I mean, it's just, it's gotta be a product of, you know, the shelves returning to normal kind of stock levels at the local B& Ms here in the United States. But also people are back to work.

People are traveling. People are, you know, sitting at their desk again. They're not working from home as much. So I got to imagine that's affecting demand. Cause I think even in this room, the six of us, Puba included, you know, things are kind of back to pre COVID normalcy as far [00:48:00] as our habits. You know, are you guys agreeing with that?

I agree. Yeah.

**Senator:** Yeah. I just think the context is really fascinating because obviously there was like the huge spike during COVID and then they're talking about how now more recently we're starting to see these declines. But when you put it in context, like historically of like where imports are now from where they've ever been, it's insane.

I mean, they're saying right now with these declines, if this kind of holds through the end of the year. That there'll be about 450 million cigars that are imported this year to put, and they call this the new cigar boom between 2014 and 2017. So pre pandemic, annually, about 240 million cigars were imported.

So the fact that we're talking Wow, that's almost double. Double. Yeah. From 2017 to now. That's insane. It is. And it says that imports hadn't reached 400 million since 1997 when there was the cigar boom. So this is like historic, really, kind of this period we're in right now. And

**Gizmo:** it's, it's really important to note, [00:49:00] and I think we've touched on this before, but the quality of the cigars today in 2023 versus the quality of those cigars in the boom in the 90s.

Much better. It's significantly better. And thankfully. With that FDA ruling, we talked about, um, you know, a few months ago being overturned, you know, uh, and, and, and premium cigar makers not being subject to the same regulation, you know, R and D. You know, you know, entrance, new entrance into the market, new makers.

It's like, to me, this is like, we're in a phenomenal cigar boom. Not just in volume, but also in quality, which is, I think, a really fantastic thing. Agreed.

**Bam Bam:** And,

**Grinder:** I don't know, imports are a lagging indicator, right? So, that is, what that tells us is that demand has been kind of falling probably for a while now.

Um, from COVID levels. Yeah, well, essentially. Yeah. So. To, to Senator's point, we had the boom, we got gluttonous with [00:50:00] cigars, and

**Bam Bam:** Who, who, us?

**Gizmo:** Are you talking about us? The, the

**Grinder:** geckos around the world, yes. So I, I imagine there's, you know, it's just kind of stabilizing. I, I do think it's going to probably stick around at the high levels because

**Pagoda:** I don't know, I'm not sure because the number of lounges have reduced dramatically.

There are 11 lounges in New York City now. It's ridiculous. That's it. 11. So

**Rooster:** I wonder what it does

**Gizmo:** to the Habano's pricing. Yeah. Yeah. It's a good question. I

**Grinder:** don't know if that's a good, I don't know.

**Pagoda:** And you know why I say it's like during COVID, and when people are working from home, you can smoke in your deck, you can go to the lounges, you're...

during the day while you're working, you're, you know, on your laptop, you're smoking a cigar. Now, now the expectation is you've got to go back to work at least four times, three to four times a week. So that's going to be reducing, you know, the overall activity in terms of cigar smoking from a, from a home perspective, from a residential perspective.

And on the other hand, [00:51:00] If you're gonna work and you want to go out and have a cigar after work, there are very few places to go out and enjoy it.

**Grinder:** Yeah, the other argument for that is that you have a lot of people...

**Bam Bam:** Oxygen oxidizer. Laughter

**Gizmo:** I was

**Grinder:** just, I was just going to say the other, the other side of that argument is that there were a lot of people that started getting into cigars. And they were smoking on their patio in their deck, and they're still smoking on their patio in their deck. And oh, by the way, not many people are actually going into New York City still.

So, you know, I don't know if that's a good proxy. I think there are a lot of people that smoke like us, like, you know, around their home and, you know, in their

**Senator:** garage. I think I agree with that. I mean, the number of people... That either started smoking cigars during the [00:52:00] pandemic or were casual cigar smokers and then took that to the level that we're all at in this room.

There's so many of those. And so like, you know, do I do believe what's contributing to some of these declines like. People are going into offices more. They don't have as much free, you know, freedom to be able to stay home and smoke a cigar while trying to get some work done. So I get that people like even me, I mean, I'm traveling more than I certainly was during the pandemic.

So yeah, I do have less time to smoke cigars. But do I think that there's going to be like this giant drop off or We're ever going back to a world where there's 200 and something million imports of cigars a year. I just don't really see that. And even anecdotally, I mean, I am shocked. Like one of the things that is very encouraging for me, the young generation, the interest in cigars, I think it's like as high as it's ever been.

That's true. I mean, I just know like when I was, when I was very young, no super young person was interested in cigars. That was like an old. Person's old

**Gizmo:** dude, old dude, like [00:53:00] Cognac, right?

**Senator:** I can't believe, I mean, now the number of people in my own firm, let alone just other random people, I'm talking young kids out of college that will come up to me and say, you know, Senator, I hear your, I hear you're a cigar guy.

Can I, can I smoke a cigar with you at some point? And I'm sitting there like, this is a 22 year old, sometimes even like, you know, not just men, women too. Yeah. And it's just, I think it really bodes well for the future of the industry. And that's where I think like for Habanos, what's such a damn shame is like, I don't think there are many 22 year olds that are looking to drop 25, 30 something dollars on a cigar, especially getting into this hobby.

And that's where like this cigar for 7, like this is exactly what that young person should start

**Bam Bam:** to. Absolutely. Because of the quality of this and the experience, it's just a tremendous value.

**Grinder:** I generally don't think, you know, that that metric is that. Frankly interesting because it doesn't really tell a story because it's a commodity price.

It's a commodity You know imports are gonna go up and down and up and down all the time. [00:54:00] So, you know, if anything it's only in showing again lagging indication of what you know, what the what the market is or what what the Distributors are doing so you might say that they're seeing some, some slackening in demand, maybe, but not that much because we still see a lot of people smoking cigars.

**Gizmo:** The other thing that I think for me is playing into it too, not only the back to work, but also the back to normal kind of socializing, you know, like I, I had this, you know, moment the other day where, you know, we had some stuff on the calendar with the kids, with friends, with family. With, you know, events and all those that disappeared completely during COVID.

That's ticking up. And I filled that time with, you know, either you guys, the lizards, or smoking a cigar by myself on my deck or in the garage. And now those things have also... Ticked up in, in frequency and kind of resuming normalcy. And it's just like, there's more time in the week eaten up by things that take away from [00:55:00] time that, you know, you'd normally be able to smoke cigars.

So for me, as someone who I kind of control my own schedule, I work from home, I can do whatever I want as far as my workload, those other things are actually creating more of an impact for me personally than some of the things you guys mentioned.

**Bam Bam:** Makes sense. I think,

**Grinder:** I think having a baby did a lot for my cigar consumption.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. That too. Yeah. So boys, we're into the, what looks like the last third of the Oliva V Lancero. I would say this cigar is definitely smoking faster than I thought, and I actually thought I was pacing myself pretty well, but it's, it's burning quite a bit faster than I expected. It's not getting hot.

It's not, I'm not complaining. I'm just saying it's moving faster than I thought it

**Grinder:** would. I I'm I I've noticed that it's kind of, it's, it's consistent for me. I'm not noticing many changes, which is great, you know, right

**Bam Bam:** now. Nice and consistent. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** The delivery is still very, very smooth, even though it's, you know, it's.

Definitely ramped up, you know, the flavors that we were talking about. Um, it's still such a smooth [00:56:00] delivery. I'm not getting any bite at all. It's very, very pleasant. But I think this is like, as an after dinner type of cigar, this really slots in well for me, like after a steak dinner, after a full meal, this is very, very satisfying, especially if you're going to only have one cigar.

I mean, I think it's also picked up in strength. It has. You can feel it. You think so? Yeah. I don't know if it's It's still very smooth. I don't know if it's a nicotine kick or if it's just like, you know, in body, like in strength, it has picked up. Are you going to need a ride home, Rooster? No, actually, I'm going to have this in the morning.

