Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey the lizards pair the Montecristo Supremos Edición Limitada 2019 with Hennessy XO Cognac. The guys discuss recent EL releases, they do a deep dive on the history of Hennessy, they discuss proper cognac stemware and they review yet another Habanos S.A. price increase.

Plus: Cognac Comparison, Rooster Got a Cat, Valentine’s Day Plans, Cuba

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
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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 loungelizardspod@gmail.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 in love of premium cigars, as well as whiskey, travel, food, work, and whatever else we feel like getting into. My name is Gizmo, and tonight I'm joined by Rooster, Senator Pagoda, grinder, and bam bam.

And our plan is to smoke a cigar, drink some cognac, talk about life, and of course, have some laughs. So take this as your 66th official invitation to join us and become a card carrying lounge lizard. Plan to meet us here once a week. We're gonna smoke a cubit cigar tonight. Share our thoughts on it, and give you our formal lizard rating.

We discuss recent EL releases. We do a deep dive on the history of Hennessy. We discuss proper cognac stemware, and we review yet another HAVANA'S essay price increase, all among a variety of other things for the next 90 minutes. So sit back, get your favorite. Light up a cigar and enjoy as we pair Hennessy Cognac XO with the Montecristo Supremos IATA 2019 Anata tonight on the pod [00:01:00] from Monty Christo outta Cuba.

It's the Monty Christo Supremos, and it's a re robusto, I guess a Rob Robusto extra, really 55 ring gauge by five and an eighth inch cigar. And, uh, I gotta say the wrapper isn't, it's very rustic. Yeah. It's not, uh, it's not beautiful. It's not ugly.

**Senator:** Yeah, it's not ugly. I mean, I, I, I think there are far more

**Grinder:** rustic, like a rat cigars than this.

Yeah. Like a rustic raic. It's got, it's got a nice hue, but there's these like, you know, blotches, I was, I was describing it as a, as a, as a redhead after a beach day . It's just, it's still very beautiful. But there's just, you know, there's some , some extra extra color that came out in the, in the

**Gizmo:** sun Bloche complexion.

Yeah, I'm very excited about this. This was sent to us by a lizard listener, the mile high cigar guy out of, uh, Denver. So we're so happy that, uh, he sent these to us. We're very, very grateful. [00:02:00] So thank you to him. Thank you, Denver. You

**Grinder:** um, are

**Bam Bam:** not a fan of this ring

**Gizmo:** gauge though, are you? I don't you, you know what's funny about you saying that as I was, you know, when I, when these came in and they were 55, I just, I don't love a 55 man, like 54, 54 and up.

I'm kind of out.

**Bam Bam:** But doesn't this length help your perception of this, of this reengage? Cuz this is a quite a nice

**Gizmo:** cigar. It is a nice cigar. I'm not complaining. Yeah. But if, if I were to be blending or rolling or making decisions about the cigar, I would make this a 52, not a 55, but that's me just being you a complainer.

**Grinder:** I haven't had this size in a long time, so I'm kind of excited. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Let's cut this thing boys. It's like gonna eat two. But

**Bam Bam:** E two is a

**Gizmo:** 54. Right. I don't think I've ever had an E two. Oh, cute. E two difference. We'll do an E two. We're gonna do an E two on the pod soon. I mean, the foot smells great. Yeah, the foot smells good.

**Bam Bam:** Honestly, I'm not getting anything on the nose wrapper or

**Gizmo:** foot. I'm getting some on the foot,

**Bam Bam:** and I've got a tight draw As I, as I

**Gizmo:** [00:03:00] suspected, my draw is okay. My draw's great. It's kind of a Cuban little bit of resistance. Yeah. Mine

**Senator:** has some resistance, but not Mine's awesome. Not so much that I think it's gonna be a problem.

**Gizmo:** It kind of has that Mag 46 level of resistance for me. Like it's just,

**Grinder:** the cold draws nice. The cold draws very nice. It's delicious.

**Senator:** Yeah. The cold draws really flavorful. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. Wow.

**Gizmo:** I'm curious if this is gonna be a chocolate bomb, like a cocoa thing. Like I'm, I'm really, really excited about it.

I'm getting a faint cocoa.

**Senator:** Yeah, I am

**Gizmo:** too. Yeah. Hmm. All right, boys, let's light this thing. The Monte Christo Somos. Again, it's an a liata from 2019 outta Cuba. It's gonna take a while to light this guy. Yeah, it's gonna be a minute. That's why I'm kind of going slow on talking about the cigar as we do it. Uh, it's a 55 ring gauge by five and an eighth inch cigar.

So, you know, what's interesting about this guy is this is the second liata we did on the pod we're doing on the pod. The first one we did was the, uh, k dors sess, [00:04:00] which is also from 2019. And, and that was shockingly good, shockingly good, which was fantastic. And I think it's also cool that the remaining 2019 lamata that we have to do to complete the trifecta is the Ramon iis.

Wow. Yeah. Good on the light. Wow. Really? I haven't had it.

**Senator:** Wow. First of all, this did not take nearly as long to light as I expected. It's still toasting and it is perfectly evenly lit, and the smoke output is just fantastic.

**Gizmo:** So I dry box these, by the way, I wanted to. I, these were sitting at, uh, 58 60 Rh for about two weeks, knowing we were gonna do my pot.


**Senator:** man. Rich complex flavor.

**Gizmo:** Oh yeah. That's nice.

**Grinder:** This is awesome. Oh man. This is a strong Cuban. This is, uh,

**Bam Bam:** holy shit. You're getting a little potpourri and fruit and cocoa all at

**Grinder:** once. A great, you know what it, I hate to say it. Is that weird? Is it me? It's, it's, it, it tastes like a, it tastes like a fucking [00:05:00] qd bang to padron added, just a little extra soft, you know, color around the, around the edges there.

**Senator:** You're not

**Gizmo:** wrong. There's a mustiness on the, the tip of my tongue. As, as I exhale the draw that's barnyard that I'm, yeah, it's like, it's like, it's, it's really, really interesting. But I, it is a, there's a cocoa thing. There's

**Senator:** important distinction. There's a little twang. It's a clean Barnard. Yeah. Yeah. It's a

**Gizmo:** clean

**Grinder:** barnyard.

It's a clean barn.

**Gizmo:** It's not the pba Barnard. Yeah, the pba barnyard the counter

**Senator:** barnyard that I can handle. A clean barn. This.

**Gizmo:** So, um, this is surprisingly good. This is really interesting. On the light. Yeah. On a light. Yeah. It has that, it does have, and we've talked about this with regionals and other things.

You know, sometimes they put out cigars and it's, oh, it's a Monte Cristo and it tastes nothing like a Monte Crystal. I think this is really in the wheelhouse of what I expect, expect from

**Grinder:** Monte Crystal. I'm getting pepper, like in the back of my, in the back of my pallet. I'm getting some, like, some soft white pepper, like a, I'm not getting white pepper.


**Bam Bam:** not getting any pepper. But that potpourri and fruit combo is [00:06:00] weird and really interesting.

**Gizmo:** I'll use a bam, bam word. There is a little citrus here. There is a touch of citrus. Yeah. Maybe little cocoa, little citrus coffee maybe.

**Senator:** one thing that's common, what everyone's picking up. This is a very complex cigar.

Oh yeah. Which is why I'm really impressed on the light. No doubt. Um, I also, to Grindr's point earlier, this is as new world Esca Cuban as I can remember in some time. In a very good way. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** That's a great way of putting it actually. Yeah. Yeah. This is really interesting. Rooster, what do you think on the, what are you thinking?

He's very quiet over there. That's a good sign. Still

**Rooster:** trying to figure it out. . I dunno what's

**Gizmo:** going on. I'm the aroma. It's, it's not like, it's like a calculus.

**Rooster:** It's not like another Monty.

**Gizmo:** I mean, I don't think it is either. I think it's, it's a more complex Monty. I agree. I think it's in the, I think it's a wheelhouse, like a fuller boulder cigar.

**Rooster:** Like, and not, you know, Cuban cigars are not in this wheelhouse. They're, this is much fuller. Yeah. You know, at least in the [00:07:00] beginning we'll see

**Gizmo:** how it, uh, progresses.

**Senator:** That's all true. Just, but to go back to what Grindr said, I think he used, it's kind of like a cutie bang to patron. I think it's more like a Monty, like meets a patron.

Yeah. Like I get some of the twang that you get in a Monty too. Like the Cuban notes are there, but then like this, and, and the Monty two has cocoa notes. But this like, the cocoa is richer and deeper. Like you would get out of a new world. Um, but in a really good way. I mean, I love this so far. It's

**Gizmo:** got that, you know, the, the, the cigar that I would call out, you know, is from a patron that it's kind of like, it's, it's a perfect blend between like Amani two, like you're saying, and the patron 80th.

Hmm. How's your, I think those two, cuz I wouldn't say it's like a family reserve or something like that, but how's

**Grinder:** your, um, wow. How's your burn guys?

**Gizmo:** Pretty nice. It's, it's pretty

**Grinder:** good. It's still early. Early, yeah. Yeah. Mine's got a bit of a

**Bam Bam:** little, uh, unevenness there.

**Gizmo:** The beginning

**Rooster:** of the cigar is like that qd we

**Gizmo:** had the An dos.

Yeah. Yeah. But Fuller. [00:08:00]

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, this is a, I think a, definitely a full, full flavored cigar. ,

**Senator:** right? Yeah. I mean, I think when we had Rob I, on the podcast, there was, I think he had said, is there such thing as a full Cuban this right now? I mean, on the light, the jury's still out, but on the light, what you're saying, this is as close to a full Cuban cigars.

I think we've had. I agree.

**Grinder:** Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** I think there also could be risk if you smoke this a little too quickly, it could back


**Gizmo:** on you. I think, you know what's funny? When I was thinking about, you know, when I looked at these cigars, I'm like, man is, you know, is this gonna be a 45 minute smoke or something? I think if you push it to 45, I don't know if you're gonna enjoy it as much.

I don't know. You know, I, I think like you're saying, I think you need to, I think you need more now. Really need to take your time with it. Yeah. Try to push it to an hour. Oh yeah. If you

**Rooster:** smell the smoke that's coming off of the, the foot.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. The burn wine smells amazing. It's delicious, but it's

**Rooster:** rich in the nose.

Nose, it's very rich. It's like, you

**Gizmo:** feel it, right? It almost makes you wanna sneeze or something. I'm like, any other cigar I've ever had. Almost, yeah.

**Grinder:** You know, there's [00:09:00] a, there's a, a richness that we're trying to compliment. Uh, tonight, this cigar. And that's the Oh yeah, the cognac. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** the Hennessy. You stole my line.

I usually do that .

**Grinder:** I I did. You do Usually You do usually be the


**Bam Bam:** of Segueways. I'll, it's a bit early. That's my only critique. . It's my, it's a bit early. .

**Gizmo:** You know, I'm, I'm gonna note this on the ledger for our, please, please. Discussion after the podcast, the memo. It is a, you

**Grinder:** do segue very, very nicely. . Um, so, so we could back up, but I also

**Gizmo:** No, you know what I do?

I, I do think, here's the thing. I will say in Grindr's defense with how Fullish cigars coming in, I'm ready to put something else on, on my palette and try it. Yeah. And see how it pairs for sure. Let's go for it. So we got the Hennessy xo and as we know, uh, from the few times we've done cognac on the, on the pod prior to this, uh, you have VS.

V S O P and XO are the. . [00:10:00] Good, better, or best? That's right. And this is apparently the best that Hennessy has to offer at a reasonably reasonable

**Senator:** price of the standard production stuff. Yeah, they've got some crazy stuff,

**Gizmo:** so let's try it. . That's

**Bam Bam:** insanely good. It's so good. It's so satisfying. God. Wow. What?

It's got

**Gizmo:** amazing body and weight. Wow. This is an excellent

**Grinder:** pairing tonight. I was saying it's so, it it, it goes down like a, like a heavy, you know how weight weighted blankets are like, so mm-hmm. appealing. Mm-hmm. , it's like a weighted ban blanket for my power. Great analogy here. You know, it just feels, it feels comforting and it feels rich and warm and full and like, I kind of wish that there was like a fireplace here, because the cigar right now, the compli, the, i, I do, I did wanna compliment this, this taste of the cigar early.

Sorry. But it's just, it, it's, it marries each other so, so

**Senator:** perfectly. I, I think we all get excited when we have a really good pairing and sometimes these just work out. This is, this is workout. I think there are a number of episodes and really a handful where we've said the pairing is literally [00:11:00] perfect. I remember this for me is perfect.

Yeah. There is nothing I would rather be drinking with this cigar than what we have right now. Yeah. It's a rich

**Gizmo:** experience, I think. Um, I think if we tried to drink this cognac with another Cuban cigar, any regular production really that I can think of, I don't know if it's gonna pair as well as it is with the, the flavor we're getting off this cigar right now.

