Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey, the lizards pair the Ashton VSG Torpedo with The Senator Barrel Proof Straight Rye Whiskey. The guys revisit a Fuente blended cigar, Poobah and Rooster argue over chocolate, they answer a listener email about post-Covid smoking trends and Senator details his latest flight experience gone wrong.

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!
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What is Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast?

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

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

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

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

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

And our plan is to smoke a cigar. Drink some whiskey, talk about life, and of course, have some laughs. So take this as your 97th official invitation to join us and become a card carrying lounge lizard. Plan to meet us here once a week. We're gonna smoke a New World cigar tonight, share our thoughts on it, and give you our formal lizard rating.

We revisit a Fuente blended cigar tonight, Puba and Rooster argue over chocolate, and Senator details his latest flight experience gone wrong, all among a variety of other things for the next two hours. So sit back, get your favorite drink, light up a cigar, and enjoy as we pair the Senator barrel proof straight rye whiskey with the Ashton VSG Torpedo.

Torpedo tonight from [00:01:00] Ashton, it's called the VSG. The Virgin Sun Grown, it's the second VSG we've done on the pod. It's a beautiful torpedo, 55 ring gauge, by six and a half inches long. This thing is significant, boys. It's a beautiful cigar. So we did the uh, Illusion was the other VSG that we did that really went very well.

And we all, I think, went out and bought boxes, right? Yeah. What'd we rate it? Like a nine plus? It was... It was in the eights. I think it was mid eights. Yeah. I'll

**Poobah:** look it up online. Oh, I think it was a little closer to a

**Gizmo:** nine. Eight eight. 8. 8. That's what I'm thinking. 8. 8. Exactly an 8. 8. Yeah. I told you. On episode 51.

**Poobah:** We all went pot and bought boxes. I think that we didn't there. I have high hopes for this. I feel like I've, I smoked this years ago and had a pretty good experience, but let's see in the larger ring gauge. If this thing, you know, kind of holds

**Gizmo:** up. It's kind of the opposite to your point. It's kind of the opposite of the illusion.

The illusions like, you know, uh, [00:02:00] Lonsdale Lonsdale, 42, 44 ring gauge, this 55. You'll see how the blend does in this ring gauge. Say what

**Poobah:** you want about Ashton or what, but this is an established blend and it's been around, uh, for a long time. It was a collaboration between, uh, between Robert Levin and, uh, our tour for one day that goes back almost 30 years.

Yeah. 1999 blend. Um, yeah, 24 years. So it's been on the market. And people love it. And people love it. So I think that's a merit, you know, isn't, uh, Robert Levin,

**Rooster:** the owner of Holts?

**Poobah:** I

**Gizmo:** don't know. I think we talked about this. I think so.

**Poobah:** He he may be. Yeah. He owns

**Pagoda:** that Holz owned a part of this Marco. Is that true?

**Poobah:** Maybe. Well, Robert Levin, I think Robert Levin may, yeah. Levin family may own.

**Pagoda:** Right. I remember hearing that

**Poobah:** somewhere along the line. Yeah. Or be in partnership with them. Right. But that notwithstanding, and, let's

**Gizmo:** see. Yeah, yeah. Let's [00:03:00] cut this thing boys. So we're getting on the cold draw on the wrapper.

Rooster, I'm going to borrow your cutter if you don't mind.

Mmm. My cutter has a cap. Good cold draw. Not good for a torpedo. Mmm.

**Pagoda:** Fruity.

**Poobah:** Very nice. It's kind of that same cold draw that you would get on a... On the Illusion. On the Illusion.

**Pagoda:** This is

**Poobah:** going to be a nice cigar. Let's see.

**Gizmo:** Alright boys, let's light this thing. The Ashton VSG Torpedo. Again, it's a 55 ring gauge cigar by six and a half inches long. What I like about this is for the size, it, it doesn't have a ton of weight to it.

You know, it feels good in the hand, but it's not.

**Pagoda:** It is wide open, so it doesn't, it doesn't seem

**Gizmo:** dense. Yeah, I smoke a lot of those illusions, man.

**Poobah:** Well, it's a premium [00:04:00] cigar, the, the, the construction on it is, is pretty nice. And the wrapper's a little bit between, like, you know. Toothy and sophisticated. It's kind of, there's whatever

**Gizmo:** is taking off.

Pagoda is heading to Mars tonight.

**Pagoda:** I think you, did you get a welding certificate? Because you may need a license for that. That thing is a tiny little thing. I can hire you, you know, to weld steel on a job site. No problem. Oh, I'd love to do that with that thing.

**Poobah:** Go home, drink a 12 pack of bud, weld some steel, fucking watch the Mets,

**Pagoda:** plummet.

What are the Mets?

**Gizmo:** This is really nice on the light. It's got a very interesting... I would say mild to medium blend to it and the flavors really, I, I would argue complex. I think there's a lot going

**Pagoda:** on there. There's a touch of citrus there on the finish [00:05:00] for me, uh, coffee on upfront for me.

**Gizmo:** Definitely getting that espresso.

Yeah, this is really nice.

**Senator:** I have to say, I'm glad we're doing this in a larger ring gauge just because the illusion that we all bought, I've liked that cigar, but I have experienced some of them either with a bit too tight of a draw and. Some of them sometimes pack a punch in strength unexpectedly where I feel like this in a larger ring gauge, the draw already is, is perfect.

Wide open. It's great. And, um, the, the flavor profile right off the light is not as aggressive as sometimes when I light a, the illusion.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, this feels really good in the hand. It's very smooth. Yeah, it's very elegant. Yeah. I think this would slot in at multiple points during the day.

**Pagoda:** Sure, it's got the yeah, it does feel very light, you know, I remember like when we were [00:06:00] discussing the aging room I think that also felt like light. Hmm, you know, there were there these cigars which Seem, um, that they'd be more heavy or stronger, but they just feel

**Poobah:** light.

But there's like a richness in the background to it, similar to the, similar to the Lonsdale or the, uh, Yeah, it's a Lonsdale. It's a Lonsdale. The Lonsdale. There's a little bit of that richness that you get, a little chocolatey.

**Senator:** It's like,

**Pagoda:** no, I was talking more about the resistance when you're blowing in.


**Senator:** yeah. But I'll just say, pick up on what Puba said. I, I agree. There's a richness. It's almost chewy. It's like, I feel like I'm eating a candy bar right now. It's like the smoke is thick and, and really kind of velvety.

**Gizmo:** And I like the way, even on the light, I like the way it coats the, coats your mouth. Oh, that's very true.

You know, like it's a very pleasant experience. Well, that

**Pagoda:** piggybacks on what Senator just said. Yeah. It's, it's, there's some viscosity to the smoke. That's

**Gizmo:** right. [00:07:00] Yeah.

**Rooster:** It's, it's a richer experience

**Gizmo:** than the illusion. Right? I agree with that. It's a little bit more. More flavor out of this, I think, so far.

**Pagoda:** Like Puba said, it is more complex.

**Senator:** It's funny you say that, because I agree. What's weird for me is, I feel like it's slightly toned down in strength from the illusion, but it's actually increased in flavor. It's more

**Rooster:** complex, the more flavor I'm getting out of this than the illusion. I mean, I don't smoke those quite that often, but whenever I have...

I mean, from what I remember, like this is a little

**Gizmo:** richer experience. So these come in a cedar chest of 24 cigars, which you can get anywhere from four, you know, 350 bucks, let's say to 415. For the chest 24, it has an Ecuadorian sumatran wrapper and it has a Dominican binder and filler. Mm. And it's rolled in the Dominican Republic.

**Pagoda:** You know the retro hale's got delicious fruit notes. Fantastic. [00:08:00] Yeah. There is

**Gizmo:** unexpected, actually there is that citrus that you are talking of it about. There's a very slight

**Rooster:** faint right citrus note that you get at the end. At

**Gizmo:** the very end, at the finish.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. Yeah. Yep,

**Senator:** yep. Even at the, just the smoke, you can kind of smell the citrus somehow in there.


**Gizmo:** really bizarre. Bizarre. It almost has like a. It's almost has like a, like a,

**Pagoda:** I hate the burn. I'm sorry. At the burn line. Yeah. You're getting a ton of

**Gizmo:** that fruit and citrus. Oh, it's there. Yeah. But I feel like in the mouth, I think to what you were just saying centered in, it almost has like a palate cleansing kind of effect to it.

Like, I feel like, I feel like my mouth feels clean, even though I'm smoking a cigar and the, the viscous smoke. Like it. Yeah. It's just, it's working. It's very

**Poobah:** complex. It's a little bit, it's a little bit like, um, if you've ever had, like, uh, it's got notes of that Pepperidge Farm, um, Always a baking reference with you.

No, the dark chocolate with the, it's dark chocolate orange.

**Pagoda:** Oh yeah, the Milanos. The Milano's

**Poobah:** yeah, the dark chocolate orange. It's not that [00:09:00] bready, but it's like the middle part of it. That is the chocolate orange part. Not totally wrong. Actually. Um, there's a little bit of that going on. It's not that pronounced, but it's

**Gizmo:** there.

**Rooster:** Yeah. It's a, it's a weird combination of like chocolate and fruit and citrus,

**Gizmo:** you know,

**Senator:** wait, you know what those notes remind me of? What cigar? The E. P. Carrillo Pledge of Allegiance. Yeah. Because we couldn't believe we were getting like lemon and citrus. Lemon we were getting. Along with like cocoa and the other kind of traditional flavors and this is the only other cigar that I would describe with those same kind of flavor

**Pagoda:** notes.

And when you have that combination, it's, that's, you're describing a very complex cigar. Sophisticated,

**Gizmo:** well

**Rooster:** made. I kind of like the combination of chocolate and citrus. I could care less about mint and chocolate, though. I like that, too, though. There's nothing wrong with that. Citrus and chocolate, for some reason, is a

**Gizmo:** good combination.

Oh, I want a

**Poobah:** Milano now. You're not an Andy's Candies fan. What about Junior Mints? I love Junior Mints. The holidays [00:10:00] come around. I don't like mentum chocolate. Really? Really? So when the holidays come around, my wife gets the Andy's candies and also the, the Lindor, you know, the Lindor. And then there's like a little, a little bowl, like in the green.

Andy's candies go

**Senator:** out. Does she put this out to feed the deer?

**Gizmo:** Oh, we got to

**Poobah:** tell that story today. We got to tell that story. We do. It's holiday treats. You know

**Gizmo:** what I love about Andy's candies? When you walk into a hotel room and there's an Andy's candy on the pillow. You're

**Poobah:** always happy. That's not, that's the best. It's awesome. I love the Andy's candy. You know why?

Cause it's, you have like two of them after dinner and it's like, it's actually just like little tiny things. It's not going to, it doesn't push you over the edge. Yeah. But they only come around like a Christmas, you know,

**Senator:** for some reason it's a green wrapper. Yes. Yeah,

**Poobah:** they're good. They're good. You throw them in the fridge and you just nosh a couple of those.[00:11:00]

Forget it. Um, and then the Lindor chocolate truffle around the holidays. I mean, wow, that's not meant though. I'm just saying, I'm talking about chocolate.

**Pagoda:** Hey dude, it's chocolate.

**Poobah:** Listen, guy, guy, we're on chocolate. The, uh, and those come out holiday season, those come out and they are, they're out. And you know, the, the children are just, you know, even as teenagers, they, they, you know, they're little.

They're like gremlins. Like you put out a handful and all of a sudden you turn around and they're gone and you have to do a reprimand.

**Gizmo:** My wife loves York peppermint patties. There's that chocolate

**Poobah:** mint. She's obsessed with them. chocolate that is done

**Senator:** so horribly. I can't wait to play this for her. It should be outlawed. Peppermint patties should be. Puba, please tell me you're with me on this. I don't eat peppermint.

**Poobah:** Thank you. I don't mind. Thank you. [00:12:00] I'm not a huge fan, but I do, but I do love an almond joy.

Of course

**Rooster:** we're talking about mint and chocolate. We're

**Poobah:** talking about. No, we're talking about candy, dude. Just, follow the, follow the narrative, follow the conversation.

**Rooster:** It's a podcast. Isn't that mint?

**Gizmo:** Yeah. York pepper.

**Rooster:** And so we're talking about mint and chocolate. I'm saying, I don't like that combination of mint and chocolate.


**Poobah:** yelling at everyone, calm down, screaming at every, they're screaming at the whole group. You're

**Rooster:** talking about, I'm talking about mint

**Gizmo:** and chocolate. Do we need an accountability

**Rooster:** hour? I just don't like mint and chocolate, but

**Poobah:** that's me. Okay. Can we, all right. All right. All right. Hold on. Senator takes the minutes of every episode.

Can you please write down in the ledger, in the lizard ledger that rooster does not like mint and chocolate. Oh, we've got it. It's loudly noted. It's duly noted. You could stop yelling at the group now and just go with the flow here. I mean, [00:13:00] I don't understand. We were talking about, we were going through a chocolate conversation.

I don't

**Gizmo:** like fucking men.

**Pagoda:** We got it.

**Senator:** I've also added in the ledger. Peppermint patties are banned. Okay. Yes. I don't agree with that. Texture of that also is just terrible. It's just so mushy and it's very

**Poobah:** processed. I mean, it's processed now. The Almond Joy is processed, but the Almond Joy is a hell of a candy.

**Rooster:** I love

**Poobah:** Almond

**Gizmo:** Joy.

Yeah. You guys on the same? Now came rooster. We're talking

**Senator:** about mint.

**Poobah:** We're talking about mint almond. Joy has no, we're not talking about coconut. We're talking about mint. There's no

**Rooster:** mint in Almond Joy. I love Kit

**Poobah:** Katt too, but

**Senator:** you know, oh,

**Pagoda:** I love a Kit Katt. I, I, I'm kind of lost of here. Is this like a minty cigar?

like a minty cigarette?