Yeah, man. Did you overnight that shipment? You just ordered. Like I said, I'm going over to grinder's house. Oh, that's right. Grinder has a stock come over tonight. Rooster.

**Bam Bam:** All right. Ooh, only him. Damn.

**Gizmo:** So boys, I wanted to share, um, I handed it out to you guys before we started. And this nice presentation. So, uh, we have, it's like the broke out the lizard scroll.

Yeah. Lizard scroll. This [00:57:00] is a handwritten letter from two lizard listeners, fricking awesome, lizard Weaver and lizard Haku, who are the founders of a company called Sigloo sent us all trial. Oh, packages. Wait a minute. Of a cigar repair tool.

**Bam Bam:** The pack is,

**Gizmo:** oh. Pretty cool, right? This is like a syringe. So it's in like a pencil size format, almost kind of like, you know, like you would find at your, uh.

Your perfect draw type size, but it's a tool to repair cigars that have been cracked or, you know, need repair while you're smoking them.

**Bam Bam:** So I no longer need to rely on

**Gizmo:** spit? That's exactly it. Wow. So now we have Cigloo. I'm imagining this is all natural. It is all natural.

**Grinder:** Is this the same stuff they use in the factory?


**Gizmo:** It very well may be. I don't know. So what do we think it is? Like cellulose? Yeah. It's gotta be some sort of natural product, but. Yeah. Well, I, so I think these are prototypes that they sent us and they wrote us a nice letter [00:58:00] and they said, uh, Hey guys, it's Lizard Weaver and Lizard Haku here from Sigloo.

We hope you enjoy our new little invention, especially Rooster. They called out rooster. Nice. Especially rooster. What did I do now?

**Bam Bam:** All of his fractured cigars.

**Gizmo:** Please give it a try and let us know what you think, good or bad. Friendly greetings from across the pond. Where are they from?

**Bam Bam:** Across the pond.

Across the pond, okay.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, very, very discreet.

**Bam Bam:** Senator's doing immediate research on this, I can see.

**Gizmo:** I just love the presentation of this in this kind of, uh, you know, pencil size format. Very medicinal. Yeah, it would, it would fit very nicely in a case. It's very unassuming. Yep. Wouldn't take up a lot of space, but if you have a cigar, I guess, that's cracked or is performing, you know, having issues.

Looks like I

**Bam Bam:** can get it at a surgical supply center.

**Gizmo:** But, you know, it's just cool that a group of listeners, you know, invented this and sent it our way. Have to try it out. [00:59:00] Yep, so we'll use

**Bam Bam:** this on all the Oyo's that we smoke that tend to delaminate. The Romeo's. Romeo's delaminate. Yep. Um, what else? A couple of Rask.

Have delaminated. I could use this on that. Yeah. Yeah.

**Grinder:** I really respect the use of

**Senator:** the word

**Grinder:** delamination.

**Bam Bam:** Delaminate. That's what it is. The leaves delaminate.

**Grinder:** He's a, he's a builder.

**Bam Bam:** I may be getting a shank in a moment for that.

**Gizmo:** Pagoda doesn't like when Bam uses big words. All right, listen,

**Pagoda:** English is my second language,

**Bam Bam:** please.

Big words are unexpected from Bam Bam. I can tell. We

**Gizmo:** appreciate the Siglu guys sending this to us. It's very cool to get a package from listeners. with a new product. So thank you for sending it. Yeah, we'll give it a try. And we'll let you know how it goes. And I got to tell you this. Cognac. It's so

**Bam Bam:** good, man.

You gave me really generous pour.

**Gizmo:** It's because you specifically told me when to stop pouring. I blew right through it.

**Bam Bam:** Wow. It [01:00:00] is. This stuff is just delicious. It goes down beautifully. Fantastic, fantastic spirit tonight, guys. I

**Grinder:** can, I can, delicious. This bottle is going to be kicked. Oh, yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, yeah. Ho, ho, ho.

Now we're cooking. I think I got a bad pour here. That's, look. That's a Coca Cola pour.

**Senator:** That's a three finger pour. What the heck is... Oh, my goodness.

**Gizmo:** Is this Jay's bottle? No.

**Bam Bam:** Lizard Jay. Do you want to trade glasses? Yeah. So Pagoda, I think Pagoda is

**Senator:** scared. I'll take it. I'm sorry for the listener. Pagoda is holding a half a glass full of Kodak and he's got the bottle in the other head.

And BAM says, do you want to trade? He'll just keep the bottle.

**Bam Bam:** I'll

**Pagoda:** adopt your glass. And to the listeners, I'm not a big drinker, by the

**Bam Bam:** way. Oh, okay. Really?

**Gizmo:** Maybe on Tuesdays. The

**Bam Bam:** Cigloo thing is pretty cool. I have to say, thank you [01:01:00] guys for that.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, the sig glue's great. Yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm absolutely gonna, you know, I, I carry a soda low is my main case. Right. And, and it has two kind of pencil slots. So my, my perfect draws in one. The other one's open. Yeah. I'm gonna slot this right in there next to it.

**Bam Bam:** So this will fit in my Peter James, where I put my

**Gizmo:** perfect draw. Exactly. It fits right in there. So. Yep. You know, I'm definitely gonna give it a shot and see how, uh Oh yeah. See how it does. I, I'm in,

**Grinder:** I think I, I'm ready for an upgrade for her cigar

**Senator:** box. You, it's time. It's about time. It's definitely time.

**Grinder:** I need my young grasshopper.

Yes. I'm, I'm in the market.

**Gizmo:** So yeah, you need to get an, a significantly better case than, well where, where should I go? What? Well, you have options. You have Soda Lo you have the Peter James. You, you know, there's a lot of different

**Senator:** options. What's the best quality? Don't let Gizmo send you Home Depot. That's not a

**Gizmo:** place to get a case.

Case. I don't a Home Depot. I carry a Solow. I'm very happy with my soda Lo I know Rooster has one as well. We love it. Um, Bam. Bam. Has a Peter James, what do you have? Uh, Senator, uh, cigar dagger. Cigar. Dagger. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. There's a lot of

**Grinder:** different options out there. How are the zippers? [01:02:00] 'cause I've, 'cause I recall some of these cases delaminating at the zipper.


**Gizmo:** My, my soda has been very, very good for me. I know old solos had that problem. The second generation slow soda has been very good. I kind of like

**Grinder:** senators actually. Scar. Dagger.

**Gizmo:** There you go.

**Grinder:** Does it have, does it have a, a, a secondary slot for the sig sloo?

**Bam Bam:** There's enough room with the, with the perfect draw.

You could fit it in fit. Oh

**Gizmo:** yeah. You probably could. Right next to it. Yeah. Right, right next to it.

**Pagoda:** I think what I like about the soda lows is the eight.

**Gizmo:** Mm-hmm. 10, 10. 10. You could fit 10.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. Yeah. And the rest are like five typically. Yeah. Those are easy

**Gizmo:** to carry. I like my sola. You know, like, here's an example like this weekend, you know, going back to, we just talked about folks who didn't smoke cigars.

Prior to the pandemic, I'm going to, uh, I'm going to see some of my college friends this weekend. And we're going to go meet at Jamie's in Clifton and have some cigars, which will be cool. Look at you. Yeah, I love it there. The food is great. So you've [01:03:00] been there? I've been there. Yeah, it's fantastic. I've been there a bunch of times.

**Senator:** I thought he was going to say he was going to GizmoCon or something. I'm impressed. With his Gizmo t shirt on. What kind of friend circle was that, by the way? What did you guys do?

**Grinder:** Did you like, go to the A. V. club and like, build TV sets and

**Gizmo:** stuff? We were radio staging guys at the college. We ran

**Bam Bam:** a radio station.

So you guys exchanged motherboards? So yes.

**Gizmo:** Exactly. Jamie's is a great spot. We love Jamie's. So I, we go there every time we get together now. And you know, as, like we were saying, these guys did not smoke cigars in any meaningful way. Prior to the pandemic, like I've known them for 20 years now. We're getting together at Jamie's this weekend.

