Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

Recorded at the Ten86 Cigar Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey, the lizards pair the Punch Duke Edición Regional 2018 with El Tesoro Tequila Añejo. The guys share their frustration with Habanos S.A. Regional Edition Releases, they do a deep dive into the artisanal production of the tequila pairing, and they discuss Cigar Aficionados unboxing of the Cohiba 55.

Show Notes

Recorded at the Ten86 Cigar Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey, the lizards pair the Punch Duke Edición Regional 2018 with El Tesoro Tequila Añejo. The guys share their frustration with Habanos S.A. Regional Edition Releases, they do a deep dive into the artisanal production of the tequila pairing, and they discuss Cigar Aficionados unboxing of the Cohiba 55.

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

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

What is Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast?

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

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

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

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

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

So take this as your 58th official invitation to join us and become a card carrying lounge. Planet Eat is here once a week. We're gonna smoke a Cuban cigar tonight. Share our thoughts on it and give you our formal lizard rating. We share our frustration with Havana's SA Regional releases. We do a deep dive into the artisanal production of tonight's tequila and we discuss cigar aficionado's, unboxing of the Cohiba 55, all among a variety of other things for the next hour.

So sit back, get your favorite drink, light up a cigar, and enjoy as we pair El Tesoro tequila anjo with the Mexican exclusive punch. Duke. I region a regional exclusive tonight [00:01:00] from punch on the pod the Mexican regional called the Duke a rub Robusto extra 54 ring gauge by five and a half inches long.

And wow boys, this is a beautiful cigar. Yeah, it looks great. Puba was commenting on the construction when he picked it up. Oh yeah. I mean, just fantastic.

**Bam Bam:** It looks like the draw will be wide open.

**Gizmo:** I'm hoping so. So, yeah. It will be. Yeah. I'm very much hoping so you can tell by the weight of it. Mm-hmm. , what is, what is the weight when you, when you say that?

Like, what does that tell you? When you take, like,

**Poobah:** it's not so tightly packed. You, I, I, I mean, it, it's you and when you look at the foot, uh, the foot, you can see that there's enough space in there that it's gonna, yep. It's gonna ig it's gonna light up like a, like a

**Gizmo:** firework, um, love and forward to that

**Poobah:** That's what it, that's

**Gizmo:** what it looks like. So we'll talk about, uh, regional additions and what that means. But this is the, I [00:02:00] believe the second regional we've done. And the other was also a punch. Oh, I thought you

**Rooster:** meant like a regional for Mexico. This is also their Mexico's second regional. Yes. I think the first one was the Dantes

**Gizmo:** Ed Muno, and we could talk about that as well.

So we also did the Punch Man too. I believe it was our That's right. Was it our Christmas episode? I think so. 2021. Early, early we did that. Yeah. And that

**Bam Bam:** was, uh, Italian. Italian regional. That was,

**Gizmo:** I enjoyed that cigar. Great cigar. Yeah. Yeah. It was like a little land arrow or something, or, yes. It's almost like a petite lancero.

Something like that. Yep. I don't know what it was. It's been a while. Anyway, um, let's cut this thing. Boy. See, we're getting on the cold draw on the wrapper. And this is

**Poobah:** out of, of

Rooster's Humidor. This is from Rooster. Oh God.

**Bam Bam:** The draw is wide open.

**Poobah:** What

**Bam Bam:** Little

**Gizmo:** Allison James. His speed with this is amazing.[00:03:00]

**Bam Bam:** I

**Gizmo:** love the timing. Beautiful. His, his speed is incredible with that

Hmm. The cold draw's. Wonderful. Really nice. Wide open. Open. Let's start

**Bam Bam:** there. I, uh, I'm getting a hinted drive. Fruit, floral, and, uh, you know, when you say tobacco, for me, that's like a deep, kind of a coffee, but very light. Very nice. .

**Gizmo:** Little dried fruit. Mm-hmm. Little cedar. Yeah. Little

**Poobah:** like the paddock at Belmont

You know what I mean? The paddock. Little, little

**Gizmo:** barnyard Downwind or upwind. . I like

**Bam Bam:** that though. . Yeah. Poop was not wrong.

**Gizmo:** That was bey yard right there. No, there's definitely a, I love that. Especially on the, on the rapper itself. It's definitely got a barnyard thing. Yeah. Very

**Poobah:** promising rooster. You know, like makes you want to maybe smoke it.

Pick up the daily racing form and put in a wager. .

**Gizmo:** Few bets. . All right boys, let's light this thing deep. Uh, punch regional from [00:04:00] Cuba. Uh, exclusive to Mexico. It's called the Duke. Again, it's a rub robusto extra 54 ring gauge by five and a half inches. Uh, this was a 2018 regional release. It actually came out in 2019, so that's what we're smoking tonight are 2019 cigars, uh, from the middle of the year.

