Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

Recorded at the Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey, the lizards pair the Cuban Vegas Robaina Clásicos with Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier Brut Champagne for a very special New Year's Eve episode. Senator introduces the guys to the world of Grower Champagne, they discuss CA naming the H. Upmann No. 2 Cigar of the Year, and they review the year in cigar and spirits ratings.

Show Notes

Recorded at the Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey, the lizards pair the Cuban Vegas Robaina Clásicos with Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier Brut Champagne for a very special New Year's Eve episode. Senator introduces the guys to the world of Grower Champagne, they discuss CA naming the H. Upmann No. 2 Cigar of the Year, and they review the year in cigar and spirits ratings.

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

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

What is Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast?

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

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

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

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

**Gizmo:** [00:00:00] Welcome to a very special New Year's Eve edition of the Lounge Listeners podcast. It's so good to have you here. It's a leisure and lifestyle podcast founded on our love of premium cigars, as well as whiskey, travel, food, work, and whatever else we feel like getting into. My name is Gizmo, and tonight I'm joined by Rooster Poobah Senator Pagoda grinder, and bam bam, a full house of lizards.

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

Senator introduces us to the world of Grower Champagne. We discuss ca naming the Up and two Cigar of the Year, and we review our year in cigar and spirits ratings, all among a variety of other things for the next hour. So sit back, get your favorite drink, light up a cigar, and enjoy as we pair wilmar and C Grand Cellier brute champagne.

With the 2011 Vegas [00:01:00] Robaina Clasicos, a lizard favorite on the pod Tonight we talk about this cigar a lot, a vintage discontinued cigar from Vegas, Robaina called the Clasico. It's a lawnsdale 42 ring gauge by six and a half inches long. Um, we must have mentioned this cigar on the podcast a hundred times since we've, we've done this.


**Bam Bam:** a, it's a group

**Gizmo:** favorite. Yeah, it's a lizard. Lizard. It's a legendary cigar. It's a lizard classic. Yeah. No pun intended. Yeah. Um, you know, we've all had, we all have very special memories with this cigar. Um, unfortunately it was discontinued in 2012 alongside a lot of other havana's releases and Vegas, Robaina cigars, unfortunately.

Certainly one I wish they would bring back. But, um, I'm very excited to smoke this tonight, boys. I'm surprised

**Bam Bam:** we haven't reviewed this earlier.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, we saved it for a special occasion. Oh yeah. Little New Year's Eve actually. Yes, sir. So there's very few boxes

**Rooster:** available. That's [00:02:00] true. You know, for some reason you see the oh one s come up more often.

Yeah. But the Elevenths, they're completely disappeared, kind of for unicorn.

**Gizmo:** Let's cut this thing boys. See we're getting on the cold draw on the wrapper. Very excited. So I, you know, I, we talk about this a lot. I, I have a box of these that we bought a few years ago. Um, I think Poobah found these,

**Bam Bam:** Poobah

**Gizmo:** introduced us to the cigar.

Yeah. You found these cigars, right? Poobah? Um, yes. And then we all ran out and bought boxes from, well, the same retailer. Oh, some of us did. And not me. Not only those of us that know how to follow

**Bam Bam:** instructions. Yeah. I did not follow instructions , honestly. Senator gave me my first

**Gizmo:** classical. Yeah. So Rooster gave me mine and I'll never forget where I was and what I, I remember everything about

**Bam Bam:** it.

I'm glad you said that because I was thinking about the cigar earlier today. This fucking thing left an imprint on me. I'll never forget. Same in, in fact, for me personally, I'm gonna go out on, [00:03:00] on a limb and say this, this has started my venture or pursuit of Cuban cigars. This is really the, for me, the, the catalyst for it starter.

**Senator:** Absolutely. So I, I'm in a similar camp in that when Poobah first discovered this, he comes over my place. We're sitting in my lounge, it's just the two of us. And Poobah says to me, I got something. You gotta try . And I'm looking at this cigar. I'm not super familiar at this point with Vegas Robia. I wouldn't say I was smoking a lot of Lonsdale at that time.

And Poobah is like, it's a smaller ring gauge. There's merit to these and this cigar is gonna blow your hair back. And I remember being so skeptical, just even lighting this cigar. And I'll never forget, just the first puff the flavor was just unbelievable. And I mean, I was gushing about this cigar to like, it's crazy.

All the lizards for days and it's crazy. We got so lucky, obviously, being able to source a, a, a few boxes, at least for some, most of us, to get just one box. But this is easily, like the most prized, cherished cigar I probably own. There's

**Gizmo:** no doubt, no [00:04:00] doubt about it. Same here. I mean, I, I look at this box sitting in my tower.

I think there's probably now after tonight, maybe 18 left. And it's like I just see the box in there. I don't reach for them. I probably should because you know, hopefully they don't. Falling off in flavor from where they've been. But this is the first time I've had this in well over a year. You should sell 'em to me.

Yeah. Okay. Or smoke one

**Poobah:** a year or, yeah. Or just, or smoke them. Yeah. That's what I mean. Holidays

**Gizmo:** at some point.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Now how

**Bam Bam:** long ago was it that, Senator, you gave this to me in your clay, your lounge? It's gotta be

**Gizmo:** two and a half years, probably two years

**Bam Bam:** now. Maybe longer than that. I think it

**Gizmo:** was before the pandemic.


**Rooster:** how do you know that these are gonna lose flavor when there's guys smoking? Like

**Gizmo:** 1970s March. Don't twos. I'm not saying that I, I'm not saying that. But you don't know. You don't know.

**Senator:** I think it's just the risk, like how this is smoking right now is to me the, the epitome of perfection. Oh, totally. So it's like if it were to deviate it all from this, I'll be heartbroken.

**Gizmo:** What if it gets better? Oh, I don't think that's

**Senator:** possible. [00:05:00] That's . Well, well actually you, you have the oh one s here's, and I prefer last year. Here's the

**Bam Bam:** crazy thing. It's only been, let's say it's three years. The cigar, the Cuban cigar knowledge that I think has, has developed in this group has gone from, I think one to a hundred.

In a, in a heartbeat. It's just incredible how that, that, uh, the knowledge and the, the pursuit of the Cuban cigar has ramped up for us. Yeah. From I think this cigar.

**Senator:** Totally agree. I know. I think to your point on that though, for me, for me it's more, it, it, it got me out of my comfort zone with Cubans and wanting to explore more because I was a guy, I mean, I was D four s for a long time.

Yeah. Like some of the traditional stuff that I still love today. But I wasn't really venturing out too much and trying Vegas, Robaina. Right. Uh, I wasn't smoking that many lawnsdale. So like, when Poobah gave me this cigar, I was like, I want to go a lot deeper down this Cuban rabbit hole. Like, there's probably so much stuff

**Bam Bam:** that I don't know that I, it's funny he said that not to interrupt, we were talking about D four s and P [00:06:00] two s that night and this thing came up.

You weren't there. Poobah. I wish you were, because I would've thanked you. This has just, I think,

**Gizmo:** changed my world. Yeah. This is what the Cuban tobacco is all about. Totally. Oh yeah. Totally. Cause you get

**Rooster:** that one fantastic Cuban cigar. and doesn't matter. It could be in, in a hoyo epi two, it could be a D four.

And you get that perfect

**Gizmo:** balance of aged Cuban tobacco. Yeah. And you chase that.

**Rooster:** Yeah. And you keep chasing that. You might not find it for months, could be years. It's

**Gizmo:** true. And you may never find it again. It's worth, so it's worth that chase.

**Poobah:** So I first discovered these, I actually only bought five of them, and I had smoked one and by myself.

And I said, this is the best cigar I've ever had in my life. And then I went to, to the senator's lounge and I said, you really need to try the cigar. It, it, it may be the best cigar I've ever [00:07:00] had. He's saying, I will see .

**Gizmo:** Um, I, as he does, I wasn't skeptic as he does. And

**Poobah:** we of course, and we, we sat there where we're watching a game or something, and then, and he lit it and he actually didn't say anything for like five seconds.

Yeah. And then he just looked at me and he went, wow. Yeah, it's magical. And, and I said, I told you man, and, and it's only gonna get better. And he was like, uh, wow. To me. And that was, you know, and that was my reaction as well. I, I, I said, you know, and then after that it was like, then I scored a box and it started happening and it, it started happening.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Well, I remember sitting at the, to me, this is the genesis of chasing not just age Cuban cigars, but Cuban cigars, like really understanding the magic that can come. An experience from this, you know, cigar like this and that. This was the start of it. And I'll never forget, you know, sitting with Rooster and Was that on his patio?

No, it was actually at our old, uh, our old lounge. Oh, okay. Yeah. Fireplace and everything. Oh, wow. [00:08:00] So, okay.

**Pagoda:** It'll be the first time I'll be trying this, so I'm gonna walk

**Gizmo:** over to it. Oh, it's gonna be a big night, boys. Oh yeah. So, uh, what are you guys getting on the, uh, KRA?

**Bam Bam:** Well, it's gonna be amazing. We can tell.

Mm-hmm. , cocoa,

**Gizmo:** little, little, uh, little potpourri type of thing going on. A little floral, a a touch

**Bam Bam:** and some dried fruit and cocoa. Yep. For me.

**Gizmo:** Hmm. Rapper is beautiful. I mean, oh yeah. It's just simple. Vegas, Robaina, classic band, black and gold. It's

**Poobah:** even balanced down cold. It's like a little bit tobacco, it's a little bit of earth.

It's a little bit of cocoa. It's a little bit sweet. I get cinnamon. Yeah. You have some baking spices that come through in

**Gizmo:** the little, little fig. . Yeah. All right, boys, here we go. Let's light this thing. You know what,

**Rooster:** what's amazing is also, you know, like the, compared to the oh one box. Yeah. The wrappers on this are like milk chocolate.

Yeah. But

**Gizmo:** the oh one box are super, super dark. They're [00:09:00] dark.

**Bam Bam:** Yep. I brought a oh one box, uh, Vegas with me tonight. Much deeper in color.

**Gizmo:** You should, you should light both of them up. . So again, we're lighting the Vegas Robaina Clasico from February, 2011, discontinued cigar, which breaks my heart. It's

**Bam Bam:** literally been at least two years since

**Gizmo:** I've had one of these.

Yeah, it's a long time.

**Senator:** Oh my God. I, geez, I, I'm sorry. I mean, there's just two things that jump out. We actually did mention this when we started talking about this stick, when I opened the box to take one of these out. , you just look at the foot of every cigar in there. The, oh, they're perfectly rolled. Like, I can't remember, a box of Cuban cigars that I've looked at and said, every single stick in the box is perfect.

Usually you're gonna find a few here or there that you see are not packed enough or whatever the case may be. Yeah. So the construction's really impeccable. And [00:10:00] man, the combustion that this small ring gauge puts out just the first light. Unbelievable.

**Gizmo:** And the combustions. Look at this. One Match.

**Poobah:** One match.

Look at you. Look at the me, look

**Gizmo:** at this one. Match. . Poobah Lit with a match tonight. Fingertips, right? Very el, very elegant light from Poobah.

**Poobah:** Beautiful. What beautiful, with, with, with, with There is matches from Cuba. RGUs matches from

**Gizmo:** Cuba. Oh my God. There is something about how this hits the, the middle and back of my tongue that no other cigar that I've ever smoked does.

It's so unique and it's so consistent to this specific cigar. Such a unique, unique cigar. What are you guys getting?

**Rooster:** I mean, right off the bat

**Gizmo:** you got some cocoa, like

**Grinder:** sure. I'm saying I'm getting this effervescence on the, um, retro hill. It's like, it's like a bubbly sparkling soda, you know?

**Senator:** Oh, we're gonna get into some bubbly Oh yes.


**Bam Bam:** is New Year's,

**Gizmo:** how appropriate this is. Uh, you know what it is exactly as I remember. It's, [00:11:00]

**Poobah:** there's a balance to this cigar that it's almost, there's a level of complexity and I don't wanna really, like, I, I'm not even exaggerating. Here, there, there, there's something about it. It's almost hard to like, pin down this enigma of an awesome cigar.

