Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey, the lizards pair the Padrón Family Reserve No. 85 in Maduro with Martell VSOP Cognac. The lizards discuss the recent decline in domestic U.S. cigar imports, they do a deep dive on Martell’s brand history, and they discuss how collecting cigars is about buying time and new experiences.

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

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

What is Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast?

Released every Tuesday, the LOUNGE LIZARDS podcast helps listeners navigate the experience of finding and enjoying premium cigars (both Cuban and non-Cuban) and quality spirits. Episodes range from 60 to 90 minutes and feature a variety of different topics including food, travel, life, sports and work.

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

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

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

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

And our plan is to smoke a cigar, drink some cognac, talk about life, and of course, have some labs. So take this as your 85th official invitation to join us and become a card carrying lounge lizard. Plan to meet us here once a week. We are gonna smoke a new world cigar tonight. Share our thoughts on it and give you our formal lizard rating.

We discussed the recent decline in cigar imports. We do a deep dive on Martel's brand history, and we discuss how collecting cigars is about buying time and new experiences, all among a variety of other things for the next 90 minutes. So sit back. Get your favorite drink, light up a cigar, and enjoy as we pair Martel V S O P Cognac with the Padrone Family Reserve.

85 years in Maduro, a beautiful rib robusto [00:01:00] tonight from Padrone on the pod. It's the Family Reserve. 85 years in Maduro. It's a 50 ring gauge cigar by five and a quarter Inches Boys. We love Pedro Patron Knights. Sure. We do on the pod. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

**Bam Bam:** And this

**Gizmo:** one I've had a lot. Yeah. This is no exception.

Yeah. To, uh, certainly my positive experience with the, with the brand. Love the size on this. Yeah, it's a great size. So it's a little shorter, I guess, than an exclusive. Right, that's what I thought. Is it the, it's, I don't know. It's, it's very close.

**Rooster:** What's an exclusive? Five and a half maybe? Yeah,

**Gizmo:** I think it's five and a half.

It's a quarter five. Quarter five and quarter. Five and a quarter. Interesting. So I think it's a quarter

**Bam Bam:** of an inch. Takes the architect to see that.

**Pagoda:** Well, I hear you're good with measurements. Oh

**Bam Bam:** yeah. How much do we owe you for that? Bam. Uh, I'll send the invoice tonight. Oh,

**Gizmo:** no impatience. All right, boys, let's cut this thing. See, we're getting on the cold draw on the wrapper. It's been a minute since we've done a padron, but, uh, we wanted to do one tonight, [00:02:00] specifically this one as we have reached episode 85.

Wow. Can you believe that? Officially 85. 85 tonight. Incredible. Incredible. So, uh, we decided to do the 85 year celebration of, uh, Jose Padron's birthday, which is what this cigar was released to celebrate. And we are aligning that with our 85th episode tonight. There's some at us. Look at as I feel, 85

**Bam Bam:** grinder.

It's a little added protocol right now. Oh yes, he

**Gizmo:** is. 85 episodes still light and early. You feel

**Bam Bam:** sometimes you're 85. The first time I've ever lived. Well, I heard you were smoking Excu Vivos in 1945. Is that real? I think that's real.

**Gizmo:** 20 years before the company was founded. Um, what you guys got on the.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Uh, you know, on the excu when I got on the cultural, I do get cocoa and coffee. I'm not getting either of those on this.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. This definitely has a different flavor profile mm-hmm. Than the, uh, than the 64 [00:03:00] wine does and the 26 2, I mean, I'm, I'm certainly expecting this to be quite a bit more full. It is.

Um, but it's still still smooth.

**Senator:** I get like raisin on the cold draw.

**Bam Bam:** I was just gonna say that. Yeah. Raisins spot

**Gizmo:** on. I think what you will

**Rooster:** see is like right in the beginning you get a lot of spice mm-hmm. That kind of fades and kind of balances out Yeah. Towards the

**Bam Bam:** middle. Yeah. And that DNA comes through as you go through it that we

**Gizmo:** all love.

All right. Let's do this boys. Let's like this thing. The Pedro Patron Family Reserve 85 years in Maduro tonight. Again, it's a 50 ring gauge, new world cigar by five and a quarter inches. And like a lot of the other cigars in the family reserve line celebrates the birthday. Of the late founder Jose Pedro.

This is, this

**Rooster:** is actually the only one that's, you know, it's his,

**Gizmo:** his birthday. Yeah, that's true. So the 45, 46

**Rooster:** 44. [00:04:00] The 44, 45 and 46 were just the year anniversary

**Gizmo:** years.

**Bam Bam:** So the 45 was my go-to Pedro Patron for a very, very long time until Senator introduced me to the Excu. That kind of transitioned me out, out of these more fuller bodied family reserve

**Gizmo:** cigars.

That's an interesting to go down.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Well, but the flavors, flavor different than that

**Senator:** Excu. Yeah. The, the big thing is, I mean, bam had given me one of these that he was smoking for a while and I said to him like, why are, why smoke this? The, the issue was, It, it had rough edges. It, it wasn't just that it was a lot of flavor.

It was just not delivered as smoothly as I feel like the, uh, 64 line delivers flavor. Mm-hmm. So I think that's a big advantage. You don't compromise flavor when you smoke the 64 line. I just think it's delivered in a really nice, approachable way.

**Gizmo:** It's smooth and it's very approachable price-wise, where this one is certainly a bit more price.

What is this coming in at? This is, uh, maybe like 21. [00:05:00] So for a box of 10, which is the only way you can get these Yeah. Is probably a little over 200 bucks. Yeah. Two 30 bucks. Yeah. About that. Okay. I, for some reason, thought it would be more. Yeah. I remember

**Rooster:** at the previous lounge, it used to be two 12. That's true.

And that was our allocation for like the month's.

**Gizmo:** Mm-hmm. So this was like perfect. Mm. What are you guys getting on the, uh, on the white? It's definitely more you get a spice. Yeah. A little spicy. A little more the chocolatey thing. Coffee, spicy espresso, coffee, espresso. Yeah. More

**Bam Bam:** espresso, deep coffee. Yeah.

Rich, rich flavors. Yeah. Where Anci is

**Gizmo:** more cocoa for me,

**Rooster:** but this is an, I think it's in the beginning you get that spice and then it kind of

**Gizmo:** disappears. Blacks off. Mm-hmm. It's definitely a full cigar. Oh yeah. Medium full to

**Bam Bam:** full post

**Gizmo:** dinner smoke. Abso

**Rooster:** So Padron, that started in 1964. 1964. Yeah. And hence the 19, the 44 anniversary.

The 45th and the 46th, and then the 85th [00:06:00] was his birthday.

**Gizmo:** Yep. And then in the other line, in 1926 line, they had the 80 years and the 90th, which were the, uh, the bookend five year celebrations of his birthday around this one. Right. But this one's in the family reserve line. Those are, and this is the most aged tobacco that they put into cigars.

10, 10 years. I did 10 years of used tobacco. I didn't know that. The

**Rooster:** entire family, family reserve line uses 7, 10, 10 years. Is that

**Gizmo:** right?

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. And the other lines are seven? Yeah. I

**Gizmo:** four to seven, believe 64 is four years. Okay. And the 26 is five years. Un interesting. These are aged 10 years. Wow. Which, you know, you think about the age on that Nicaraguan tobacco.

Mm-hmm. At 23 bucks a stick, 25 bucks a stick. Even that's a real value in my eyes. Agreed. For a refined, you know, Nicaraguan experience, especially something that's gonna give you as much as this one

**Bam Bam:** is. Yeah. And that fermentation gives you that punch.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And it also is very, very smooth. Like

**Rooster:** even right now, like on the third puff, that spice has kind of gone back.

Mm. For you.

**Gizmo:** But [00:07:00] no, you still feel it

**Pagoda:** a bit. You, you know, I haven't had a lot of family reserves. What's so special about the family reserves? If you know anything about it. We just talked about it, Steve. I'm kidding. No, it's

**Rooster:** 10 year age tobacco. Yeah, that's it. All of them. Yeah. The entire family reserve life

**Bam Bam:** and yeah.

And because of that aging, there's a fermentation that takes place. It's a richer, I

**Gizmo:** think, experience. And this is the most premium tobacco, when they're picking the fields to, for stuff to age this, this is the, the best allocated stuff that they have is put in those, you know, uh, in those storage facilities to, to be aged for 10 years cuz they think it's gonna give 'em the best shot to produce fantastic cigars.

Celebrating these birthdays and milestones

**Grinder:** they make, um, at Family Reserve 50. Yes. And shorter cigar. Yep. And then that's one of my favorite cigars of all time. The natural, the actual, the

**Gizmo:** na, not the Hammer. So it's actually, they have two 50 years at Padrone. Okay. They have the hammer, which is called the 50 year, I believe.

And then the one that Grinder's talking about is actually the 50th. I [00:08:00] can't

**Bam Bam:** wait for us to do the hammer. The Hammer. It's coming. I had one last week it, and I sent you guys all a photograph. It is Wow. Wow. What an

**Gizmo:** experience. Amazing. Incredible. And that's a very expensive cigar. That's like 50 bucks. But yeah.

Grinder, the, the 50th that you're mentioning from this line, uh, is really, really good. It's a shorter cigar though. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. It's like a, I guess it's like a short boost though.

**Rooster:** That's the one you handed out at the birth of your daughter. Oh, yeah. Right. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. That's a,

**Grinder:** that's one of my favorites.

That, that, that's one of those cigars that like, I think it turned me on a patron and like really good cigars. When I first started getting into, when I was throwing away RJs and Mon Christos and stuff from Dominican, I was like, gimme the good stuff,

**Gizmo:** you know? I love the cigar. I, you know what I find about this, maybe more than any other patron or new world, I really enjoy this.

When I pull, when I pull the draw, the slower I pull the draw into my mouth, the [00:09:00] better the experience is. I agree with

**Senator:** that. So it, it's really odd. I don't know why. It just, with the family reserve, you can't smoke these quickly. You cannot, it gets harsh really fast. I wish that weren't the case because, I mean, usually the flavor profile is so enjoyable.

You wanna just kind of keep drawing, but you, you're forced to smoke this slower. It's honestly a little bit frustrating. But yeah,

**Bam Bam:** I am getting a bit of a white pepper with my coffee note that I'm getting here. It's enjoyable, but it's there. That strength is there right away.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, this is a really beautiful cigar.

Yeah. So boys, 85 episodes. Wow. Can you believe

**Bam Bam:** it? You must be a proud papa. Amazing.

**Gizmo:** We haven't killed each other yet. That's a milestone. Well, maybe we should celebrate that.

**Bam Bam:** There's, this is true. Been close a couple times. Yes.

**Gizmo:** On and fair. No, it's, uh, I just, I think it's a really, um, you know, obviously we're coming up on episode 100, which I can't wait to [00:10:00] do, um, in 15 weeks.

But, you know, this is, um, when you, when you see 85th on the calendar, knowing how great these cigars are, it's like you gotta do the Pedro Patron 85th for 80.

**Rooster:** This is over 85th episode. I mean, all we do is smoke cigars and drink expensive scotch and tequila and all kinds of spirits.

**Gizmo:** Spirits. I mean, how bad would, it's not that

**Bam Bam:** terrible.

It's not terrible, but did you all think we'd make it this far? When we started off in a very modest space, it was so much fun. Still is. Yeah. 85 episodes.

**Gizmo:** It's pretty crazy. It is. Yeah.

**Rooster:** I didn't think that, but you know, I mean, every single week I kind of look forward to whether it's a Tuesday night, Wednesday night, whenever we do the pod.

**Gizmo:** It's just so enjoyable. Absolute highlight. It's great. Yeah. It's, it's a break from the week. Yeah. You know, and I just like coming, like you said, I mean like we sit down and we get to share. Our experience. You know, I I, they definitely don't use the word [00:11:00] expertise cuz I don't think that we're experts, but I like to share our experience with our listeners and just that feedback loop that that gets going with, with the listeners.

It, I love it so much. It's incredibly

**Bam Bam:** rewarding, that organic communication pipeline that's not created with the rest of the world. That is very

**Gizmo:** special. Yeah. It's really amazing. That's amazing. And you know, listen, I know a lot of folks that do a podcast, start a podcast and after four episodes they're done.

Yeah. You know, and here this is 85th on the number, but this is probably actually episode like 91 or 92 with all the, yeah. Special episodes we've released.

**Rooster:** Well, I think there's a lot of podcasts out there that are kind of, they're sponsored by certain companies. Mm-hmm. So they're kind of pushing product and we don't do that, you know?

