Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

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Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey the lizards pair the Ramón Allones Allones No. 3 with twelve year aged Bunnahabhain Single Malt Scotch. The guys review the first new regular production RA cigar in decades, they discuss the 2024 Habanos Festival, they answer a listener email about proper conditions for cigar storage and Pagoda finally has a rover.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drink some scotch, talk about life, and of course, have some laughs. So take this as your 109th official invitation to join us, and become a card carrying lounge lizard. Plan to be this year once a week. We're going to smoke a Cupid cigar tonight, share our thoughts on it, and give you our formal lizard rating.

We review the first new regular production RA cigar in decades. We discuss the 2024 Habanos festival. We answer a listener email about proper conditions for cigar storage. And Pagoda finally has a Rover, 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 12 year age Buna Havan single malt scotch with the Ramon Iones, Iones number three.

A brand new release from [00:01:00] Ramon Iones tonight on the pod. It's called the Ionis No. 3. It's a Robusto Extra. The factory name is a Noblesas, which is a Nuva Toa for Cuba, aside from an EL. We can talk about that. It's a 52 ring gauge cigar by 5 3 8 inches. And boys, I'm very excited to smoke this cigar tonight.

**Bam Bam:** Honestly, it does not look like its younger brother, the Rass. It does not. This is a much prettier cigar. The wrapper is much nicer. Smooth, pretty pristine wrapper. It's still a little rustic, but not like the

**Gizmo:** Rass. Yeah, it's a good looking cigar. I was very excited when I got them. You know, we talked about, you know, this is the third new release of cigars from Habanos we've done fairly recently.

And I think that they're really trying to make a great first impression when they do these first run of cigars. We love this marker. And, you know, for Ramon to have one is really great.

**Senator:** It's tremendous. I don't know. I, I feel differently. I'm sorry. The really, to me, this looks just like a rest. The [00:02:00] rapper has tons of visible veins.

I mean, tons. You must have a bad one. And it's super rustic. Just like a rest.

**Pagoda:** I thought he thought it was a rest.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Well, he's, you know,

**Senator:** Hold on, I have to show Gizdos, just,

**Gizmo:** just look at this. Oh yeah, yours is a little bit more beat up than mine. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** mine's pretty

**Gizmo:** nice. Senator just did show and tell for the listener. It, it does resemble a rat. A bit.

**Bam Bam:** A bit. The Vitol is different, but I think it's Big, big brother of

**Gizmo:** rats. Yeah, exactly. All right boys, let's cut this thing.

It's about half an

**Bam Bam:** inch long. I I don't know what the secret is there. It's called wrapper analysis, Pagoda.

**Pagoda:** Alright, fair enough.

**Gizmo:** Oh yeah, I'm excited. That is great on the cold draw. Oh wow. My draw is wide open. Mine too. Which of course you expect in a cigar this size. I'm getting a lot of dry fruit. Look at that.

[00:03:00] I've even got a little dimple. You got a dimple. So these were made at the Partagus Factory. Uh, like I said, this is a brand new release. They were just, they just came to market in April. This is Partagus Factory UBL. March 23. So another young and on the pod tonight. I love the cold draw. Me too. Little earthy.

Dry fruit. Classic Ramon Ionis flavor profile on the cold draw. I got a dimple too. Mm hmm.

**Senator:** Part of his factory. Good start. Very exciting. They

**Gizmo:** know how to roll. All right, boys, let's light this thing. The Ramon Ionis. Ionis number three. Again, it's a 52 ring gauge cigar by 5 3 8 inches long.

**Bam Bam:** Somebody's welding steel in the room.

**Pagoda:** I might have to borrow your lighter again today, man. I'm not, I'm not.

**Bam Bam:** Okay, to all the listeners.

**Pagoda:** I came in at, what, an hour and fifteen [00:04:00] minutes late?

**Gizmo:** We'll always wait for you, Pagoda. Well, thank you so much. Of course. It's good on the light, boys. Yeah, haven't had it yet. Wow. Wow.

**Senator:** Very good on the light. I'm shocked.

**Gizmo:** This cigar's not even a year old. Closer to six months. Really? Oh, wow. That's

**Bam Bam:** very good.

**Senator:** This is sweeter

**Bam Bam:** than a RAS. Oh, yes it is. It is. Oh, this is very

**Gizmo:** impressive. Yeah,

**Rooster:** you know, it's amazing. This is probably the third or the fourth cigar that we have done. That's like new, you know, and they've all been home runs.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, so far it's

**Rooster:** a home run. We did the Turquino's, we did the RG,

**Gizmo:** Corona's,

**Rooster:** the Lonsdale's.

Yep. Uh, this one and

**Gizmo:** it was another one, right? It was the Turquino's, the Rafael Gonzalez, Coronas, the Lonsdale's, and this one are really the new ones. Right. Um, that were recently released. And this is again, like those, those other two that we did, this is the first run of these cigars. So they came up, you know, [00:05:00] when Habanos put these out in April, they came up, they flooded the market and within a few weeks they were gone.

Very similar to the Turquino's. So, you know, it's, um, it's something I'm, I'm assuming they're testing the market. They're testing the reaction. They're probably rolling more, the turquoise is now having a second wave. This is true. So, hopefully this will be, in the next few months, people will be able to get their hands on these.

What factory do we know? Apartagus factory. Oh, oh, very nice. So I did bring the box tonight, boys, because I wanted to show you this. We actually mentioned this a few episodes ago. I was talking about the health warning stickers on a box that I got covering the entire back. Yeah, I think that's it. This is the one.

Does it say you'll grow a third eye? On the front, there is a fetus, picture of a fetus. And the back, I literally had to take a razor to cut out. The sticker to try to find a box code. So who puts that on there? The Mexican government. On import, the Mexican distributor is required to put [00:06:00] these on. So these came from Mexico.

And, uh, I mean, it's just, it's terribly unfortunate that they do this to a box of stickers. Sure. If

**Bam Bam:** it conceals the date and box code, that's, that's not good.

**Senator:** Yeah. Give it another ten years and can you imagine in America what the boxes are going to be covered in? Yeah. At the rate we're going?

**Bam Bam:** Parchment paper.

Fully wrapped.

**Gizmo:** So, like I said, the factory name of this cigar is a Nobleses. It's the first time this, uh, size, this specific size has been used in a regular production Cuban cigar. The only other time that it's ever appeared was on the Partagas EL. It's called the number one from 2017. Uh, again, it's 52 ring gauge by five and three eighths inches.

Very close to the Monte Cristo Edmundo, which is three millimeters shorter. So really, if, if you want to compare this to a cigar in size, that's the one it's Monte Cristo Edmundo. That's what we're holding in our hand, you know, with a difference of three millimeters. So what's

**Bam Bam:** funny to me is how [00:07:00] inaccurate.

Cuba is with everything they do, how do they get to within three millimeters and call this a different Vitola, right? It's a good question.

**Gizmo:** It's strange. And I think they're always just coming trying to come up with fresh stuff And hey, this is a new size new release in you know In a in a market that hasn't been served a new regular production cigar in like decades, right?

You know for many many years Habano's cut Ramon down to only three cigars You know, so it's nice that they're coming back around and giving some of these marcas, you know, new sizes again.

**Bam Bam:** This is definitely a

**Senator:** celebrated marca. I'm hoping after a few more trips, uh, we take down there, that there's a new Vitola called the

**Gizmo:** Legato.

I'd love if it was a Ramon. Absolutely. That'd be great. So boys, this is great on the light. Yeah. Really, really nice. This is a 52? Yeah,

**Rooster:** 52. What's in the E2? 58? 54. 54.

**Gizmo:** A little longer. A little fatter, a little longer. [00:08:00] But it's nice. You know, it feels good in the hand. It's not densely packed. And I think that again, we're talking about these young cigars and these blending decisions.

We talked about that on the Turquino's episode. We talked about that on the Rafael Gonzalez Corona Stallonsdale episode. And here we are again with a cigar. That's seven months old, maybe smoking great. Yeah. On the light. It's impressive. I'll tell

**Pagoda:** you. It's a Chinese commitment to quality. We've got to say something positively.

We've got to say something positive. I don't know whether there's an influence or not, but

**Senator:** all right. Thanks for good. Apparently we're smoking counterfeits now.

**Gizmo:** Say that out loud. So we've done quite a run of Ramona Iona cigars on this podcast and, you know, just because we love them and I just think, you know, we think that they smoke really well, um, aside from one that did not perform very well.

We'll talk about that later, but some of the other cigars we've done on the [00:09:00] pod are the specially selected, which is a celebrated cigar in this group. Uh, we did the superiors, which is an LCDH exclusive. We did the small club Corona delicious little cigar. Yeah, that was really nice. We did that on a short smoke special.

We did. Yeah. And the other one that we did that was one of the highlights of this year was the Edizio Unlimitado from 2019, the number two on episode 76, which got a 10. 0. That's one of the best cigars we've smoked. Incredible. Which is a little, uh, pyramid. How much are these? This was, uh, so for this box of ten that I was just holding, Comes in a dress box, um, nothing fancy, certainly covered in these stickers.

It's not fancy, but classic, uh, green Ramon, this box of 10 was 315 bucks. 32, 31

**Bam Bam:** bucks, 31 and

**Gizmo:** 50 cents a cigar. That's not cheap, but given some of the other new releases and how they've been priced, it's nice that there's Turquino's. That Raphael we [00:10:00] did and this or yeah, excessively

**Bam Bam:** priced and a Vitola kind of commands that number Maybe

**Gizmo:** hopefully it gives us a good night tonight.

So we have done some history on Ramon. I'll just go through it again briefly the cool thing about the brand is that there's a Argument about when it was started Habanos SA says the year is 1837 But the official documents that have been found in Havana show the marker as first being registered in 1845, which is wild.

Um, the factory for the brand was constructed between 1859 and 1873. And you think about how much history Ramon Iones has. So the brand, it's had several owners over the years. It was owned by a UK importer hunters and Frank cow, which if you think about some of the boxes that we've got in the past, there's still the distributor, uh, hunt H and F boxes, you know, they have a little sticker.

It's another kind [00:11:00] of, uh, endorsement of quality on those boxes that you get. Uh, and then the brand was purchased by the part of his factory after that. And in the 1920s. Ramon was a huge, huge brand, especially in the UK, obviously, because Hunter's was importing it and had a lot of success. In the 1970s, 1980s, it started to be discontinued, lived a good life in the 1990s, and then it really went through a cut down, like a lot of the other, um, Mark is in that kind of range in the 2000s, 2010s.

Uh, it's classified as a value brand in the portfolio, and it only has a few cigars in regular production, which we'll go through, but, um, we love this marker. Can't get enough of it. Similar to Bolivar. It's a little brother to Particus. Oh yeah. You know, I, I would put this right in line with Bolivar, kind of where I view it in the Habanos essay catalog, as far as quality and consistency.

**Rooster:** And there's not a single person in this room who does not have Ramona Iones in some [00:12:00] form. And who doesn't love

**Gizmo:** it. Who doesn't love it. Right. Yup. You know, we all have boxes of, uh, Oh yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Fifty cabs of Rast, Specially selected. The small club Coronas.

**Gizmo:** Oh yeah. So let's go through the current production cigars.

Um, there's not many of them. And actually, we've kind of checked almost all the boxes. We have one more after tonight, and we've gone through the entire current production line of Ramon. Look,

**Bam Bam:** I'm sorry. This is like, I'm a half inch in. It's getting better and better. It is really,

**Gizmo:** really good. Really nice cigar.

I'm getting

**Bam Bam:** savory notes now, with the back drop of some fruit. It's really quite nice.

**Gizmo:** I think it's very much in line with my expectation of a Ramon cigar, the flavor profile, but I think it's a little different. This is different than the rest. I think it's a little different. Yeah. And I think that, you know, we talk about aging potential, and I think we mentioned on the Raphael Gonzalez episode, That my sense, I don't know, I don't want to speak for the [00:13:00] room.