It's just, it's got everything going. There's a lot happening for me when I smoke it. There's, it's tobacco. It's like, it's cedar, it's sweet. It's, it's got kind of everything in there and you get a lot of different notes that are going on. There's no kind of singular thing that's happening. It's complex and it's smooth.

Very, it is smooth. Very as

**Bam Bam:** silk, very smooth

**Gizmo:** Little floral too, right?

**Poobah:** Yeah. Yeah. There's like, that's what I'm saying. There's just so many things going on with the cigar

**Gizmo:** and, and the age, tobacco, the, the, the mustiness of the age tobacco. Really to me kind of [00:12:00] marries everything, like mm-hmm. , like Poobah saying it's really the best of everything Cuba has to offer across all of the lines.

Yeah. And all the great cigars we love. Sure. And it's married by this, um, this glue of just an incredible mustiness that. There's nothing else like it.

**Poobah:** Well, it, it, it, to me, it almost, it doesn't like over overindex on, let's say if you were, if you were smoking a, uh, an M D O, uh, for where it's so fal that it's, it's, it's, yes, that's a characteristic of that cigar that it's just, that is just fantastic.

Right. And a ton of, and people, like, people love that. We love it. If you go back and you talk to Rob Ila, he's like, I just never understood it, you know, like it was just for me, not my jam. I know everybody loves this, but this like, for, I think this thing is very versed, this cigar for whatever, anyone would like this.

There's got everything going on. If you really like floral, it's there. There's some floral there if you like, [00:13:00] a little cocoa. The cocoa's there, it's all there. It's all like, it's kind of all there. Yep. It's just got a lot going.

**Gizmo:** and I, I've had other aged robins. Um, I've had aged unicos. I've had aged FSOs, um, not quite 2011, I think they were like maybe 20 14, 20 13.

And it really makes me realize how much of a standout this specific Yeah. There's viola is from them. It's really, it's special. It really stands out. Yeah. It's special, you know, and it's such a sin. Again, we've talked about this all the time about Lonsdale and, and skinny long cigars like this kind of going the way of the dodo, but this is, it's a really a sin that this, this cigar doesn't exist anymore.

**Senator:** I just, picking up on what Poobah said, I, I, I couldn't agree more. To me, this is the most complex Cuban cigar in that if, if I could have someone blend a cigar for me with flavor notes that I love. Like, this is it. And it's just [00:14:00] like taking everything I've ever loved in any cigar and somehow all marrying it together, just like you're describing.

Like I, there's nothing else like it,

**Poobah:** because there are, like, you could pick up little things, right? Like, oh, I taste a little Monte Cristo in there. And you can be like, Ooh, I taste a little bit of almost like that parus baking spice, but with pepper in there. Do you know what I mean? It's like the best all, it's all, it's like the best of all worlds.

I don't, I mean, am I nuts best for, cause we haven't really discussed, I maybe we've always said it's great, but we haven't discussed the cigar together at length. Really? Like, like

**Gizmo:** this. We, we've never smoked, we've never smoked this together. It's true. At one setting, at one sitting. We haven't, I guess, haven't we?

No, we haven't. It's not never, it's always been a few of us here and there. Yeah. Yeah. So, pagoda, this is your first time having the smoke. What are you thinking? Yeah, I th I

**Pagoda:** think, uh, very, uh, pleasant throughout my tongues. So even on the side of the tongues I feel are really like, uh, I call it [00:15:00] saltiness, maybe earthiness, but there's something over there on the side of my tongue as well.

I think for cocoa. I didn't get the immediate cocoa thing till the time I, you know, when you take the slight gulp later, it's like a little bit, that's when I felt a little bit of the cocoa. Very, very pleasant. Yeah. It's like, um, the way I understand it is, it's, it's very complex for sure. From, from

**Senator:** the very beginning.

I, I'm glad you mentioned the saltiness because on the finish I get like that salty twanging, like when you said, oh, I can see a little Monty in this. Like, I was like, ding, ding, ding. Like that's what I get on the finish and parus and I mean, so many things are in this, but I love the salty sort of twangy finish that this thing delivers, for sure.


**Bam Bam:** I think best of everything puts it right on the nail there. Perfect description, man. You guys are spoiling me this best of everything. Ridiculous. Yeah, it's,

**Grinder:** it's bright, it's crisp, but it's also smooth and creamy and milky. It's fantastic.

**Bam Bam:** Definitely creamy as well. Yeah. [00:16:00] Let's, um, what are these going for now?

**Gizmo:** They don't go for anything. Don't go for any, I know that .

**Poobah:** I don't even know what. Okay, so I You have the last box. I, I think I grabbed the last box. You did. Last book came up. You did

**Bam Bam:** pva. What did you pay for

**Poobah:** this box? I think I paid, I think gives, you could look back maybe into the, or I could, I want to pay, say I paid, actually I can't look it up.

Just, I think I just paid, I think I paid just under

**Gizmo:** 800. I'm gonna look it up right now. I think you paid more. Really? I don't know. No, I didn't pay No, no, no, no. On the group. Yes, on the group. Really? It was under

**Poobah:** eight. It was under $800. I wanna say paid 7 85,

**Gizmo:** bro. I feel like that's right.

**Bam Bam:** I would pay every dollar.

For this box, every dollar, I'd pay a grand for this box. No doubt.

**Poobah:** Remember the guy criticized me because he said, I overbid by like 20 bucks. , remember that? $20. And, and I was like, Hey, fuck off. Like so pissed.

**Gizmo:** I want it. You don't know


**Rooster:** bad I wanted a bid on the

**Gizmo:** big all of

**Senator:** us. Are you kidding me? I, I mean [00:17:00] this, this is how you know, we, we love and appreciate Poobah.

I mean, just imagine all of us are sitting here gushing about this cigar. I mean, some of us would practically kill someone to get a box of these. Absolutely. And this box comes up and we're all gunning for it. Like everyone in their mind is like, I want this box. And Poobah is like, I want it. Stand down. I found it.

And we all, we, we held the line. We didn't go for it. And Poobah

**Gizmo:** deservingly got it. Do you guys remember? what? We paid for it in February 21. Yes. Yes. I want to say six 50. Wow. $437

**Senator:** knew something. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Oh my God.

**Bam Bam:** 400 and

**Gizmo:** change. That's how much a box of D four s is going for. If you could find a deal now.

**Poobah:** Yeah. But you know, I think some people don't even know or appreciate how good this cigar is. It's a little bit of a sleeper, but not totally for those who know, but it's somewhat maybe of a sleeper, you know? It doesn't have that. It's a, it's a, it's a bit of a sleeper for some. Yeah. Not

**Gizmo:** after this pod comes out.

No, this is, this is really, uh, yeah, as I remember it, it's [00:18:00] exactly as you remember it.

**Bam Bam:** It's as crazy how an imprint. Is created from this cigar years and years ago, and you never forget it. Yeah. It's just something you keep thinking about. It's

**Poobah:** unbelievable. Well, it's like the golf shot analogy, you know?

Yeah. From Robb, you hit that perfect golf shot. This is like the perfect golf shot. You knows if Cuban chasing Su Cuban cigars is like, you know, hitting a golf shot. This is, this is like a driver three 50 down the middle. You,

**Gizmo:** you know, the other button come back. I was about to say, you know, the box that I bought after this, by the way, to chase out their aged Cuban cigars trying to continue to chase this, was that box of Romeo Atta, uh, Churchills from 2013.

That classic, that was

**Bam Bam:** Cuba's favorite classic box. No, no, honestly,

**Senator:** and only that cigar made it in an astr got dumped after two puffs.

**Gizmo:** That seems like ages ago. It was, that was so long ago. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Years. If I may say the, another cigar that's left in imprint is that col. The Romeo Collibra. Oh yeah. The part of

**Gizmo:** Its Collibra, I'm sorry, the, the one we did on the pod.

That is,

**Bam Bam:** that these are, that was delicious. Yeah. These are special cigars that you're not just gonna, you're not gonna find them. No.

**Poobah:** The Collibra is kind of cool [00:19:00] because that's a, that's a real sleeper. Yeah, it is. Like people don't really realize, they think how awesome those cigars are. And if you like, if you like, and I think everyone would back me up in this, if you like Legia Cabana, if you like an MD oh four, if you like that kind of Floral.

Floral, yeah. That kind of floral thing going on, then um, the collabs there, the collabs for you. No doubt. And it, and it gives you a little dessert flavor too. And so if you like that cigar, try Collibra with some age on it. Yeah. You may find a deal because people don't, um, pursue those as much because, well, they're

**Gizmo:** Collibras.


**Senator:** the thing that just kills me, honestly, the sad part about this cigar. I, I, I'm thinking of all of our favorite sticks and they're all, I think literally all with this being the one exception still in production today. Hmm. I mean, you know, kids is obsessed with loosies. We love 8 98 s like, I mean, the MDOs like Right.

You [00:20:00] can, the four is still made. I mean, this is the only cigar I can think of that we like revere so much that's no longer made, and I, for the life of me, don't understand why they wouldn't bring this cigar back. That's true. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Is the MDO two still made or is that

**Gizmo:** It was canceled at the same time

**Bam Bam:** before.

That's also incredible that mdo number two. Oh yeah. Incredible. Another, another cigar that you just can't

**Poobah:** forget, but we've talked about this. I mean, at, you know, it's the matter of just

**Gizmo:** labor. Yeah. You know, the, the brands that are lower in the Ho Bono's portfolio, they've trimmed all of. , what they've thought was the excess, I guess, in the, in the 2000 tens, so many Violas got canceled.

And now they're using these brands like Robia and, and, uh, Laia, Cubana and, and, and some of these others. They're gonna start using them to release smaller b batches of really high end premium cigars in ridiculous packaging. Hmm. [00:21:00] You know, like we've seen with, uh, LGC, they just, they just released, um, a really high end thing and they're putting out 10 count boxes that retail for a thousand bucks, select selection, uh, before they even hit the, it's outrageous.

It's crazy. It's outrageous. It's crazy. What

**Pagoda:** surprises me is that, uh, you know, you, there's so many permutations in combinations within, you know, the tobacco, tobacco leave the one country. It's crazy.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And, and how many hands have touched the cigars? We've, you know, think about Well, we saw firsthand. Yeah.

Yeah. How crazy it is that, you know, probably 150, 200 people have touched the cigar from, from seed to, to being in our, our hands right now. Yeah. I mean, it's amazing to think that someone rolled this cigar in February, 2011, and here we are in New Year's Eve 2022, you know, all sitting around, lighting them up.

It's pretty incredible, you know,

**Bam Bam:** I wonder, wonder where the recipe is for this cigar. It's gotta be in someone's closet somewhere. Huh?

**Gizmo:** Julia [00:22:00] Child's cookbook. It's gone,

**Poobah:** it's gone for, it's gone forever. It's whatever that Yes, it is, it's whatever that master blend, whatever that blender was with the factory manager and, and the

**Bam Bam:** leaf that he had at that time, I guess at that time.

**Gizmo:** Wow. All right.

**Senator:** Are we, are we ready? It's time there. There's only one thing. We need a drink to pair with a stick like this. We need to pop some champagne. Let's

**Gizmo:** do it. Let's go. I totally concur. All right, Poobah. We need that play by play. Okay. Here's

**Poobah:** Senator. He's got a weapon in his hand. He's pointing it at Dakota as per usual.

Uh, he has it, he has these bottles of champagne, which we haven't had before. We have not. They're apparently,

**Senator:** we're entering a whole new world tonight, boys. Yes.

**Poobah:** So apparently we're entering a world, uh, of Grower Champagne. I have no idea what that is, but it sounds boutiquey. It does. Uh, it sounds, it's like it's a small batch.

Um, uh, and so we're looking forward to this. Okay. He's preparing the bottle. He's [00:23:00] wiping it down. He's going through his, his ritual. He's, um, moving his microphone out of the way, and, oh wait, he's close to the mic.