**Gizmo:** I would put it down. Seriously though guys, this cigar is very good. It is. It's nice. And I like the medium complexity despite the size. You know, we've talked about this, your eyes, you know, [00:14:00] you look at a cigar like this has a dark, oily wrapper on it and you go, you know what? That's probably and the size.

Mm-hmm. significant. You look at it, you go, that's probably gonna kick me around. And you light it up and this is a very easy affair. Approachable,

**Pagoda:** very, it's firmly medium,

**Poobah:** right? Very easy affair. It's one of those, it's, it's, to me, it's one of these blends that if you're out and you're looking through a humidor and this is...

pretty widely distributed. It's pretty widely available. Um, you can reach for it with confidence. Yeah. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** I see guys at other clubs smoke this. I've wanted to try it for years. I just never got around to it. So I'm

**Senator:** glad we're doing this tonight. I also love with the larger ring gauge, the, the like subtle box press from clearly just kind of being crammed in the box a bit.

Yeah, it just feels great in the hand. It's like a drone. Like it just makes it that much more manageable. Yeah.

**Rooster:** Right at the foot, the foot was a little

**Gizmo:** box pressed. Yeah. The burn on this thing is great though. Pretty razor sharp. [00:15:00] You know, I guess with a lot of new worlds, the tobacco in this is four to five years of age, obviously like Puba said, blended in conjunction with Carlito Fuente in 1999.

Uh, which, you know, this was Ashton's first, and I would argue, and I think we did argue on the episode 51 when we did the illusion, this is really their only serious entry into that premium, uh, you know, the premium market for I guess I don't want to say advanced smokers, but non beginner smokers, like they don't have a lot of other stuff that I think is, is kind of reaching for a full experience.


**Poobah:** Do we, well, the estate sun grown, I think ESG, ESG, that's true. Is a premium cigar. Yes, it is. I think it's that familiar with full. I've only had

**Gizmo:** a

**Rooster:** couple, I can't remember. I think this is fuller

**Gizmo:** than the ESG. I think that's a medium cigar. This is their reach for the Padrones. Do you feel this is a full flavored cigar?

At this point, no. [00:16:00] Medium? Medium?

**Senator:** I think it can be argued that it's medium, full, and flavor. But in strength, it's very medium. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** agreed. The flavor is very rich. Which for

**Poobah:** an affair like this, which is going to be a... A pretty, a pretty long engagement. Yes. Yeah. Um, that's, that's a, that's a merit.

**Senator:** Yeah. Yeah.

It is. And I just, I like that too, because it, a cigar like this becomes so versatile where you can have this at so many different points of the day. Yeah. Like when a cigar is super full, that's not a cigar you're going to light up with the exception of rooster, you know, at like 11 a. m. or noon, but a cigar like this, I mean, I could see having this early afternoon, evening at night.

It's a, it's kind of all around all purpose. Pretty pleasant

**Pagoda:** right now. What are these, uh, what do they cost? Any idea?

**Gizmo:** So they're retail, they're about 21 bucks, you know, in a retail shop. I think you can probably find them between 15 and 18 on the internet. And obviously if you're buying a full cedar chest at 24, you know, you're going to be able to get them at a reasonable price.

Not a bad deal. [00:17:00] No, and I mean, I think for the, the experience, I mean, we're only, what, three quarters of an inch in, but if this performs anything close to the, you know, what the Lonsdale did. I mean, for 20 bucks for an hour and a half of real excellent experience, this is elegant, man.

**Poobah:** Well, I think it's worth it.

You're doing pretty well, especially given the, you know, the prices in the Cuban market. And if you're looking for something that's full flavored, but. Uh, but kind of medium and strength, you know, subbing something like this in from time to time brings value and, uh, and some satisfaction. I mean, it's not like this type of a cigar is going to all of a sudden at the end.

I don't predict this. Becoming some sort of negative affair. I just don't see that happening. Maybe I'll be proved wrong. The only

**Gizmo:** thing I can see happening is just at the tip of the torpedo. If you don't cut enough off, just getting a little bit of a tar build up because this is going to be a long smoke and that [00:18:00] happens

**Senator:** on the illusion.

That that's exactly when I said that I get a tight, too tight of a draw sometimes on the illusion. I've had tar build up there and it's been super frustrating. So that's why I'm hoping with a larger ring gauge like this, that we won't have that

**Gizmo:** issue. This is one that in the second half, I'm definitely going to just take a little bit more off than I did in my first cut, which wasn't much just to prevent that potential tar buildup, you know, as it's concentrated at the, uh, you may have undercut for the first time.

I did actually. I did on purpose boys.

**Pagoda:** I think ours is more. Senator myself, Puba and Pagoda. Yeah. And rooster. We took off a good amount. Yeah, I took off. I

**Gizmo:** purposely took off less than normal. To take off a little more in the second half. You're running

**Poobah:** the anteater.

**Gizmo:** I always do.

**Poobah:** The

**Gizmo:** anteater. You know, we talked about this previously.

And I think to tie into a recent episode, the CAO that we did, that ended up being a really good cigar. Surprising. Yeah, surprising. And [00:19:00] Robusto, it, it, it pains me that Ashton doesn't market this cigar to guys who smoke Padrones, guys who are smoking Fuentes, and this is a Fuente cigar. Like, that story is not being told in any, you know, meaningful way.

I don't think this is a cigar people talk about. I think it has a passionate base. It's been around for 25 years, but I don't know. I think there's more of a story to be told here, and I just don't think they're telling it.

**Poobah:** Well, how much more do they need to... You know, from a marketing perspective, it's, it's an established blend from an established brand.

How much, you know,

**Gizmo:** had we not, here's what I'll say. Had we not done the illusion on the podcast, I would never have reached for an Ashton VSG cigar.

**Senator:** Yeah. I also think to, to, uh, to Gizmo's point, I had never tried the VSG period until we did it on the podcast. And that's purely because I associate Ashton as a brand with just mild cigars.

I didn't even know they made a full cigar. This is [00:20:00] very

**Gizmo:** true. Yeah, when I think Ashton, I think that's a beginner cigar. Yeah, I

**Rooster:** mean, out of a previous lounge, uh, you know, we used to smoke the VSGs once in a while. They were, they were recommended. Yeah, you're right. I mean, the regular Ashton line is very, is very

**Gizmo:** mild.

The white label, like it just screams beginner cigar to me and then nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. I think

**Rooster:** the reason why we're not, we're kind of... You know, they haven't really come out with anything new.

**Gizmo:** That's also true too. Well, probably because no other new blend moved on.

**Rooster:** Yeah. But I mean, a few, but even their regular

**Senator:** core line, like the mild stuff, I haven't seen anything that looks new or

**Gizmo:** different, right?

**Rooster:** They haven't really done anything new. Not

**Gizmo:** that I know of. It's

**Rooster:** true. I find that more and more as the Cuban cigar prices keep going the way. The direction they're going. I keep looking for and going back and revisiting, you know, new world cigars that we haven't done in a while and smoking more and more of them.

**Poobah:** [00:21:00] Yeah, I mean, Ashton just reminds me of the nineties. It reminds me of the, remember the Griffiths? Yeah, yeah. Remember they were miles. They are miles. They were Griffin, but they were, or the Griffin. Yeah, the Griffin. Those are beloved

**Pagoda:** cigars by a lot of people.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Still. Do they still even make them? They do.

**Senator:** They

**Pagoda:** do. They're not very good. They're not. But a lot of people like them. I see a lot of guys smoke

**Poobah:** those. I'm just saying they were like in vogue. Oh yeah. In other words, at the advent of kind of the cigar boom, those were, you know, it was like a golf club cigar or whatever, and they were popular.

**Senator:** I actually.

I bought that cigar for a buddy who had the last name Griffin for his birthday once. And then I smoked it after I bought it and gave it to him and I was like, shit, this was not a good gift. It was not very good. You know, you know what's

**Rooster:** another brand that kind of comes to me when you talk about the Griffin is the PG Paul Grammarian.

**Gizmo:** Did you ever smoke those? It

**Rooster:** had a red, like a red and white band. Don't know what that is. [00:22:00] PG. Yeah. It was also popular at that

**Poobah:** time. But like not Sherman was like the, the, the shit. I mean, I thought, I mean, going back to that. Period of time if you could get a Cuban, do you know what I mean? That was cool.

Very But not Sherman was I remember just I remember cherishing those and then there was a lot of mac and nudo Mac and nudo was very popular. It was back and back at that time. Another very light cigar I mean Pagoda knows what I'm talking about. Yeah, I do, you know, you know what I mean in the city You need a mac and nudo.

There was a lot of mac and nudos people smoked Ashton people smoked You know,

**Pagoda:** timeless

**Poobah:** 1930s. That's right. And, you know, and then there were a lot of cigars that kind of came into the market that were, I think it got flooded with just a lot of bad

**Gizmo:** stuff, a lot of celebrity cigars, right? A [00:23:00] lot of like celebrities having brands.

Didn't Chuck Norris have a brand? And there were like a bunch of different celebrity brands. There were

**Poobah:** a lot of just random brands and came in and out. Yeah. And then even, but like. I remember the money, the Monte Cristo stuff, not being particularly good. And there was a lot of issues with, with some of these cigars and there was a lot of boutique weird brands that were popping up and they were just, it wasn't good.

There were a lot of bad cigars around, um, new world cigars. Like they weren't, it's not as sophisticated of a market and audience as it is today. Like that audience was just. Kind of building, you know what I mean? Like this new young smoker was out there Just looking for something to smoke looking for something to smoke and you trying to figure out what was good And what wasn't because it was a boom.

It was a real boom, but

**Gizmo:** Michael Jordan was smoking it on TV constantly Wow. Right. Cigar aficionado had just come out in a few years prior. [00:24:00] Like, you know, there was a lot of cultural kind of driving. There were, you know, Kramer's walking around in Seinfeld with a cigar every episode. I mean, those things make an impact on people in their minds.

Like I got to try this. Oh, yeah, you know, and I think that probably contributed to and it was obviously a little bit more relaxed. You could smoke in restaurants. Yeah, it's smoking, you know, just, you know, I mean, you probably remember, I, you know, unfortunately, I don't because I was in Pennsylvania and I was 12 years old, but, you know, I'd sitting down at a restaurant having a great steak in New York and being able to light a cigar after like, Pretty cool.

That sounds amazing. You can smoke on

**Rooster:** United flights in the

**Senator:** back. You probably still can in the bag. Anything goes on those airplanes.

**Rooster:** There was a smoking section in the

**Poobah:** back. Did they have a zipper wall? No, no zipper wall. I remember when I was including, including Novavirus, which, which Senator, which Senator contracted on United Airlines flight.

**Gizmo:** I want to hear this story. I want to hear this story. So, you [00:25:00] got a little taste of food poisoning. I did. First time

**Senator:** ever, actually.

**Gizmo:** Really? Never gotten food poisoning. We want to know what was on your plate. So what, so what

**Poobah:** Cause he like, eats Hot Pockets in first class. And he like, actually eats that shit, which is dumb.

**Pagoda:** He'll never admit, he'll never admit it, but he does.

**Gizmo:** He eats the Hot Pockets. What, what happened, and what points to your favorite airline as the culprit?

**Senator:** First. I have to start with the context of, I'm severely regretting my decision to listen to Gizmo and give United a shot that United has changed so much from the years that I tried it ages ago.

So this year to show I, you know, I, old dog can learn new tricks. All right, I'm going to give it a shot. Not fly American as much. I've earned United status this year. I've flown it. So I have a large sample size of the United experience at this point, and it is God awful. And I'm done with the United about the end of this year.

And I'm going to be all in on American next year, but in giving United [00:26:00] a chance. I was flying from, uh, Newark to Houston. Houston's a United hub. So, for any experienced traveler, you, the listener knows what I'm talking about here. When you fly to a hub, you always check the plane model because there are at least usually two flights a day where they have to send a big international plane.

With like a three cabin class lie flat, everything like beautiful planes. And basically for the same exact price that you'd be booking, like first class in a standard plane with just a, you know, standard seat that reclines a little bit, you'd get a lie flat bed for the flight. It's amazing. So I used to do this with American, like always New York to Miami, just a short little hop to Florida and you could sit in a lie flat bed.

It was amazing. So I booked this. It's on a Boeing 767 that by the way, I can't believe they fly this internationally. It's a two cabin class plane. There's not even three, which doesn't make sense for a big plane. The plane itself has not been updated since the nineties. I am not exaggerating. The headphone jack on this [00:27:00] plane has two.

Prongs. I haven't seen that on an airplane literally since I was a child. I mean, it's like absurd. Nobody has that. There's a standard one plug. I'm looking at Gizmo's

**Pagoda:** eyes. I think laser

**Gizmo:** beams are going to come out of the next, next recording. I'm going to bring an adapter just for him that he has to have the two prong headphones to listen.

**Poobah:** Who's relying? And I, I, I'm a, you guys know how much I'm traveling. Who's relying on any airline and And in any class seats, entertainment system, you have an iPad, you download stuff in your iPad. You have Bose and canceling headphones and you'll be debunking Senator's view. No, no, it's not wrong.

**Senator:** You know, I mean, it's the point.

So I'm a hundred percent with you. I never use it either, but when you're just looking at this shitty plane that has literally not been upgraded since the nineties, you're like. This is their Polaris product. This is their pride and joy. I mean, it's, it's just garbage. I mean, the headphones that they hand out.