My sense is that cigar doesn't have a ton of aging potential. Just where it was, where is this? I think this is a profile. This flavor profile, I think has a lot of potential to age really well. So back to current production cigars real quick. So like I said, we, we've done a bunch of them. The small club Corona.

Is a petite Corona 42 ring gauge by four and three eighths inches. We did that on episode 55, the specially selected, which is a classic Cuban Robusto. Certainly in this group, we did on episode nine, which is a hundred episodes ago. This is episode 109. We did that a hundred episodes ago. That's a Robusto 50 ring gauge by four and seven eighths inches.

The Gigantis, which is a double Corona 49 ring gauge. by seven and five eighths inches. Same size as the Particus Lusitania, the Hoyle Double Corona, uh, and some others. The Superioris we talked about, which is the LCD exclusive. That's a Grand Corona, 46 by five and five eighths inches. And finally, the Ionis [00:14:00] number three, which we're smoking tonight, the Robusto Extra.

And that is the current offering from Ramon. I like the Extra. You like this

**Bam Bam:** size. Yeah, this is nice. And if they never ever expand the marca, I think we'll all still be very happy. Something to be said about quality at a low volume.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, and I think what we're experiencing is just, it seems like Cuba Tobacco, when they're blending and making these new cigars, they're making good decisions.

Finally! Mm hmm. We've had, we're three for three. It's, hopefully this continues this way, but... Yeah. Seems really strong.

**Bam Bam:** Where are the Ramones cigars primarily rolled? Are they primarily out of the Partagus Factory?

**Gizmo:** That's the mother factory, but like all cigars, I mean, Like every other cigar, yeah. Yeah, I mean, you're gonna get, you know, you're gonna get RAS from A provincial and some Tons of provincials, just like a D4.

That's true. Like most Robustos. I would think that the Gigantus, that double Corona, is probably rolled in specific provincial factories. [00:15:00] Very hard to roll. You know, maybe some at the, at the Partagus Factory, like the, the Lucy, but they're from all over the place.

**Rooster:** I mean, I have to say like the construction has really been on par.

Yeah. You know, they've really been good. Absolutely no draw issues

**Gizmo:** and, uh, they've been great smoking. Great. Oh yeah. So on the list of cigars that have been discontinued, we won't go through all of them. There's a couple I want to highlight because I just, you know, it's just unfortunate that they're gone.

Uh, certainly. Number one is a double Robusto called the Gigantus with a 109 head on it, which, you know, the 109 is that rounded head. The Lusitania was, the Lusitania was actually originally a 109. Then they moved it to a double Corona because it's a little easier to roll a double Corona than a 109. Wish that was still around.

And the big one boys. Is the 898, the Ramon Iones 898 discontinued in 2002. Somebody has those. Oh, they do.

**Bam Bam:** GISS is hiding out on them. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** [00:16:00] who's holding out? Somebody has those. Look at

**Bam Bam:** those eyes. Look at that

**Gizmo:** smile. This cigar is delicious.

**Bam Bam:** He is. Look at his face. GISS.

**Gizmo:** Boys, this cigar is really good. Look at this

**Bam Bam:** guy. Oh my God. Is

**Senator:** this happening? I think there's an accountability

**Bam Bam:** hour. Oh, big time. I think we need to raid that tower.

**Gizmo:** Well, what I'll say about it is I do in fact have a box of Ramon Aionis 898. However, This is a revelation. In true lizard fashion.

**Bam Bam:** They were discontinued when?

**Gizmo:** 2002? 2002. I have one from the last year. 21 year old bot. I have not cracked that box and I've not smoked one. And I plan to do that with you guys at some point. So I've had that in my tower for quite some time. I got them a while ago, but I have not cracked the box. So am I redeemed?

No time like the present. Am I redeemed?

**Bam Bam:** I love you.


**Gizmo:** like a yes bam. Oh yeah. So yeah, Ramon just has a great history and It's such a classy brand. I love [00:17:00] Smoke and Ramone. Oh yeah. Which is why we've done so many on the podcast. I mean, maybe aside from Padrone and, and Partagus. This is probably the, the market that we've smoked the most of. Yeah. What else is discontinued?

Oh, so many. Probably 30 or 40. Couple, uh, Machine made cigars that came in cellophane. Don't care about this. A Corona, Panatellus. The 2011 EL. Yeah. The ELs are gone. They did have an Ionis number one. That was a Lonsdale, a Dahlias, which is the same size as the eight, nine, eight discontinued in the seventies.

That would have been incredible. Yeah. So many cigars discontinued. And of course, you know, we have to mention like many of these other. Portfolio brands, value brands. Ramon is used quite a bit for regional editions. You know, that's a big thing. Um, people collect those. There was actually, this is very cool.

There was an exclusive regional edition release for the UK market commissioned by hunters and Franco of a [00:18:00] Ramon Iones, Bellicosa Finos. Wow. Identical size to the Bolivar. Yeah. So that was a, in 2005 came in a dress box of 25 cigars. And what's cool about it is there was no. Regional band on it. It just was a classic Ramon and it's no longer available.

Yeah. It was only available for one year as a special release. Oh man. You know how

**Bam Bam:** valuable those are? Kids get on it. I'm sure he's got a box.

**Gizmo:** I don't think so. Boys. Uh, they also, yeah, they have so many regional editions. I mean, the list goes on and on and on. So we

**Senator:** know, we know they're limitadas. Deliver the

**Gizmo:** 2019 we did unlike this cigar that we have in our hand needed a lot that cigar needed a lot of time It did as we read it, but it was worth it It was definitely worth it got a perfect 10 perfect 10, which is very rare.

Yeah, it is So this cigar was announced in 2021. It was released earlier [00:19:00] this year, which of course is Classic Habanos MO, and it was the first new cigar in regular production for Ramon in decades, in many, many decades. Uh, and it was released April 18th of this year. So hopefully these will come widely available and all the lizards out there, instead of yelling at me that they can't find them, we'll be able to find them soon.

**Rooster:** And it seems like the trend is towards bigger ring gauge. Cigars up there

**Gizmo:** rolling

**Pagoda:** even in Cuba.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, look at the worldwide demand that we talked about a few episodes ago. Bigger cigars are what people are chasing at the stores. Clearly our

**Senator:** Lancero reviews have not had an impact. No

**Bam Bam:** impact at all.

**Gizmo:** It's a lagging indicator.

**Senator:** Grinders with us today.

**Gizmo:** So boys flavor profile wise, what are you guys getting? What kind of notes? Can you call out that you're getting out of the cigar? [00:20:00]

**Bam Bam:** Well, I think we called a bunch out earlier, but Senator, what are you thinking?

**Gizmo:** I'd say dried fruit, a little bit. Oh,

**Bam Bam:** yeah, I said that earlier. And for me, a little savory I'm getting.


**Gizmo:** earthy. A little weather. Leather. A

**Bam Bam:** touch, maybe. Mm

**Pagoda:** hmm. I'll tell you, I shouldn't say it, but, uh, you remember... I think a couple of episodes ago, I was smoking something and I got a flavor of tea. I didn't know I get this a little bit in the beginning, only in the front of the, I

**Bam Bam:** can see where the tea come off as like a dried fruit.

Yeah. I I'm with you on

**Pagoda:** that, man. And, uh, so I'm like, all right, should I say something or not? But no, I did get it. I did get it. You know, what's really interesting, you know, what's interesting is it's. Because I really like that flavor, so it just becomes so much more enjoyable with you. Yeah. Yeah. Right there with

**Senator:** you.

I think the thing that's interesting, it's a complex cigar in that there are a lot of different flavors that you get in the cigar, but none are overly pronounced, like a Rass, Is a little more aggressive [00:21:00] in flavor, like, you know, exactly what's hitting you where this, you know, it's funny. I've just been sitting here a little bit perplexed because some of the flavors are not that obvious.

You know, the fact that we're talking about, like, is it dried fruit? Is it tea? Is it this savory? Like, how do you even define it? Right? Like it it's there. They're more subtle. They're there and they're good. It's very subtle

**Bam Bam:** in the delivery, which I love. This is really smooth and very velvety.

**Gizmo:** I think my lack of calling out specific flavors is, to your point, not a lack of complexity.

It's not a lack of the flavors being there. I think they're just, I'm finding them to be very unique. I don't think that I've had other cigars that have tasted like this. Especially fresh.

**Bam Bam:** Maybe their Turquino's is probably the closest one I'm getting. For me, like that and this, I'm getting like a salt buttery thing with the fruit in the back.

That's where I'm getting that savory for me. Maybe I'm going out on a limb, but that's what I'm getting. It's really quite satisfying. It's ridiculous. [00:22:00] No rough edges at all. Nothing bitter here.

**Pagoda:** You know, for every time I have the RAS, I always say that's a Cuban esque flavor, right? For me, it's the floral salty.

I don't know. Very, uh, it's a very specific flavor. And when this is, this seems definitely a bit on the sweeter side when compared to the RAS and just, uh, what I'm experiencing. What's

**Senator:** strange is, I, I feel like the very first few puffs were sweet, and as I've gotten further into this, I feel like the sweetness has dialed down a lot, and now I feel like it's more savory, like Bam's describing, and the strange thing is, I'm sitting here I don't know that I've ever smoked a cigar and thought about food that I would pair this with.

That's what I'm thinking about. Okay, so this is funny. Let's see if we're thinking the same thing. Savory. Savory,

**Pagoda:** baby. I just feel like this. Not brussels sprouts, is it? No.

**Gizmo:** No, but we're going in that direction. You're not that far off.

**Senator:** I just feel like this would pair great with turkey on Thanksgiving. Yeah.

It's really weird. I'm just getting like, I was like chestnuts [00:23:00]

**Rooster:** and use that turkey.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. It's just,

**Senator:** it just

**Bam Bam:** feels like a Thanksgiving table. He's lighting right up. Mr. Senator is going to get that frying pan ready in her other hand. Believe

**Senator:** me, I've thought about it.

**Gizmo:** Those turkeys infused with Ramona. No, he

**Bam Bam:** hangs the turkey carcass in the shed and lights a Ramona underneath it.

It's got remote

**Senator:** DNA.

**Gizmo:** I was thinking the same thing with food. I feel like I'm getting, I think that savory thing is kind of reminding me of, of, it's reminding me of stuffing.

**Senator:** Yeah. Like

**Gizmo:** turkey. It's just

**Bam Bam:** weird. Honestly, a buttered croissant man

**Gizmo:** works for me and definitely an undertone of weather for me. You know, it's kind of pairing with the savory, like weather is jumping at me right now.

So I wanted to mention this because we were just talking about the rest, but go to mention that. [00:24:00] And we've been kind of comparing it to that, but, and certainly how could it not be in our mind? I mean, you know, we smoked so many of those. This is pretty cool. I got this out of the, um, I got this out of the.

El Habano Moderno book that Alex Groom put together, and he wrote a note. I took a picture of it, wrote a note about the, the rest, especially selected it and how like the origins of Ramon Iones, there is a dispute as to when the RAS originally came out. So in Min Ra Nhi's book. The, an illustrated encyclopedia of post revolution Havana cigars in 2003.

He said that those cigars originally came out in 1980 and Simon Chase of hunters and Frank cow, as we mentioned, owned. You know, Ramon for a good period of time in the, in the early 1900s said that he found a box in a UK estate sale dating back to 1968. So it's pretty wild that even [00:25:00] a cigar that has been around as long as Arras has, it's still, there's like a debate as to its origins, which.