Are these

**Bam Bam:** easy to get?

**Gizmo:** No rooster? Yes, I don't think so, but I've seen them around.

**Bam Bam:** And how much are these? I have to say the smoke coming off of this is delicious.

**Gizmo:** When they originally came out there were 30 bucks a stick. Oh my goodness. Now I'm sure they're double or tripled out. That's about $58 a stick.

Are you joking? Five 80 a box. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** I love to write you a check. ,

**Bam Bam:** do you want this cigar back ?

**Gizmo:** See if it's good first.

**Bam Bam:** It smells great, but

**Gizmo:** wow. Yeah,

**Rooster:** right now, I mean I didn't pay that much. I got it much

**Gizmo:** earlier. Mm.

Excellent draw. This [00:05:00] is great. Yeah, I

**Rooster:** might have paid maybe four 20 for a box of 10 range, but right now, currently it, it's about 5

**Gizmo:** 50, 5 80 a box. And you know, we don't do a lot of regionals on the pod. And that's the reason, you know, um, we don't reach for these a lot because. It's not terribly easy to find a lot of these things sometimes.

I mean,

**Rooster:** other than the Manura, did we do another regional?


**Gizmo:** don't think so. I don't think so. This is only our second and it was a punch as well. Yeah. You know, and that's, you know, we've talked about that. I know Puba, uh, has talked about that as well. You know, the value brands, the portfolio brands, SAOs uses them, uh, for regional releases to support their distributors and retailers in various markets.

**Bam Bam:** Is it because we're not fans of regionals in general, that we're not, that we're not

**Gizmo:** recording and reviewing them? No. I just think that my perspective on it, why I don't put it up a lot, is because I just don't think that they're easy for someone to go get. That's true. You know, and smoke along with us, so.

Mm-hmm. . You know, and they're also a priced

**Rooster:** a bit higher. Oh, yeah. And [00:06:00] sometimes clearly they don't

**Gizmo:** deliver. Yeah. You know, a lot of the times they don't. Yeah. That's the complaint about regionals is often they, it seems like they're an afterthought as far as the blender, the tobacco they use, and they just don't perform very well.

I don't remember the rating

**Bam Bam:** on the Mantua. I think it was pretty high. It

**Gizmo:** was, I, I think it was eights and eights. I think I'll look right now. What are you guys getting on the, uh, initial light here? Very. I got cedar.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Tastes likey. Cedar Tastes like a humidor.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. It's, it's nice. It's smooth. It, there's not a ton of, um, flavor that I can call out there, aside from cedar.

Maybe this, the, the smoke is very creamy though. Yeah. I'm just enjoying

**Pagoda:** holding the skirt.

**Bam Bam:** Just button. Yeah. The shape of it's great. And it's velvety the smoke.

**Gizmo:** Feels very good in the hand.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Lots of combustion, which is typical for mm-hmm. , a cigar of this spring gauge. Um, and this cuz construction, I mean, so one of the things I think you pay for, um, and you hope for when you pay [00:07:00] a premium price is, uh, is a really good role.

I think. I think I'm, I'm getting that. We got that. Oh yeah. Here. Very good construction. So I think that's one of the things you're paying for, you know, hopefully you're not taking a perfect draw to, to some of these more expensive, higher priced mm-hmm. cigars from Havanas. Um, so that you can, you can generally count on generally mm-hmm.

um, , there's a little bit more attention, I think paid to the construction and the, the, you know, the leaf, the wrapper leaf, the binder, um, and the rollers who roll them. But sometimes the blend, I think not the blend. Cuz Cuban's really the ratio of tobacco. Um, it's a good question. Doesn't really deliver all the time.

Mm-hmm. . So what, you know, I think you're looking for a flavor profile that's maybe gonna blow you away. And sometimes they do, but oftentimes they don't with [00:08:00] these regional releases. And then, you know, you, you start to ask yourself, is the price worth the, is the juice worth the squeeze? I guess you, yeah.

**Bam Bam:** What is the filler and wrapper on this guy?

**Gizmo:** Everything's Cuban. Uh, so, oh, the Cub. Oh, oh yeah. Cuban pure. So what does this

**Pagoda:** exclusive of Mexico mean?

**Gizmo:** So that's the regional band. So, uh, pagodas pointing out, so there's two bands on it. There's the traditional punch band. , which is really nice, um, embossed. And there's also a secondary band, which is, uh, silver, white and red that says Excluse Mexico on it.

Meho. Uh, which indicates that this release is a regional release, which was directed, uh, to support and celebrate, um, the distributors and, and retailers in Mexico. Originally,

**Rooster:** when it's released, it's only released

**Gizmo:** to that region. Oh, in Mexico? Only available in Mexico. So if you look

**Rooster:** at the box, you know, typically the boxes that come out of Mexico have a lot of different kind of warnings on it.