It would likely

**Grinder:** overpower the cigar.

**Gizmo:** Maybe. Maybe the Parus Maduro Maduro number one. That's a good one. Parus Maduro. Yeah. Our

**Bam Bam:** very first point. The one that stuttered

**Gizmo:** it all. That was the first one. That's right. And then Bam. Bought them all. Yeah. And now we haven't, we haven't seen 'em in two years. Why are we,

**Bam Bam:** why are we going backwards?

**Grinder:** let's not go backwards. The, um, the Retro Hale is definitely, it's, it's got, it's got a bite, but it's, it's smoother than I thought. Haven't it's got a smoothness or smooth, like silky. Haven't done that yet. Creamy. Creamy, yeah. Cream. That's a good,

**Gizmo:** yeah. Yeah. This is really something. Definitely different. So, you know, before we talk about, I know we want to talk about the [00:12:00] Hennessy, uh, uh, Brandon and their history and whatnot, but going back to the EL thing, I think that.

My understanding of ELs is people really love, generally love EL releases. Unlike regionals are kind of hit or miss. I think a lot of the regionals have done really well and have been successful. And I think that the St. Doris that we had the 2019, I thought that was very good. I mentioned before that there's one other 2019 that we should do to complete this trifecta, which is the Ramone.

Uh, we have them. You guys have them. But you said at at the age that that they are right now, they're not ready yet. Yeah. Is that, is that how

**Senator:** you're feeling? That is and it's actually really funny that you say that because I was in my tower today and um, I was trying to pick something I was really gonna enjoy and I actually opened up, I have two boxes of those.

The Ramone 2019 lamata. I opened the box. . I always look for, like, when you see those little crystals we've talked about kind of on the wrapper. I know that cigar is ready. [00:13:00] Yeah. And I'm looking at them. I'm shining 'em in the light and , I'm not seeing that yet. It, I feel like it hasn't matured enough yet. Um, now I will say they're still enjoyable.

I mean, the last one of those I smoke when we were at my place out on my deck the caviar night, um, I had lit one of those up with, uh, some pole roget that we were drinking and actually paired really well. But I want that cigar to develop more, a little richer in flavor, that champagne is maybe not an ideal pairing and I would have a spirit with it.

So I still think we should wait maybe another year.

**Rooster:** Mm-hmm. . Okay. So you should put those in a padron 80th

**Gizmo:** box.

So this cigar, when it came out was 22 bucks and that's great. Great price. Rooster was looking at the price of this cigar. Either recently or today. And it's what? Nearing a hundred? Unbelievable one. Yeah. 72, I think. 72. But [00:14:00] that was before the January price increase. Ah, yeah. Oh man. Wow. Right. So you're probably at almost 80, 85 bucks and that's when you're buying it direct from a retailer, which there's not many of 'em.

I, I can't tell you the last time I saw any of these pop up in that beautiful, you know, it comes in a very beautiful deluxe. No, you don't. Yellow wooden. Don't see these wooden box. It's really nice. But, but what

**Rooster:** I don't understand is when these were released in 20 19, 20

**Gizmo:** 20, they were announced, I think in early 19 they released 20.


**Rooster:** 20, they came out and they were retailing for $22.

**Gizmo:** So

**Rooster:** that's only two years ago. Yep. And we have had what, how many price increases? Two, three.

**Gizmo:** Two or three. So

**Rooster:** how do you go from 22 to 72 or 85? It's

**Gizmo:** a bonos logic baby. Yeah, it is incredible

**Senator:** elasticity. I, I wish I could increase my prices for my customers this

**Gizmo:** way.

This way. Jesus. I mean, it's, it's obscene. It's obscene. So, um, let's talk [00:15:00] about Hennessy, because I'm fascinated about, so this is the first time I've actually ever had Hennessy in my life. I've never had any Hennessy ever. Me too. So I'm in

**Senator:** the same camp. Really? You haven't either. And I, that surprises me.

I'm excited about cognac. I've never had Hennessy and Rh Have you

**Gizmo:** had this before? Never. Wow. Wow. It's new. It sounds like a stripper. All of a stripper's name. Yeah. I, I've heard of this in rap songs and

**Senator:** stuff. . That's the thing. I mean, honestly, the, the reason I haven't had Hennessy, it's just, it became so popular and then such a big part of like, popular culture that I'm, I'm sitting there saying there's no way this is truly a premium spirit.

But when we were gonna do this, I just wanted to do a little digging on the brand history. And the story is tremendous. Like my level of respect for Hennessy as a brand. It's exponentially changed after, um, what I've read and I, I'll just share a little bit. I think you guys will find interesting. So, um, the part that we're familiar with and will not be shocking, Hennessy is the world's largest cognac producer.

It's not even close. They sell about 70 million bottles of cognac a year. [00:16:00] Wow. Gosh. And supply about half of the world's cognac.

**Gizmo:** Wow. It's crazy. Is there any other, sorry to interrupt. I know that you're, you're in your first sentence of Marty interrupting ly. Wow. But is there any other manufacturer of a spirit that has that level of, of anything Command?

How about, of anything, of anything but that level of command in, in, in the alcohol. Johnny, Johnny Walker.

**Senator:** That's the only one that comes to mind. Johnny Rooster. What was, what was the percentage again? Half, half. Over. Half, half the world's supply.

**Grinder:** So, but, but think about this. Cognac is not, it's not like beer, which is super fragmented or not super fragmented.

It's ubiquitous. Beer is ubiquitous. It's not, it's, it's, it's, I don't think it's something. That's drunk a lot. So if it, it's probably on the lower end of the categories across the globe, uh, that people are drinking. So in those lower categories, those lower markets, the smaller market, it's easier for a few players to dominate a, a large percentage of the

**Senator:** market.

**Gizmo:** Sure, totally. And it's only made in one region. Correct? It's a good point, yeah. Still remarkable. But I mean, but, but here's [00:17:00] my thing. When I hear 150 million bottles is, let's say, what's sold in a year as if from a cognac, uh, standpoint, , that's a lot. That's a lot of alcohol, a lot of cognac being drunk.

That's a lot of, that's a lot of cognac. Oh yeah. When you consider it, you know, the price of this bottle is what, what, what'd you pay for this grinder? Uh, 200. So this is 200 bucks. I know that the others

**Grinder:** are, so let me just say, 200 was a price that I found nowhere else. Very, like, it's amazing. We have a, I'm very fortunate to have a very good liquor store near me that is owned by these amazing, this amazing Korean family, and they have the best prices, the best discounts, and they do it on drizzly.

And it, the difference between his price and the next one was 85 bucks. Wow. Wow. That's insane. Wow. So that's insane. There you go. And it was, and it was like, it wasn't like, there was, it wasn't even close. There was like three or four other, uh, sellers and they were there just as

**Senator:** high,

**Gizmo:** 40% higher. [00:18:00] So the reason why I, I, I just thought it was interesting, like you think about 150 million bottles of cognac and, and this is a really small segment, right?

Mm-hmm. , half of which he's sent, you know, senator's saying that Hennessy is in command of you. Look at ha Bonos, that's a 500 million business annually. So it's like even cognac, which is such a small percentage of the spirit market, like dwarfs to your

**Senator:** point, far surpassed to exactly what you just said. I mean, Hennessy just as a business in revenue annually is almost a billion dollars a year.

So that's double ho bonos. Just

**Gizmo:** in one

**Senator:** cognac. Just in cognac. And that's in, that's saying it's a small segment of the like spirit market. Wow. I'm sorry to have interrupt it. Go ahead. Sorry. Um, the, the last thing I was gonna say, uh, even, you know, on, on Hennessy's dominance within that market there, there are four big cognac houses.

There's Remy Martin, we've done, we've done three, three of their bo different bottles. There are all great, uh, there's Hennessy, there's Corvassier, and there's Martel. [00:19:00] So these, and these are huge, most of them are owned by giant conglomerates. To have half of that out of one of those big four is it's incredible.

Remarkable, insane.

**Gizmo:** It's incredible.

**Senator:** So a little bit more about their history. So cognac obviously is in the cognac region in France, and I just assumed that. Hennessy's history would start with a Frenchman, but it is not, it's actually an Irishman. Huh. Hennessy was founded by an Irish military officer, Richard Hennessy, in 1765, who served in the French Army.

Um, under Louis the 15th. Hennessy retired to the cognac region and began distilling there and exploring Brandies. Um, and then started exporting them first to the uk, um, and his native Ireland, and then also to the US Hennessy named, uh, a guy named, uh, Jean Philo. I'm probably totally butchering the French pronunciation, so apologies already to our French, uh, listeners, as the house's [00:20:00] master blender.

And the crazy part of that story, the only reason I bring that up, I was shocked to learn that a member of the Fallot family who was the original Master blender, there has been the master blender ever since, spanning eight generations in more than 250 years. Wow. It's absurd. It's a long time. 250 years.

You've had only one family, exclusively master.

**Grinder:** I was just, I was just talking to my father about this concept that you don't really see companies last li if you look at, especially public companies, you, you, you look at like the composite of the Dow and you look at just the life history of companies in the, in the United States and elsewhere.

Companies don't last a hundred years. That's right. There's not many, no, no. Companies don't last 150 years. 200 years, I mean, . That's amazing. ,

**Gizmo:** that that company, by the way, is older than the United States of America, . That's right. Let's just, let's just be clear. I mean, that's ridiculous. That's

**Senator:** awesome. That's exactly right.

And the funny thing [00:21:00] is, I mentioned, you know, most of us haven't had any of Hennessy's products before, and I just assumed that Hennessy as a brand really became popular within the last several decades when it became big and sort of rap. And, um, it was a, a big thing in nightclubs, you know, getting bottle serviced with Hennessy.

But Hennessy became the world's leading exporter, uh, in the 1840s. So they've been the dominant market leader for so long. I mean, we're talking over a century. It's just crazy to me. Hmm. Um, and then the other last thing I'll say that's cool about their brand history, Um, Hennessy very much set the industry standard on a number of things in the cognac space, and the biggest of them is the designations that we now use to define cognac vs.

V S O P and xo. Um, Hennessy came up with those. Um, and the funny thing is, I mean, the names are so bizarre to me, like vs very special. Yeah. V S O P very special. Um, old Pale, uh, XO Extra [00:22:00] old.

**Grinder:** Yeah. Like, you know what it is, it's kind of hilarious because it's like, it, it, it almost feels like this Hennessy guy had some like, you know, iris charm and wit that he's applying to this.

Like, let's just call it very

**Senator:** special . I don't know if you coined it. I don't, the funny thing is, so I wanna talk about that. Yeah. Because I, I, I asked myself the exact same question. I said, did some guy just come up with these random terms? And V S O P was actually the first designation and it was a British monarch who asked, Richard Hennessy to make him a cognac that was very special.

Old pale. Hmm. Just came up with that term. And so he said, sure, I'll make you a very special old pale cognac. And he produced one. And then from then, then on they just started calling that level of aging and sort of how he made it A V S O P. And then they built in the other designation. So, so who's the

**Grinder:** monarch in the 1840s?

That's, that's gotta be Victoria, right? [00:23:00]

**Gizmo:** I would think so.

**Grinder:** Our husbandman, you know, it's, what's also interesting is that's, that was a period of

**Senator:** time, sorry, it says, uh, king George the fourth. George the

**Grinder:** fourth, yeah. You didn't live very, I don't know if you lived very long. Anyway, the, um, if you think about the timing of that, this is an Irish.

Began hammering the markets of the UK in Ireland at a time when the British were exporting everything about their culture around the world. So he's just, you know, he's, he's probably just cornered it and said, I'm gonna be part of this export across the world based out of the, you know, they're, they're, they're doing this all at a Liverpool in, in the ports in, in Ireland.

Anyway, that's, uh, it's amazing. It's, it's probably just rode the wave.

**Senator:** So I hope you guys feel the same way just after hearing all that. The way I view Hennessy is very different than kind of when I went into this. Yeah. Um, and the spirit we're drinking right now, like speaks volumes. I, you know, I view Hennessy as just like mass marketed [00:24:00] trash.

I mean, I never took Hennessy very seriously. I can't speak to their other, their vs say,

**Gizmo:** what would the vs what would the vs taste like? Who,

**Grinder:** who

**Senator:** knows. But this xo, outstanding,

**Grinder:** agreed creamy. Heavy.

**Gizmo:** So XO is the highest amount

**Senator:** of age of standard production. Yeah. They have special stuff that's age way longer, that sells at like 5,000 a bottle.

No exaggeration.

**Gizmo:** So we're uh, about an three quarters of an inch inch into this cigar, boys. Um, I'm very satisfied. It's a slow smoke. It's a slow smoke. Oh yeah. It has mellowed off a bit. Yes. I think a lot actually for me. Yeah, yeah, yeah. In a nice way. It's not bad. I'm not

**Rooster:** getting that pepper, that punch. I was getting it right in the beginning.


**Gizmo:** Which I was really enjoying that I find

**Grinder:** this to be so I wasn't the only one that tasted some pepper. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** There was a, there was a hint of

**Grinder:** pepper. Some white pepper. Pepper. Not, yeah, like a subtle

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Sorry guys. No, I mean, I, I'm just, I'm, I'm very impressed [00:25:00] with the cigar. I mean,

**Rooster:** even the. that like right now, like it's hitting your nose.

It's not like it was in the beginning. No, it's

**Bam Bam:** not. It's smoothed out. Honestly. It's that clean barnyard description earlier. It's very accurate. Yeah. I'm getting a lot of that.

