Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey the lizards pair the San Cristóbal de La Habana Harimau Malaya Edición Regional Malaysia with Courvoisier VSOP cognac. The guys debate the value of Cuban regional editions, they review the Habanos S.A. cigar pricing strategy one year in & and a few lizards recount an all-time prank on Rooster.

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

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

Released every Tuesday, the LOUNGE LIZARDS podcast helps listeners navigate the experience of finding and enjoying premium cigars (both Cuban and non-Cuban) and quality spirits. Episodes 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 Roosters, Senator Pagoda, and bam bam.

On our plans to smoke a cigar, drink some cognac, talk about life, and of course, have some labs. So take this as your 94th 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 cubit cigar tonight, share our thoughts on it, and give you our formal lizard rating.

We debate the value of Cuban Regional editions. We review Haos cigar pricing strategy one year later, and a few lizards recount an all time prank on Rooster, all among a variety of other things for the next 90 minutes. So sit back, get your favorite drink, and light up a cigar, and enjoy as we pair cosier.

Vs. O p cognac with the San Cristobal de La Habana Harimau Malaya Edición Regional Malaysia, Montesco Tonight on the pod from [00:01:00] San Cristobal de la Habana. It's called the Harimau Malaya. It's a 55 ring gauge cigar by five and one eight inches long. It's a regional edition, and it's the second San Cristobal we've done on the podcast.

Bam. Oh yeah. Do you remember what the other one was? I don't wanna remember the famous lap, Punta. Oh, I know. And hopefully it's not the case with this one, but, uh, we're gonna try it tonight here, boys. This is a big boy tonight. It is 55 ring gauge cigar. Um, you know, we've been, uh, moving away from the Lan Soros and the, the lawns tails a little bit bigger ring gauge stuff, and I thought this was an accessible, uh, regional edition out of Cuba that we could do.

So here we are tonight with this one. Yeah, so it's a good looking cigar. All right, let's cut this thing boys. See we're getting on the cold, drawing the wrapper.

Interesting little cigar. Nice cold. Yeah. Some fruit. Fruity. I get a little [00:02:00] milk chocolate on the cold draw. Yep. Hope it tastes as good as this draw. I love the wrapper. Yeah. It's a beautiful wrapper actually. Mine's a little darker. I think mine's one of the darker ones out of this box for some reason, despite them being color matched, I feel like I got one of the darker ones out of it.

Yeah. I don't know if you noticed that, but they weren't terribly like they were. Oh, that is really dark. Now I'm noticing that they weren't really color matched in the box. Look at that. And that was the first eye. Opened it since I got them. Wow. Yeah. Could be a, could be a fake box. Careful. You know what?

It very well could be. You

**Bam Bam:** actually wanna find those anomalies in those boxes. That's but not the

**Senator:** color matching is usually a a, a sign that the box may not be legit. So that

**Bam Bam:** cigar was rolled in Pete's backyard.

**Gizmo:** All right, boys, let's like this thing. Deon Cristobal dela habana. Hira Mao Malaya Aion region out of Malaysia.

Again, it's a sco, a larger rib robusto. It's a 55 reengage cigar by five and one eight inches long. Comes in a beautiful 10 count [00:03:00] box. Uh, I would say similar to what, what listeners would expect out of a 10 count box. A part, A Steve force. Yep. And then it comes in a really nice out outer cardboard box that's decorated.

Really fancy, but it's a nice, nice presentation. It is.

**Bam Bam:** Well, you wouldn't expect anything less for regional, you'd hope Right? That's

**Gizmo:** overpriced and expensive. Well, not

**Rooster:** all regionals come out with that outer box.

**Gizmo:** No, that's true. That's, that's ornate. Some regionals have come in cardboard boxes, I think. Right?

Yeah, that's true. Yeah, the King Henry. I know there's a couple that we have the Sir Henry, excuse me, sir Henry. Yeah. There's a bunch that just come in the old, you know, cardboard boxes. This is nice on a light. Yeah, it's not, there's not a lot there. I'm getting a, like a tingle on the front of my mouth, but it's not like a twy thing.

It's, it's like a, it's just a tingle. Yeah.

**Rooster:** The aroma's nice. I mean the smoke, the smoke smells really nice, but not getting a whole lot

**Gizmo:** Great smoke. Yeah. So, uh, this regional edition was announced in 2020. This [00:04:00] specific box we're smoking is two years old. It came out of La Corona factory in Havana. Uh, it's code is r a t August 21.

And, uh, they made 8,888 of these boxes. I would assume they're still making them. And the reason why I wanted to do these tonight, guys, is, uh, I've, I found, and I think Rooster are the same, um, these seem to be one of the more accessible regionals that have, have ever been released. You know, that. I felt like I got two boxes.

Rooster got a box. It's not like we were like really trying that hard. Have you tried this before? No, I've never, I haven't. I haven't opened this. Of course you have, but you tried it young though, rooster, right? Yeah, the day I got it.

**Bam Bam:** Oh yeah. You like to sample. That's true. That was really young. I do

**Senator:** too.

Honestly. Was anybody wondering why they released 8,888 boxes?

**Gizmo:** I'm assuming it's a lucky number in Malaysia. That's how many tigers in China? Malaysia. In

**Senator:** China. Oh, in China. Yeah. Okay. Eight is a very lucky number in China. Is that right?

**Pagoda:** Ah, yeah. I wonder whether these were made for the Malaysian market or the [00:05:00] just East Asian

**Gizmo:** market and all.

Well, I, I think, you know, I got mine from f o h, uh, friends of Haos out of El Friends of El Hao, excuse me, out of, uh, Australia, and they're distributed their distributor from Haos, uh, Pacific Cigar Company, PCC outta Hong Kong. Sure. Yep. So I think that's why he was able to get so many of them. Uh, is to your point, uh, pagoda, I think it's definitely serving the, you know, um, Eastern Asia, you know, the Asia market there.

**Pagoda:** And just to clarify for the listeners, uh, when we talk about regionals in this particular case, we're talking with the regional. Where they're making cigars for mm-hmm. The distributor of that particular region.

**Gizmo:** Exactly. So addition, you know, Adicio, regionalities exist to give a little bit of a boost on a semi, you know, yearly basis.

You know, e every couple years, let's say, you know, each market will get a special cigar that's designated for them. You know, you can get Mexican regionals, Irish regionals, UK [00:06:00] regionals, there's a Cuban regional, there's, you know, uh, Hong Kong, there's all the, all the markets around the world. That's that.

There's a Canadian regional, uh, all the markets around the world that sell Habanas on a regular basis are often, uh, served with some sort of regional addition to kind of augment. Mm-hmm. Give them a little excitement, some press to talk about. Yeah. Um, I know why they have a Cuban regional and Boost sales.

They do, they do have Cuban Regional. Yeah. Yeah, I've seen it. Yeah. That's interesting. Right? That's strange. Yeah.

**Senator:** Did you know anything about regionals and the size being important to a regional that's made? No. Okay, so I'm just reading this. This is interesting. So, Um, it's basically saying, so in oh five they introduced this whole regional concept and everything Gizmo said obviously explains the intent behind it.

But what's interesting is that, um, Hao says, say, uh, gave their regional distributors special sizes that aren't part of the respective brands regular production lineup. Yeah. In some cases, like the Bolivar Gold Medals, Haos SA gave specific [00:07:00] distributors sizes that had been discontinued, but most are sizes that have never been available for that brand prior.


**Gizmo:** That is, never

**Bam Bam:** knew that. No, that's new.

**Senator:** And then it says there's one major exception to that rule, and that's the most famous, the, uh, Edmundo Dante Elcon 1 0 9, which is an ER available for Mexico Yep. That is related to the Monte Cristo brand, but is

**Gizmo:** largely its own brand. So Edmundo Dante was.

Uh, founded for and by a gentleman named Max Guttman. And Max Guttman was the guy who invented the concept of the La Lacasa Dell Hao stores, which are another level above the Hao specialists for, for h s a retailers around the world. And I guess for his many, many years of service, Edmundo Dante is actually a, an extension of Monte Cristo, but it has its own similar band on it.

Mm-hmm. Its own market just for him. Yeah. They [00:08:00] pretty much invented it for, for him. Heard about that cigar? Yeah. It's got a big story. Yeah. It's a, people love that 1 0 9. Yeah. I don't remember when that was released. I dunno if it was 2009 or something, Senator. But the, that, that 1 0 9 is very, very, very, very sought after and very hard to find.

Like people are obsessed with that. And I think if you look at what was released at the Haos Festival this year, that entire part against, uh, line, uh, linear line, all of them have the 1 0 9 shaped cap on them. Yeah. Which I like a lot. Which I do too. It's very cool. And that also goes back to the Lusitania used to have a 1 0 9, uh, head on it.

Really? In the seventies? Yeah. They changed it I think in the eighties or nineties. Wow. The old Lusitania has actually had 1 0 9 heads on it. Interesting. Uh, and that's, you know, I think, so that's, Part of the reason also why they gave the pargo lineages, uh, one, I mean,

**Rooster:** I, I wonder why there's such an attraction towards that 1 0 9.

Because once you cut it, it's gonna,

**Gizmo:** it's flat [00:09:00] anyway. Yeah. Kind of. You don't want to take, so what's the, what's the advantage or disadvantage? I like the mouth feel of a 1 0 9. I agree. Because it's in between a typical parejo kind of shape, you know? Uh, or a flat kind of head that you'd get. Let's say, let's compare Lusitania, right?

You look at her a normal rib robusto compare, or this cigar compared to a pyramid, you know, a torpedo type shape. The 1 0 9 s right in, it's kind of right in between that with a round

**Bam Bam:** the top. Top. It's like a blunted, it's a blunted

**Gizmo:** pyramid top. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Or like a rounded ram

**Bam Bam:** Ramon. Ramon has a 1 0 9 Ramon.

Yep. Yeah,

**Senator:** bet your rooster's point. I mean, none of these things make like all that much of a difference once the cigars cut.

**Gizmo:** It's true.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah.

**Gizmo:** It's fun. I just, I'm, I do love the 1 0 9 shape. I always have, you know? Yeah. I think,

**Pagoda:** uh, wasn't in Cuba when, uh, somebody mentioned that the reason they try and do that is so that there's, uh, some concentration of flavor, which comes through when you're lighting it

**Bam Bam:** up.

They mentioned that. I remember that [00:10:00] conversation. I guess there's the merit to that maybe.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, true. And I think, I think I, it's the same, I would think with the, to pyramid torpedo, especially if you take a, you know, the, the, the pyramid. If you just take a little bit off and you're getting enough draw, then that flavor's definitely gonna be concentrated into a smaller, you know, ature a smaller, yeah.

Yeah, yeah. So what are you guys thinking of the cigar so far? Oh, you know, I'm

**Senator:** not getting a lot of flavor. That's a surprising thing. I just, I don't, I can't really even pull out any notes. I'm just getting smoke.