It's so comical. I told Giz this again. I don't use headphones when I'm flying in a [00:28:00] three cabin class plane, cause I have my own stuff. But in, on American, they, they always,

**Poobah:** they're like the ones that are air. On

**Senator:** American, they give you, they used to give you Bose noise, canceling headphones. They're incredible.

Now they have a partnership with Bang Olufsen, also amazing headphones. It's just, it's supposed to be a premium experience in that cabin. On United, these headphones, and give us a seat up, because he told me he doesn't disagree with me. They're

**Poobah:** the worst headphones of all

**Gizmo:** time! Listen, I'm an audio guy and they're horrible.

**Poobah:** They look like they're from the dollar store. Yeah. They're really, this is like in a cabin that people are spending over a thousand dollars

**Senator:** sitting. I mean, it's just silly. So I just can't get over how this whole setup is. Then the thing that really makes my head explode. I go to sit down in my seat and I'm looking at the seat back and I'm like, why is there a seatbelt protruding out of the seat back?

Like it's going to be digging into my shoulder as I'm sitting there. Never, ever seen an airplane seat that has a shoulder strap. Like you're in a car. Has anyone seen that before? Never. No, thank you. No, no. So they [00:29:00] haven't in Polaris. So yeah, United Polaris. So I'm like trying to move it out of the way. So it's not like digging into my back, especially when I'm going to recline.

And then we're getting ready to take off. The flight attendant comes up to me and says, excuse me, sir, can you please fasten your shoulder strap? Now I have the regular seatbelt fastened. I'm not an idiot. Like, obviously that's required. Why on earth do I need a shoulder strap to fly on a United plane? And I don't need this on any other flight, any

**Poobah:** airline, or does the rest of the airplane need it?

Right. Well,

**Rooster:** it's an, it's an old plane, like you said, so maybe, yeah, well,

**Senator:** apparently

**Poobah:** I've never, by the way, my mom worked for United, okay. And I flew probably a flown United more than anyone else. This room combined, she worked for him for eight years, nine years. There were in, this is in the seventies and eighties, which it sounds like this plane was from that era and I never saw a shoulder strap and I flew standby

**Senator:** all around the world.

I Googled this and apparently United contracted with Boeing on these planes and the lie flat seats they built at [00:30:00] too high and steep of an angle. So it was unsafe if you had a rough landing. So they had to. Specially build in shoulder straps. I'm just like, get this right. Every other airline, when you're sitting in that cap, who wants to be bothered?

So I tried to test this because when you're flying in that cabin in any airline, they're never going to bother you. You could basically, I've had my seatbelt unbuckled and I just fell asleep. They're not going to wake you up. Like they. The whole point is to just keep the people there happy, because they're the frequent travelers on that airline.

I just as a test, when we're landing, I have my seatbelt fastened as I'm supposed to, but I don't have the shoulder strap, and I just close my eyes just to pretend I'm sleeping, and I'm like, there's no way that some United Flight Attendant would be dumb enough to wake a passenger up for this, and a guy fucking taps my shoulder.

Sir, please fasten your shoulder strap. And I, and, and, Oh, actually, sorry. So he says this to me and I keep my eyes closed. I pretend I didn't hear him. Then he taps me and he says the same thing. And I said, I heard you the first time. I'm not passing the shoulder strap and you can see I was very agitated and then he just moved on, but it's like, [00:31:00] why?

Put customers through that silliness. No airline does it a

**Poobah:** separate

**Rooster:** latch. It's not

**Poobah:** like a car,

**Senator:** like it's one latch. It's like, so it is one latch, but you basically, you pull it and then they created this little thing to hook it onto the other latch. It's really bizarre. Do you, do

**Poobah:** you realize how much this group finds?

This, that you, the fact that you get so upset about these kinds of problems, that are not really, it's not a first world problem. It's beyond that. It's a beyond the first world problem. It's like a first world squared problem. It becomes actually, you have to do like a little bit of extra math. It's hilarious.

It's totally jacked up. You

**Pagoda:** get quadrupled. The moment this topic,

**Poobah:** he could do two hours on this

**Gizmo:** tonight, easily

**Poobah:** travel. You got to cut the mic [00:32:00]

**Senator:** when you travel a ton for business. All you are praying for is just peace and quiet. So that's why you get a lounge access. Uh, you get a lounge membership. So you don't sit around all the crying families and kids board first. You sit there in silence.

You just don't want to worry about this stuff. And I get on a United flight and it's like, I'm flying spirit airlines basically. So anyway, nightmare experience on there. And then they bring out

**Poobah:** food. Night, night, night, you get tap sodas and fucking Pellegrino. You get a shitty dessert. Yeah. It's like a factory.

All of them. Suck though. That's not true. That's not true. I mean, I get you listen, if you're flying like you're like United Arab Emirates fucking airlines to Dubai, you're going to have great experience, but you know, what are you expecting from these fucking airlines? By the way, for the listeners, we don't even have air traffic controllers to even land the planes at this point.


**Gizmo:** hold on for the listener. Let me just say. Thank you. The text [00:33:00] messages that we get from Senator on this, it's just,

**Poobah:** he doesn't realize it's like an angry ex girlfriend text

**Gizmo:** you, and it's just like, you have to thumb through the

**Poobah:** essay. I'm just making

**Senator:** sure Gizmo gets a full report since this is his suggestion that I'm sitting on this shit.

**Poobah:** I remember

**Rooster:** reading the thread and it all started with

**Gizmo:** Giz, let me

**Poobah:** tell you.

**Gizmo:** I guess this is

**Poobah:** what I'm going through right

**Senator:** now. Hold on. Poo was going to die when he hears this. I sat, I sat in the United lounge with Gizmo when we went to Cuba and Gizmo says to me, he goes, Oh, sorry. We go to order a drink. So we get bloody Marys.

Yeah. I swear the bartender says it's like eight in the morning. We're out of bloody Marys. Can you imagine this? It's 8 a. m. in a fucking airline like, how can I not say United is

**Poobah:** terrible? That, that would, that would, that would break my soul. Thank you. Um, I back it up with a screwdriver and move on with my life, [00:34:00] but, but, but yes, I mean, it's like how at eight in the morning have you run out of Bloody Mary mix?

It's unbelievable. That's the only point that I'll give you that you're not being slightly, that you're slightly, you know, That you're slightly not being hyperbolic on. I mean, it's just, it's, it's, you know,

**Senator:** let's talk about the food. Okay. So it's the morning. So there's breakfast on the plane. I'm like, how harmful can this be?

Right. It's like eggs. Some like, I guess, uh, potatoes, you know, fruit yogurt, simple stuff. I have a little bit of the eggs. I have the fruit. And I think I had some of the yogurt, how can you go wrong with it? You know, this is not like they put a steak in front of me and I tried to eat airplane steak.

Obviously, I'm not going to do that. Somehow the flight there. No problem. The flight back. I felt horrible a couple days when I got home. I mean, just terrible. And everything I had. Eating after that, I ate like [00:35:00] with a group and no one else had any stomach issues. So I was like, obviously you just worked

**Gizmo:** yourself up so badly emotionally.

It was a shoulder. It was affected. Wait,

**Poobah:** hold on. So, so you're not, okay. So from being the closest person to a doctor in this room, cause I play one on TV. From a clinical perspective, um, Dr. Puba, yeah, you're not going to fly in. That's one day, eat the eggs, stay two days, fly back. No, no.

**Senator:** I'm talking about in the return flight.

So just to give you the chronology, I was eating at places in Houston, every single restaurant I went with a group of people, no one had any issue. Everybody felt

**Poobah:** great. Houston, did you do the oysters?

**Senator:** No, I couldn't even find oysters in Houston, actually. I looked

**Poobah:** for it, I couldn't find any.

**Gizmo:** What did you eat?

Yeah, that's

**Senator:** a good thing. Uh, Italian food one night. Okay, what'd you have? Um... What's going on? Uh, some kind of pasta dish. Okay. Um... American the night before, I [00:36:00] had like a piece of salmon and some greens. Yeah. It's

**Poobah:** cooked. Okay, but night before, what'd you eat the day before, the night before you got on the flight?


**Senator:** food. And I felt great the next day.

**Poobah:** But you got on the flight and felt shit, like shit the

**Senator:** next day. I got on the flight and then when I got home the next day I felt like shit. And that's when I

**Poobah:** ate the flight? I just described it. You ate the eggs. I had a little

**Senator:** egg and the yogurt, the yogurt

**Poobah:** and fruit.

Yeah. So I'm still going with someone took a dump and like, didn't wash their hands.

**Gizmo:** I'm still going with him. He worked himself up so bad that it

**Senator:** just went.

**Poobah:** Not that no,

**Senator:** I don't think that this is far from my worst United experience. There's, there's, I remember you didn't

**Rooster:** smoke for like a week.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, you had to be, you know,

**Rooster:** you were not well, no,

**Senator:** no.

Hence I'm done with United. I mean,

**Poobah:** I gave it an honest try, the eggs, the powdered eggs,

**Gizmo:** the eggs crushed him.

**Senator:** Sorry. We're [00:37:00] burying the most important part of this story. So I come back, obviously I'm feeling like shit. So I don't smoke for several days. Finally, almost a week later, I'm like totally back to normal.

Actually, it wasn't that maybe four days and I was back to normal. So I, I finally, I'm feeling like myself. I happen to be doing some grocery shopping and whole foods. And, uh, this guy comes up behind me and it's a member of our lounge, uh, Eric. And, uh, he's like, Oh, I haven't seen you. How have you been? I said, Oh, I got some food poisoning, but you know, finally I'm over it.

I'm feeling good. And he's like, how'd you get it? And I said, either something I in Houston or my flight back. And he goes, let me guess. Did you fly United? I said, yes. I, how, why'd you guess? You know, he's like, I've got, I got food poisoning on a United flight. I'm like, this is wow. Like I just meet someone randomly and talked to him about this.

He's had the exact same experience confirmation bias. And then yes, there was a, a. Third person. He loves that third person. Hang on. Third person who, you know, Henry from our lounge who just flew United to Columbia and by the way, said it was the single, well, we're not talking about his [00:38:00] cigar preferences.

He said it was the single worst flight experience of his life. That United flight to Columbia. He said on the return trip, he ate some food. Immediately did not feel good, and the next day was basically like me, like food poisoning. This is three people now we're talking about that have had that experience after you

**Gizmo:** Did you write a strongly worded letter?

**Senator:** Like you did to me? Not yet, but I did actually, I'll give their customer service credit. I wrote a strongly worded letter after they cancelled a flight of mine and wouldn't, couldn't even process a refund through the app. Like, they cancelled it, obviously they're supposed to refund me, and I kept hitting, you know, refund on the app, and it just kept saying, error, I need to call.

Were you hitting the right button? Oh, there's, there was one button to hit. And so I call and it's like already aggravating that I have to do it. It should just automate it. Right. Why should a customer have to call to ask for a refund when you owe them the money, you canceled their flight because you can't get your planes together.

So I'm on hold for an hour. Did you speak to

**Poobah:** somebody

**Rooster:** in Thailand

**Senator:** or Philippines? No, this guy spoke decent English actually, but [00:39:00] even the guy apologized. He's like, you, you should not have had to wait this long. I'm so sorry. And then he's like, you should write United a letter. They'll probably do something about this.

So I'm like, there's no way I believe they will. But to their credit, I did write them an email. And, uh, they gave me 200, which was, which was nice

**Poobah:** for my

**Gizmo:** tell.

**Poobah:** Okay. Yeah. So you got compensated. Yeah. Yeah. I

**Gizmo:** can't wait. By the way, when I do the intro of this. This episode to say that, um, you know, Senator details, his experience in the United Polaris

**Poobah:** class, I can't wait to

**Senator:** do it.

And when you go and just read reviews of it online, cause I, you know, you're looking for validation this time. You're like, am I crazy or do other people feel the same way? It's a dime, a dozen websites that will say United Polaris is like a big step forward for United, but it's pales in comparison to like flagship business or first on American or what a Delta one or whatever they call it.

It's just, they're,

**Gizmo:** they're just so behind on behalf of the listeners and the rest of the lizards, we're really thankful that you put yourself. I sacrificed. Yes, he did [00:40:00] in a sacrificial.

**Senator:** You all never have to trust Gizmo and Fly United.

**Gizmo:** I've never gotten sick. I also don't eat the hot pockets. So yeah, I mean, it

**Poobah:** is what it is.

It is what it is. I mean, uh, stick to the bloody Mary. If they

**Gizmo:** have it, when they have it, uh,

**Poobah:** when they have it. And, and, uh, I, I put, I usually get like, uh, I mean, if I'm really hungry and I have to eat airport food, I think the safest things are the, are like those pre made boxed, hermetically sealed like sandwiches, do you know what I mean?

That are made in like a huge factory that like, basically everyone's got hair nets and plastic gloves on and they just make, no,

**Gizmo:** no, I worry about shelf life, by the

**Poobah:** way. Oh, well, no, they're all marked. I mean, like. How hard

**Gizmo:** is it to put a sticker over a sticker? That's

**Poobah:** all I'm saying. Oh, I hear you. But let's just, like, well, I've known, I have a friend of mine who worked at, um, like a really, really, [00:41:00] was the CFO of a really big local, which I won't mention, but that do a lot of that kind of work.

Also center of the plate to all the way to center of the plate stuff for high end restaurants. They do. And, and like the, like the regulatory kind of, it's like a factory. It's yeah. I mean like it's very regulated. A lot of these places who are doing that kind of work. Yeah. So it's actually safer than some of the.