**Gizmo:** That's true. Except Pedro Patron. We do. We do it

**Bam Bam:** naturally well because we love it so much and there's no hidden incentive because of that. Right. So this is the love of the experience, and I think that comes out in the recording.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And you know what? If we didn't like the cigar tonight, we're gonna tell you Oh yeah.

**Bam Bam:** The cigar, by [00:12:00] the way, is phenomenal.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. It's incredible. What? Incredible. See, yeah. To the listeners out there, You know, we're doing a, a shorter victory lap than we will in 15 weeks, but 85 episodes to have you stick, stick with us and share this with your friends and email us and buy merch and, and send us cigars.

We've had so many listeners send us cigars, which is just incredible. Keith from Orlando, thanks for the cigars. Yeah, we've had so many. I can, we have a lot of actually coming up that will, you know, we'll celebrate the listeners with that. Shared 'em coming up in future episodes, but can't wait for that. Um, we have a lot of stuff that listeners have sent and it's just, it's incredibly gratifying and I'm very, very thankful, um, that the listeners trust us to show up every Tuesday morning at 5:00 AM with the

**Bam Bam:** new episode.

Yep. I think I could also speak for everyone in the room. We're thankful for all your work is Oh, absolutely. You put this together, you, you know what you're doing. Technical proficiencies off the charts. Fantastic, dude. Thank you. Cheers. That's awesome. Thank you. Love

**Gizmo:** you [00:13:00] boys. Senator, what do you think about episode 85?

**Senator:** I'm getting a deep dive on Martel,

**Bam Bam:** which by the way, I'm sipping, I don't want to go too quick, but is it pretty good?

**Gizmo:** Yeah, I was reading the Wikipedia page on Martel. The only thing I know about it is that they, uh, the only thing I know about it is they, the reason why it came up for us is we were looking for other cognac to do and we had hit quite a few of the popular brands.

Obviously, you know, we'd done the Hennessys and the Ramis and we've even done, um, uh, douce. But, uh, this one, I guess there's a competition that's pretty popular that they won a lot of the different categories. I think they won vs vs o P and XO this year. You serious? Yeah. They're, uh, so that's, I sent it to Senator.

I was like, we gotta do this.

**Bam Bam:** I will say pagoda, this cigar is right up your power alley. It really Right. No doubt. You know,

**Pagoda:** I, I was just thinking about it. I said, I keep, uh, buying the Dominican. Mm-hmm. And, uh, you know, [00:14:00] off the same price point off do. Yeah. Yeah. And I really enjoy that. And, you know, every time I want something a little bit, you know, familiar, I, you know, I think yesterday I pulled up, uh, the El Sandor from IPI Carillo.

Mm-hmm. And uh, that's right, you

**Gizmo:** were smoking that yesterday. The wild historian.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. Yeah. But you know, I think this is probably the cigar I should go to. I, this has really been wonderful in the first couple of puffs, and I think this will, uh,

**Bam Bam:** you know, definitely, honestly, I think he's a great. Great candidate for the family reserve.

You should be going through 'em all. That's this is all of you? Yeah.

**Pagoda:** I've never, I've never really indulged in the

**Bam Bam:** family reserve. I've never saw, I haven't seen you smoke any of the family reserve. You should try

**Gizmo:** it. You and then try the 45th

**Bam Bam:** that I used to love that

**Gizmo:** cigar. That's a longer cigar. That's like six, six and a half inches.

I think the 45. It's not, it's

**Bam Bam:** a small, it's about the same size. It's it's longer. Longer. It's been a while

**Gizmo:** since I've had it. The other ones I love too. I don't reach for them very often just because I go for the torpedo in the 64 line. Um, but the torpedoes in this line, I think it's the 44 and the 46. The number 44 is outrageous.[00:15:00]

They're great cigars. They are just the 44 is the torpedo. Ah, 44 is a torpedo. Okay. Yeah, it's very good. Very, very good. The 45 is 52 by six.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, okay. So three quarters of an inch longer than this guy.

**Gizmo:** Yeah.

**Rooster:** And the 46 is 56 by five and a

**Gizmo:** half. Okay. And you know what rooster we were talking about? Family Reserve cigars that celebrate, uh, Jose Padron, the founder, the lead founder's birthday.

We mustn't forget the new release that 95th, that short fat 60 60 ring gauge cigar that they just put out last year. Has anyone that's had that? No, I haven haven't. I have. Yeah. How was it? Yeah, it was good. Really? It's

**Rooster:** pretty good. I mean, it's a, it's a big ring

**Gizmo:** gauge. Padron dna. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Smooth. The other thing that's cool too, uh, rooster pointed out, um, is the packaging presentation that these cigars come in.

These, these small 10 count boxes, the only way you can get 'em, and they have the, you know, it's the classic Padron box that they recycle, but on the [00:16:00] top is a sticker, uh, covering the entire Yeah. Um, top of the box. It's beautiful and it's embossed with the Family Reserve and, and Jose Padron's signature on it.

And then underneath Rooster. Yeah, it's the

**Rooster:** entire family's signature. There's at least, uh, 3, 5, 8. Like 10. Yeah. That's very

**Gizmo:** cool.

**Bam Bam:** 10 family members. I love that box. It's a perfect dimension. It's very convenient to carry

**Gizmo:** around. It's awesome. Yeah. And it's really easy to fit in the tower. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Like, or anywhere, Tupperware, because it's just so small and tight. It works with the jigsaw puzzle. It's not like, yeah, it's a perfect jigsaw. It's like te playing Tetris. It's perfect for that.

**Senator:** So I, for me, the 85th episode, I, I, I just love when we have moments like this because we're used to doing this every week and, you know, we enjoy spending time together, smoking cigars, obviously drinking nice spirits, but when we hit these kind of milestones, I love that it forces you to kind of look back and appreciate what we've done and what we're obviously building.

And, um, I especially get excited [00:17:00] because I think we normally pair a pretty good cigar with, uh, with a good spirit, with a fine spirit Yeah. For, uh, for some of these occasions. So I, I just love moments like this. I

**Bam Bam:** feel there's a bit of a energy in the air today because of the milestone. I love that feeling.


**Gizmo:** And, and when you, when you know that you're getting a premium experience, In the cigar, it just elevates, you know, it's like when you're driving to the lounge and you know what's in your, your, your travel, uh, you know, your carrying case. When you know what's in there and you're thinking about, yep, what you're gonna smoke and who you're gonna sit with and what you're gonna do.

It all matters.

**Bam Bam:** It just, it all, it all elevates it all. It elevates it, but it all matters. So, b,

**Gizmo:** before

**Rooster:** we hit the hundredth episode, there's gonna be the 90th. Do we do the nine?

**Pagoda:** I don't, I I do like the 90th

**Grinder:** by the way. I like the way you're thinking. You know, I like the way you're thinking Rooster.

**Bam Bam:** Great

**Gizmo:** idea.

Yeah. Do a patron just every five episodes. Yeah.

**Senator:** We're gonna need a, I mean,

**Grinder:** if, if there's any, if there's any cigar manufacturer that's going to milestone [00:18:00] all of our, you know, major events. It's gotta be

**Gizmo:** patron. Yeah. You know, we should have done the 45th. 40. Yeah. What happened? Do the 95th. Can we do a re can we do a redo?

Yeah. We'll go back and redo those episodes with those singers. Yeah. You

**Bam Bam:** better Cole Jorge. Let him know.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. It's a great cigar. Great cigar. I'm trying not to go through it too quickly cuz like you said, senator, it gets a little harsh if you do Careful. These, these cigars are so well

**Rooster:** constructed. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Look at, look at the ash. You never have any draw issues. I love holding it. Perfect. Razor sharp. Yeah. Bright white ash. Yeah, it's very, you know your point. Grinder's very elegant in the hand.

**Bam Bam:** But that's typical, right? Yeah. You're spoiled when you're a Petron guy. Yeah, they too. Bring a smile on my face.

**Gizmo:** Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh yeah. I have to think about all the cigars that we've spent, 20, 30, 40, 50, a hundred dollars on. Mm-hmm. Cuba and none to get this experience for 25 bucks, 23 bucks. It's crazy. Yeah, it's crazy. Unaccessible. It's accessible. Yeah. [00:19:00] Yeah. So let's talk about the pairing Senator.

**Senator:** So the Martel.

So Martel, I mean, GIZ had the idea for us to do Martel, which was a good one because for whatever reason I have not really had much Martel at all. But it has just a tremendous history. Um, so Martel was founded in 1715. Wow. It's got over 300 years they've been doing this. Wow. It's insane. They're the oldest, uh, cognac house in the world and as the oldest of the, the big four.

So we've done Remy, obviously huge. Have we done Hennessy? Yep. Yes, we've done several. Yes, we have. Okay. We've done Hennessy. They rated well as well. They did. And the only other one is corvassier. We have not done yet. I don't think we've done

**Gizmo:** a corvassier.

**Senator:** Okay. So we'll need to do corvassier at some point.

Those are the biggest. The only reason

**Gizmo:** I know that is a, the pronunciation. The pronunciation and trying to spell it properly. That's how I know we didn't do it every time. That's, that's what sticks

**Grinder:** in my brain. Anytime I hear cosier, I only think of one thing. That

**Bam Bam:** song Past

**Gizmo:** The [00:20:00] Cosier?

**Grinder:** No, from, uh, snl.

What's his name?

**Bam Bam:** The Cosier? Yeah. What's, oh,

**Grinder:** um, the, uh, SN l guy who, who does like the big pimp. He's like a pimp. Yeah. And he's, and

**Gizmo:** he's drinking a

**Bam Bam:** cosier. He's a, he's graphic in some of his, uh, conversation. What's, what's the skit? I don't remember, but I can go into detail on what he says.

**Gizmo:** Are you, are you, are you talking about welfare?

Well, uh, no,

**Bam Bam:** no, no. It's, uh, what's his name? Hammering. Well, he talks about satisfying a woman, and you can never really do it unless it's very specific. It's very, very graphic. I can't go there. Just Google it. La Ladies man.

**Grinder:** Ladies man. There you go. The ladies man.

**Gizmo:** All right, Senator, tell us about Martel. Yeah, so it

**Senator:** was founded by this guy, uh, gene Martel, who was born in, uh, 1694 in Jersey.

This is a funny tie to where we all live. Old

**Gizmo:** Jersey,

**Senator:** though, not New Jersey, old Jersey, but that, that's where New Jersey is named after he was born in Camden.

**Gizmo:** He was born, he was born in Patterson, like [00:21:00] bam, Seacaucus. But

**Senator:** it's also important because, so Jersey's the largest i, uh, island in the English channel, and there's a really strong affinity for Martel in the uk and I never understood why, but now this is starting to make sense, um, because of the founder's birthplace basically.

But the location of, uh, Jersey, the island is actually closer to France. So it's like this interesting kind of, there's a huge French influence there, which is why this guy presumably got so passionate about wanting to make cognac. Um, so he founded it, obviously built this enduring successful company and brand at some point.

Seagram's bought Martel, and I don't think many look at that as a good period for the brand. It Seagram's basically neglected Martel as a brand. It was known as this really high-end prestigious brand, and Seagram's kind of never continued to build on that. So eventually sales were plummeting and they got bought by Perino Ricard, one of like the huge conglomerates that owns a ton of brands now, [00:22:00] and they really resurrected Martel to what it kind of once was, which is this ultra premium, uh, cognac brand.

Uh, the, the brand itself has been, I was just reading, I couldn't believe like some of the biggest moments in history, Martel was what was served during it. Um, a number of the King's Coronations, uh, in the uk. We obviously just had a coronation recently. Yep. Um, I, I'm sure they probably had Martel. Uh, the signing of the treaty that ended World War I, they drank Martel, um, since 2015.

It's now the official cognac of the Palace of Versailles. So it's like all these just like really fancy, big, important moments like this cognac has, has found its way there. The reason I haven't had much of it, and, and now I'm regretting it because I'm, as I'm reading about the history, I'm like, wow, there's, there's some real substance to this company.

They, most cognac houses, they make a vs. A vs. O p and an exo and that's it. Some have recently started like, we love with Remi, the 1738. Yeah. In between [00:23:00] exactly. Introduced a whole new category between A V S O P and an XO with Martel, I've been deterred because they make so many types and I feel like my impression of it has been, it's like just marketing gimmickry.