**Grinder:** It definitely smoothed out. Yeah. It's like,

**Gizmo:** I also feel like, and I just touched it up a little bit, I feel like the wrapper is very thick on this thing.

Hmm. Which is not typical of a Cuban

**Grinder:** cigar. So I touched mine up a lot. Me too. Uh, because of the, the challenges I had with the burn. Yeah. And I saw, you know how when you, when you torch it for a little bit, the, the p the little balls of oil accumulate. Yep. That was happening a lot on my cigar. It's, it's kind of oily.

It's very, it's definitely oily, you know, it's not a bad thing, which you don't see a lot in Cuba. No, you don't. You know. Do we know like how long these were aged before?

**Gizmo:** So the, well, I, all I know is that these boxes were released in 20, they've only, it's only been one release. Mm-hmm. of these cigars. [00:26:00] Uh, so they were obviously purchased from that original run, and I've had them, you know, we, we got them sent by a mile high cigar guy.

Um, I've had them maybe about a month, and they've been in dry box for about two weeks, just anticipating that we were gonna

**Rooster:** record. Well, they e ELs usually they use aged

**Senator:** tobaccos. Yeah. So I, I, I looked this up for this cigar. I can't speak with, uh, to all ELs, uh, but supposedly, allegedly, right from, from Abanos.

Yeah. I mean, who knows Thebans, they, they claim that this was two years aged before prior was boxed. Interesting. That's a,

**Grinder:** that, that feels light though for, for the flavor of this cigar, you know? Mm-hmm. It's amazing. It's only

**Senator:** two years. Cuban tobacco. Yeah. And

**Gizmo:** I'm also, yeah, exactly. Like, I mean, like, you know, you referenced the Rob Isla thing, like, you know, he, he referenced, uh, Hamlet who said that, you know, it's impossible.

Mess up rolling with Cuban tobacco, you know, it's like so easy to roll and, and so easy to blend. Hamlet will figure out a [00:27:00] way.

**Bam Bam:** Absolutely. And usually a Cuban will mellow out over time and it's still a pretty young cigar, so you're getting a good punch. Yeah.

**Senator:** You know? Yeah. I mean, I, I'll say this, I think we all experience on the light.

This was really new world esque. Yeah. As this has gone on, to me, it's not that like the flavor has fizzled out a ton or anything like that. It's just now it's kind of just retreated back to being a, a Cuban, it's, it's settled in, like, it's, it's, it's firmly a Cuban cigar. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's nothing new world esque right now.


**Grinder:** matured back to what it was meant to be.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. . That's right. I'm curious how, you know, the, I'm, I'm curious how it's gonna perform though as we get into the second, third, and last third. Obviously that's the, the real tell. I'm, I'm curious, you know, I, I'm curious how it's gonna do, because this has definitely got more oomph than I was expecting tonight.

Out of the cigar Senator's pretty far ahead

**Bam Bam:** of me,

**Gizmo:** and I'm

**Bam Bam:** in about an inch. Yeah. You and I, I, everyone else is at, at the same senator's a a bit ahead.

**Gizmo:** I [00:28:00] am at the point, though, where I do wish it way ahead. I, I do wish that the draw was a little more open at this point. You know, I don't like, I don't mind, its a little tight.

I feel like I'm having to force it a little bit.

**Bam Bam:** Don't, honestly, when I first lit this, I was worried about that. I kind of like it. I don't mind it at all. I,

**Senator:** I do too. The only reason I say that, and I'm usually someone actually that doesn't like a snug draw on this cigar. The flavor, especially initially, was so rich that it's forced me to slow down a little bit.

Exactly. And to really appreciate all the flavor notes I was getting. Yeah. So I, it worked for me with

**Bam Bam:** the cigar. It's working nicely because the draw is a little slower. It's quite nice.

**Grinder:** This is a beautiful cigar. I love it. Look at the rooster's

**Bam Bam:** ash over there. Huh? It looks

**Grinder:** beautiful. I see you there shaking that Ash

**Gizmo:** So, uh, we've talked about this so many times, boys, but it's time to talk about it again. Our friends at Hav, uh, Havanas have decided to raise their prices again. Yeah, [00:29:00] not good now, what ,

**Rooster:** what happened now? How

**Gizmo:** much we're going up by? Well, it went up in January and, uh, let me run you through what they, uh, decided to do.

So, uh, que cohiba bahi, the entire line went up 50%. That's it Only. Um, so let me just clarify for listeners again, this is an additional price increase. There was one in May, uh, may and June of 22. This is another one six months later that was dropped on everybody about 15 to 30 days before it. So Cohiba 50% increase other Cohiba cigars between 3% and 15%.

SLA six was 15%, so a 25 count box of Siola six right now from a reputable vendor is probably gonna be about three grand. Trinidad went up another 3%, which that's actually a standout to me. We should talk about that. Yeah. Montecristo, uh, Linea 1935, which. That's one of the earliest, I think that's the first Bonnie Krista we did on the pod.

And I [00:30:00] love that's, that was phenomenal. Yeah. We loved it. Yeah. That, that line went up 5%. Romeos, Linea de Oro, their high end line went up 10%. Uh, the other global brands went up, 10 high value brands went up 10 and the portfolio brands went up five. Mm-hmm. . Um, now I looked at RAs prices, you know, Ramon I own especially selected.

We smoke a lot of those. Those went up 14 and a half percent. When

**Bam Bam:** you say portfolio brands, are those the standard production?

**Gizmo:** No. So, um, I'll run you through that right now actually, just so we're clear. So the value brands are Boar Punch Ramon and Ah, okay. Trinidad. But we're excluding Trinidad, uh, from this discussion.

Cuz that was only 3%

**Bam Bam:** hardly of value right now. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** well, uh, but those went up.

10%. Mm-hmm. . And then the volume brands are Jose Pra Quintero and VA Garros. And then there's a bunch of other brands that have gone up somewhere between five and 10%. So, you know, [00:31:00] I I, I saw something on, uh, on the F O H forum where one of the, one of the users there, one of the guys on there asked the question.

And this is one something I wanted to pose to the group here. At what point does Havana's price you out? Price us out of buying cigars? Because as we discussed, and I'll start with my position on it, I felt that the may June price increases we talked about with Rob, um, in, uh, in, in November mm. , I felt that that price increase was actually kind of in line with the kind of value I get out of most of the cigars, excluding Cohiba in Trinidad, you know, the Parus D four, I think that's a 15 to $18 experience for me.

And that's fine, I'm fine with that. RAs same, et cetera. But if we're gonna be increasing these prices 15% every six months, I mean at what point, like we're gonna be buying $30 Def Force. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** we talked about this one we had [00:32:00] Dan on. Yeah. And his comment was, I'm gonna smoke less Cuban cigars. That's what he said.

And it kind of makes sense. Keep your inventory, build it as you find a

**Grinder:** deal. So, but, but you know, I, I don't know how sophisticated they are. I think we've talked about this. They don't seem that sophisticated, but maybe, maybe they are. Because if they have the ability to, they have a lot of constraints right now.

There. A lot of shit going on in Cuba. There's natural disasters. It's a bankrupt economy, bankrupt economy. And people, you know, COVID was very disruptive, obviously everywhere, but they're especially, and they're short on workers and we've heard the stories about inventory and this and that and the other thing.

Maybe they're like, well, we can with, with our capacity right now, with what we can do. We need to make margin, we need to make some, some re some margin on this. And we can do that through a price increase. And that might mean lower volume. Yeah. [00:33:00] But we'll at least maintain some kind of revenue

**Gizmo:** and it may push 25% of the consumers out, which mm-hmm.

Yeah. Maybe they're

**Grinder:** okay with And that's

**Bam Bam:** fine. Yeah. Yeah. Because all, all of Asia continues to buy at a very high pace, regardless of

**Grinder:** the price at all of the world. And also guys, they have a, they have a international brand that is, they've got the, you know, the warm buffet moat around it. Like Cuban cigars are Cuban cigars, and it's a national company.

Like that's it, you know? And we're all smoking and loving Cuban cigars, and they have the ability to control the market like

**Bam Bam:** that. Yeah, and I don't think they're affected by the bankrupt economy. They're independent of that. I think in many

**Rooster:** ways they don't. Well, you guys were in Cuba not too long ago, right?

I mean, you saw. How many sticks are, are rolling, ready to be shipped. But they don't have the boxes or they don't

**Grinder:** have That's right. The don't have the paper. So that's part of, that's true. Bankrupt. Economy.

**Rooster:** Economy. Very good point. So they need money to do that. Yeah. I mean, they need money to ship it, but the, the factories had rollers.

**Gizmo:** They were Oh, sure. Full capacity. Full [00:34:00] capacity. They, they need, they need to pay the rollers and need, they need to pay the rollers. Well, yeah. Yeah. That's never gonna

**Rooster:** happen. They need to treat them well, and it's, and that's gonna improve the consistency of the cigars Sure. That are

**Gizmo:** being rolled and they

**Grinder:** need to keep making them.

Yeah. Because that's, that's the, that's the communist way. Right. Uh, and that's the socialist economy. They have to keep, they have to keep giving them money. They have to keep producing. Yeah. And therefore working.

**Gizmo:** Listen, I I, I, I'm at the point though where a regular production of a buso being, let's say 40% more than what you would pay for a patron or something else, put a dollar amount on.

Let's say it's a $30 D four N.

**Senator:** No, no. So this, it's crazy. I have very strong thoughts here. Your question was, at what point do we stop Yes. Buying Cubans, and I have like a very hard metric in mind on this. For me, Parus, D four s, like my favorite Cuban period, just every day, I, I can smoke a zillion of those.

That's our classic, that's like the benchmark for me. Whatever the price of a D four is, is gonna dictate kind of my [00:35:00] Cuban consumption. If a D four ever exceeds 25 US dollars, I'm out. You're out. That's cigar Young is not worth more than 25 bucks. To me, it's just not agree. I agree. So I, I pray. Well, you're not never a day that they get that crazy.

You're at 18 bucks now, right there, there's a hard limit. I'm not gonna spend $30 on a D four when I can spend half that for a Petron Xci or countless other new world cigars that I'm gonna have. , arguably as much of an enjoyable experience as that stick. Mm-hmm. , it's just not

**Gizmo:** worth it that way. Yeah, yeah.

You know, to your point, I mean a D four now is probably 20, 21 bucks from a reputable retailer, you're probably gonna be paying five to five 15 for a box of 25. Now think about, think about when we were buying those cigars in 19, dude, they were 215, 220 $5 a box. It's more than double doubled what you were paying two, two and a half years ago.

You also have to think of

**Rooster:** what's rest of the world paying

**Gizmo:** for a D four, which, yeah, with the tax

**Grinder:** other, [00:36:00] again, again,

**Bam Bam:** it's skewed, right? Asia Asia's

**Grinder:** driving all of

**Gizmo:** this, right? No, but he's, he's

**Senator:** talking about, he talking about, yeah, he's saying about tax, not the source of the problem. Like to Exactly rooster's point, I mean, just within the last few years, when I go to Europe, especially London, you go to a little newsstand that has like tubo D four s, which is awesome, Mike, how great is that magic?

Going to a new stand here and it's like, oh, here's the tubo, here's the D four . That'd be great. , but you walk up there, and I'm not kidding, I've had to pay like 30 something US dollars just for a little D four.

**Gizmo:** That was a few years and years ago now is probably in the forties. Yeah, that is madness. It's horrible.

And, and it's like, you know, Senator mentioned this several times in the past and it's making me think about it more and more. It's just, to me it's eliminating potential entrance into, uh, enjoying Cuban cigars. Sure. You know,

**Bam Bam:** we've

**Grinder:** talked about that. Yep. I wonder, um, what percentage of their cigars smoked per annum or distributed, actually end [00:37:00] up back in the United States?

That's a good question because, because they might have it, uh, a public view of like, well, like 90% of ours is going to Europe or whatever that number 40, whatever it is outside of the United States. But those, those companies are located. in those countries, and they can rightly say that that's who we sold it to and that it's finding its way back and like that's how we get our cigars.


**Gizmo:** A

**Rooster:** few years back, I read a number about nine to 10 million cigars come to the US per year, which is probably much higher during Covid. Yeah. You know, or after. Since Covid. Since Covid hit. So what's the number of cigars that are produced outta Cuba? Yearly? Any idea?

**Gizmo:** I'm assuming it's somewhere around 60, 70 million.

No, I'm, no, I'm sure. I'm assuming it's somewhere around 15 million. 15,

**Grinder:** so think about that.

**Gizmo:** No, it's probably closer to 20. It's probably closer to 20 million I would think at if they're, if they're grossing 500 [00:38:00] million bucks. Yeah. You know, what's the average price of a cigar? Even with the craziness, I'm assuming it's between 15 and 20 million.

Mm-hmm. .

**Grinder:** Okay. So again, even still a very compelling argument that most of their market is in the United States and we have a lot more. , other

**Senator:** substitutes.

**Gizmo:** I don't think that's true. Why? Because that number that he's talking about is not Cuban cigars. It's all cigars. No, not Cuban cigars. Cuban cigars. That's what you're saying.