**Senator:** Whoa.

**Bam Bam:** Right. Beautiful, beautiful. That never, ever disappoints. Never gets old. That is so cool. It is.

**Pagoda:** By the way, this is done. Straight. God.

**Bam Bam:** It looks like very clean.

**Poobah:** This is very good. It's a straight cut. It's a perfect circumcision. You should be, you should be a mo. A mo on the side should circumcise babies

**Gizmo:** with the sa

**Bam Bam:** and then pop a bottle.

Thank you. Thank you Senator. Look how decadent that looks. Hmm.

**Poobah:** Uh, mazel tough. Mazz muzzle. Yeah. .

**Gizmo:** Mazel muzzle Rabbi Senator. Wow. [00:24:00]

**Bam Bam:** I

**Senator:** just have to say

**Gizmo:** this is great. Yeah. This is wonderful. So can you guys believe I, while Senators Garone is still walking around, pouring champagne as of course his tradition, um, it's pretty incredible to me that this is our second.

New Year's Eve special episode. Like Yeah. It's kind of wild, man. Yeah,

**Poobah:** it is wild. It, it is wild. Didn't we do, uh, a caviar thing at one of 'em? We

**Gizmo:** did, we did a caviar last year for New Year's Eve. Uh, we did D four. That's right. And we did Paul Roche. Yeah. Right.

**Poobah:** And you're bringing in butter, poached lobster tails now.

I am. Yeah. They're

**Gizmo:** on their way. They're on their way. Little late through Wonder. Little Late a Wonder Truck. . Lobster Thermador. All right. So, uh, I know that we want to drink this, but just tell us what we have and then we'll go into the details of the Grower Champagne and whatnot. But just what do we, what do we have in our hand right

**Senator:** now?

All right, so this is, as Poobah said, a grower Champagne. We're gonna talk a little bit about what that means. This is, A whole new, really fascinating world in Champaign. Um, the champagne that we are drinking tonight [00:25:00] is, uh, Vilma and Sea, uh, grand Cellier, uh, premier Crew. Uh, it is awesome. Um, I have a whole story how I tried this.

Awesome. I'll tell you after, but cheers boys. Cheers. Cheers,

**Gizmo:** boys. Happy New Year. Cheers. Cheers. Thank you so much. Happy New Year to you all. Cheers, gentlemen. Cheers. Happy. Cheers everybody. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers everybody. Cheers, rooster Cheer. Cheers, BBA. Cheers, gentlemen. Cheers. Cheer. Let's not. Cheers. Cheers.

Cheers, boys. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, wow. Oh my God. That's different. Oh, Lord. That is different.

**Gizmo:** Hmm. I like how, um,

It's not overwhelming in any way. It's very smooth, but it's not like a kicky around kind of flavor. No.

**Senator:** There, there's one thing that jumps out to me. I'm not sure if you're getting, it's,

**Bam Bam:** it's a little, there's a little tart citrusy thing happening. A slight on the front,

**Senator:** on the finish, yes. But right up front it's super creamy.

Yeah. It's like moose. Like, Hmm.

**Gizmo:** Wow. That's [00:26:00] delicious. Guys. Try it with the cigar. Holy Moy. Wow. Woo .

**Poobah:** Okay. There's like a viscosity to this. That's, there's like a, there's a, that's different. Maybe it's got some legs. Maybe it doesn't have as much carbonation nation.

**Gizmo:** Wow, this is so

**Poobah:** good. I can't explain it, but, um, I gotta get more into it.

Yeah, you're right. You don't

**Rooster:** see the carbonation

**Gizmo:** in the glass so much. Like, honestly, it's delicious.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, it's really nice. A little bit of a mineral there. I, I get just a touch. Fantastic.

**Poobah:** It's it, I mean, it's sweeter than those, those kind of British style. Not that they're British style, but Boge or Paul Roge.

I mean, it's a much different

**Gizmo:** style.

**Senator:** Uh, I definitely agree with that. Uh, if you compare this to Paul Roge, the other thing I'm getting in this, which is, uh, to me pairing well with a cigar, it's also

**Gizmo:** floral.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Yeah. And the finish lingers a little bit.

**Gizmo:** It does nicely. Long finish. Yeah. I think that this is a perfect choice to pair with the cigar, [00:27:00] even like, I think Paul Roja and, and, and, uh, uh, what was the other one we did?

Boge Bogey. Both would really do well with this, but I think this was the perfect, um, subtle companion to the cigar we have in our hand. That's the operative

**Senator:** word. Subtle. When you said subtle companion. Yeah. You know, poo was talking before about the cigar we're smoking and describing it as it has a little bit of a lot of things, but nothing really is overpowering in it.

And. I think like, you know, Paul Roge, it's, it's very dry. Um, and like it leads with that like dry tart flavor, which is super refreshing. Hairs amazingly with something rich like caviar. Um, with this, you're getting a little bit of a bunch of things like this creamy mose, some floral, some of the other notes you guys have mentioned.

Mm-hmm. , but nothing like, takes like over Nope. And, and is so far ahead of the rest. It's like everything's kind of balanced nicely next to each other. [00:28:00] And,

**Bam Bam:** um, but I will say it's very satisfying and I, I can drink this for quite a while and be very happy with it. Well, that's

**Gizmo:** what I'm planning. It's,

**Bam Bam:** it's very, very good.

**Poobah:** Very good. Well it, it could hold up with

**Gizmo:** food. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. This would be really nice with fish, with sushi. Fish. Sushi. Your salmon dinner that you had earlier. Salmon dinner I had tonight. Very nice. Honestly, there's like a

**Grinder:** minerality that would put, put itself up with the stink. Yep. I noted that

**Bam Bam:** earlier.


**Senator:** The minerality is so spot on. So I, I've, I mean, we've talked about my love of wine, and that's mostly red wine, but I've more recently, in the last several years, also started to get a bit into white wine. And the minerality in this reminds me of a Greek aerco. Like as soon as Reinder said, I'm like, I, I'm getting these.

Same thing. And that's what an Aerco grape gives you. Are

**Rooster:** there any Greek uh, Like sparkling

**Gizmo:** wines

**Senator:** There are, I would not recommend them. Oh really? . So just a quick thing on, on grower champagne. So I have to give my mother-in-law credit because [00:29:00] I've loved Champaign for a very long time, but I hadn't myself really ventured outside of the big champaign houses that a lot of us are familiar.

You know, the Paul Roches Vu, all these guys. Um, and what's really unique about grower champagnes is that the big champagne houses, basically all the champagnes we've reviewed up until now, none of them actually grow their own grapes. They are buying grapes from a ton of different places, blending it and then bottling it to the consumer so they don't actually make.

The, the, so what's in that bottle? They just essentially blended bottle it, grower champagnes. They actually produce, they make those grapes on their property. Um, bottle make e everything happens in one place. So it's kind of like in wine, like, you know, if you buy like an estate cabernet, what that's telling you is that, that that grape was grown on their estate, on their property and then, you know, fermented and bottled as opposed to just a standard cab that's maybe more excessively priced, that comes from grapes they bought all over [00:30:00] Napa or whatever region and then they blended it and just bottled it.

So, um, there's a lot of history from, these are smaller, um, smaller growers that, that produced this stuff. I mean, I had looked, uh, bill Martin's, uh, and see, I think they only produced 2,600 cases a year. Wow. I mean, the big champagne houses moved that in like days. Yeah. I mean, that's

**Gizmo:** not a

**Poobah:** lot. Is the, I have a question.

Yeah. Is the, is the cla So I know with French Burgundy. The cla, the, the French classification goes Vage. Premier crew, grand crew. But that differs in some regions. So this is Premier Crew. Does that mean it's the middle or does that mean it's the top?

**Senator:** So it's actually very weird because, um, there is not like a accepted standard in Champaign for some reason.

It's like the two are warring against each other, saying that Premier Crew or Grand Crew is one is better than the other. Um, I don't have a particular take on on which [00:31:00] is, is better, but they are the two highest designations in Champaign. Um, that basically says that these vineyards, uh, where they're located is where the premier Champaign grapes are from.

Um, and they produce that. So this, right, uh, we're drinking as a premier

**Gizmo:** crew

**Poobah:** because I know in the Burgundy region they regulate that, but they do, the government regulates that heavily. Um, I learned about that many, many years ago when I was there. It in, but the, but that's, but that region does it that way.

And I believe that Bordeaux doesn't classify their wine. It's reversed. Maybe I don't quote me on that, but it, it, by point being is that if you

**Senator:** see, you're right, you're right. No poop. I, I gotta say, first of all, like a plus pub is spot on. It is reverse. In Bordeaux, it's reverse. In the premier crew is the highest and the grand crew is lower.

Where, what you were saying with Burgundy, it's the exact opposite. Opposite. And I think that's why with Champaign, they were kind of clever to realize like, this is kind of bullshit. Like [00:32:00] how one is not truly necessarily that much better than the other. And so they just kind of say that the two of them are the highest designations.

they just let them war for, you know? Right. Who has bragging rights to think that they have the better? And I paid

**Gizmo:** attention on

**Poobah:** the, the

**Bam Bam:** tour

**Pagoda:** You didn't drink enough because you remembered

**Gizmo:** a lot . So, you know what's funny about this happening today, Senator? Is I got an email from Departure's Magazine, which I believe is United Airlines magazine. It's Amex right? Or amec? It's actually Amex correct. You're correct. Platinum. I know them. Publication well.

Yeah. . So I got an Ucci was on the cover. ,

**Bam Bam:** let's not . Let's avoid this, please. So That's right. Do

**Gizmo:** not go there. So I got a, uh, let it go. I got a, uh, I got an email today. No joke today. I could show it to you from Departure's Magazine. How to drink Grower Champagne. Wow, love [00:33:00] that. Interesting. And it's a whole writeup.

Totally in line with Senator. Uh, Senator's passion for this spirit, but, um, they are, they, they, they are singing the praises of the grower champagnes. Yeah. It's just, I

**Senator:** mean, the thing is, look, if you. If you try a lot of champagnes from the big champagne houses, they're all a little bit different, but at a point you realize that there's so much in common among a lot of 'em, and it's just varying degrees of certain things.

Grower champagnes is are where like innovation happens in champaign where like this grower champagne, if I brought you another bottle from another grower, it it's gonna be so wildly different. You'll almost recognize nothing in common among the two. So it's just like the only place to like have fun and explore.

It's like, you know, we love single malt scotch, but sometimes we love, we have a Caribbean cast that's age in a rum cast that imparts a unique flavor or something that's, I, uh, comes out of a port barrel that's, uh, obviously aged there. So there's just a lot more experimentation that [00:34:00] happens with grower champagnes and that's part of the fun.

There's so much to try and it's just a whole new.

**Gizmo:** Like, like wines, I mean, is are the vintages really important in grower champagne because they're kind of using what they grow that season? Or like, is is vintage like a, in the conversation with it? I would think so, right.

**Senator:** Uh, so not, not in the same way, in the sense that, um, 90% of the champagne that is.

Really all the champagne that's under a hundred, $150 a bottle is non vintage. And so they're not disclosing the year and they are blending, uh, different grapes to try to keep that consistency year in and year out. Sort of similar to like, you know, we're, I just mentioned scotch, like you see a 12 year, eight statement or 15 year aid statement.

You don't know what years that was from. You just know that on average they were aged a minimum, uh, that they were aged a minimum of 12 years. What's in that bottle? Um, for the more expensive [00:35:00] stuff, they will put the actual year that that was made. Like similar, you can buy 'em Macallen bottle that it will literally tell you Right.

All of that's from 1999 and it's gonna cost you a fortune. Yeah. And in champagne, the vintage bottles where you do chase vintages that you know are really good like you do in, you know, red or white, uh uh, still wine. And so, um, that's also where you get into a little bit more fun because they're not, um, they're not consistent.

They're not like non vintage bottles where like Paul Roge, non vintage every year should taste identical. That's what they're going for. But when you start buying like Paul Roge, sir Winston, that's their, um, their higher end, uh, vintage stuff, you know, each year is gonna be a little bit different and you go start chasing gears that you know are, are really good.