Can I have some cigars before we, you know, we, before we go out with some other friends and I'm bringing a stash of cigars for everybody in the soda was a perfect carry for that, but it's awesome. Like these guys. are like really, really into cigars now. That's cool. And not because of me, like, I'm not, you know, I don't push the podcast.

They don't really know too much about it. You know, I keep it separate, but, [01:04:00] um.

**Senator:** What are you doing? You

**Gizmo:** gotta push it, bro. Push it. But, you know, it's like, it's a, it's a nice thing when it's like I'm able to show up at the Soda Loan. I have like a stack of great cigars. That's the cool thing about

**Bam Bam:** the Soda Loan.

You can. I've never had one in my Peter James. I can carry five max. I can't share. I can share one or two. If I plan on having yours doesn't hold six. It holds five comfortably six uncomfortably. I can do a half Corona at the top. That'll be my six

**Gizmo:** cigar. He purposely got that. Yeah.

**Senator:** So he didn't have to share.


only have five guys.

**Bam Bam:** You and I. Uh, we're gonna have a meeting outside .

**Senator:** I love it. I love it.

**Bam Bam:** But the Solow is cool because you

**Senator:** can share. All right. I'm sorry. Yeah, that's cool. Are you, what is it called, ma'am?

**Grinder:** Solow. It's not

**Senator:** a Solow, whatever. It's, it's a soda low. So o t. It's a T, not a, you

**Bam Bam:** know, I appreciate that, but [01:05:00] I prefer it my way.

**Gizmo:** All right. Manny, your last name is wrong. . It's Solow. Yes, sir. No, it's a great case, but I just like, you know, it's like going back to, I didn't even think about that prior to the conversation we just had about the imports. It's like, you know, these guys had no interest in cigars. And like I said, not because of me, they just started smoking cigars during the pandemic and, you know, I obviously have a nice collection, so I'm going to bring it.

It's part of a whole new generation

**Senator:** of cigar boomers.

**Bam Bam:** Here's a specific, what are you going to give them?

**Gizmo:** D4s for all of us to start. Wow. Tartagus D4s. Wow. Because they've, you know, we've done this a few times now, so they're like, they're into the journey that I'm teaching them of starting with a Cuban cigar.

Have some food. What day did you say you're going to be there? Yeah, I think all of us are. I want

**Bam Bam:** a

**Gizmo:** D4. I'm sorry. The place is

**Pagoda:** packed. No, I think we'll go to Jamie's and then, you know, go to a brunch place right after. There you go.

**Gizmo:** I'll bring a motherboard. All right, roosters in. [01:06:00] No, it's, you know, so it's nice.

We're going to have, we're going to start with a part of his D4. Actually, you know, it's, it's like having this cigar tonight. This might be in the rotation on there you go on Saturday. Like. You know, Jamie's has great kind of rich food, steak, Italian food. Like it's really, really good. Great pork chop there.

Do you buy it? Do you have to buy it from the human or no? They're very, very cool about it. No cutting fee. No cutting fee. As long as you're buying drinks and food, they don't care. They kind of get when you're like a cigar guy, like they're not going to bust your balls. They're very, very, and the food is really, really good.

It's well done. Yeah. As far as the cigar place, they have a great, great kitchen. The owner

**Bam Bam:** is extraordinarily appreciative of your business. He'll come visit with you. He'll ask you about your food. How's your cigar? Even if he didn't give you the cigar, what cigar are you smoking? He's really involved. So he appreciates, but yeah, he

**Gizmo:** appreciates the business.

And talk about a rare spot. How many places in New Jersey has a liquor license? And a fantastic restaurant and you can smoke cigars in the entire place. I think it's [01:07:00] three, three, right? Three. Sophia's Sophia's. Oh, four then

**Bam Bam:** brick house. Brick house. Our

**Gizmo:** North Jamie's. Yep. Hearth and tap. Yep. That's four. Yeah.

Maybe there's one or two more.

**Pagoda:** And the other place you went to remember by the, between the two buildings, you said the two new buildings. Oh, and Ventana's. Oh, Ventana's.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, you can smoke there in the back outside.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, but you know, it's nice. You walk in, no matter where you sit in the bar or the restaurant, you can light up right there.

Yeah, that's awesome. It's a fantastic place. I mean, Ventana's is outdoors. Yeah,

**Senator:** it's outdoors. Jamie's is inside, it's

**Bam Bam:** not indoors. Right, that's, there's a big difference

**Gizmo:** there. You know, brick house and, uh.

**Bam Bam:** And honestly, the bar, when you walk in at Jamie's, it's actually beautiful to look at. It is. It's,

**Gizmo:** it's massive.

And the, but bam, the pores are very, very generous, very generous. Yeah.

**Grinder:** I've never been either. We have

**Bam Bam:** to do a dinner night. Yep. And because of all this PR that we're giving out, we're going to send an invoice for this.

**Senator:** I was thinking

**Bam Bam:** the [01:08:00] same thing. Right.

**Gizmo:** I agree. Bam. This is bam Vemo. Yes, sir. Yeah. So I love it there.

It's fantastic. So I encourage any listeners in the tri state area, if you're flying into Newark or something, it's not too far away. Pop into Jamie's and it's affordable. It

**Bam Bam:** is so very reasonable is a beautiful setting. It's

**Gizmo:** expensive the problem with Sophia We're talking about restaurant called Sophia in Englewood Yeah, the problem with Sophia as far as the smoking goes is it's not the same setup.

The smoking section is completely Segregated from the restaurant. Yeah. There's a, you can't sit down and have a cigar while you're having your meal or after you can't inside

**Senator:** timeout, timeout, you can't inside, they have an outdoor patio that's true. That is fully smoking. That's right. You can have dinner and smoke.

Yeah, that was actually. So when the pandemic hit, not year round, but yes. Yeah. When, when the weather permits, right. When the pandemic hit and everything shut down, the first, uh, lizard dinner we did, right when restaurants started opening, was at [01:09:00] Sophia's. Yes, sir. It was me, Rooster, Rinder, and Bam. Mm hmm. And we had a fantastic And one other guy.

Yeah, one other guy.

**Gizmo:** It's not Pooh, but we're not making a joke. Sophia's.

**Senator:** Can you not smoke in the inside room when you

**Gizmo:** go steps down

**Senator:** in the downstairs or cigars, but you can't have a full meal there. Really? It's like

**Gizmo:** more of a bar. It's a cigar bar. So no food. I mean, I'm sure you could

**Senator:** get something, but you wouldn't get like a giant porterhouse and

**Grinder:** eat

**Bam Bam:** appetizers, drinks and

**Pagoda:** cigars.

And the problem with the place downstairs is that if there are a lot of members who show up. They won't let you in. That's the thing. But if it's empty, they'll let you in. There's no

**Bam Bam:** guarantee. Also, also at Sophia's, there is a cutting fee there. Yes. There is a cutting fee. Yeah. Where at Jamie's, you don't have a cutting fee.

Brick House, no cutting

**Gizmo:** fee. And same with Hearth and Tap. No cutting fee there. And, and, and Jamie's, uh, Brick House and Hearth and Tap, you could smoke in the main restaurant [01:10:00] and eat at the same time. It's all smoking anywhere. Yeah. Yeah. It's great. Yeah. I mean. Not too many places left like that, but I'm looking forward to, um, having some cigars and food with my college buddies.

Club Macanudo is closed for a while. Is that right? Really?

**Pagoda:** I don't know. I haven't been there for a huge problem if that's the case. Oh, you know why? Because I did see Al Sharpton at Carnegie. And that could explain it.

**Senator:** Yeah, wow. Wow. No, that's a huge deal. I just say that because when the Grand Havana, uh, uh, club closed down.

Yeah. Most of the members flock to Club Macanudo if that place is closed for a while now They're all gonna be at Carnegie plus the regular crowd there

**Bam Bam:** The problem with Carnegie, when it gets crowded, really tough to enjoy yourself there. It's tough. I don't know, man.