There's 10 million Cuban cigars coming in every year. Yeah, that's, that's what I've heard. So that's

**Rooster:** what I'm saying. I think, I think Cuba produces more than 15 to 20 million per

**Bam Bam:** year. Well, let's go back to ido. What were they doing per

**Gizmo:** month, do you know? I think Elto produces around 2 million cigars a year.

Yeah, I thought a while. Corona producers A


**Bam Bam:** and a half for

**Gizmo:** ADO is what I thought. Corona produces about 8 million and that's the biggest by far. Yeah. So for the, for the year. For the year,

**Bam Bam:** I think you're looking closer to 15

**Gizmo:** million a year. That's what I'm saying. It's 15, 20 million, I think is the number

**Bam Bam:** now I, I am really loving the cigar.

Yeah, it's really good. It smelled

**Gizmo:** out nicely. It's really good. Yeah. I [00:39:00] t you know, it is smoking slowly. Oh. I mean, we're probably about 35 minutes in. I should have been, and yeah, I feel like I'm at halfway. Yeah. Yeah. Or even, even a little,

**Bam Bam:** you guys are all ahead of me actually. , which is unusual. I'm going very slow on this guy.

I'm enjoying it. I'm getting a beautiful barnyard, a still a tiny bit of potpourri fruit. Just a faint hint of that. But the barnyard, I'm loving.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, it's really good.

**Senator:** Very nice. I'm very happy. Oh yeah, we, we've talked a lot about Monte Christo as a brand and I think we reviewed the, um, the 1935 Malus. Yeah.

The Linea Malti. Yeah. And I think all of us smoked that cigar and said, wow, this is much better than we would've anticipated. Because I think the only Monty that we regularly smoke is like a Monty two, maybe a Monty four. Mm-hmm. . That's pretty

**Gizmo:** much it. I, I smoke some Monte once. Okay. That's right.

**Bam Bam:** Edmondo I have at home.

**Senator:** Yeah. Um, but among the brands, I mean, we smoke definitely more RAs obviously more RGUs. More upk. So Monty probably falls at like the back half of what we smoke. But when we [00:40:00] had that stick, we said some of the higher end mons, there's a lot of merit to them. Like the consistency issues that we have with Monty two s.

That's cigar. We smoked that, uh, Malus. We were really impressed. Yeah, this is a liata from Monty so far. I think everybody's enjoying this cigar. So I just, for me, this is b further building the case that these higher end mons are actually really solid cigars. Absolutely don't

**Gizmo:** disappoint. So the one thing I wanna say though, I want, I want to, I want to go back on our feelings on Montecristo.

What over, you know, almost a year and some, some odd months ago when we did that episode, that was really early on, you know, at that time we were smoking boxes from probably 17, 18, 19 to Monte twos. Yeah. And we, we were having some issues. Lemme tell you something. In 2022, I smoked a lot of Montecristo number twos and they were all good.

I didn't have a single issue. Right. With Monte Cristo. Number two, all good for me as well. So all I'm gonna say is that I [00:41:00] think that there's been a significant improvement through Covid in, in what Monte Cristo is, is producing and. I, you know, I remember saying on that episode, it's a sin that it costs this much money at the time.

Whatever that line in 1935 was, why does it cost this much money to get a high quality of experience out of a Monte Cristo? And I feel like since that time, I've actually had really good experiences with $18 Monte two twos in

**Bam Bam:** particular, the 18 and

**Gizmo:** nineteens are smoking great. And my twenties are great.

**Senator:** Mm. I mean, also to what you just said there, I mean, what a damn shame. You said this cigar started out retailing at 20 something bucks a stick. Yeah. This is worth every dollar at that price point. I wish I had this back then. I would've bought a box these, no question. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** I would buy a box of these today at $35.

I wouldn't spend it. I,

**Grinder:** I, I a hundred percent agree to your Monte Christo coming. I had a, I had two or three boxes of those and they were gone so fast. The Monte twos? Mm-hmm. , [00:42:00] yeah. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** From 20, yep.

**Grinder:** Oh man. They were, they, that was, that was

**Gizmo:** a great year. They, and they're, I think they're still on a heater.

I've had a couple 20 ones late. 20 ones. As Rob said, it's, it's a run. Yeah. . Yes. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Monica Cristos on a good run. And I mean, when, when Bam and I were at Laona, I mean that, that's obviously the, the home factory for, uh, Krystal Cigars. I got some Monte two s when I was there. Man, they're fantastic.

I had a young one there. Yeah. Fantastic. Fantastic. So, you know, unfortunately, like we're saying, I mean this, this $75, $80 cigar now that we're smoking, um, it's untouchable.

**Bam Bam:** It's, and

**Gizmo:** we're not gonna wanna pursue. Yeah. It's unfortunate that we're not gonna buy these and have these regularly, but it's, it's cuz it's a great cigar.

It is.

**Bam Bam:** I mean, the ash on this is structural. Look at that. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Wonderful. Yeah. You got a really nice burn line. Yeah. And it's fantastic.

**Bam Bam:** I touched it up twice. Hmm. Very slightly.

**Rooster:** It has mellowed off quite a bit though.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, but it's [00:43:00] still, I think it's got a tasty, but it's, and it still has body and it's tasty.

**Senator:** Yeah. Yeah. I have to say this on it mellowing out. So at some point I was chatting about something and I just kind of let left the cigar by the side and I wasn't really drawing for a while, and when I just let it sit and cool and then took a draw, I got this blast of flavor similar to kind of where this started in a way that when I was just regularly drawing on this cigar, it was starting to fizzle out a little bit.

Like you're talking about roosters, so I just wonder if this is one of those cigars that you just. Really, like, need extreme patience with mm-hmm. . Yeah. And it's worth the result. Cuz I think we love how this thing started out. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** yeah. Let's start all over. , we need, we need five more cigars. ,

**Grinder:** I mean, this, this is such a gift.

Thank you. It really is so much. Yeah, yeah. Like what a what a what a wonderful experience. It's

**Gizmo:** treat. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. He's a full-on lizard man and uh, very kind of him to send these. He just said, Hey, can I send you some cigars? I said, sure. You didn't tell me what. They were very generous and they showed up [00:44:00] and he actually sent five others that he asked us to wait on, cuz they're just not ready yet.

Ah. Um, may we ask what they are? Uh, they're pretty awesome, but we'll talk about that. I don't wanna, I don't wanna tease. We'll, I'll tell you guys after, but we'll probably do those later in the year. What

**Grinder:** an, what an amazing experience like having, you know, friends around the world that can send us cigars to taste.

Yeah. That's awesome. Amazing.

**Bam Bam:** The lizard reach

**Gizmo:** knows no bounds. So I got a good question for you guys because this is interesting to me. So, uh, Valentine's day's coming up next week. . And when I think about Valentine's Day, for me, it's not a cigar time. Uh, like I'm never able to get cigar time in, it's, I'm always focused on the bride.

Do you guys have that same experience or do you cut away and I'm not, you know, I'm not gonna ask Bruce to No, I was gonna say,

**Senator:** can I, can I tee up one lizard, lizard that we all aspire to, to be on Valentine's Day,

**Grinder:** honey? Hold on. I'm smoking a cigar ,

**Senator:** because there's a great story here. One of my favorite cigar lounges in Manhattan [00:45:00] on Valentine's Day.

Oh yeah, I think it was last year. Rooster sends me a

**Grinder:** text. Why, why don't you tell

**Gizmo:** the story, rooster? Yeah. This was, uh,

**Rooster:** the Merchants Club. I mean, you guys have all been there. So we happened to be in the city and it was Valentine's. They were walking around, uh, I think it was Brian Park. We were walking around.

So I'm like, honey,

**Gizmo:** it's early. It's about three, four o'clock. It's a little early

**Rooster:** for dinner. We don't eat dinner with this early. So I said, you know what? There's a spot. And merchants are, let's go over there. We're gonna, we can have a cigar. And she was like, mm,

**Gizmo:** I

**Rooster:** don't know. It's Valentine. I'm like, I will have a good

**Gizmo:** time.

**Grinder:** I wasn't asking, I was telling ,

**Rooster:** we end up there and they had just opened up after Covid. There was literally like the first night they had just opened up and, uh, I'd never been there. And we ended up there and, uh, we actually ended up eating dinner there and had two cigars. That's great. Wow.

**Grinder:** That's great.

That, that's, as they say, that is, uh, some dick game.

**Gizmo:** It was a great Valentine's Day. That's a dick game. Yeah, it

**Senator:** sounds like it. Can you imagine? I, I've loved this place. This was a legendary [00:46:00] cigar lounge in Manhattan that closed down, was closed for maybe four or five years, and then all of a sudden in the middle of Covid just reopened in a different location.

And I've been, I was dying to go back to this place and Rooster who hadn't been. On Valentine's Day sends me a photo and a text saying, I'm at merchants, and I'm saying, how

**Grinder:** are you possibly there on Valentine's Day? You

**Rooster:** know why? Because every day is Valentine's

**Gizmo:** Day too. Oh, here we go.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, here we go. You've got a lot of credit

**Grinder:** is what you're saying.

**Senator:** You, you'd have a great career in marketing. .

**Grinder:** You should cut more with Puba. Now

**Gizmo:** I don't have that same experience on Valentine's Day.

**Grinder:** I, I, my wife is, uh, uh, you know, we, we, we try to go to dinner if we can, but usually we're kind of inclined to say, let's pick another day and make that our own. Exactly. Go a week

**Gizmo:** before Yeah.

Or a week after.

**Grinder:** Exactly. And, and, uh, You know, and she, she's not, she's not super amped about the Valentine's Day thing. I get her [00:47:00] flowers in a car just because I love her. And that's, you know, I don't want her to

**Gizmo:** feel Yeah, it's a fucking Hallmark holiday. Yeah. You know,

**Senator:** it's a cigar holiday. .

**Rooster:** Yeah. Celebrate like a week before, a week early.

Same thing with Mother's Day. Father's Day. Don't go on that

**Grinder:** day. Why? I

**Senator:** don't know why. That's a, that's a little extreme restaurant. Yeah, that's a little, yes. Yeah, that's it.

**Gizmo:** I don't know about that

**Rooster:** because any restaurant you go to, they have limited menu. Uh, the service usually sucks, so why not?

**Senator:** Like, go couple of days.

I agree on Valentine's Day, but I don't know that I would go as far as Mother's Day and some of the

**Gizmo:** other holidays. Yeah. I'm not gonna tell my mom, like my 76 year old mother, like, Hey, we're gonna do Mother's Day. Hey mom, every day is Mother's Day. . We're gonna do Mother's Day a week. . I don't know if she'd go for that.

No. If you're

**Rooster:** having it at home, that's different. But going out to eat and stuff, I think it's kind of, I think it's

**Senator:** overrated. The thing, even with Valentine's Day, like you're saying all these holidays, the restaurants get crowded, the service suffers. The quality of food suffers. The whole experience suffers.

But the thing that I have the [00:48:00] hardest time with Valentine's Day compared to those other holidays, it's even the people in the restaurant. Yeah, yeah. Like Mother's Day, you know, if you're going out to a brunch somewhere, or dinner or whatever the case may be, it's like everyone's there to celebrate their mother.

and just the intentions are really nice. And I, I haven't encountered really obnoxious guests in a restaurant on a day like that. It's the best. They're so warm, it's wonderful. But you go on Valentine's Day and you know, all of us are sitting here, we're married, like, okay. It's one thing we go out to dinner.

You have like couples that are on like their first few dates and one's clearly unhappy. You're like looking around the room and some of these people mm-hmm. are on their phone. The whole me, like just the scene for me is just awful. Yeah. I don't, you're right.

**Gizmo:** Don't wanna be around here. I mean, you're a hundred percent right.

I gotta, I gotta take my mom to merchants next . See how that comes. We're gonna send a camera

**Senator:** crew and do a, I'm gonna come celebrate your mom.

**Grinder:** Absolutely.

**Gizmo:** So let's, uh, let's, let's do a contrast on, uh, [00:49:00] uh, rooster's Dick Game. Our friend over here, as you guys may have seen on the group chat, Oh. Has a new addition to the family.

Right. Ooh. Well, tell us about that, Brewster. Oh, we got a kitten. . I remember you saying we were sitting on your deck and you disputed this.

**Rooster:** Yeah. Now that I think about it, I think I'm, I'm more of a dog guy, you

**Gizmo:** know? I like, I like dog. Cats are so easy though. That is true. The cat cats, you don't have to let them out.

Like they do their own thing. They kind of want to be around. You kind of don't,

**Rooster:** you know? Well, you know what, when I, when, uh, Jill and I got married, she had a cat and she had it for 18 years. Wow. So I kind of got like the, the last few years of the cat's life. And she was, you know, it was, she was a senior cat.

So with this one, like, I mean, she's a kit and she's so playful. That's awesome. She's adorable. She just runs around here and there, you know, does, does things. I haven't really seen that. Right. So I'm [00:50:00] really enjoying her.