Aligns very much with the, the origins of Ramon Iones, which are Habanos and the records are not on the same page. It gives it a good mystique as well, man. Yeah, it's pretty cool. Isn't,

**Rooster:** isn't Ramon Iones the second oldest Marca?

**Gizmo:** I think it might be. I think the oldest is the poor Laranaga. It's definitely old.

I mean, we were talking what? I think he's right. 1845. 1840 something. Yeah. I think poor Laranaga is

**Rooster:** like

**Gizmo:** 1830s. Yeah. It's amazing. It's getting better and better. Yeah, I'm really enjoying this. How's the retrohale? Excellent. Very good. Yeah. Excellent retrohale. Yeah, really good. I just accidentally did one, so.

Accidentally. I just accidentally ashed all over the floor. Accidentally on purpose.

**Senator:** What is that? Is that a curb reference? What

**Gizmo:** is that from? Accidentally. Accidentally on purpose. It might be a curb reference. I think it's a curb reference.

**Bam Bam:** The spirit's [00:26:00] fantastic.

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


**Bam Bam:** it. I got to tell you it's really going down nicely.


**Gizmo:** with ice I don't know how to pronounce this. I call it Bob and Heim

**Bam Bam:** Bob Baba ganoush Baba ganoush Baba time.

**Gizmo:** It's the bun a hob hind Born to shine boon a hob hind Elay single malt scotch whiskey A Buki band. . I mean, look at the spelling on that. B-U-N-N-A. HB Senator's just letting you go off

**Bam Bam:** right now.

HAIN. No, love

**Gizmo:** it at all. How do you pronounce that? Does anybody have an idea? I, I think

**Senator:** it's, it's Buna

**Gizmo:** Hain. Buna Hain. Okay. That makes more sense. Nice. Buna. Hain. Nice buna.

**Bam Bam:** I've never heard of this.

**Gizmo:** You haven't?

**Bam Bam:** No. I haven't either. I'm like, I like

**Senator:** it a lot. Although actually from another website I'm hearing that the B H sounds like a V in Gaelic.

Grindr would be very proud here and he would know how to pronounce this. Buna Haven is [00:27:00] how they're saying it's pronounced. Buna Haven. I can

**Rooster:** picture, I can picture

**Gizmo:** Grindr's correcting all of us.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, no, yeah.

**Senator:** Buna, Buna Haven. So this is a funny one because I was, um, I was visiting a friend of mine who lives in D.

C. and he's a big scotch guy. He's been to Scotland before. And when I was over at his place and he offered me some scotch, he's got a pretty cool collection. I said, I want to try something I haven't had before. And he's one of these guys who, he doesn't really pursue as aggressively like the big commercial stuff that a lot of us love, like McAllen, Balvin, he's stuff like that.

He's all about like these kind of more boutique distilleries. And so there were maybe three bottles that I spotted immediately. I was like, I've not had that, that, and that. So I want to try them. And this was one of them. And I was like, the first sip I took had this just like kind of odd aftertaste. And then the more I drank it, I grew to appreciate it.

And when you look into their history, and Giz actually sent some, I think, helpful, um, uh, history on the, the [00:28:00] distillery itself, but their style is very unique because they're from Isla, which is known as making some of the Pedia Scotches, period, and What my buddy appreciates about it, and I very much see why, like, this is their take on, there is some peat, but it is very subtle, very mellow, and does not punch you in your face like Lafroig or some of the other, like, really peaty scotches.

So for our palates that I think don't gravitate toward overly peaty scotch, I thought it was something interesting for us

**Pagoda:** to try. No, this is great. This is great because it's so nice, you know, the first sip, you're so right. You do get a little bit of the hint of ness without the ice. And uh, even with it, you get a bit bit, you do the first, first step.

Definitely. Yeah. Okay. Because every time you'll have a PD or, um, scotch, you get that smokiness or right away, you know, coming right away. And then. As time progresses, it becomes smoother and smoother, yeah. It's great.

**Gizmo:** And I think too, I want to just say on the Petey ness thing, I don't mind [00:29:00] a Petey scotch. I don't go as far as, I do like LeFroy now, but I don't, I don't go super hard into the Pete.

No, neither do we. Except for when... Do you mean Ligobulin? Excuse me, Ligobulin. Excuse me. Yeah. I don't go heavily peat except when, I'm not looking for peat except for when, we've talked about this, when I can't pair it with a cigar. Thanksgiving.

**Senator:** Yeah. When you're sitting at the table and you're sitting there just craving a cigar and there's chaos going on, that's when you pour

**Bam Bam:** Ligobulin.

That's called the torture chamber, okay, and you need to release and get the heck out of the house. Honey, I'm going to the garage.

**Gizmo:** You know, I know, I know there's listeners out there who would vehemently disagree with this, but I just don't think that for my palate that I want something peaty, super peaty, pairing with my cigar.

I just don't think they complement each other. Yeah. As much as a cigar. You're not wrong. You know, that's, that's, that's, that's not carrying this as much. For us, you're right. But don't you think in the

**Rooster:** wintertime, you kind of sometimes

**Gizmo:** crave that?

**Pagoda:** I do enjoy it in the winter. You're right. Yeah.

**Senator:** For sure. [00:30:00] And I think this is like a nice balance where you can enjoy this in the summer because it's so lightly peated and also in the winter when you want peat, but not a lot of peat.

So I just think it's very versatile, which is really nice. I'm getting a lot of

**Bam Bam:** sweetness on it for

**Senator:** me personally. So that, there's a reason for that. So a little bit on the history that we'll get into why we're getting some of the notes we are. So, Buna Haben was established in 1883 by this guy William Robertson and the Greenlees Brothers.

Uh, and it's one of the older distilleries in the Isle of Islay, Scotland. Uh, the distillery was intentionally built in a remote and sheltered location on the northeastern coast. And that was meant to provide a milder, less peaty scotch in Islay. Interesting. Uh, which is great. The... It's funny actually. So they were acquired by Highland, which we've done Highland on.

We have

**Gizmo:** Park. We did the 18, right? That was very good. Yeah. Yeah, it was good. It was good. That was good Scotch. Oh yeah, 18. 18. I think

**Bam Bam:** it was the 18.

**Pagoda:** It was the 18 Highland Park [00:31:00] maybe? No thought.

**Gizmo:** 12 two was the 12. I'll look while you're

**Senator:** talking and I'll come back. It was definitely 12. 12 because I was saying the most famous expression they make is the 18 and we like the 12, so we should do the 18, right?

That's right,

**Bam Bam:** that's right. He's right.

**Gizmo:** So we did do the 12. Yeah,

**Senator:** so Highland bought them in 1963, and then they became part of the Edrington group, which I'm not familiar with.

**Gizmo:** We've mentioned that. Bam's very familiar with them. Go ahead, Bam. Oh, sure.

**Bam Bam:** Well. You've heard that name in this room. Yeah. Yeah. When Grindr's

**Gizmo:** been around, of course.

At some point in, since we started the podcast, we mentioned that.

**Senator:** So the interesting thing, we mentioned how they're, they're known for their approachable, lightly peated, and even they have unpeated styles of scotch that they make, but the sweet notes we're getting, which is right up our, uh, our power alley is that they use sherry cast for their maturation process.

Very big on sherry cast. So for me, it's like just a kind of a perfect pairing of the sherry that we love and some peat for when [00:32:00] we're craving some of that. And I think that they've just kind of carved out, like, as soon as I tasted this for the first time, there's no other scotch I would compare it to.

It's like the one unique marriage of kind of those two worlds. Right.

**Pagoda:** There is one. There is one, which we drink quite often. Or Belvenie, of course. No. Oban?

**Senator:** Yes. Yeah, that's, he's exact, that's the only other one. You're exactly right. Yeah. He's right. Because Oban does have some peat. This is different than the Oban, though.

It is different. But it is different in

**Bam Bam:** profile. But I'd be proud to. bust this bottle out in front of a group and proudly serve it. It's, it's very good. I don't remember what I

**Gizmo:** paid for this. I think I just looked it up at 65, a total one. Okay. That's not bad.

**Bam Bam:** No, not at all. Yeah. For

**Gizmo:** a 12 year. It's actually quite good.

Is Talisker

**Rooster:** more PD than this? Yes.

**Pagoda:** Yes. Yes. And we did the Talisker 10, I believe, right?

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. I happen to like that spirit. It's not overly peaty, very

**Gizmo:** drinkable, very nice. I think that, I think the sherry finish, the sweetness that we get here, certainly for a Cuban cigar, is much more in line with what I want to [00:33:00] pair than either the Oban or the Talisker or any of those kind of peaty leaning.

Um, I agree, you know, scotches. I just, I think this is definitely more in line with what I'm looking for. And I think too, what's helping me flavor wise is that since the cigar is not super sweet as of right this moment, it kind of was at the beginning, but right now it's giving that more savory thing. And I think getting the sweetness out of the pairing is actually really super complimentary.


**Bam Bam:** interesting though, if you retro hail that, what I love about the cigar is the variety of experience you get. So if you retro that thing. I get fruit forward on the retrohale, but the typical draw is very savory, pretty unique.

**Pagoda:** Although I love the Oban.

**Gizmo:** The Oban's great, yeah. So I was looking at, you know, Buna Havane offers quite a bit of stuff.

The 12 year that we're drinking tonight, the 18 year old, they offer a 25 year old, like so many of the other manufacturers do. And then they also offer like the limited [00:34:00] editions. Oh boy. You know, kind of more rare things. But it's funny, you know, the bottle, the box, they're not eye catching. I don't ever remember even seeing these in a retailer.

So what prompted you to pick this up? Just kind of on a whim? No, we just told you. Senator. Oh, I'm sorry.

**Bam Bam:** His buddy recommended it also while he was crawling around the mountain side on his elbows and looking for things that he's never had before.

**Gizmo:** You don't really see a dark bottle. Like this. It's true.

That's true.

**Senator:** You can't actually see the spirit.

**Bam Bam:** That's true. That's

**Gizmo:** true. It's unique. And even the, uh, the, the outer container that it comes in, it's really not that appealing. No,

**Bam Bam:** it's handsome. Basic in its own way. It's kind of basic. Yeah.

**Senator:** I mean, it's, it's clear to me. They're, they're like a very traditional, like steeped in history type of distillery.

This is not like a commercial we want like. The sexiest bottles and labeling and all of that. It's like [00:35:00] very understated and um,

**Bam Bam:** I will be buying more of this. Yeah, this is really good. And I think it's worth a dive into their

**Gizmo:** other... I'd like to try the 18 for sure. Yeah, I would. So one of my favorite things to do, as you guys know, is to read the tasting notes on the back of the container.

So I think we should go through this and see if you guys are getting any of these. So the color is russet gold. The nose sweet and fruity with notes of blackcurrant jam, vanilla cloves, and a hint of seaweed. Bam, you getting the seaweed? No seaweed.

**Bam Bam:** Okay. I'm getting pretty deep

**Gizmo:** honey though. On the palate, rich sherry and roasted nuts, balanced with sweet malt and sultanas?

I don't know what that is. A warming spice gives way to... I think they're raisins. velvety caramel. Yeah, caramel. And a subtle coastal influence. The finish is long and lingering, rich. Full bodied, with a spray of sea salt. [00:36:00] I feel like I'm reading, like, Fifty Shades

**Bam Bam:** of Grey. I think it's overstated, but a lot of it's pretty accurate.

**Senator:** Yeah, I would say the majority

**Gizmo:** of the That one I think might be the closest that we've read so far. It's true. Except the seaweed. The seaweed I don't get. It's damn good shit, man. Yeah, it's a really nice pairing with the cigar tonight. I

**Senator:** do think, on the nose, You get a little seaweed. Not on the finish at all, but on the nose.

**Gizmo:** Bam, note that. Senator's endorsing the seaweed. Lizard

**Bam Bam:** memo is open.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, this is, uh, this is a really, really nice cigar. Yeah. And a really good scotch. Oh, yeah. Great pairing tonight. Yeah,

**Senator:** excellent pairing. Just a credit to this distillery. I mean, if you think about how many random scotches that we've picked up that we have not tried, that we've wanted to on this pod, None of them are particularly unique in flavor profile at all.