Sure. Like

**Gizmo:** health warnings. [00:09:00] So Yeah. They're very aggressive with the, with the labels. Oh my lord. Yeah. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** So the retro hale, I am getting, uh, dried fruit on this guy. It's, it's quite nice. But on the, on the typical draw, it's, you know, pretty standard Fair tobacco. Nice. It's nice. . Well, it's very not offensive and creamy.


**Gizmo:** like medium.

**Poobah:** It's a mild

**Gizmo:** affair. It is, yeah. Mild to medium. Mild to medium. Yeah. It, it

**Rooster:** will change. Yeah. I think it'll build like after the second half, uh, it

**Gizmo:** picks up a little bit of strength. Get some pepper. Mm-hmm. . I'm certainly hoping for a journey on this thing tonight. Mm-hmm. , are you getting any, uh,

**Rooster:** like, not like cashier cashew

**Gizmo:** Look, I think that's what, like that creaminess might Oh, that's a great

**Bam Bam:** point.

Walnut cashew. Yeah. Makes sense here. I think. Yeah. I can

**Poobah:** see that. It's a creamy smoke. It's not a dry smoke. Right. Which is really, that's our, that's pleasant. That's it's pleasant. Yeah. Like that's very redeeming for me. Mm-hmm. . So off to a good

**Bam Bam:** start. Yep. Now for the [00:10:00] price point, I was just thinking the flavor profile fits a cup of coffee late morning for me.

Yeah, as of right now, definitely. I'm not sure if I would smoke a cigar that almost costs $60 in the morning

**Poobah:** with a coffee. Yeah, I know. But we're like, we're like a, not even a quarter inch in. I have a feeling that's true. This thing's gonna pick up big time. Ramp up.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Okay. I hope so. So, uh, uh, rooster mentioned that he had the semi boy nature box with him.

These have only been released in 10 count box. And apparently, and I'm sure Pbu will have a comment on this, uh, cuz he, he's mentioned this before, apparently only 6,000 were produced , which I certainly don't believe, um, . I'm sure. I'm sure it's way more than that. Sure. But you know, that's marketing. Who knows what the most it's called marketing.

Yeah. Yeah. When there's not a nu when there's not accounted number on the box. Mm-hmm. , I question it. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** It's like

**Pagoda:** the a l R had only

**Bam Bam:** 2000 boxes produced. Yeah. , maybe 2 million boxes. ,

**Pagoda:** well, well, rocket potatoes [00:11:00] sold 30 million cigars last year. So

**Gizmo:** it's got a sharp burn. It does, yeah. The burn line

**Rooster:** is, yeah.

It's nice. Even good amount of

**Gizmo:** smoke output. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** I had to touch it up a tiny bit, but I'm going a little too fast. It's excellent.

**Pagoda:** And I'm slowing down. Yeah. If you, if you, I'm not getting a

**Gizmo:** lot of flavor. ,

**Rooster:** do

**Gizmo:** you think it kind of feels like an E two? It does. I was gonna say that, but it's shorter right?

Shape is very, uh, it's a little shorter than E two, but it's the same ring gauge. The

**Poobah:** mouth feel. Yes, but

**Gizmo:** not the flavor. No, no, definitely not. No different animal. Yeah. But E two is also very creamy smoke.

**Poobah:** Oh yeah, it is. But that thing's an animal. It's got,

**Bam Bam:** oh yeah. It packs a nice punch. I love that cigarette.

It's delicious.

**Gizmo:** Delicious. So Rooster mentioned that, um, Mexico has had some other, uh, regional edition releases. This is actually the fourth. Uh, the other three were Ed Muno Donas, which is a, uh, Monte Cristo kind of, uh, it's kind of like a sister of Monte Crio [00:12:00] brand, uh, that was released for, uh, it's released in the Mexican market.

The Mexican distributor air, I guess, has a very good relationship with Ha Bonos, and Edmundo was a brand that he created with ha bonos for the Mexican market. So Edmundo Dantes are, are very rare. Cigars defined. Ah, so there were three of those. The 1 0 9, which is very, very popular in 2007, actually, I dunno if you've seen that guy on YouTube, Kirby, Allison?

Mm-hmm. . Uh, he, he does like a lot of men's wear stuff. He's a very popular YouTuber, but that's his favorite cigar in the

**Bam Bam:** world. A lot of his, uh, posts are videos are a bit dated. They're from back in the day. Yeah. But I've seen a lot of it's good stuff.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah. He also loves the Kentucky. Yeah. The Contiki 1 0 9.