You know, anyway, so sometimes that like that Turk, that Turkey, just that Turkey and cheese sandwich that's got a date on it and the dates like seven days out, you know, I've had a few of those.

**Gizmo:** I'd like to, can I just say, I'd like Senator what the next time he's flying to do it. I want a full report on the hermetically sealed Turkey and cheese sandwich.


**Pagoda:** but having said that, I'll tell you the Turkey sandwich and JetBlue is great.

**Poobah:** There you go. I've never had a problem on, on JetBlue. JetBlue is the best

**Senator:** like economy product period domestically.

**Poobah:** Yeah. I mean, you get the extra [00:42:00] room seat. I fly on it out of Westchester on a, by almost a, you know, by when I'm doing it on a bi monthly basis, you guys know I'm done.

And can you

**Senator:** put your pinky out? When you say that?

**Poobah:** it, it, uh, well

**Gizmo:** that's not, and

**Poobah:** put your shoulder strap on . But anyway, but that, but you know, you get an extra room seat on that flight. It's an aisle. You know what I mean? You fly. Yeah. They're nice. I mean, it's fine. And, and you know, you pre-board, um, and you,

**Senator:** you'd like to pre-board too.

Interesting. Yeah. Bougie poop. I thought poop.

**Gizmo:** I was the only one.

**Poobah:** Bougie poop. Oh yeah. It's real bougie. I get the cheese thing and, uh, a Bloody Mary and my, uh, what's it called? My iPad. There you go. And your sandwich.

**Gizmo:** So boys, we're about halfway through here on the Ashton VSG and, uh, the torpedo. This has been a really good cigar so far.

What do you guys think? Yeah, it's picked up in strength. Yeah, it's definitely changed a little bit, you know, at the halfway point [00:43:00] for me. Yeah,

**Pagoda:** uh, it's gotten a bit minerally for me, which I don't mind. A little minerality there for me.

**Senator:** Minerality? And there's also something a little sweet that I wasn't getting before.

Like a

**Pagoda:** prune

**Senator:** raisin type of thing for me.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, maybe that. I think I like the complexity in the first half more than I'm enjoying the second half. I also, by the way, while we were doing our airline product recap, I cut another bit off the top here because I was starting to feel a little bit of a tar blast coming.

Yeah, that

**Pagoda:** looks like a gist cup. But look at him though, you're also going through that cigar

**Gizmo:** fast.

**Senator:** Yeah, I'm enjoying it. Yeah, I know, you're smoking way fast. What are we doing about the

**Pagoda:** liquor? Par. Yeah, I

**Gizmo:** was just gonna say we have to get, I was going there. We all have, I was going there. So speaking of Senator and his harrowing experience, we found a straight rye whiskey called the Senator.

Oh yeah. El CDO Barrel

**Senator:** proof. I think this is a prank and it [00:44:00] was made by United .

**Gizmo:** It was distilled in 2015. It's aged at least six years. It's 58.86%. Alcohol by volume and, uh, yeah, trying to kill us all. Yeah, this is, uh, don't drink too much of this boys, but the barrel, this is pretty cool on the side. It says, uh, it gives you the barrel date.

11, 13, 2015 is when it was put in a barrel and it was bottled on April 11th, 2022. Okay. It's pretty cool. So yeah. So what are you guys thinking of it? So let's try it. Rough. The Senator.

**Senator:** Yeah. You gotta put a lot of ice in this.

**Gizmo:** We all put quite a bit of ice. I think it needs a bit of

**Pagoda:** vermouth. Except Pagoda.

I think it needs a bit of sweet vermouth. A little bit of the angle store better. No, thank you. Manhattan, little Manhattan, Wolf and Manhattan. With

**Gizmo:** that base, I don't think, listen, I don't think it's terrible. It's serviceable, you know? It's not a, yeah, it's not terribly interesting.

**Pagoda:** You [00:45:00] know, early on it had a lot of bite, a ton, but in the background it's, there's a pleasant

**Gizmo:** taste there.

It definitely needed the ice to, yeah. Yeah.

**Senator:** Yeah. I mean, it's almost 120 proof. Yeah. I don't know who drinks 120 proof of any spirit. Neat.

**Poobah:** Yeah, no, I'm not having, you know, who does is like crazy whiskey people, you know, like there's a lot of people out there like whiskey people who collect stuff and they like the high proof stuff is, is something that's true.

They like, you know, so it's just, I don't think it's, it's our jam, but maybe it's somebody else's, uh,

**Gizmo:** one of our lizard friends, max sent us this, that he's the one that hooked us up. Uh, because obviously it said the Senator, so, you know, he, he messaged me and said, Hey, you know, you want to try this? I said, Sure.

And he tried it as well. He said, you know, you're going to need some water to open it up. It's not great, but you know, it's serviceable. It is. So boys, we were supposed to do. Oh God. A Haitian rum. I just realized he's drinking his

**Pagoda:** [00:46:00] glass neat. Is he? No, no, no. It's the ice that melted.

**Senator:** Did you have ice? That's still very dark.

I feel like he put one or two chips in there. That is dark. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, there were three chips. You're very adventurous.

**Senator:** You need like triple that.

**Pagoda:** A lot of

**Gizmo:** water. There you go.

**Poobah:** He's gonna have a

**Pagoda:** full He's got like half water in there now. Bring my black label,

**Gizmo:** man. There were supposed to do... A Haitian rum and, uh, on the podcast tonight, and we opened it prior to the episode.

And I don't even know how to describe what happened. It had a dead chicken in it.

**Senator:** Yeah. Sorry. That was made by United.

**Gizmo:** It smelled like skunk. Like, yeah. Rotten dairy. It smelled like rotten dairy. Yeah. Unbelievable. Like, I think Bam was the only one that actually poured it in a glass. I tried it. We opened this, this, this Haitian rum and it.

Just when the, when you took the, the cap out, the cork, it smelled sour and like, wrong. I can't [00:47:00] imagine

**Rooster:** that every single bottle of this rum

**Poobah:** is like

**Gizmo:** that. Is it a

**Pagoda:** well known? Is this a well known spirit? I think it smells like processed sugarcane. That's exactly what it is.

**Gizmo:** But that's what rum is. Yeah.

**Rooster:** But you know how Something is wrong.

**Pagoda:** Obviously, something is wrong. If you go by a liquor factory, there's a very It's not like that.

**Senator:** I mean, that was just vile. I mean, I've been to like the Bacardi factory in Puerto Rico, stuff like that. I mean, nothing quite smells. It's

**Gizmo:** like, like Bam said, it smelled like bad Yeah, like heavy cream that went bad.


**Poobah:** Maybe there was something wrong with the bottle, but Or maybe just Haitian rum sucks. I

**Gizmo:** mean. It's very possible. We'll give it another shot down the road, but we tried, we tried to do some rum tonight for you folks. Let me know

**Pagoda:** when we

**Poobah:** do it. I'll stay home. Or let me know when there's a decent export out of Haiti.

**Senator:** We need to keep tabs on Bam for the next 24 hours. He actually took a sip of it. I

**Poobah:** did

**Gizmo:** take a sip of it. Yeah, you tried it.

**Pagoda:** You may have food poisoning. The [00:48:00] ambulance on standby now.

**Poobah:** I don't even know if it is Haitian rum, a thing.

**Gizmo:** We did a Haitian

**Senator:** rum, we did a, the big brand there is a barb and cork, which wasn't very good. Yeah. It's like a very, it's very sweet, mediocre, kind of harsh rum, but at least it smells and tastes like rum. This stuff. I mean, I've never smelled a spirit that, Oh man, it's just, I'm just

**Poobah:** not sure what even gets commercialized in general.

Uh, down there. Yeah. I mean that the places is, you know, it's apparently they make

**Senator:** cigars. They do. Yeah. I know this cause BAM, uh, uh, organized a like cigar charity event. That's right. One of the raffle prizes. It was also, it was to benefit, uh, Haiti. That's right. And, uh, one of the raffle prize I remember was like a box of Haitian cigars.

**Pagoda:** Yep. I had one and it was like smoking a newspaper. Really?

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Was it all Haitian tobacco? Apparently. Yes. Oh, wow.

**Poobah:** And that was one of the,

**Pagoda:** [00:49:00] a whole box. That was a wonderful

**Poobah:** event. I mean, you wind up with chef Ricky when that

**Senator:** he did.

**Poobah:** So we should ask him, he now has dementia and a stomachache.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. So the, the rye whiskey, I think actually pairs pretty decently with the cigar. I don't hate it. There's just really nothing much to say about it. It's, it's, it's settled into it and it's okay. It's not terribly interesting. It's not offensive.

**Pagoda:** Senator hasn't had a sip in about an hour. So let's see what he thinks now.

**Poobah:** You know, I like Rive from time to time. I do too. I really do. And I actually have a, there's a, a distillery, which maybe we take a trip to, which is called the, uh, Taconic distillery, which is up in Millbrook, New York. You've mentioned this before. Yeah, it's really, they have a lot of great spirits. Um, Uh, some of it's some of this high proof stuff, but some of it's 80 proof.

Uh, they make bourbon, they make rye. Uh, there's a rum that I had from [00:50:00] them that I wasn't crazy about, but, um, uh, but they make a lot of great stuff. Um, uh, it's, it's great. And, and it's only an hour and 10 minutes away and you can. Take a tour of the story and, um, they show you around and it's, you know, it's pretty cool experience.

And, and, uh, they, you know, they sell their, their, uh, you know, their, their line of, of spirits, mostly, uh, bourbon. They make us, they make a scotch style whiskey. They make a bird, they make a bunch of different bourbons. That's really what they're known for. And a rye couple of different rise, different proof levels.

Um, Uh, nice stuff. I, I should bring a bottle. Uh, yeah, you should bring a bottle in, you know, to, uh, and, and, and, and give it a try. I bought a bottle of the rye and the recommendation from someone, um, where they were kind of tabling, um, their stuff. You know, they table their, their, their line of stuff at certain events.

[00:51:00] And I was like, what should I, I'm like, I've had this, I've had this, it was like, try the Rye. And I tried it and it was really, it was really quite nice. So bring it in. And it's relative, you know, it's an approachable price point too. So, um.

**Gizmo:** I don't think we've had a lot of success with Rye, um, in our circle and on the podcast.

I know we've done a few that. There is one

**Pagoda:** I think we should try. I happen to like it's Whistlepig. 12

**Senator:** year. Oh, yeah. It's the 10 year. 10 year. So I've been saying for a while, again, I'm not a huge rye guy. That's a pretty good drink. But that's like one of the most respectable ryes that like is super popular.

It's the Whistlepick 10. It's got a red label on it. Very nice. I had mentioned this many episodes ago and uh, I think Grindr picked up the six year wheat. It's like the uh, piggyback or something. We hated it. It was rough. Yeah, that wasn't good. But um, we need to try the 10 year. That got

**Gizmo:** a 6. 8 by the way.


**Pagoda:** Didn't we do Angel's Envy? Like that's one of my favorite ryes. I don't remember

**Gizmo:** doing that.

**Senator:** It was a bit sweet. I thought we

**Gizmo:** did the bourbon. We did angels envy rye. They got a 7. 5. Oh, there you go. I see.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. The whistle [00:52:00] pig's worth

**Gizmo:** trying. Is it just that rye whiskey doesn't pair well with cigars or are we picking the wrong ones?

Rye is usually

**Senator:** like a strong, bold whiskey. Got it. So I just think that, you know, you have to pair it with the right cigar. Like, you know, ironically, this VSG is full flavored. So this to me can hold up. to a rye. I just think this is a fairly uninteresting rye. It's not that bad. Um, oh, there you go. Puba's got the whistle pig.

It's the

**Poobah:** whistle pig, small batch, uh, 10 year.

**Gizmo:** I've had that many times. So we've just chosen the wrong ones. Yes. Is what you're saying. Yes. Okay, so we need to dive in there. Listeners out there, if you're whiskey fanatics, and you love ryes, and you have them with cigars, please shoot us an email. We love listener recommendations, cigars.

Whiskies, scotch, everything, please send us recommendations because we're always, uh, we're always looking for new stuff to

**Poobah:** try. We should try the Whistlepig Small Batch 10

**Senator:** Year. 100%. Agree. And the other thing with rye, it's like, it's so [00:53:00] flavorful and, and bold, it's, it's like great for mixing cocktails. Like a lot of, I mean, there are tons of people who prefer like a rye Manhattan or that paper plane cocktail I've talked about, that's whiskey base.

A lot of bartenders will make it with rye instead of bourbon. Um, so it's also got a lot of utility there.

**Poobah:** Yeah. It's got a little bit of a drier finish. Yeah. And so when you add in, like when you add in, um, like in, in, in an old fashioned when I used to drink old fashions more like. Often I'd use bitters and you could, I would, the way I would make it as one sugar cube and then you muddle the sugar cube with like, like three, four shots of bitters, um, uh, and a little bit of orange, uh, rind, not the, just the rind, you know, you take some off and you muddle that together.

[00:54:00] Um, and that actually,

**Gizmo:** I feel like what you're saying right now would go really, really, really would. It sounds

**Poobah:** awesome. It really comes out terrific. I want one now, you know, like now I would like one right now. Yeah. And you know what I was thinking about too, you know, moving, you know, moving forward and we can talk about this is, um, is doing.

Um, is making some cocktails. Yeah. You know, we're reviewing spirits, but, but

**Gizmo:** you still owe us a bloody Mary Day. Yes, you do say, and

**Senator:** I, and I owe a paper plan. I want that

**Pagoda:** paper. I've been asking

**Poobah:** about that for a while. So I, I'd be willing to, I'd be willing to make old fashions with either bourbon or rye and do it the way I do it.