**Pagoda:** I always enjoy that. You know why you're going to realize that I'm there like at 3.

34. Oh, it's perfect time. I hope my boss is not listening. I'm sure she is. Four days away. But. But you're

**Bam Bam:** working though.[01:11:00]

You're working. You are working. I'm working. I'm always working. You're schmoozing clients. I'm working. Man, he's working

**Grinder:** hard right

**Gizmo:** now. He's working

**Grinder:** right now.

**Pagoda:** Yes. So I'm always in that one corner

**Senator:** on that bottle of Cognac. Man deserves a raise. Oh yeah.

**Gizmo:** We should write a recommendation letter. No, I like Carnegie, you know, to go there for a cigar and a drink.

You know, generally I'll do that when I'm dropping Mrs. Giz off at like a concert or something. And I'll go, you know, Carnegie house for cigars and pick her up after. But to me, I've not been there on a Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, late scene. I would assume it gets pretty crazy. And unfortunately the service during the day at the times, even pagodas mentioning, it gets a little challenging to get drinks, moving to get things happening and they don't honor.

Purchasing cigars at Davidoff anymore. They used to waive a cutting fee if you purchased [01:12:00] cigars in the city. Not anymore. And showed them a receipt. They got rid of that. Yeah, yeah. So, unfortunately, it's a very expensive experience now to smoke a cigar at Carnegie in the city.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, but you know what?

You're so limited in the city now. How many spots are there? Like 10 now? Yeah, like 10 if Macanudo's

**Gizmo:** closed.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, so if you're sitting, you're gonna spend that money. Cause you want a cigar.

**Gizmo:** Do we have any idea why Macanudo's closed? Is there renovations or something? I hope they're renovating. That would be great.

I believe that's what it is. That'd be great.

**Bam Bam:** They need to renovate.

**Pagoda:** I think the manager sucks.

**Bam Bam:** A shank.

**Senator:** What was that thing you just did? A pistol

**Gizmo:** whip?

**Bam Bam:** I'm getting scared.

**Gizmo:** So boys, how are you feeling about the Oliva V. Lancero?

**Bam Bam:** I am on heaven, in heaven.

**Gizmo:** This, this for a sub ten dollar cigar. Has been an absolute revelation.

**Grinder:** My budget. Let me ask lizards this. If this were a $12 cigar, would you, would you buy it? Same. So [01:13:00] good.

**Gizmo:** Definitely. I think 15. Good. I think anywhere close to 18 or 20, it would start to affect my perception.

I think this cigar is severely underpriced. Agreed. If you're, uh, uh, leave your representative or the CEO or something, ignore that comment. Please don't

**Pagoda:** listen to the podcast.

**Senator:** Again, you gotta push the podcast,

**Gizmo:** guys. If, you know, if this cigar were 15 or 16 bucks, I don't think it would change my perception of our experience tonight at all.

At 7 or 8, you know, at a volume discount, buying a box. Yes, please. Wow.

**Bam Bam:** Because it's so cheap. It traverses like the Cuban experience and new world cigar experience. You could, you can intermingle this with your repertoire for that night. If you're going to do a new worlds and Cubans, it just works perfectly.

**Gizmo:** I mean, how much is the Oliva V for that price? Bigger size, like the Churchill. I think that's 11 or 12. So, I mean, this is a Lancero, so it's perfectly priced. Absolutely. Yeah. This is still a [01:14:00] value cigar though. Any price, 10 to 12 bucks, even with tax, wherever you're buying, I'm sure in the city, it probably gets closer to 15, but you know, at seven or eight bucks, I don't know if this can be beat.

I think this

**Grinder:** also speaks to the just inherent quality of Nicaraguan tobacco. Like, you don't need to do much to it to make it wonderful. The soil's so rich there, it's so unique and different. The Cuban seed they brought over, it's got its own character now, and it's wonderful. It's like, it's like, You know, it's the next generation of, of Cuban seed and the kind of evolution

**Gizmo:** of the tobacco.

But not, not all Nicaraguan cigars are great. No,

**Grinder:** of course not. But not all Cubans are great. No, but I

**Senator:** think to Grindr's point, proportionally, there are more Nicaraguan cigars, I think, that we like than any other new world source of tobacco. I agree.

**Pagoda:** They fit in a flavor profile. [01:15:00] Totally agreed. From Padrones all the way to, you know, multiple,

**Gizmo:** multiple.

And I think when you have a manufacturer like this, or Padrone, or you know, or even Foundations making some great cigars. Yeah. You know, when you have a manufacturer who's got a great Palate who's blending the cigars. They've got great sourcing on the tobacco, the Cuban seed that, you know, obviously Oliva and some of these other manufacturers have really curated over the years.

And then you have age on the tobacco where they're patient enough to age these leaves to the point that they're going to deliver that Nicaraguan experience so smoothly, because how many Nicaraguan's will we had on the pod that punch you in the face? How many Nicaraguan's have we had off the pod that punch you in the face that we don't even want to touch?

I mean, some of those tatouages, I mean, are just, for me, are just not an enjoyable experience. But that whole Pledge series of cigars? Pledge, oh my gosh. Come on, man. Pledge of Allegiance is... [01:16:00] And a perfect example of, of, of an excellent, you know, Nicaraguan, I mean, there's some Americans. Yeah. Don't forget the El Senador that we smoked.

El Senador La Historia. Yeah. It was a fantastic cigar. I, I, so to me, it's like the patience with, with a great palate on the blend, that's what we're experiencing. Yeah.

**Grinder:** I, I, I, I, I have respect for them too because they, you know, their, their production quality, the testing they do, the QA, the QC on, on the draws.

The reason why, one of the reasons why I would surmise that we don't have these consistency problems is because there's, they have those quality controls throughout the entire step of the, of the manufacturing

**Gizmo:** process. So would

**Senator:** you, would you rate Nicaraguan cigars better than Cuban cigars?

**Gizmo:** No, no, I'm

**Grinder:** just talking about production

**Pagoda:** quality.

Production quality, not in terms of flavor

**Gizmo:** profile. And consistency. Definitely quality control is way better. Way better. Here's what I'll say too though, to your point, okay. I mean, just the price point. We smoked those Cohiba Lanceros. Yeah. [01:17:00] Okay, on the podcast. 100 a stick. It's 100 a stick. Highly rated in this group.

We, no, and here's the thing though. At this cigar, I went in the humidor here at 10 86. I just grabbed seven cigars. Okay. I grabbed seven cigars. I threw them in a bag and done those Cohiba Lanceros a hundred bucks a pop. I have a box of them. I went through each of them, looking at the foot, making sure I picked however many guys, five, six, seven guys were here, making sure that I picked cigars that.

From my eye looked like, okay, there's the lowest chance of a potential draw issue on the cigar. That means probably that the other, you know, 15 or 20 I have in that box, half of them, I'm probably going to have to fight. Yeah. And that's Cuba being Cuba, that's Cuba being Cuba. But that's the point though, a hundred dollars cigar in Cuba.

Versus a 7 cigar from Nicaragua that I didn't even look at that come in a cellophane wrapper tonight. [01:18:00] I didn't even care which one each of us got because I knew that they were gonna be fine. That is a huge deal. That's a huge merit. That's a huge deal. Yeah. We're talking 7 versus a hundred. Dude, you cannot walk into a store and

**Senator:** buy singles

**Gizmo:** of Cohiba Lanceros.

No, you have to buy the box. That's a 2, 500 box.

**Senator:** It's a huge investment. And out of that, then you're taking a chance. How many are good and how many are going to have draw

**Gizmo:** issues? You're going to throw, you're going to throw 250 bucks away. On ten of them that are probably gonna smoke like shit. Yeah. Five of them that you're gonna be able to fight with the perfect draw.

And maybe the other ten are gonna be okay. I mean, that's crazy. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** and experience, to be specific, I'm an inch down from the end and I'm still retrohailing on every draw. It's still extremely smooth and so freakin flavorful. It's amazing.