Yeah, the 1973. That, that's what he says. That 1 0 9 shape, which is the viola, uh, is his favorite. It's actually, it's almost like a double Corona, but it has a rounded cap on it. Um, actually the Luan, when it was originally released was not a double Corona. It was in the 1 0 9 shape and they switched it to a [00:13:00] double Corona.

Wow. I think sometime in the 1980s, apparently very hard to roll a cigar of that shape in the 1 0 9. Yeah. Interesting. So then there was another, uh, 1 0 9 that came out in 2008. Uh, and then there was a, uh, Conde 54, 2011. Beso, uh, 2016. And then this is the first, uh, non Ed Muno Dantes release from Mexico. Uh, this is the pdu.

All right. So yeah, so we've talked about, like I said, regional. So, you know, ho Bonos uses some of their brands like bva Punch, port Laga, uh, some of the other brands that aren't, they're global brands to release regionals. You'll never see a Cohiba. Nope. RGUs, upk, uh, Romeo and a missing one. Trinidad Monte Crista.

**Bam Bam:** No. You, I think you'll see a regional in the Trinidad, right? I, I don't

**Gizmo:** know if they, I don't think released or cdh. Maybe up, yeah, up. Definitely not. But the global brands, right? You'll never see a regional. Okay. You'll only see Lamata there. Mm-hmm. . So that's kind [00:14:00] of how they separate 'em. But anyways, um, so far so good on this.

It's not blowing me away. Mm-hmm. Flavor's not really kicking me around yet, in a good way. But I

**Bam Bam:** think it's the most redeeming qualities that it's creamy. Yeah. Velvety.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Creamy

**Gizmo:** cedar.

**Rooster:** Mm-hmm. all

**Pagoda:** nuty. Great smoke out. But I, you know, it, it goes so much to say that if a cigars in your hand and great construction, it blow, you know, you can smoke.

Well it's, it just feels good already. Yeah. I think 50% is already taken care

**Bam Bam:** of. I think more than that. I think the higher percentage could be higher if it's so enjoyable.

**Rooster:** Yeah. Yeah. What do you think of the, uh, the aroma out of the

**Gizmo:** cigar? It's really nice at the burn line. It actually kind of reminds me of Monte

**Bam Bam:** Crio.

I will say though, the initial light was fantastic. Delicious smoke. Now it's a bit muted. It's, it's pretty mild

**Gizmo:** now. The smoke is still very, it's, yeah,

**Bam Bam:** it's aromatics. It is. There's more like a little, maybe a bit of potpourri, a bit.

**Gizmo:** So I wanna mention again, [00:15:00] boys, uh, cuz we've recorded here a few times. Very happy to be at our clubhouse tonight.

10 86 Lounge in Hawthorne New. We're big fans of this place is, I know listeners have heard us say before, but we can't say it enough. I'll say it again and again. How great this place is home. Away from home. Absolutely. Clean bathrooms. 24 hour key card access when the kids can't get over it.

**Bam Bam:** When the kids are driving me crazy.

Home. Away from home. Absolutely. When the wife hands me a honey-do list, call away from home.

**Gizmo:** Absolutely. . I feel like it's starting to pick up a little bit. It's pretty smooth. Yeah. Me? Yeah. But I feel like I'm definitely getting more flavor. I'm getting more of the cashew. A little more pepper. Yeah. Ill build, yeah.

**Poobah:** Puba. I kind of like it. Yeah. I, you know, it's like an approachable smoke. Um. It's, it's, it, you know, it, it's, it's like it's medium. I, I'm, I'm, I'm waiting. I'm, I'm, yeah. I think it's gonna, I think it's gonna deliver more. I like the way it started. [00:16:00] I'm not, you know, it started out, it's delivering this, this smooth, very, very, very smooth, pleasant experience.

It's, it doesn't feel flat to me. It's got some nutty notes in there. It's got some fruity notes in there. There's some complexity to this cigar. It's not just one of these, like, uh, like a Monte Cristo one or something, you know, like when we smoked that cigar and that did not perform, you know, like where it's like this is just flat and muddled.

I'm not getting that from this. This is delivering a, a mild

**Bam Bam:** experience. Up a great point. You know, there's something to be said about subtle complexity in the cigar, and when you catch the subtle, the really subtle details, there's, it's a, it's a nice experience.

**Poobah:** It really is, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It is. And I think that, I think that, you know, it's, it's by design and it's, um, it, it tastes like Cuban tobacco.

You're getting a little bit of that salt. I'm [00:17:00] getting a little bit of the, a little bit of sweet, a little bit of wood, a little bit of n nutty. So for me, it's, it's doing okay. Is it like, is it out of the gate? Like, like, like maybe a RGUs would be in terms of, you know, really strength and really, really full, no.