That sounds

**Bam Bam:** amazing. That bottle. Yeah. Right. The Sir Winston Bottle . We should do

**Gizmo:** that. I'm gonna take a bath. ,

**Poobah:** eat his proper English breakfast and pound the bottle in the bath, in the shower. [00:36:00] Well that's how, that's how, that's how he drank it. That's how he drank it. . That's

**Grinder:** the proper way to toast it. New Year's.

Wake up the next day. Take a bath, get your robe on. Nice. Drink a bottle of champagne.

**Gizmo:** I may have to do that to Sure. light up a cigar.

**Poobah:** Absolutely. Absolutely. This

**Gizmo:** cigar. Yeah, this cigars amazing. This cigars incredible. So we're coming to the, uh, second, third here, boys. I mean, it's everything that I remember from a couple years ago.

Oh, yeah. Yeah. It's everything I remember. Yeah. And not that you, this really, you know, this really to use pub's line more than any other, this is more appropriate for this cigar than any other. It's like an old friend, like one like this. Cigar to me is the start of this ridiculous journey. It's wild journey that I've been on.

Same with Cuban cigars. This is the, this is, it was a, well, it was a catalyst.

**Poobah:** It was a catalyst. It was a bit of a catalyst. Absolutely. It, you know, it f [00:37:00] Exactly right. I think for, I think for all of us. Oh yeah. It's a bit of a catalyst. It, um, it's, it's because it is one of those, it is one of those smokes where you just, you say to yourself, I just can't, I can't believe.

You know, baby Jesus must have created this thing. , this thing is, is, uh, is off the chart. You know, I mean, it's, it is that good cuz it's given you everything. Yeah. Not to be repetitive, but it like when you on the retro hale, like if you want a little like, so as you journey through the smoke, On the retro hell you can get, you'll get that floral, it's

**Bam Bam:** creamy as hell on the retro hale as well.

**Poobah:** Very creamy. It gives you the cream, but it gives you the floral, right? Yeah. So you're like, okay, I want a little floral here or there, and then maybe you don't retro hell on the next, on the next pole and you're tasting a bunch of other things like, like baking spices and stuff. It's like it's off the chain.

It's really off the chain. It is a little off the chain. It's crazy.

**Rooster:** I'm not gonna lie. It's just smelling the aroma that's coming off of the cigar. [00:38:00] Just

**Gizmo:** absolutely delicious. It's intoxicating, . It's

**Bam Bam:** outstanding. I

**Gizmo:** agree with you. Should, should, should be. It should be turned into like

**Bam Bam:** perfume, you know, after having this cigar two years ago, three years ago, however many years ago it was, you know, I started, we all, I don't know about you guys, but I'd hit the internet looking for other cigars.

What else is there? I didn't know anything. You

**Senator:** hit the, I didn't looking for

**Bam Bam:** cigars. I didn't buy anything, but I looked .

**Gizmo:** I don't believe it for a second.

**Senator:** Gizmo, tell us what you found for . .

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. You got friends of d, friends of you. Didn't get some good stuff. .

**Poobah:** Yeah. Every, we, we should be handing you chiropractor pills from carrying you around on our digital back for fucking years.

**Bam Bam:** You know what? It is extremely appreciated voice. It's so true. . Much

**Gizmo:** love, much love. You know, I'm gonna throw a word out that I don't know you guys are familiar with that I, it kind of, this cigar kind of does it for me. Did you ever hear that Japanese word umami, like did the fifth? Taste of like savoriness, like total [00:39:00] satisfaction.

This cigar is umami. For me, it, it's like that's the best way I could describe what this cigar does for me. The smell at the burn line. I al I, I always go to that, but it's just, it's magical on this, Hey,

**Poobah:** listen, and you know what? Fuck this la Delan there needs, we said it, I'll say it again. Lonsdale are great.

Yeah. And this notion, they d the way they deliver the smoke, um, and how they feel in the hand, they, they, they're, they're everything. And then some, and, and for me, I wish they may, I know we've said it a thousand times, but this delivers the perfect amount of smoke with the, that kind of pointed delivery with the right amount of combustion.

I just really love the size too. Yeah. It's just, it's awesome. You know,

**Gizmo:** I really

**Senator:** do. I agree. There's a funny characteristic though about this cigar and just the way that it was boxed that, I'm gonna say something controversial. I'm looking at everyone's cigar. It's slightly, this is packed in and it's a little [00:40:00] box press.

**Poobah:** It's semi box press. It's an address box.

**Senator:** It's, it's the opposite of like, you look at, um, an 8 98. Those are, those are not at all box press. Correct. I love how this feels in my hand with light box press. Yep. I I would, I would love for there to be more lonsdale like this. Like this Yeah, that's

**Bam Bam:** right. It's

**Poobah:** semi call se it's semi back press.

Yeah. Like, it's like Arsenio in coming to America. I think

**Grinder:** Cuban cigars are meant to be smoked in these smaller ring gauges.

**Gizmo:** Agreed. I agree. You're right. Agreed. I just

**Rooster:** wish it came in a 50

**Gizmo:** cab. Mm-hmm. . I wish they still made any of them. I wish they made more cigars than 50 cabs. Yeah. So we've had a, uh, an excellent year boys on the podcast and I, um, just cuz I'm kind of fascinated with, with, with data and the reviews and we have all the numbers and everything, I kind of wanted to go through, uh, some of the cigars and liquor that we rated highly and, and didn't rate so highly.

[00:41:00] Um, and see what kind of memories that brings up. So the one thing I thought that was really cool. , and we talked about this off the, off the podcast, but, um, oh, senator's opening second bottle as we get

**Bam Bam:** ready for another saber.

**Gizmo:** Are you gonna saber again? I might get lazy on this one. I take shit. Aw, . Come on.

Just open it. Just open it. We're ready for more.

**Poobah:** I don't wanna spell

**Gizmo:** any. Whoa. Wow. That was a nice pop. So, uh, the one thing I thought was cool and I wanted to discuss with you guys is that we rated non Cuban cigars and Cuban cigars very, very closely this year. So, um, Cuban cigars were an average rating of 8.0 and New World were an average of 7.8.

Now, what's interesting about that is New World would've probably been like right in line with Cuban at 8.0 had we not done that. Las CVEs. , um, the nightmare [00:42:00] before Christmas episode. Yeah. ,

**Bam Bam:** which we'll

**Gizmo:** never forget that cigar. Yeah. Which was horrible. And I think we gave it a 3.8 or something. PBA missed out on that one.

Yeah. I wish he was there for that. But, but, um, I thought that was interesting though that we're, that they're kind of in line with each other, new world and, and, and, and Cuban are neck and neck as far as ratings go, because I would've expected that Cubans would've been higher off the charts. Yeah. And that's just not the case.

Why, why do you, why do you

**Rooster:** think that is? Any ideas?

**Bam Bam:** Well, because we do love a robust cigar that in general, I think we pursue flavor. Why

**Poobah:** do you thinks could be an idea? No, I I, I, I think we kind of also, it's not like we, we don't really like to pick. Super shitty cigars either to smoke . So I think they come in kind of neck and neck because we, there's, there's some, there's some truth to that statement.

Yeah, it's true. You know, so I think what what comes on to the, the show is [00:43:00] stuff that we would wanna smoke and review and talk about as opposed to ruminating over, over cigar that lacks any merit. Like pull, like having a Smoking a Rocky Patel. But we've done that, uh, 1996, not a Rocky six or No, not a rocket call it.

No, no. What I'm saying is it, we wouldn't do that just because Yeah.

**Rooster:** Because we have done pad drones. Yeah. And we have done

**Gizmo:** DDoS. Yeah. And we have done Fuentes. Yeah. Ashtons and also

**Senator:** kinds of stuff we've done,

**Gizmo:** we've done

**Poobah:** Foundation

**Gizmo:** Tite, we've, we've, we've had a lot of surprises in the new world. I think we've had more surprises in new worlds than we have in Cubans.

We did an avo. I

**Senator:** agree.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Agreed. That Liga, that Liga was a home

**Senator:** run. I have a bit of a different take. I mean, we've done some new worlds I have never heard of, I'm not at all familiar with that have been like completely surprising to me. Um, my take on this, I mean, I think, I think Bams onto something about like, we do pursue robust flavor, like [00:44:00] even in Cubans, you know, we're not guys that really chase the mildest Cubans.

We're, we're looking for the more medium, medium full Cubans. Um, and so it's easier to find flavor in New World cigars. I think that that's one thing. Um, the other thing, you know, a lot of. , particularly when we review some younger Cuban sticks. Um, most Cubans are put out much fresher, that much younger That's true than new world sticks are, this is true.

You know, we talk about sometimes it's like, well wow, I spend $15 on, you know, X Cuban cigar and it has no age whatsoever. Or I spend $15 on a patron and it's got minimum four years of age. So I think like there's a little bit of a advantage sometimes with some of those new worlds that come to us with age on it that we don't have to age ourselves.

So I think all those factors kind of contribute to, believe me, I was surprised that the ratings are neck and neck on both. But um, when I just think of some of the new worlds that we've been so shocked by and we're sitting there saying, wow, this is surprisingly smooth and [00:45:00] it's flavor. I mean, it's cuz it's got age on it a lot of the time.

And also when

**Pagoda:** the listeners recommend, uh, cigars, they're recommending the best that, that they enjoy. So we tend to smoke some of the cigars which people are just enjoying at an average, which tend to be the better cigars I

**Gizmo:** would think. I, I, the reason why I was surprised is, especially on the new world side, is that we've reached for a lot of cigars we were not familiar with.

Sometimes we're kind of just hoping or guessing are gonna be okay. And I, I think a lot of the time they've surprised us,

**Bam Bam:** some became part of our normal

**Gizmo:** rotation. The Ashton Vsg.

**Senator:** Yeah. Like, I mean, perfect example. Absolutely. Again, I, I bought the l Centor as a joke, right? Yeah. It just had my name. There was no reason for me to pursue that cigar other than that

And we were just pleasantly surprised

**Gizmo:** at 8.8 was

**Senator:** a home cigar. It's 0.8, and that thing you can find for under 10

**Bam Bam:** bucks, that is

**Poobah:** a home run cigar. And, and the Ashton Vsg illusion. Yeah. Uh, that, that like also pointing. Yeah. Senator was like, delicious cigar. The, he went into the episode saying, fuck the cigar.

There's no way this thing's gonna be good. . That was [00:46:00] literally his attitude. And, and then it's delicious now that cigar is in everybody's humidor. It

**Gizmo:** is. Absolutely. So I want to go through, let's say the top 10 cigars we've done since the POD podcast started. I'm gonna include the ones we did in what, November and December last year.

It's only two extra months, but, so you're gonna go back only, only

**Senator:** include the ones that we had three puffs of and then we gave the , sorry,

**Bam Bam:** cigar fish. You're going back, you're going back to the very first episode, right?

**Gizmo:** Yeah. So yeah, just, I just have all of them. Okay. But, uh, most of them are after that time.

So, uh, the number one rated cigar that we've done on the pod, of course, was the Padron 80th anniversary of Maduro, which got a 10.0. The runner up was Don Carlos, I of the shark with a 9.9. And then interesting to the comment you just made, Senator, the third number, uh, taking the bronze medal was the H Chapman number two, lub 14, the Poobah brought in, which was a 9.8.

So we can pause there for a second. . Interesting. The cigar officio just announced the up and two [00:47:00] as cigar the year. Yeah, man. For 2022. Now they heard they've been, listen, listen to our episodes. . And they rated it, which I found interesting because they rated it on a May, 2022 box. So those cigars young, I just don't think are that great.

I obviously, I think with, with three to five to eight years in pub's case, when he brought those in, that's really when they shine. But I was surprised that a six month old box got a cigar the year from them. But also none of us and a Cuban US, none

**Rooster:** of us have had a 2022. No, I have

**Gizmo:** up on Oh you have? I have.

You have? Yeah. Interesting. Mm-hmm. , I just wanted to try it because you know, I was curious how they were smoking cuz it looked great and it was just a little. Rough. A young, you know, it just needs time. Yeah. You

**Pagoda:** know what's interesting is I would listen to one of these episodes where they were talking about Cuban cigars.