**Bam Bam:** It's lacking character, but it's not

**Gizmo:** offensive. It's, it's, it's not a bad cigar. No. It's not as bad as the La Punta, I would say.

But there's not much

**Bam Bam:** here. That's cigar. That'll la Punta. You wanna throw that at your worst enemy lit.

**Gizmo:** But you don't, you bury those in your garden. Ba I did. And

**Bam Bam:** it ruined my vegetables. Pizza is lit.

**Gizmo:** It did.

**Rooster:** I mean, this is not a cheap cigar. I mean, it, we paid like $30 a

**Gizmo:** steak and now they're going for about, yeah, they're

**Senator:** going for 55.

It's crazy. I saw half wheel reviewed this. It says they paid $55 a stick for When did they review it? 2021. [00:11:00] Wow. I

**Bam Bam:** have a question. How long has this vila been around? You mean this

**Gizmo:** particular regional? Yeah. This release was, uh, really, it was announced in 2020. They usually come out about a year later, 21. So this came out

**Bam Bam:** late 21.

So no one knows the history. There's no history on it, there's no aging characteristics that are known about it. Not yet. So who knows if, what's this gonna turn into?

**Gizmo:** Who knows? But right now it's, uh, yeah, it's like white bread. Yeah. Salty

**Bam Bam:** white bread. It's not offensive, but,

**Gizmo:** you know, serviceable. Yeah. So, uh, not much to talk about as far as San Cristobal de la Habana history.

It was founded in 1999. It's the newest brand that Haos has, the newest mark. I think that's probably the most interesting fact about it. The other being that the name San Cristobal de la Habana was the original name of the city of Havana.

**Bam Bam:** Here's a, here's the thing. So we were, when we were in the La Corona factory, this band in a larger scale was proudly displayed in the conference room.

Yeah. And you see that around Havana a lot. This particular design of [00:12:00] this band, and

**Gizmo:** I, I would say it was, it's celebrated, very similar, celebrated, very similar to Kaba. At at Corona. Yeah. Kaba is so celebrated there, dude. And who smokes that? And we talked to them about that. You know, you look at Kaba, they have some cigars that people love.

We haven't done one on the pod that we're going to, but Yeah. You know, that's not a, uh, that's not a global brand. No, it's not. That's not amount of

**Senator:** Christo. I mean, I'm not trying to be overly mean about this, but, well, you can

**Bam Bam:** be an elitist. Go ahead.

**Senator:** I mean, I don't, I mean, I think most of the tourists there, they're buying Parus.

They're buying Bolivar. They're buying up, they're buying Cohiba. And what's probably left is Kaba, maybe San crystal ball. It's probably the easiest stuff to get your hands on

**Bam Bam:** there. So I've had Kaba, I bought a box of distinct Guidos, you

**Gizmo:** know. Did you think it was a Cohiba?

**Bam Bam:** The cheaper

**Gizmo:** version? The much cheaper version It

**Bam Bam:** was.

Okay. You know, it didn't really leave a memorable bark.

**Gizmo:** Mm. So let's talk about the, uh, the line San Cristobal has right now. They have, I was curious how many [00:13:00] Vito does they have? Yeah, so they have a few regular production cigars right now. They have the El Principe, which is a petite Corona. They have the Laa, a Gordito, Robusta Extra.

They have a La Punta, which is a Pyramid Campana we did that, has a nickname on the podcast. It's called The Nightmare, the Nightmare. Uh, and they also have a regular production, what they call hi bono specialist release called the Tor, which comes in a ceramic jar of 25 cigars. The Jar. Really, really nice looking, uh, jar that comes in.

And finally an L C D H release called the Prado, which is a petite pyramid, uh, five inch, uh, pyramid, uh, with 50 ring gauge. And then they have a few, uh, discontinued production cigars. You know, they've only been around since 1999, like we talked about. And then there are so many, uh, special, you know, limited, uh, you know, regional edition, excuse me, and L C D H cigars, which is primarily, I think what ha Bonos is using this marker for.

Are there

**Bam Bam:** other [00:14:00] markers that they use? Um, For

**Gizmo:** regional release. Yeah. It's very similar to, uh, LA Gloria Cobana, you know, even Ramona Ionis. Bolivar. Yeah. They all have regionals, don't they? Yeah. Yeah. There's a

**Senator:** hammer. San crystal ball's the only one that gets

**Bam Bam:** released. No, I guess I should rephrase the question.

So this one is used prolifically, right? So there's many, there's a lot through, are there other markers that they designate to release the primary number of

**Gizmo:** regionals? A whole bunch. Yeah, A whole bunch. I mean, there's a lot of markets. I mean, right now, just right now, just like

**Rooster:** up and

**Gizmo:** cohiba. No, I know they all have it.

They, no, they don't. They don't. Oh, I'm sorry. The global brands don't, okay. Yeah, yeah. Part this, they don't. It's the, uh, so they reserve it for this type of, uh, the smaller brands. Smaller brands. So right now in the, in the hopper, They have four cigars that have been announced as regional additions and, uh, haos collection series and, and, and other things that they haven't even shown them what they look like yet.

So there's four right now in the hopper coming out of San Cristobal de [00:15:00] la Habana, uh, for regionals and other things. So that's what this brand is for in their eyes. You know, certainly the regular production stuff's not a home run yet. And as far as, like I said, as far as sun Cristal goes, there's not a lot of history there.

Um, to go over. It's only 25 years old. Are there

**Senator:** other San Crystal Ball cigars that you guys

**Rooster:** have tried? Yeah, the Ellp PrPE and the Prado.

**Gizmo:** You've had the Prado? Yeah. I like that size. The short torpedoes good. It's a short torpedo. Is it good? Okay. I like the El PrPE

**Rooster:** a little bit better. It's got,

**Gizmo:** it's got more

**Bam Bam:** flavor.

That one's talked about a lot. I, I'm thinking that's probably the most

**Gizmo:** well known song. Crystal. Yeah, it's a small stick. I

**Rooster:** forget what size it is, but it's kinda like a

**Gizmo:** Corona. I'm actually looking at it. It's a minutos. It's 42 reengaged by four and three Corona inches. Corona Corona, petite

**Rooster:** Corona. It's a good steak.

It's got a lot of flavor. Yeah, I mean it's compare, you know, like compared

**Gizmo:** to this, it's got, it's got a lot. So

**Pagoda:** this has got a lot of smoke.

**Bam Bam:** It does

**Gizmo:** good. Smoke [00:16:00] output. The smoke output is probably the best part of this so far. Beautifully made cigar chip. Are you guys getting anything right now? Not much, yeah.

Tobacco. It's a

**Pagoda:** pleasant tobacco though. Yeah.

**Senator:** Yeah. I mean, honestly, it's not offensive. This right now, this just reminds me of like a mild morning smoke. Yeah. Big

**Gizmo:** time. But just, but I feel like a cup of coffee would overpower it. It's true. There's not a whole lot here. Ice coffee. Ice coffee would overpower this.

Yeah. But I, I mean, I just can't,

**Rooster:** you know, for 30 bucks a steak, you, you want more

**Gizmo:** out of a steak. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and, and if, if senator's saying that they're 40 or 50 now. Yeah. So a year and a half later, I mean, that's crazy. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** You know, we've talked about this a lot. How, I don't know, I'm not gonna say that we frown upon regionals, but we love the standard production cigars so much and they're so incredibly, you know, made, uh, there's, this is just

**Gizmo:** a lot of

**Rooster:** hype.

Yeah. It's just, you know, it's, it's mild. It's okay if a cigar is mild. Not even this, but a mild with some

**Bam Bam:** flavor. Not just this regional, but [00:17:00] a lot of regionals that we've smelled. Well, that's the

**Senator:** thing you said we don't frown upon. I'm, I make no apologies for this. I have always frowned upon regionals.

Agreed. Agreed. Years ago, GIZ and I, you would even debate this about regionals. I was trying to be nice by the way, regionals versus, no, no, but I, I have to say it. I mean, we used to debate regionals versus limit. At the time, gizmo preferred, he thought regionals were better quality. I thought limiteds were better quality.

Mm-hmm. And I think my issue with regionals, number one, The fact that they're released from the smaller brands that I don't prefer or smoke more than I do the larger ones that already makes them less interesting to me. And then number two, they're young and fresh and I'd rather have a limita with some age.

It's not tremendously age when these first come out, but some age than something this young from a brand that I don't particularly love. I just feel like, and then you look at these, some of them, not all, but like how ornate this box is. It's like they're trying too hard to make this look. It's a marketing

**Gizmo:** gimmick and they're overpriced.


**Rooster:** people chase, and I know I did too. I mean double bands and you know, it's [00:18:00]

**Gizmo:** so well the

**Bam Bam:** connoisseur corner's. Gotta try it all.

**Gizmo:** So you mentioned the packaging Senator. So as I mentioned, this comes in a 10 count box, very similar to the D four. And it has a, a pretty ornate outer cardboard box, uh, with a little magnet, uh, flip top lid.

It's in black, black cardboard. And it tells the story of the hira MA is the Malaysian word for. Tiger Malaya is the Malaysian language. So it's the Malia tiger is the, what this represents. And there's a whole story about how this is one of the smaller breeds of tigers in the world. And they tell this whole story inside the packaging of, of how this tiger kind of rules the rules the kingdom a little bit.

But it's a, it's a little guy and then it tells, you know, a sadder story, which is weird to see on the inside of a cigar box about how humans have completely ravaged them. So that decision was a little odd, but Oh yeah. You know, enjoy your cigar, by the way. I would've,

**Bam Bam:** I would've

**Senator:** preferred the story of the lizard, but, you know, agreed.

**Gizmo:** Their own. Yeah. The, the lagarto. [00:19:00] Uh, yeah. We need a lagarto. We need a, you know what, when we go back to Havana, you'll follow a memo. Memo. Need to make it happen. Yeah, yeah. We're gonna put senator on the case. The

**Bam Bam:** silver tongue will unleash abid his

**Gizmo:** rage, get a regional edition, one of the

**Senator:** factories. He's gonna listen and do it.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. We have to have somebody do it. We need a lizard regional. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. You gotta just flex your influence. Yeah. Come on. Do it.

**Gizmo:** What's the, what's the, uh, shirt with the Oh, Lacoste. Oh

**Senator:** yeah. That, that's an alligator though. Is

**Gizmo:** it? It's an alligator. Oh, I thought it was a lizard. No, no, it's an alligator.

That's true. That's true's, right? Well, we need a lizard regional, so we're gonna work on that. All right, boys, you wanna talk about our pairing tonight? Yes. Pass the kasier baby. Dude. Pass it.

**Senator:** It's delicious. Especially when you're smoking this. It's the complete opposite. It's full

**Gizmo:** flavor. Yeah. I'm very, very much looking forward to trying this dip the whole thing in it or

**Bam Bam:** rub it

**Gizmo:** out.

I get something, I get some flavor that way.

**Senator:** So [00:20:00] the, the funny thing is GIZ was talking about how, um, San Crystal ball is the youngest of the Cuban brands. Corvassier is actually the youngest of the Big four cognac houses, uh, those being, and we've done, I'm actually very excited. This now completes the big four.