There's not a money grab. Yeah. Yeah. I mean they have, they have a vs. They have the VS O p, which is what we're drinking tonight. They have the cordon blue, which is supposed to be like one of their original famous ultra premium, uh, cognacs. They have an exo, they have one called Blue Swift, which I have never figured out what that was until now.

I had to do a little homework for this. It was meant to, um, uh, kind of, uh, recognize the US market, which is very important to them. They age it in X bourbon, American bourbon barrels. So that was meant to be, uh, kind of a unique release. And I think that that also falls between A V S O P and an xo. So kind of like what Remy did.

So I'd actually be very interested to [00:24:00] try that at some point, because we love that in between category. We do.

**Gizmo:** That's the cognac I reach for. Oh, absolutely. Is the 1738 from, from Remy. That's a weekly, weekly drink. Yeah. Yeah, no doubt. Great, great, great value. Great drink.

**Senator:** So just a, a great story. I have a whole new level of respect, just, uh, reading a bit about their history and, um, I'm excited to dive into this and certainly try more what they

**Gizmo:** make.

Oh, let's try it. Boys.

**Bam Bam:** I have to say, I've, I've already jumped right into it. I've, I've ivied as well. It's pretty good. What's, it's probably for me. Unique to the other two vs. SOPs that we've had. It's very cherry forward for me. It is on the, on the nose. If you try, if you try that, it's very cherry, cherry heavy.

And on the finish is long cherry and honey. It's very unusual. I'm actually look at this refined

**Grinder:** pellet.

**Gizmo:** He's got, it's really amazing. 85, 85 episodes later. I hope so.

**Bam Bam:** That's what I learned from the best. I

**Grinder:** I I I echo, I echo the cherry. I think this is a lovely drink. This is really nice.

**Gizmo:** This is unique.

Fantastic. I find though that it's, um, it, it's going [00:25:00] through my, it's, it's uniquely going into my nose in a way that I think some of the others don't. Don't. Mm-hmm. Um, almost like a scotch wood in a way. It's truly aromatic on those. Yeah. It's, it's, I'm, I really like it.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. And it's unusual that cherry, that's, you don't get that on the other

**Senator:** VSPs.

The thing I also give this credit, I mean, most VSPs. If they say that's the first kind of category where you would want to maybe start to be able to drink it. Neat. But really XO is what you would always drink. Neat. I think most VSOPs benefit from some ice. I mean even Remi vs. O p, as much as I think it's good, I think it really needs a little bit of ice.

Yeah. A chip or two. Yeah, that's it. Not a ton. This without ice. I mean this Dr. First of all, the color. I mean, just look at the how rich and it's beautiful. Dark and deep. That's gorgeous. Yeah. The color of this spirit is Yeah. Red, amber. Exactly. And, and this honestly looks just. Closer to an XO than it does a vs o p and how it drinks, I mean, it's smooth, neat.


**Bam Bam:** [00:26:00] is. And it has viscosity and it coats your mouth nicely. And it lingers. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Do they make an xo?

**Senator:** They do. They do. But that's what's also so confusing to me about this brand. So the cordon blue is always viewed as like their,

**Gizmo:** I hate that name by the way. Lemme just say I agree. Because all I think about is Chicken Cordon Blue, which is one of worst, worst entrees ever of all time.

Really? I used to like that. Oh God. Isn't there ham on it or something? It's just chicken stuffed with ham. It's disgusting. It's

**Bam Bam:** pig and bird, man and cow. Multiple species. No,

**Gizmo:** I can't do it. And then they pour, like they pour like a cream. Dressing on it. It's disgusting. Right.

**Senator:** All right. Sorry about that. Oh, I'm with you.

Um, so the, the cordon blue was always kind of like their flagship ultra premium, uh, offering. And I assume it's an xo, but I find it strange that they wouldn't just call it an xo. I don't know why they need to create this other name. And then apparently they had very early on a dedicated XO. They stopped [00:27:00] making it for a very significant period of time.

And then only recently, as in within like the last 20 years, they resurrected the xo. So I, I'm just, the whole thing is very odd. I, I don't know why you don't just keep it simple. It's like there's three levels in cognac. There's three levels in tequila. Yeah. It's usually very simple. But having this now and reading more about it, there may be a method to their madness where before I just kind of dismissed them as well.

They just pump out a bunch of random shit every year to market, and it's not anymore a serious brand, but clearly it is. Do they still make the cordon blue? They do. It's about 200 a bottle. Wow. Which is what an XO is. Yeah. So that's why I'm so confused. It's true. It's like that's, that's what an XO would be priced at.

Now they've resurrected the xo, so I'm not sure what the relationship is between the two. How much, how much was this? Yeah, good question. Uh, like any vs o p, like 55? Yeah, it was, it was under

**Gizmo:** 60, moderately price. It was 60. Pretty big jump between

**Rooster:** the VS o P and the X excels.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, that's huge. That's across the board,

**Senator:** which is why I give Remi so much credit [00:28:00] figuring out that there needs to be an InBetween category.

Yeah. It's like, You know, I like Remy vs. O p, but, and I love the x I mean that got probably one of the highest spirit ratings. Think it was a 10, wasn't it? Yeah. I mean like a perfect 10. We were obsessed with it. Pure nectar. It's

**Bam Bam:** incredible. You can just go through that almost that entire bottle and be very comfortable and satisfied.

**Gizmo:** All that's what's troubling is it's 200. It really is. Really, that's

**Senator:** the thing. It's like for most people, we're not gonna no drink every day a $200 spirit period. And so, so

**Rooster:** that's actually higher than A V S O P, the

**Gizmo:** 1738.

**Senator:** Yes. It's in between that and the xo and that's at a very reasonable price point of like 65 a bottle where it, that is something that we would drink every day and uh, I'd be curious to try some of what Martel has made.

Yeah. In between. Cuz this V S O P, this is probably the smoothest. V s o p. We've done. This is great.

**Bam Bam:** It it is. I will say a couple of things though. It, because of the unique, for me, this is just my opinion, the unique flavor profile of this drink. [00:29:00] Some could say that it is a kind of like an acquired taste to enjoy this because it's a little different than the other two V SOPs.

Just slightly, some could say it's medicine-y some could say this, that cherry note, it's really forward. That's a

**Gizmo:** surprise. I don't know if I would have enjoyed this as much had I not been initiated, to your point. Mm-hmm. With the other cognac we have done on the pod. I think if we pulled this one out first, uh, that's what I'm trying to, that's what I'm saying.

That's exactly, I know. I'm just, yeah. I'm piggybacking on what you're saying. I think it would've been a little like, whoa, what is this? A, whereas now, like having gotten a little bit of an education and, and kind of, you know, the palette kind of adjusting to what cognac is, it's, it's definitely more palatable.

I think

**Senator:** bams point is spot on. I mean, what we're now seeing. Trying these different brands, they each have a very distinct style and flavor profile. And I think Hein is a great example of this. Yeah. We all started this journey kind of with Remy. [00:30:00] Uh, we did, hen did Croy, Crozay, Hennessy, and those actually, all three of those are kind of similar in, in the same family in flavor profile.

And we were liking what we were trying when we had Hein. Everybody in the room was like, oh wow, this is different. This is more floral. And it was just a whole different profile. Mm-hmm. And now Martel to BA's point, this is also an entirely separate flavor profile. It

**Bam Bam:** almost feels, seems and tastes like a different category of the vs o p lines that are out there where the Hein, it's like a hybrid between the two, in my opinion.

That's extraordinarily drinkable. It's

**Gizmo:** delicious. It's awesome. And don't forget we did that other Hein

**Senator:** that was disappointed. Oh yeah. The H by Hy, the H by Hy was meant to be their more budget friendly. It's like 40 a bottle, but. That's best for mixing, basically. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** You know, I, I also think that the cherry note and, and the, the, the profile and richness of the, the pairing is really complimenting this family reserve.

I totally agree, because I think that if you [00:31:00] have something that's doesn't have the body, that it doesn't have the viscosity and isn't gonna compete, I think the cigar will overpower. Mm-hmm. I'm glad you

**Senator:** said weaker spirit. I'm glad you said that because I think for any lizard as you're, you know, we're always thinking about what do I want to pair with this cigar?

And I just always think of cognac. Like, you know, GIZ sent basically a shopping cart of stuff that he recently, you know, bought for the pod. And he's like, what should we pair with this? And I just picked the cognac because whenever you have a really richly flavored cigar, it doesn't matter what it is, just rich in flavor.

Cognac, nine times out of 10 is gonna pair extremely well because cognacs. Especially vs o p and and really XOs, it's concentrated smooth. Mm-hmm. Flavorful spirit

**Bam Bam:** and it's the Yeah. And the richness of the VSPs. Yeah. That's what really works with the rich cigar like this. Yeah. You

**Pagoda:** know, the long finish really, really helps as well.

Yeah, it's great point. You know, it just, yeah, [00:32:00] exactly right. Go or

**Bam Bam:** palette that is fantastic. After you take a sip and then you go for a draw it that finish lingers and it and it co-mingles. It's really quite nice and

**Gizmo:** I feel like the cognac is actually, aside from the conversation, which is slowing down my wanting to pull on the cigar.

I feel like the cognacs finish, it sticks around so long that I'm not wanting to go to the cigar as quickly maybe as I normally would like. I think that they're kind of playing off of each other in a really nice way. Yep. It's a really elegant experience. It is. Agree. Agree. Have you noticed how the spice has gone down?

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. It is really very smooth. This

**Pagoda:** is wonderful. Yeah. It been down pretty quickly actually. You were right about that. It's really like, it's like very mellowed out is probably the word,

**Bam Bam:** didn't it? It's still still full bodied

**Rooster:** smoothness. Oh, it's, it's definitely a rich full


**Gizmo:** Yeah. But the, the initial spice has subsided.

It has dissipated.

**Senator:** Yeah. Look at gizmo's ash.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I mean that's, I have what, an inch and a half? Yeah. Going on two inches of Perfect. Yeah. That's awesome. Burn [00:33:00] line. Amazing ash. That's just not ready to go anywhere. I gotta slow down. I'm going way too quick. Yeah. Slow down.

**Bam Bam:** Look at me. Yeah. It's, isn't it, it's so good though, right?


**Pagoda:** love, you know, deal. Stop the guys I love. Stop. Ghetto.

**Gizmo:** There's, it's hard to find a full. Really rich cigar that can knock you with nicotine if you're going too fast, that if you're doing it right, delivers the incredible smoothness that this cigar delivers. I think that's, that's kind of why

**Rooster:** like these padron family reserve line like kind of works for me because I smoke slow.

Yeah. Mm-hmm. Right. So I'm not like pushing it. I never get the nicotine. I don't get that

**Gizmo:** harshness. Mm-hmm. I'm not getting it either. And I usually don't, cuz I try to slow down on these. But I think if you rush through this, I think you're gonna get knocked around a little bit. Oh yeah. Especially on an empty stomach.

Oh yeah. You know, I know you're having this for breakfast, but so be it.

**Pagoda:** I'm on an empty stomach. I ate lunch last, so it's been a while. Rooster.

**Grinder:** [00:34:00] Rooster, have you? I don't know if I've ever had this cigar before. Have you given me the cigar before?

**Gizmo:** I don't remember.

**Grinder:** I don't remember either. Cuz this is like.

This is a truly awesome

**Gizmo:** cigar for me. This. So where, as someone who loves the 50th in this line as much as you do, how does this compare to the 50th for you? Uh, it's

**Grinder:** very different. I mean, the 50th that I smoke is natural. Ah, you smoked the natural. Yeah, it's a very, it's just a very different cigar. I mean this, the, obviously a lot, a lot of flavor that's a little smoother, not much smoother, frankly.

Um, I would say this as far as like I would rank this just as high as the other 50th that I love so much, you know, and the other family reserve rather, and I would rank, I would put this higher than the 50th Maduro.

**Gizmo:** So I wanted to go back briefly to the Martel thing, if you don't mind just for a second.

Because what's amazing to me about the story you told is how much rich history [00:35:00] they have, how ingrained, especially in the British culture, it seems like they are European culture. How, I don't know what the transaction dates and timeline of the Seagrams thing was. I'm assuming it's kind of aligning with my thought process here.

But it's amazing to me, given everything you just said about it and about the brand and where, and the way that they've ingratiated themselves in, into the history of that country, how they're not in the top four. They're not in the top five of cognac producers. You don't ever hear about it. I heard about it because I read an article, I no, they, they are, but not, and not in the states.