**Grinder:** So I, I finished and, and... With all the comments about the strength and the nicotine and it even now, like, I don't have that.

Like, Oh, I just got punched in the face. You know, I feel like I feel like I could [01:19:00] to your comment earlier. I could take,

**Bam Bam:** I'll take another one.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, I would smoke another one tonight. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I agree. 100%. Yeah, I would smoke another one after this. If we had six more, we could sit here, turn off the mics, have another one.

And have another hour and a half of a great experience. We're all driving

**Bam Bam:** to Gizmos tonight.

**Gizmo:** No, Grindr's. Grindr's the only one that has them. I don't have any more. Hi Mrs. Grindr,

**Senator:** we're here.

**Gizmo:** It's more in the lounge. Yeah, there might be here. Yeah, there might be some here. I

**Senator:** just think that the thing I'm just so impressed that I'm in the last half inch.

And, um, the flavor is completely unchanged. It's not muddled. Hasn't fallen off. I, I'm really stunned. So, you

**Bam Bam:** know, it's rare to see Senator get down that close. I watch everyone's cigar habits. A lot of guys tend to put down three, maybe inch and a half from the end. You're about where I am. Yeah. With a toothpick.

[01:20:00] Yeah. I mean, it's worthy of a perfect draw just sticking in there and wrapping this thing up right down to the end.

**Gizmo:** So boys, we're coming to the end of our evening here with the Hennessy VSOP and the Oliva V Lancero. Any final thoughts before we get into the, uh, to the ratings? I think we just expressed them.

I know. Yeah. I mean, I'm, I'm, you know, I'm really interested to see what happens with the ratings tonight. I have no idea. I have no idea where these are going to go. I have a pretty good idea. Yeah, you

**Bam Bam:** know, and if they're really highly rated, we're going to reminisce on other cigars, Cubans, that are extraordinarily difficult to find, that we've rated very, very highly, and you're going to rate a sub 10 cigar that's made in Nicaragua.

Yeah. I mean,

**Gizmo:** why not? What the fuck? It's called value, baby. It's insane. I can picture the social media guy with his line on IG. It's gonna say oxygen oxidizes.

**Bam Bam:** I hope so. [01:21:00]

**Gizmo:** All right, Bam, you ready to do the formal liquor rating on the Hennessey VSOP? Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** I'm gonna go with a nine. On this thing, it's just delicious through and through.

No ice. You know, honestly, when we first tried the Senator, it did have a little bit of an unusual flavor to me. I wasn't ready for it. But as you get into this bottle, every sip improves. It's a fantastic spirit to drink.

**Grinder:** Grinder. I, I'm also giving it a nine. I thought it was wonderful. Um, I didn't, I didn't, I didn't have a, uh, a gizmo pour, but it Do you want one?

No. . .

**Bam Bam:** I

**Senator:** got like a half a gallon in

**Gizmo:** my cup. I can make it happen. I know you can you do it. I can

**Senator:** make it happen, baby. I can do it often.

**Grinder:** Um, I thought it was wonderful. I thought the pairing was especially, Uh, tasty, and I think that added to the enjoyment of it. There, there were a lot of really fun notes that I was getting on my palate, like the sweetness was there.

There was, it was kind of, kind of musty ish, if that makes any [01:22:00] sense, but, but in a good way. And that kind of sweetness with the smoothness of it all, it had a little bit of a punch, which I kind of appreciated, because I didn't, I don't want to think that I'm just drinking. you know, Kool Aid. Um, so I thought that was, I thought it was great.

A nine for me on the liquor scale is kind of high. It's a big deal. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Very high. Oh yeah, I mean, you rated the Macadam 18 or something. Yeah, it's, it's crazy. No, you're

**Pagoda:** very, very specific about

**Bam Bam:** liquor

**Grinder:** ratings. Yeah, I really enjoyed it. Excellent.

**Pagoda:** Pagoda. That's a nine for me. I, you know, I've been debating with a nine or a 10.

I think nine is the right rating, um, for a couple of reasons. One of them is that First thing, this is my wheelhouse. I love cognacs, cigars. If you go back to, I love cognacs

**Bam Bam:** and cigars.

Uh, yeah, you know, you know, oxidizes,

**Senator:** oxygen oxidizes. [01:23:00] No, but

**Pagoda:** it's like, what are those things? It's like, you know, everybody is happy. The mood is great. The experience is great. And I think early in the episode, I'd kind of mentioned that this is how, you know, anyone's experience about. a cigar and a drink should be.

And, um, having said that, uh, uh, very easygoing. There was no sharpness, very flavorful. Uh, it enveloped my mouth and it left a nice, reasonable coating. I, you know, I kind of really enjoy it that way. And so for me, uh, definitely a nine.

**Gizmo:** All right, Senator.

**Senator:** This is tough. I've been going back and forth on two ratings.

Oh boy. I've been going back and forth on an eight and a nine. I had a feeling.

**Gizmo:** I had a feeling.

**Senator:** So. I love that it has body, it's a viscous cognac. I love the, the rich flavor notes that you get from it, especially with a full cigar like we're smoking tonight. Um, the only thing, my only [01:24:00] complaint, I think everybody knows this about me, I, I don't love sweet things generally, so like I'm not even a huge dessert guy.

Um, it's a little sweeter than I would prefer. And I'm, I've been wrestling with how that factors into whether it's an 8 or a 9 for me. Um, I will definitely drink it again. So that's where either of those scores, it's, it's a for sure recommend. Um, I guess, you know, I feel like guys have said this before.

Factoring in tonight. The pairing, everything. I am going to round up. I'm going to give it the 9. Yes! And uh, my only caveat is just, I wish it were just a little less sweet. But otherwise, I love the flavor notes that you get from it. I'm glad this really has challenged my perception. And I hope a lot of other people that listen to this, their perception of Hennessy is just this like, you know, nightclub drink.

**Gizmo:** Right. I mean, Grindr gave it a nine. You have to. [01:25:00] I don't think there's ever. Like a night that you guys have, like Grindr. I know. I

**Senator:** feel like I should give it a six just to balance it out.

**Gizmo:** So I'm going to be the outlier. Ten? No, I'm going to give it an eight. Oh. It's not my favorite VSOP we've done. That wasn't your commentary throughout the whole night.

Listen, it was really, really good. I would take the Remy 1738 over this. my stomach. You know, there, there, there are some other VSOP type, you know, category cognacs that I would have put above this. So this is definitely an 8 for me. I

**Pagoda:** think it reminded me of the Heinz rare. I, like, I, not reminded me. I don't know, I, I disagree.


**Bam Bam:** don't see that. I, I agree with you Senator, I

**Senator:** disagree. like the 1738. That's a fuller body

**Bam Bam:** cognac. Yeah, and there's a, there's a hint of sweetness in that 1738 that you don't get in the Heinz. In the Heinz you

**Pagoda:** don't get the sweetness, yeah. I, I,

**Grinder:** I almost want to modify

**Senator:** my rating. Ah, this is

**Grinder:** so full. You want to go [01:26:00] up?

No, he's no, I want to go

**Gizmo:** down. You want to go

**Senator:** with me too late? Because the funny thing is, is when you consider it's always too late, you consider once you rate it, you're done. No, no, no. In

**Gizmo:** fairness, by the way, he writes, he writes first every time. So he hasn't given the campus

**Senator:** because the only thing, like, as you're saying it, what, what's a little hard for me is when I do compare it to the high and rare VSOP and when I compare it to the 1738.

And the 1738 is the direct comparison. The Heinrich for me is so different by design that I don't view these as competing, but the Remy 1738, it's similar price. 1738, it's like 65

**Gizmo:** a bottle. By the way, I want to also mention, we did the Remy VSOP in addition to the 1738 right? That would, that's kind of right there with this one for me.