That's cool. Oh yeah. This was the last one, right? That's cool. Oh, yeah. Very cool. We, we started the journey with Remy. We then did Hennessy. Then Martel and now Corvassier. Um, so they do have that in common Now, you know, the irony in cognac, this stuff was all started a long time ago. Young being 1828, not to interrupt you, not quite 1999, like, like San Cristobal,

**Bam Bam:** we did the Hein as well.

That cognac, where

**Senator:** does that rank? That's a smaller producer. It is, right? This is like the big global Oh, gotcha, gotcha. Like they're everywhere. Got it. Yeah. And that's why even for us, honestly, Hein is very hard to find. Yeah. It's not readily available everywhere. No. It's just the

**Gizmo:** smaller production.

Actually, I went into a couple shame stores in the last few weeks. They had didn't no mention of Hein, but of course they had this [00:21:00] alongside all the others. For

**Senator:** sure. So some other interesting stuff about Corvassier, they actually first started this guy, Emmanuel Corvassier, who, uh, founded it. They started as a wine producer and then moved into, uh, the cognac business.

Uh, what it's most famous for, and it even says right on the bottle, if you look at the label corvassier in big letters. And then it says The cognac of Napoleon. Ah, it's Napoleon Bonaparte's favorite cognac. Mm-hmm. He apparently visited them in the early 18 hundreds, left with a bunch of barrels of their cognac and just raved about it, and it just sort of, this nickname got coined that has stuck all these years later.

So, so not

**Pagoda:** bottles. I'm sorry. No, it's

**Bam Bam:** okay. Go ahead. Barrels. Yeah. Barrels Barrel. I'd like to know, did Napoleon actually pay for it or did he just walk in as a dictator?

**Gizmo:** Not want, he just took it. Yeah, just take it

**Senator:** home. I think that's a safe bet. Oh

**Gizmo:** yeah. I wish I could do that. Just, oh, I know. Just roll into Macallan.

I'm just, I'm gonna take a couple barrels of your Macallan please. You're not, you're not a dictator or the Cohiba factory or the Cohiba [00:22:00] factory. Oh yeah. That'd be great too. I wanna walk with it. Well, I, I

**Rooster:** broke my own boxes.

**Senator:** And then the only other thing worth mentioning, um, the French, when they opened the Eiffel Tower in the late 18 hundreds, uh, they celebrated the opening with Corvassier.

Cool. Nice. It's cool.

**Bam Bam:** It was cool. So they changed the

**Senator:** bottle. They did. I'm glad you said that. Ba Yeah. So, uh, my dad used to drink this years ago. I mean, I remember as a kid, like holidays, like my mom picking up a bottle of for him, and he'd obviously love to have, uh, pair this with a cigar and it was like a blue and gold.

It was bottle

**Bam Bam:** and a little shorter. Shorter.

**Senator:** And a bit fatter. Fatter. Yeah. My

**Bam Bam:** dad drank a lot of this as well. It's good stuff. Yeah, it is. It

**Gizmo:** is. Now, here's a question. Do you think they did that for practical reasons to make it easier to shelve it at the stores? I like to, to to take the wide, the wide mouth or the wide foot of the bottle to, it wasn't shrink it up to

**Bam Bam:** make it a little more traditional.

It wasn't wide, it was just a bit, um, bit fatter

**Senator:** at the [00:23:00] bottom. It was like the Remi 1738 bottle. Ah, yeah. Fat. Okay. Got it. But the thing is, honestly, I think that this was an, I, I really like how they've rebranded this. It even comes in a nice box now. It's a beautiful box, which kinda reminds me of like Apol, Roge box, like the white with uh, an accent color.

I think they've classed this up a lot and I think it needed it and it's deserving. I don't think the other bottle looked bad, but it, it just didn't look, it was very old school. Yeah. Yeah. This looks refined. Mm-hmm. More modern, clean. I actually really like what they did with it and I will say this is drinking better than I remembered.

I dunno if anything's changed, but

**Gizmo:** I really like this. I was just gonna say this is an excellent, this is a vs o p, right? Yep. This, so that's for the listener. That's the midgrade. You know you have vs vs. O p and xo. This is kind of closer to Oh, a hundred percent Remy 1738 in the flavor and quality. Yeah.

Than it it

**Bam Bam:** is to, it drinks above its weight class. It does, [00:24:00] because it has viscosity and it's so satisfying.

**Senator:** I agree. Price wise

**Rooster:** about the same as question.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. What is this?

**Senator:** That's a great question. It's very, uh, reasonable. Uh, but let

**Gizmo:** me pull this up. So I like your comment on viscosity. Bam. It's there, it it is.

Really, it's rich. There's no, I have no ice in mind. Do you guys have ice? None of us do. Yeah. None. No, no. It's excellent. It

**Bam Bam:** is. It is. And as you drink it, it gets, it gets better and better. Yeah. I could do this with dessert after dinner and a cigar. Yeah, that

**Gizmo:** would agree with that. That would, tremend would be tremendous experience.

And it's just another cognac in the line of cognacs that we've done, and I'm sure there's many more out there that mm-hmm. It's really great for pairing with a cigar. You know, I'll be brought, it's a really nice experience with a

**Bam Bam:** cigar. All this, this experimentation with the cognac, it has actually taken me away from my love of scotch.

Yeah. A little bit. You know, I would almost gravitate more toward a, toward a cognac if I had my choice.

**Gizmo:** And I think the value, you look at the price of most cognac that [00:25:00] we, we've had, not the XOs, let's put those aside. Right. I mean, compared to, let's say a bottle of Macallan 12. Mm-hmm. You know, versus a vs.

Or excuse me, a vs. O P or A, the 1738, you're saving quite a bit of money. Yeah. You guys ready for the price? Oh, geez. 45. I'm say 38. 48. 48 bucks. 60 bucks. 45

**Senator:** 99. Wow. No

**Bam Bam:** way. Wow. That is insane. This is a must buy.

**Gizmo:** This might be the best value cognac we've had so far, dude. So this is must buy.

**Bam Bam:** This is cheaper than the Heinz.

**Pagoda:** Rare

**Senator:** and, yeah. Yeah. So Hein rare is like 65. Yeah. Yeah. And

**Pagoda:** Senator, you tried Heinz rare yesterday and remember you were doing the taste. Uh, can you just, uh, elaborate a little bit on it in terms of viscosity and

**Senator:** Yes. The flavor profile. This has, that's, I, I love this cuz the Hein rare is also a vs. O p.

This has more viscosity. The Hein rare is lighter. Yep. Um, This, you know, GIZ was talking about how, and, and BAM also said this kind of punches above its weight class. This, first of all looks, if you [00:26:00] just look at the spirit in the bottle, it's very dark, it's dark, very rich, which is usually what an XO looks like.

Yeah. It's gorgeous. The longer it age is usually the, the darker it gets and, um, This. This has many exo qualities about it. The price point to me is outrageous, because you think about Hein Rare, as Pagoda said, that's like 65 a bottle. You think of Remi 1738, which is like 65, 67 a bottle. Yeah. I can't believe for $46 this, I'd put this right up there with both those

**Gizmo:** bottles.

Absolutely. This is the, I, this is the definitive statement. This is the best value of cognac we've done so far. I agree. I think, thank

**Bam Bam:** you so

**Pagoda:** much, guys. It's, it's a fact. I've got a new cognac to

**Bam Bam:** pursue.

**Gizmo:** It's really good,

**Bam Bam:** man. Yeah. You know, and going back to my comment about, I'm not gravitating away from scotch, but if I had my choice, I definitely would pick a cognac. This is like now at the top of the list kind of, but I never, I wouldn't have ever attempted to have a cognac. Why? Because my [00:27:00] dad drank it.

Yeah. I don't want, it wasn't cool. Yeah, it wasn't cool. Old school. We've talked about this at nauseum, but it's really an eye opener. Really how tremendous it really is. This whole line of cognac

**Senator:** experimentation is, and, and to your point, bam. I, I feel the same way. I'm definitely, my scotch consumption has decreased since same, I've gotten into cognac big time.

And the thing I really just appreciate about it, I just love that you can pour any of these good cognacs neat. No ice. And no ice. Yep. No burn, no harshness. Just so satisfying. Yeah. Pairs incredibly with a cigar. And I feel like, you know, almost all of the scotches that I like, it needs some ice or some water.

They're, they're just a fuller, more intense sometimes experience from just the alcohol there. Yeah. And, um, I, there's just something so refined and laid back about a great glass of cognac. I really love.

**Bam Bam:** I have a question. So his dad drinks it. My dad, my dad's passed away, but he had a lot of this [00:28:00] in his time.

Does Gizmo Sr. Partake

**Gizmo:** in any. So he actually has never been a cognac guy. Okay. I actually have turned him on to cognac. He has? Yeah, he does like brandy and some other after dinner drinks. But his, his main thing, like he, he just loves a Manhattan. He likes to make a Manhattan with Canadian club, like that's his thing.

Extra cherry juice. Juice. That's pogoda thing. Extra cherry juice. Like he has his whole routine. When he sits down at a bar or a restaurant, he dictates very clearly exactly what he wants. Does he watch them make it? No. Oh yeah. He's very, very determined on what he likes, however, He just had, uh, for, you know, father's Day a couple months ago.

He just had a birthday. I'm sending him stuff that he hasn't had before. Mm-hmm. I kind of stay away from Scotch with him. Um, he's not a single mon guy. But it sounds like his

**Senator:** palette is sweeter. It is. Because you said he brandy. Exactly. And so even of cognac's and cognac is brandy. Um, of cognac's. A sweeter cognac would appeal to him and

**Gizmo:** I he would [00:29:00] love this.

He would, I agree. He would love this. I've sent him the 1738 and I sent him, uh, the Hennessy. Mm. I believe I'd sent him the xo. Wow. But we did, we did the Hennessy xo. That was the 10, right? We did, I think so. I think that was a 10.0. Yeah, we very high marks on that. We definitely did Remi xo. Okay. Maybe whatever the 10.0 was.

Okay. So then, then that was Remi. The Hennessy XO was a nine. I sent him the Remi XO for his birthday and he loved that. So he's definitely getting turned on like, cuz I'm trying to get him away from having to mix these drinks and like just, dude, just take the bottle and dump it and enjoy it. Like, we don't need to be running out to get cherry juice.

You know, I'm outta cherry juice honey, I gotta go. You have no idea dude. You have no idea. And he lives in rural Pennsylvania, so it's like 40 minutes each way to go, go to the store. So, but yeah, it's, uh, you know, to answer your question, he's definitely, uh, definitely enjoy it.

**Bam Bam:** Here's a, here's a question for you.

Connoisseurs in the room we have yet to do a brandy is there is, uh, is a cognac considered to [00:30:00] be superior to a brandy? And is there a different process of making it.

**Senator:** Yeah. So I mean, I, I think it's definitely perceived as a

**Bam Bam:** superior, you've frown upon brandy's and I fucking know that, oh, this is, this is, that's why I'm asking.

**Senator:** I, I think that br brandy's number one are very sweet and I don't like anything overly sweet. I like something more balanced. Mm-hmm. So, to me, co cognac does a better job of ha producing a, a balanced spirit. Uh, you know, it's like people always say like, oh, you drink brandy, you're gonna have a horrible hangover cuz there's so much sugar.

It's just a very sweet drink. I think cherries are more

**Gizmo:** sweet, sweeter than

**Senator:** brandy's. No, no, no. Cherries are drier than brandy. Um, and some cherries are actually super dry. The

**Gizmo:** most sweet spirit I know of is pork. That, that, that's that too. Well that's definitely a dessert drink that, that's like syrupy.

It's a dessert.