**Gizmo:** do Manhattan

**Poobah:** and pick, use the, we know pagoda is the Manhattan Master and you know how to make Manhattan. So, um, I, I do think that. You know, that, that would be good. And also

**Pagoda:** I'm getting very excited,

**Gizmo:** by the way, did we just elevate the podcast?

**Senator:** I think we just said we did. Yeah. I think we're all going to need Uber's for those episodes.

**Poobah:** And, and, and I know that, that a lot of you got some of some people in the room have an [00:55:00] adversity to, to gin. And, uh, I would argue that like I had this monkey 47 gin, um, uh, on my, when I was down in Florida for a couple of weeks, um, the last couple of weeks before this. Uh, and a properly made, so if you have a gin that's let's say it's 90 proof, but a properly made like gin martini where you're actually cutting that strength with good vermouth quality vermouth where it's a real martini and You stir it with the ice, you know, you're cutting that, that proof level, you know, out and not like bastardizing the spirit, the gin.

So that current comes through those flavors come through. And, and I happen to love a gin martini. I think, I mean, it's way more flavorful than a vodka martini. [00:56:00] It's the traditional martini. I totally agree. So like, I love a gin martini and actually I think they go, they're very, it's a very palate cleansing, like experience with a gin martini.

That's what it's in there. Great. Like before dinner, you know what I mean? And I think that would be interesting to explore. I also think. that the Negroni, um, that Campari based cocktails like a Negroni would be is, is an interesting thing to explore. Now that's a little bit bitter. I don't know what would go with cigar, but

**Bam Bam:** I had a Negroni this weekend.

I love

**Poobah:** those drinks. Oh my God. I mean, I love compars. I love, I love Negronis. I love gin Negron, your traditional gin Negroni with the sweet vermouth and off the charts and the sweet and the bitter.

**Gizmo:** It's just, see, here's my problem with the gin, gin martini. I just think that I've had very pedestrian versions of them.

I don't think I've ever had, like, a really well made by, like, a proper bartender. I don't think I've had an excellent... You gotta order the right [00:57:00] gin. Cause I feel like it's easy to fake or nail a vodka martini, but I've never had a gin martini that I've really wanted to get a second one. You

**Poobah:** have to use high quality vermouth.

Yeah. You have to, you have to stir it, not shake it. Like in, stir it in a martini pitcher. Do you know what I mean? With, with, with the requisite amount of ice, you need to use vermouth that's not spoiled. Vermouth is a fortified wine, whether it's sweet or dry vermouth, 99 percent of bars, keep their vermouth on a shelf and they don't refrigerate it.

Now you can. Open it up and keep it on in your bar for a couple of weeks, but after that you got him You should open it and put it in the fridge and then it'll stay in the fridge for like three months And by the way,

**Pagoda:** Poober, you did advise me that a very long time ago and now that's all I do

**Poobah:** And how much better

**Pagoda:** do your way better?

And they last longer. And it's great. Yeah. And

**Poobah:** it's great. And I, and I recommend [00:58:00] buying small bottles of vermouth, not the huge ones unless, you know, you're serving huge crowds. Um, and, uh,

**Gizmo:** we got to do this. I want to, we got to do this ready. So we sure we got to do some mixed drinks. You have to do a paper plane for a Senator.

I do. You've been talking about that for a long time, Manhattan from. from Pagoda. I almost

**Bam Bam:** gin martinis because they talk about it, but they never produce. That's true.

**Senator:** It's like, it's like Babs tower.

**Poobah:** And I think I used to have it. You're never was just too easy.

**Gizmo:** You're never going to live that down. Yeah. All right.

**Poobah:** Totally. But yeah, those are, those are You know, a properly made, I always appreciate like a, if you walk into their certain bars where you can just tell they have great, where they have a cocktail program and I'm perfectly willing, you know, to, to, to, to pay a premium [00:59:00] for a well made cocktail.

Yeah. Um, uh, cause so many of them are made, are made so poorly. I mean, if you go up the street over here to. You asked for an old fashioned, I mean, you know, you, you forget it, you're getting a something. That's a, that's a disgrace. You know what I'm saying? They take a whole piece of orange and they put it in.

Tell me about your

**Senator:** first world problems. Let me hear more.

**Gizmo:** Can I just say, we need to get these two guys, We need to do a lounge lizard channel and they can do a travel podcast. The two of these, these two guys be

**Poobah:** perfect. It's like a wrestling match. We've got two points for reverse.

**Pagoda:** Well, it'd be domestic and international for sure.

**Gizmo:** So boys. What do you think of the cigar?

Uh, it's,

**Bam Bam:** it's, it's a nice cigar. I'm

**Gizmo:** enjoying it. Yeah, I like it a lot. No complaints. It's definitely full [01:00:00] now. Oh yeah. For me. Yeah. And I must say

**Rooster:** I enjoyed like the first half more than the

**Gizmo:** second half. Agreed. I think that's most people. Agreed. Yeah. Yeah. Even though it was more medium I think in the first half.

It's picked up in strength definitely. Yeah. Still smooth.

**Pagoda:** Still nice. Still good.

**Senator:** Yeah, I'll say, I mean, I think I've been smoking this slower just because I was had to recount the whole United story, but I think for some reason, just smoking this slowly, it's maintained more of the flavor where I, I worry when this heats up, you, you start to like the flavor kind of gets muddled a little bit.

So I'm still at this point very much enjoying the flavor

**Bam Bam:** profile. Yeah, and you know, we're ahead of you, the three or four of us, it's still quite pleasant. Yeah, I'm enjoying it. Yeah, it just changes. It's an easy

**Pagoda:** smoke, for

**Gizmo:** sure. That's a good, that's a good point about smoking slowly. I mean, we've talked about that on the podcast that, you know, smoking slower, it changes.

How much the cigar heats up, you know, how fast it's burning, keeps it cooler. I mean, it definitely affects the flavor. [01:01:00] Yeah,

**Poobah:** no question. No, for sure. It's, it's this very serviceable cigar. I think, um,

**Gizmo:** do you think it's, do you think it's worth 21 bucks? Oh, for

**Poobah:** sure. Um, for sure. It's worth 21 bucks considering what.

You know, what we pay for other things and given the size, uh, you know, I think it's a fair price. It's a good deal. I think it's a fair price. So it's, it's, it's the only question you need to ask yourself. In this certain, in this size, cause I think we all agree that the blend, um, the blend is really good.

Um, it's consistent with the illusion blend. I mean, it's very consistent in terms of the flavor profile. It's just a question of, do I want this much of this? Do I want this much of this as opposed to the, maybe the [01:02:00] Lonsdale? So

**Gizmo:** let me, let me ask that actually tease up. Something I was just going to ask is how would you compare?

And I'm curious to ask this for the entire room. How do you compare this to the Lonsdale experience? Uh, as

**Poobah:** far as flavor, I just don't know if I want, I, I'm going to smoke this whole cigar and I'm going to let it, there's nothing offensive or it's, there's nothing happening here that like is to me that says that's, that's really negative, um, at all.

It's way more positive than the negative. It's just. Do I want as much of this for as long as this is, if you like this, you will, if you, it's just your appetite, my, you know, so I think in the Lonsdale for me, my appetite for this kind of a flavor profile, like in that size, maybe works a little bit better for me.

But for somebody else who wants just that little extra 20 minutes or someone that likes a larger, larger ring, say size, size, matters, size, Matt, you know, you [01:03:00] know, so it's like to each his own. What do

**Gizmo:** you guys think about the size?

**Bam Bam:** It's fine. I like the

**Poobah:** size. It's not

**Rooster:** offensive. I'm, I'm not a huge fan of torpedoes in general.

No. So I Wow.

**Gizmo:** What I like, I like

**Poobah:** robos. Really? What is this? This is like, like I love, this is like an awakening here. What, what did they call that on the Howard Stern Show? When people had with secrets, like the reveal. It's like, what was that called? Come on, help me out. No, junior mint, no torpedoes. It was like, uh, what the hell did they call that?

**Gizmo:** It was when he went to Sirius and they all had their, Reveal. Yeah, they revealed their, their deep secrets, their deep secrets. Yeah. Some of them were pretty wild, but yes,

**Poobah:** that's what's happening. That's what's happening.

**Rooster:** Yeah. I don't, I don't own a lot of torpedoes.

**Gizmo:** It's true.

**Senator:** You like Bella Cosi. You spoke to BBF.

**Gizmo:** A little bit. I

**Rooster:** don't have that

**Gizmo:** much. I see. That's a

**Rooster:** Beso, not a, you know, not Noters. Oh,

**Poobah:** oh, you're split Potato. Potato in family. Splitting hairs a little bit here, guy. I mean, that's aso.

**Gizmo:** You got that guy.

**Poobah:** We got another guy that's, that's a, that's a [01:04:00] beso. So you mean the, on a torpedo, the taper is straight as opposed to on a beso where?

You know, I mean, this is like, uh, you went, you went

**Rooster:** pretty detailed about gin and all of those steps. It's the same thing with cigars. Some people prefer certain shapes. Okay. I'm not a huge fan of

**Poobah:** torpedoes, but you're a fan of bellicosas. It's

**Gizmo:** okay.

**Rooster:** I don't have that many bellicosas,

**Gizmo:** but yeah, I mean, that's, that's really

**Poobah:** splitting hairs.

**Gizmo:** I don't have a lot of bellicosas. I don't have a lot of,

**Senator:** to me, they're effectively the same

**Poobah:** thing. It's like, it's like, I don't like hermosas. But I like Robustos.

**Gizmo:** I don't have a lot of BBFs.

**Senator:** I mean, no, no, that's fine. That's fine. I did just the shape conversation. I got thrown off by it, but. So

**Gizmo:** Senator, what about for you with the illusion versus this?

**Senator:** Yeah, I will say, so I am realizing that I prefer this in a larger ring gauge. Really? Um, I've just had too many issues. Yeah. I've just had too many issues with tar with that smaller ring gauge and just [01:05:00] a tight draw. This is zero issue whatsoever. I mean, it's the construction, this has been. Excellent. Yeah.

Um, now what Puba said resonates with me in the sense that this is a long cigar and a large ring gauge. And so it is a bit more of this than I necessarily want in a sitting. So my takeaway is I want to try this in, I assume they make a Robusto where this would be a bit shorter than this similar ring age, but even a little smaller.

And I think that that probably would be right at the size that I would want. Um, but I, I very much like this cigar. It's just like Pooh had said, it's a bit of a commitment. And the, uh, Lonsdale, I just have too many draw issues where

**Gizmo:** I would. It's a good,

**Rooster:** it's a good blend. It is. Yeah, the blend is

**Gizmo:** good. And they've been using the same blend with the same proprietary wrapper, which apparently comes from the Oliva factory.

Since 1999. They haven't changed it

**Poobah:** since then. It says a lot. It says a lot. [01:06:00] It's a good blend. I mean, it's a good, it's a solid smoke. Um, it's just, I think when you're choosing the Vittolo, how much of it do you want?

**Rooster:** But it would be nice to see some other combinations of maybe different blends. Come out with some new.

New stuff,

**Poobah:** you know, it's like Budweiser. I mean, what are they going to do? You know what I mean? Or like, like a Sam, you know, like when you, if you had to drink one Sam Adams, which one are you going to drink forever? The Summerdale. Oh, okay. He's like, Oh, analogy. But I mean, you know what I mean? It's like,

**Gizmo:** To answer your question, by the way, on the different sizes in this line, I'll go through them really quick.

So there's a Robusto, uh, five, uh, 54 ring gauge by five inch. So not a classic Robusto at 50, it's 54 by five. There's a Corona, which is an interesting size to 44 ring gauge by 4. 3. That could be interesting, but 4. 3 inches. That's a [01:07:00] short Corona. Yeah. That's real short. There's the Lonsdale that we did called the illusion.

It's 44 ring gauge by six and a half. There's the Corona Gorder, which is 46 by a little under six inches long. That may be nice. There is a classic Robusto, excuse me. So there's two Robustos. There's the Pegasus, which is a 54 by five. And there's a classic Robusto. Uh, which is 50 by five and a half, a little longer.

Uh, there's a bellicoso 52 by 5. 2 inches. And then there's what they call the enchantment, which is a perfecto 60 ring gauge, of course, at it's at its center. But you know, it's a perfecto. By 4. 3 inches. Uh, there's a Churchill 49 ring gauge by seven inches. The torpedo we're smoking tonight, which is 55 by six and a half.

They have a Toro, which comes in a tubo 52 by six. I mean, it's just goes on and on a president, a 54 by seven and a half guys. And then there's a Gordo, [01:08:00] uh, wrapping it up. 56 by six. So people clearly like that. I mean, they sell, they must sell a ton of these cigars. Wow. I mean, what was that? 10, 12 different Vitolas in the line.

Pretty great. Some people like

**Rooster:** big ring gate cigars. Yeah. It's

**Gizmo:** kind of a fact, but you know what? This 55 for me works because it's a torpedo. Do you like, and that's where you hear that rooster. That's that's what counters what rooster said for me. That's why I like a torpedo is you have a bigger ring gauge cigar.

Even in Cuban cigars, you have a bigger ring gauge cigar, but you're getting the mouthfeel of a Corona or, or something smaller. Do you like

**Bam Bam:** the Lonsdale better than

**Gizmo:** this? I think I like the Lonsdale better than this because I, I don't feel like I've had the tar blast issues that, that Senator had as consistently.

I'm right there with you know what, maybe it's because when we did it, I think we did have, so I'm used to cutting these twice. Like I'm, I'm preemptively doing that.