Mm-hmm. . But

**Bam Bam:** here's a question

**Poobah:** because we're not, or oliar would be or something. Yeah. It, it's not out of the gate. Like kind of like kicking your I kind of like this. I'm waiting to see what it does. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** yeah. I think we'll reserve judgment as the end nears, but uh,

**Gizmo:** yeah. It kind of starts

**Rooster:** out like mild to medium, you

**Gizmo:** know?

Kind of flavorful

**Bam Bam:** though. Yeah. Yeah. And then it, then it settles in nicely.

**Poobah:** Yeah. And, and creamy. And with these 54 ring gauge cigars, that's not unusual that they kind of start mm-hmm. if you're, if you're smoking sometimes a, you know, that smaller ring gauge cigar where you get more of the wrapper upfront, like Yeah.

I, I, if we were smoking, let's say a, um, uh, [00:18:00] uh, you know, like a Vegas Veia Classicos or something like that. Lonsdale shape or something. Oh, yeah. You know, Lonsdale shape where you light light an 8 98 and you're kind of like, oh, well, you know, it. It really lets its presence be known right away immediately.

Right. Immediate, immediately you're kind of like, wow. Like, okay, nice to meet you. This is kind of a subtle introduction. I'm waiting to see what happens here. Agreed. I wonder when the

**Rooster:** havanas

**Gizmo:** make cigars that are regionals, so they kind of cater

**Rooster:** the cigar is made for the Mexican market. How do they decide when that happened?

That's a question. What's the, uh, you know, the blending decision made, like, you know, how do they figure out

**Gizmo:** like what is they use the left for for all the things that are not well, that are not well kept secrets in, in Cuba as far as Cuba, tobacco and ho bonos is concerned. The one thing that they've always kept very well under lock and key is their blending process.

Mm-hmm. [00:19:00] Nobody knows, I mean, certainly for Bek, everybody wants to know what the beke blend and, and, and recipe is. That's the one thing they've definitely been able to keep under wraps. is their

**Poobah:** blending. Yeah. I, I mean, some, the cigars with more strength have different trimmings, you know, the more of a harrow.

Yep. Um, this doesn't seem like a, like a La Harrow heavy smoke, you know? No, no. So the trimmings, and it's really, you know, they're, they're blending, but they're not blending, like in Cuba, they don't blend like they're cigars like they do, uh, you know, in New Worlds where they're taking all kinds of different things and putting them together to make something that's,

that's really, really differentiated, I guess. Mm-hmm. , you know, a Cuban pur is a Cuban, not that they're not, there's not that, there's a lot, there's a lot of differentiation between them, no doubt. But. , [00:20:00] these master blenders like that, you know, like Davidoff has and some of these other new world, uh, cigars, they're, they're taking, you know, binders and wrappers and filler from all different regions to try and create something new and different.

And in the old world style, this is delivering kind of that mild Cuban, uh,

**Pagoda:** yeah,

**Gizmo:** definitely

**Poobah:** not spice enough. Yeah. There's not spice. There's not a lot of pepper here at all. There's like

**Bam Bam:** no pepper. Nope. I agreed. So what's Mexican about it? . No kidding. Don't think anything . Maybe it's the

**Gizmo:** tequila. We're pair with it.

Yeah. Wow. Let's talk about that. Sure. We're, we have the Elta Soro anjo tonight. Uh, and I'm gonna give the assist to Chef Ricky who, uh, a few episodes back, quite a few episodes back, we had on for a back to back. Tequila deep dive, thankfully. Uh, that was awesome and we've learned a lot, and this is another one we didn't do [00:21:00] on those episodes, but comes on his recommendation and is very popular.

I know, uh, Puba was saying he saw someone on Instagram who promotes this pretty heavily for being an all natural no additive tequila. Uh, certainly that's Chef Rickey's Mo as well, so absolutely. I'm really excited to see how this pairs tonight. I'm gonna try it right now. Let's ordo It's an . Okay. Yeah. And

**Poobah:** I, and I think that, you know, for the listener, we've talked about it before, these tequilas, and if you drink.

Uh, we, I drink Don William, uh, uh, uh, um, uh, like, like anyone else, but it's not, and, and I, and I like it. I'll drink it on my deck. I'll drink it in a chair. I'll drink it here. I'll drink it there. I'll drink shower, .

**Gizmo:** Um, shower falls under anywhere. It's on that my Dr thing come back by the

**Poobah:** Ft. , but you know what I'm saying.

I'll drink it in a plane. I'll drink it in a, a train on the train. , I'll drink it in the sea. Drink, drink it when I pee. I'll drink it when I pee. But, but, [00:22:00] but, uh, my point is, is though, is, is that, is that really There is, uh, if you like tequila, um, I've certainly been educated on tequila, uh, by, by Ricky. Um, and then others, which on the internet, um, these celebrity tequilas that have all these additives in them, um, are really, uh, Uh, you know, there's more out there.