I mean, not people aren't talking about them like they're right or no, it's trues. It is very true. Cossier or Dee, I mean, I've never marketing exercise. I've never heard of this guy. I haven't either. Yeah, I haven't either. So that's what's amazing to me is how I've never heard of it, but it's so ingrained.


**Senator:** sure. Here's what's really wild about this. In, by 2015, Martel was producing around 14 million bottles of cognac a year. Making it the second, the [00:36:00] worlds second largest cognac producer behind Hennessy. That's crazy. How they were out producing more than Remy is beyond me. Crazy. I mean, Remy Martin, but again, we're talking from the US perspective.

Remy Martin is in every, every bar everywhere. Everywhere,

**Gizmo:** everywhere restaurant. I feel like you get that at a gas station anywhere in Patterson. It's true. I keep going to Patterson. I don't know why. Like, it

**Bam Bam:** have gas stations. Patterson with a Philly blunt.

**Senator:** So the Seagrams, uh, acquisi, they Seagrams bought it in 1987.

And when did they sell it? They sold it in 2001, so

**Gizmo:** that, you know, that's a 14 year. Yeah. Seems like a 14 year miss for them. Right.

**Bam Bam:** And I'm guessing because we haven't heard of it, the, their primary market of course is Europe. Is that right? And other areas of the

**Senator:** world. Europe. And they're huge in Asia. Asia, yeah.

Not surprising. Yeah. So I read something like, I think in China, Martel has like 25% of the cognac market. Wow. Which is pretty good.

**Grinder:** China. Wow. Very good. Well there's, there's only three other player [00:37:00] major players though, right? Hmm.

**Gizmo:** Well there's four, right? Remi,

**Bam Bam:** Hennessy. So if

**Grinder:** they have a quarter

**Senator:** of the market of the major and then you have other brands.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. But I mean that's, that's pretty amazing that that's just not something that's talked about or marketed here. I mean, dude, there was a Remy commercial in the Super Bowl. That's true. It was a Remy Martin commercial during the Super Bowl. I couldn't believe it saw the 1738. I'm really happy we're doing this.

Yeah, really? It's really good. Yeah. Have you, have you guys

**Senator:** seen the movie A Apocalypse Now? Yes. Oh yeah. So it's a classic, the, the, the one claim to fame that, that Martel has in like movies. Um, in that movie, was

**Bam Bam:** it in the house in the forest?

**Senator:** No, no. On the bedside of Captain Willard. Played by Martin Sheen.

Uh, Martel Cordon Blue is on his bedside and he drinks it throughout. Really? The movie?

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Oh, that's cool. Love that movie. Well, he is Good Taste. It's a great movie. Great movie.

**Grinder:** That's such a dark movie

**Gizmo:** too. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Marlon Brando. This cigar is fantastic. [00:38:00] Yes, it is. What my, it's my, we knew it was gonna be amazing.

Yeah. But you know, I haven't had it in quite some time. Mm-hmm. Cuz I smoked so many exclusive, I've had exclusives the last four nights. I, we, I spoke so many of them. Um, but to go to this is, it is an elevated experience. And, and what this gives you, I mean, this is really, really, it's like richer, richer, deeper

**Bam Bam:** flavor.

Now, you're not a, you don't frequent the family reserve, will you? Now

**Gizmo:** I have a box of these. You do? Okay. And I have a box of 45th. Okay. Um, both in Maduro, my old staple, and I just don't reach for them that much, you know, because I, I think they're pretty full experience. So unless it's something special or Right.

I have a big, I don't know, fatty steak dinner type thing. Yeah. Yeah. I'm, I'm generally reaching for my exci. What's

**Bam Bam:** interesting about this, I don't get a lot of cocoa on the typical draw, but on the retro hail, I get delicious cocoa notes. It's really

**Gizmo:** quite nice. Grindr, have you been, uh, retroing this? Yeah.

And how's the retro for you? Strong. Yeah. Yeah, it's definitely [00:39:00] got a punch. So are you doing it every draw or are you doing it every few?

**Grinder:** No, I'm probably doing it every fifth.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, I do every other. Okay. Every

**Grinder:** other is a lot. Every fifth for a cigar like this? Yeah. Not as I definitely can do. It's delicious.

Definitely. There, it's still great. I mean, it's amplifying flavors wonderfully, but you know, it's still a strong cigar. Yeah. Oh, it's definitely a strong, so it's not something I'm doing every other

**Gizmo:** one. Now, here's a question I have for you guys. I mean, we're what we're coming up on halfway. Mm-hmm. Do you think that this is a cigar that is approachable for someone who is, let's say, intermediate as far as their journey?

Or what does that mean is gonna kick? What does intermediate mean? Intermediate means smoking for two years. They're smoking. No, they're smoking, let's say a cigar a week, I

**Grinder:** think. I think you're gonna have some attrition. If you were to give the cigar a 10 intermediate smokers, you're gonna have some attrition to people

**Gizmo:** that.

**Rooster:** Put it down. I think especially if you have had the exclusive O and you're very happy with it. Yeah. And you wanna kick it up a notch and you wanna try [00:40:00] something a little bit richer. Well, but in the similar, uh, dna. Here's

**Gizmo:** one interesting thing. This is, this is where you would go,

**Bam Bam:** senators had parties at his place.

He's given out the exclusive O to guys that haven't had a lot of cigars. I remember the story vividly. He generously handed out, I don't know, 10 or 12 of them. They all loved more than that. More. And they loved it. And they loved it. Would you do that

**Senator:** with this cigar? No. And that's the thing. I mean, that's why I, I think that answers this question.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, for me, again, guys may feel differently, but for me, this cigar, you, you have to really love a full bodied cigar to appreciate this. I think if I gave this to someone, I mean, forget obviously someone who's a kind of beginner just getting into cigars, but even intermediate, this is a lot.

Yeah. In a cigar, maybe

**Gizmo:** the natural.

**Bam Bam:** Maybe the natural line, I was about to say 10 minutes ago when he mentioned the natural in the 50, the Pedro patron line is probably the only line of natural cigars that I like, that I would [00:41:00] smoke and be very happy with. That's just the personal thing, because the DNA is there and they're so rich regardless of the wrapper.


**Grinder:** maybe I I, the, the delta between Padron's Naturals and their Maduros, to me is not as dark as some of the other like bifurcation that some of these, these manufacturers

**Rooster:** have in their life. Yeah. I'd be curious how many, it's different how many Maduros there's, I mean, they must sell way more Maduro than

**Gizmo:** natural.

Yeah. Who knows? But I would think so. I don't know. I mean, I, I, I'm curious. I don't, uh, it my bet if, if I were to have to put money on it, I would bet they're selling 60 40, 60 Maduro. 40 natural. That would be my best possible. Yeah, I think that's probably right. I, i I don't think that it's as drastic as we make it seem.

I mean, obviously we're skewed. Yeah. I mean maybe other than Grindr, we're all buying. It's true. Um, um, Maduro 99% of the time. Hundred, a hundred

**Pagoda:** hundred percent of the time.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, me too,

**Gizmo:** my man. You know, but, you know, this is a cigar [00:42:00] to, to kind of, you know, for this conversation, you look at pagoda, who notoriously throughout the podcast, likes a more full experience, likes a stronger cigar.

I. Loves the Dominican, which is a pretty mfi, you know, Dominican doff loves the exclusive, loves the Elsinor that we did from EP Carole and his experience tonight. Like to me, if your palate as a listener tracks with pagoda, this is, and you're in line with how Pagoda smokes and what he likes to smoke.

This is a cigar that you need to buy yesterday now, right? Exactly. Yeah. You need this

**Bam Bam:** cigar, by the way, I need to buy this yesterday.

**Gizmo:** Well, you better hurry up. You, you, you

**Pagoda:** know what it is. I don't even know why I never really reached out for the Family Reserve, and I might have tried a few here and there, and I'm sure you guys have offered me a few and we've, I've smoked a few of them and you know, like with me, it's like, When it comes to Padrone, I just enjoy them anyway.

Mm-hmm. Because they're so beautifully constructed, great smoke output, [00:43:00] very flavorful, very satisfying, mean, you can talk about it all the way through. And I love Patjones. In fact, most of us do over here. This is fantastic.

**Rooster:** I mean, it's the same price as the Dominican this, and that's what makes it

**Gizmo:** ridiculous.

And it's not rare. Yeah. Like the Dominican's a limited release, that's gonna go away very soon if it hasn't already. Yeah. You know, you're not gonna be able to find that cigar. Yeah.

**Senator:** The thing I will say about the family reserve for me, and this is where I think Rooster and I, uh, differed just in terms of our smoking habit, uh, how much we smoke For me, this cigar, if I, if I can only have one cigar after a meal, I've got kind of a defined amount of time I'm gonna have dinner, I have time for one cigar, and I'm done for the day.

I would pick this up in a heartbeat. This is perfect. It would be incredibly satisfying. The thing I have, why I don't smoke as much of the family reserve is a lot of the time I'm having like a four or five cigar session. Mm-hmm. And I, I couldn't put back two of these in a sitting. Oh, no way. So that's a great point where the [00:44:00] exce for me, like why it's my staples cigar.

I mean, I could smoke five of them and I would be just fine. I would, it, it's just like the perfect balance for me of a lot of flavor, but super smooth in delivery where this, you gotta take your time. You don't want this to kick you around. It delivers a tremendous amount of flavor, and I feel like if I had two of these, I, I wouldn't want a cigar for probably 48 hours.

He's right.

**Bam Bam:** It's tough to do multiple family reserves in a sitting

**Gizmo:** i'll, I'll even do, I'll do

**Bam Bam:** one better. I think scoffs at that

**Gizmo:** a little bit, but, uh, I'll do one better. Preparing tonight, coming to do the pod, knowing we were doing the cigar, I really had difficulty thinking about if we do an after pod cigar where we all sit together after we're done recording and have one, it was difficult for me to look in my tower and say, what am I gonna follow that cigar up with tonight?

Right. It leaves like this to me is a finisher. Yeah. It leaves its mark on you. Yeah, for sure. Like, even if you're getting a smooth, elegant, refined experience, like it's all the boxers are [00:45:00] checked, when you're done with this cigar, you're, they're, you're not looking for anything else. It's hard to go to a Cuban after this.

It's nearly impossible. It's impossible. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, except for Rooster Rooster's

**Senator:** looking at disbelief.

**Gizmo:** His eyebrows are going

**Bam Bam:** up and down. I don't

**Gizmo:** know what the

**Bam Bam:** fuck you guys are talking about.

**Pagoda:** He said, I had this for breakfast. I knew we were gonna smoke

**Rooster:** tonight. Well, a lot of times I just smoke one cigar at night, so, and this

**Gizmo:** sometimes is it?

Yeah, this is it. Which makes sense for that. Yeah, it's very satisfying. A one cigar

**Grinder:** sitting. When's the last time you got smoked? A four or five cigar.

**Gizmo:** Oh, it had to be with us this morning. Yesterday. Yesterday. Just the other night. Literally. Yeah. I'm not even exaggerating yesterday. But you can

**Rooster:** end with this.

**Bam Bam:** That's a good point. I mean, but not, not after four

**Senator:** cigars. It'll hit you really hard though. That's too much. But

**Gizmo:** send

**Rooster:** it. I'm not talking about back to back. I'm talking about like one after breakfast, one after lunch, and then two after dinner.

**Gizmo:** That's four cigars. Four finally reserves in a day. No, no, no.

I'm talking about different cigars. Right? Right. I'm talking about lighter one. Oh sure. You know? Sure. Start off with the [00:46:00] jail one.

**Rooster:** You know. Do like a Coronas Claro in the afternoon. Yeah. Do something else before dinner. And this one

**Gizmo:** afternoon. Now you

**Senator:** cooking, I just say this because the Pedro Patron 80th that we love so much and we reviewed on the podcast.

That's also a full flavored cigar. But, but again, as I told the story, then I smoked four of them back to back Uhhuh. Like you can have multiple of those and still feel great. Yeah. If I had four of these, I'd die

**Pagoda:** back to back. I, I don't know what you're talking about. Seth's. Only one

**Bam Bam:** would die. He would stumble out of the club.

And I kind of want to see that. Hold

**Gizmo:** on. All of us would,

**Senator:** I mean, are you kidding me? The amount that this puts off four of these

**Gizmo:** back to back. I can't imagine smoking two of these back to

**Pagoda:** back. You're getting weak. Senator. Uh, disappointed. I want to see you do this. No, but like yesterday, it would've been the perfect ending because I, I was thinking about, remember, I.