It's like trying to be something that we love and it's just not doing it as well. And this is one of the first that I'm like thrilled is not trying to be anything else other than what it is. And it's carved out this like nice niche for itself. [00:37:00] That is its own lane. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Very accurate. I don't know,

**Pagoda:** I was thinking, I might prefer this with something a little more, you know, like New World ish.

Like a Padron Maduro's. Uh, I don't know. That's the feel I get, but I think a part of me is feeling that it's slightly overpowering the cigar. Really?

**Gizmo:** Really?

**Senator:** Wow, I feel the opposite. I don't think this is a very easy drinking, mild

**Gizmo:** scotch. I feel like the color is light. It is. It's not very viscous. Well, I know I put a little ice in it, but what

**Bam Bam:** GISS said earlier is

**Gizmo:** all right.

So now I'm down to only giving out five.

**Bam Bam:** I take it back. Keep it going. I take it back. What you said earlier is very accurate. A spirit like this that's on a sweeter side works fantastic with almost every Cuban cigar that you can get your hands on. No

**Gizmo:** doubt about it. And I think the savory profile of this, I think, think about how well, and Pagoda, I'm going to throw that back at you.

Think about how well this scotch would pair with a D4. [00:38:00] Agreed. I

**Pagoda:** think with Defo it'd be great. Yeah, but

**Bam Bam:** how delicious but wait a minute wouldn't it be great with an Exclusiva? It would be fantastic. It would be great

**Gizmo:** with a Padron. I think so. I don't know.

**Senator:** I have a different perspective I actually think this would pair really great with almost any Cuban cigar, but I'm not as I think it can work with some new worlds, but I, it doesn't like a Patron Exclusivo is like full flavor.

This is not a full flavored cigar and a full flavored cigar. When I have that, like I crave like a McAllen, that's a full flavor, bold scotch. A Balvenie that's a full flavored, bold Scotch. Yeah. I mean, you look at the color of this, it tells you already like this is on the lighter side. I would call this to me, a medium bodied Scotch.

I agree with you. And that's why I think it pairs really well with Cubans that are usually medium bodied. One counter

**Bam Bam:** is with a full, full flavored cigar that has a cleansing effect, what we're drinking tonight. So each draw. You get a cleansing effect. It's a little sweet. It could be, it

**Gizmo:** could be

**Rooster:** enjoyable.

What would you pair a [00:39:00] PDR

**Senator:** scotch with? A New World or a really robust Cuban? Like

**Bam Bam:** a Maduro, Maduro number one, a Maduro number one with uh, Lagaville would be quite nice, I think.

**Gizmo:** What about on the new world side? Any new world?

**Senator:** Almost

**Gizmo:** any, basically, almost anything. I would, I think Nicaraguan more than Dominican.

**Bam Bam:** That's correct. Yeah, that's true. Because a, a millennium won't do

**Gizmo:** that well against the, like a Liga maybe. A Liga Liga. Yeah. Any patron patron had drones. I think an idiots would be good with that. A late hour family reserve. Paone family reserve. Wait hour. Late late hours? I think

**Bam Bam:** so. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And not a millennium though.

**Gizmo:** Late hour. Late hour. Yes. So what I suggest is that when we do the 18 year of this, which I think certainly all of us so far are leaning in that direction, I think we pair it with a new world and see how it does with that. Sure. Because I think those extra six years might be a little too much for Cuban.

**Bam Bam:** Very curious what that drink's

**Gizmo:** like, yeah.

So boys, Habanos has announced the 24th Habanos [00:40:00] Festival. Yay!

So I, uh, I went to a few of the events last year, namely the gala dinner. We recapped that. Uh. After we got back, but it was announced for February 26 through March 1st, 2024. And it looks very similar in programming. You know, you, you get to tour the Habanos factories, some of the Habanos factories, plantations.

They do seminars with lectures, different kinds of pairing things, contests, three very special nights, uh, where they announced various new releases. So as an example, the Bolivar gold medal was a release that I was at that event in February of this year. Well, they announced that new cigar and released it and certainly they'll be announcing some more next year.

So, and the gala dinner, of course, is where they do that big auction where they sell, you know, the crazy humidors signed by the president of Cuba for millions of dollars. You know, it's pretty wild. I don't know if we're going to be there this year. It doesn't look like it. You don't want to bring back the [00:41:00] humidor for us, Giz?

Well, I might bid remotely. You know, but, uh...

**Bam Bam:** You don't want to rub elbows with the other insiders? I

**Gizmo:** love Bam. Yeah, Bam's over there, by the way. Bam's over there doing like a, like a shuffle. I'm doing

**Bam Bam:** a shimmy over here.

**Gizmo:** So, you know, it was very expensive last year. They did reduce the prices on the Amigos de Partigas, which we talked about a few episodes ago.

So... You know, I'm curious what the pricing will be. It was pretty expensive last time we did, you know, last year when I went to the gala dinner, that's when they announced the new part of his releases, which have not been put to market yet. The, the new linear maestra, the three sizes all with that one Oh nine cap on them.

And then we got the SD DuPont lighter in the cutter. So it ended up being okay. as far as the gifts and whatnot. Um, but yeah, I don't, uh, I don't see myself going this

**Bam Bam:** year. There is one special, unique thing during those events. When you're at the Partica shop and the folks that run that shop, if you get [00:42:00] time with them during an event, it's special because they're special people.

Yeah. They're really great to hang out with. There's a huge group of people outside. It's just overwhelming and you don't get to meet anybody and. Have a memorable conversation, but with that group unparalleled,

**Gizmo:** there's just, so I want to take logistics and travel and all that stuff aside, let's just say the five of us were in Cuba as we've been a couple of times, right?

Would you guys be interested or not in going to any of the Habanos festival events?

**Pagoda:** How much was it?

**Gizmo:** So the gala dinner, I think, was 1, 100. You got the gifts, you got the dinner and all that. You got the gift box of the cigars. You get four or five cigars throughout the night. Is there caviar at the dinner?

No caviar. No caviar. You got Estee DuPont Cutter and Lighter that match the Linea Maestra. So they do nice gifts at the gala event at least. I

**Bam Bam:** would do the final gala dinner. the final event. I think it would be, you know, why check it out once. Yeah. The [00:43:00] reason is because you're, you're at a table with eight or 10 people and you're, you have really good conversations where all the other events are just overwhelmed with people.

It gets, it gets too

**Gizmo:** much and you get to see guests dressed up in a suit. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Big time. Once every five years, you know, when he does it's dapper. Exactly. It's Dapper. GISS goes to the extreme.

**Gizmo:** Would you be interested in going Senator? No, I'm out.

**Senator:** You're out. Really? Not even once? I'm out like Mark Cuban, no way.

Not even once. Not even once. The reason? To me, there's nothing that interesting about it. I mean, I've yet to encounter anybody that's been there that has said that any cigar that they got from it was so incredible that like, they want to actually go and buy it when it's released. I haven't heard a single person say that.

But, apart

**Gizmo:** from the cigar.

**Senator:** Well, apart from the cigar, I mean, for 1, 100, if the cigar is not going to blow me away, then this better be one of the best meals I've ever had in my life. And obviously, that's not going to be the case in Cuba.

**Bam Bam:** It's not going to be the case. No, it won't. I [00:44:00] mean And the cigar

**Senator:** won't blow you away either.

If the cigar's not going to blow me away, the food's not going to blow me away, why am I spending 1, 100 to sit there and talk with people, when I can just go to the Partagas shop and lounge or Malia Cohiba and do the exact same thing and meet people and chat like, I don't need to pay into some silly event to, you know, meet great people.

**Pagoda:** Especially when we can spend a week for less than 1100 bucks. Yeah, exactly.

**Gizmo:** Correct. Do they pair the cigars with some rich spirits? Yeah, so they do every, every cigar that they hand out, you do get a certain pairing with it. Well, they had Santiago that one. Yeah, Santiago was one.

**Senator:** I'd rather buy 1100 worth of Santiago 20 than go to that event.

And that's going to last me for months, if not a few years. Weeks for you.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, let's not overstate it. What about you,

**Pagoda:** Pagoda? I think I'd be up for it. Just to experience it. I don't know what year. I don't know about next year, but maybe. Who knows?

**Gizmo:** Yeah, I've had some listeners email, and I kind of waffle back and forth.

I think, you know, as I said on the episode. [00:45:00] Well, you know what? You said on the

**Senator:** episode you would

**Bam Bam:** never do it again. Yeah, but you are our representative. You should go. You should

**Gizmo:** go. You're our representative. Spend the 1, 100 for us. Just bring us back the cigars. Just report

**Bam Bam:** back. We'll do a GoFundMe set up for you.

**Pagoda:** I thought BAM is going to sponsor you. You're going to wear a t shirt saying BAM BAM all the whole through the dinner. Oh

**Bam Bam:** yeah.

**Gizmo:** Legato BAM. Sure. So which

**Rooster:** one is better out of the

**Gizmo:** two events? Well, I think, you know, the thing I liked about the Amigos de Portugal, which happens in November each year, uh, just happened a few weeks ago.

We're going to get it. We're going to do a recap on that. We're going to get some reports back from some friends who went to that. But, um, What I liked about, what I like about the Partagas event is what Bam said, and I think you'll agree with this Bam. You know, the Partagas gala dinner, it's smaller certainly.

It's not a trade show. It's a celebration of people who love Partagas, and they did it at the Tropicana. So you, you, oh, I'm in. So you sit in the [00:46:00] Tropicana? Yeah. Very historic. The Tropicana, like, I mean, my third time there, I'm in , . The, the Tropicana, uh, dining area is like a big, like, yeah. How, what would you call it?

Like a conference hall almost. It's a conference

**Bam Bam:** hall. It looks like it's, maybe The room itself is about five, 6,000 square feet. It's tiered tables at each tier, the stage, and you know, they auctioned off their. Extraordinarily expensive human ores. Yeah. The whole, the whole

**Gizmo:** thing was pretty good. And what I like about that event is it celebrates exactly what Bam was saying about the people at the Partagas shop.

Because it's specific to Partagas. It's a celebration of that marca. It's a celebration of the people behind Partagas. And they're very, very proud people. Absolutely. And it's mainly the people in the Partagas LCDH near the Floridita there. They're the ones that are kind of the, they're running the show.

They are. They're handing the cigars out. They're on the stage talking. And they're

**Bam Bam:** very attentive to every table. Yeah. The service is just incredible.

**Senator:** So that,

**Gizmo:** that's more my speed. And what's nice about that is after the dinner was [00:47:00] done, and when they let the dinner out, you go and watch the Tropicana show.

Perfect. I'm serious.

**Senator:** I actually want to do this. Hearing you describe this, I'm very in for that. But the Havana's festival, the other thing I just don't like. Like, big commercial events that, like, everybody thinks that they should go to, those events usually suck. They usually disappoint. Yeah. Because they're trying to appease such a broad crowd.

Right. You, you end up appeasing nobody. So the Partagus piece, I think it's, like, a lot more narrow, a lot more focused. Obviously, I'm as passionate about Partagas as can be, like, that's exactly the type of event I would

**Bam Bam:** go to. And you see the faces that you want to get over to and have a talk with.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, because all the same people that you're wanting to hang with at the Habanos Festival are, you know, often at the Amigos de Partagas.

Yeah, it's awesome. That same week in November. You know, most folks go November and March who are into that scene. Yeah. So, you know, it's a How much is the Partagas? I think it was a little less than half of the Habano's dinner. So I think it was still in the 500, 600 range. That sounds like a great... And you walk out, you know, [00:48:00] you walk out with four or five cigars that they give you.