Uh, explore some of this stuff that doesn't have sugar added. Yeah. Like 818 or whatever it is. What's Casamigos? Yeah, what's the one? The George 21,

**Gizmo:** uh, Casamigos is George Clooney. Yeah. Eight 18 is Kardashian. Mm-hmm. . Uh, there's a bunch out there. There's a bunch out there.

**Poobah:** Classic. It's 1800.

**Gizmo:** Is that any good?

I don't know.

**Bam Bam:** I haven't had it. Its, it's highly rated.

**Poobah:** I

**Rooster:** haven't, no, this one isn't Ana, but the color is

**Gizmo:** not that. No, it's not amber color. Right. That's, it's more clear. It's true. So, uh, chef Ricky sent me some really great notes that I'd like to share with the, the [00:23:00] listener and Oh wow. That's good. It's amazing, isn't it?

I mean, yeah, that is really good. So delicious, so smooth. So we're drinking it Neat. Which is, you know, uh, appropriate for, uh, a really refined tequila, really awesome, uh, uh, spirit like this. Ricky will be very happy. He'll be proud. Ricky will be thrilled to, thrilled about that. I'll proud of you. So again, thanks to him.

He's the, uh, chef, uh, partner at Aho. restaurant group with locations in New York and Philly. So for this massive, uh, list of information he gave us tonight about the tequila, I'm gonna share with our listeners. Um, we're very grateful to, uh, to him for that. So, um, so a couple cool things about this I wanna share with you guys as you're here.

Uh, so this is harvested. Um, it's a state grown agave. It's harvested, and then, uh, it's, it's harvested later than a lot of other folks harvested. So they leave it out in the fields longer, and then they, they leave it to, to ripen, which is the case when producers aren't rushing the process to create crazy volume.

Like, you know, he talked about with the, the [00:24:00] celebrity tequilas. That's right. Um, so again, they, they grow their own agave. It's under their control a hundred percent of the time. Um, what's cool is it's crushed a hundred percent of the agave is crushed by a stone, what they call a tahona. And on the bottle of el to Soro, the cap is a stone.

Te that is a replica of the Oh, that's cool. Te they use to crush Nice. The agave. So I think that's pretty cool. Likes a really, it's a tribute. It's a tribute to the process. Yeah. It's a really nice presentation. Mm-hmm. . And it's a nice touch on the top of the bottle. Um, it's cooked in stone, brick ovens.

It's fermented, uh, in wooden ferment, uh, fermentation tanks with agave fibers. And it's aged in American white oak. And it's double distilled, uh, to get it to proof. 80 proof. So it's 40% alcohol and, uh, no added water, no added sugar, no added anything. Wow. So it's completely pure. Uh, and it's created by Carlos Camina.

Uh, and he started it, I think Ricky talked [00:25:00] about this on the, on the pod, um, to honor his grandfather who started the La Al Alto, Alena, excuse me, distillery in 1937. Mm-hmm. . Did he mention, where is it? Halco? I could tell you. I'm gonna look at the bottle. I'll tell you. It is Helico. It is, yes. Aranda HoCo, Mexico.


**Poobah:** You know, if you like vanilla, um, I am getting that. That's a good note to if you like vanilla, like, which is way over pronounced in, um, in, uh, Casa. Uh, it's like a vanilla bomb with sugar. Um, if you like that, give this a try. It's drier, um, than that. It's, it's a more authentic spirit. I, I'm into it. I think it's really d I think it's

**Gizmo:** delicious actually.

I'm curious what you guys think of the price point. Yeah. How much have I got this bottle for 70 bucks. That's expensive. I find it to be very reasonable for how smooth and good it is. [00:26:00] Okay. Versus how much is Casa on or Classic is like a hundred plus. It's crazy. I mean, as much as I like this than that dude, more than that's very, I

**Bam Bam:** wanna know.

I do like this. I do like it, but for me, I, I do get a little bite on the front. Okay. A

**Gizmo:** bit. I wonder, I guess I wonder what an ice cube would do for you. Obviously we're sure it'll open it up beautifully. Yeah. How does try that, does it compare

**Rooster:** to like the Don Fno or the uh, Fortezza? Well, I was

**Gizmo:** gonna go for pricewise and

**Bam Bam:** taste wise, so I don't remember the pricing, but on the Fortza Anejo, for me, that is delicious from front to end and not a, not a hint of bite.