Hesitated should have smoked one more or not. And then obviously, you know, it was, um, one of those weekends where I was out before I joined all these guys for a cigar. Yes. Oh yeah. And I ended

**Bam Bam:** up with, you were well [00:47:00] calibrated. Yes, you were

**Grinder:** so, and with

**Pagoda:** a, you know,

**Grinder:** go pick. Wait, let me just say, he was seeing Pagoda walks into the lounge tonight, and I'm sitting there having a cigar.

I'm watching the thing. He sits down, he pulls out his, his, his scotch, his bevan, this double barrel. He looks at me, he said yesterday I was here and that was wasted. And that was all he

**Bam Bam:** said. And then he poured himself a scotch, a double. And I

**Grinder:** just looked at him. I'm like,

**Gizmo:** okay, he's celebrating 85 episodes.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, today's the new day. That's right.

**Bam Bam:** But key word was yesterday.

**Pagoda:** But I do think, I do think that this cigar would've really been the perfect cigar for me yesterday. To end the night. Mm. Every day. This is great. Thank you guys for introducing me to another cigar. Oh yeah.

**Gizmo:** I just think that I, I, again, I think, you know, for what this delivers 10 years of age on this Nicaraguan tobacco to, to, to price this under 25.

Uh, and that's, there's a real value in that to me. Big time. Big [00:48:00] time. Especially for what we're, what we're experiencing here. Like, oh yeah, this is really a nice celebratory cigar. What's nice

**Bam Bam:** is both the, the, the cognac and the cigar, they're settling in beautifully. So when you go back and forth, it's really delicious.

The, the combination's Fantastic. Then, uh,

**Senator:** it's awesome. And I'll be honest with, as far as the pairing goes, and this isn't specific to Martel, what I'm about to say, I would. I would almost only want this cigar with a cognac. Yeah. Yeah. Like I'm deadly serious when I say

**Bam Bam:** that, dude, you're not wrong. But you

**Pagoda:** know, it's, it's really amazing is like every time people think of cigars, and I'm talking about the average people, whoever you meet, know what you're say, always cigars with coia.

That's true. They never talk about whiskey or tequila like we've tried and we enjoy tequila with scars now. Mm. And. Cognac just has something very special. Yeah. Especially with, you know, the full


**Bam Bam:** bone. It's a historic

**Grinder:** pairing. It's, it's, it's, you know, it's the, it's the nobility having their cognac in the smoking room [00:49:00] afterward with the cigar, you know, as they crack the whip on their, it's their ritual workers.

**Senator:** But that's, that's the thing that's impressive about it. I always just thought like, exactly like righter was saying, like the nobility drinking cognac. I just thought it was a, an issue of tradition and legacy. Mm-hmm. And what people should do in a nice moment or a celebratory moment. And I didn't. And, and when you actually try this spirit and we're, we're still early.

I mean, we, there's so much more for us to try. What's been so amazing to me, and I think a lot of us, it's been a realization of like, there's actually merit to it. Yeah. There's meaning on that bone. Like it really makes sense why they pursue the spirit. Oh yeah.

**Gizmo:** Well, this is delicious. I'm really pleased with the pairing.

I am

**Grinder:** also very, I'm usually, I'm not, I'm not drinking as much liquor these days and I will, will pour myself into the glasses. Now we talk.

**Gizmo:** Here we go. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Hey, by the way, thank you for the great pour man. Oh yeah.

**Bam Bam:** You know, the heavy hand works sometimes, [00:50:00]

**Gizmo:** you know, we're kind of in a nostalgic mood and I, I was telling you guys this story before and I'm curious what your thoughts are on it, but I had someone in my family visit the house.

And they saw my tower and they looked at me like I was a crazy person. Right. Okay. Natural reaction. And they're like, why in the hell did they see

**Senator:** the kitty litter? Or

**Gizmo:** This is the new tower. This is new tower. Okay. No kitty litter, not episode one, episode 85 tower. Um, no, but they saw the tower and they said, what in the hell do you need all of these cigars for?

Like, what are you doing with them? And then I went into the wine thing and I'm like, you know, if you have a wine collection, you age wine with time, you know, a lot of times it can improve. And unlike wine, I think a lot of cigars have a little bit more of a, what would you call it? A shelf life or shelf.

Yeah. A, a peak, you know? Mm-hmm. You know, where, where they really a maturity curve. Mature

**Senator:** or, or, or stronger aging maturity, stronger aging potential. Exactly. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Or maturity curve. Or maturity curve. I like both. [00:51:00] Well, let the

**Bam Bam:** record. Not, not a

**Gizmo:** competition. We'll let the listener decide which one they like better.

Uh, but you know, the thing I went into is I was kind of thinking about it and, and we're talking about it tonight. For me, every one of those cigars in my tower is like a few, a ticket that I've already purchased for like an hour, hour and a half or two hours of just some sort of future experience that I'm gonna have either by myself or with you guys or with others.

Us too. We have a

**Senator:** lot of tickets stored in your human house. Yes, we do.

**Gizmo:** But you know, it's like, it's like a, it's like a ticket to a concert that who knows when it's gonna happen, but all of those cigars are representative of. An hour, hour and a half, two hours of, of an experience, a special moment potentially, or just a time for relaxation for me in the future. Like, that's how I view my cigar collection.

It's a beautiful way of putting it.

**Grinder:** Right? Honestly, I I, when you, you said that earlier and I was like, damn it. That's, I gotta mark that down in my head. That's a great analogy. It is. [00:52:00] Yeah.

**Gizmo:** And it's good for like, you know, when, when the wife is saying, what in God's name, is there another box showing up?

Mm-hmm. I guess you're

**Senator:** what? You know what we're doing. We're buying time.

**Bam Bam:** Right? That's it. That's

**Gizmo:** exactly right. This is, it's not about the rolled up leaves of aged tobacco in the hand. It's about the experience, right. That this vehicle provides us in whatever we're doing. Like tonight, we're celebrating what we do here.

We're enjoying this with our listeners, our friends. Mm-hmm. Um, like I. There's no other vehicle that can bring us in such a consistent, interesting, different way every time. That's right. You know, and, and give us something unique, but also something that you can really count on. Yeah. Delivering like a really nice, relaxing experience.

And, and the

**Senator:** other thing on that, building on the wine analogy, this is where they're very similar. What's so cool about this is those cigars that are sitting in our towers, how they taste in [00:53:00] 2023. Is different than how they're gonna taste in 2024. Mm-hmm. And 25 and 26 and 2030. And so, you know, you're buying it, knowing the, generally the experience you're gonna have, but there's this unknown of kind of, wow, it will be different.

It's not the same every time. Like it's easy for someone to sit there and say, well, don't you get bored smoking the same cigar every single time? Hell no. And it's like, no, because some of them that were aging, I mean, first of all, some of them, if they tasted the same 365 days of the year for the next eternity we're fine.

We we'd be happy with it. Exactly. But even so, the fact that anticipation change, that anticipation,

**Bam Bam:** that's what makes it so fun. Absolutely. You know, going back on what you said earlier about longevity and anticipating, I had a, um, I was away with the family not too long ago, and I was having, I went outside, had a cigar, came back in and, you know, Mrs.

Bam, bam. And her sisters, you know, well, how was that cigar? And I said, it was great. I looked at my son, you and I are gonna have a cigar someday. He said, we are gonna have a cigar. Not now, but I'll let you know. [00:54:00] All right. That's great. That's, that's awesome. I didn't say anything. I felt so warm. Warm. Did that give you the, oh, dude, tingle.

I kind of, I didn't tear up. I'm tearing up now because I'm thinking about it. That's awesome. But that was a great experience and when you collect cigars, you kind of hope for those moments. And

**Gizmo:** dude, think about that's what you want. And think about what you have in your tower that, oh,

**Bam Bam:** I've, I, I'm actually going through the whole collection.

Yeah. Like

**Gizmo:** what is the best, what's the bank? What am my first cigar? What's

**Bam Bam:** my first my si cigars fir My son's first cigar going to be, I think about that now. A millennium, definitely. I'm not sure. Well, that's my, that's my

**Grinder:** go-to. I know

**Senator:** to go. That was also, you said your first

**Bam Bam:** cigar. It was my very first cigar.

Yeah. Yeah, that's, and actually that was the first cigar that I had when he was born.

**Gizmo:** That might

**Rooster:** be a bit much for him as

**Gizmo:** a first cigar man. Give him this, give him this one. I think the millennium is smooth. No, but think about how many other cigars you have in your tower. Even if you bought them today.

Yeah. Okay. He doesn't have that many.

**Bam Bam:** Nah, I'm still, you know, trying to build.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Let's just say, let's hypothetically say your [00:55:00] tower's quite full. Okay. Hypothetically. Oh, we, we have, we have the full, I know we do. I know we have photo proof. I'm trying to be kind. I'm trying to be kind. No, but seriously, dead serious.

Like, think about how many great cigars you have in there. That when he is ready mm-hmm. You know, when he gets to that age, that it's time. Yep. Like how amazing that experience is gonna be for you to be able to select what that's gonna be. That's right. And then present that to him and to introduce him to this beautiful lifestyle.

iSTYLE. I agree. I can't wait

**Bam Bam:** for that moment. Yeah.

**Senator:** Which you'll have to prepare yourself for though, are the odds that that first cigar, he may not enjoy that much. Of course it's true.

**Bam Bam:** And I wanna find something that he'll tolerate that's smooth and simple and elegant, but very flavorful. And we'll, I'll have a conversation with him about how it was made, where it was made the

**Gizmo:** blend and, and when you bought that ticket for that experience, that uh, the ticket, what bought?

And it's in the tower. Like, like when did you buy that box? That's fantastic. 10 years ago. Absolutely. Yeah. 12 years ago. Two years ago. Yeah. And why is that? The perfect cigar, right. For that moment. [00:56:00] All of that. It's the,

**Bam Bam:** it goes with this whole


**Gizmo:** that you're presenting. It's awesome. It starts this fantastic conversation with every person that you pull something outta your tower with Totally.

Whether they smoke or not. Just this, the moment you sit down, it's, this is a commitment Yeah. To whatever it's gonna be. Yeah. And, and run with it. Yeah. I just, I

**Grinder:** love that you, that you take it, you take this passion so seriously that you're equating it to like the other great love in your life, which is like buying tickets to a rock show.

Yeah. Music.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. You know? And That's so cool. Yeah. Yeah. Because I think about, it's funny you say that because you know, I think about like, when I think about important moments in my life with people, even with bam. Okay. One of the most memorable moments I have with BAM is when he and I went to the dead and company show together.

That was great. On a whim. That was awesome. Last minute we bought a ticket, no hesitation. And we went and we had a great experience together. We had a cigar. We went to Peter Luger's. Oh yeah. And we had a great night. And it's like, this is just [00:57:00] another example of that same exact opportunity. Right. It's the catalyst.

Yeah. And instead of another person or another group creating it, we are creating it. Right. We're issuing the tickets. Yeah.

**Grinder:** You know, and it's a, it's a great way to kind of, you know, dog your certain chapters in your life in certain moments, you know, underscore that, that time.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. It's like my buddy, uh, my, my, my friend had a, uh, baby today, which I know obviously you and Senator have had.

Kids fairly recently. The other guy, everybody in the room has kids. But it's like, think about those cigars, you know, celebrating the birth of your children or celebrating milestones, you know, uh, birthdays when they first start walking and talking and becoming human beings. You know, I can, I can

**Bam Bam:** see Senator Junior with an 80th in his hand.

**Gizmo:** He's already asked. He he might be, he might be bam Jr. To the punch. He might, my

**Senator:** son, when he was a few weeks old, I've got a great photo of him trying to crawl toward a, [00:58:00] a drone box. That's exactly

**Pagoda:** what I was by

**Grinder:** the way.

**Senator:** I was just about that. And in fact, his first proper crawl, and I think I sent you guys video of this, was him trying to crawl toward and grab an issue of cigar

**Gizmo:** aficionado.

Oh, who was on the cover? Cigar veen.

**Bam Bam:** Oh yeah. Now we talking

**Gizmo:** baby lizard.

**Rooster:** See a lot, lot of people also try to acquire boxes. That correspond with their kids'

**Gizmo:** birthdays. Yeah. Yeah. That's cool. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And they smoke one every year. Right. And you, you know, you get 25 years of that. Amazing. That's an amazing experience.

It is. And then also just pulling it back, you know, taking the nostalgia out of it to have a box of cigars and smoke one annually and, and compare the experience year one. Oh yeah. Year two versus five 10. The taking the nostalgia out of it. The chronological experience of that. Yes. Yeah, that's, that's tremendous.