**Bam Bam:** Sweetness. What I love about a cherry, it's got a short dry finish. It's very short. It's really quite nice. Cherry's dryer for sure. Yeah. It's different for sure. But is there a superiority to cognac that

**Senator:** brand isn't have? Yeah, I think I, I think, I mean, number one is just the, the sweet [00:31:00] factor and number two.

I can't name you like a really famous, prominent brandy brand, and I just don't think that people are investing in producing top quality brandies, like the way companies are investing in producing top quality cognacs. So I, I'm always open-minded. I mean, we've tried some crazy stuff on this podcast. We have.

We found some gems. I'm very open to trying just this is, yeah,

**Gizmo:** this is, this to me is a call out to the listeners right now. If you have a brandy you love that you think we should review, send us an email because, you know, if we've done this with tequila, we've done this with, you know, uh, with, with cognac now.

I'd love to go down another path and, and find some great spirits. So definitely email us and, uh, the

**Senator:** path. I'm thrilled we did go down. That's in this family was Armac. Oh

**Gizmo:** yeah. That was great. Oh yeah,

**Bam Bam:** that was tremendous. That was really good. Absolutely. I'm glad I found that. Yeah. Yeah. And honestly, we gotta do more of those.

Yeah. So I did have a brandy the other day. How about Spanish brandy? Yeah, the Spanish brandy. I'm looking at the find to find a photograph because I haven't, here we [00:32:00] go. What is it? This is the Cardinal Mendoza Brandy outta Spain. Let's try it. It was really quite tasty. Really?

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Very good. What would you compare it to that we've done on the pod?

That I would know.

**Bam Bam:** It's a little different than I think, than it closer to the armac, I think. Really? Yeah. All right. That's

**Gizmo:** promising. That's could be worth trying. Yeah. Let's try it. Yeah. Now would you pair that with a Cuban cigar or a numeral cigar? Cuban all the way. Yeah.

**Senator:** Got it. But see that I'd be willing to try like, what just kills me with brandy.

It's like apple brandy. Like I, I don't want Apple brand. Yeah. There's a lot

**Gizmo:** of fruit unflavored brands. No, no. That's disgusting. If they named the fruit on it, I don't want it. Yeah. No, no. None of that. So what are you guys thinking about the cigar so far? A little under halfway through hasn't changed much.

No, but I'm not

**Bam Bam:** offended by it, unfortunately. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** that's not offensive. Here's, you know, what it is, is it frustrates me, let's put aside price, let's sort of put aside all the hoopa about it. Like seeing this second band on it with this, the, the classic, uh, you know, Adicio, regione, [00:33:00] uh, exclusive Malaysia.

Seeing this band on there frustrates me that it's not giving me more mm-hmm. Knowing what we paid for it or what someone today would pay for it if they bought a single or a five or, or if they bought a box at 10. And it's just, I don't understand these blending and, and decisions that I. It's not worthy of the first band.

It's certainly not worthy of the second. That's true. I agree. It's just not worthy of it. Like, ha have you retro hailed yet? Honestly, I have.

**Bam Bam:** It's mediocre. I, I capture a little bit of a hint of fruit that we got on a cold draw on a retro hail, but just a typical draw. It's pretty flat.

**Gizmo:** I think the retro is, yeah, I, most of the time you get a little bit more out of the retro on a mediocre cigar.

That's true. I'm not getting much of, much at all out of this. It's smoking fine. Yeah.

**Senator:** The only thing I'll say the, the first half was. Not offensive, but borderline for me. Typical borderline offensive. Typically offensive on the light. Really? Yeah. The light. I was [00:34:00] just getting like a weird, kind of a stringent, like harsh taste.

You're being tough and then that smoothed out. But what I will say the second half has like firmly settled into just like smooth, easygoing, not very flavorful, but like almost slightly pleasurable in the sense that like, it's just a really, really easygoing smoke. I just want to get some flavor notes outta

**Bam Bam:** of it.

That's what's killing me. It's, it doesn't leave a mark. It's not memorable. Like if this

**Senator:** had some flavor, this could be a good cigar.

**Gizmo:** Like it's smoke, it's performing great. That's the thing. Performance, the burn line. Sharp as hell. Great performance. I mean the, the, the ash is nice. Yeah. The smoke output's great.

It's awesome. There's just no flavor. It's

**Rooster:** like you're on a date that you

**Gizmo:** can't wait to end. Yeah. Yeah. It's like the conversation's going nowhere. We've all

**Rooster:** been there. Yeah. It's just not nothing. You're not getting anything out of it, you know, there's no chance

**Gizmo:** of a second date. Kilo. Kilo rooster's got a lot on his mind today.

Speaking [00:35:00] of Rooster, so I missed, oh yeah, I missed an event. You don't miss anything. This So for the listener, this has, has been,

**Bam Bam:** it was, it was

**Gizmo:** a revelation. This has been teed up for me. I'm, so,

**Bam Bam:** I'm with like, I'm about to burst,

**Gizmo:** so for the listener. So we, uh, all the lizards got together and unfortunately I wasn't able to be there.

And it was a rather sad occasion. It was a sad occasion. Yeah. Yeah. But the six of the lizards were there. I was not. And I've gotten some very, uh, Loose, uh, confusing sly reference notes about this lizard meeting. And I, I'm told there's a story. Oh, there's a story and I need to hear this. And the listeners need to hear this.

Senator, you have the floor. This is why we're here. So forget the cigar. Let's go. I'll, I'll

**Senator:** tell it because this was fun for me and that I kind of just got to watch this whole thing unfold and thank God I was not part of orchestrating it. So we were [00:36:00] at Pagodas. Um, I, I, I do kind of wanna just mention the occasion cause I think it's, it's just a nice call out.

Um, pagodas mom, unfortunately recently passed. May she rest in peace and, um, we had a great day. Yeah. Um, obviously they're supporting

**Bam Bam:** Pagoda. Yeah. Thank

**Senator:** you guys. Yeah, of course they're supporting Pagoda and, uh, you know, remembering Pagodas mother, who clearly is an amazing person. We've obviously been so lucky to get to know pagoda over these, uh, last few years.

And, um, it was later into the evening and, uh, you know, at this point I think it was kind of, you know, morning in the morning and, and, uh, in the afternoon and then kind of just trying to celebrate her life and, and unwind, um, late in the day. And I PBA got there. First of the lizards. Yes. Okay. So Puba was there first with Pagoda.

I, I showed up next and then Bam was there for his second shift of the day. That's right. I

**Bam Bam:** was there earlier.

**Gizmo:** By the way, rooster's already starting to boil and so

**Senator:** look at his face. I sit down and I go to light [00:37:00] a cigar, pour myself a drink, and I just like Puba and Pago are just cracking up. Hold. Rooster showed up without any cigars.

I texted. Right.

**Rooster:** Oh, that's right's, right? I said I don't have any, I'm coming from work i's right. Don't have any cigars. Can somebody spot

**Gizmo:** me? One? And of course everyone said, oh, cuz after the morning when I saw you, you were going to work. Right. And then after work you were going right to Pagodas. That's right.

That So you didn't go home to get cigars mean, I didn't expect like we were gonna be hanging out. Yeah, I

**Senator:** understand. Okay. And then Puba was the very first to respond when Rooster said like, can anyone bring me a cigar? And he's like, I've got plenty of cigars. No problem. So I get there and PBA at Pagoda.

Or just clearly something is so funny. They're just laughing. They, they seem in like this great mood. I'm like, what is going on? They're like, wait till we tell you what we have planned when Rooster gets here.

**Bam Bam:** But here's the thing, like I was observing. I didn't know what was going on, Senator. You knew much more than I did.

But Pupa looked like the cat that swallowed them out. Literally. It's so true. It's so true. He had a [00:38:00] smile on his face. So true. From ear to ear texting somebody, I don't know who maybe this guy to my right.

**Gizmo:** Pagoda.

**Senator:** It's so true. I couldn't even look at Fuma during it. He, he was ready to just burst out laughing.

It was ridiculous. And so, uh, I'm like, what is so funny? Puma's like, all right, let me tell you what we've done. So he goes, you know how Rooster said he needed cigars? He's like, so I have plenty of cigars, but I was talking with Pagoda and we had this idea and, uh, We went down into his tower and said, what's the worst cigar that's in here?

What's the worst cigar that you have buried somewhere in the, in the

**Bam Bam:** back of this town. By the way, I'm just staring at Rooster. My eyes are not moving. I'm right on you, buddy. I'm looking the other way. I'm,

**Gizmo:** I'm looking at pagoda.

**Bam Bam:** That's right. That's the triangle. Senator continues.

**Gizmo:** Oh gosh. This

**Senator:** is excellent.

And so apparently they found, what was the [00:39:00] stick? Pagoda.

**Gizmo:** Xeno. Oh geez. It was Xeno. God.

**Senator:** So they

**Gizmo:** found, so it was Eno doff. It was, oh

**Senator:** gosh. But here's the, that was 54 ring gauge.

**Bam Bam:** It was a perfect Toro replica

**Senator:** of that QD that he did of the QD 54. So UBA had a QD 54. He took, swap the bands, took the band off, put it on the Xeno, and they're holding this cigar in front me.

They're like, look at this thing. And I'm looking atem like. The construction's not the best, but it, maybe it'll pass. Who knows? The color was perfect. The color was, yeah, I agree with that. Yeah. I couldn't tell.

**Bam Bam:** Uh oh. Well that indictment is coming down the road.

**Senator:** It's a rooster gets there and you know, pupa opens up his case.

Oh Rooster, I've got a cigar for you. It's a QD 54 20 18 age. And rooster's like, oh, great. You know, good cigar. Did,

**Gizmo:** did Puba drop the code? Did he say MSU or anything like that? Or was it just 2018? No, I think he just said the year. Okay. I think just the year. So 2018

**Rooster:** and then I had, I had, I had not smoked [00:40:00] a lot of the qd.

I mean, I smoked the 50. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** And the Kronos claros. Right. But not a lot of the 50 fours, but.

**Senator:** So next thing you know, rooster's lighting this thing up. He's, that's

**Bam Bam:** a good ma uh, attempt at couching. Go ahead.

**Senator:** By the way, he's lighting this thing up. He's sitting there puffing away and we're all looking like, I think the expectation was that he'd take a few puffs and be like, what the hell am I smoking?

This is not a qd. And uh, he's puffing away. Puffing away. Next thing you know, he is like halfway through the cigar, loving it. By the way, Puba, like

**Bam Bam:** he was loving

**Gizmo:** the cigar. PBAs just, it was better than this.

**Bam Bam:** You know what? You're right.

**Gizmo:** Wasn't I,

**Bam Bam:** how would you know? I don't know. Anything's better than this. He was in,

**Senator:** and so, um, I don't know, maybe three quarters of the way through, two thirds of the way through.

Finally, everyone's kind of looking around laughing, like, we gotta tell, I mean, this is just bad. So, uh, but Goda, I think broke [00:41:00] the news to him.

**Rooster:** Right, right At that point, right. When you were gonna say that the cigars started to split. It did. It was like you started unraveling on the last third. It just started to split.

I was like, something is not right. I mean, but that it could happen to


**Gizmo:** cigar, so. Sure. Yeah. Sure. I had no idea. Especially,

**Rooster:** I mean, listen, that's how I had my palate.

**Gizmo:** I

**Bam Bam:** can't tell. Oh no, don't say, don't break my heart.

**Senator:** So then once pagoda revealed, What had actually happened, rooster was already plotting his vengeance.

Oh yeah. Oh, he was not pleased.