You drink the rum, but the Tropicana show, that ticket in and of itself is 100. So you go there, you smoke your cigars, they give you rum. You know, it's like, it's an all inclusive, it's a really long night. But it's really fun because the Tropicana show is just the best thing that I've ever seen. We still have

**Bam Bam:** cigars from that night.

Yeah, we occasionally smoke and I walked out with more than like 15 cigars from that night. Mm hmm. Pretty

**Gizmo:** cool. All part of this. No. No, but a big variety. We actually got Siglo 6s. Yes. That was the highlight of that one. A

**Bam Bam:** couple of Cuties. There was some RYJ, a D4, a

**Gizmo:** E2. Yeah, nice gift bag. Yeah. So that

**Rooster:** seems like it's worth it because just with the Tropicana show and if you're gonna walk away with like 10 to 15 cigars.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And the rum and food. Yeah, I'm in and

**Pagoda:** that's

**Gizmo:** in November, right? That's November. Yeah. So it just happened a few weeks ago. So, yeah, so it was, I think it was the third week in November. So what's this episode is going to come out December 5th. So that was, yeah, that's

**Rooster:** also [00:49:00] multiple

**Gizmo:** nights, isn't it? Yeah.

So the, well, the part of this is a bit of an abbreviated one. Uh, it's only Tuesday through Friday. And then, uh, Tuesday is like an opening gala at the Parque Central Lounge, which is very, very small, and they do like a, a competition and whatnot. It's run by Rene, who runs the Partagus Shop. We love Rene. I'm so in.


**Senator:** so in. We love Rene. You just, every word you say about this, I am definitely going.

**Gizmo:** And then, uh, the next day you get on a bus and you go out to the farms. We didn't do that last year. The following day you go out to a, um, like a villa and they have swimming and it's kind of a, uh, how would you describe that BAM when we did that?

**Bam Bam:** A long napping session. We were tired.

**Gizmo:** We were out. We were tired. And then the final night is the closing night at the Tropicana on the Friday night. So we'll do a recap of that once we get some reports back of this year's. But each night is priced separately. Yes, every, you don't have to buy the whole thing.

You can only go to one, two, or all of them. Yeah. A la carte. Yeah. Yeah. And it's the same with the Habanos Festival too. You don't have [00:50:00] to, uh. You don't have to do it all. So boys, we're about halfway here on the Roman Ionis, Ionis number three. I mean, even as we're talking and kind of, you know, hitting the cigar, this is really an elegant experience.

Very good

**Senator:** cigar. It is. This is, um, you know, some cigars, I feel like we kind of evaluate them like two halves or thirds or I think rarely quarters. But for me, this cigar, the first quarter I loved and that's when it's like started very sweet. The second quarter, honestly. was a little bit muddled for me. I enjoyed, but I wasn't as excited about.

But the third has been awesome. This is where, like, for me, after the halfway point is where this cigar, like, really has hit its stride. And I'm enjoying

**Bam Bam:** every bit of it. Yeah, it hit a plateau, but it, for me, the notes were consistent. And none were bad. No, no. And now, as Senator said, it's actually, it [00:51:00] has stepped up in body, but it's not strong.

It's not bitter at all. No rough

**Gizmo:** edges. Yeah. Rooster. What do you think of it? Yeah, I don't think

**Rooster:** the cigar has changed that much from the beginning till now. I mean, I'm getting the same flavor notes that I was getting in the beginning, but in the middle, yeah, I did kind of, uh, be muted a little bit and it's picked up in strength a little bit in the last, I mean, I'm kind of at the last third, I guess,

**Gizmo:** a little more than halfway.

Same here. So, but overall, it's a pleasant experience. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** No, absolutely. I think it's picked up in strength. I think for some reason it reminded me of the RAS for a bit. Maybe it's in my mind and, uh, really enjoying

**Gizmo:** it. Yeah. I can't believe that this was rolled in March. I know. I mean, this is smoking

**Bam Bam:** like it's been aged two years.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, I agree. Right? There's, I haven't seen anybody correct it.

**Bam Bam:** I did once, but no ammonia. They usually get in a very young Cuban. Yeah. Right?

**Gizmo:** Yeah. [00:52:00] And, and the combustion's been great. We didn't talk about that. Everybody's in a chimney right now. Combustion's great. Draw is great. The burn is great. And the smell at the burn line's really nice.

It's very nice.

**Senator:** I mean, this is where, like, when the effort is really there, clearly they're capable of delivering some really great product. I mean, the fact that this is the first new release in how long? For decades. Decades. Two decades, probably. I mean, can you imagine the pressure? That anybody would feel putting out a new release for the first time in decades for a marker.

That's as respected as Ramon Iones. I mean, and it's clearly shown like the fact that we're all sitting here smoking a young cigar saying there's no rough edges. The flavor is complex and we're enjoying it. I just wish this same level of care and focus could go into. Every other mark,

**Bam Bam:** uh, you know, one thing we haven't seen in Cuba is directly interviewing and being with the master blender to see how they're actually blending.

**Senator:** Well, this is what I haven't [00:53:00] seen that. I agree. This is what I said. When we came back from Cuba, my, one of my big takeaways was how under appreciated and undervalued blenders are in Cuba. I mean, our experiences, we've been so fortunate to visit all the top factories there. These factories, the story is all about, like, the rollers are the superstars, which

**Bam Bam:** are critically important.

I take

**Senator:** nothing away from the rollers. But the fact that we're smoking a young cigar and saying that this doesn't have rough edges, that's a blending decision. Right? That's like perfect blending, that no rough edges are showing this early in this cigar's life cycle. We don't even know the names of the blenders.

**Gizmo:** We can't even, by the way, we've tried. We haven't gotten to them. Correct. We don't meet them.

**Bam Bam:** Like maybe next trip, maybe, you know, because that one individual that blended this particular cigar is sitting in a room somewhere wondering, how did he do?

**Senator:** Right. And that's why I was saying the, the, the stark contrast is with new worlds.[00:54:00]

It's all about the blenders.

**Gizmo:** We don't know anything about the rollers. Correct. There's

**Senator:** not a single new world roller that we can even name yet. We can tell you about all these great master blenders for all these big new world brands yet in Cuba. They don't get any of the credit or attention and they should.

It's the exact

**Gizmo:** opposite, isn't it?

**Rooster:** I think part of the reason might be because Cuba, they don't really come out with a lot of new cigars. So the same blend, like the Ras has been there forever, right? I mean, they created that blend. And they just

**Gizmo:** rolled the cigars. I want to know who's

**Senator:** created, who created

**Bam Bam:** it.

That's sort of a brilliant blend. So do

**Pagoda:** I. Yeah. Yeah. The reason they don't want to share it as you're going to bring them back to the US.

**Bam Bam:** Senator might do

**Gizmo:** that. Put them in the suitcase. I just want the D4 blender.

**Senator:** That's the only one I'm taking with

**Bam Bam:** me. Gizmo, we need to sequester your friend. We'll be trying to leave the airport and Senator ain't leaving.

**Gizmo:** Like oceans, 11, like they stuff them in like a suitcase, you know,

**Rooster:** I mean, the blender could either be on

**Gizmo:** the farm. Who knows? [00:55:00] Yeah. We don't know. Yeah. That is a very, you know, that is a very closely held. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** It's a mystical process. And I'd love to just explore that. This

**Senator:** is all the more reason I think roosters onto something there.

that we've got to get out to these farms because I think that's where we're going to find some of these answers. And

**Gizmo:** we've yet to do that. We have to do that. I would love to do that. Yeah. It sounds like we need to go back to Cuba. I don't want to press, but it's going to happen. Well, BAM's going to

**Senator:** India, but the rest of us are going to Cuba.

**Bam Bam:** You know where I'm going? I'm going to, you know where I want to go? I want to go to Goa. Yeah, you're going to love it. I want to go to go. Awesome. Look it up.

**Gizmo:** I'll look it up. It's the Ibiza of India. He missed that. Oh, I heard it.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, Garcon, we need

**Gizmo:** a refill over here. So guys, I'm very excited to announce very, very proud to announce that our friend Pagoda.

Has a rover. Wow. Finally succumbed. He succumbed. He's roving. I'm going to clap for that. 55 inch television on a rover. Google TV killing it. [00:56:00]

**Pagoda:** Fantastic. Thank you

**Gizmo:** so much guys. How have you been using

**Pagoda:** the rover? Oh, in so many different places. Firstly, the rover can rove.

**Bam Bam:** He brings it in the bathroom.

**Pagoda:** Wow. So we, we, we had a poker night one of the nights and moved, moved, uh, The TV right by there.

We had, uh, poker going on in the background for a bit. I know that was lame, but still, then we, then we put some music on with Carol G and, uh, it was, you know, uh, headed out to the deck. We moved, it's, it's just probably one of the best things that's ever happened. It's awesome. Uh, you know, I've, uh. Um, never had a television in my living room because that's where we all congregate and we hang out.

And the purpose has always been to just hang out and talk. But I moved over there the other day and me and my boys, we were watching English Premier League at least for 20 minutes. They sat with me on the couch and it was fantastic. So it's just, uh, you know, [00:57:00] it's increased the quality of my life dramatically.

**Gizmo:** And what 400 bucks for everything? TV? Stand everything

**Pagoda:** now. I must say that I guess you did really push for it. I think everybody did and then you just ordered it.

**Gizmo:** I ordered it. I said, I'm coming over. I'm setting it up. And he set it up to my toolbox. And you did that right before the poker game. How much was the installation

**Pagoda:** cost?

I think I'll be, I think I'll be paying for the rest of my life. Just, uh, I'll be paying you for the rest of a lot at all for the Xeno episode.

**Rooster:** I didn't bring it

**Gizmo:** up.

**Pagoda:** I'm still scared. No, but it's been fantastic. I'll thank you guys because, uh, I'm saying guests. Have you relied on the goods? I don't know what's going on over here, but, uh, thank you once again.

My pleasure, man. I'm just so glad you have it. No, it's, it's, uh, really, uh, guys, if you're listening to it and if you're anywhere in a warm weather, pull it out to the deck. [00:58:00] Watch some TV, watch a game behind, and it's awesome, you know, it's fantastic, thank you.

**Senator:** Of course. Roving is a lifestyle. It

**Bam Bam:** is, I don't have one yet.

**Senator:** We know, we know. There is now only one lizard without a rover. So

**Bam Bam:** the challenge I have, I don't have a deck. So I have a, uh, English pebble side yard. I can't move that thing around.

**Gizmo:** Can I just say something? Aren't you like a builder, like an architect? Like, why don't you just build a deck? No, no,

**Senator:** no, no, Time out, time out, time out.

The whole purpose of the rover, you don't need a deck for the rover. That's true. The brilliance of the rover is it goes anywhere. He's roving in his house. I rove in my house over

**Bam Bam:** pavers. It'll

**Gizmo:** go anywhere. It's very light, by the way, you can pick it up with one hand.

**Senator:** It goes on anything. It can go on the grass.

You guys have been out on the back lawn with me. We're watching like college football round of fire pit. It can go. Anyway, I've

**Bam Bam:** been pining for one, honestly, because I miss a TV out there.

**Senator:** Well, look, I know the 50 is [00:59:00] really going to kill the wallet, but if you just order

**Gizmo:** it on Amazon, I mean, Jesus, man. I mean, just order it.

That's all it costs. By the way, it's a price of a cigar. The TV itself. Yeah. The new TV's, you got a 55. I think it's an OLED or like an OLED. Yeah. Really nice TV. It was like under 300 bucks, 400 bucks, something like that. And it's so light. So you could literally, you know, you lock the TV on the stand with safety screws.

You can literally pick the whole thing up and carry it with two hands. It's really, really light and easy. Every listener needs one. I think my young

**Pagoda:** boys are also so happy with that because now they can go. And I realized that moved that somewhere when they got very comfy and they put the YouTube on and they were all You know, that's fantastic.