Like here where the cigar was a year ago versus five years ago, that journey's amazing. Oh yeah.

**Senator:** [00:59:00] Yeah. I think we wet, we summed this up really well when we did one of the Cuba episodes and we were talking about the time we sat in the parus shop and were signing the guest book. And it's like you're sitting there reflecting on all these experiences in your life that Parus has been a part of.

Yeah. And that's what made it emotional. Even when you're signing that book, you're thinking like, wow. Some of the greatest moments of my entire life. Yep. Have involved that cigar.

**Bam Bam:** And I know you know what you smoked cuz I won't ever forget that moment. Yeah. You know what you smoked that day.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Very memorable. Oh yeah. Yeah. It's amazing. It is

**Bam Bam:** a

**Grinder:** wonderful mechanism to instill reflection in your life because I think that's important for any person to have reflection in in your life. You're not really a human being, a conscious human being if you don't reflect. And to have this part of our regular agenda protocol every day we're spending time to take time out.

We're, we're extracting this time and saying, we're gonna, we're gonna, we're gonna make this our own. [01:00:00] We're gonna, we're gonna transform it in the way we want to. This experience is gonna be ours. We're gonna share it with others as we see fit, and it's gonna be something special. And I think that's, it's great to have that.

This put aside health benefits or lack of benefits for

**Bam Bam:** detriments. Detriments, yes. Stress relief alone

**Grinder:** is, well, that, that helps. Sure. But you know, to have that mental space that you have set aside every day,

**Bam Bam:** it's therapeutic. And to piggyback on that, just slightly, so when we're all together, it's very late at night.

We're tired, someone looks around. It, it says, let's order Wendy's. No,

no. You see a cigar coming out of a case and you think to yourself, should I go home or should I have another cigar? And I stay Because you want to continue that feeling regardless of how tired you are. Those moments are awesome. I don't other guy's box. Uh, that'd be nice. Rooster

**Senator:** playing pagoda today. [01:01:00]

**Bam Bam:** I have no shame.


**Gizmo:** cigars all about sharing anyway, so yeah. Thank you. So what's your, what's your feeling on the, uh, nostalgia piece of this or the ticketing thing that we threw out? I don't know. My kids were kind of born in the dark period, so I dunno. Leah was born in two, the cigar was a cigar. Boom. Yeah.

**Rooster:** So, no, but you know, you're right.

I mean, there's c certain cigars that. Kinda I associate like from the year that she was born. And then I do smoke that, you know, every so often and I kind of reminisce about that

**Gizmo:** moment. So, yeah, it's cool. Yeah. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Do you remember the cigar you smoked when your first daughter was born?

**Gizmo:** No. Or the second order?

**Bam Bam:** Too long ago. Too long ago. Too long ago. Yeah. Yeah. So that for me, that millennium is that timestamp for me.

**Senator:** Yeah. Yeah. I think the other thing on all of this is, this is building on what Grindr was saying. [01:02:00] It just gives you, it, it, it always gives you perspective. Like you sit there and you have a cigar and you're sitting there saying to yourself, wow, I spent $15 on this cigar, let's say I'm having a phenomenal experience.

I don't need to go somewhere fancy or special. I don't need to spend any significant sum of money to have some of the best experiences that I've had in my life. It's just been. With a $15 cigar sitting with a group of guys like this and just the conversation and the exchange, the reflection, all these things.

That perspective, I feel like this helps you keep that all the time, which I really love. Yeah, that's true.

**Gizmo:** I mean, some of the best experiences

**Rooster:** that I have had are like smoking a cigar alone in the garage. That's true too.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Just so peaceful. Yeah, absolutely.

Well, boys, I think we're coming into the last third, I would say, of the padrone 85 [01:03:00] years Family Reserve. Maduro. Yep. What do you think? Kick ass. I'm loving it. It's just amazing. It's funny as we're talking about this nostalgia thing and the relaxation and what it does, man, this cigar is checking every box.

It is everyone so relaxed. I

**Grinder:** was gonna say, it's, it's, it's, it tracks very well with the conversation. It does, you know, in the sentiment. Because I, I, I am, I am milking this very lightly.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, me too. I don't

**Grinder:** want this to end. Yeah. And, and I'm savoring every glass bit. I'm smoking it like rooster. Yeah. As it

**Pagoda:** should be.

We all are trying

**Grinder:** as he has ash all over his shorts. Well, no,

**Bam Bam:** he's look at the ash on his cigar though. That's an inch and a half ash. He's almost done just late at the game. That's awesome. Pagoda.

**Gizmo:** How's it been?

**Bam Bam:** I

**Pagoda:** love it. It's a 10. It's a 10.

**Bam Bam:** It's a 10.

**Senator:** I do like the second half of this is really settled in nicely. I mean, I won't lie. The first [01:04:00] few puffs, I was worried if it maintained that level of strength and spice that this would really kick me around by the end. But the second half just settles in, smooths out. True. Gets a little sweeter. I, I really It's

**Gizmo:** true.

Yeah, it's true. Yeah. So boys, I wanted to talk about, because I think it's important as we talk about cigars in the business, let's pivot a little bit. So I don't know if you guys saw, but cigar aficionado put out, uh, kind of a summary of a report that the Cigar Association of America, c a a put out that for the first time in quite a few years, certainly since Covid, um, that there was a decline, uh, in the cigar imports in the first quarter of this year.

So you're looking at, I mean, in 2022, um, it was a significant increase and certainly in 2021 there was a lot cuz people were home. Yeah. And smoking a lot more. You're at 104 million cigars. Yeah. In 2022. In the first quarter, yeah. Of 2022. And now it was an [01:05:00] 8.8% decline in the first quarter this year. 95. 95 million roughly?

Yeah. 95 million down. About 10 million imports. And that's across the board on, on every. Importer into the United States, obviously not including Cuba, cuz that's not legal, but Dominican, Honduras, Nicaragua, everything, um, is down.

**Grinder:** Yeah. I mean, but I mean, you, you have to, you have to look at those that in the context of the previous two years.

Right. Ly because I, you don't really, I I saw that number, the headline number and I, I wasn't like, I, I didn't, I wasn't in dire straits for the, the, the state of health of the cigar industry because of the previous boom years. They had 8% down from those years is still probably tracks to how they prorated the forecast.

**Rooster:** I mean, I think you really have to look at the pre covid numbers Exactly. And to see, you know, where those are compared to where, where we are today.

**Pagoda:** I hope we can go back to the pre covid prices. That's

**Gizmo:** true. Especially in Habanas. Very

**Senator:** [01:06:00] true. The devils, the devil's always in the details. There were two things when you dig deeper in the article that really stood out to me that I was surprised by.

Number one, when they break this out by country, the Dominican Republic saw the steepest decline, uh, down 17.1%. Wow. Pretty second to that. That's pretty big number. That is huge. Huge, huge. Second to that was Honduras down 10.7%. And then what was really interesting to me, Nicaragua was, and that's the leading non Cuban new world cigar producer, was only down 4.2%.

Oh, that's good. That's good. That's good news. And my hypothesis, I mean, I think price plays a huge role in this. Sure. I think if you look at the price of. Certainly Dominican cigars and I'll just compare them to Nicaraguan ones and the brands that we have the most familiarity with. There would be, uh, doff and Badr.

Right. Doffs price increases have been, I would say significant. He's right. Yeah, it's true. I mean, you used to be able to get a late hour Churchill for $20 flat. [01:07:00] Now it's like 26 bucks. Yeah. 26, 27. Yeah. Right. A padrone, we've talked about the price of an excl. It was $14 a year or two ago. Yeah. And it's maybe $15 now.

That's right. It's a dollar price increase. And so I think Nicaragua's been a bit more judicious with the price increases and I think it hasn't hurt, um, their sales nearly as much as some of these others. Hmm. The second thing that was interesting to me, and this I have no explanation for, I'm very curious what folks think is the cause of this.

They said that despite the decline in q1, if you look at just March of 2022, that March was the busiest march in the last eight years. In terms of cigar imports Of

**Gizmo:** 22? Yeah. Last year. Not this

**Senator:** year. Ah, I see. Yep. Okay. Interesting. So that's coming. Why would that have been though in the last year? Last, I would

**Gizmo:** think that's, I would think, think that's covid ketchup.

I would think that's covid clearing the shelves and catching up and,

**Senator:** but I would've expected that in like 2021 when [01:08:00] people were truly sitting at home. Well, there's been

**Grinder:** a lot of backorder cigars. Yep. Right. So, You, I think you said catch up. I think it's a lot of people had orders in for a long time.

Mm-hmm. Takes a while to fulfill and they were, they were gangbusters for demand and you know, they probably had, they probably had a catch up on

**Bam Bam:** production. It would be interesting to see the 2021 numbers. A lot of shop owners that I've talked to said they saw a huge increase in sales. Yeah. Work from home people.

Yeah. Everyone's home smoking. Well, thinking what we were

**Senator:** doing then. Yeah. Oh, we were

**Gizmo:** smoking like weeks. We were, we more, five

**Senator:** nights a worse degenerate than we are now. We were literally sitting around. So true. Meeting up every week just. Ordering, desperately

**Grinder:** ordering and order and, and, and not, this isn't like a Thursday, Friday thing.

This was like every day, all week. Oh, yeah. Every day of the

**Bam Bam:** week. Every day

**Rooster:** was Saturday. We had

**Gizmo:** nothing better to do. That's true. It's like we would do the pod and it'd be like any night the pod works, because the other four nights of the week we're getting together at some, in some capacity. We weren't

**Grinder:** traveling.

Like there's a lot of people travel here Yeah. Who weren't [01:09:00] traveling.

**Gizmo:** Right. Yeah. And I think that, you know, I think there's two factors, obviously. I think the change in going back to work for the, you know, the American workforce and obviously the price we, you know, we, you touched on that, but that is definitely playing a, a piece in every, you know, kind of cigar Cuban, non Cuban.

Mm-hmm. Everything you just said, you know, Dominican, Nicaraguan, Honduran. I mean, price is playing a factor, and not just the price of cigars, but the price of everything else. You know, increasing so significantly. Sure. That there's just less free cash. Yeah, yeah. To buy. Stuff that's not necessary. Less disposable income, less, less disposable income,

**Pagoda:** less and, and accessibility, right?

You think about all the lounges in New York, you could go to a Dedo store and buy a couple of cigars and hang out in the lounge if you, as long as you bought a cigar there. Mm-hmm. Now you'd pay a hundred bucks to sit down there after you bought a cigar.

**Grinder:** A day, day pass, just to get your ass see day [01:10:00] pass bucks.

**Pagoda:** True. That is, and seen. And so it's, it's gonna affect demand at some point, right? Because now you're trying to make it very, very exclusive. And the problem with that is, you, you better hope, you make a lot of margins. And I, I think that's what explains the drive-in prices higher for the dev of cigars.

Right. Um, I, I don't know. I, um, a part of me feels that, You know, there's always this, uh, back and forth between industry prices, margins, sales, um, it's just becoming ridiculous. People are taking advantage of the idea that inflation's in play.

**Gizmo:** Mm-hmm. Yeah. I mean, has. Has price of cigar, let's put traveling.

Obviously a lot of us are traveling more than we've been naturally. Right. Some more than others. In the group here. Um, has price factored into your decision making on buying and or smoking cigars? Because I know for me, I know my, you know, my [01:11:00] storage situation. I also, I'm just not rushing to look at sales to look at because it's just not what it was.

Mm-hmm. So I'm buying as necessary. I'm not buying kind of as,

**Bam Bam:** yeah. I think in our case, we all have substantial inventory. The desire to buy for me as I was stocking my tower was tremendous. I didn't care what it cost almost at the time. Yeah. It's different now.

**Gizmo:** I'm kind of glad that we

**Rooster:** purchased cigars

**Gizmo:** True.

When we did. Right, right, right.

**Rooster:** Especially Cubans. Yeah. Because the prices weren't that crazy. That's right. So about three, four years ago when we started like collecting cigars and now we are at a point where, you know, we have enough, we don't, we are not really looking for, you know, if there's some mm-hmm.

Special box that comes up on Bond Roberts. Yeah. You go for it. Yeah. But other than that, we're not really looking for

**Gizmo:** to purchase Agars.

**Senator:** But here's the thing, I think we'd, we'd almost be lying to ourselves if we didn't all say. The price has changed our [01:12:00] purchasing habits. It has. Yeah. And I say that because while Rooster says, you know, we have enough, if we're being honest with ourselves, we've had enough for a very long time.