I think it was these guys from David or in London. And they were saying that by the time the Cubans really get to the box, so by the time you get the box code, they already age around three years. So they say you [00:48:00] should somewhat add. And by the way, I don't know whether not true, it's not true or not.

**Bam Bam:** Mm-hmm. But you know, you

**Pagoda:** guys have come from Cuba themselves, but it was just one

**Gizmo:** of the comments they're made. So I think maybe that that may be an older case, but it's certainly not the case now. Mm-hmm. Except now they have a supply issue on packaging. So maybe it. , maybe the, the age is starting to creep up, but before you ship out, but going back

**Bam Bam:** to your top three mm-hmm.

you know, two out of the three top rated cigars are world class, new world cigars. Yeah. So it, it's no surprise that the rating of the, the, the balance between the Cuban and New Worlds are neck and neck. Look at, look at how high those two cigars are, to

**Poobah:** your point. But the 80th was also a five year aged 80th.

It was,

**Gizmo:** that's true. That's true. More nine, nine year. Nine nine year aged 80th. But

**Poobah:** so, by the way, and by the way, by the way, Yes. And so was the up. And by the way, it ruin. They ruined the regular 80th for me. Cause remember, I, I, I, so I go back down to Florida and I, I'm, I'm, I'm out doing my thing at the Monte [00:49:00] Crystals lounge, um, uh, where I go and, uh, I sat down and I had one, and this was maybe four or five days after.

After, yeah. Yeah. And you spoiled, you just like, and I'm like, this is just not even, this isn't the same cigar. Yeah. Yeah. So I just, for the listener, just take it with the grain because it really isn't, I mean, that was a different 80th thing, and

**Gizmo:** that's why I'm saying this. I'm saying the same thing about the oven episode too.

It was

**Poobah:** significantly different. I mean, it had like crystals on

**Gizmo:** it. , . I mean, to bam BA's point too. I mean, and, and I'm gonna continue to go through these here, but it's really kind of even the top 10, let's say, um, 11 cigars, uh, that are. That have, that we've done in the pod. I mean, it's really kind of an even balance between, well go, go.

Keep going. Yeah. Cuban and non cub. Yeah, please. So, uh, number four was the Los Stato deluxe delirious. Another significantly aged cigar from the 1970s was a 9.7. Then our, uh, class favorite Pedro [00:50:00] 1964, exi Maduro was a 9.6. Uh, the K Dors, Coronas Claros was number six at 9.4. Mm-hmm. And then the Parus Collabro, which we just discussed yeah.

Was a 9.3. It's high praise, very high praise. Tied for last place here on, well, not last place, but tied for, uh, the top 10, let's say eight through 10. All of these had a 9.2 Davidoff Chef's Edition 2021, the Davidoff doa, the Parus Series D number four, which we did exactly a year ago today. and the Davidoff late hour in Churchill.

**Poobah:** Yeah. I think the Chef's Edition would be, I'd rate that hot. But you know, on the composite, I mean the, the, that's a, that was, that's a really, that's a, that's a 10. That's a that. Yeah. . It's crazy. That's a damn good cigar. I don't know when they're

**Gizmo:** gonna come out. I know what senator's gonna say.

**Senator:** And that's a new

**Bam Bam:** world cigar.

Yeah, I was about to go there. How many in the top 10 are Cuban and how many are New World again? It's pretty, pretty even.

**Gizmo:** It's even, so five and five. Yeah. Five and [00:51:00] five.

**Bam Bam:** So it's, this is right

**Pagoda:** there about a year ago. Do you think we were a little more conservative in terms of our rating and we've become a little more, or now that we just

**Bam Bam:** now I don't think so.

I've business think so. Pretty,

**Gizmo:** very consistent. . So let's talk about the worst cigars we've done.

**Poobah:** I don't even know what they're called. . .

**Bam Bam:** What about the Ciza? Never made

**Gizmo:** it. Oh, yeah. So they're in the garden right now. So the, uh, the worst cigar we've reviewed on the podcast was only about a week and a half ago. The crowned heads, Las Kelos, El 2022 with a 3.3. What is, what even is

**Poobah:** that? Where did we ever hear about that?

What is that cigar?

**Bam Bam:** I became highly recommended

**Gizmo:** Kave me favor something How you

**Bam Bam:** were, hold on. Gift him one, please. I will, please, I will. No,

**Gizmo:** it's Alonza. All right. Runner up for Stinker of the Year was the Hoyo de Nicaragua, an Antonio Beso with a 5.0. That was disappointing. Horrible cigar. What? My father, the judge got a [00:52:00] 5.6.

**Poobah:** People fucking smoke that they do ? No, they do smoke it.

**Bam Bam:** They smoke, they smoke. Love these. Love the judge, bro. People love, it's a wildly popular cigar. Wildly popular. Is that a backyard smoke? Uh, I, I might be. Yes.

**Pagoda:** It's like, it

**Grinder:** might been a really windy day. It's like putting your entire campfire in your mouth.

**Gizmo:** So, uh, the fourth word cigar we've smoked is the Ramon Ioni. L c d h superiors with a 5.7 that sucked. . The, uh, Abe brewhouse in Rub Buso was a 5.8. Where's the La Punta? That's gotta, that's coming up next. Bam. Bam. Sam Cri Ball de Havana la Punta. 5.9. Bad meat. The candle. What about the opus? It is bad meat.

The kid, uh, Opus was, uh, Opus is there, it's a 6.6 that was tied with the punch Duke, uh, EP Carillo pledge, which was, uh, cigar fish, Ando cigar the year last year. 6.5 Avo Synchro Kabe 6.4 Herrera Est Hao [00:53:00] Robusto 6.3 tied with the Monte Cristo number one. And then, uh, kind of in the middle there, Diplomatico number two was a 6.2.

So those are really the only cigars that have come in under seven. Uh, were those cigars I just listed. Um, a lot of stinkers there. You a lot of stinkers there, especially that crown heads in the, in the Hoya de Nicaragua. . Um, but you know, like we've said several times in the podcast, guys, we've gotten very, very lucky, uh, with the pairings and the cigars we've chosen.

I mean, we've really not had a lot of stinkers, which has been a real blessing because Yeah, real. Some of them, I mean, you know, we, we've come into the recording and like, oh, what's this gonna be like? Yeah. You know? And, and, and a lot of them have really surprised us. But what was cool

**Bam Bam:** is there were moments where we would come into a recording and we knew it was gonna be a home run.

Yeah. And we were just, the anticipation was just, you know, amazing.

**Poobah:** Absolutely. What did the Monte Christo, um,

**Rooster:** uh, the Dumas, the, it wasn't

**Poobah:** the mal Dus Mals, it was the malt. What did that rate?

**Gizmo:** 8.9 [00:54:00] pba. That was a great cigar. So that was right off, that was right off the, that was right under nine. That was actually the only 8.9 that we did.

We did it. We got a bunch of nines. Uh, Ramon, especially selected Davidoff, millennium Pyramids and Ra Robusto were both nines. Yes. Baby Ramon, small club Corona, Santa Doris, all nines. RA grass was what, nine? 9.0. Flat nine. That's good. Yeah. So, um, so we haven't done the 8 98 No. We have to do the part August 8 98.

Yeah. Special cigar New year. New Year's Day. . . Yeah. We'll come in tomorrow and do that one. Yeah. So boys, uh, what do you think about this cigar right now? Because I've been talking a lot and this is just really

**Senator:** stunning. There's just one thing I wanna say about this cigar is you smoke it. This is one of the few cigars that I think just gets better and better as you smoke it.

I think a lot of cigars we say either are just consistent all the way through. Um, or obviously on the flip side of that, we've had countless cigars that just start to fizzle out and disappoint as you smoke it further along. Um, to me the [00:55:00] flavors just get, um, a little bolder when you get into the final.

and particularly in the middle of the cigar, I feel like that creaminess really picks up. It gets like that much richer, um, and kind of coats your mouth more, which I, I, I just appreciate

**Gizmo:** with the flavor profile. Yeah. I

**Rooster:** mean to, to me it's the most balanced and complex smoke, or at least one of the most balanced and complex in more ways than

**Gizmo:** one in a

**Bam Bam:** very smooth delivery.

Yeah. The delivery just continues.

**Poobah:** You can retro hale it all the way down. Oh yeah. It's crazy. You can re, you can retro hale it and, but, but it's, but it's built in strength. The point where, not strength, but body, it's built in body to a point where you think you may not be able to do that, and then you do it and you're like, it's so very pleasure.

You're like, oh my God. Like this is, this is really delivering .

**Senator:** The, the other thing, did you notice when GIZ was, when Gizmo was rattling off the top 10, there was a point at which this room was so [00:56:00] filled with smoke? Yeah. I mean, he was like a haze across the room. and I'm just amazed for a cigar of this ring age, the smoke output is

**Gizmo:** combustion is ridiculous.


**Poobah:** how many times have we said that about a good lawnsdale? Yeah. A lot. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** A lot.

**Pagoda:** No, but for a Cuban cigar to give that much smoke output, you know, there a few and far between.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. This is really good. So while we're talking about ratings boys, I also want to discuss the formal liquor ratings and kind of just breeze through.

Oh yeah. The top, uh, spirits that we've done. Now these have all been done in 2022 because we actually didn't start rating, uh, liquor until episode 13. So the first 12 episodes of pairings that we did, we didn't do that. And then Grindr called me one day, he's like, why don't we rate the liquors too? And then we started doing it.

So the average liquor rating across the board was a 7.7, which again, in line with the Cubans kind of, kind of right there. Very interesting. High sevens. Yep. Um, so the best spirit we did all year. Do you guys know what it was? No. Remy xo, Remy Martin [00:57:00] XO 10. That's a 10 baby. Right behind that. This one surprised me when I saw the list today.

1738 was the Guinness Draft was a 9.4. Oh my god. Beer. Wow. It,

**Bam Bam:** it's a legendary. Was was it the alcoholic? No, the non-alcoholic one. Dubious. It

**Grinder:** was the alcoholic.

**Senator:** For, for the record. I was not here for that. Radio.

**Grinder:** dubious Dana, why is that an outlier?

**Gizmo:** They're both good. They're both. All right. So, uh, taking Bronze is a tie between Glen Livi 18 and Remy Martin 1738.

Cognac, both at 9.3. Both delicious. Can we, we pause for a quick

**Poobah:** second. . There we go. He, we, he, he's gonna say he didn't have context for the XO rating. No,

**Gizmo:** no, no, no, no. I

**Senator:** don't. You're not. The XO ratings

**Gizmo:** deserve it. Where's the Paul Roche rating? What

**Senator:** I'm saying is No, no. Very simply, we didn't write that. As we started trying spirits that we haven't had before I emphasize how much I wanted to get into the world of cognac, the fact that there are two cognacs in our top four [00:58:00] yeah.

Is outrageous. None of us were drinking cognac. No. Weren't before this

**Bam Bam:** podcast, but now that's 1738. That's a staple. Staple. It's

**Gizmo:** a staple. I can't, I have, I can't get enough of it. Yeah, dude, it's ridiculous.

**Poobah:** You're

**Gizmo:** welcome guys. . Thank you, . So, uh, round, but I

**Poobah:** have to thank Senator because if you didn't introduce us to the XO, I wouldn't have bought a

**Gizmo:** hundred percent eight.

So, rounding out the top five is a three-way tie, which to your point about interesting spirits that we've tried that we weren't really familiar with. Uh, the B 12 double wood, obviously that's a staple. A 9.2. Also 9.2 s were hibiki Japanese harmony dude. And the Niro, uh, coffee grain, both Japanese whiskey.