**Gizmo:** That's awesome, kit. So did you rescue her? Were you picked her up at a shelter. Wow, that's great.


**Rooster:** That's great. Already. Um, you know, I had all the shots was sped and all

**Gizmo:** that. Awesome. And, uh, keep

**Bam Bam:** the, um, raccoons

**Grinder:** away. . Yeah. I was

**Senator:** gonna say, how, how are the cats raccoon killer, uh, instincts. You gotta train

**Grinder:** that cat.

**Gizmo:** Gotta train that cat. Right now. She's eyeing the squirrels and the birds.

Excellent. Okay. Yeah, like my. .

**Grinder:** Yeah. . I, my dog loves the squirrels and the birds and he loves to sit on top of couches and drink milk. He's like

**Gizmo:** a cat. Milk . Yeah. I mean, you guys, a couple of you guys have

**Rooster:** cats. You don't let them out, right? I mean, they're not

**Gizmo:** outdoor cats. When I, when I was growing up, I grew up in Pennsylvania and, uh, the cats that we had were outdoor cats.

Cause my parents had five acres and the cats just loved to be outside. You know, you'd bring 'em in when it was cold or you'd bring 'em in at night. Mm-hmm. But the, the first thing in the morning, they want to get outside and, and stay out. I'm just roam out. They loved it. How many dead birds have they bring in the, A lot.

A lot. There were a lot of gifts. .

**Senator:** Oh [00:51:00] yeah. And they, they truly treat them as gifts. So funny. My mother-in-law had very similar setup with, uh, grew up with cats. They were outdoor cats. And as a gift, they kill a bird. And one day my mother-in-law told me this story. She walks in her bedroom as a child and on her pillow.

Is a dead bird that the cat brought as a gift right on the bed. And she's like,

**Grinder:** you gotta be kidding. That's awesome. I love that. That's, it's amazing. I think I want a cat now. ,

**Gizmo:** I, I'll be honest, I love cats, man. I, I always have, I'm a big dog guy too, you know. Bam. And I were in Cuba. Oh dude. And, uh, cats everywhere.

And it's so sad because they're just, you know, Cuban people are having, they're di difficulty feeding themselves and their starving children. Nevertheless, feeding Cuban cats, you know,

**Senator:** stray cats. I'll tell you a funny story. Covid was actually very good for cats in countries where there are tons of strays.

When I was in Greece, uh, recently on a vacation, um, there's cats all over the place, roaming everywhere. And you know, we have a cat. So of course like every day [00:52:00] my wife like, we have to first go get like tuna. All this stuff we're like feeding like nations of cats. was, that's ridiculous. He's the Senator

And the funny thing is, I'm talking to a friend of mine who actually lived in Greece for a few months and uh, he was telling me he's like the funniest thing. All of a sudden in Greece, you would walk down the streets in the middle of Covid when the pandemic was. And there were suddenly not that many strays.

It's like, where did they all go? Apparently the lockdown was so intense in Greece that the only way you can leave your house after like five o'clock is if you had to walk a pet. So everyone just went out and adopted a cat and then they said they had to walk the cat. Walk the cat. That's how they were.

That's amazing. Those cats found home is because of Covid. It was actually amazing.

**Grinder:** Did they put the cats on leashes? It's some, yeah. I love that. That's amazing. It's. You know, , it's fucked up, but I I love that.

**Gizmo:** You know, bam. And I, so, uh, when we were in Cuba, we, we would go, uh, and have breakfast at this place right near our, uh, [00:53:00] mm-hmm.

our casa. And, uh, it was a great place to have breakfast. They, they had the best bread. The eggs were great. Oh, and the eggs were great too, that it was phenomenal. But there was this cat that was always hanging around a few of the tables, and we were watching, there was another guy, I think it was a European guy, remember this.

The guy was sitting there by himself, and he put his jacket and his bag down. The

**Grinder:** cat was like almost in the bag.

**Gizmo:** The cat, the cat had gotten to the point and just this guy eating his breakfast, that it had declared ownership, not only of of him, but also of his belongings and had made a full on. in his coat and his bag.

It was true that were it

**Senator:** was very adorable. Yeah. Yeah. That, that's how they get you and that's how you end up adopting a cat. That's how you have a cat. Yeah. We, we walked into a cat cafe, which is apparently a thing that's a big thing. Oh boy. They have this in a bunch of cities. We were living in DC at the time, and, uh, we like had this, this guy like crate little carrier for a cat.

We were gonna adopt one and the cat that we were planning to adopt without any prompt. And we just walk in, like the carriers down, we're just discussing the adoption. All of a sudden he just roams [00:54:00] straight in the carrier. He is like, I'm going with you guys. And that was it. We took a both.

**Gizmo:** That's amazing.

I love that. And you got, so how, how do you, oh, go ahead. Sorry. Uh, sorry. How do you,

**Grinder:** like, how has a cat become an indoor cat versus an outdoor. because I want an outdoor cat. This sounds awesome. Like the gifts and like him going hunt him or her going hunting and that seems pretty good.

**Rooster:** You kinda have to be careful like

**Gizmo:** where we live because of here is different.

All the fox, you know, there's foxes around coyotes and stuff. We have

**Senator:** also, it's like if you live by a busy street, it's like they can get hit by cars.

**Gizmo:** So where, where we grew up grinder, it was different because the animal population out there, there's not really foxes and coyotes and stuff where we grew up.

So we never had an issue with cats getting picked off. But where we live in North Jersey, you know there's some pretty rural, you know, uh, areas of North Jersey here and I know several families that have lost. Five, six cats because the cats get out and that's the end of it. Yeah. Even, even puppies. Puppies small.

Of course. It's really, yeah, it's, it's difficult here, but I mean [00:55:00] really it, if the cat has claws, which declawing a cat is pretty, uh, yeah. Pretty frowned upon now. But, um, if the cat has claw, of course, I mean they'll do all right. Oh yeah, they'll do around outside their instincts. Kick in. I learned that the

**Senator:** hard way.

I'm declawing. Oh, really? So random story. So we're, we're sign, we're filling out all the paperwork to adopt our cat. And one of the questions on there. Now mind you, I have never had a cat before. Uh, the one we have now, one of the questions on there is, do you plan to declaw the cat? And they're very militant about this whole thing, which is good.

Like they want to do like a home visit, all this crazy stuff, Mike, God, like there's so many cats that need homes. give 'em to, people are willing to adopt them. But anyway, it's, it's better that way. So one of the questions, do you plan to declaw the cat? Now I'm reading this, I'm like, we've got nice furniture.

I don't want the cat scratches. Of course I'm gonna have the cat declaw, so I just check the box. Yes. , and I, for some reason that night, I like send the paperwork off for some reason. I just that I'm like, why would they care if we're gonna declaw the cat? So I Google this [00:56:00] Google, oh yeah. And the first thing I see, No rescue will allow you to adopt a cat if you plant to declaw them.

It's inhumane. And then I'm reading what they actually do. I assumed it's just like they like pull out the claws or it's pretty serious. They basically like cut a half their fingers. Oh. Like for human finger, like off. Oh, it's horrible. So I'm reading this, I'm like, oh shit, we're not gonna get this cat. So I emailed back and I just said to the pr I'm like, I just realized, um, you know, I mis checked that box.

Of course we're not gonna declaw the cat. And then the person responds like, we figured it was hopefully a mistake. . And luckily we have our cat now, but I learned the hard way. Yeah. Your cat's a legend, by the way. Well,

**Bam Bam:** his cat, well his cat has an actor's name. Yes. Walter. Walter. Walter .

**Grinder:** Why? Whoa. Whoa.

**Bam Bam:** What?

Yeah. Yeah. Walter drives trucks. , he he gathers

**Gizmo:** firewood. What commercial? What commercial was that? I think it's Chevy. Chevy. That's why it's Chevy's. Walter the cat.

**Senator:** So my, my cat for the listener looks similar to Walter, the cat that's said the Chevy like pickup commercial. That's a stage name. And especially while they're similars, even their demeanor.

The reason [00:57:00] not being a cat person, um, it was very easy to, to adopt our cat. He's extremely dog-like He's a dog. He is. Yeah. Like he will sit on command. He will high five. He is the life of the party. We could have 50 people in our house. He wants to meet every single person. Yep. Most cats would like run under the bed.

If you had 50 people making a ton of noise, they'd be terrified. It'd be

**Gizmo:** complete opposite. My cat hates my wife, . What lives in the house? If my wife like, I could do whatever I want to the cat, I could pick it up. Pet or whoever. If my wife walks in the room, the cat's gone. Does your dog get along with the cat?

The, well, the dog gets along with the cat. The cat does not get along with the dog. . Oh boy.

**Bam Bam:** Are there wars?

**Gizmo:** Uh, no, not wars, but the cat just kind of, kind of bats him a few times. Now

**Bam Bam:** we know. We know Walter has his own bedroom. Yes. Will your cat get its own bedroom? No, my cat

**Gizmo:** does not have its own ster, no. Oh, I don't know.

If not yet. No.

**Senator:** Yes. This, just for the record, this is out of necessity. Oh, oh, oh, okay. So no, very seriously. [00:58:00] So, I mean, when I mentioned I have a Doglike cat, like he's so active. Like to, honestly, he was surrendered. We asked the shelter why he was surrendered. They said because he was too active. And the problem is like he, he loves to play.

And at night, what we discovered the hard way is if we just left him out, which is what most cats do, they just sleep freely wherever they want in the house at night. . We tried this and he would run into our bed. He'd start batting our head. He wanted to play in the middle of the night. We're like, mm-hmm , we're trying to sleep.

Yeah. So then we closed the door. We're like, okay, easy solution. Just close the bedroom door. He will hurl his body, against the door. At

**Grinder:** the door throughout

**Senator:** the whole night. You're just

**Grinder:** hearing, boom.

**Gizmo:** Don't forget when we were sitting on Senator's deck that night, oh, he was

**Grinder:** crawling. We were all there. He was jumping off the couch into the glass after you.

He just wanted to be after. You know what's funny? We've been talking about your your cat for a long time, and I've never heard this story and I'm loving this . So the funny thing is

**Senator:** like this keeps happening and we can't sleep. Like we're sitting there [00:59:00] like, oh my God. Like we love this cat. We don't wanna give him back, but we can't sleep.

He just will not sleep. So we're Googling how to possibly deal with this, how make a cat sleep Pretty much. And thank God some forum. This genius person said, if you just put the cat overnight in a confined space, a room by itself. , it'll just knock out the whole night and you won't have that problem. So, uh, what we did is now in our house, he ridiculously has a bedroom, , and he literally goes in there at night.

We give him like a little night snack and he'll just, we close the door. He just knocks out all eight hours, nine hours. Then he is up in the morning. But if we let him out, like sometimes I remember my wife and I, we'd have a little too much to drink at dinner. We would just, oh, we'll just leave him out tonight.

It won't be so bad and torture. And we the worst nights of sleep of our lives. So it's Adam necessity. You should try cognac, .

**Gizmo:** Just put a little, put little Hennessy in the bowl instead of milk at night. That's right.

**Rooster:** Have you heard of a thing called Zumi?

**Gizmo:** [01:00:00] Oh yeah. It's real. That's

**Grinder:** real. Oh yeah. They just start going crazy.

Cats and dogs. Oh, mine.

**Gizmo:** Dogs. Dogs

**Bam Bam:** too. Those dogs. Dogs, those doodle combos are famous for

**Gizmo:** really any dog. What they'll do at the end of the night is they'll kind of just wanna burn off their energy. Yep. And you'll, they'll just wake up and just go bonkers. Yeah. We call it the

**Grinder:** witching hour. . Yeah. So we have two witching hours in our house, and oddly enough, My daughter and my dog are on the same fucking schedule.


**Gizmo:** for, for the

**Grinder:** zoomies, for Zoomies, for chaos, for everything, for, for naps. So like, there's never like a balance where like we can have, oh, one is napping and then one is is on. It's just full of octane. They're both added at the same time. , because like he, he hears her wake up and he is like, oh, let me play.

And he wants to like, be with her and he wants to be with me and he wants to be with the baby. And I'm with the baby and it's just like a, it's, it's a, it's amazing. It's a wonderful, it's awesome. Yeah. Cycle, but it's also chaotic.

**Gizmo:** There's, I love, I love pets, man. Yeah. Actually, BA bam [01:01:00] was making fun of me in Cuba cuz I, I would see dogs and cats and poor things.

I just kept saying poor things, poor things. . Oh god. Poor things. Poor dogs. It's true. It bums me out. Yeah. Yeah. I wanna take 'em all home. Like a a say you didn't

**Rooster:** care about the people, but more about the

**Gizmo:** cats really. And cats. Really?

**Grinder:** Really? Oh boy. Poor. I was gonna say it as well, but he beat me to the punch

**Gizmo:** Oh, we were, we tried to be as generous as we could. Absolutely. You guys brought a lot of gift. Yeah, we, yeah, we did a lot of good stuff.

**Grinder:** Yeah. I mean that's, yeah, that

**Gizmo:** was amazing. That's why it's fun. So boys, we're coming into the last third here of the Monte Christo Primos. What do you think of it? I'm enjoying it.