And yet we would still buy and buy, buy. None of us were

**Gizmo:** ever close to running out, that's

**Senator:** the thing. No, and we would still do it. And the reason that we did it years ago is because a lot of cigars were reasonably priced that, you know, we were willing to take risks sometimes and buy a box for 300 bucks.

And if I don't like it, okay, you know, I'll unload it in some way. Like there just wasn't like, I have to spend $700 just to try this one cigar. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Not many of us wanna do that. Right. But at less than half that price, am I willing to take the gamble on a box? Sure. I'd be willing to. I mean, we used to do it all the time,

**Grinder:** honestly.

But we did, when we first started buying up cigars, the com, the common refrain was, I. Look at the value for money. Yeah. With these Cuban cigars people, people always complain about Cuban cigars being pricey or hard to get, blah, blah, blah. And then we found ourselves with all of these boxes and we're smoking these [01:13:00] other cigars and we're like, well, these Cubans are a thousand percent better and they're $5 cheaper, so we're gonna smoke these.

And that's what we were doing for a while. A lot of those str, standard production ci. But that's kind, that's kind

**Gizmo:** of reverse now. Exactly. Exactly.

**Senator:** The dynamic is it's gone. It's cause of price. That's what I'm saying. Right. We have to recognize It's true. We are, we are changing our habits based

**Gizmo:** on price.

Well, and I'll say this, when I stand in front of my tower, I can't tell you that value's not coming into my brain when I'm going to pick something. Oh, for me it does. I for sure, I do not reach for something as freely as I did previously when I know that the cost to replace it. Yeah. New world or not. Well,

**Bam Bam:** I personally find myself reaching more now for new worlds in Cubans.

Yeah. Trying to preserve that just a little bit. Yeah. But for me, back when we were buying two, three years ago, I think timing was perfect, but for me personally, because I was building my inventory, I pricing wasn't a factor. You just wanted to load up. I did, and the timing was great because of pricing was pretty good, so it worked out beautifully.

Right now, I would [01:14:00] still go after a cigar that I wanted if I, if something comes up. But I think, yeah, I'm looking at the tower and I'm looking at the big tupper door, new worlds, and I'm going to that tupper door more often than a

**Grinder:** tower. The other thing is like, when. We would, we would be willing to, to spend the $300 on a, on a box of Cubans and, and just accept that we're gonna have some, some leakage.

Some of those are gonna be plugged, some of them, you know, construction's gonna suck, blah, blah, blah. And we'd be okay with that. Now, I think we're less okay with that. Yeah. You know, and well, at least I am.

**Gizmo:** I think we all, all of us, I think the tolerance has gone way down. So you, as Habana classifies it as a luxury brand like

**Grinder:** Vuitton, you, you affect this one variable in the consumer's mindset.

And then that variable affects everything else. Because now I'm thinking, well, it's pricier, but I know some of these have construction issues and that therefore the price per stick is going up even more because I'm not gonna smoke a shitty cigar. That's time that I'm not gonna ever get back. You know what I mean?

Yeah. So all these things, it's not just price, but [01:15:00] price is affecting these other variables that are coming in. Yeah.

**Senator:** I, I think that's spot on. Yeah. I'll give you a perfect example of this. Three, four years ago, I used to buy epi twos. Yeah, we did too. And, and I used to buy them because they were so reasonably priced that I knew half of them I probably wasn't gonna enjoy.

But the half that were great, I was gonna enjoy those and it was worth it. Not now. I haven't bought an epi two in three or four years because I'm not gonna pay 500 something dollars a box for a cigar that maybe a third of them are gonna be enjoyable and the rest are not. Right. Right. So I, I think that's exactly right.

Yeah. And and the other thing I'll say, for me personally, I dunno if other guys feel the exact same way, I am just less adventurous because of the price. Price point now.

**Gizmo:** Exactly. Sure. I'm way more risk averse now. Yeah. My best example

**Senator:** of that, and we reviewed the cigar, it's one of the highest scoring cigars that we've done that Ramon Ionis 2019 limit.

I bought two of those green boxes. Mm-hmm. Why On a whim? On a whim. Why? Because it was more reasonably priced then. Not a cheap cigar then. No, [01:16:00] but not the extreme. The extreme 50, $60 a stick. It is now. And I was happy to do that and I'm glad I did. I found something that I had never tried before, that we gave close to a 10, if not a, I mean, it was one of the highest ratings we've given agar excellent cigar.

And so it's like, now can I remember the last time that I've on a whim bought some Liata box or a region? I don't do that anymore. Mm-hmm. Because I'm not gonna spend $900 on a box of cigars that I'm not at all certain I'm gonna enjoy. Right. Those days

**Gizmo:** are gone. I'm a hundred percent correct. And I think the habit changed too because of the return to work.

I let, let's just say us in the room here, degenerates in the room. I think we're all smoking significantly less cigars than we were three years ago. Two years ago. Mm-hmm. I know I am. Just because the nature of my life and, and going back to work and things changing a little bit, it's just changed how much I'm smoking.


**Pagoda:** You know, it's, it's, it's interesting because I think this, uh, is gonna be really [01:17:00] detrimental for the new entrant as, uh, it is gonna be cost prohibitive. Yeah. Number one. Yeah.

**Grinder:** Yeah. Yeah. And it's, it's, it's not as easy to get those loosies that, that you, you know, that you hand out. Right.

**Bam Bam:** Well, what GIZ was waiting to hand this out.


**Gizmo:** ate Cals of Lucy sitting up, but, you know, I have eight cabs of loosies. But now I look at it and I go, that was the greatest thing I ever did. Yes, you did. Because I don't never, I, I don't need to buy another Lucy ever in my life. And like, I feel good about that. Because now it's like to replace any of those loosies I have it.

The cost is through the roof. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** It's outrageous through the roof. It's outrageous. So

**Grinder:** I used, I used to, I, I would, I would get up in the morning and I would, I would smoke. That was the first thing I would do. I would smoke a cigar and I would be on my deck all day. Smoking cigars, working, doing what I had to do.

I was off camera. It was fine. And I just don't, I don't have that. I don't have that. I can't for, I don't have that luxury anymore. Yeah, it's

**Gizmo:** changed, you know, so, and, and to Pagodas point, I think [01:18:00] new entrants, when you combine everything, we're talking about scarcity of time, scarcity of product, in some cases, price through the roof, taxes, regulations, taxes, inflation on, on normal, necessary goods, not, you know, needs, not wants.

That's where it's like the industry is really in a tough spot. 10, 15, 20 years from now. Are there gonna be guys like us who've passionately we, we dove head first into this journey together and some before others certainly. But really together we really dove headfirst into, into, to acquiring these things.


**Bam Bam:** we dove in with access to premium cigars. The newbies now can't afford those premium cigars. They're regulated to having the more affordable Vilas and Mars and those, they may not leave the imprint on them to have them to continue to smoke. They may stop the habit.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Cuz everything we bought is now three or four x what it was.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. I, I sit with guys that are new [01:19:00] cigar smokers. What? They're smoking, they don't like. I give 'em something. They love that. How much was that? Oh, that's a lot of money.

**Gizmo:** Today. Today. Today. Not

**Bam Bam:** when you bought it. No, no. Today.

**Gizmo:** Absolutely right. Not when you bought it. So, and that's the

**Senator:** problem. Like when we've had this discussion many months ago when the price increases started getting outrageous.

Yeah. And we were talking about Cubans in particular. Mm-hmm. I had said in the short term, There are still gonna be tons of idiots in the Asian market and other places in this world that are gonna buy at whatever price point these cigars are set at. But in the long run, this is where I think there's a huge miscalculation on their part.

Exactly what we're talking about. That young smokers that son, or you know, my son, bam son. You know, any of these future, you know, maybe cigar smokers, they're not gonna be able to try and explore and take the same journey that we did. That's right. Because the barrier's gonna be so high to

**Bam Bam:** entry. Yeah. And that ultimately affects the industry, right.

And in a structural way.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah.

**Senator:** In a financial way it will. Yeah, [01:20:00] that's right. Like I remain convinced then and now in the long run, this is going to hurt

**Pagoda:** them. And you know, there are a lot more alternatives, right? Like vaping, you see a lot of these teenagers vaping, which is awful flavor. It's awful. It is awful.

But you know, it's an alternative, right? I guess. Yeah. So what you saying is now you have competing. I don't

**Rooster:** think you can compare cigar smoking to

**Gizmo:** vaping though. No, we can't. We can't. But the youngest, we can't

**Bam Bam:** compare young, but they can.

**Gizmo:** But if they've never experienced what we experience here and if they feel it's expensive, yeah.

We share with our listeners every week. If they're not experiencing that, no, but I feel

**Rooster:** like the haos pricing is crazy, right? Mm-hmm. But on the new world side, it hasn't really gone up that much that they can't

**Gizmo:** smoke. But Ddo has though. Some have. Yeah. But so other than dbo off, I mean, and I think, I think there's, there's a lot of approachable,

**Bam Bam:** but go back to what I CI said 10 minutes ago.

The more affordable cigars are cigars that people aren't want to, they're not gonna want to continue to smoke them because of a level of quality that they're getting. They're getting. At that lower price point, they can only afford the cigars that [01:21:00] you don't really

**Gizmo:** want. And I think there's a tail on the prices of Dominicans and Nicaraguans.

I think that a lot of these manufacturers have tried to weather this storm a little bit. Well, Nicaragua for sure, but the price increases are coming. Yeah. Even Padrone. There's no way that they can afford all this inflation and all these cost increases and not raise the prices significantly like it's coming, even if it hasn't already.

Maybe Haos is in front of it because of the economic shit show that Cuba is and and the relationship that that China has with Cuba. Yeah. And the worldwide resale market and the new partner they have. Yeah. That we've talked about a thousand times. Yeah. Yeah. But Dominican and Nicaraguan cigars. Have, they're gonna catch up just out of necessity.

**Pagoda:** You know, the econom, the economist in me tells me that this is a leading indicator and we're headed to a recession.

**Gizmo:** I'm kidding. I love that. We're laughing at that. It's terrifying.

**Bam Bam:** But it is terrifying. It's a great [01:22:00] conversation. I think it's an excellent topic.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I mean, it's, it's just, it's, it really is.

And to see that there's a decline for whatever reason it may be, maybe the, the, the shelves are maybe a little more stocked now because they've caught up fine. But that's short term. The long term of it is gonna be very challenging. And what

**Bam Bam:** Senator said a few minutes ago, that miscalculation is gonna reverberate well into the future.

Yeah. I, and that's, that's the awful part of this. I think all

**Grinder:** this is true, uh, to some degree. I also, I, but I don't, I it's been a cha it's a challenging market pedaling cigars in the, to begin with. Yeah. Okay. So like, they have a, they ha I mean, they have a, a difficult. Uphill climb to begin with. I think because it's, it's not a hobby that, it's not like teaching your son, it's not like teaching him how to play catch.

Right. It's true. It's true. It's, it's, it's a, you're, you're smoking something that tobacco

**Senator:** product, but No, no, no. Luxury good is right. Well, I mean, there're all wants, not

**Gizmo:** needs. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But there's also a, a, a, a [01:23:00] legislative, but there's a

**Grinder:** pretty significant component, addictive component to, to, to inhaling or not inhaling.

Ingesting in some ways tobacco smoke. That is, that is nefarious, at

**Senator:** least in this country. Yeah. But you can make the same argument about alcohol and look at how the spirit industry continues to grow. Look at how the co we're drinking a cognac. Yeah. Cognac markets

**Bam Bam:** exploded. Don't forget the marijuana's

**Senator:** market.

It's the

**Gizmo:** fastest growing segment in spirits. Yeah. Yeah. That's true. No, but I, I think that, you know, tobacco certainly has a target on its head. Mm-hmm. A little bit. And com and, and, and piling that on everything we just talked about. The long game here is really challenged. It's really challenged.

**Senator:** Yeah. We, Chelsea, it's all sad because I think, you know, the opportunity that the industry has for the future is that the youngest generation and, and, and the younger generations generally, but just as you keep going younger and younger, they're chasing experiences.

Right. Like there were generations that were about possessions. Not as much things about exp things not experiences. Yeah. And as you [01:24:00] look at these younger generations, it's about experiences. That's what this is. Yeah. Like this is actually ripe to market to someone who is looking for an experience that delivers relaxation, comaraderie, all these different things that we get out of this hobby.