All the grain was, was actually that

**Bam Bam:** hibiki evening with the millennium pyramid. Stellar evening for me. Yeah. Fantastic pairing. Fantastic.

**Gizmo:** And, uh, and, and just one more note, the only other 9.0 all year was, uh, the best wine that we had that we. was the Jordan Cabernet from 2017. That was very, very good. So clearly [00:59:00] we didn't rate Paul Roget.

We didn't rate Paul Roget. Ah. Cause that would be a 10 that

**Senator:** would be up there. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh

**Gizmo:** yeah. Picking up the rear high eights, uh, both 8.8 was a stag leap, Artemis and the four Ros, uh, four roses, excuse me. Small batches select. That was good. That was also surprising, by the way. That was, that was our, that was our, that was from our friend o That was four

**Poobah:** roses.

What was

**Gizmo:** small batch Select,

**Poobah:** small batch Select. Big difference between the others. And


**Gizmo:** how, wait, the, uh, champagne. I, we just, we weren't doing it at that time.

**Senator:** Yeah. I think it was probably like a special episode that we did. We didn't liquor

**Bam Bam:** rating. Maybe I'm, I'm, maybe this may be controversial, but I have to say that I, I think I like this champagne that we're drinking tonight better than the polar roge for me.

Wow. That's a bold statement. It, it's just dli it, it's got such flavor. It's delicious. It's a pretty, it's for me, the comp complexity. I love it. I love it. It's complexity. Is there. It's complex. I don't know if I'd rated it right and what Poobah said earlier, it will hold up with a meal, and that has a lot of merit.

**Senator:** That's the thing. I mean, most [01:00:00] champagnes are like, you know, they're great before dinner. You're having some hors d'oeuvres. They, that's usually where champagne slots in. And then some of these more complex champagnes like hold up with meals. Yeah, yeah. Like among the big champagne houses, like Bolin J checks that box.

That's why I was so excited to do. I think we did that. The, uh, the 80th episode, right? Yep. Yep. And I think this like, with such a complex cigar that it, it almost feels like a meal. It's like we said this about the Chef's Edition cigar. Like there was, there was complexity about that cigar. You're like sitting there just thinking about all the different flavors you're getting and, and I think this champagne delivers a similar experience Totally.

In that it, it really has complexity. Yeah. Um, and a long finish it just like it. Oh yeah. It's like a meal. It's so

**Bam Bam:** satisfying. I could start my night with this, have a meal with it, and then wrap up the evening with this as well for me.

**Gizmo:** So let's talk about some of the stinkers on liquor. The worst. I love doing this cuz I just love shitting on bad shit.

What is the 15 or something, [01:01:00] the worst?

**Senator:** Open up your heart and let that hate out. This .

**Bam Bam:** Remember it. Wait minute. Remember the thing that with the, with the gold? That was the jacket. Oh, that's coming. The dragon. That's the

**Gizmo:** dragon. That's the dragon I broke. That was on the, uh, that was on the nightmare before Christmas episode a week and a half ago.

Yeah. Poobah wasn't here for that. Yeah, he missed that one too. Yeah. What a night that was. I

**Poobah:** was, uh, conveniently absent. .

**Gizmo:** So the worst, uh, spirit that we did all year long. Was the fruity decadence of Singleton 15. That was awful. 3.6. That's

**Poobah:** that. That's the worst thing. of all

**Bam Bam:** time. .

**Senator:** It was disgusting. Horrible. I would pay them just to stop making it.

I would do that.

**Gizmo:** I would do a GoFundMe just to have them stop producing. You could use that

**Bam Bam:** to wash your tools with

**Grinder:** I, I think in the garage I have to take some of the blame because when you brought it in, I, I kind of tainted the room because I was like, oh, no,

**Gizmo:** no. Did you, no. You didn't taint the room and no, nothing could taint the room with that.

The flavor taste tainted the room, the flavor Did it, [01:02:00] it looked like a a,

**Poobah:** a medicine bottle. Yes. From the, from 1886. That's the purpose. With, with, with the, with, uh, that was the purpose with, uh, what's it called? Kevin Costner. What's his guy's name? We love the woman. The postman. We love the woman Yellowstone.

What? No, no. The, no. Oh, RO 86. We love. Me and Rooster are in love. What, what? What's her name? Becca.

**Gizmo:** No, come on on. What's

**Poobah:** the country star's name? Oh, fat Hill. Fat Faith Hill. Oh yeah. Oh my

**Bam Bam:** goodness gracious. I'm all in on that. My God. .

**Gizmo:** You, you're old. A woman. All right, so Singleton 15 was a 3.6 runner up. Worst thing we've had all year was the this is, and this is what's interesting, which is why I wanted to highlight the other Japanese whiskeys that were the on the top end, uh, cuz the, the two runners.

War spirit we've had all year One was that regen Japanese whiskey at a 3.8. And the other one was, was a [01:03:00] surprise to me was the Yamato Japanese whiskey, which came in at a 4.8. That was a real stinker. Yeah, it was. Yeah. That was terrible. That was a real stinker. They

**Poobah:** used that in Japan. Japan on amputees.

**Bam Bam:** Come on, come on.

**Gizmo:** They,

**Poobah:** they put like a, a piece of leather in your mouth

**Bam Bam:** and then like,

**Poobah:** then like, make you drink that and then like clean the wound with the, with that please. Jesus.

**Gizmo:** Oh gosh. So, you know, it's amazing that that two Japanese whiskeys were in the top five and then two were also in the bottom.

Mm-hmm. , uh, of the spirits that we did. Uh, number four, worst the spirit was the Aian 12, which was pretty horrible. That was terrible. And then the maker's Mark 46, which was a major disappointment, was a 5.2. Yep.

**Bam Bam:** Now the, the standard on the shelf maker's mark is

**Senator:** very good. It's great like that. That was the saddest thing.

It's like, I think, I don't think any of us dislike makers. No. The fact that that's supposed to be their higher end version of [01:04:00] regular makers. Awful.

**Gizmo:** Just disappointing. Awful. Just, just to do it. Uh, the other spirits under seven, the Delmore 12 was a 6.2 and then a three-way tie at 6.8. The open little bay, the whistle pig piggyback rise six year and the akashi white oak.

Right. I'm surprised on the little bay. Yeah. Wow. Yeah, me too. Yeah. 6.8. You rated a little

**Poobah:** bit low.

**Bam Bam:** I rated that high. I think I gave it a eight if I remember correctly. I like

**Gizmo:** that back in the day. So that's, uh, that's our year end review boys. We've saved lizards. A lot of money. We have cigar. Oh yeah. And we've spent a lot of lizard money too.

Yeah. out there chasing some of these. Uh, some of these cigars. He's

**Poobah:** gonna lose the leg. Lad, get out to Singleton. . . We're gonna have to chop it off. sanitize it. Grab that bottle. Is Singleton. . Alright. Laie. Bite down. Hard. It's coming. ,

**Gizmo:** I got the saw out.

**Bam Bam:** Stand [01:05:00] still. Laie. .

**Poobah:** Hold them down. God

**Gizmo:** crying. I just love that you're doing all this and all I can think about is fruity. Decadence. The pest is

**Poobah:** like it went from, it went from ninjas, applying it to wound. To this Scottish guy having a having holding down la. He got his shot off, he got his leg caught in the machine. Of course now he's in sweat.

**Bam Bam:** Please stop

**Gizmo:** the machines.

**Poobah:** Oh my gosh. Bradley speaking. The machines

**Gizmo:** I think I need a minute.

**Pagoda:** Oh gosh. This cigar, I'll tell you enough of the visuals that you, you provided today,

**Bam Bam:** I don't think it started early

**Poobah:** in the evening. I think that's what they made the singleton

**Gizmo:** for. You think they're gonna call and sponsor? I don't think so. ,

**Poobah:** listen, they need a [01:06:00] new marketing guy, decade

**Gizmo:** and fruity.

They need a new master blend. Need Diaz. They need Diagio on. There you go. Oh yeah. Oh, love that.

**Poobah:** Get their ambassador. Oh

**Bam Bam:** man. I'm on my way to my third glass

**Gizmo:** of this champagne. Oh, it's delicious dude. It's so drinkable, man. So, uh, we're gonna do a full rundown of we, you know, we did it last year in January of the, uh, cigar Fisha Top 25.

We'll do that again, but, uh, you know, we briefly spoke about it, but what do you guys think of up in two? So it's the first Cuban taking the top spot in cigar Fisha in like 10 years. Is that right? You know, and, and the rest of the 25 I think was pretty weak. We'll go through that in January, but, um, I was surprised to see a Havana's product, number one.

It was exciting to see, honestly. Yeah. Yeah.

**Senator:** I was thrilled for that. But that cigar in particular, the reason I was really pleased to see that, I forget what prompted me at all to be interested in pursuing up tus, but I know, and I were trying to find some b r [01:07:00] e Well, it was cause of him. I know that's true.

Pba. So that, that's, that is the answer to the question. So pub obviously is, is the resident UPK lizard, and there we go. He's got his up men, uh, cigar case, right? With a and. I think you and I were looking for these B R E boxes, like 18, around that

**Gizmo:** time. 19 bre just up in, just up in

**Senator:** factory boxes. Totally, yeah.

And we were able to source some, and I wasn't trying to smoke through them very quickly. They were just kind of sitting in my humidor and I remember. Um, in the summer when I was going to Greece, um, on vacation, I brought a ton. I brought, actually, I remember exactly how many, I brought 44 or 45 cigars with me for the week, and I only came back with like five.

Like I actually


**Gizmo:** all. That's, that's pretty impressive. Amazing.

**Poobah:** He's, he's remembers the number that's, he's, he's a Virgo. He's very

**Bam Bam:** fastidious. He's a Virgo. Fastidious, yes. .

**Senator:** They, they, they make me admit all this at Rehab

**Bam Bam:** in Connecticut. . That's right. [01:08:00]

**Senator:** And, uh, the, the reason I say this though, I mean, I brought so many cigars with me and I was just expecting like certain staples that I smoke a lot of to like be the cigars that I enjoyed most.

On that trip, Ivan brought Chef's Edition with me. I smoked there. I mean everything. New World, uh, uh, Cuban, all of it. I couldn't believe I remember, I think, I think Gizmo's, the one who asked me like, what was the best cigar that you spoke when you were there? And for some reason I just never expected. But it was so obviously the case that the best stick I lit up there was an up and two.

Hmm. I was blown away. Hmm.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. They are, they're magical. They're, they're amazing cigars.

**Poobah:** They're incredibly delicious. Yeah. I mean, I've been an advocate in the group for that cigar for a long, long time. There were detractors, uh, uh, for periods of time saying, Hey, it needs to, they need to sit down. I believe they need to lay, not detractors.

I shouldn't even say that. No. But, but, but I do believe that particular, um, Cigar [01:09:00] needs, does benefit from time, maybe more than uh, uh, a D four re robusto or something like that. How long, how long would you I just think they need, like, almost like a boulevard needs a, in my view, needs a little bit of time to sit down, um,

**Gizmo:** what do you say, three years, five years minimum.

**Poobah:** Um, not that them comparing the boulevard because the bbb f and that cigar, the profiles are very different. They're, they're very different, but I'm not, but they just need, I think that there's, um, whatever the trimmings are, there's definitely more of a harrow in, in, in a, in a boulevard for sure. But I think that because of the ring gauge at the, from the foot down, there's just more tobacco in there.

I just think they may need to sit for whatever reason. It's just my hypothesis that they need open. So what? What's the number? I really think two years

**Gizmo:** probably makes, I think twos a fair number.

**Bam Bam:** That makes sense. Two

**Poobah:** to three years. That makes sense. Is probably about the right time, which generally speaking is probably a [01:10:00] good time anyway.

Generally speaking with, yeah. Cuban tobacco. You know, I mean, yeah. Do D four s, you know, can Yeah, sure. But, but, so here's here's thing though, I think benefit

**Gizmo:** from a couple of years. What, what's funny about you saying in D four? I mean, uh, rooster and I have talked, he was looking for a box of 20 twos recently, but the D four s right now, fresh, are you?

Are you okay?