**Rooster:** You can put it

**Gizmo:** on top of the solo

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, there's no heat there's no damage Now

**Senator:** the crazy part of this pagoda had a [01:00:00] a very important observation After the rover was set up at his house

**Pagoda:** Yeah, because we all were hanging out the same day, and uh, a lot of the lizards came out that night.

**Senator:** He's right. Bam was

**Pagoda:** there, I was there. And uh, Giz had come down and set up the whole rover. And he disappeared.

And he disappeared.

**Bam Bam:** Vanished. I was actually disappointed. And then when

**Senator:** he realized... Is, and Pagoda's, Pagoda's house is very open for lizards, he's a very generous host, and Pagoda realized that that was the first and only time that Gizmo ever made it out to his house. He was there, that's

**Pagoda:** true. And he's never been on the deck, hanging out with the rest of the lizards.

And he

**Bam Bam:** evaporated the moment he installed it. He's never even had a security guard. Accountability hour.

**Pagoda:** That is, that is not a space. Where are... You. No, where is

**Gizmo:** Giz? I had some things going on that night. I couldn't stay as you know.

**Bam Bam:** Payroll.

**Gizmo:** I had some family stuff going on. Alright. I [01:01:00] promise I will make it out to the Pagoda Compound for a lizard night.

I promise.

**Pagoda:** I think you're going to be Xeno'd the day you do. I

**Gizmo:** bring my own. He'll bring his own. I bring my own. I'll bring Ramones for everyone but Bam.

**Bam Bam:** Okay, Giz.

**Gizmo:** Am I really the only one that hasn't been to your house for a night?

**Pagoda:** Yeah. You know, we were talking about it, uh, you know, the other night we were at a bar just hanging out and, uh, uh, we were talking about it and came up and I said, you know what, I just realized that. Giz has never really hung out with us on the deck and, uh, even just hung out.

So it's about time, buddy.

**Gizmo:** All right. I'll make it happen. I

**Bam Bam:** promise. Are you accounting for your,

**Gizmo:** are you atoning? This is, I'm fully accounting. I think, listen, I think I did my part. You did it. Did I not do my part? No, I

**Bam Bam:** was entertained during that poker game. I actually, I wasn't even focused on the game.

Yeah, we

**Pagoda:** know that. [01:02:00]

**Gizmo:** The question is what was on the TV? Oh

**Bam Bam:** yeah.

**Pagoda:** Oh yeah. I said the only way to win is get a bit distracted for the record.

**Senator:** Pagoda was, uh, one of the winners

**Bam Bam:** that night. That's right. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Well, you know, even a blind squirrel finds a nut. Hey, the house, the

**Gizmo:** house always wins. That's right. Well,

**Senator:** and as we're keeping score, the, uh, Pagoda, Bam Bam rivalry in

**Bam Bam:** started

**Senator:** with chess, then it went to poker.

And all I'm saying is I've only witnessed Pagoda. Winning in, uh, in that matchup.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, my Lord. What's good? Bam Bam has had his moments.

**Gizmo:** Speaking of the third part. I like when you speak in the third person.

**Rooster:** In Bam Bam's defense, he's an online player.

**Bam Bam:** He is. I do like online chess.

**Senator:** Hey, playing against 12 year olds is

**Bam Bam:** all the same.

**Gizmo:** So boys, I want to share a listener email. I thought this was something that, uh, [01:03:00] is interesting to talk about. Cause we actually haven't talked about temperature control, uh, in towers. And it's something that I'm curious what your perspectives are on it. So, uh, lizard Josh from California wrote us and he said, Hey, I'm a huge fan of the podcast and all cigars that are Cuban.

So he'll probably like this cigar tonight. I came across the. Podcast a couple weeks ago, and I've listened through about 60 percent of the shows. Can you imagine listening to 60 something episodes in just a few weeks? Dedicated. That's incredible. Yeah. Thank you, Josh. I wanted to reach out about the towers you guys have for storing your cigars.

I'm interested in the Tower of Power 2, as well for my personal storage, which, as we've documented, bam, Pagoda. And Senator have the tower power to, but the cigar oasis at home, uh, his question was, how do the lizards keep the tower cool during the summer months? And should I be concerned about it? So he's in California.

So I think the room as I've kind of dug in a little bit more with him to get some more [01:04:00] context for this conversation. Uh, he said that where he's at in California, it kind of reaches a peak of, you know, the temperature wise, like maybe 95 or a hundred and it goes down to about 50, but it is an indoor storage situation for the tower.

So I'm curious, what do you guys do? And certainly has.

**Rooster:** His temperature inside the house

**Gizmo:** reaches 95. No, outdoors. It doesn't swing that much inside the home. Inside the house, that's what the temperature is going to be. Yeah, it's close to, I told him, as long as you keep it. It's a very simple formula.

**Bam Bam:** It really depends on where in the house it is.

Because if you're, if you have a basement, a lot of homes in California don't have basements. Those that do, here in Jersey as well, when you go below grade, it does, the temperature stabilizes. So you should be hovering like 68. Roughly

**Gizmo:** degrees, whatever your house says, that's what

**Senator:** it's correct. I was going to say, I mean, air conditioning, right?

So like, if you're in a, in any climate that gets hot, I would hope folks [01:05:00] get air conditioning. And so, I mean, whatever the temperature is that you keep that room at, and that's the temperature that the tower is going to sit out, keep it away

**Rooster:** from the, from the direct sunlight. So do you

**Bam Bam:** guys have air conditioning

**Senator:** in your cellars?

No, I don't. But I'm saying like a California house probably doesn't have a cellar. That's right. Which honestly is even better because if you have a cellar, most people don't have air conditioning down there. I don't in mine, but luckily it gets super cool down there. So like I usually don't have a problem.

That's right. But if I had my tower on the first or second floor of my house, That has, you know, central AC, it's even easier for temperature. It shouldn't

**Gizmo:** be an issue. Right. Right. So now there are some lizards out there who don't have a central air situation and their room swings, you know, pretty, pretty drastically.

It follows the temperature outside or even worse. Yeah. If the sun's beating down on a sunroom or something like that, where they store their cigars. So then the question comes in twofold of not only a question of mold. which is a factor of temperature and humidity, but also cigar [01:06:00] beetles. Yeah. Yeah. You know, which, you know, is something that I've kind of been diving into the last few weeks, just prevention as you know, cause I've been buying a lot of unbanded cigars.

So preventing beetles has been a big part of my thing because once you introduce beetles to your tower and there's an outbreak, your entire collection is compromised. Wow. So that's a big deal. So, you know, as far as the quick answer to this question is, keep your tower as close to room temperature as you can.

And you're going to be okay as long as your humidity is also in control. You know, as far as beetles go, and I found this really interesting. I don't know if you guys have, uh, thought about beetles or, or, or, or did any research, but I've been doing a lot. We know, we know you have. I have, of course.

**Bam Bam:** You have a whole freezer

**Gizmo:** protocol.

Exactly. Freezer protocol. That's right. I have a full freezer protocol. So check this out. He's got a cigar freezer. So check this out. So a cigar [01:07:00] beetle egg can survive. At 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Wow. Can survive more than a week. Acclimated larva can survive for almost a month or two at 41 degrees. An adult can live for two or three months at that temperature.

So you really need to, if you're buying cigars that are unbanded. So now let's just preface this. Any cigar you buy... From Cuba. Now, Cuba really is the big, you know, uh, problem area for cigar beetles. And we've been in LCDHs in Havana after COVID and you go through boxes in an LCDH and during COVID there was no power, there was no air conditioning, there was no control.

You're going through boxes and you could see beetle damage. You know, it's a real thing. So if you're purchasing cigars, even in the United States that don't have bands on them, or if you're purchasing cigars that have come directly from Cuba, which have [01:08:00] the MnSAP, which is their health stickers. If they have MnSAP warnings on that box, you have to assume that they were not frozen.

Anything you get from overseas or a traditional distributor of Habano cigars, they've been frozen. Before they, they go out to distribution, new world cigars, same thing. But if you're getting cigars that do not have bands on them, you really need to develop a freezer protocol because you're putting your entire collection at risk.

What, what is a mensap label? Minsap is the Cuban health department. So kind of like this box we have tonight of this Ramon Ionis number three. So you see the Mexican labels, you know, Cuba has their own version of it, you know, uh, warning against tobacco smoke and the organization is called Minsap. M I N S A P.

So if you see that label on your box, they're on a lot of boxes. They're on a lot of boxes. So you have to assume. I got a Corona's

**Senator:** Claros box from Cuba that had it on it. And I had to put it in freezer [01:09:00] protocol.

**Gizmo:** You have to assume that that box was not frozen. So what's really interesting is that, you know, we have, you know, again, making more assumptions.

You have to assume that most lizards out there don't have a deep freezer. My freezer, fortunately, goes down to under 10 degrees. So it's a really a deep freeze. If you're putting it in your normal freezer, which probably hovers in the 20s or low 30s. You really need to keep those cigars in there a little bit longer, you know, so you put it So here's my freezer protocol.

I get up cigars. I vacuum seal them I put them in the refrigerator for a day or two to prevent condensation when they go into the freezer They go in the freezer for four days. I have a deep freezer If you have a regular freezer you want to do a week or more Back into the refrigerator for two days.

What is a deep freezer? So, a deep freezer goes down to like, you know, It's really deep. Under 50 degrees. Like a deep freeze is under... Mrs. Gizmo

**Rooster:** is wondering why all the shit is like,

**Gizmo:** thawed [01:10:00] out. Keeps taking all the frozen... I take everything out and I just throw it aside. So yeah, a normal freezer doesn't go as cold.

And you can see the data here. Of, of various temperatures and how long these beetles survive. It's pretty, pretty dramatic if you're not getting a deep freeze on your cigars. So you just got to be cautious. If you're buying stuff that has not been taken care of by the distributor before it's been shipped to you, MnSAP, unbanded cigars, et cetera, you really need to protect your collection.

And freezer cigars. That's good information. These guys always bust my balls about freezer protocol, but I'm very, very serious about it. Ah, it's a good point. And to answer Josh's question, temperature also factors into that too. You get, your collection goes up to 80, 90 degrees. The humidity goes along with it.

You're really at risk if, if you have That's a problem. stuff that's not frozen. Those beetles are going to hatch, and they're going to rip through your entire collection, and you're totally screwed. Yeah. If you

**Bam Bam:** don't have air conditioning, it's, it's going to be a challenge. Unless you have a basement, like we said, the temperature's [01:11:00] stabilized, then you can kind of control it.

**Senator:** The good thing for the listener that's hearing this, because when Gizmo went through this whole process, I'm sitting there like, I don't have a vacuum freezer, all this stuff. A vacuum sealer? Vacuum sealer, sorry. Amazon, like 20, you get one of these vacuum sealers. You literally just, it comes, you can just get the, like, plastic that it needs to seal in, you put the cigars in there, takes minutes, could not be easier, it is worth the peace of mind.

That's cool.

**Gizmo:** So as opposed to putting them in freezer bags, the good thing about Vacuum sealing your cigars before you freeze them is if you properly freeze your cigars there, they've done some studies on this with tobacco, you know, going back 20, 30 years, if you properly freeze your cigars, there's no effect on taste and actually cigar, uh, Somali airs, cigar Psalms have done tastings of frozen and fresh stuff.

And they've validated that if frozen properly [01:12:00] in a protocol like this to prevent beetles. There is no effect on taste, so you're not gonna mess up your cigars by protecting your entire collection.

**Bam Bam:** I gotta talk to a sommelier,

**Senator:** because you gotta work on the pronunciation

**Gizmo:** there. How do you pronounce that? Sommelier?

**Senator:** The R is silence Sommelier, sommelier.

**Bam Bam:** Uh, you are a bundle of joy.

**Gizmo:** I'm really feeling it, Bam. So yeah, that's really, really important. That's something we haven't talked about is, you know, freezing your stuff because I mean, certainly as Habanos pricing has gone up, you know, trying to find stuff that's Cuban tobacco or really good tobacco that's not banded.