**Bam Bam:** You know what it is? Rarely do we have anything on Rooster when it comes to his cigar prowess. Rarely ever

**Senator:** forgive,

**Gizmo:** but never forget. That's right. What? Oh, well, Lord,

**Pagoda:** I be, oh, I've been nervous since that day.

**Bam Bam:** Just make sure we're around when this

**Gizmo:** happens. Whatever. When Rooster, by the way, when Rooster showed up tonight, pagoda went to shake his hand and Rooster squeezed his hand so hard that Pagodas like, dude, you just crushed my [00:42:00] hand.

Like the payback is ongoing here. Pa Pagodas been sleeping

**Senator:** with the lights on ever since.

**Bam Bam:** I really

**Pagoda:** have. I really

**Gizmo:** have.

**Rooster:** So the retaliation is

**Gizmo:** not limited to cigars by, oh

**Bam Bam:** no. You know the funny thing, when they broke the news to him, I. The first thing that you said. Well, it's not that bad,

**Senator:** but, but then he proceeded to throw it down the estimate immediately, but

**Gizmo:** it had already cracked by then.

I was, I was putting it down. Good excuse.

**Senator:** Yeah, it was a well-executed prank. I have

**Gizmo:** to give the back. I mean, it's hard. It's hard to get Rooster, but that's a good, very hard's. It's a good one.

**Senator:** The funny thing that you missed was Puba and Pagoda going back and forth about who originated the idea. It wasn't me.

No, no. Was he That was, no, it was, they were both

**Rooster:** backtracking. I mean, pagoda is like, no, it was your idea. Puba is like, no, it was your idea.

**Pagoda:** We don't know whose it was by the way.

**Gizmo:** I think it was probably Senator's idea.

**Bam Bam:** It very well could have been. I actually thought you

**Senator:** hatched the scheme. No, [00:43:00] that's right.

I was so thrilled that I got there late, which was not expected. I had a childcare issue and um, I was thrilled once I did because I was like, oh boy, rooster's not gonna be happy about this. And I've been the clear on this one this time, forget about

**Bam Bam:** the hour of atonement for him. He's gotta go on a pip.

Yeah. Lizard pip, lizard pip.

**Pagoda:** But I, I'll tell you, uh, the fun part was, you know, going down to the tower and then picking, looking the right store looking, yeah. Looking for cigars. And we were like, and Zino happened to be the worst cigar I had over there. And we pull it up and then, You know, we removed the band, but it was so difficult to put the cutie, uh, 54 band on.

It was, it was, it was what an exercise it was. And we were laughing. We were like two giddy kids. Just

**Rooster:** having a lot of fun. Yeah. I mean, I must say the band wasn't loose. It didn't just like slide off. I mean, it was on there.

**Gizmo:** They worked it on there. Well done. Prank. Yeah. Yeah. Good. Good job. Deceiving. Yeah.

Their hands were all over that. It more than

**Pagoda:** deceiving. Please don't say deceiving. It was just

**Bam Bam:** a prank. Connoisseur corner is a [00:44:00] question. It was deceiving.

**Gizmo:** Yes. You know, you could, it

**Rooster:** was deceitful.

**Pagoda:** You can only remember. You can only do it for the PE to the people you love. The fun

**Bam Bam:** pranks. I love you so much.

You're gonna know how much he loves you.

**Gizmo:** I'm in trouble. I find it amazing. First off, I didn't, you know, you think about Cuban cigars and how they look, right? To think that a Xeno Davidoff. Yeah. Which is what, a $6 $5 cigar? Yes. Is it? Yeah. I mean, that's cheap.

**Senator:** Really? Look how upset comes through that. Is it?

No. I like a

**Gizmo:** $5 cigar. There's a doff that's $6. It's a Xeno. Yeah. It's like their entry level budget wine.

**Bam Bam:** You know, you were smoking that Xeno, like you loved it, man.

**Senator:** It was something, it surprisingly it. We should do it on the pub. Yeah. Honestly, actually, Senator it or mentioned that Have to, we, we have to.

Yeah. Because number one, the fact that Rooster didn't find it offensive, basically all the way through number two. I was watching him smoke it. It actually burned. Well, the ash looked great. I was very shocked.

**Gizmo:** It was, well, I would, I would've given it [00:45:00] to you.

**Bam Bam:** Well, here's the good news. If we do it on the pod, That whole p i p review, we're gonna be able to complete that with you and we'll relive this again, okay.

During the next recording. Okay. I don't want to live this again. Please.

**Gizmo:** What's interesting though is that, you know, for, for as inexpensive as that cigar is, I think it's pretty cheap. I mean, I, we'll have to look it up, but I mean, for it to perform that well to it kind of be able to be masked as a Kai Dorse number 54, and people pursue that cigar.

I mean, pe You know what's funny though? I was just thinking about it. They do. We've never had a listener, out of all the cigars listeners have suggested and we've done, or that are in the hopper, I've never had a listener, we've never had a listener email asking for the Xeno line. Yeah, interesting. This

**Senator:** is true.

However, There is one member at our lounge that religiously smokes these. I know who it is. Eric. Yes. That's the only person I've ever met that smokes, uh, that cigar. And he, he likes them a lot. So yeah. We should try him. Yeah. And clearly Rooster does

**Gizmo:** too, so we ought to try. He's big Zino guy over here. Big [00:46:00] zino guy.

Big time. Big time. We gotta get you a Z on your hat, like Zorro him.

You are in. Honor this. On this. Can I just say how happy, by the way, by way. I had nothing to do

**Bam Bam:** with this. We're talking about by way Bebb

**Senator:** sounded, Bebb suggested he tried it before.

**Bam Bam:** No, I did not. I haven't not had that much. Can

**Gizmo:** I just say how happy I am to be innocent of all of this? I am as well. It makes me very happy that you have nothing on me here.

What would you have done if you were there? I'd be totally in on it. He

**Senator:** probably would've printed, he probably would've printed a whole separate label just

**Gizmo:** because of that. A second. You're guilty.

**Senator:** He would've printed a regional band to add to it. I would,

**Gizmo:** I would put an EL on it. Yeah. That's great, man. So you're a Xeno guy now.

I'm proud of you. Yeah, yeah. Look at you. And you don't need to smoke all those expensive cigars. No, clearly. No, I don't. Just get the Xenos. Yeah, just give 'em to us and we'll

**Senator:** stock you up

**Bam Bam:** with Xenos connoisseur corners expanding. You can keep your, it's reco, you can keep

**Senator:** your [00:47:00] bands. Just give us

**Gizmo:** the cigars.

Hey, I have a box of cut 50 fours if you wanna buy 'em. They might be Xenos, they might not, but.

**Pagoda:** It's a full box. Uh, and then, uh, then, uh, Senator goes the next day and the first guy he smokes obviously has to be a cutie 54. That's right. And then he pours it

**Gizmo:** to everybody. I'm like,

**Bam Bam:** damn, please. Oh, that's right.

I'm hoping

**Gizmo:** you're, you're

**Bam Bam:** diabolical, dude. I'm, I'm

**Gizmo:** hoping

**Pagoda:** Rooster forgets it. This, there's no way he is gonna forget this.

**Senator:** So the funny thing is, you won't believe me when I say this, but I swear to God that that was a pure coincidence. And so I said, sure, sure. No, no, I'm serious. Because I said this photo and F first, uh, like pagoda sent some funny response and I was like, oh, that's funny.

But I don't know why he studied that. And then Puba puts haha on the photo. And then once it was the two of them were the first respond. I'm like, now I get it. I'm like, the irony that the first stick I'm lighting up the next day is a qd. That was great. That was unintentionally funny.

**Gizmo:** You know what this tells me too, and for how much we love doing the podcast, we need to do more.

Lizard [00:48:00] outings outside of the lounge. Indeed. Because this is, this is great. This is gold. Yeah, this is fun. Oh yeah. This is fun. Sorry, Ruth. Yeah.

**Senator:** Less to learn. Never forget your cigars.

**Bam Bam:** Uh, no, not with this group.

**Gizmo:** I so boys. We're a little bit beyond halfway here. This on Cristobal Dela Habana Hiram. Er mm-hmm.

On Region Island. What are you guys thinking of this thing? Pretty much the same. Yeah. This is, uh, mediocrity at its finest. No. Although I, and I mean that quite literally. It's mediocre, but it's on the better end of that. Yeah. That's probably performance

**Bam Bam:** wise, a little harsh because I agree with what senator said.

It has smoothed out. It's evened out. It's leveled out. It's okay. Yeah. But I think it's just saying

**Senator:** the same thing. Yeah. Kind of. Yeah. Yeah. It's just the guy you really liked that description. Yeah. Like it's mediocre in that it lacks flavor. There's nothing interesting about it, but it's at its finest because it's at least delivering smoke smoothly and a good experience

**Bam Bam:** performance wise.

[00:49:00] Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the ash, the, the burn line, the smoke output. Mm-hmm. The draw. The construction, everything's there. It's just the blend is not No. You know, and that's, and that's what frustrates me about these, you know, regions and the, and the limited additions. I mean,

**Bam Bam:** or this, or this marker for

**Gizmo:** what was far, or, or the, of course.



**Pagoda:** but you know, it might taste better after a roti knife.

**Gizmo:** Right.

**Pagoda:** That's a Malaysian dish, by the way.

**Senator:** Oh yeah. I was, I was about to go into Google translating. Well

**Gizmo:** done. But you know, it's like, if you think about it, and, and this is where it comes down to the question of chasing, as we discussed earlier, chasing, you know, ERs or ELs, right? It's like at the, at the end of the day, this is the same tobacco plant with a slightly different blend.

It's the same ingredients as every other cigar that comes outta Cuba. It's just a little bit different blend. You know, the blend blend a little bit different. It's changing the ingredients. Mm-hmm. And it's like, there's nothing [00:50:00] special about this tobacco. There's nothing interesting or different about it.

The blend is clearly inferior to most regular production cigars. We smoke outta Cuba and then to throw that second band on it, to put it in a second box to, to make it limited to 8,888 boxes. It's, it's another example of a marketing exercise that Haos has done here. That's just, it's not great

**Bam Bam:** at all. I'd be curious to see what the sales comparisons are between this entire market and all the other markets.

Where, where it stands.

**Gizmo:** I would think this is on the very, very low end. It's a guess, but

**Bam Bam:** honestly not like Coba. I don't know. Look, we were in Cuba. This band was everywhere. I. You know, every, every just on the walls.

**Gizmo:** Oh yeah. They weren't rolling a lot of these. No,

**Rooster:** that's true. They were rolling A lot more AVAs

**Gizmo:** than, uh, yeah.

But think people that's, I think people chase those perfecto. I think people like that shape. Those are cool cigars. And it's not, you [00:51:00] know, there's not a lot of perfecto out there that perform well. There's certainly not a lot out of Cuba. In regular production. I think that's what that brand is known for.