In that eight or nine

**Senator:** category. You know what we left out? We also did the Courvoisier VSOB. Yes, we did. I have them

**Gizmo:** all. Which was insanely affordable. I

**Bam Bam:** have them all. Like 40 bucks. But wait a minute. Didn't we like the 1738 over the Rémy? We did. We did, right? Yeah, I remember. So,

**Senator:** all right. No, no, don't, don't do the Rémy.

I have to change it. I

**Grinder:** have to. [01:27:00] This is, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. It's too late.

**Pagoda:** It's not allowed. We're not allowed.

**Bam Bam:** He's shaking his head. This is, this is, Not right.

**Gizmo:** Is this a breach of protocol?

**Senator:** It's a breach of protocol. It's not. Yes

**Grinder:** it is. I'm not allowed, Senator. You can rescind the score up to the point of tally.

Correct. That's

**Bam Bam:** the rule. Is that a new rule? No.

**Senator:** It's like playing chess. What the hell? You have moved. This

**Grinder:** is the rule of the chamber. And this chamber operates. I agree with Rooster. Grindr has spoken.

**Pagoda:** No, Senator. This is like the chess

**Bam Bam:** piece, dude. Thank you, Senator. No, you can't take your He

**Senator:** took his hand off the piece.

The chest move

**Gizmo:** is made his move. I love, by the way, that it took 99 episodes for us to have this argument. This is

**Senator:** great. You can't change it. No, you cannot. I can. Guess what? Pagoda. No, it's my rating. That's why I can change it. I can change your rating. I can change my rating.

**Grinder:** No, no, no. Okay. Okay.

**Senator:** Gentlemen.

My rating. I'm sorry. Look. Again, you're moving to an eight. I'm moving to an eight solely because I'm still going [01:28:00] to pick up Remi 1738 any day over this. Yes. But I will enjoy this and this will make its way into the rotation sometimes. Alright. So I'm giving it an eight. It's still a definite recommend.


**Gizmo:** let's vote. So two things I want to say on this. I like that one. Number one, number one, I'd like to take credit. for this significant adjustment. You know what you've

**Grinder:** done? Let's be clear. I

**Senator:** started my rating by saying I'm debating between an eight and a nine. He didn't

**Grinder:** need much. Nobody's allowed to change. He was barely on the edge there. He was most generously rounding up. You can see it in his face. If I may,

**Bam Bam:** Gizmo has directly influenced Senator. No, no, no, no, but

**Pagoda:** Giz will also stand up and say, You're not allowed to change the rating, right?

**Bam Bam:** Stand

**Pagoda:** up and say, you're not allowed to change the rating because we've had multiple times when we, you know, we're between two ratings and we start changing it based on where whatever our mind [01:29:00] changes, we cannot do that.

**Senator:** Let me

**Grinder:** say, let me say one thing. Let me say one thing. He's not wrong. We, you have been rather militant on this and almost, and almost rude, may not I say, so

**Bam Bam:** the

**Senator:** second, second of all, second of all, hey, hey, hey, we're here

**Grinder:** organically, we're growing, we can look at.

Archaic laws and make a motion to dismiss them and understand that they do not suit our time. All right. I think we should, we should, we

**Senator:** should

**Gizmo:** mature. So here's the other thing I'll say too, is that if we accept this change.

**Pagoda:** Then everybody will be changing every rating. Yeah, that's

**Bam Bam:** exactly right. I'll go, I'm a nine, I'm seven now.

No, I go back on

**Gizmo:** my word. It does change precedent, you know,

**Senator:** it does. I'm sorry,

**Pagoda:** Senator, I apologize. But, uh, the disapproving nod,

**Bam Bam:** the disapproving nod, which is fair. All right.

**Senator:** No, there's no justice in this chamber. No justice. Giz. You know what? Put an asterisk next to it. I'll put an

**Bam Bam:** asterisk. You know [01:30:00] what?

This is the first time. How about

**Senator:** this? How about this?

**Bam Bam:** He's on fire. No, no. He is on fire.

**Pagoda:** You know what? Listen, I kind of contributed to the rating system and this is... I've got to have a say in this

**Grinder:** wrong.

**Gizmo:** He's awesome. That's what I'll say. Here's what I'll say. In fairness,

**Senator:** your contribution. I did honor. I gave it a whole number.

That's not a disco.

**Gizmo:** Here's what I'll say. The other thing that this does too is it does change the precedent. Of the rating system. Yes, yes, it will. So that's an important thing to consider, Senator. Is do you want Bam Bam changing his 7 to a 9? No, because he did.

**Pagoda:** You had a question two or three episodes ago.

And I

**Bam Bam:** wasn't allowed. I wasn't allowed. You weren't

**Grinder:** allowed. Thank you. All

**Bam Bam:** right. You weren't allowed. I'm sorry,

**Senator:** Senator. Listen, listen. I'm all about what's good for the order. Yes. What's good for the order. Is clearly then not changing it. Not changing it. We're going to keep my nine. Okay. But I am going to very much caveat.

Now you win. You can convince.

**Pagoda:** You can win. No, no, no. You can convince Rooster to give it a seven. [01:31:00]

**Bam Bam:** Lizard Jay.

**Senator:** Yeah, Rooster, take a sip and give it a seven.

**Gizmo:** Okay, here we go. So the formal liquor rating, 50 bucks, with Senators 9, is an 8. 8. Fantastic. Okay, so now, that's a pretty high rating. By the way, it would only change the rating to an 8.

6 if he did rate it an 8, but we'll keep it as a 9. Okay. So the formal liquor rating, by the way, I'm glad after 99 episodes, I said formal at some point, now we understand why I said it's formal. Thank you. This explains the formality of our rating system. For the listener out there, it's very, very serious.

It's a real thing.

**Bam Bam:** Very, very serious. And Lizard, Lizard J, thank

**Grinder:** you for the recommend. We are a pod of lizards, but we are also A pod of laws.

**Gizmo:** Thank you. Grindr. Well said.

**Bam Bam:** Alright, so let's go. You can now, you can now send us your

**Gizmo:** invoice. Let's go through some of the other VSOPs we've done on the pod. Uh, low rated.

Uh, the Doucet [01:32:00] VSOP got a 5. 3. Not good. Not very good. Uh, H by Hein VSOP was a 6. 8. The Hein Rare V. S. O. P. was a 9. Yeah, I agree with that. The Remy Martin V. S. O. P. was an 8. 4. Oh, you see, that's

**Senator:** the regular V. S. O. P.,

**Gizmo:** it's not 1738. Right, what's the 1738? Exactly, Remy Martin's 1738 was a 9. 3. There you go.

**Bam Bam:** Very good.


**Gizmo:** most importantly, It works, it works. Gentlemen, most importantly, the Corvasier V. S. O. P. A 10.0. Yeah. No way. On this podcast.

**Grinder:** I remember the price point too. It's like 40. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** About. It was really good. I, I think that night was great. I

**Gizmo:** remember that. So, I think so. I think an 8.8 AC actually. Eight six.

Eight eight. It works. No, no. It actually, it worked out.

**Senator:** It perfect. Perfectly. Yeah. This was good that this happened. Like it

**Bam Bam:** always does. It always works

**Gizmo:** out. If this happened on a cigar, there might be warfare here, by the way, , you know?

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Senator's dissension [01:33:00] is, Quiet it down, and it worked

**Senator:** out perfect.

There was for the good of the order. Hey, but listen, oxygen oxidizes, all right?

**Bam Bam:** I have a whole dissertation on oxygen for you, if you're

**Grinder:** interested. I'm making a motion to, uh, migrate this conversation to remediation after the session, in the

**Gizmo:** next session. Yes, we're out. All right. We, we have settled some lizard business tonight, boys.

We have. Yes, sir. All right. And, uh, you know, when Senator's wrong, it's fantastic. Isn't it, Ben?

**Pagoda:** It's one in a hundred, by the way. Less than one in two hundred. Less than a

**Senator:** percent. I can't get it right every day.

**Gizmo:** He

**Senator:** almost got away with it. He did almost get away with it. You know, I, I saw that Gibbs was gloating and he had, you had his boat for sure.