There's two factors that I, I I, the draw is definitely, I wish it wasn't as packed as it is really. I, I wish I had, my draw was a little bit better. Mm-hmm. Um, I don't know if the saliva, you know, on the, on the head of the cigar is You've got down pretty far though. I'm getting there. I'm really, but to answer your question, Given all that, I'm really enjoying it.

Yeah, I think the flavor is fantastic. Um, so far I'm, you know, we'll see how the [01:02:00] last third does here, but

**Rooster:** yeah, so if it was a medium full in the, be in the beginning, now it's kind of medium.

**Gizmo:** I don't know

**Senator:** about that. Yeah, I'll say this, not that full to me. I'm beginning of, I'm a head of rooster. Yeah. Uh, maybe you are.

I'm not sure. Bam, but I agree with you about the middle of the cigar. I think it starts medium full then. I think it's firmly medium, and I was expecting it to stay there. But honestly, this last, I

**Grinder:** agree. This last third is, is amazing. It's

**Senator:** ramping up, it's like dark chocolate and it's ramping up to some of those new world flavors again.

I'll, I'm getting pepper

**Grinder:** again. I'm getting some more


**Bam Bam:** It's the ac it's an accurate statement that it's getting back into those new world profiles right now. Yeah. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** I feel like there's a little twang to it too, just as I


**Rooster:** as a little twang to it. I'm, I'm trying to, I'm getting that

**Bam Bam:** absolutely.

Again, um, hallmark of a complex

**Gizmo:** cigar. Really? Yeah. This is really interesting. Amazing. , you know, and of course it makes me say like, oh, I want to chase, you know, ELs I want to, you know, get more of these. But no, it's just like, I'm, I'm not gonna do it. [01:03:00] No, I'm not gonna do it. It's very few

**Rooster:** ELs at that price, kind of, you know, stand up

**Gizmo:** to like this.


**Rooster:** el Yeah. Like what, what an

**Gizmo:** EL should be. Yeah. Very few.


**Grinder:** has done it so far. The, the aroma is still amazing.

**Gizmo:** It's, yeah, it's so complex in the nose, the aroma, like the, you know, like just burn, just smell the burn line where we're at here at this, this point in this bar, would you, would you pay, you know what it's going for now?

**Senator:** No, I would, no, but I, I wouldn't for almost any Cuban, no, I wouldn't spend $80 on almost any Cuban. Right. It, it,

**Gizmo:** no. I would pay 35, 40 bucks for this. Not even for a grand

**Grinder:** reserve. Yeah. Not, I wouldn't even think a second for $35. Agreed. Yeah. But not

**Gizmo:** on Valentine's

**Rooster:** Day

**Gizmo:** 30 merchants. I would pay $35. I would pay 35 or 40 bucks for this. Yeah. And smoke it twice a year. I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't buy a box. Yeah.

**Senator:** Like a fiver. Oh. In the twenties I'd buy boxes. Oh, dude.

**Grinder:** Absolutely

**Bam Bam:** floral.

**Gizmo:** Oh yeah. And you know, [01:04:00] like, kind of like that Ramon box that you have. The green really nice presentation.

Um, Cedar box. Th they, this is very similar. It's, it's bright mono. Cristo yellow. Yeah. Really nice presentation's. Very, it's not like a dress box or, or it's like a really nice presentation. It is very cool. Anything else, you know? Yeah. But yeah, it's just expensive. And that's all it comes in. It only comes in 25 count boxes.

Yeah. Oh, it's 25. Yeah, it's a 25 count box. Yeah. And that's all that comes in.

**Senator:** What, so I uh, maybe Rooster, one of you guys knows the answer to this. I've only had a, a, I can probably count on my hands the number of ELs I've had. Do they usually come in a 25 count? Because my Ramones come in a 10 count, I assume?

Yeah, it's usually usually


**Gizmo:** 10. That's what I thought. Usually a 10. It's really bizarre. Yeah. Wow. Yeah, these came in a 25 and I think the C Doris, do those come in 20 fives or tens? I don't remember what we, when we talked about those. I can look right now. Um, these are certainly 20 fives. While you're

**Bam Bam:** looking for that, the, um, the

**Gizmo:** [01:05:00] Ramone

**Rooster:** is a 10 count.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I just said it's 10, or excuse me, not the Ramone. I'm, I meant the, uh, qd. The qd. The K Dorsey. Yeah. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** The Hennessy were drinking. It's, the pairing is just, it's just continuing to be very

**Gizmo:** good. Yeah, it's very good. Very, very good. And I think as it opened up, it, it's, it's, yeah, as it sat in the wine glass, agreed.

You know, and by the way, I got a question for you guys. Why are we drinking this out

**Grinder:** of a wine

**Senator:** glass? Okay. I I'm glad you brought this up. So what do you drink it out of? I'm glad you brought this up. So I, I just had this revelation recently. I love stemware. Just generally, it's like ridiculous to say that we know, but in my, your cat has,

**Gizmo:** your cat has its own bedroom.

I mean,

**Senator:** we have, we have. It's on, it's on brand.

**Grinder:** It's on brand. Hey, wait, wait. As, as Walter, Walter has his own stemware. It tracks. It tracks, it tracks. It's in your

**Senator:** brand. In my house, you know, we have, we have champagne coops, which is my preferred way to drink champagne over flutes. But we also have champagne flutes.

We have red wine glasses, white wine glasses. I don't think you should drink them from the same type of glass. What, what the [01:06:00] fuck is the coops about? That coop coop

**Gizmo:** you drank out of it when you It's a car that, uh, it's a car. It's a little car two. A coop. What's that? I've never heard of. It's Jesus. It's like it's got a stem and it's like, it's

**Grinder:** like a ball.


**Senator:** like holding a ball sack. Yeah. It's like what? Like in like the Jesus, like the roaring. That's very

**Gizmo:** on brand for bam. .

**Grinder:** No, .

**Senator:** If you've gotten like a nice cocktail, they'll put them in a coop glass a lot of the time too. I know you're saying. So I've had it. Yeah, no doubt. I mean, you've had it at my place at minimum, and I'm sure other places.

Okay. Um, but red wine, white wine, um, uh, port glasses. I mean, I like, I thought it was a little obviously scotch glasses. I thought. It's a little silly how much stemware exists, but I've come to appreciate that there's truly a purpose for every single glass that's made My most recent revelation of this becoming a dad beer months ago and starting to drink beer.

Yeah, yeah. Regularly for the first time in since my college days. Mm-hmm. And I just remember, I was like, you know, I'm drinking [01:07:00] enough beer at this point. I should probably get beer glasses. Yeah. I gotta say C Creighton Barrel has these beautiful, beautiful, love Creighton Barrel cran barrel's. Oh God. It's impossible not to spend money in that place.

They have what? These beautiful like pilsner glasses. Nice. Exquisite. And I bought these and I just, I pour in it a yingling. A very simple but great beer. Awesome beer, not an expensive beer in this glass. And it looks like a million dollars. Wow. Yeah. It just totally transformed the experience. And then recently through this, you know, through our podcast as we're sampling a lot more cognac, um, starting to develop so much of an appreciation for cognac that now I'm reaching for like Remi regularly.


**Gizmo:** We're drinking just for the listener. We're drinking as a group. We're drinking a lot of 1738.

**Senator:** It's

**Grinder:** so good, dude. It is. It is like nectar.

**Senator:** Oh my God. For 60

**Gizmo:** bucks. Fantastic. I can't, I can't get enough of that bottle.

**Senator:** Amazing. And so I was drinking enough and I said, all right, I need to now have [01:08:00] sniffers, a cognac glass.

And one of the things I will say that's really disappointing, and I think it's because cognac doesn't have the same market that whiskeys do or plenty of other spirits. Um, it's really hard to find good cognac glasses. Good sniffers. I went through hell and high water to find stuff.

**Rooster:** Can you use a brandy sniffer

**Senator:** glass?

Yeah. But, but same difference. Same thing. Yeah. And even though I'm telling you, it's got big bowl. Big bowl, it's got a short little stem, so, and a beautiful big bowl. Yeah. So that you can just put your nose in there like a wine glass and just get the incredible rich aroma that comes from such a like concentrated, flavorful spirit, like cognac, especially heavily aged cognac.

And I tried everything. I mean, I'm like C Creighton Barrel, that's my favorite store to buy stuff from. Sniffers are a complete joke. Yeah. Mm-hmm. , they're tiny, little skinny glasses. They're supposed to have like a wide bowl, right? So you can really get the nose. The only place I was able to find nice ones, it was, uh, [01:09:00] Bloomingdale's actually had, um, and so I have those now, but at our lounge here to its credit, it's got tons of stem wear martini glasses, wine glasses.

Yeah. You know, high ball, scotch, everything you could possibly want. And the only thing they don't have, understandably, is a cognac sniffer. And when we were gonna have this xo, I'm sitting there saying to myself, we have to drink this out of a, a, a somewhat proper glass and a scotch glass. I don't think, does this justice,

**Gizmo:** is it because of the nose?

Is it because of how it opens up? What is it? There's, there's

**Grinder:** a lot of reasons why it, so going back to the, the initial analogy, my, I worked as a, uh, In the food service industry for a while. Uh, and I was a barback and then I was a bus boy, and then I was a waiter and I was actually bartending a little bit, but I did it at a, at a place called, it was a bear area, and they, they sold a mass amount of beers.

Mm-hmm. And that's what they were [01:10:00] known for. Like, they had so many different kinds of beers. And accordingly, they had hundreds of different kinds of stem. , well, not hundreds. That's crazy. a, a large amount of stem wear for me. I'm like, just give me a beer glass. Just gimme a standard pint glass. Right? No. If you're getting a duvel, you need to put it in this big sniffer.

If you're getting a stout, you need to put it in this kind of sniffer. If you're getting a pilsner, here's this oddly shaped one for, for only check beers, that that has an, a weird kind of bulge in the middle, but then really narrow on the end and you have to use that one. And if you have an American logger is, this is crazy.

No. Yeah, I'm dead serious. It makes sense though. No, I, I

**Gizmo:** mean, I, I would've never thought. Yeah,

**Grinder:** and you know what? It really does elevate the flavor in a way that, because there's different flavor profiles that come through the effervescence of the carbonation at sif at different points [01:11:00] in the glass. And because of that, when you sip it, There's certain parts of the beer that are tempered and it's like a, you're gonna get, you know how a chef does a, does a different courses and he, he takes you on a journey.

Yeah. The stemware can do that for you. Wow.

**Senator:** With the different Grindr is spot on here. Excellent. And this is why when I mentioned champagne glasses earlier, I mean, you'll remember I, I search champagne in in coops. Yeah. And it was poo. I remember he just, he takes a sip and he goes, where did you get these glasses?

Like immediately. Mm-hmm. . He's like, I want to drink champagne. Only coups after being at my place. Yeah. And the thing is the problem, I don't know who invented the champagne flute. It's just so stupid. You don't get the nos of the champagne at No, it's too narrow. Too narrow. Yes. Way too narrow. It just completely restricts its ability to open up.

So you get that effervescence, that grindr's talking about in a coop glass with the, the wide nature of it. You get that Actually, I.

**Grinder:** I think I, I certainly remember at your house now you don't remember. And I also, [01:12:00] that's the, that's the .

**Bam Bam:** That was a rough night, by the way, from that night. Oh

**Gizmo:** yeah. That was the famous for the listener.

That was the famous sink night. Yes. That was the

**Grinder:** sick night. We'll, that go, that's similar to the kind of glasses they give you on airlines. No, no,

**Senator:** no. Am I wrong? I mean, I wanna fly that airline if they are, but I haven't seen that. No, it's not on Americans. United,

**Gizmo:** United

**Grinder:** baby. Yeah. United has,

**Senator:** I would pay to see a coop glass on a United flight war.

They wouldn't even know what a coop glass is. So here's,

**Gizmo:** uh, so I'm taking two things out of this. So, number one, the glass is changing how the, the alcohol is able to open up or breathe. Bingo. And then the second component is your noses ability to participate mm-hmm. in the sipping of the alcohol. Do I have that correct?

That's exactly right. Right. Okay. So it's two different things that are happening in each of these. Even with this,

**Bam Bam:** with this wine glass that may not be appropriate for this particular spirit, but it's as close to it as you, you're able to get a beautiful nose on that as you're taking a sip. [01:13:00] It's,

**Gizmo:** it's pretty outstanding what you wouldn't get in, you're saying in a, in a whiskey glass.

Yeah. Yeah.

**Senator:** It's even just the rounded nature of the glass. Mm-hmm. , like when you swirl the spirit. Yeah. If this were not round and this were like a, a cylinder, like a a, a rocks, you know, scotch glass that you're gonna have, it just doesn't allow it to swirl Yeah. Up the sides in the same way that just gets close to your nose and you're able to just have the same sensory experience.

Yeah. As a glass like this, I, it's also, it,

**Grinder:** it, it's very particular. Right. And similar to wine, similar to to beer, there's different elements of how they're brewed or how they're, uh, aged or, you know, uh, distilled or whatever that come to life when they're in a different vessel and deli. We, in my business, we always say, delivery is, is the key cuz you can have, you can have a great piece of work and you can do a great job.