**Bam Bam:** Rooster Rooster's buying 20,

**Poobah:** twos five 20 twos. That's, maybe he was

**Bam Bam:** stroking out . Uh, yeah, that's an indictment. The guy in the plane.

**Poobah:** That

**Bam Bam:** is an indictment, by the

**Poobah:** way.

**Gizmo:** Well, when

**Rooster:** you have 20 14,

**Gizmo:** 15, 16, 17 oh oh.

**Poobah:** You're like, you're the only one guy.

**Gizmo:** Somebody asked me the question I had to answer. ,

**Poobah:** I mean, contest Cuban or flexing with your D four s. Please. Everybody

**Gizmo:** pull your

**Bam Bam:** pants down. .

**Poobah:** It's flexing is D four

**Gizmo:** [01:11:00] aging program. So D four s. So I've, I've had both D four s and up and two twos from mid 2022. And the Upmanu s like I said, I think you know, to use one of your words, pba, they preview amazing, but they really have some rough edge.

but the D four s man are smoking. They're awesome. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** they smoke Brilliant

**Gizmo:** young. They're great. Brilliantly. Yeah. Yeah.

**Rooster:** Think the 21, 19, 20 21 boxes are smoking really

**Gizmo:** well, but also

**Bam Bam:** the 21 UPNs are nice. I had one two weeks ago, so I thought it was fabulous. Well,

**Gizmo:** there you go. I, I was surprised. Again, I can't say it enough, I was very surprised to see Cigar Fisha put a hao cigar with no advertising dollars behind it.

First time in 10 years maybe. It, it was just its time. But to put a Hao cigar, number one, it says a lot. It's

**Poobah:** about, well, it's about, it says a lot. It's about what I think, I think some of it has to do with about what Rob was talking about. It's the runs, it's, it's sometimes these runs of, of great cigars and, and they happen [01:12:00] and you know, you, you catch lightning in a bottle and, you know, run to, run, run.

You know, there's some variability there, some, so, I mean, you, but, but, but the, but the, but the, but the, the blend is still the blend. They don't change it. I mean, they, you know, you can tell it's an uping too. Um, but I, I have a lot of boxes. I mean, I have a decent amount, I, I want to say I have seven boxes or something like that, you know, that I have kind of stacked away, you know, year by year, by year, um, 15, 16, 17, you know, whatever, you know, going up.

Yeah. Because I like the cigar so much. Um, and they just sit.

**Rooster:** Yeah. And also where they're rolled, you know, I mean, you, you, you, they're

**Poobah:** rolled in RGUs or they're rolled it up

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

**Rooster:** I'm saying, I mean, just across the board. I mean, you wanna source sticks that are rolled in good factories.

Yeah. Good codes.

**Poobah:** So, yeah. You know, well, they roll that stick in the good they, I

**Rooster:** mean, not particularly that stick I'm [01:13:00] talking about just in general,

**Gizmo:** that is a

**Bam Bam:** flagship cigar. Yeah. That up into it. There's no doubt about it. Yeah. .

**Poobah:** Yeah, it certainly is. And it's nice. They got props. I mean, hey look, that, that, you know, well deserved.

Yeah, well deserved.

**Gizmo:** It's uh, I just think like, I think like Pagoda said, I mean they must have listened to that episode , they just really ahead of, of course they did. They need to pay attention to, I gotta say, we were ahead of that one this year, boys. We were, we were ahead of it. ah, we were ahead of it. But you know, they, they don't smoke the whole cigar.


**Bam Bam:** Apparently not.

**Gizmo:** Three puffs in down. Yeah. They don't smoke much of it. Yeah. Is that true? It's hard to tell. That's a rumor. There's no fact behind that. Can

**Senator:** we get gimo on that tasting penalty? Yeah, that'd be nice. ,

**Gizmo:** what were you calling the other day? Cigar Insider. Yeah, no, that's, that was a

**Bam Bam:** bad word.

That's right. You're my insider. Yeah, I know, I know. I'm writing your coattails.

**Poobah:** You're thinking of some other, we should have a newsletter and call it Cigar Insider . I like it. I like it. I like it. [01:14:00] I like it.

**Gizmo:** So, uh, we're in the last third here, boys on the Vegas. Rubia. Clasico. Yeah. Don't want it to a special, don't want it to end.

Yeah. It's, it's just excellent. It's so special, man. Perfect cigar to choose for New Year's Eve episode tonight. What's interesting

**Bam Bam:** is I'm getting more, uh, white pepper now. Yeah. In addition to everything that we've discussed, that's all

**Gizmo:** continuing down. Oh, yeah. Like Poobah and, uh, Senator were saying spice.

It's, it's been picking up, but

**Bam Bam:** it's so smooth still. Yeah.

**Grinder:** I, I'm surprised at how slow

**Bam Bam:** you've been smoking this bad. I know. Well, wow. This is a special cigar.


**Gizmo:** can't go through it. But you actively have to smoke this slowly. You do. I think if you rush, I'm, it's a real disservice to Absolutely.

**Bam Bam:** Absolutely. I feel like I've been

**Grinder:** milking it and I'm basically at the nub,

**Bam Bam:** so we're

**Gizmo:** not that far behind.

So do you guys have any, uh, I'm not a big New Year's resolution guy, but do you guys have any, uh, plans for the

**Bam Bam:** new year? No. I need to lose 20 pounds. That's my resolution.

**Gizmo:** Okay. That's such a, that gives us, that's such a novel from last year than that's

**Poobah:** such a novel [01:15:00] resolution. Spent so much more time with you guys.

**Bam Bam:** I've been asking myself to lose 20 pounds for three, four years. I can't do it, but I'm gonna do it this year. Well, we have

**Senator:** a program for you. Just eat clean, bro.

**Poobah:** No, it's eat clean, bro. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** bro. Anybody else have any uh, plans for the New Year plans or resolution? Resolution plan? Same thing. Keep

**Grinder:** spending as much time with

**Gizmo:** my daughter as possible. And there you

**Poobah:** go. Yeah. There you go. Nice kids. Baby. You go.

**Gizmo:** Nice. There you go. Yeah. I wanna smoke some more. 22 boxes.

**Pagoda:** There's college education for

**Bam Bam:** the kids. It's just turn his mic off, please don't .

**Poobah:** I'm gonna go with don't die .

**Bam Bam:** That's your resolution for a hundred. Don't

**Grinder:** die. Alex. Alex

**Poobah:** said like, I'd like don't die for 500 .

**Gizmo:** God forbid. So are you guys ready to do the, uh, formal liquid rating on our champagne tonight? All the ratings.

So I think, by the way, this is the first time we're actually rating the champagne, which I think is a sin. [01:16:00] It is. We did not rate the Ballinger and we did not rate the Paul Roche. I can give my ratings.

**Senator:** I'm gonna say something controversial. I wouldn't mind reading all of them. Can we go around? and raid all three of them.

Yeah. Oh, together. Great

**Gizmo:** idea. So,

**Bam Bam:** honestly, I remember all th all the other two in this one. I'm happy to do that. I would love, I'm very happy

**Senator:** to do that. Let's do it. Can we start with the lizard staple of Paul rot first and work our way up to this? Can


**Grinder:** do each, does their their three or are we doing one all the way?

One would do one at a around the horn.

**Gizmo:** Three times? Yeah. All right. Just have 'em ready, so we, all right, let's go. I'm ready. Hold on, hold on, hold on. Let, what are, we're, start with Paul Roge

**Senator:** first. Okay. Then we'll be boge

**Grinder:** and, but now I have the vil. Now I have a perspective. I know, like I've tried all of them.

**Bam Bam:** Exactly right. Which is kind of unfair.

**Gizmo:** What is this, uh, champagne called Vilma


**Poobah:** seat. It's very, this is gonna be tough without the fractions. I mean, like, yeah. Well, it's gonna be tough with that. I'm just saying,

**Senator:** I'll just say this. Not to color ratings, but why I, I don't think we should [01:17:00] view this as we need fractions.

I've made this point many times about champagne. These all have different times and places. So like we were having a, a discussion like, well, do I prefer this one or do I prefer that one? And like to me the answer is like, well fine In this instance I would prefer this. But in that instance, I would prefer that.



**Gizmo:** think of it as occasions. That's alright. Right, thanks. Here we go. So we're gonna do all three champagnes that we've had on the podcast in order that we had them. We're gonna do, uh, uh, service to Paul Roja and Boje and tonight's, uh, champagne. So let's start with the Paul Roja. Bam. Bam, you're up eight.

Eight. Okay. Grindr 10. 10. Pagoda. 10.

**Pagoda:** 10. I love it. I bought a couple of walls today, by the way,

**Gizmo:** Senator 10 all day. I'm gonna give Paul Rogey a 10 for sure. And Poobah. Interesting. Wow. No pressure. None at all. [01:18:00]

**Poobah:** Uh,

**Gizmo:** I'm gonna give it a nine. Okay, so the formal liquor rating on the Paul Rogey, A 9.5. Next. Excellent.

Onto Bollinger. Bollinger. I'll get it right at some point. I'll give

**Bam Bam:** the Bollinger

**Gizmo:** a nine. All right, grinder. I'm a nine. Okay. Pagoda nine. Senator. Nine. Nine for me too. Look at this. Poobah. 10. Ooh. Ooh. I

**Senator:** like that. Wow. All right. Going against the grain.

**Gizmo:** 9.2 on the Bolling J. And now for the Vil Mar and C,

**Bam Bam:** I'm giving this A 10.

**Gizmo:** 10 Grinder. Eight. Eight Pagoda. Eight. Senator. Nine. Nine for me too. Poobah. Eight. 8.7 on the Vilma and

**Bam Bam:** C. Wow. That is,

**Pagoda:** yeah. I like shocking. That's shocking. Unlike the f of essence, I like it a bit [01:19:00] drier. It's, uh,

**Gizmo:** shocking. Yeah. So again,

**Poobah:** so, so, so, so I want to give context. Can I? Yeah. We're all going to give context down.

So I really like the champagne. Um, um, a lot, but I think I'd like it with like chicken French. Sure, yeah. During a meal. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, but you can also have it with No, but, and then you

**Bam Bam:** can have it with dessert.

**Poobah:** You can have it without dessert. No, no. And then be done with it. Uh, like I could, like, I not be done with it.

Like I need to be done with it cause I don't need to be done with it. But like, I could have a glass before then eat the meal and then I'm, I've had enough. I couldn't disagree more. It, it, it, where for me, je and and bo have a little bit more flexibility for me. Uh, . That's why. And, and I think the Boer give it like, it's like Paul Roge plus maybe, uh, uh, it, it, [01:20:00] it's almost in between.

You've got Paul Roge, then you've got Boer kind of in between in terms of body. And then this is, this is really full body champagne. So I think the range is good for, for me personally, uh, like for me, the sweet spot is like right in the middle with Boge for me, which is why I gave it. Okay. I

**Bam Bam:** can, I can understand this argument, but honestly this is the most versatile champagne that we've had so far, in my opinion.

Again, I can have it before dinner, during dinner, after dinner with dessert. It's just for me, the versatility gives is a 10 for me on this, the.

**Gizmo:** Absolute 10 for me. I, I just think for me, the Paul Roge just speaks to me the most out of the three. I agree. You know, when I, when I, when I think about a champagne, especially something I want to have with a cigar, which is why we're here, right?

Paul Roche is the one that really matches the best story. Let's try Delicious with the cigar.

**Senator:** I love this discussion. I, I don't, I don't think anyone's wrong here from my. [01:21:00] Humble opinion. Um, and I think the thing that's fascinating, I mean, Paul Roge, which I is the only one of the three. I gave a 10. I gave it a 10.

Not because Paul Roge is the most complex. It is not, it's not even close. The other two are actually more complex than Paul Roget is. Sure. But Paul Roge is the Padron X placebo of champaign. Mm-hmm. Like whenever, I mean, you guys were my perfect test case. I've done this with other friends. When I have friends who say to me, I'm not a champagne guy, I don't drink champagne.