You really got to protect your collection because you're putting everything at risk. You know, you're saving all that money, but you're putting your entire collection at risk. Does

**Bam Bam:** it make sense to open your boxes and check them periodically?

**Gizmo:** Yeah. People like to do that. I do [01:13:00] it sometimes. I don't rotate or move stuff around.

Some guys like to do that religiously. I just kind of go into the back of my tower and check on a box or two and see how things are. Especially boxes

**Bam Bam:** you haven't opened

**Gizmo:** in a while. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But I don't do any rotating or moving or anything like that. Some people swear by that. But, uh, my air movement in my tower is pretty consistent.

So I feel good about it at the gizmo fan set up. Oh yeah. Very important. Very air movement is very important. So boys, we're into the last third here of the Ramona Ionis. Ionis number three. Yeah. What's everybody thinking? I'm loving it. Let me just say, I'm loving it. McDonald's. I'm

**Pagoda:** loving it. It's excellent.

I think given the last third, uh, it's getting back to how it was tasting in the beginning for me. I, like, um, I'm really enjoying this. Fantastic.

**Rooster:** They're doing something right in Cuba with these, with this, um, you know, with all the new releases.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And even the recent, even the recent run of cigars going back to [01:14:00] maybe 2019.

We've talked about this ad nauseum, the quality control, the consistency of the last four years or so of cigars. Think about the difference in money twos. Oh,

**Bam Bam:** that's a, that's a key dramatic. Yeah. Improvement. 2018s are from there forward

**Gizmo:** are excellent. They're

**Rooster:** great. Like going back, like pre pandemic, every time you would buy a new box and you automatically, you're like, Oh, I got to store it for a couple of years.

I'm not going to touch it now. It kind of encourages you to

**Gizmo:** light one up as soon as you get a box. Try one. Yeah. Yeah, the rolls are

**Bam Bam:** good. I mean, how far are you on your

**Gizmo:** cigar? I can't see I have about an inch and a half left. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Okay. I'm okay with it.

Not that it's okay at this point. It's it's kind of dissipated for me at this point. I'm like an inch and a quarter.

**Gizmo:** Are you tasting youth or has it just a little bit of youth, a

**Bam Bam:** tiny bit of ammonia? Honestly, just a little bit. Just a little. I'm

**Gizmo:** not surprised. I mean, either that or it's like nicotine buildup.

Yeah. [01:15:00]

**Bam Bam:** It could be. I am a bit stronger. Yeah. I'm smoking it a

**Senator:** little fast now. You know, I, I agree with that. I think it's, um, it's picked up a lot in strength in the final like inch and yeah, you can see, you can get a little ammonia, not a ton. No. I mean, there are cigars that honestly I've had with even more age on this.

than this cigar we're having right now that at this stage you actually get more ammonia than you're getting here. So I think for its youth it's actually still performing well but it uh, it, it really picks up in the final. It really does.

**Pagoda:** Yeah I know this, I think it did pick up in strength but for me it became again a bit sweeter.

Uh, it was, well,

**Senator:** I have the opposite feeling of that. For me, the sweetness is completely gone. Yeah. And it's just savory and just, uh, it's very intense. Yeah.

**Rooster:** I really only got sweet notes in the

**Pagoda:** beginning. Are you? I'm

**Gizmo:** getting some

**Bam Bam:** now. Yeah. It's kind of evaporated for me, but I [01:16:00] think this is a testament to what this could be if you let it sit for a

**Gizmo:** year.

Yeah. And I think what we're talking about is exactly what we didn't talk about with the Rafael Gonzalez Corona's the Lonsdales, which is, I think what you're talking about is an expectation that in a year, two years, three years, that's going to dissipate. And this cigar is really going to skyrocket a hundred percent in flavor.

I think this will age beautifully. I

**Bam Bam:** think so. You should get us more boxes.

**Pagoda:** On the, on the, the smoke

**Gizmo:** output has been fantastic. Do you want me to freeze him or no? Yes. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

**Pagoda:** ha. Sorry, Pagoda. No, the smoke output has been fantastic.

The whole way through. All the way through. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Great combustion. And I'm finding the pairing, so we did a second pour, I'm finding the pairing to really be nice with this. I think this is a perfect scotch for a Cuban cigar. It's really been nice with it. You know, we'll see in the ratings, but I'm curious how that's going to end up versus some of the other stuff.

So I want to do a [01:17:00] couple of quick housekeeping things. Uh, number one is we're coming up on the end of the year here, obviously. So any listeners out there, any lizards who have. Some stuff that they love from the last year for the best of 2023 that we release at the end of the year. If you have any clips, any things you really laughed at or enjoyed or found informative or hated any kind of feedback you want to give us, send us an email and, and give us some clips that we can feature in the.

Best of 2023 episode. Just let us know

**Senator:** how many hours of the Bam Bam Accountability Hour you want us to include.

**Gizmo:** Sure. It's between four and six at least.

**Bam Bam:** Just, just keep out the oxygen

**Gizmo:** oxidizer. Oh, that's gonna be in there. That's gonna be in there. You know, that's going to be, and I

**Bam Bam:** was trying to be scientific.

**Gizmo:** The problem is you said it and we missed it, but Pagoda didn't.

**Bam Bam:** Damn you

**Gizmo:** Pagoda. So the other item I have two for listeners out there, this is really, really important. Some homework, we need cigar [01:18:00] ideas for 2024 in both Cuban stuff. We haven't done any varietals that we, you know, anything that you want us to cover and also in new world, cigar stuff, you're smoking and like, we need suggestions because sometimes we're planning out the next couple of months of smoke stuff to get, and we're like on the group chat, trying to figure out what to order or whatnot.

So any listener input is really, really, it's a tremendous help. Yeah. Even pairings I guess. Yeah. And pairings too as well. Yeah, of course. You know, Senator mentioned earlier we're kind of, we're there running out of single mo scotch ideas, so any listeners out there that have some stuff that we haven't covered?

**Bam Bam:** We're gonna be doing Bob's backyard scotch next week. ? Yeah. . Come on listeners. We need your help. .

**Pagoda:** You. You, you know, we keep talking about trips to Cuba. I think we need a trip to Scotland.

**Bam Bam:** There you go. Now you're talking. That's right. Right. Now you're talking. We

**Pagoda:** take the cigars from Cuba and then we go straight to Scotland.

Oh yeah. The summer after. I like the way you're thinking there, Pagoda. Yeah. I like that. March and [01:19:00] June.

**Gizmo:** I like it. So yeah, so we really need, uh, we, we need ideas for the best of 2023. And cigar and pairing ideas for 2024. Obviously, we're starting to dive in now to mixed drinks. So we're going to do a little bit more of that.

We need more cocktails, you know, as we get into the early part of next year. But any kind of ideas you guys have, we really, we read all the email. We appreciate it. So please send them along. Will you call them cocktails, please? Mixed drinks doesn't work. This is not, we're not

**Senator:** going to review a rum and coke.

**Bam Bam:** We're not in the seventies.

**Pagoda:** No Cuba Libre? No Cuba Libre?

**Gizmo:** Alright boys, are you guys ready to get into the, to the ratings section of our episode tonight? Yeah. Alright, let's do the, oh god, how do I pronounce this? By the way, that was

**Pagoda:** quick. Well, there's a time gone. Go,

**Bam Bam:** go for a guess. Ask the sommelier.

**Gizmo:** Bam, bam. You are so out, man. You are so out. I love that. You are

**Rooster:** so out.

You know, he doesn't like the [01:20:00] eight, nine eights.

**Gizmo:** That's true. So that's true. He didn't like that.

**Bam Bam:** That is quite the, that's a shank. No,

**Pagoda:** no. But remember that night he did enjoy the Rasmo. He did. He

**Senator:** didn't like the 898. The RAS. The

**Rooster:** Partagas 898. You didn't like

**Bam Bam:** that. I have two boxes. I'd love that cigar.

**Gizmo:** Well, you can smoke a RAS and we'll smoke the 898 and you let us know what you think.

Alright, alright. I'll get you an aged one. 2022. Alright, so you guys ready to do the formal liquor rating on the Buna Havane? Twelve year age. Single malt scotch. Buna Havane. I'll figure it out before I record the intro. All right, Bam Bam, you're up.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, I've been going between a 9 on this. It's pretty well priced.

It's, it's, it's delicious. You know, I'm gonna give it a 10. Cause this I can drink, I can put this in regular rotation very easily. I would buy this and have this in my locker and go to it every few days. It's just, it's enjoyable. There's a really nice sweet note [01:21:00] there. It's, it works great with, like we said, almost any Cuban cigar.

It's a 10. Awesome. Well priced.

**Pagoda:** Pagoda. Wow. It's a nine for me. Uh, I felt, um, I really enjoyed it. Um, It was fantastic. Take that

**Bam Bam:** last sip. Just, just, Senator's taking a sip. I should take a sip. There's something there, it's really I think you'll love to edit this out. It's really quite enjoyable.

**Pagoda:** It is very enjoyable, by the way. Wow. Yeah, but I did feel a little bit of sharpness in the, somewhere in between. Um, you know, when I was taking a slightly bigger gulp, I felt a little coming into my chest. Take a smaller gulp. I think that's true. I think that's true.

**Gizmo:** Listen to your gulp advisor,

**Bam Bam:** regulate yourself.

All right. It's a nine for me. I'm not tainting anyone.

**Gizmo:** Senator,

**Senator:** I have to start by saying I am amazed by the scores. Me too. [01:22:00] Never ever imagined.

**Gizmo:** Can I just say when I saw this earlier today, I was like, this might be in the sixes. I did too.

**Bam Bam:** I assumed it was going to be awful.

**Senator:** I owe a big thank you to my friend.

I would have never tried or picked this up without, to your point, I mean, there's no way you walk in a liquor store and you see that and you're like, yep, that's going to be a great Scotch. What's his first name? Never know. Sorry. Uh, Ross.

**Bam Bam:** Lizard Ross did a good job here. He did a great job. Sorry. We need

**Gizmo:** more pairings from Lizard Ross.

Yes, we do. You know, but here, here I'm thinking

**Senator:** like, and I have more pairings from him. There's two more bottles that he poured for me that night that none of us have tried that we're

**Bam Bam:** going to procure. That's what I love about this. He's going after things that he's never had before. That's an exploration that we have to follow

**Gizmo:** right behind.

I love that. Honestly. Yeah, I just wonder where even I'm thinking about, you know, because I go to the same liquor store all the time, right? I can't remember ever seeing this. Like, is it stuffed on the bottom shelf? Like, are they not getting prime retail placement? Like, this is a. Scotch the people should be celebrating.

So when

**Bam Bam:** I bought that there were only two of those [01:23:00] I'm not sure if they were bought before but not much inventory. People

**Gizmo:** can't pronounce it. That's true. I

**Bam Bam:** can't pronounce I thought I called it. I thought it was Bobenheim

**Gizmo:** So senator

**Senator:** what's your rating so I've been going back and forth between an eight and a nine I would definitely drink this again.

I'm very, very happy with it. And I think I'm going to round up and I'm actually going to give it a nine. And I think the biggest factor for me, it is so hard at this point, how many different scotches we've tried to find something that's unique and different in a meaningful way, right? Not like this one, they cask and, you know, all of a sudden it's this limited release bullshit that they charge a ridiculous premium for that.

is marginally better than whatever they, the standard production stuff they make. This is their standard production line. This is their 12 year and it is unlike any other 12 year single malt we've ever had. So I I'll definitely round up to a nine. I would drink [01:24:00] this again. I'm very happy with it. And I think like the cigar that we described as complex, the thing I appreciate about it is a lot of scotches that we actually appreciate a lot.