And if it's not delivered in the right way, [01:14:00] it could fall flat. Yeah, that's right. And uh, the stem, you know, I don't think it's, I don't think it's, uh, it's bizarre to, to have a fascination with, with stemware because it's, it truly does elevate. Yeah. You know, the right

**Senator:** stemware really does, does play mount

**Rooster:** lizard?

**Gizmo:** Stemware. ,

**Grinder:** is it in the

**Senator:** works? I'll say this, whether or not we put stemware up on the, the lizard merch. I just strongly recommend and challenge any listener, whatever your favorite drink is. If it's beer, if it's scotch, if it's cognac, you name it. Buy a glass designed for that drink and I please write us. I would be stunned if you do not experience, if you do not enhance your experience drinking that Elevate, elevate Senator, just based on the stemware that you're enjoying it in.

Hmm. I, I,

**Grinder:** uh, a thousand percent agree.

**Gizmo:** Hmm. I learned something tonight. Me too. Yeah. Wow. Stem war. And also

**Senator:** just when you're having a simple night at home, it's like, you know how many [01:15:00] times I crack open a bottle of beer and I say like, oh, I'll just drink it outta the bottle. And then I say, no, no, wait a minute.

I go get one of those beautiful pilsner glass, and I pour it in and it's like, I'm just transported to like a nice restaurant or something. Like, it just, yeah. You know, it changes everything. Honestly.

**Grinder:** A

**Bam Bam:** trip to Creon barrels, I think, in order . Oh yeah. That makes so lot

**Gizmo:** of sense. Yeah. Can you get, can you get me some stemware?

Yeah. .

**Rooster:** William Sonoma also

**Gizmo:** is

**Grinder:** a great source. Yes. I'm in the market for overpriced sofas and, and, uh, sectionals now, so I can't wait to . Thank you for, for, for you

**Rooster:** on the scene in red, in red wine, like you were talking red and white, you know, for glasses, but in red wine, they, you can go even deeper into like boles and

**Senator:** Cabernets.

You can now. I'll just be honest. As much as I'm militant about tradition and all this stuff, I think it's a little overkill to be. Completely honest, within red wine. I mean, they've got a red wine glass for everything. A cab glass, a burgundy glass, a pinot glass. I mean, a burgundy and a Pinot are the [01:16:00] same fucking thing, but yet French burgundy should be drank outta one glass and American or some other country's pinot should be out of another.

It's the same grape, you know? I mean, it's crazy. So

**Grinder:** Senator, I have a, I have an Italian friend, um, and he's, he's from, he's, he's Italian. He's from Italy, and he, um, he came over and the, the, one of the, the things that I said, what was like, what was shocking for you when you came over to America, he said, well, the thing that was shocking for me is that in Italy we drink wine with a, a lot of our meals, right?

We always have wine to have to have with our meals. And that wine is table wine. It's nothing special. It's just what we, we always drink it. It's just table wine and we put it in this little simple, . It's not a, it's not a stem wear usually. Flat bottom, flat bottom glass. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It looks like, you know, it's just a very simple small glass.

It's a drinking glass. He said, you guys get, you guys get so sophisticated with your wine. And he said, we just, we just drink what we have. And it's, and it's simple and it's not, we don't, we [01:17:00] don't pair. It's always the same wine. And it's, and it's, and it's, it's about the Yeah. I'm, my point is that there's a, the enjoyment of that kind of spirit is so ubiquitous that you can't, you can't delimit, you can't delimit the amount of enjoyment people have just by changing the stem wear.

They're always gonna love that spirit. Oh,

**Senator:** totally. I mean, I'd still enjoy this cognac if it weren't anything. It definitely adds that extra touch for sure. Yeah. Yeah. That just caps an amazing, amazing experience.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. I think it makes it

**Gizmo:** special. Yeah,


**Rooster:** does. Yeah. The Italians have a lot to learn from us.

**Gizmo:** Oh, yeah. , how

**Grinder:** to drink wine . Yeah. We can teach them a lot. Use

**Gizmo:** Proper St. Mondavi.

**Rooster:** You could

**Grinder:** teach . He'll be he'll. He'll he'll do a, a Ted Talk

**Gizmo:** Well, I'm, I'm very happy with this pairing and, and I'm, you know, a lot of the time when we, when we record, [01:18:00] I, I feel like I have a sense of where the ratings are gonna end up. I really, tonight, I have no idea where both of these are gonna line up. I'm Oh, I know. I'm really, really curious. Kind of have an idea.

I'm really curious where these are gonna line up. I, I don't have a sense. It's gonna line up where all the

**Rooster:** other, the averages .

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah, exactly. No, I'm, I'm very curious to see how this goes.

**Rooster:** I can tell you in this room what everybody's gonna rate. Le

**Grinder:** I, I think we should do, are we gonna taint

**Bam Bam:** ratings now?

Is that right?

**Gizmo:** No. All right. So we're coming into the end of this thing. Boys. Any, uh, final comments before we, uh, start to do our ratings? I think I

**Rooster:** agree with the, uh, consensus in the room about the way the cigar started and the way it ended is very similar. Mm-hmm. The middle to me was a little, you know, it fizzled off a bit.

Do you, but it did pick up a strength, not quite up to the same level as the very beginning. Yeah. But it did pick up.

**Gizmo:** Do you, do you guys feel that this is, um, you know, we've talked about [01:19:00] how the last third of the cigars, often, especially in new worlds, I mean obviously we're smoking a Cuban, but in new worlds, often the last third of the cigar is the weakest.

Yeah. This, to me as, to, to, to Rooster's Point, has made a turnaround back to. Really being enjoyable in the last third. Um, it has, you know, I feel like Cubans are unique in that way, where a, a lot of the time the last third of the Cuban is, is does deliver. Oh, it does. Where a lot of the times the, the new world's a percent agree.

You know, I'm curious what makes that happen. I guess it's just a blend thing, or the tobacco, or how it reacts when it heats

**Senator:** up. But we talk about, you know, how many Axis Cigar has, and this is, I think, definitely a three act plan. Absolutely. Absolutely.

**Gizmo:** So you guys ready to, uh, do the formal liquor rating?

Mm-hmm. on the Hennessy xo. All right. I can guess where that this is gonna go. So,

**Grinder:** I'm, I'm actually curious, is this like a rating for cognacs or a rating for everything like this

**Gizmo:** rating of your experience tonight [01:20:00] with this specific cognac? I'm aligned.

**Grinder:** All right. Bam. Bam. You're

**Bam Bam:** up. I'm going with a nine, nine

**Gizmo:** grinder.

Nine Senator.

**Senator:** So I'm between in a nine and a 10.

**Grinder:** I was actually con between a nine and a 10. I'm there too. Yeah, I thought you

**Gizmo:** guys would be at a 10.

**Senator:** I, I, yeah. But here's the thing. So I mean, this is the beauty of this podcast. We have reviewed another XO and it was the Remy Martin xo, and I can't help but compare.

I mean, it's class, it's competitive set is, or XO cognacs. I have to give that Remi xo the edge over this. Agreed. Hundred

**Gizmo:** percent. 100%.

**Senator:** 1000%. Hundred percent. This outstanding. There's no doubt about it. This is a top-notch premium cognac. But I would definitely reach for the Remi XO over this. And so that I gave a 10 this, I'm gonna have to give a nine.


**Gizmo:** I, he said exactly what I was gonna say. It's very fair. It's very, very close. But the Remy just gives me a little [01:21:00] bit more enjoyment or pleasure than, than this Hennessy does. Go ahead. What's the cost

**Bam Bam:** difference between the two? I don't remember.

**Grinder:** I think they're pretty close.

**Senator:** They're all around the same.

Every XO is between 200, 250 bucks a dollar. Did

**Grinder:** we

**Bam Bam:** pay that for

**Gizmo:** the Remy? Really? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Remy, I think was 2 25. Okay. So I'm also gonna give it a nine, which obviously makes our composite lizard score a 9.0. Excellent. Which I think is very appropriate now. Agreed. The one thing I wanna say, when we look at our, uh, for, you know, our, our wizard ratings here, the Remy Martin 1738, scored a 9.3.

And I, I

**Bam Bam:** can, for my, for me it's the smoothness, um, and really a little sweeter than this particular spirit

**Grinder:** for me. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** So the, the, the 1738 edging this out Yeah. Is not a surprise

**Senator:** to me. No, it's deserved. Agreed. I mean, that's why I, I just can't emphasize. What Remi did in coming out with the 1738 is pure brilliance.

And the simple reason is [01:22:00] when you look at the delta between different levels of any spirit, like let's start with tequila, right? We did a whole special on tequila with, with uh, Ricky on this. You look at what a reto costs, let's say 50 a bottle, and you look at what an, an AHO costs 60, maybe 70, mm-hmm.

maybe 80. There's not a massive delta between those. The problem with cognac, it's like a blessing and a curse. The delta between A V S O P, which on averages 50 bucks a bottle, and an XO that's 200 to 250 a bottle. That's a huge delta. That's massive. I mean, every day to drink, we're not gonna spend 200 something dollars on a bottle.

We're just gonna consume, you know, left and right. Right? And so what Remi realized is if we make something in between that actually takes V S O P and XO. age, spirit, and blend those and create it at a, a more accessible price point. Yeah. I mean, it's 60

**Gizmo:** bucks, 60 bucks a bottle. Mm-hmm. . So it's a, it's a little [01:23:00] more than a third of this.


**Senator:** honestly, I get almost as much enjoyment out of that as I do this. Yes. And that price point to me definitely puts it ahead of,

**Grinder:** so what's the comparison between a Remi XO and a REMI 17? Uh, 17 what? 38.

**Senator:** 38. So, I mean, I said this on that episode, but the ec, the Remy XO is outstanding. It's, it's probably the best cognac

**Gizmo:** I've ever had.

We, that's the only 10.0 that we've ever had on the, it was

**Grinder:** incredible. There you

**Senator:** go. I mean, it was incredible. It was that good. Uh, it was flawless. There's not one singular complaint about that. But the problem becomes when you have the 1738 and you're sitting there saying to yourself, this is almost as complex as that was almost as smooth as that.

That's $60, $60 instead of 225 bucks. And it's, it's just a no-brainer. And

**Bam Bam:** what's nuts about that particular spirit? It's so delicious. You can polish off a bottle in a sitting . You're really

**Grinder:** almost can

**Gizmo:** polish. Don't drive home boys.

**Senator:** No. Easily. Look in

**Grinder:** my recycling now. Come on

**Gizmo:** home. Come on. No, you're right.

Come [01:24:00] on, dude. I, I said that earlier. I mean, I bought a bottle of that and I finished it in the weekend. Just smoking. The versatility of

**Bam Bam:** that, that bottle at that price is incredible. And that's what, that's what gives it the higher

**Grinder:** rating. You

**Gizmo:** know what's interesting too, and we didn't talk about this with cognac, but, and, and I know we have to do the, the, the rating on the cigar, but I find that kind of like tequila, the cognac that I'm drinking, the 1738 or anytime that we've had cognac, when I wake up the next morning, I feel totally fine.

Thank. Are

**Bam Bam:** you energized?

**Gizmo:** Like you're tequila? Well, the tequila that's like, I feel like the energizer bunny, but, but I feel great. There's no hangover. Like I feel like with a lot of single malts or beer. Yeah. Oh yeah. You know, or even wine. This, this is what happens

**Rooster:** when you start drinking a lot, you

**Grinder:** don't, you don't get hangovers, ,

**Bam Bam:** you become immune.


**Gizmo:** you find .

**Grinder:** So yeah, I was, I was gonna say the same thing, but you know, rooster just kind of dinged it very well. Sorry. Yeah. No, it's all

**Senator:** good. I'm with you there. And I think with cognac, um, [01:25:00] there are far, far fewer cognacs that use additives and things that will give you that hangover. And so if you buy a reputable cog, odds are you're gonna feel great as long as you, obviously you're not down in the bottle in one sitting.

Mm-hmm. , you're gonna feel very good because it's, it's natural stuff. They don't

**Grinder:** need to, because when you're aging something that long additives deteriorate and make it taste terrible, you can't, you can't do that. You ha It has to be something that's organic

**Gizmo:** and it's working brilliantly. Yeah. Whatever they're doing, because it's really something that I wish that I ex, you know, kind of like tequila, good tequila.

I wish that I had learned of cognac earlier in my journey. Mm-hmm. .

**Senator:** Me too. Yeah. And the last thing I wanna say that we have mentioned about cognac. I think for the most part in this room, this is true for, I, I think every lizard, most of the time when we're drinking scotch, which we love as like the go-to pairing with a cigar, most of the time we're putting a chip or two, or [01:26:00] even a few cubes of ice with that.

Mm-hmm. . Cognac when you have good cognac. I mean, we are all sitting here. Not one of us has a single chip of ice in this. Nope. When you even pour the 1738, do I sometimes like maybe

**Grinder:** just a chip or two?

**Gizmo:** Sure I do. I do it just for temperature.

**Senator:** Exactly. Yeah. But does it need it? No. No it does not. That's something that's very unique to cognac.

How smooth yet rich and flavorful these spirits are. Yeah. It's one of the few, it's probably the only spirit that I regularly drink meat. It, it allows

**Bam Bam:** for a full experience without the chip. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Awesome. Now what a revelation, boys, cognac continues to deliver. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** And as we podcast, as we get to rating this

**Gizmo:** guy.

Yeah. As senator was talking, I'm relighting my nub Yeah. Of this cigar because I've really enjoyed it all the way down. Yeah. Great cigar. Really, really good.