I mean, what do they have three of them? So I had a,

**Bam Bam:** I had a very, very old Perfecto, a kaba by lizard Ryan up in Boston, sent it to me. Yep. As a bodyguard with the order that I placed. It was spectacular really. It was a tiny little cigar, but incredibly

**Gizmo:** delicious. Was it distinct Guidos?

**Bam Bam:** That's the big one that I have that I just finished sell on chip, but, uh, it's a little smaller.

It's a perfecto. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** So I wonder

**Rooster:** if the regional, like this is made for the Malaysian market, do they kind of factor in the flavor profile of that region when they create a

**Gizmo:** regional? Well, the, the distribution or the, there's, you know, maybe certain retailers in the market are involved in the blending decisions.

So, you know, this is, somebody actually smoked this, said this is collaborative, this is for the Malaysian. Like this is a, this is a collaborative effort. You know, and, and that's like we've talked about before. [00:52:00] Obviously some of the cigars may end up in regular production after their N L C D H that succeeds, or, you know, a regional edition that's relaunched in some other way.

But, you know, this was collaborative with people outside of Tabba, Cuba and, and Haos SA that said like, this is the right blend for what we're looking to do here. Yeah.

**Rooster:** Strange. Yeah. We need to sit down on the final approval process

**Gizmo:** of the regionals.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. We need to go back.

**Senator:** I think they need to cancel the regional program.

I'm sorry. Yeah, dude, I agree. I don't want any of them. I agree. I, I truly, there, there's not one regional to me that's worth its

**Bam Bam:** price point, but I'm gonna guess that they sell tremendously throughout Asia. They probably do. It's it's

**Gizmo:** marketing. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's just a marketing exercise. Mm-hmm. You know, and going back, you know, to the question of, you know, it's been what, over a year now since the prices went up, you look at how stuff has changed.

You look at this, you know, coming out at what, 2 80, 300 bucks a box for 10. Now it's probably 500. You look at I Havana's where [00:53:00] Cohiba is just sitting, Trinidad is having a real hell of a time, maybe outside the fund of doors, but I don't even think I've seen a 22, 23 box of fund doors come up. Nope.

**Bam Bam:** So no colonials, no Esmeralda, none of the vi

**Gizmo:** I haven't seen any of those.

I, I haven't seen much Trinidad at all. And it's like you look at a lot of the cohiba that's sitting around up. Fundies have come up. You've seen some Yeah. Ben's probably bought them. Yeah, he probably has. Where have you seen He's got more fundies than any of us

**Bam Bam:** on our group. I've seen them come up. Yeah.

Two or three times. So 20 twos. Yeah. They're young, I

**Gizmo:** think. I didn't check. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, and it's like, I, I just wonder, is there a price correction coming on Cohiba and Trinidad? I hope so. Not across the lines. I hope so. But on some of this stuff that's sitting, like you would think that they'd need to adjust.

**Bam Bam:** Right. Honestly, I need more colonialists. I would love more of those. The

**Gizmo:** trinidads? Yes. Now, are you willing to pay? No. What, what is that size?

**Bam Bam:** It, it's, um, petite Corona. It's a petite Corona. I think they're like over $28 a stick [00:54:00] more now. They're probably in the thirties

**Gizmo:** now.

**Senator:** They are. It's outrageous. This price point on those is just stupid.

It's really

**Gizmo:** stupid. And listen, I get fond to Doris and Esmeralda. I know Esmeralda. We're gonna do those at some point on the podcast. That's an awesome cigar. That's a rab robusta, right? Yeah. I mean, I understand people chasing those, but it's just, it's the same leaf as the Coba or has the San Chris, it's, it's just a different blend.

Mm-hmm. It's the same

**Bam Bam:** shit. The blend matters. The

**Gizmo:** blend matters for double or triple the

**Senator:** price. The colonial s I will say though, is disappointing because bam loves that stick. I do, I think, bam, how I do actually colonial Alices big time. Oh no, I know. I just, he's definitely smoked more than

**Gizmo:** anyone. How much are you willing to pay for a box?


**Bam Bam:** Do you have a box? Yeah, I have a few boxes. I'll give you $18 a stick.

**Senator:** They're this, they're the xeno petite Corona with, uh, colonial, uh, Trinidad. No, they're not.

**Bam Bam:** No, they're not. And that's what they should be. 18 bucks a stick.

**Gizmo:** So, by the way, we did do the colonials on the pod, if you remember. I didn't, I remember until I looked, yeah.

Episode 26, it was, uh, an [00:55:00] 8.8

**Bam Bam:** fan. Fantastic

**Gizmo:** score. Yeah. So that's, you know, we do need to do more, but I mean, at the current value of Trinidad, man, that's, that's just tough. But

**Senator:** I just bring that cigar up because I tried it first from Bam. I could see why he loved that so much. It's a great cigar and the thing that kills me is I would buy it and smoke it.

It's just the price point is, it's not worth it at that ridiculous price for such a small cigar. The word

**Bam Bam:** stupid is appropriate. It's perfect.

**Gizmo:** Do you think that they make a, a pricing adjustment to Trinidad, or do you think that they just roll less moving forward to, to keep the price where it is, you know, to, to, you know, to create a situation in which the supply is meeting whatever demand or maybe a little under, you know, what the demand is outta Hong Kong or worldwide?

I don't, I don't think they're quite hurting yet. They're certainly not hurting, but I think there's a lot of stuff sitting on the shelves, whereas, you know, Monty [00:56:00] Twos or D fours, epi twos, some of the other kind of mainline. Injected in the, the Cuban smoker's, veins

**Rooster:** go the factory. I mean, can't make enough cigars to send, to push out.

So they, you know, it's, that's not the problem. So maybe it's sitting on the shelves. That's, it's like a lagging indicator, I guess, you know? I mean, uh, they'll have to see if they kind of don't, if they mean right now, they can't even produce enough.

**Gizmo:** Right. Yeah. Well, what's

**Bam Bam:** interesting, like the cigars you just named are more, you know, they're more substantial cigars.

So when you see a box of colonials, it's gonna turn you off with that price point. It's just not, it's just, it's not.

**Gizmo:** Reasonable. But the problem I have with it is if you look at a Parus D four, which is approaching $30 a cigar. That's crazy. You're, you're probably gonna be at 30 bucks by the, the this time next year?

I would think probably around 25 now. Okay. Um, and you look at a, uh, and Esmeralda from Trinidad mm-hmm. Which is probably what? Double Yeah. It's probably two and a half times. 50 bucks. Yeah. 50 bucks. It's in the fifties. Yeah. [00:57:00] So let's say it's 50 and 25. For, for this argument's sake, it's probably not terribly accurate.

But for the listener, let's just make an assumption that a D four is 25 bucks and an esmerelda from Trinidad is 50. Is the Esmeralda giving you double the pleasure of a Parus D four? No, of course not. Of course not. No. So that's where it's like, To me Cohiba, I understand the Rab Robusto being at 60, 70, 80 bucks because that's their, I'm not saying I pay that, but that being their kind of premier line mm-hmm.

It's rolled at Lito, a lot more quality control, maybe not so much coming out. I kind of get it, but Trinidad, it makes no damn sense.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Why they selected that Mark along with Cuba to name as their cohiba, um, I'm sorry, yeah. Cohi as their premium luxury cigar and double, triple the price that they were, it makes no sense.

Makes no sense at all.

**Gizmo:** Why a Trinidad, but do you think Haos is willing [00:58:00] to make a price correction in the market? Not yet.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, but I wouldn't be surprised. Maybe next year, you know, the prices may just come off. I, I was listening to something where they believe, uh, you know, to the excess cash has been adrenaline.

So, you know, a lot of the guys, because a lot of the government subsidies and so on and so forth, uh, during the pandemic. We're able to save a lot of money and that money that was saved, that has been dwindling and they expect that to be, you know, somewhat depleted towards the end of the year, beginning of next year.

And so it's interesting because, and that's why like people are wondering whether recession's coming, um, and if you were to consider the excess cash, you know, where it goes to a lot of the luxury products, um, it'd be interesting to see what really transpires next year.

**Senator:** Yeah. The problem is it's not right now going to luxury products, right?

Like it was during the pandemic, it was last year, [00:59:00] but this year it's not like you look at luxury products like the watch market has like tanked. Yeah. Really. It's like now is actually a great time to buy like a, a high end watch. It has tanked. Yeah. People are not pouring crazy amounts of money into watches like they were because people are kind of bracing for a potential recession.

And I think you're seeing it. With cigars where we're talking about a lot of the most expensive stuff is just sitting and readily available, but still at way too high of a price point. And people are just not willing to put that kind of cash into

**Bam Bam:** these things right now. Yeah. Yeah. And the cost of living has gone up across the board.

Yeah. And that's affecting, you know, yeah.

**Gizmo:** Everyone

**Pagoda:** like, you know, the other side of it is the availability of a lot of these Cuban cigars is just increased in some of the websites we frequent.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, that's true. It's true. There's definitely a lot of, of stock at some of the gray market. There's no question about that.

But then you hear that Europe, in the, in the Habana specialists, some of the stores, they have absolutely no stock. They don't even have money fours. That's weird. They don't have D fours. Strange. They don't have mon twos. So it, it, it's, [01:00:00] it's a weird supply demand thing happening that I, I don't quite understand yet.

There should be

**Rooster:** no Cuban cigar other than Cohiba priced above 25 to 30 bucks.

**Gizmo:** I agree with that. I

**Rooster:** agree with you. Should all be under 25 to 30 bucks. Cohiba may be 45, 50. That's it. Maybe, maybe not a hundred dollars for a Len or $300 for uh, know. 55. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Or the coba. It's insane. Please, please. It's insanity.

The only thing different about Beke, not that I'm, not that I'm validating their pricing strategy, but it's the only one that has the me tiempo leaf in it. This is true. So that's the only Yeah. But guess what? Grow. Grow some more mepo. Guess what? Geez.

**Senator:** No, no. Forget. Grow some more me Tiempo. Guess what? It's always been the only cigar with video tempo.

That's true And true. It was never $300. That true. That experience. True. That's right. It was literally a third of that price, that it was less than that. Just like a year ago or two years ago. And then obviously way before that, it was in the fifties,

**Gizmo:** right? Yeah. Yeah. And it's just like what, you know, I think, uh, you know, like we're [01:01:00] saying about Trinidad being kind of.

You know, piggybacking on the cohiba, you know, the primary brand of, of, of Haos, how Trinidad has become that, which is not a global brand, right? It's not a global brand. Yeah. Is it a secondary or tertiary brand maybe. According to the historic haos releases. I mean, that didn't even come out till 1998. Yeah.

You know, as far as, you know, being able to buy it in the retail chain. But to see those prices go as dramatically high as they have, it's such a reach. And I hope they sit and I hope they make a correction because Agreed. Agreed. It's absolutely ridiculous. And I think it's all piggybacking on the fund of doors.

Yeah. Yeah.

**Senator:** I mean, that's so stupid. I think corrections obviously do, but sadly, if you just look at Cuba, I mean this is a place where things don't change a hundred percent. I cannot see them saying, you know what? Maybe we made a mistake, or, you know what? Maybe we need to try something different. They're not gonna

**Gizmo:** do that.

Yeah. And 10 times worse than Cuba are the Chinese Yeah. Who are willing to milk [01:02:00] this whole thing for as, get as much blood out of the stone as they can. Yeah. And is

**Bam Bam:** it a coincidence that once they took partnership into this, the prices started to go up?

**Gizmo:** Well, I mean, they've been in, in for a while. I think they've just gotten very desperate and through Covid.

Yeah, but what, what's, you know, wanted to make a price correction, but what's really sad

**Rooster:** is whether a cohiba was $25 or whether it's a hundred dollars. It does not trickle down to the local economy,

**Gizmo:** the local people, the, the, they do not. Poverty still exists. It never has. If, if not, it's gotten worse. Yeah.