**Gizmo:** I did like, by the way, I'm not gonna, you know, I was leaning his side when he said, because of my rating, [01:34:00]

**Senator:** I said to them, I voluntarily said. This is better for the

**Grinder:** group. This is excellent. It is. Thank

**Senator:** you. I'm still gonna take that. Because I had the most important vote in the room, which was Gizmo's.

**Bam Bam:** I'm gonna Our fearless leader.


**Gizmo:** true. I'm gonna take that as a big win for me. It is a win. Very selfishly. Alright. Are you guys ready to do the formal lizard rating on the Oliva V Lancero? Yes, sir. Alright. Rooster, good luck.

**Senator:** I'm between a 7, 8, 9, and

**Pagoda:** a 10. don't think I'll keep changing it every 10 minutes.

**Gizmo:** Okay. Here we go. Rooster.

There's so much pressure on this now. I'm going to give it a 10. No way. Wow. This was awesome. This was an awesome cigar right from the

**Senator:** beginning. When I smelled the wrapper, I already had like a, you know, like this is going to be high score. I've seen this. When you let it. And I was like, I was in awe and then keeping the price point.

I mean, you can have, you can find this for under

**Gizmo:** 8 a stick. It's pretty incredible. [01:35:00] You

**Pagoda:** can smoke 12 of these at the same

**Senator:** as one Coimbra Lensero.

**Gizmo:** And with no like draw issues and absolutely no issues. And delicious from the beginning. From the beginning to the end. You talk about somebody who's changed.

He's changed. He's changed. He has changed. No, I mean, if the cigar is good, it's good. Yeah. What? What are you gonna

**Pagoda:** do? Exactly? Now I'm gonna introduce some Rocky Patels. . Fuck you.

**Senator:** I just love Rooster's

**Gizmo:** story. I'm gonna ize your ass. . . Wait. The cigar glue. I love

**Senator:** rooster's story. It was love at first smell when I first smelled the cigar.

Oh, that wrapper was, did you that, that it was like as soon as, Smelled the cigar. I knew it was a Ted. Oh my God. I didn't say 10 up. I knew it was it. It

**Gizmo:** would be a high score. , the rapper was just smelled amazing. Oh yeah. This is what happens. By the way, boys, when we have a great cigar, this happens. Yeah, yeah.

We, we've lost the train is off the tracks.

**Bam Bam:** It's a good thing. It's a good thing. It is

**Gizmo:** very good thing. All right,

**Senator:** since I can't change my score I have to give it a [01:36:00] six

For me it's a definite nine. Yeah, it's an excellent smoke. I will definitely smoke this again I will buy these like everybody has said I thought that the, the, the biggest surprise, I mean, number one, the construction, it's one of the nicest looking Lanceros truly I've ever seen. I mean, invisible seams, we talked about the combustion out of this little ring gauge was fantastic.

Probably the most combustion I've gotten out of any Lancero that we've done on this pod. Uh, the flavor profile, rich, concentrated, complex. Um, I think for me, the only reason it's a nine and not a ten is there, this is only an evening cigar for me. And it is preferably after a meal. Um, so it doesn't have the same versatility that some other Lanceros that I would slot in literally any time of day.

Um, and the, the end. You know, it picks [01:37:00] up quite a bit and, um, which is what I like.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, I know. That's why for Rooster, it was good right down to the end. It's right in his wheelhouse. But

**Senator:** for me, strong nine would

**Gizmo:** definitely smoke this again. Great. I've been at a nine since the second third. Me too. I'm I'm shocked to say this, but it was a phenomenal cigar from front to back.

Having said that where I'm going to slot it in is going to be selective. You know, I kind of put it in that Davidoff millennium category where I'm not going to reach for it all the time, but when I do, I'm going to be very, very satisfied, but it's not going to slot in, in a very regular rotation for me, just like the Davidoff millennium.

So it's a nine for me all day. It's also one doesn't like that. Yeah, no,

**Bam Bam:** I don't like that because the ratings X look a nine's an elite score. It is for me, but it is for me from the flavor profile. If for me, it's more versatile than the millennium because it's so delicious. And it's also one

**Gizmo:** third of the price.

That's true. That's true. I, you know, and, and that's the other thing. It's such an easy [01:38:00] nine. Oh, very easy. Even if it, even if it's smoked 25 percent less. Like, great than it did tonight. At 7? I mean, the value prop is just, it's really amazing. So, I'm very, very happy with it, and I'm happy with a 9. Pagoda.

**Pagoda:** You know, I've been debating between a 9 and a 10, and I'll be very honest.

Uh, um, this is Recently within my flavor profile, uh, what I was really looking for was a little more, uh, cocoa coffee flavor, like a little more padrino, padronisk kind of flavor, but it wasn't that, but it was very good. I had certain bursts of cocoa. I had certain bursts of spices for me. Um, I'll tell you.

I really enjoyed this cigar. I'll give it a 10.

**Bam Bam:** Wow. Now we're talking. Wow. Wow.

**Gizmo:** Grinder. [01:39:00] Yeah, you're up. Here we go. Glenda has two cabs of this. He does. This better be a

**Senator:** fucking 10. For 7

**Pagoda:** bucks?

**Bam Bam:** And by the way, did

**Senator:** you buy into Oliva? You're very concerned about this score over here.

**Pagoda:** No, but I think the important part really, the important part is, Brewster

**Bam Bam:** sent us a memo four hours ago.

**Pagoda:** I think so. The pricing. Listen, for 7 bucks, 8 bucks, 10 bucks, the pricing is fantastic. Like, we've smoked so many Lanceras, but with this kind of pricing, this kind of flavor profile, and this kind of burn, combustion, solid construction, I don't know, like, it hit every mark. I thought it was fantastic.

**Grinder:** So I, I, um, I love these cigars.

I've been smoking these cigars a while, like a rooster said. And I mentioned in the pod today, uh, I S I have a bunch of these and I grab for them frequently. I like Lanceros a [01:40:00] lot. We all like Lanceros a lot. We love them. And this is my stock of Lanceros. This is what I smoke. I have, um, you know, I have those, uh, other, the other Drew estate.

that I've smoked, but it's not been, I haven't been running hot with those. I usually smoke these. And when you mentioned that tonight, I got excited and I said, did you know, I have like two caps, I

**Senator:** have two boxes

**Grinder:** of these, like you didn't have to buy them kind of thing. Um, and I, and. It's a classic Nicaraguan Puro to me.

The, the smell is wonderful. It's a little mustier. And I, I mentioned this before, I like that kind of musty scent. And I, and I, and I seek that out. And when I find it, I really, you know, I, it really hits my, my power alley and my, you know, and, and for me, it's a 10. Um, because from an, if you, if I asked a question earlier, what if we, what if the price were higher?

You know, would you, you know, would you still smoke it? For me, the price could go higher and I'd still smoke the cigar. Uh, and, [01:41:00] and when I think of that and I see the price now and it's just amazing and that's why I have two, two boxes of them, right? Because when I, when you see them. On Atlantic, it's just like, this is like cheap, this is so cheap.

I don't know, just...

**Gizmo:** And I think the, uh, Great value. The thing I want to say too is, my understanding of your purchasing, you're not like an indulgent purchaser of cigars. You're gonna buy something that you're gonna love, and smoke, and really enjoy. You're not running out and buying boxes of something that you're unsure of.

So, The fact that you have as many boxes as you do points to, you know, your rating tonight. He better stock up. It

**Senator:** sounds like Rooster is going to order a MasterCrate of

**Gizmo:** these. He's going to rate his house tonight. I'm ordering a new tower.

**Bam Bam:** Just for this cigar.

**Grinder:** I, I think I, to Rooster's point, it's got that strength that you look for.

It's very classic of Nicaraguan Puro, but there's that subtleness that is toned down a couple of notches, and it just rounds out the experience wonderfully. And you smell it every, Every composite part of this stick on the foot, on the nose, on the retrohale, every, [01:42:00] every one of them is a little bit different, but still, still has that common thread.

And it's just, it's perfect for me.

**Pagoda:** Awesome. Yeah. And it just spoke beautifully from the beginning to the end. Right. Yeah.

**Grinder:** And, and That there was some change, right? It picked up, but you get to the end there and you want more of it.