I like

**Gizmo:** this better than the four delays actually. Ah, okay.

**Poobah:** Yeah. I get, I get kind of a citrus, um, well, the

**Bam Bam:** vanilla PU boat you noted right on the fucking money. Yeah,

**Poobah:** absolutely. So I get right on the money. There's vanilla there and there's also a citrus element up front not getting at you. That's, that's kind of interesting.

Um, you know, it's

**Bam Bam:** cool. He's right because I get the vanilla in the middle to the. as it evaporates. It's pretty cool. Great flavor on that. What [00:27:00] do you think? Pagoda? I got nothing. .

**Pagoda:** I'm just

**Bam Bam:** kidding. .

**Gizmo:** No, I,

**Poobah:** I think and you'll like it, you'll get nothing and like it . I want a cheeseburger, I want a hamburger. I want a hot dog.

You'll get

**Bam Bam:** you getting nothing. You'll get toast or

**Poobah:** nothing. It's caddy shot Because you normally

**Rooster:** don't

**Gizmo:** really, uh,

**Pagoda:** yeah, I'm not a, a very big, uh, tequila fan. No. Um, I, I find, um, that all tequilas have a certain kind of, uh, well, how is flavor tonight? How

**Bam Bam:** is it hitting you tonight? Just curious.

**Pagoda:** It's, it's good.

I could drink it. I enjoy it. But would I go and buy it? Would I pay 70 bucks for it? No, that's just not me. Maybe because I, I'm just more of a whiskey person and I prefer that. It's just, it's, you know, but, you know, I did come around to Cuban, so it's a matter of time until

**Gizmo:** I come around Cub. I, I've definitely come around on tequila and drinking it way more than I am any other spirit.

**Bam Bam:** I haven't ever had any tequila till I met the lizards. Yeah. It's the first time I, me [00:28:00] neither already had it. Me neither. And it was Don Julio and Yeah. Don

**Gizmo:** Julio from, from Puba and Senator

**Bam Bam:** that Don Julio I love. Yeah. And now I've loved Fortza. That's my go-to tequila. I do

**Pagoda:** like the Don Julio, the . Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah.

That's nice.

**Poobah:** Yeah. I find it fascinating that you guys haven't had that tequila

**Gizmo:** That's true. In so long. Well probably haven't had good tequila. No, I mean, I had it in college or I had it, you know,

**Bam Bam:** we discussed this way back. Public perception if tequila's negative. I agree. In general it is because people feel when they drink it, they'll, they'll get drunk, they'll get sick.

Yep. They're afraid of it. People are afraid

**Poobah:** of te That was me. It's it's

**Bam Bam:** a huge market. Oh it is. No, but that was me. Oh, that

**Gizmo:** was me. That's absolutely, that was me. I mean, I, that's where I was. I would never have thought that a tequila could drink like a scotch and pair with a cigar. PBA

**Bam Bam:** won't believe this, but everyone that I've met that's not a tequila drinker was either afraid of it cuz they didn't want to get sick or they couldn't handle it.


**Pagoda:** Yeah. So, you know, in university and every, when I graduated we would go out to a pub and have a lot of beer and then we'd end the night with these tequila shots and they would just really get me totally [00:29:00] fucked up. So, you know, my, my experiences with tequila been very negative, so I totally just cut it outta my whole routine.

**Gizmo:** Gotcha. Yeah. Yeah. Gotcha. I only drank shitty tequila. That was my thing. And I didn't know that there was, didn't know any better. Yeah. I didn't know know When you go just like cigars, you're like, give some te tequila.

**Bam Bam:** Gimo said something really interesting just like cigars. I. Prior to smoking cigars, when my son was born is when I started smoking.

The only alcohol I indulged in was Cabernets Vodka tonics a martini, and that was it. I never really went to the SCOs or the tequilas until I started smoking cigars and hanging out with other cigar guys. And I learned about which spirits to have with which cigar. Now with the lizards, my education has exponentially, you know, grown.

And I think we've all experienced that. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think from cigars is where I learned about all this. Yeah. See,

**Pagoda:** being indeed, we

**Bam Bam:** grew up as scotches. ,

**Poobah:** you're working, you're working towards the [00:30:00] The Cady Scholarship.

**Bam Bam:** That's right. . Oh, I am nothing more than a caddy. a caddy for my son. You do

**Poobah:** drugs ban

**Gizmo:** every day.

Every day. , what's that from Caddy Shack? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, We're into the second third here on the cigar tonight, boys, the punch. Duke. Very, very good. It's definitely picking up. Picked up a little bit. Yeah, a little bit. Enjoying it. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** White pepper.

**Poobah:** Really nice. None. I get no pepper. I really, me neither, but I don't, but I'm

**Gizmo:** okay.

It's good. I'm very happy with this right now. It's good. But like you said, I don't know. I don't know if this slots in as an expensive cigar. A robusto extra after dinner, after a steak dinner or something. I just don't think it slots there. Yeah, we need to talk about that a little bit. $60. $60 afternoon cigar.