**Bam Bam:** You gotta be cognizant of the ring gauge and just take a little bit more

**Gizmo:** off the [01:09:00] top. Yeah, and I think that, you know, some cigars are more prone to it than others.

I've never had that experience with the Lonsdale.

**Senator:** It's just odd. But I mean, obviously hearing this now, I, I'm definitely probably going to take more off when I smoke those, but I've just kind of given it a standard cut, not thought about it. And then I'm getting down further and I'm noticing that there's tar and it's just, it's disappointing.

**Rooster:** I mean, going back to like, you know, if I don't like. Too many torpedoes. Like, if you cut the torpedo that much, it's not really a

**Gizmo:** torpedo.

**Poobah:** It becomes a robusto. It becomes a robusto.

**Senator:** Yeah, but you don't cut it that much. This is, look at the, look at the shape here. If I would have went down to here, then it would be much wider.

This is like a perfect, It's

**Gizmo:** a little bit of a taper. This is, You gotta cut it above the cap, you know, above the line, or it's gonna start to, you know, open up. So, Pagoda, you said you like, you prefer this Fatola. over the Lonsdale. I haven't had

**Pagoda:** many of those. I, you know, but I, I do like holding the cigar the way it is in the field, but you know, I also like Taurus and, [01:10:00] you know, I like a slightly bigger range cigar, bigger ring rate cigar.

Ring gauge. Ring gauge. All right. Other This is one of a 55 proof. Can I have a rum or

**Bam Bam:** a whiskey? I have no idea. Bartender, close him out. Yeah, no, I was about to. Can I refresh your drink?

**Pagoda:** Although, but you know what, with the water, it has really improved. Opened

**Bam Bam:** up,

**Gizmo:** yeah. You poured half of the bottle of Poland

**Bam Bam:** Spring

**Pagoda:** in there.


**Senator:** I'll say this, looking at the color of his glass, it does not look like there's a It's got a dark... It's still very dark. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, but it's great, it's great, listen.

**Gizmo:** So boys, I don't know if we talked about it, I might have sent it on the chat, but did you guys see that, uh, someone without license took our man Pagoda's name and put it on a cigar?

Did you guys hear about this? Do we get a royalty from this? That's what I wanted to ask Pagoda, is there a side deal we're not aware of here? He may be getting

**Bam Bam:** checks in the mail that we [01:11:00] don't

**Pagoda:** know about. Listen, the contract's on the way. Ha

**Gizmo:** ha ha ha ha ha. So we're talking about the Cigar Dojo puts out a special cigar every year.

Uh, with an exclusive online sale with smoke and cigars. They've totally sold out, uh, but they put out what's called the Pagoda. 2023 and in classic Pagoda fashion, it's a Toro 48 ring gauge by six

**Poobah:** inches. There you go. Cobra Kai never die. Nice. Came out in

**Gizmo:** 10 count bundles. But when I saw this, I was like, wow.

They took our man's name and put it on a cigar.

**Poobah:** Well my next night We got to get you a gi. What's a gi? A gi? A gi is a You know what a gi is? It's a karate outfit.

**Bam Bam:** It's a heavy butter that you cook with. Clarified butter. That's

**Pagoda:** my type of

**Poobah:** gi. karate top and bottom. Bring you in here. You could do some kata.[01:12:00]

You know, some

**Gizmo:** So I tried to, I tried to get some of those cigars first, by the way, for the novelty of it, but, uh, they sold out. So, unfortunately, they were up and down. They only sold 1, 500 cigars. Um, but, All Nicaraguan, I think it might have been interesting, but

**Pagoda:** unfortunately, they sold out. Line to be called.

That's a good

**Gizmo:** question. The Pagoda 2024.

**Pagoda:** No, somebody else's day movie.

**Senator:** Yeah, the shank. I

**Gizmo:** like shanks.

**Poobah:** Wax on wax off the paint fence line

**Gizmo:** So Puba, we mentioned this earlier in the episode you have to tell this story You sent us a video of about 20 white tailed deer Walking through your front yard with various fruits and vegetables lined up on a retaining wall on your retaining wall and chocolates,

**Senator:** probably

**Gizmo:** Andy's Andy's candies. What, uh, what is going on here?

Well, at

**Poobah:** the house? Well, my wife's an artist, [01:13:00] uh, and, uh, Artists love nature. Nature lover. And, uh, she has a bird feeder. Um, and it actually goes outside the window. She watches the birds, the birds come, their seed, and then they actually come up to the window and you can see it's like a ceramic bird feeder.

And it sounds, it's pretty, it's actually kind of cool because the birds come up and you're just like sitting eating breakfast and you're looking like a cardinal in the eye. That I don't mind. Um, but, uh, she enjoys to, to, to watch the mother rabbit. And the baby rabbit, um, and the, and the mother deer, and then the baby deer, uh, that come by.

And, uh, so she puts out lettuce and, you know, she'll, she'll make like a Caesar salad. So whatever's left over from your lunch. Yeah. And, or, or she'll chop some carrots. No, whatever's left from that goes

**Pagoda:** to boob. That's[01:14:00]

**Poobah:** correct.

**Bam Bam:** Your lunch is outside.

**Gizmo:** Hurry

**Poobah:** up the deer eating it. It's on the retaining wall. And, uh, And then she says she lines up, you know, like lettuce pieces, carrots and various other vegetables, uh, remnants and, uh, like that you would use for compost or something. And she lines them up on this retaining wall.

And then she sits outside and watches, you know, she's like, she'd be like, I'll be sitting there with her. She'd be like, Come on. She'd be like, come on. Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid. Come, come, come. She'd just be like, she's like the mother, the one with the hurt leg, you know, the one I'm talking about, you know?

And I'd be like, yes, I do. The one with the leg that, I mean, this, there's, there's this one deer that has a leg that's been injured for like. Good years. I heard

**Senator:** that deer had an accident in Oakland

**Gizmo:** at the rooster compound. [01:15:00]

**Poobah:** Attempted choking. Rooster took a, took a mini bat from the Yankee game to a deer, to a deer's leg. But anyway, and that's what she does is she sits out and she watches these deer. So I'm out there and I see that this is a copious amount of bait. That she's put out and I'm just saying to myself, you know, and they're eating, they're destroying shit all over my property.

Um, without the bait, you know what I mean? And now the baits, they don't need the bait. They don't need the bait. Did you see them going crazy in that little video? They're like running. It's like a herd, you know, they're and they're just, they're freaking. I got. Bucks, those baby Bambis with the spots on them.

I don't know. You know, and then there's the bunnies. She really likes the bunnies and then the bunnies come and then the baby bunnies. There's a groundhog, you know, so there's the groundhog that comes. So how much is admission price to Puba Zoo? Right. So there's a fox, uh, and a fox with babies. [01:16:00] There's a, there's a, uh, uh, groundhog.

Um, but the raccoons, I got rid of, um, of course you can never get rid of all raccoons. They're just, they, they roam there. Uh, uh, but the raccoons I did, uh, I did call horizon pest control, horizon, pest control. com. I highly endorse them if you live in Northern New Jersey. horizon, pest control. com. Uh, they'll come out, they'll come out, they'll come out and trap, trap them.

So we got the raccoons off the property, but she likes to watch these animals. So here's what am I supposed to ask a question? What are we going to put my foot down? Is she a vegetarian?

**Gizmo:** Is that what you're going to ask? No. I mean, if you're, if the raccoons are a problem, why are you putting bait out there?

They're clearly going to come for it.

**Poobah:** Well, that's when are you asking me to like, like engage in a, in like a productive dialogue around this issue [01:17:00] with my wife, this is the battle that I'm going to pick. No, you're not. I mean, you know, no. These are creatures that like, like the, just live in the property anyway.

I figure, you know, they'd already destroying things. I mean, they're so prolific, these deer. There's so many of them. There's, there's a whole trail that goes through the whole neighborhood. The entire neighborhood is. There's nothing you can do to do about it. There's a lot of white. I mean, there's hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them.

We need to

**Senator:** start killing them. I'm

**Poobah:** sorry. I don't disagree. I mean, I think that there are, well, they're deemed, well, they're dangerous on a number of levels. One, uh, Lyme's disease, Lyme disease is not a joke. Uh, two, they destroy property and three car accidents. I mean, you know, in my opinion, um, I mean, I know over in saddle river, they actually opened up.

A couple of times they said, if you have like, you know, a [01:18:00] bow, um, there were so many, I mean, they were hitting, it got to a point where they were running and like the police officers were hitting so many deer and it was damaging like cop cars. That's crazy. That like, they were like, they were like, we got to.

You know, do something. They were like, well, if you haven't, they would open it up. And I mean, there were protests and things like that, but it was like, they were like, if you see a deer in your backyard and you want to, you know, whatever, take it down during deer season with a bow.

**Senator:** I can't take down a tree in my yard without my town approving it, let alone take a bow and arrow to a deer.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Yeah. So I

**Gizmo:** mean, I would love to see, by the way, Senator in his boat shoes. With an

**Poobah:** with, with a

**Senator:** bow. In high school, I had to do archery. I I I could be dangerous in the bone

**Poobah:** out. Yeah. I mean, I could see him like, yeah, he went to Richwood Bow Academy. . Exactly. I, where's that , what? I could picture him like an archery school in Richwood, like Mr.

Joshua from Lethal Weapon with a crossbo and like a, and like, and, and you know, and like a, and like a Scope and just . Yeah. Yeah. But then you [01:19:00] gotta. You know, you kill, you kill a deer. I mean, there's a lot of work to do. If you, if you kill a deer, you know, if you, to do it legally, you got to really. Have you ever seen deer

**Senator:** vomit?

Yeah. It's like toxic waste. Yes. It's like bright color, toxic waste. It doesn't smell actually really, but it just looks so bizarre. So I've solved for my deer problem with deer spray. About once a month, I just take this little canister thing and just spray like all the plants and shrubs on the perimeter of the property.

And it works. And it's totally changed their patterns. But every now and then some dumb deer decides to cross the barrier and start chomping away on something. And the very next morning I come out and it's, it's just like neon green or neon or like, or like bright orange vomit right next to like one of the shrubs.

And then they don't come back. So we are

**Gizmo:** covering it all on this episode, food poisoning. Deer vomit. We've really covered the whole gamut. What's the product? What do you, what do you, um,

**Senator:** I forget something on Amazon. Is it peppermint? [01:20:00] No, that doesn't work. That doesn't

**Poobah:** work.

**Senator:** Just put some peppermint

**Pagoda:** patties. You know, Kramer just had a heart attack because he loves

**Poobah:** junior men. I'm eating like pepper spray or cayenne or something.

**Senator:** This stuff smells. awful that you spray Fox, but no, it's a, it's just called a liquid fence, deer and rabbit repellent. And um, it smells awful for like a few hours and then the smell kind of clears, but it really does work.

I mean, I'm not kidding. They do not mess with my yard anymore. If you look at my back lawn, you remember I went, I went off on this because back lawn, beautifully green and the deer urine just kills the grass right away. The entirety of my back lawn was basically shot. Everything's green right now. It's like big yellow

**Gizmo:** spots.

Huge yellow spots.

**Poobah:** Everybody's lawn looks like Augusta right now. It does. Because of all the rain. It's been the greatest year for lawns in the history of [01:21:00] rain and lawns. It's just unbelievable. The amount of water.

**Pagoda:** I like it. And I was going to give credit to my landscaper. No.

**Senator:** No, it's mother nature.

Speaking of landscaping, uh, I don't know if your towns are doing this. My town is trying to ban gas leaf blowers. Yes. And I got a letter from my landscaper trying to get people to oppose it. They said that they'd have to spend 80, 000 to try to comply with this. And they're going to pass it on obviously to the customer.

And I'm like, this is ridiculous. I mean, sure. I have personally an electric leaf blower. That's because I don't blow most of my stuff. I have landscapers. It's just, if I need to clean up the deck or something, you know, I just take it out so much easier to do that, but landscape, how the hell are they going to blow all these properties with these batteries?

I mean, I can barely blow my deck and like the front of my house with a leaf blower without having to recharge it. Um,

**Poobah:** I, you know, I, I, I see both sides of the issue because I can't tell you how. Many Saturdays, uh, [01:22:00] and I'm on a two acre lot, you know, and I'm on, and I can't tell you how many Saturdays I've sat out and just hear, and it's all fucking day with machines.

I mean, and it starts in the morning and it doesn't end until, until it gets dark out, it's constant. Yep. And. They're super loud. Uh, you know,

**Gizmo:** so wait, is it? Let me ask a question. Is it a,

**Poobah:** it's a noise? It's a noise

**Gizmo:** thing. Or is it an environmental? No, it's a noise. It's both, but primarily

**Poobah:** noise. Okay. The noise.

I mean, the level of machines that go off. I mean, you can't even like, let's say you were to have a party on a Saturday and you're like, I'd like to hire like a band, whatever it is, a rock band, a jazz band, a fucking quartet, a fucking acoustic guy, fucking singing Jimmy Buffett, whatever it is your whole or have people over your whole fucking day is, [01:23:00] is completely ruined by landscapers.

You have to do it on a Sunday. I'm not lying. So I can't tell you how many times I've sat around. I've been like, Oh my God, I can't even have a fucking, I'm going to sit down. I just want to relax. And it's like for fucking hours on end.