Mm-hmm. But the price is what's gonna screw up that opportunity. Absolutely.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I think we've solved a lot of problems tonight for,

it only took us 85 episodes. We're here now. We can,

**Grinder:** we can, uh, take care of the debt ceiling now.

**Gizmo:** We're gonna dive into that after the episode. Well, boys, what a fantastic pairing tonight. Yeah. I'm interested to see where these ratings end up. Yep. What, uh, any final thoughts here as we come to the end of the, uh, Patome

**Bam Bam:** Wonderful, wonderful experience.

It is so

**Grinder:** good across the

**Rooster:** board. Satisfying.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Incredible smoke. I think Pagodas gonna be smoking a lot of these cigars a lot more. I hope so. Yeah. I'm an anniversary kid now. All right. You ready to do the formal liquor [01:25:00] rating on the Martel? Yeah. Vs. O p. All right. Bam. Bam, you're up. So

**Bam Bam:** I'm gonna go with an eight.

You know, I went higher on the other two VSPs, but I think because there's a uniqueness to this, it's a little different. It's an acquired taste, it's delicious. It happens to go perfectly with the cigar. But other factors regarding the uniqueness of it, I just give it one point lower. Okay. Eight

**Grinder:** Grindr. I, I, I'm gonna give it a nine.

I really enjoyed it. I, um, I think I'm becoming a cognac guy. Guys, look at you,

**Bam Bam:** man. Look at you.

**Grinder:** I, I've proud of, I have yet to, I have yet to have a bad experience with this stuff, with you guys. Yeah. And, um, yeah, it just pairs so well with, I think it pairs well with all cigars, frankly. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Like, It just, it just fits.

And, um, I enjoyed, thank you for the brand history that was, you know, pretty cool to learn. Uh, yeah. I'm Martel, I like it. I'm, I'll drink more of this.

**Gizmo:** All right.

**Pagoda:** Pagoda. I think the only [01:26:00] Martel I thought I would enjoy would be the bar in the Upper West Side. My, I used to hang out a long, long time back, but, uh, this has been fantastic.

I think it's a nine for

**Gizmo:** me. Okay, Senator.

**Senator:** Uh, so I'm with bam, I'm at an eight. I really like this. The, the, the huge points that this score, it's a rich, flavorful spirit at just A V S O P, just four years of age. Arguably the richest V S O P that I've had, certainly, and that we've probably done on this podcast.

The only things that precluded it from a nine, for me, bam. Described it as a, as an acquired taste for me. It's, um, It's a bit OneNote in that, like that fruit note, whether it's cherry, cherry or plumb or whatever the case may be. That's really all I'm getting and I wish there was just a little bit more complexity there.

And I do [01:27:00] feel like the Remi 1738 or, I mean, hell even re Remy, v s o P, there's just a little bit more going on there. Um, you get a little oak in the V S O P, at least there's just something more there. So that's the only reason that I gave it, uh, an eight over a nine. But I would definitely drink this again.

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. And I do think that this would pair at excellently with plenty of cigars. Yep. And, and

**Pagoda:** by the way, none of us reach for aice.

**Gizmo:** That's true. That's true.

**Grinder:** I did start, I'd start it with ice. Yeah, you had ice. Yeah. Yeah. But I, I, like I said, I put ice in everything,

**Gizmo:** so I'm also at an eight. I do think it's excellent.

I really enjoyed it. But I do think some of the other VSPs we've had have edged it out a little. Bit's an edge at a nine. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm at an eight for sure. So the formal liquor rating on the Martel vs o p is an 8.4. Very good score.

**Bam Bam:** Perfect Score. Still anything over an eight is an elite score.

Honestly, a good recommend. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** But you know, considering the price point, what'd you say? It was like 55 bucks something. Yeah, yeah. Value. [01:28:00] Fantastic. I definitely, definitely get, yeah. Uh, I love the Heinz rare, by the way, for the same price point and not saying this is gonna work well as something different, you know, and I'm looking for something, especially with the strongest cigar.

**Gizmo:** So some of the other, uh, V SOPs we did, uh, the Remy Martin was an 8.4, so that's right in line with this. The Hein rare Cognac vs. O p was a nine mm. So, and the H by Hein did not score. Well, that's a vs o p, but it was a 6.8. So we'll kind of count that out of the, uh, the conversation. But yeah, 8.4, I think that's a fair score for this good score.

That's a great score.

**Senator:** Yeah. And I think that the most encouraging thing, this makes me want to try so much more of martel's, uniquely extensive line of

**Gizmo:** cognacs. Please, let's do that. Yeah. I think we need to keep going on cognac. Well, hot. It's been a really

**Bam Bam:** rewarding this particular maker for sure.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. It,

**Grinder:** it, it fits well with, uh, the, uh, the pairing too.

Martel doesn't mean, doesn't that mean [01:29:00] French or, uh, hammer in French?

**Gizmo:** That's a, I like, look at that grinder. If that's the case. Let me Google That is perfect. I mean,

**Bam Bam:** points you're getting some points on, on that.

**Grinder:** Martel, Charles, Charles Martello was the hammer of, uh, the Frankish King. He was, because it was, uh, just check it out.

I think it's, I think I'm right. Martel. An old frankish should mean hammer, which would go well with the hammer for the patron.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Look at you.

**Grinder:** Let me see. Seen Martel, plural. A hammer. Especially a war hammer. Look

**Bam Bam:** at this guy. Wow.

**Gizmo:** Wow. That's impressive. Very. I'm gonna give Grindr a 10 on that call. All right.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, wow. You get a spank on the way out.

**Grinder:** A spank from you is let

**Bam Bam:** us know below. Leave the room, get ready.

**Gizmo:** People pay a lot of money for that. They do. All right, boys, you ready to do the formal lizard rating on the Padrone Family Reserve? 85 years Maduro? Yep. All right, rooster, [01:30:00] you're up. So, I love

**Rooster:** the cigar and I love this. I love Padron and I love the Family Reserve.

And 85th is my go-to and out of all the family reserve lines, so I'm gonna give it a

**Gizmo:** nine. Excellent Senator.

**Senator:** Gosh, I hate these cigar ratings. They come to me second. I'm sitting here contemplating here. Senator. Oh boy.

**Gizmo:** Mr. Petr,

**Bam Bam:** can someone drop a pin? Don't, don't pressure him. Don't

**Pagoda:** bias the conversation. How about this? Let,

**Grinder:** let me, clearly he's taking everyone else's score into consideration

**Senator:** for his No, no, no. This is purely, I'm, I'm, I'm also at a nine and the reason I'm having to hesitate, no, actually there's no hesitation needed.

I gave the EXCO a 10. Yeah. Now I don't feel that all bad about this. Mm-hmm. I was worried. I gave the exo placebo a nine and, and, and the only reason I will still reach for exo placebo over this. It's just eminently smokable. I can just smoke so many And it's more versatile as well. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** So much more versatile.

**Senator:** Yeah. [01:31:00] Any condition. Exactly. So for me, the, the concentrated flavor that you get in this cigar, you can get in so few cigars. It's a huge merit to this stick. Um, I, it's interesting, it, it, it's kind of a two act play. It actually does change a bit. It starts a little spicy. Definitely. Yeah. Really full. And then kind of settles into medium full and, and smooth.

And, um, the flavors just all really me nicely. Uh, the only reason for me it's a nine and not a 10, is I, I can't smoke more than one of these in a sitting. And, um, even for as much, as many, as much flavor as you get in the cigar, it doesn't have the level of complexity that would check a 10. So I'm, I'm firmly at a nine.

Mm-hmm. Yeah, it's

**Gizmo:** kind of like, you

**Rooster:** know, like I would say if the The 10 score for the 80th. Yep. And the 50th hammer. Yep.

**Gizmo:** Right.

**Bam Bam:** Well you're now, other than that, preemt, your A

**Gizmo:** nine? Well, the fifty's true. I mean, that's a 10. Yeah. And the

**Senator:** ex, but Oh, sure, sure. [01:32:00] Only one of us really loves that cigar.

**Gizmo:** Only three of us.

Four of us. So I'm also at a nine for sure. Um, I, I thought the cigar was excellent. The reason why it's not a 10 for me, despite its performance is it's just its application in my rotation. Um, I do have a box. I don't reach for it very often, not because I don't like it, but just because of where it's slots.

It's very precisely slotted. Mm-hmm. Um, I, I, I just think it's an excellent cigar, but like, you know, rooster and Senator both said for me, it, it is edged out by the 80th, by the hammer, by the exclusive o Like those, just edge this out in my decision to, to have a cigar. So nine for me all day pagoda. It's a 10 for me.

**Pagoda:** Hey. Ooh. All right. There's no question about it. I love it. I love the flavor profile. I've really enjoyed it. I'm surprised I haven't. Really, uh, tried this before and, um, you know, it's gonna come into my rotation for

**Bam Bam:** sure. Yeah. Truly up your power alley. It's absolutely great rating

**Senator:** for you. Yeah. When, when there's a

**Gizmo:** [01:33:00] shortage of these, we'll know why.

We'll know exactly why can't find 'em anywhere. Grindr,

**Grinder:** it's a, it's a nine for me. I, I don't think I need to apologize or editorialize for not giving it a 10. It's a, it's a standalone fantastic cigar. It's in my top tier of all time right now. So Good. Thank you, rooster. It's

**Senator:** delicious.

**Gizmo:** Awesome. Bam. Bam. This is easy.

It's a nine. All right. So the formal lizard rating on the Padrone Family Reserve 85 years in Maduro is a 9.2. Wow. Perfect. That's a perfect score.

**Bam Bam:** I have a question. Yeah. What is, what did the

**Gizmo:** VO get? Excu vivo, I think I stood out a bit. Nine six. Nine, six makes sense. Yeah. Uh, the Padrone 1964 torpedo in Nashville Rooster.

Rooster is probably

**Senator:** responsible for that. Point four,

**Gizmo:** that maybe, what did I give the exclusive? I think it was a nine. You gave nine, uh, you grinder and bam all gave it. Nines, Puba, giz, Senator and Pagoda all gave it. [01:34:00] It tens. Yeah, makes sense. Um, makes sense. So yeah, the Pedro Patron, 1964 torpedo and natural is an 8.7.

And I think we did one more. The 80th, of course,

**Bam Bam:** 10.0 10 across the board. You know, the versatility of the exco edges this out, but this is, to me, there's a bit more complexity to this just a bit when I get cocoa on the retro. But during the life of the cigar, it's, it's a retro,

**Gizmo:** it's a

**Bam Bam:** richer spot. It is.

You know what's cool about it? I get raisin, Senator, you mentioned that, that stayed with me all the way to the half inch and Earth notes and coffee, retro cocoa, that's a complex cigar.

**Senator:** I will say just one thing to split hairs for me, I, I think this is a much richer cigar than the ex luvo, then the whole 64 line.

But the only thing I will disagree with, I don't think it is a more complex cigar. And I say that because I actually get more earth in the excl than I do this cigar. This cigar for me is very much like raisin [01:35:00] cocoa. And like sweet notes. I just got spice for like the first half, just like 30 seconds of it basically.

Yeah. And, and for the exce, I just feel like that the earth notes are, are like right there dancing next to the cocoa and sweet notes and coffee you get in the exce. So I, I would not say this is more complex. I actually think the Exce is slightly more complex, but this is a way richer smoke.

**Bam Bam:** You're biased.

I slightly disagree with that, but I have no issues with it.

**Gizmo:** You're wrong, but I like you.

**Bam Bam:** He's not wrong.

**Gizmo:** Well, well boys a fantastic, uh, starter celebration as we approach episode 100 tonight for episode 85 and 8.4 for the Martel V S O P Cognac. Great cognac even despite 8.4. That was a really good cognac. Very good. And a 9.2 for the Padrone family Reserve. 85 years in Maduro timeout.

**Senator:** It is our 85th e uh, episode.

So I actually. I [01:36:00] want to meet in the middle. They're equally as complex. Love you. I love you for that. As I took the last puff of this, to be honest with you,

**Gizmo:** vindication, look at you changing senator's mind. I like that. Is

**Grinder:** this new? Do you know how rare that is?

**Gizmo:** This is new. That's the first time in 85 episodes.

It's working. All right, boys, a great night. We'll see you 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 d.com. Don't forget to leave us a rating and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform.

If you have any comments, questions, you wanna reach out, say hello, tell us what you're smoking, email us hello@loungelizardspod.com. You can also find us on Instagram at Lounge Lizards Pod. We really appreciate your time and we'll uh, we'll see you next week.[01:37:00]