**Gizmo:** I wish it was another inch longer. Yeah. You

**Bam Bam:** know, and everything, look, for my rating, I am going to give it a 10.

Wow. You know, everything that you're saying, look at the other six. Senator

**Gizmo:** wants to change his way.

**Senator:** Sorry.

**Gizmo:** There are

**Bam Bam:** a lot of. It. It's reminiscent of a lot of the, no, you're a trouble. Predator. . . It's remini. It's reminiscent of the lot, A lot of the elite cigars that we've raided in that realm. Vegas Urbana, Classico. I got hints of that. I got hints of the 8, 9, 8 I got for me, cocoa and fruit, and I did get the [01:43:00] cocoa and a little bit of coffee for me, and I retro hailed every single draw.

That is rare for a new world. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** The only rare I was saying was it wasn't, it wasn't pronounced. This is better

**Bam Bam:** than the classico. Yeah. Everything that Grindr said, the subtlety of it, I think it's a, it's a very elegant, complex car. Beautiful. Yeah. For

**Grinder:** $7. Alright, so

**Senator:** hold on. I wanna propose something. Can you give me some Vegas ban Classicos and I'll give you two boxes

**Gizmo:** of these

**Bam Bam:** that what is what?

What's that cigar goal for now? The Vegas Romanian

**Gizmo:** Classica. Over a hundred something dollars. No, it's very expensive. Yeah, it's extraordinary. It's not a hundred. It's like

**Bam Bam:** sixty. Yeah, but

**Pagoda:** it's also trying to procure

**Bam Bam:** them. Yeah, so when you have a cigar that's, that's so polarizing like this, I often look for hands of this elite cigars that we've had, and I captured for me a few of those.

It happened for me.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. So, boys. The formal lizard rating is a 9.7 damn boy on a seven all

**Senator:** dollar damn homeboy. Now I see why Hennessy's [01:44:00] a club drinker, . Look what this did to this group. Ted's all around my,

**Gizmo:** so you get it Ted. You get it Ted? Okay, so let's, let's, soft, soft recommend. Yeah. Let's remind Senator as we rate this a 9.7.

Not only. Did he get chastised for trying to change the rating on the Hennessey VSO? Chastised! He also told me when I told him I had the Oliva V Lancero that if he saw me bring this Lancero into the room Uh oh. he was gonna kill me. No!

**Senator:** Did that happen? I did not say those words though. However, I already apologised for being frustrated with another Lancero.

You did,

**Grinder:** you did, you did.

**Bam Bam:** But wait, he gave it a 9? He gave it a nine. It's very elite score.

**Gizmo:** Very elite. A nine, A 9.7 tonight boys. That's incredible.

**Bam Bam:** That's by the way, seven

**Pagoda:** A nine is like the 10 for the rest of us. You have .

**Bam Bam:** Do you have ratings up? I do. Okay, great. Let's take a look at that.

**Senator:** That's sadly accurate.

'cause I think our Conte score is me and maybe Grindr or me. I had a nine. Giz we're the lowest. That's right. Yeah. Me and Gizmo.

**Gizmo:** So the other one obviously we have to talk [01:45:00] about tonight, the Olivie Churchill we did on episode 37, which by the way, I thought it was like 20 episodes ago. It's like 62 episodes ago.

8. 4? No, 9. 7. 3. No way. Really? Yeah, that did not perform that well. But as far as, listen, as far as New World. I thought I liked it. As far as New World Lanceros go, this is definitely the top. Um, I don't even think it's close. The closest that I'm seeing on the ratings guide here. Is the Davidoff Millennium Lancero, which got a 9.

1, but as far as New Worlds go, man,

**Bam Bam:** this is it. This was more flavorful than the Millennium Lancero. It was, you can't deny

**Gizmo:** that. And the 9. 7. Senator,

**Senator:** it's hard to deny

**Gizmo:** the flavor. And we have to factor in price there. It's crazy. It's like a less, like a fifth of the price. What was

**Pagoda:** the number

**Gizmo:** for my bottle?

Less than a third. Is it $20? No, it's $30. It's $30. Oh, so it's like a quarter bucks value. Quarter of the IS 20. Yeah.

**Senator:** So [01:46:00] for

**Bam Bam:** the listener. For the listener, the value proposition here, you have to pursue this car. It's a value

**Pagoda:** proposition.

**Gizmo:** Absolutely. That's what it's, so let's, let's talk about some of the other Land Zeros that we mentioned tonight.

I think an important one that we've gone to a couple times, the Don Papin ah Garcia Blue. Lancero, which got a nine to Cohiba Lancero. I don't know if that's a fair comparison to Lancero, but it's, you know, 10 times or 12 times the price got a 9. 6. So that's actually a 10th of a point lower than this one because of price, because of price and, you know, performance as well.

This one did great tonight. The other one that's important to mention is the, my father, number four. Which got an 8. 3. So this white... I think that could have been higher, I think. What was the warped? The warped was a Lonsdale, the Maestro Deltiempo 5205. Also got a flat 9. 0. Good score. So, you know, we've done a lot of New World and Cuban Lanceros on the pod.

And the Oliva V Lancero tonight at 9. 7. The cigar's a revelation. Takes the cake. It's a revelation. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, [01:47:00] but you know what I'm like, and I'm really thinking about this. You know, the, the, my father, number four.

**Senator:** Do not, no, you can't change your

**Gizmo:** rating.

**Pagoda:** No, the spread is really wide and that's a great

**Bam Bam:** cigar.

Yeah, it's just a good cigar, but not as good as this. No,

**Pagoda:** it's definitely not as good as this, but it's not two and a half points away. I do, I do

**Grinder:** think we, we indexed heavily on the discount, on the discount. On the discount.

**Gizmo:** Seven bucks. I mean, it's hard for me not to factor that in. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** But if that was a $12 cigar, I don't think the ratings would change.

**Gizmo:** I agree. I think if it was, would was an $18 cigar, I don't think it would change. I, yeah. But I out out of all the Len

**Senator:** Arrows, Orlon, well, Len Arrows, let's say Eros, this

**Gizmo:** is the best one. We have.

**Senator:** Most

**Bam Bam:** delicious

**Gizmo:** lenara. Absolutely. It is delicious. And I gotta say, I think it, it's important to note for the listeners and for us, I think a lower humidity than what you get at a local b and m.

Yeah. Lower humidity is a little better. You got to take it down. Closer to 64, 65. That's what we experienced tonight. I think it's a lot better than the [01:48:00] closer to 70. You didn't dry boxes at all. No, I didn't try box. Oh, that's right. But I had them for six months of my talent. By the way,

**Pagoda:** when gets his BNM is brick and

**Gizmo:** mortar.

That's true. All right. So on the Hennessy VSOP tonight. We had an 8. 8. Lizard J. Lizard J, thank you for the recommendation. And on the Oliva V Lancero, we had a 9. 7. That's an excellent scope. You talk about, you talk about a value night here, boys, on both the cigar and the pairing. You can't beat it. It was delicious.

And for the listeners who say we don't rate budget cigars, cigars, there you go. Thank you. 7 cigar. 9. 7 tonight. There's one for you, dude. You tell

**Senator:** him rooster. There's one for

**Bam Bam:** you.

**Senator:** You like that? You like that? You like that? Yeah.

**Gizmo:** All right, boys, this is perfectly teeing up next week episode. [01:49:00] 100 with the Padron 50 year, the hammer in Maduro.

That'll be our last episode. Only if we change ratings, only if we change ratings, but what a fantastic night boys, a fantastic pairing. Great conversation. And, uh, we'll see y'all next week for episode 100. 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. That's loungelizards, P O D, dot com. Don't forget to leave us a rating and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. If you have any comments, questions. If you want to reach out, say hello, tell us what you're smoking. Email us hello at lounge lizards, pod. com. You can also find us on Instagram at lounge lizards pot.

We really appreciate your time and we'll, uh, we'll see you next week.