That stuff's terrible. Every time someone says that to me, I pour them Paul Rochet, and they, their whole world changes. You give someone a Petron Xci and it's like their whole world changes. So for me, the price point of Paul Roge is absurdly competitive. Yeah. At 45 bucks a bottle, it's so reasonable. It's worth every single dollar.

How much is this? They charge? This is 70 to

**Gizmo:** 75 a bottle. Oh, so you're talking the Vil RNC is 70, correct. 75. I didn't know that.

**Senator:** Wow. Now, Cuba's Spectrum. , I think [01:22:00] objectively is a hundred percent accurate in that JE is the lightest of it. It's dry. Sure, sure. It is best served prior to a meal and it's a drinking champagne.

I mean, there's a reason Winston Churchill loves that champagne. Right? That's, that's, you could just drink that stuff like water all the time. Yeah. In between, uh, next and in between, um, what we're drinking now in PGE would be Boche like, like pub is saying, where there is more complexity that can hold up with a meal, but it's, it's not so full that you can't also drink a lot of Boche.

This is, I would argue, the most complex of the three. It's the fullest body of the three and it holds up the best with a meal of the three. Um, and so it kind of goes to my point, like they all have different occasions, but for me, Paul Roge, um, I. I would argue actually is, is the most versatile. Um, and the price point's [01:23:00] just tremendous.

But that takes nothing away from like, I love this, I love po, I love, uh, Bolen j um, and I'm glad to see, I mean, even this, obviously what we're drinking now scored lower, but that's still a very high score to be in the high eights. I'm surprised how low it's scored. Totally. Yeah. And, and I think like it just validates that there is merit to what grower champagnes, what these growers are doing, which is innovating and doing something different.

And the fact that like Pub is sitting here saying like, I could have Chicken France and drink this. Yeah. I think prior to having this champagne, it'd be hard to pick many champagnes that you would sit there and say, I would actually pair that with a meal. This is true. Most people would say, well, I would have that before dinner.

That would be, you know, nice little toast, some hors d'oeuvres. Most people. Reach for a champagne with an actual main course and the fact that this can hold up to that. Um, I think and that's why, to what they do. That's why I love

**Bam Bam:** the champagne so much. I think it's built for it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The first, the versatility is there.

It's more like wine,

**Pagoda:** really. It's utility [01:24:00] as opposed to clo, you know, it's closer to wine, I think, than closer to champagne. Yeah. The way we understand bubbly, right? You walk into even a bar sometimes I feel like having champagne. I'll get a Paul Rogie or any Dr. Champagne. You can walk around, you know, you're in a cocktail party, you can walk around with champagne there now, champagne walls.

And this is not the champagne for that for me. And so, um, you know, kind of by

**Gizmo:** design, agree. Yeah. I I

**Poobah:** kind of, yeah. By design it's almost like quick, quick. Paul Roche, you could have a cup of it and it'd be like, You know, your wife comes up, Hey, hey honey, let's go dance. And you just take the Paul Roge, half the glass.

You go and you go, you put it down at the thing and you guzzle it and you go out on the dance floor. You know, I mean, this is not that. No. Right. This is just not that kind of champagne. No, this is meant, meant to be a

**Gizmo:** meal. It's meant to be a, yeah. So again, for the listener, the Paul Roget was at a 9.5, the bogey was at a 9.0, and the Vilma and C, which we drank tonight, was an 8.7.

Delicious. Delicious. So, so you're, you guys are happy with those where those scores ended up? No. , [01:25:00]

**Bam Bam:** no. I'm not a champagne guy. I'm very much a novice, but I'm excited about this. I'm excited about this

**Gizmo:** bottle.

**Rooster:** I really, it's, it's interesting that the, the highest price bottle

**Gizmo:** got the lowest rating. Yeah. And we didn't know what that price was, right?

No, we didn't un until actually, after we rated it, which wasn't,

**Grinder:** I, I just, I'm, I, I'm not a champagne guy, but Paul Roge turned me into a champagne guy and that wolf that left an indelible experience on my, on my imbibing soul. So it's, you know, it's one of those things that now I'm like, Yeah, let's get Paul Roge.

Let's get some champagne for the, for the Christmas party we're hosting. Yeah. I never would've said that. Yeah. But now I'm thinking like, yeah, this would be

**Gizmo:** great with this. And you know what, out of the three, Paul Roge is the only one that, that, when the podcast ended, I immediately ran out and bought like three or four bottles just to have at the house.

I gotta say,

**Bam Bam:** it's awesome to learn about this. It is, it really, cuz I didn't know anything about champagne. Yeah. It's awesome. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** No, thank you, Senator, because I'll, I'll tell you, I've [01:26:00] been. I've been invited to quite a few dinners recently and I've been just taking the Paul Roche and now these guys are, you know, trying this and it's, it's, you know, this is how the word spreads either way, but thank you for the recommendation.

Excellent. Thanks.

**Bam Bam:** That is good shit.

**Gizmo:** speaking. Lemme tell you something. Speaking of good shit, the Vegas, Robaina Clasico did exactly how the fuck did it not

**Bam Bam:** get a nine ?

**Poobah:** What the fuck wrong with you guys? It's the juxtaposition of the vulgarity in combination with the refined,

**Bam Bam:** the refined etiquette ,

**Poobah:** the refined spirit you're drinking, which

**Gizmo:** makes me laugh.

**Bam Bam:** you know, I could be a bull in a China shop and I could be refined soul as it's at same time .

**Gizmo:** So, uh, before we do the formal lizard rating on the Vegas, Robaina Clasico, we've come to the end here, boys. Unfortunately. I wonder what that's gonna be an excellent night. Um, I just, I can't say enough about how great this cigar was.

And is, I mean, yeah, of course. It's really one of the most special [01:27:00] cigars that I've ever had, and it again, lived up to the expectation tonight. Yeah. Shocking. Yeah. Great. Great Smoke. Oh yeah. Any final thoughts before we, uh, rate it? 6.7

**Senator:** I just can't believe. I'm sorry. I mean, I'm obviously down to the nub and I just re-lit it and there are so few cigars that you would relight this far down. That wouldn't be just like a tar blast. Yeah. Just disgusting. It's still so

**Gizmo:** delicious. Oh yeah. Yeah. I just burnt my finger on the nub. . Yeah. It's hard to put it down.

And this one of the few cigars that you can really take it down to the

**Rooster:** nub. Yeah. And it's

**Gizmo:** not hot. Yes. You know, it's not That's a good point. It's not hot at all. That's a really good point. The flavor is still there. That's true.

**Grinder:** That's another benefit of the size though, right? Because it's, there's just not

**Gizmo:** as much flame.

Right. And we smoke this slowly too. You know, it, it, it really demands a slow smoke, which also helps with that, but it's just, uh, just stunning. So I, uh, I don't know if I need to take out the calculator, but I'm [01:28:00] gonna have it out just in case. Brewster. Let's do the formal lizard rating. You're up? Yeah. It's a 10.

All right. Poobah 10. 10 for me, Senator. Ah. This is a hard one. . Yeah, right. He's so full of shit. I'm putting a tend out . I just wanted to give, I just wanted to give

**Senator:** bait a fuck

**Gizmo:** enough with this

**Bam Bam:** fucking rating. Let's go. Let's go. You're out.

**Gizmo:** It's a 10. It's pagoda. Well, for me it's a nine. Oh my gosh. No,

**Poobah:** it's not.


**Bam Bam:** not surprised you are

**Gizmo:** out. . No, I'm

**Senator:** out. Yeah, I'm out. Please say it.

**Bam Bam:** Why? Actually, gizmo says it the best. , you're out. .

**Pagoda:** Why a nine? So I'll tell you like I really enjoyed it in the first third and I'm really enjoying it now, but in the middle for me, it got too creamy and woody. Um, I wasn't

**Bam Bam:** getting a lot.

Did I hear too creamy? Yeah. Like it felt Is that, is that a thing?

**Pagoda:** No. I don't know. I felt like, like I was seeking something more. I [01:29:00] was seeking a little bit more either the cocoa or the stronger flavors. I, I don't know. I

**Gizmo:** didn't get it. So Pagodas

**Rooster:** defense, I think he

**Gizmo:** likes a much fuller Yeah. Cigar. This

**Bam Bam:** is true.

This is true. I don't know if I can accept a nine. , .

**Gizmo:** The, the but think, but I don't think aneurysm Senator was looking for pagoda. Gave it to, yeah. This is perfect. Yeah. grinder. That's a 10. All right. ,

**Bam Bam:** bam, bam. Oh, let me take a big guess. , it's a 10 all

**Gizmo:** day long. All right, boys. A 9.9 Wow. For the Vegas Robaina Clasico.

**Bam Bam:** Is that the second highest

**Gizmo:** rate of cigar ever? Uh, ties with the do, uh, the Don Carlos Eye of the Shark for a second. Yeah. Yep. That is just unusual. . Dick,

**Poobah:** you're such a lunatic. You're kind of a lunatic.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, what the fuck? I'm,

**Poobah:** you're just a lunatic. You're a lunatic like

**Gizmo:** that. Looking for he shank the score.

Whatcha are you looking for? He shank, his henk the score tonight. Exactly right.

**Poobah:** He did. Fucking

**Gizmo:** lunatic.

**Poobah:** You know what he did? He,

**Bam Bam:** I was so [01:30:00] afraid to give this score. Peer pressure was getting to be at the

**Poobah:** No, he's like, he's like a bit of a sociopath. That's why you're named Photo a little bit . You're like, you're like an, it's like

**Bam Bam:** he warmed up the blade in a fireplace and slipped it in the soft underbelly.


**Gizmo:** what he just did. That's what he did. That's what he did. This is why he's potato boys. He stabbed everybody. It is what it is. Oh, amazing.

**Poobah:** It's not creamy enough. It's not creamy enough. That's, that's too creepy. No,

**Bam Bam:** too cream gizmo. It's too creamy. That's what I found. It's

**Gizmo:** too creamy. . Well, boys, it's tooty and he

**Poobah:** likes his coffee Black.

What do you want?

**Gizmo:** Well, guys, I, uh, I can't believe that this is the second time we've done a New Year's Eve episode and hopefully the second of many, many more and a, a fantastic year together, enjoying this hobby, enjoying these cigars and spirits and food and laughter. I love all of you guys. Love you lizards.

I, uh, I hope everybody has a fantastic [01:31:00] new year. I hope, uh, whatever cigar you lit up with us tonight, that it was enjoyable and we love you, listeners. Yeah, we love the listeners. We got so many emails and Instagram messages and it's, it's so wonderful. We love hearing from our listeners and we hope everybody out there has a fantastic New Year.

Um, yeah, I don't know what else to say. What an excellent night. The belly laughs. I mean, I'm, I'm so grateful for you guys. It's just, this is awesome. So, yeah. Um, yeah, peace

**Poobah:** and love to everybody. Peace

**Gizmo:** and love, baby. Peace and love. So, uh, an 8.7 for the Vilma and c. Uh, champagne that we had tonight. Senator, thank you for bringing that.

Thank you. And a 9.9 for the 2011 Vegas Robaina Clasico as

**Poobah:** he looks at pagoda .

**Bam Bam:** That's side. Listen, I

**Pagoda:** have my bulletproof vest on now. ,

**Gizmo:** we should keep the recording going. This is gonna be interesting when we stop, but, but whenever you get a chance, just Venmo me a hundred bucks. . [01:32:00]

**Pagoda:** Listen, can I write you

**Bam Bam:** a check from Mei Me Bank?

No more checks. Check from Mefi

**Poobah:** Me. Third party check. You're write third party.

**Gizmo:** Alright,

**Rooster:** boys. It'll only,

**Pagoda:** it'll only in cashable in certain areas. .

**Gizmo:** All right boys. A very, very happy New Year to you guys, uh, and to our listeners out there. And, uh, we'll see you next week. Keep smoking. Hope you enjoyed this episode.

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

You can also find us on Instagram at Lounge Lizards Pod. We really appreciate your time and we'll uh, we'll see you next week.[01:33:00]