Are not complex. And there's nothing wrong with that. Like there are some scotches, like you look at Abelard 12, like that's just a Sherry bomb. We love Sherry. So it scores well, but I would never describe Abelard 12 as complex. No, but it's delicious. Correct. Yeah. And there are just so many scotches that fit that category for me that feed the notes that we crave, but aren't that complex.

And this brings two very different worlds together. Somehow in a very harmonious way, and I love the versatility of this, that I would drink this in the afternoon, I would drink this in the evening, I would drink this in the summer, I would drink this in the winter, and that's a huge merit, so I'm at a, I'm at a solid

**Bam Bam:** 10.

That versatility is really, it's a huge merit

**Gizmo:** for the spirit. So Senator stole my thunder, because... I'm also at a nine. I've been at a nine since the first sip. I think it is a [01:25:00] brilliant scotch pairing, especially for Cuban cigars. And what I love about it is I actually really appreciate the viscosity of it.

I liked it. It's a little thinner than some of the other Sherry's. You know, scotches that we drink on the pod and we drink when we're in the

**Bam Bam:** lounge. There's a cleansing quality to

**Gizmo:** this. Absolutely. And I think it just, it does the right amount with a cigar that's in that medium flavor profile. Like tonight was even arguably mild if we were to, you know, look at some of the mild cigars that we've smoked on the pod.

And I think to Pagoda's point, I think it might do well. With, with a fuller cigar. So I really think versatility is the action word tonight. I think the cigar is, excuse me. I think the Scotch is incredibly versatile. And I think it's a nine all day. If this was a 45 or 40 bottle of scotch, it would be a 10 for me.

I think it's 65. I think I have to factor that in. I'm willing to pay that for

**Bam Bam:** this. I am to drink this at any

**Gizmo:** time. I agree with you. Yeah, but I think [01:26:00] that at that price point, I'm going to reach for a Balvenie. Probably in most situations, but at 65, I think for what we got tonight, it's absolutely a nine all day and that brings the former liquor rating boys to a 9.

3. Wow. That's a great score for the amazing. That is very fair. 33 points above what I thought it was going to get very fair. We

**Bam Bam:** opened it. Yeah. And you know, you go just to piggyback on what you said, you'd go for the belviny above this because you're used to that brand. Yes, this is the first time we're having this.

If this was introduced among the group and we're having it more and more, I think I could easily see this being part of our

**Gizmo:** rotation. And I think, yeah,

**Pagoda:** I do think it will be. I mean, you're talking about 9. 3. For me, it would have been 10 if I wouldn't have experienced a couple of those really harsh things in my chest.

But over...

**Bam Bam:** We were both going to say it. Those big gulps, right?

**Gizmo:** You gotta listen to your gulp advisor.

**Pagoda:** I'll tell you, I,

**Bam Bam:** I... I'll send you my invoice tomorrow.

**Pagoda:** Uh, at the end of the day, [01:27:00] I, you know, I was debating with it between a nine and 10 from the very beginning and, uh, I think nine. Yeah, it's nine. It's a, it's a nine.

It's a strong nine to

**Gizmo:** me. Even before I, I, I looked at the price and we talked about that. It, it was a nine from the start. Yeah. It, it, it just, it just perfectly sat in that score for me. Cause I just think it's, it's, it's really going to work with almost any cigar we smoke. Maybe aside from some of those like Nicaragua's that we smoke that are kind of pepper bombs or you know, you need a little bit more of a pairing.

I think this was right for this. Lizard Ross. Well done. Yeah. Yeah, man. All right, boys. Let's do the formal lizard rating on the Ramon Iones. Iones number three. Rooster, you're up.

**Rooster:** Yeah, so it's I mean, it's really impressive how good these fresh cigars, the newly released cigars have been. I mean, we have had three in a row.

Yeah, I mean, three that we have done and recently, and they've all been great. So this cigar, I mean, you can tell it has a Ramona Jonas DNA, even if the cigar you [01:28:00] smoke this without the band, I think you could tell it This is a Ramon. I'm with you there. Right? So it has that dried fruit, that earthiness, that leather notes that do come through.

I think it will do wonders with some age on it though. I agree with that. Even like even a year or two, it's going to be great. So right now at this stage and Priced around

**Gizmo:** 30, 31. I

**Rooster:** mean, it's a little pricey, but that's what Cuban cigars are right now. And for that reason, it's an eight for me right now.


**Gizmo:** Senator. So

**Senator:** I'm in lockstep with rooster. Um, I think for how this performs right now, it's a solid eight. I would smoke this again. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has complexity. It picks up. It's not. A one act play. I think the way the first half smoked where it started out sweet, then it built up a little bit.

And then the second half, I feel like just really takes off in a [01:29:00] really enjoyable way. Um, but I think like Rooster said, you see the potential that this has to be not just a good or even very good, arguably great cigar, but like I think truly this could be a spectacular cigar with age, and so I'm excited to see how this develops with time, and I think that's where it can hit a 9 or even a 10 maybe, but for right now, solid 8.

I'd smoke it again, and I think anybody should go out and try it.

**Gizmo:** So for me, it's a 9. And so I'm factoring in everything you're saying, I, what I like about it, even if there was a little bit of youth in that last, as you were saying, quarter instead of third, that last quarter, I'm factoring that in because I know where this is going to go and it's just going to continue to get better and better.

And better. And I thought, from the start, this was right in my, my palate was singing the whole, all night tonight. It was perfect for me, especially for a cigar that was rolled in March. [01:30:00] Like, I was really, really into it. And I have to say, and we'll go through some of the other ratings. The one cigar we have not done from Ramon yet is the Gigantes, the Double Corona.

I had one of those a couple days ago. It's four years aged now. This wipes the floor with that cigar. Wipes the floor with that cigar. To the point that I'm not even comfortable bringing the rest of them that I have in to the podcast to review. Because it just was not great. This cigar wiped the floor with it.

Seven months aged. I'm shocked. It's a nine for me all day. I'm really impressed and at 31 bucks for the hour and 40 minutes or whatever it gave us tonight, hour and a half, I am really, really happy with it. A nine all day. Pagoda. It's a

**Pagoda:** nine for me, uh, straight up. It began with a very pleasant taste. Uh, you know, it made me smile.

I did get a little bit of that, you know, tea kind of flavor which always brings about pleasant memories. And, uh, a bit of the [01:31:00] sweetness and for me, I did not get any of the ammonia in the end. In fact, it went back to the beginning where I found a little bit of the sweetness again, and I really enjoyed it from the beginning to the end.

The size is great, uh, the combustion was fantastic. Uh, this was a very, very good. smoke output for a Cuban. I really enjoyed it. It's a nine for me. Awesome.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Bam.

**Bam Bam:** You know, I'm thinking about the cost of this cigar and the experience that I had tonight. It's like you said, Rooster, it's hard to factor price in because every Cuban cigar market has gone up in price.

So you're going to pay a lot of money for it. Whatever Cuban you want. Now, this was unique because how old is this cigar? Seven months. The gradual. Increase in body, which was very subtle as you went through the cigar, to me is an indicator of a pretty complex cigar and I think it'll age beautifully. I'm at a nine.

All right. Nine all day with this one.

**Gizmo:** So boys, the formal lizard rating on the Ramon Ionis Ionis number [01:32:00] three is an 8. 6 home run

**Bam Bam:** home run. Can you believe it for a six month old cigar? Yeah. Wild. It's incredible. I recommend it's

**Gizmo:** incredible. So let's go through some of the other scars we talked about tonight.

We'll start with the other Ramon Ionis cigars. The Ramona Yonah specially selected we did on episode nine a hundred episodes ago was a nine point zero That's a superior us that we did on episode 54. Very very weak 5. 7 The small club Corona we did an episode later on episode 55 on a short smoke special was a nine point zero And the number two, the EL, Edition Limitada from 2019, was a flat 10.

**Bam Bam:** 0. That was an incredible unicorn cigar that you, it's just amazing. I mean, this cigar has that potential. Potential. It does. Yeah.

**Senator:** Smoke this in a year. That's the thing, if there's one thing I think that we have very clearly discovered with Ramon Iones, it ages [01:33:00] incredibly well. And I say that because that Ramon Iones number two, that 2019 Limitada, When I first got those, they sucked.

I'm not even going to mince my words. They sucked. I was so, I bought not one, but two boxes of them. Puba was the first to get a box. And then I followed suit and stupidly, well, at the time I felt stupid for doing it, but double down and got even two and I just tucked it away in the back. And I said, if they still suck after a year or two later.

I guess I'll move them transformed. I mean, unrecognizable. I almost wish that I had like a young one for you to try. And then that was just a couple of years of age on it. You would never recognize it. And so just see having that experience with Ramon Iones. We know the RAS ages incredibly well. It does.

The potential for this cigar, truly the sky's the limit. Yeah.

**Rooster:** They don't need a lot of age. No. In just a couple of years.

**Bam Bam:** But you know, the 50 cabs of the Rast that we've gotten over the years, they're smoking [01:34:00] better and better. And that little, these standard production cigars, that Club Corona. That's a dessert cigar after a dinner.

If you have a little bit limited amount of time, it is quite the experience. That's a little home run cigar, which is incredible.

**Gizmo:** It's incredible. And what I love about all the cigars we're talking about, you talk about the small club Corona is probably a 15 cigar. Yeah. The RAS is probably mid twenties.

Obviously the EL. From 2019 is a really expensive cigar, maybe 50, 60, 70 tonight, a 31 cigar. Everything we're talking about, it runs the gamut price wise inside the same kind of DNA, as you mentioned, Rooster, of Ramon Iones. Like. It kind of covers all the bases. Like you can hit the limited amount of time.

You can go for the standard Robusto. You want to do a special night with the EL if you could find a box of those, or you have this new release, the Robusto extra for 31 bucks. I mean, Ramon is like doing great. Just avoid the superiors.[01:35:00]

So the other ones I wanted to review really quickly, cause we talked about them a lot tonight. The new cigars that came out from Habanos that we did on the podcast. La Gloria Cubana Turquinos, we did on episode 84, was an 8. 8. And the Rafael Gonzalez Coronas Delansdale, we did four episodes ago. On episode 1 0 5 was a flat 8.0.

And these

**Bam Bam:** are young cigars. Young cigars, very young. Cigars performing, incredibly so. You know, AOS is doing something really, really smart now. That's right. Yeah, they are. They're blenders, they're masters.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Coupa Tobacco's doing, doing the right thing there. Oh yeah. Yeah. So the only one from that list that edged it out was the kins by.

You know, two tenths of a 0. 88 on episode 84, you know, tonight, 8. 6. The other one that we mentioned that we should just kind of reference is the Edmundo, which is the closest cigar in regular production to this size. We did that on episode 80. Got a flat eight point

**Bam Bam:** zero. OK, honestly, the turquoise [01:36:00] edging this one out tonight makes a lot of sense.

It worked out perfectly. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** perfect. I agree. Yeah, I agree. Boys a great night tonight. What a fantastic pairing. The buna. The , Jesus.

**Bam Bam:** The, the buna somehow ha

**Gizmo:** the buna. Ha buna ha. Yes, Buna ha The buna ha got a 9.3 and our cigar tonight, the Ramon Ionis Ionis number three got an 8.6. Can you believe it? Let me tell you, both of those are a major, major surprise for me.

Yeah. All right, boys. Great night. Great conversation. And, uh, we'll see y'all next week. Hope you enjoyed this episode. Thanks for joining us. You can find our merch store and ratings archive at our brand new website. Lounge lizards, pod. com. That's lounge lizards, P O D dot com. Don't forget to leave us a rating and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform.

If you have any comments, [01:37:00] questions. If you want to reach out, say hello, tell us what you're smoking, email us. Hello at lounge lizards, pod. com. You can also find us on Instagram at lounge lizards pod. We really appreciate your time and we'll, uh, we'll see you next week.