**Senator:** All right. So poop

**Poobah:** is in support of it. Yeah. I mean, I'm not in support of it.

No, I'm not in support of it because I don't, I fucking hate regulation and the government telling businesses what to do and making them spend all this money. And, um, no. So, I mean, I'm not saying that it's like I can live. With landscaping noise, like I like I'm okay, but is it annoying? Sure. I

**Senator:** just think maybe they should adjust like the hours or something that they can use it.

Like I couldn't believe when I was driving here. To record this podcast. Some guy it's the evening, right? It is not when you should be doing anything loud. Some guys mowing his lawn at like eight o'clock at night. I'm like, what are you doing? Kids are going to sleep. Well, actually,

**Poobah:** you're not supposed to do that.

Like there's our [01:24:00] laws about, there are laws about when they need to like professional landscapers need to stop. Now

**Senator:** you can't stop. But they never follow it because there's also a law as far as when it's supposed to start. So that's not too early. Like no one on a Saturday. Some people without little kids, they

**Rooster:** should not allow on the weekends.

I should just. Do it on the

**Poobah:** weekdays, I guess, but you're taking now capacity, you know, I mean, you know, I feel for the service provider because that's a hard business. You know, I have friends in the landscaping business and since it's a hard biz, it's not, you know. It's not, it's a tough business, uh, like any business.

And I just think that like now to force them to go to, I think there's certain, maybe there's certain machines, like the weed whackers and the leaf blowers are so loud. It's actually a different sound that's more grading than like. a lawnmower. It's true. You know what I mean? Where it's

**Gizmo:** like, it's the, it's just such a higher pitch.

The [01:25:00] frequency is so much higher. It just grates on your ear. Chainsaws are worse. Yeah. It's the small motors. The smaller the engine is, the higher the pitch, you know, sounds like senators bills going up. I don't want it to

**Senator:** pass one. I don't need to pay any more than I already do for landscaping. And two, I'm just like, I have an electric leaf blower.

It's not nearly as effective as a real powerful gas leaf blower. It works for me because I'm not doing the heavy work like those guys are. I'm just, you know, making the deck look nice. If I'm going to have company, there's not leaves and crap everywhere. I just don't know how they're supposed to do that job with electric.

It's just not possible.

**Poobah:** There would know they would make commercial versions of these things, but

**Senator:** they don't exist right now. That's the problem in the letter I got from my landscaper. They were saying the technology's not yet there for these commercial grade, um, electric ones for it to be as effect.

It's going to take them so much longer to try to get these jobs done. That's

**Poobah:** correct. Yeah. I can't imagine that's true because you know, the leaf blow during the fall cleanups in the Northeast here, I mean, can you [01:26:00] imagine the fall cleanup? I mean, what they got to do on my fucking fucking lawn is ridiculous.

I mean, you've got guys with tarps. I mean, it's, it's a lot insanity. I mean, it's, it's total and totally insane. You can't move that many leaves. Plus, once it gets wet, you know, they still gotta clean. Like, so let's say you have a rainy fall season. Exactly. Good luck getting wet leaves off, good luck getting, you know, moving leaves that are like a little bit damp.

They still gotta move the leaves. They gotta get 'em to the street. Yep. You know, for the, for the municipality to pick them up. So how the hell are they going to do that with a battery? So I don't think that can really actually is even possible

**Senator:** to your point. I don't know what's going on in California, but I'm sure they have to rake the leaves there.

I'm sure it's not even allowed.

**Poobah:** You need 19 people to rake a fucking 120 by 120 front lawn.

**Gizmo:** So boys, I have a, I have a listener question I wanted to pose to you guys because I've actually had a few listeners ask a similar question and it's come up a few times. So I [01:27:00] wanted to pose it to the group. So, uh, Lizard Seagull writes, uh, Hey guys, I'm catching up on older, older episodes. I listened to them back and forward.

Uh, finished 43 and 44 today. We really love Shelly's backroom, shout out Senator. Every time we're in D. C., it's a must stop. That's the, uh, the lounge, pretty much the only lounge in D. C., right? Where you could smoke. That's right. Uh, that Senator endorses emphatically. Uh, he says it's ironic in the middle of madness, in parentheses, Congress, one can have a nice dinner and then a cigar.

And then he goes on to ask...

**Senator:** And great hours there, by the way. Landscaping hours. On a weeknight, they close at 2am. On a weeknight. That's awesome. That's

**Gizmo:** awesome. So, he wanted to ask, he said, I'd be interested in a survey. How many sticks do the Lounge Lizard podcast guys, uh, enjoy, you know, a week or a month?

And he wanted to also post that, uh, pose that to listeners. And what's interesting is when I got thinking about that, it's like, [01:28:00] My habits certainly change seasonally and with work and whatnot, but I'm curious for you guys, what do you think the average amount of cigars you're smoking in a given week is?

And I'll also, I want to pose that to the listeners as well, we'll put this up in the Instagram, but, you know, I'm curious, uh, how many cigars a week are you smoking? Fifteen to twenty a week. I agree.

**Pagoda:** Fifteen to twenty.

**Rooster:** Two a day, on the weekends it's about three.

**Gizmo:** Okay.

**Pagoda:** About that. I think every time we sit down, we smoke

**Gizmo:** three or four.

Yeah. We do. When I smoke at home by myself, I usually only smoke two, and I probably do that three nights a week. And then when we get together, we pod, you know, we'll do four or five in a podcast night. And then, you know, when we're together otherwise, it's three or four usually. So I'm probably in the 10 to 15 range.

Um, if we don't podcast or we're not together, it's, it's certainly probably closer to six to eight a week. But that's for me. What about you guys? I'm

**Bam Bam:** averaging about eight to 10 a week unless we're sitting where we can [01:29:00] do five at one sitting in one evening.

**Gizmo:** Easy. Yeah. Cause we'll record, record the podcast and then we'll go to the lounge.

And have a couple more two or three depending. Yeah. Yeah. What about you, Senator?

**Senator:** It's been weird. I, I think it's a number of factors, but my consumption of cigars has actually decreased a bit probably in the last six months. Um,

safely 10 to 15 where before, I mean easily 15 to 20, like roosters said sometimes even more than that. Yeah. But, um, Yeah, it's honestly, it's like sad as I think, I wish it was more, but reliably 10 to

**Gizmo:** 15,

**Rooster:** you're not smoking that much at home now because of the

**Senator:** child. That's, that's it. Yeah, that's it. And the other thing is like, I think when he was first born, he naps so much, it was so easy to just keep slipping out in the afternoon to have a cigar.

It's like now, I mean, I get, if I'm lucky two hours on a Saturday that I'm free, that he's actually napping either an hour in the morning, hour of late afternoon, or like [01:30:00] one long two hour nap. Yeah. And that's it. He's up and, you know, he wants to play. So it's just harder to find

**Gizmo:** that time. Yeah.

**Poobah:** What about you, Puba?

I'm in an office every day, you know, so, you know, I used to, um, I used to during, you know, during COVID, I could take my computer or something like that. and work and, you know, sneak a smoke in during the day, um, and work at the same time, that's not possible. Hasn't been possible for a long time. So I'd probably say depending on the weather and everything like that, I would pro I probably have during the week like three and then I'll have, you know, like I'll have maybe one every other night.

Um, because some nights I'm just, it's not, I don't have the time I have, you know, I'm too tired, whatever it is. But on the weekends, I'll generally have like [01:31:00] two a day, like on Saturday and Sunday, I'll have two or three in a day. It just depends on what I'm doing. Like if I'm It's just variable. If I'm in Florida, I'll smoke more.

Do you know what I mean? Because I'm by myself and I have the patio. I mean, I'll, I'm definitely smoking like at least two cigars, you know, a night probably. Um, when I'm down there one at a minimum. You know, when I get back from the office, I'll have one, but sometimes one's enough, depending on the size. So I mean, it really just depends.

Um, but on weekends, sometimes I'm, sometimes I'm playing golf and sometimes when I play golf, if I'm, if I play golf, I don't like a lot of people like to smoke a cigar when they play golf. I don't really like to do it because it's like, I'm focused on the round of golf. And I'm not, I don't really feel like actually handling a cigar.

It's like, not my thing. I generally don't do that. Um, or if I'm shooting clays or something like that, I'm not smoking with my kids, you know, it's like, to [01:32:00] your

**Gizmo:** point though, I, to me, like cigar smoking, I can't like casually do it. Like I can't just do it in addition to something else, like maybe working or something that's quiet if I'm in the car, maybe with someone like fine.

But for me, like to your point, I don't see if I was a golfer or fishing or some other sort of hobby. I'm lighting up a cigar. I just don't think I could do it. I'm with you there. Cause like, I want to focus on what I'm doing.

**Poobah:** I'm going to focus on what I'm doing. And that's, I think that's a big point of it.

Like, and sometimes I'm just too distracted to be able to focus and

**Senator:** enjoy. I was just going to say when Gizmo said, I can't see doing it, uh, for some of these kind of hot during some of these hobbies, I will say fishing and smoking cigars is really great. Really? Because fishing is so quiet and relaxed.

There's nothing loud or distracting about fishing. So I just love the idea. And also most of the time you fish, you don't catch anything. So it's like the idea of just like sitting there, you have a line cast and you're just enjoying a cigar. That for me, if you're not, if you're having a day where you're not actually catching much at all, it just, [01:33:00] you feel like you've lost nothing.

You're, you're like getting to sit there and appreciate the cigar while still attempting to, you know, enjoy fishing. So I think it works really well for that. I can see for golf, like if you're a good golfer and you just really, you know, you want to play a good round. You're not able to, you don't want to be distracted by a cigar and touching it up and all this, it's just not, I totally get that for me as someone who doesn't golf very much, like if I go to the range, which hasn't happened a long time, but when I used to do it, I love the idea of having a cigar, but that's because like, I'm not a good golfer and I'm just there to have fun.

So like, I'm not in the same zone as like when you're playing around at golf, so kind of different times. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** no, I look forward to getting a batch of work done and then going outside and having a cigar. I look forward to that. So I kind of set that goal for

**Gizmo:** the day. Yeah. You like work to have a cigar. Oh, absolutely.

Yeah. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah.

**Poobah:** But

**Pagoda:** like, I played a round of golf today. I smoked four. Two in the front nine, two in the back nine.

**Gizmo:** Wizard. I love it. Very nice. Very wizard like.

**Pagoda:** But it's not that, you know, what's really funny is that a lot of the guys over there today were smoking cigars, meaning different quality cigars, but that's not the point.[01:34:00]

The point is they're indulging, right? It's you grabbing beer. It's like we started a round of Golf at 10. Some people don't start drinking alcohol till 12 p. m, but the guys today, we all had beers at 10. There's a big difference. Oh, yeah.

**Gizmo:** No, but you know. Those two hours.

**Pagoda:** No, but it's like, I, I was having beers and cigars this morning.

At 6 a. m. I think, I think. I sent a picture. Yeah. I sent a picture this morning at 10. Yeah. So it depends. Yeah. But you know, the way I look at it is that I will smoke four to five nights a week, I think. Uh, you know, the weeks average sometimes even six and seven. Right. But. If you're doing two to three cigars every time you're sitting down, I think 12 to 18 may be the right, uh,

**Gizmo:** range for me.

So the other thing that, that plays into this too, that I found interesting in it, it goes to what Puba was saying about the change from COVID to now. And I think all of us, maybe aside from Rooster, I don't know if your habit has changed very much, you know, during COVID [01:35:00] or after, but for me, certainly during COVID, I was smoking way more cigars.

I, you know, Puba as well. Agreed. Yeah. Even Rooster was. Probably, but

**Rooster:** I, I, I usually never smoke like two back to back.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. You always wait. I know. But I

**Senator:** just remember during COVID several nights with rooster and roosters, like, I can't believe this. I've had like four cigars today. He was just like shocked.

And I was like, that's what we do every day. Yeah.

**Poobah:** It's the

**Gizmo:** company. So the reason why I mentioned that is, um, I saw this in cigar aficionado that Scandinavian tobacco group, which is one of the largest in the world. They own general cigar. Which, you know, they obviously have companies like Cohiba, you know, Red Dot Cohiba, uh, CAO, Macanudo Punch.

They own Cigar International. They're a huge retailer. They announced that they, they reported a 2. 3 percent drop in sales and a 5. 5 percent drop in profit in the second quarter of 2023. So it seems, and, and this is following, I don't know if you remember, we did this, [01:36:00] we mentioned this on the podcast, the first quarter.

Uh, cigar imports and sales were down also from last year. Uh, right, right, right. You know, so you, you're seeing, is it a correction? Is it, uh, an adjustment to price or you mentioned earlier inflation, like, you know, is this just people are smoking less? Is it the prices have gone up? What

**Poobah:** is it? I think multiple factors.

I think it's multiple factors. I remember I bought a, uh, I would sit out. In like, like 35 degree weather in a, in my gazebo with the curtains and a propane heater and sit on my deck and, and smoke a cigar, like during COVID, like you're going crazy. Yeah. Like, like it was like. There's no social interaction.

There's nothing going on. And it was just, it was weird. It

**Gizmo:** was

**Senator:** like different. We're in the, uh, the, the Cuban cigar, a YouTube

**Poobah:** vortex in those days. That's right. And, and, uh, and I would sit out [01:37:00] there in the, in, in, in, in just smoke. But, but I think that you go up. So now it's like, well, okay. Outside of this group, like I'll go out.

To a dinner. Well, if I'm going to get, sometimes I go out to dinner, you know, I go out to dinner a couple of times a week, you know, uh, if I go out to come home, I go out to dinner, like I'm, it's 10 o'clock. I'm tired, you know, I'm tired. I'm like, I'm not going to retire to my deck at this point in my life and sit there for an hour and have a cigar.