Yeah. It never has. You know, it should be the other

**Rooster:** way around. Like, I don't mind paying more for a certain cigar. Or most Cuban cigars if the money's going to the local people. Yeah. But it's not, they're still getting

**Gizmo:** paid the same wages they were getting, they're getting paid the same wages today. Mm-hmm.

They were as four years ago. Yeah. And look at the inflation that's happened. And we've been to Cuba several times and the inflation's hit them 10 times as hard because they have no access Right. To real money. Right. I mean, the Cuban peso is effectively monopoly [01:03:00] money down there. I mean, the inflation hit has hit them so much

**Bam Bam:** harder.

You've got a stack of cash for a cup of coffee. Yeah. I

**Senator:** mean, not effectively. Literally. Literally. It's monopoly money. I've told, I've told people like, I mean, I feel bad saying this, but it just for a little humor, you know, honestly, the first time we went to Cuba, it, it just, um, for me, I joke that it felt.

Like what it must feel like to be a billionaire in America.

**Gizmo:** Oh, yeah, dude. You're totally right.

**Senator:** Honestly, it's true. It's true. I mean, just when you're in Cuba, it's like you have this like incredible meal and you're just stacking dollars like a, the frigging Eiffel Tower on a, on a table that you're at and they're pennies and you're like, oh, how much was that actually in us?

Oh, it was $30 a person. You're like, what? Yeah, I know. For like a giant rib eye and a great bottle of wine and all this stuff, you're like 30 something bucks a person. Crazy. That's nuts. You can't get an entree at a nice restaurant for $30 here anymore. [01:04:00] Yeah.

**Gizmo:** You spend more at Burger King. Oh yeah, I do. A hundred percent.

Yeah. It's crazy. It's a real tragedy. And, and to your point, it's like the, the, the fact that we've seen ha Bonos raised these prices like they have, and it not in any way, in any material way really impact the people who are making the cigars. Mm-hmm. It is a real travesty. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** I remember in our former lounge, I was sitting with Rooster, I think it was just the two of us in the lounge at the time.

He pulled out a box of Becas that he got from someone up north. Remember that? He handed me one. I smoked it. It was incredible. I asked him, how much is a cigar? I was floored at the time. He said it was $55 and I couldn't believe. How expensive that was.

**Senator:** No. Are you hearing this? Yeah, we got cut out. No, this was


**Gizmo:** years ago.

I wasn't involved in this. You weren't, you guys were not members here. I don't think you know what that's know you guys. That's not an excuse. You should, you shoulda have held a couple for, held a couple. You probably were

**Bam Bam:** not born yet. [01:05:00] It just goes to show how that very well may be true. Just going back to the price increases Tremendous.

How when you look back

**Gizmo:** it's un it's just, do you know something? Yeah. The one I gave you that was a Xeno

**Bam Bam:** f you. Yeah. This,

**Pagoda:** this is, this is gonna be

**Bam Bam:** one of those things forever.

**Gizmo:** It's never gonna die. Good

**Bam Bam:** retort, by the way. Not if

**Rooster:** I can

**Gizmo:** help it.

**Bam Bam:** Oh my

**Pagoda:** Lord. We've been

**Bam Bam:** xeno.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, that

**Rooster:** ika was good, right? That was like

**Gizmo:** from the initial, like the early days, 20 12, 20 10. It was really incredible. Honestly, uh, it must be later. I

**Rooster:** would say maybe 20 16, 17. Maybe not.

**Gizmo:** I, I don't remember the age. 15, 16.

**Bam Bam:** It was six years ago. Roughly. Yeah. It just, it, and those cigar, when you have a great cigar, it leaves an imprint.

Of course. That's what I love about what we're doing.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Love that. Like how many cigars have we had here? That's like I can recall every aspect Yeah. [01:06:00] Of that experience of a great cigar. It's like, you know, it happens rarely that it's that memorable, but when it does, man, you chase it and you won't ever forget it.

And you won't forget it. Yeah. I remember everything about those moments. Agreed. You know what we talked about, how it went, what it tasted like, what we paired it with. Yeah. It's like such an imprint on your mind. Yeah. For

**Pagoda:** some, because I can forget a lot

**Bam Bam:** of things. He wants to forget one thing right now and I'm ready to Quite a few.

**Gizmo:** I won't let

**Rooster:** you, I think been

**Pagoda:** imprinted there. Oh my.

**Gizmo:** So boys, we're in the last third here of the son, Cristobal. Dela Habana. Hial Malaya, what are you guys thinking? You're doing great with the pronunciation, by the way. iPractice by the, the way. I'm tired of the, I'm shocked. Big time. Love it. The pronunciation shit.

I'm over it because I'm gonna need to leave. You're over it? Yeah. In the intro. When I record the intro to this, I mean, it's gonna be like half of the intro is saying the [01:07:00] name of the cigar. It's true. Thank God that cosier is only a vs o p, but Yep. Whatcha you guys

**Pagoda:** thinking? Are you using, are you using babble?


**Gizmo:** to I am using Babel learn Spanish, by the way. Nice. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** I'm actually surprised that Pagoda has got a decent amount of cigar left. I blew through mine. You did? Yeah.

**Senator:** I think his though has been having some burn issues, it looks like. Yeah, maybe.

**Pagoda:** What's that? But listen, it's been reasonably pleasant.

Yeah. It's, it's just another stick. I don't think it's worth 30. No,

**Bam Bam:** it's, it's not an unreasonable. Is it worth eight

**Gizmo:** though? I don't know.

**Bam Bam:** I think it's worth the Xeno price. Well, $8.

**Gizmo:** This cigar for $8. To me, still, the flavor is not, it's not memorable.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. And none of us will pursue this.

**Gizmo:** Like,

**Senator:** to Gizmo's point, we have literally reviewed $7 new world sticks like that.

Maestro Del Tiempo, the Warp 52. Oh Five's

**Gizmo:** way more flavor. Or the

**Bam Bam:** warped cigar. Yeah. Among many others that were very reasonably priced, incredible, unforgettable

**Gizmo:** experience.

**Rooster:** I would pay 20 bucks without warped cigar any

**Gizmo:** day

**Bam Bam:** right now. [01:08:00]

**Gizmo:** Any day I have a box for you. No, but that's a great point. I mean, it's true.

It's a good cigar. I mean, it's like, yeah. I don't know if this is worth eight bucks. Yeah. I certainly wouldn't chase it. It's a shame. It is. Because it's like, you know, if you know you're a retailer in Malaysia, you want a cigar that's like, wow, this is really something that celebrates our heritage. And they have all these stories and mm-hmm.

This tiger and they made this special number of boxes. That's cr you know, it's lucky in China. Yep. It's like, yeah. I don't know.

**Senator:** I'm actually very glad that GI said that. When you said $8, I'm like, Ooh, that, that's a bit harsh. You know why I

**Gizmo:** said $8? Right? Yeah. Lucky.

**Senator:** Never

**Bam Bam:** look at this guy. Never connecting the dots.

**Senator:** But, but I will say it, it's very useful because when I sat here and thought about it, truly, if this stick were $8, would I buy it? Absolutely not, not it changes nothing right's. True. He's he's completely

**Gizmo:** spot on. It's true. Yeah. And I don't like the size. I don't like a 55. Mm-hmm. You know, it's like across the board.

[01:09:00] I don't mind the size. I neither

**Bam Bam:** do I. Yeah. It's

**Rooster:** this flavor. It's got, you know,

**Bam Bam:** the experience. I don't, I don't

**Senator:** mind. It's the experience. I agree. That matters. I agree. The size I thought would bother me. It does not. And the only thing I've enjoyed about this cigar, the smoke output's been great all the way through.

Yeah. Like, this is a good semi, like a small chimney. Not like an E two chimney. It's true, but it's like a small chimney. It's got

**Gizmo:** just enough smoke, which you want from a 55 ring gauge cigar. You want smoke out of a 55 ring gauge cigar. I mean, You expect it and, and fortunately for the cigar, the merit here, like we said, is the construction, the burn, and the smoke output.

Mm-hmm. It's just the flavor's mediocre. Yep.

**Bam Bam:** Now we'll take another

**Gizmo:** glass of that cossier. I know. Do we have more cossier? We do. Wow. This is tremendous. But I'm Senator Poy. Yes, sir. You got it. Of course. Buckle up. You know, if, if, if you told me, I'm gonna say something crazy. If you told me this was Cosier xo, I wouldn't blink.

That's, that's a great point. I wouldn't blink like [01:10:00] that is really, I think the best vs o p we've had and the price point is incredible for $45. It's quite honestly the opposite of the cigar in every way. Yeah. The price, the delivery, the flavor, I mean's it's a little bit more

**Rooster:** than one cigar. Yeah. Or at the current

**Gizmo:** price.

One cigar. Yeah, exactly. Right. Exactly. Are you guys ready to do the formal liquor rating on the Cosier? Yeah. Vs. O p. Yeah. All right. Bam. You're up 10. No. Yeah. Wow. Look at this. Look. Wow. What a start. Listen, he didn't even hesitate. No hesitation.

**Bam Bam:** $45. First of all, there's a little bit of history with my dad and so on, but honestly I've never tried this until now.

So my first time having this senator, you've had this. I know I have. It's look, it's rich, it's satisfying, it's got incredible legs. There's great viscosity to it. It's

**Gizmo:** a 10. So I know we're interrupting for the price I'm interrupting, but was Kasier, V S O P, was that your dad's cognac? Yeah. Yeah. [01:11:00] He went for the vs o p.

He did? Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. 10. He had good, he had, he had good taste buds. Bam. Damn. Good taste. Impressive. Yeah. All right. Pagoda.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. You don't even need taste buds. It tastes so good. It is. It's excellent. Yeah. So, um, I'll go for a 10 as well. Wow. Amen. Considering the price point

**Bam Bam:** and all the factors are checking the boxes here.


**Gizmo:** Senator?

**Bam Bam:** Yes. He's doing some research before he

**Senator:** rates. No, the thing, so the thing, the thing I'm looking for, honestly, what I just can't figure out, I've had this before with my dad and I, it's different. This is richer than I remember it. I remember this being lighter. And so I'm at least looking that the whole packaging and bottling redesign that happened in early 2022 last year.

Oh, wow. Recent. Yeah. And they did it across the whole line. But I'm not seeing anything that they changed the blend. I, I just interesting. I did not remember it being this spectacular for the price. Um, IM between a [01:12:00] nine and a 10. That's what I'm trying to figure out here. Um, happy with either, you know, I thought Ben was a little wild going for a 10, but I, I, the, the reason I actually think I'm gonna be there with him, I can't find anything wrong with this.

I really can't. I'm sitting here like, what would preclude it from a 10? The flavor is, Excellent. It is robust, but smooth. You get a bunch of different notes in this. I like, there's even like a little floral element to this. It's true. A touch

**Bam Bam:** of honey. Yeah. And what's interesting, what may knock it down for some people, possibly my very, very first sip, it had a, a tiny bit of bite.