**Bam Bam:** But. , you know, price is gonna have to be

**Gizmo:** factor here. Exactly. That, that's, I mean, I was just gonna [01:27:00] go there, sorry, but Of course. Yeah, of course. All right, boys, you ready to do the, uh, formal lizard rating on this thing?

I'm a little nervous to rate this thing . All right. Well Rooster, you're up. Yeah.

**Rooster:** So, um, you know, keeping in mind like the price, like the introduction price was like $22 a stick. I think at that price. This is easily

**Gizmo:** at nine. Yeah, no doubt. But

**Rooster:** at the current price, I'm gonna have to

**Gizmo:** give it an eight. Okay. So I'm gonna give this a nine.

I, I really enjoyed the cigar. Um, you know, the price absolutely is, is, is a problem. You know, the, the current 2023 price is a problem, but it, it, I've really enjoyed this experience tonight and I've really, really been enjoying Monte Christo. Um, so it's a nine for me, for sure. Yeah. I just wanna

**Rooster:** add something to that.

The way the flavor was in the beginning. Had it kind of continued a little bit more. Oh, it would've been another, it would've absolutely, you know, improved the, my score alert for you. [01:28:00] Yeah,

**Gizmo:** yeah. Yeah. Senator.

**Senator:** Um, for me, this is easier than I thought it would be. I'm right there with Gizmo at a nine. And I guess the only thing that makes this, that made this slightly difficult for me was the price.

But the way I, I, I feel like the way I factor in price with Cuban cigars is, is different than new worlds in the sense that everything, all Cuban cigar, the prices are all going up and just getting ridiculous. So, you know, it's like, if, if I'm gonna sit here in rda, sir Winston, am I gonna say, well, because I have to spend like $80 to get a Sir Winston that all of a sudden, like, I'm.

I'm kind of looking at all of them at what I used to be able to get them for not too long ago. We're talking just like within the last couple years, and I think at 20 something dollars, this is an absolute steal. I think when Gizmo said he'd pay 35, $40 for this, double that. Yeah, I would too. Yeah. It's [01:29:00] that good.

Mm. Um, I'll also say that for

**Gizmo:** me, oh, you wouldn't play, you wouldn't pay Quad. Uh, quadruple for that.

**Senator:** Uh, no . Uh, but I'll be happy to take one if someone wants to give me one . Um, but the, the other thing about this stick, you know, rooster was talking about how the flavors sort of changed throughout it. I, I have a slightly different take in the sense that the first third of this was so New World esque.

I was worried it almost was gonna lose its Cuban character or d n a. And so I was kind of glad that when I got into the second, third, while it certainly. Decreased in intensity of flavor, and it was firmly medium at that point. I was sitting there saying like, this is, this is a Cuban cigar now. Now exactly what I would expect is happening in this stick.

And then the last third, I thought, did the best job of kind of balancing between Cuban and New World. So I like the progression, actually. I, I like that it [01:30:00] never got too full or too strong. So for me, it was actually a virtue that, that this cigar kind of changed the way it did as I went along. And I'm firmly at a nine.


**Gizmo:** Grinder.

**Bam Bam:** I'm at a 10. Wow. My man. Um,

**Gizmo:** wow. For me, see that, that's what I was saying earlier. I'm sorry to interrupt, but this is what I was talking about. I had no idea where these ratings were gonna go to. Yeah, yeah.

**Grinder:** You're absolutely right. A hundred percent surprised. So for, for me, the experience was wonderful.

Mm-hmm. Um, I think the pairing, you know, the, the pairing was, was really special. Um, . And you know, I, I've talked about, you know, my flavor profile before, um, this was such an adventure because of the, you know, the changes that, that you guys mentioned was evident for me. Um, and I think we had obviously a wonderful experience drinking this with the, with the, with the, uh, Hennessy.

But the conversation was wonderful. And [01:31:00] ultimately the amount of complexity that I see in the cigar is so compelling. And I, I love it. It's, it's so, like, I'm curious what they did here. I'm just like, how did they get some of these flavors to change and metamorphise so quickly and then come back and be like, oh, I was just kidding.

Oh wait, here we go again. . And it was just, it was such a roller coaster and it, it began wonder. , it ended wonderfully. Mm-hmm. And, and the middle was just as sweet. So what can you, what more can you ask for in a cigar? You can't. It's true. Like, literally, what more can you ask for? Yeah. For me, that's like the epitome of success.

Agreed. That's awesome. Agreed. So it's a 10. Don't give

**Gizmo:** tens. I don't, yeah, I was gonna say, I don't, I think that may be the second or third time. Do you've ever given a 10? And I don't

**Bam Bam:** remember him ever

**Grinder:** giving a 10. No, no. He's given a few. Oh, is that right? I feel like he has, I've given a couple. Yeah. I was looking over the tables recently.

you're, you're a tough judge. Uh, but, but. It, it was this, this was a special cigar. And, and so thankful [01:32:00] to the listener, um, who sent this in and, uh, what an experience. Thank

**Gizmo:** you. Yeah. Awesome. Yes. Bam. Bam.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Absolute shout out to the listener that sent these in Mile high cigar guy. Yeah. Um, you know, I, I, for me, the q you mentioned the Cuban d n a earlier.

I did get that right off the bat because there aren't many new worlds for me personally, that I'll get that ri and dried fruit and a little hint of that barnyard for me. That's, that's for me, Cuban, d n a, all the way. Um, but the journey as it went through all three of its stages really complex. I don't know what my rating is.

**Grinder:** I don't know. Okay. Well, we need it right now.

**Bam Bam:** I, I know you do , you know, an eight I think is a little painful for me to give it an eight and a 10. I'd give this a 10 all day long if I can get it at an affordable price. I guess I have to settle at a nine, and I'm not comfortable with that. I'm not comfortable with a nine.

I want to give it a 10. So give it a 10. It's just too expensive. But,

**Grinder:** but, but, but not at this, the price that we have, it's too, it's too expensive. You didn't pay for it. Yeah,[01:33:00]

at the, at the price point that our listener, uh, was afforded this opportunity. I think it's, it's very reasonable. And, uh, a hundred dollars. No,

**Senator:** no. I mean it, $72. It launch, it was

**Gizmo:** 27, 20 bucks. I dunno what he paid for, but you know. Yeah. All right. So

**Bam Bam:** what's your number? I'm giving What's your number? I, like I said, it's a painful nine.


**Gizmo:** All right boys. It

**Senator:** was painful. ,

**Grinder:** to get that outta you. .

**Gizmo:** Okay. So the formal G Blizzard rating on the Monte Christo Primo E from 2019 boys is a 9.0. Wow. Wow.

**Grinder:** It's excellent. Chicago. Yeah. I don't understand that, how that math works out. But , how's it? I gave it a 10. You guys all gave it a

**Gizmo:** nine? 10. Nine, eight.

I gave it.

**Grinder:** Oh, you gave it eight. What? Who gave it a eight?

**Gizmo:** He gave it a eight.

**Grinder:** Oh, sorry. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Don't apologize. Ever

**Grinder:** Rooster. Don't apologize if you're not actually. Sorry.

**Gizmo:** So let's briefly talk about, um, other Monte Cristos that we've done on the pod. [01:34:00] Uh, cuz I think that's an interesting thing. So this just edged out by a 10th, uh, edged out the 1935 Linea.

We did it edged in above. Yeah, it, uh, that, that came out at an 8.9. There,

**Grinder:** there was episode four. There, there were, there were more lizards there though. I love that cigar.

**Senator:** I also just wanna say I'm only speaking for my palate. I think that's perfect. I would give this a slight edge over that.

**Grinder:** I think you're right,

**Gizmo:** Senator.

So the Montecristo number two, which we talked about quite a bit, came out at an 8.4. I think that's perfectly. . Um, so, you know, and Amani Cristo number one, as we talked about, I don't even need to mention it, but that came outta the 6.3. So this is definitely the highest rated Monte Cristo from Cuba that we've had on the podcast.

Plus that,

**Bam Bam:** that one I think was more a performance issue than flavor profile, if

**Grinder:** I remember

**Gizmo:** correctly. No, the mal, the one, no. Oh, the Monte one was a Yeah, that was,

**Bam Bam:** that's performance. It was a flavor because if you do get a good month, you won. No,

**Senator:** no, it's both. It's both. I don't know. Sorry. The flavor, we, we've all said that that's at best in afternoon smoke.

[01:35:00] It's not a super flavorful cigar. Yeah.

**Rooster:** And I think everybody's pate is a little bit different. This is true. So, you know, if, if I like, like a full flavored smoke, so I, I mean like the beginning of the cigar was awesome. It was so, I wish the middle was a little bit shortened. Like I had more, lot more flavor, like the beginning.

Mm-hmm. and it would easily be like a nine plus, you know, for me.

**Gizmo:** So, and I, again, we, we mentioned it a few times, I have to say, I mean, we're almost. We're over an hour and a half in, we just all have just Bamba. I'm still finishing his, we're we're just finishing our cigars. I smoked

**Grinder:** mine in my fingernails, but I

**Gizmo:** couldn't take Yeah.

But I mean, it's a five and an eighth inch cigar. Yeah. I'm, I can't remember the last time I smoked a five inch cigar for an hour and a half. Yeah, but it's a 55 ringer. I understand. But even an E two, I do an E two and an hour 15. I agree. Mm-hmm. , which is a longer cigar, that burns quicker. This one has a lot more tobacco than a lot of tobacco in it.

It, it definitely bursts slow, slow

**Grinder:** burn,


**Senator:** oily, which goes to, I mean, obviously the current price point is [01:36:00] absurd, the value at, but like there is a value at 20 something, 30 something. Oh yeah. 40 bucks. Like it, it's packed. Yeah. Good point. Very, it burns slowly. It's so flavorful. There's a lot

**Grinder:** of merit.

You can tell there's a. Aging that goes on here because of the, the amount of oil in that, in that leaf. And it's still, it's still oily even at when it's at my fingertips, you know, it's, I still, it's still coating my, my palate. And it's, it's, it's, it's really special. I mean,

**Gizmo:** that's why the

**Rooster:** Cuban tobacco with some age, and, you know, I'm not talking about ELs or even regionals, just regular production.

Cubans with a little bit of age, not like a huge amount of age, like four years, five years, six years. It, I mean, it does something to that tobacco.

**Grinder:** That's, yeah. There's a difference though, between aging in PIs when they're in, like the factory and aging in a humidor, right, right. I wonder what the difference is, like how, like what, what [01:37:00] is changing in the chemical composition of the leaf when it's in, you know, polos and they're change, they're, they're managing the temperature and there's some kind of like chemical combustion that's happening versus.

When it's rolled and it's sitting in a temperature controlled humidor. There's gotta be something different though with that aging process because they're not doing that for a long time with Cuban seed tobacco. They're doing it for a long time with New age in Nicaragua and others, maybe because they have to.

I'm not sure. Yeah. Um, but the, I'm

**Bam Bam:** not sure. Yeah. I gotta say, I'm happy to see that Senator is still smoking that bad boy down. Yeah. He

**Grinder:** set the nub to the nub, to the nub knob. Hit the nub again. I

**Senator:** mean, it's an excellent smoke. It's, it's excellent. Excellent. I'm really

**Gizmo:** shocked. Yep. All right. So first we have to say thank you again to Mile High Cigar Guys for sending us.

Thank you so much cigars. Thank you so much. This one an, uh, amazing experience and as Grinder mentioned, how cool is it that we have these amazing lizards out there, these listeners, these friends, um, who are [01:38:00] so generous to send us these cigars. I mean, it's,

**Grinder:** it's brilliant. And, and to, to thankful to all, to all listeners.

We want to continue to engage. That's, this is what we're here for, to build community and to talk about cigars amongst ourselves. And we want you to be in the room with us as, as Gizmo says all the time. The, the, the eighth lizard, right? Yeah, absolutely. Um, so, uh, happy to have you here with us tonight. Yeah, it's great.

Awesome. Great. Very

**Gizmo:** well said. Yeah. Thank you. Well, boys, a 9.0 for both the Hennessy XO and the Montecristo Primos El from 2019 A Phenomen. Pairing

**Senator:** tonight, can you say? We'll see you next week in Denver. . Can we go visit ?

**Gizmo:** I know why you wanna go to Denver. What

**Grinder:** a great city. I know why you wanna go to Denver?

**Bam Bam:** Uh, Senator, can I go with you please? ,

**Grinder:** listen. The Brown Palace , and then other, other assorted

**Bam Bam:** establishment. I'll, I'll, uh, I'll pay for the air .

**Gizmo:** Awesome night guys. Uh, fantastic. Um, a plus water pairing 9.0 for [01:39:00] both. And, uh, awesome. We'll see you guys next week. Very good. Hope you enjoyed this episode. Thanks for joining us.

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

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