It's just not going to do it. But like during COVID. Like, it was like, you're on your cell phone, you know, I'm listening to music, you're calling people, you're like, whatever, trying to mean, it was just weird, right? You know, people are out, they're going to concerts, you're going to, you're doing things, you're out.

Everything was so closed. Cigars were for, that's where we, I mean, [01:38:00] we've really met, I joined the original lounge quite honestly, because I was like, I probably never would have joined a cigar lounge. Uh, I was like, I need a place to go. This place is open when nothing was open. I need to go someplace and get out of my house and have one, a cocktail and two, a cigar.

And I'm like, there's no place to actually go. Like bars weren't open. However, the cigar lounge. Was was. Yeah. And so it was like, okay, you're open. You mean you're telling me I can come here like anytime and have a cocktail and have a cigar and

**Senator:** literally before 10 p. m.

**Poobah:** Hey, I took it, took it, you know, I was like, I'll take it.

Yeah. I think we were all spending a lot of time there because by default

**Gizmo:** it was the only thing to do. Yeah,

**Rooster:** nothing else. [01:39:00] But you really have to look at the numbers pre COVID compared to now. Sure. Not during COVID. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** not during COVID. Because a lot of people

**Rooster:** had a lot of ample time and they were smoking a lot more.

So if you compare the numbers pre COVID and now they're probably about the

**Gizmo:** same. It's probably true. Very well could be. Yeah, probably. You know, I will say this is, this is a controversial statement. But in some ways, and I told someone this the other day, I kind of miss some of the quiet of covid. I miss that.

I miss that freedom. You know, I was still getting work done in some ways. I almost felt more productive because it was the rat race was turned off. You know, it's like I kind of miss how that felt. Do

**Poobah:** you like the police tape up around your house?

**Gizmo:** Oh, you know, you know what I'm saying? Like,

**Poobah:** that's what it was, yellow tape around their home.

**Gizmo:** Red letter on your door. Do you understand what I'm saying?

**Senator:** No, I, honestly, I agree. There, there's a lot of me at just the whole world. Obviously COVID sucked in [01:40:00] so many ways. So I'm taking nothing away from that. But there's always these silver linings in these bad situations. And the one huge silver lining of COVID for me was the whole world slowed down and I was able to just have more time to connect with, you know, friends.

I hadn't even talked to in a long time that like, when the life in the world is so busy, you don't, you know, Puba talks about like sitting on his deck and like. Calling someone that maybe you haven't caught up with in a long time. Like now that happens for me, like at best once a month, you know, during COVID it was like every day, I felt like I was talking to someone.

I hadn't typically gotten a chance to like catch up with in depth. And, um, I did enjoy that honestly. Like it just not having to travel as much being able to just take meetings all from home, basically. I mean, it was just so much easier.

**Poobah:** Yeah, I'm split on that a little

**Senator:** now. I'm not saying I want COVID again to have that, but I wish that there was a way to have that part of the hybrid without COVID

**Poobah:** like, [01:41:00] yeah, so, um, I mean, I could do a lot with this.

I won't go crazy on it. But I'll just, I'll give you my point of view and people can react. Uh, I think the work from home thing is complete horseshit and bullshit. I think if you can go out to a restaurant, I think that if you can, if you can go to a concert, if you can go, you can show up to the office and, and, and work with other people and do a job.


**Gizmo:** let me, let me say this. My point of saying I miss COVID a little bit is simply tied to how much free time I had. My work didn't really change. I'm obviously, I have my own thing, but like work didn't change that much, but it was the other stuff that those other requirements that come into your life that kind of evaporated for a couple years.

Yeah, they did. It. Like what? I,

**Poobah:** like.

**Bam Bam:** Well, gatherings, weddings,

**Gizmo:** I don't want to go. I'm done with weddings. Okay. I don't want to go to weddings. I like social gatherings, dinners where [01:42:00] you don't really want to go, but you say yes. Cause you feel bad. There's a guilt component, those kinds of things. Like I just really loved my free time.

And because of that, I developed really this thing of ours. You know, this thing developed in me where it's like, this was, this became because of that, like a really important part of my life, sitting down for extended period of periods of time with people and enjoying cigars with now my closest friends in the

**Senator:** world.

I'll just say quickly, I don't disagree with a single thing Puba said from a workplace perspective, I'm on exactly the same page. When I say I miss that element that Gizmo's describing during COVID for me, it's like, If in this utopia, I would be able to have that free time and people would somehow be able to be productive getting their work done wherever it's happening.

But like in reality, yes, I'm 100 percent in agreement. Like, yes, again, I know in my business, like. [01:43:00] Productivity has suffered tremendously without people being in the office as much as they were before COVID all that's a total problem. So for me, just in this idealistic world, if I could have it my way and business would actually function at the exact same level, it would be great to have more of that free time and ability to connect.

But practically speaking, yes, it's not

**Gizmo:** sustainable. It's right. Yeah. That's the piece of it. I missed. And that's the only piece. That's what

**Poobah:** I'm saying. Yeah. Well, yeah, I think everybody was kind of like, oh, well. This is kind of cool for a second. Uh, but then there's this hangover from it,

you know, which I'm not bullish on. Um, this whole thing where people, you know, cause you know, what's going on. Yeah. You know, what's going on. I mean, you know, people take advantage. It's

**Gizmo:** bullshit. Yeah. All right, boys. So we're coming to the end of our evening. Uh, any final thoughts before we do our ratings?

On the rye whiskey and the cigar tonight,[01:44:00]

no thoughts at all.

**Poobah:** That's called it. So, so to go to clearly, he's gone to the mind eraser stage. This, remember that cocktail called the mind eraser? It's like, it was like vodka, Kahlua. Uh, it a white Russian and then you drink it through a straw. It's called a mind eraser.

**Gizmo:** Mind is like that. It's like that thing in men in black where they erase your memory.

Yes, exactly. All right, boys, you're ready to do the formal liquor rating on the Senator barrel proof straight rye whiskey. Sure. There's going to be a

**Senator:** lawsuit. You're up by the way,

**Gizmo:** right after this. You and Pagoda, you guys could do a. A joint suit

**Bam Bam:** litigation? Uh, I think I'm at a six on this thing. Um, you know, first off it was that for me it had a lot of burn, but eventually I kind of mellowed out for me.

But, you know, flavor was okay. I would never drink this again for me. A six. Okay.

**Gizmo:** Pagoda A

**Pagoda:** five. I, I do think that I really enjoyed it. Not really. I enjoyed [01:45:00] it a lot more after, uh, the water, you know, after Poland. Some you enjoyed the water.

**Gizmo:** Some Poland, spring . That Poland Spring is really

**Pagoda:** good. I'll tell you it was, yeah.

**Rooster:** Nine for the Poland

**Gizmo:** Springs. Senator.

**Senator:** Um, I think I'm also at a six. It was harsh, it definitely mellowed out with some ice, but the disappointment for me is the flavor that you're getting from it, there's not much there, I mean it's supposed to be a rye, it should be more flavorful, and it's just very kind of monotone and boring, I wouldn't drink it again, so if I was, you know, there was absolutely nothing left to drink, can you stomach it, sure, it was, you know, we all I think took several sips of it, but I would never pursue it.

**Pagoda:** I don't think any one of us would go and buy this. I don't

**Gizmo:** think so. Puba.

**Poobah:** Yeah, I mean, it's like a six. It's not that good. Okay.

**Gizmo:** It's a six for me, too, boys. Alright. The formal liquor rating is a 5. 8, which I think is a perfect score for this. Yes, it is. This is a [01:46:00] 58 all day.

**Bam Bam:** And this tequila, what is this tequila?

About two? One? Oh, the rum? The Haitian rum? Minus, minus

**Gizmo:** one. Zero. Minus one. That's a minus two,

**Poobah:** yeah. Zero.

**Gizmo:** 0. 0. All right, boys, let's do the formal lizard rating on the Ashton VSG and torpedo. Rooster, you're up.

**Rooster:** So I'm going to give it an eight. Uh, the first third for me, it started out like a nine. I mean, I was like, this is, this is a great cigar, but the second half, it kind of, I don't know, it's, it's a, it's an eight.

Um, I enjoy, I really enjoyed the beginning of the cigar than the second half of that.

**Poobah:** Yeah, good cigar. It's an eight. It's an eight for me. I thought that the, I, I liked the blend. Um, it's a little too much of what it is in this, in this Vittola for me. Like it's just too much of that for too long where I think to what Senator said before, like in a Robusto, I'd like it more in a Lonsdale.

I like it. I think I like it a little bit. [01:47:00] better, um, minus performance issues, which I haven't experienced with the Lonsdale. Um, but again, I've probably only smoked 10 of the Lonsdales in my life. So it's not like I've smoked a ton of the Lonsdales. Um, so good cigar. It's a solid eight for me. I like it. I think it's a nice smoke.

And I'd recommend it. It's very, it's approachable. It's rich. It's good. It's available and it's accessible and You know, it's priced pretty fair. So it's neat for me. Yeah, it's also

**Gizmo:** an eight for me. I think it's one step down, uh, from the experience of the illusion, the Lonsdale for me. Um, yeah, so it's an eight for sure.


**Senator:** this is easy. I'm also with you guys. I'm at an eight. I think, um, the First two thirds. I actually really liked it was the last third. I don't know if it was a function of just kind of as Puba has said, like the size of this cigar. I just maybe got a little bored with the final third or maybe it got slightly muddled a little bit down the stretch, but [01:48:00] very good cigar.

If this were just a little bit shorter, like it could have earned a nine for me. Um, and the one thing I will give this a lot of credit for the construction on this cigar is flawless. I say that I forgot to note it, but I was at a point with my ash. Thank At least two inches, if not close to three inches, just perfect burn, zero issues whatsoever.

So that was a huge merit. Um, but I would love to try this in Robusto because I think that would probably be like, what could get this to a nine for me?

**Gizmo:** Even,

**Rooster:** even the 40, that's a 46 ring gauge, I

**Gizmo:** think. I think so. 44, 46. That would be ideal. Yeah. Pagoda. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** I'm going to rate it as an eight as well. I, you know, I was thinking about this in terms of trying to.

You know, categorize them with a certain cigar. You know, I think I had mentioned in the beginning of the episode that I would categorize it more like an aging room and they're like, all these cigars are very, very good. They're great actually for the [01:49:00] price point. Um, maybe the aging room is a lot cheaper.

Um, It, it didn't go out and say, hey, listen, this is fantastic, where I need to go and buy it, this is what I really want, but yeah, meaning if it's a cigar, if I'm in a store, I'll definitely easily pick one, or if I have to suggest it to somebody, I'll do it, uh, but I, I'd categorize it in Asian, um, you know, uh, like La Historia, including the Senator, right?

You know, which I don't particularly go and buy all the time. Right. But I'll have a few and I'll smoke them once in a while and enjoy them. And that's really, that's a great cigar. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Bam. I'm at an eight as well. I think it's, it's got a lot of merit. The, the first two thirds, as Senator said, were very good, but it definitely faded out at the end.

The smoke output was fantastic. It really is a beautifully made cigar and the ash is bright white. I think it earned an

**Gizmo:** eight. Yeah. Overall. And that's the former Lizard Reading Boys, a flat 8. 0. Yeah, that's good. Which I think, you know, did the. Lonsdale, the [01:50:00] illusion we mentioned, was an 8. 8. I think this is just a step down from that.

I think the first half of this, for me, if it continued that first half, if it built on that in the second, as opposed to, you know, drop a little bit. Yeah. I very well could have seen myself, you know, I could have seen myself giving this. And that goes to

**Bam Bam:** the, someone mentioned if it was shorter. You probably would have gotten that performance out of that shorter Robusto.

But you know what's really interesting? If it come in a Robusto? Yeah,

**Gizmo:** there's two Robustos. That's what I want to try next.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, we should try that. You know, somebody mentioned the Pledge of Allegiance earlier, and the complexity with the citrus and the thing, which continued a bit further along, I think it was rated a bit higher.

Yeah, that cigar rated really well. Right? So I think, uh, you know, if you will think about it from that perspective, it's a very fair rating.

**Senator:** That's a great point by Pagoda because when you think of that Pledge of Allegiance, the kind of balance between citrus and cocoa and coffee and all those notes, it stayed all the way through.

Yes. Where this didn't. That's why that cigar scored so high. And I think all of us, [01:51:00] whether it was the final third or even half of it, we lost some of that. And I think that's what still made it a very enjoyable smoke. That's why all of us gave it an eight, but it, it didn't reach kind of that top notch score of a nine or a 10 because of that.

Eight is still

**Bam Bam:** an excellent score. Oh yeah.

**Gizmo:** I definitely recommend it. I think for the value, for the size, I think anybody could, like Puba said, anybody can enjoy this and like Pagoda said, I would refer this cigar to anyone who's in a humidor calling me saying, what, what, what can I buy? And this cigar is there.

This is one that you'd. Absolutely. Anybody would enjoy

**Bam Bam:** it. It's definitely a chimney cigar. If you want to sit back and get lost in a cloud of smoke, this is a great candidate

**Gizmo:** for that. Absolutely. No doubt about it. Absolutely. All right, boys. A great night. So the Senator barrel proof straight rye whiskey out of Kentucky got a 5.

8. And the Ashton VSG in torpedo got a flat 8. 0. An excellent night. Cheers. And we'll see you all next week. Keep smoking. Hope you enjoyed this episode, thanks for joining us. You can find our merch store and [01:52:00] ratings archive at our brand new website, LoungeLizardsPod. com. That's LoungeLizards, P O D, dot com.

Don't forget to leave us a rating and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. If you have any comments, questions, if you want to reach out, say hello, tell us what you're smoking, email us, hello at 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.