Yep. But as I said earlier, it, this improves as you drink it. And that for me is a great mark of a spirit as it gets better and better as you

**Pagoda:** drink. No, but none of us even reached for, you know, chip

**Bam Bam:** five, so No, no, no. Didn for 45 bucks. Didn't think about it. Yeah. We didn't even think about it. I didn't even think about it.

**Senator:** No, no. And then you factor in the price point. I mean, I, I [01:13:00] almost laughed when I saw it was $46. This does not drink like a $46 spirit. It's insane. There's not

**Gizmo:** a single, to me it drinks like an $86 spirit. I agree. 88. A hundred percent. Guess 88. 88.

**Senator:** So I, I think for all these reasons, I can't, I can't knock this down.

I'm gonna

**Gizmo:** give it a 10 go. Wow. So I thought I was gonna, before we rate it, I thought I was gonna be the only 10. Mm-hmm. Obviously we all were in the same place. Wow. To me, This is the best vs. O p we've had. I would argue for a value standpoint, this edges out 1738 for me. From the point of view of value.

Yes, agree for value. Agree. You can get two bottles of these. You could. And it's like, you know, if this were 70 bucks, I think it would be kind of in line with, with 1738, but at $45 mean it's unbeatable. I mean, you just cannot beat that. It's unbeatable. So the formal Lating Boys is a 10.0 spectacular. That is the best.

V S O P we've had. Very nice. Well done. Kass

**Senator:** Jones. And I gotta say, clearly Napoleon for all of [01:14:00] his flaws, had some good taste

**Gizmo:** and a lot of the rappers that are always mentioning this in their songs, that's true.

**Senator:** Oh, so I saw a funny stat when that song came out. Corvassier Sales increased 30% that year.

Wow. Is that right? Wow.

**Gizmo:** Just from that song. That's cool. Mm-hmm. All right. So let's look some of the, uh, other VSPs we've done. The Martel vs. O p was an 8.4. The H by Hein did not perform well, was a 6.8. That's the taller bottle. Yeah.

**Senator:** The other, that's their like budget version. Yeah. Which ironically is at around the same price point as this.

Think about that. That's

**Gizmo:** crazy. The other, uh, vs. O P from Hein was the rare, which got a 9.0. Then, uh, the 1738, which is not a V S O P, was a 9.3 and then I believe the first vs o p we did on the pod was the Remy Martin was an 8.4. Yeah. So this performed, this outperformed

**Bam Bam:** all of them, you know, a nine three for that 1738.

The reason behind it for me is the flavor. It was just delicious, easy to [01:15:00] drink, and you can go through half a bottle at a sitting. It's just was just so tasty. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Better than this. Uh, no, this is better. I think this is better. When you factor in, in value, I mean, you, you have to factor, you factor in


**Senator:** price.

It is, it's crazy.

**Gizmo:** Keeping the price apart, aside, I

**Bam Bam:** enjoy the thing. So for me, per this has more viscosity than that, that spirit does for me personally. It's 1738. Yeah. It's, it's more

**Gizmo:** satisfying. I think that's

**Senator:** true. I agree. To me, they're neck and neck. True. If they were the same price point Yeah. And we were doing whole numbers, I'd probably have to give each and nine.

But if we were doing decimals, I might give this a very slight edge, but with this price point, it's definitely leaps and bounds above. It's unbeatable.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. This is excellent. Crazy, excellent.

**Senator:** Yeah. Now, I'm gonna say this now because this is always the case in spirits, wine doesn't matter what it is. Every time you find something at a really, really good price point, it's gonna go up and you start telling people how great it is and [01:16:00] they start telling people and they try it.

How great I'm this happens with like, I'll just use, here's my case study, Paul Roge. Po Roge has always that champagne has always been priced lower than VV Cleco, not because it's inferior. I think it's way better than V Cleco. It is because VV is marketed much better and people just associate that as like, if you're gonna drink good champagne, you have the yellow label, the Vko.

Mm-hmm. Paul Roche doesn't spend marketing dollars like they do. You're never gonna see Po Roge ads. That's not how they operate. And Paul Roge, as a result, was significantly cheaper. You used to be able to get Paul Roge for like 38, $40. Wow. Where Vve was minimum 50 now is like 55 poro. I mean, I'm only doing my part there.

I'm sure tons other people

**Gizmo:** that we're gonna blame you. It's your fault.

**Senator:** But this happens with everything. I mean, I'm not exaggerating everything. I think of like good accessibly priced wines that I have found, and they're so cheap and I'm not buying in bulk. I'm thinking they're gonna stay there. And then a year [01:17:00] later I'm like, holy shit.

They increased it by like, You know, 40%, like how does this happen? I guarantee that with time, this is gonna jump up. Wow. There's no doubt about it. So I would just suggest that people stock up while

**Bam Bam:** it's at this place. I, I also suggest do not release this recording

**Gizmo:** until we all buy a couple cases. That's right.

All right, boys, you ready to do the formal wizard rating on tonight's cigar? The San Cristobal de la Habana Hira, Mount Malaya. I, I mean, the, the name is ridiculous, but you're doing a great job. Thank you. All right. Thank you. Bam. Yeah. And we do, they, do they make other regionals for Malaysia? Uh, for Malaysia.

I know, I know. Generally, so I know what to avoid. Are you

**Bam Bam:** reiterating the question? Just

**Pagoda:** have, just have before?

**Gizmo:** No, I, I like Rodi. It's excellent. I, I, I don't know if there's been other Malaysian or Malaya, uh, regionals, but yeah, this is the only one I'm aware of. I'm sure there were more. [01:18:00] But I'm not sure.

Okay, so I'm at a six. This, no hesitation. None. All right, Senator. I'm at a five. Ooh, I'm at a six for sure. Pagoda, I'm at a six

**Bam Bam:** and bam. Yeah, I think, I think six is a fair score. I have been between a five and a six if finished. Pretty smooth. I can't say that it was an awful cigar. A five like that. La Punta.

That's an awful

**Senator:** cigar. I hope I gave La Punta lower than a five. You did? I think you

**Bam Bam:** gave it a four, if I remember correctly.

**Senator:** Do we have my rating? Uh, let's look that

**Gizmo:** up. Can I give it a three? So the formal lizard rating on these, on Cristobal de la Habana Hira Malaya is region Malaysia is a

**Bam Bam:** 5.80 wait a minute.

The, I think the La Punta got a five six. 5 9 5. What? Yeah. No, no. Something's wrong. Yeah, so we messed,

**Gizmo:** we messed up tonight. So the La Punta Rooster Puba Senator. [01:19:00] Six grinder and bam all gave it sixes. I gave it a five. Wow. Ended up at a 5.8 10. Uh, 5.9. This is, tonight is a 5.8. This is

**Senator:** better than Alyssa. So here, here's the only thing where maybe that what?

That, that might work. The price point on it. That my only issue. Yeah, I was, that's exactly where I was going. The value thing is a problem. Cause honestly, as you guys were giving it, six is my only gripe. I think we probably feel the exact same way about flavor, but to me it is absolutely laughable and ridiculous that this was $30 now, now it's 45, $50.

Yeah. So like to me, it, it, you know what, it disqualifies it from a six because the value is so extraordinarily poor that I have to ding it for That

**Gizmo:** makes total sense. Well that, I was gonna say that because you know, I, I rated the La Punta a five. I really hated that cigar as you remember. Yeah. But that was a $20 cigar.

Oh yeah. You know, arguably less than half right now. Right, right. But I'm sure

**Rooster:** it's gone up by now. Like this. This thing has, I mean, I didn't know this thing was up [01:20:00] to

**Gizmo:** 50 bucks. Yeah, it's crazy. It's crazy.

**Bam Bam:** And we rated the LA Punto for what it was and what it cost At the time, I think

**Gizmo:** Senator, which was 20, right, was

**Bam Bam:** 25 maybe 2020.

I think it makes sense and I think the. As I think about it, it makes sense that it's below the laputa because it's so outrageously priced. Makes

**Gizmo:** sense. Yeah. And, and I think that, you know, that that's where the lizard rating works, right? Like the value absolutely came in. It's so fucking true. I hated that cigar more than I think anybody in the room.

I, I hate that cigar.

**Senator:** Oh no. I think we were, well, how I gave it a six, I, I don't know, gave what I was drinking that day must've been in a good mood. I was in a way too good of a mood because I hated, I mean, I, I still joke every, all the time about that cigar. That's one of the worst cigars I've had. Cuban

**Gizmo:** cigars.

Yeah. Actually, by the way, that was one of the, uh, tequila episodes. Where, uh, chef Ricky was with us, he also gave it a five alongside me. Ah. That, that's why I was, everybody generous else gave it sixes.

**Senator:** We, we, we must have tried, God knows how many tequilas that night. That's true. Plus Ricky's presence alone.

I gave it an extra boy. True. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** True. It's good rating tonight actually.

**Gizmo:** It is. It's, you know, and makes sense. It's [01:21:00] just the problem is the price. Right. We, we can go back to that all day, but I will never think about this cigar again. I, I

**Senator:** want to reframe our takeaway here. The problem is not the price with this stick.

GIZ said it best when you said if it were $8, would you buy it? I wouldn't smoke, smoke this at $8. So the problem is the cigar. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. It checks no boxes. And I don't see, this is not a cigar that I didn't enjoy because of its, you know, its character, its merit where I can see other, Cigar smokers saying, you know what, I really enjoyed this.

Mm-hmm. Because it, it was so, it was lack of absent of, in like, there was nothing interesting about it. Right. Even if there was something there I didn't like, I don't see anyone saying, you know what, I really love the flavor profile of that San Cristobal, you know, regional. It's just right. There's nothing there to like, there's nothing there.

I know. What are we doing?

**Senator:** Uh, we're gonna need t-shirts that say, what are we doing? What are we doing? [01:22:00]

**Gizmo:** I say that a lot around here. All right boys. Well, an excellent night on the pairing for sure. The Sier vs. O p at a 10.0. Certainly the best vs o p I've had and we've had on the podcast. No

**Bam Bam:** doubt about that.

Great recommend Senator. That saved the evening. It did. It did.

**Gizmo:** Did it? Definitely did. It did. Oh yeah. And a 5.8 on the San Cristobal Dela Habana Hiam Malaya Adii Regione from Malaysia. I apologize to the Malaysian people that Haos thought that this was an acceptable release for your country. If I'm Malaysian, I'm offended.

But can't you say that about a lot of regionals? Yeah. This one's on the bottom end though. Yeah, that's true. We've done some others. This one's on the bottom end. Nevertheless, boys, a great night. A great pairing with the Cosier. Great conversation and we'll see you all next week. Hope you enjoyed this episode.

Thanks for joining us. You can find our merch store and ratings archive at our brand new website, lounge lizards pod.com. That's Lounge lizards P o d.com. Don't forget to [01:23:00] leave us a rating and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. If you have any comments, questions, if you wanna reach out, say hello, tell us what you're smoking, email us hello@loungelizardspod.com.

You can also find us on Instagram at Lounge Lizards Pod. We really appreciate your time and we'll uh, we'll see you next week.