Yeah, for I don't think so. Regarding the price point. Well now it's probably close as 60. Yeah. That's tough. It is.

**Poobah:** We've got halfway to go. If you told me this was a [00:31:00] qd. Yes. Your kid Dorsett or something. I'd believe you if it was blind, it's, it, it, it's mild, but it's not, it doesn't lack the, the creaminess of the smoke has some merit.

Um, it, it just doesn't, uh, it's not delivering like any strength whatsoever. Yeah. So, and the body is medium. It's, it is very, very medium. It's, but it's not something that's like, so it's not so muddled that it's mm-hmm. completely boring. I think you, do you know what I'm saying? Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** yeah, yeah. I think if you get another half inch, three quarters on that, I think, cuz I'm a little further ahead in you.

Yeah. You'll get a bit pepper there, which then increases that, uh, flavor profile.

**Gizmo:** I still think though, I think I'm a little, I'm like in between you guys, but I think that I'm definitely. Wanting more meaning? Not necessarily in strength. [00:32:00] Not even necessarily in flavor. Maybe some combination of the two. But it's not like checking the box for me of satisfaction.

Right now it's leaving me

**Bam Bam:** wanting more. Yeah. Yeah. I love, I do like it a lot. It's delicious,

**Gizmo:** but it, yeah, like I'm gonna want another cigar after this.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, there's no

**Pagoda:** doubt about it. The same one or a different

**Bam Bam:** one? different one. a different one for sure. Hey

**Gizmo:** Liz, we gotta make sure. Yeah. .

**Rooster:** Now, do you guys smoke a lot of punch,

**Gizmo:** like punch, punch?

You know, I do. So where do you think this has some of the punch? Dna?

**Bam Bam:** N a tiny, tiny bit. So I, I, I've really love the short to punch a lot. Um, and the punch punch because they're a lot of floral and fruit notes and I pursue that. I get a little bit of that here, but there's more pepper here, right? Yeah, it's a bit

**Poobah:** different.

**Rooster:** Yeah. I mean the short, the punch has a lot of, it's like a peanut butter bomb, you know? It is really, so you don't get, taste those notes from this? Not at all. I think it's, you get a little bit of the punch, punch type notes maybe a bit

**Gizmo:** with,

**Bam Bam:** yeah, more [00:33:00] tobacco. More tobacco profile and

**Gizmo:** cedar. With the cedar.

Yeah. I think this is close to a punch. Punch in, in, in the dna, but I, the punch punch gives me more actually than it does. It does. And you know, yeah.

**Poobah:** It's more flavorable. You guys are punch guy. I'm not a punch guy.

**Gizmo:** Oh, we, yeah, you've said that. Yeah. I think well now talk about it anymore. It's not that

**Poobah:** compelling to me.

That's fine. Yeah. But I like the, I mean the it, but that's not influencing, uh, you know, the judgment, my judgment on the cigar.

**Gizmo:** Now I was

**Rooster:** just curious if you, if you're getting any of the punch, pun punch DNA a bit, you know, in, in

**Gizmo:** this.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Now I'm a bit further than Puba. Gizmo. I am liking what I'm getting now.

I am. It's it's a bit more robust

**Gizmo:** than, it's definitely more, you know, you're definitely smoking faster than we are. So you're don't forget too that you're also giving it more heat. Yeah. You're giving it more heat than we are. Yeah. You're trying to get

**Bam Bam:** more out of it. I'm getting more out. Trying to get more out it.

Yeah. Yeah. And I should slow down. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Because I think, uh, the flavor of the tequila is slightly overpowering. It agree. Considering that the tequila itself is very light, meaning [00:34:00] it's not like a overwhelming flavor. It's so, it is, this is very mild in my, in my

**Poobah:** opinion. Look, so look at the cigar for what it is.

It's, it's, uh, it's a, this is how it's presented itself. It's a me it's a, it's a very medium bodied cigar. There's not, I don't get a lot of minerality. Like, you'd get out of a RGUs or you'd get out of a boulevard. Mm-hmm. or you'd get out of an up and I don't get that here. No. Yeah, no. So I'm not getting that.

I'm not, there was a little salt for a little while, but not that kind of salty lip smacking that goes away. Where, where, where your, where your lips are actually like, kind of like you're, you're tasting it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, like it's, they're it's Cuban twang. That's Cuban twang. Thank you. Right. You're not getting any of that.

So for me, I was waiting and waiting and waiting. Cause it, because cuz a cigar at this ring gauge, like it could at, at upfront [00:35:00] that kind of mild start you're saying to yourself, well this, this thing may tell me like a really good story. It's just kind of gently introducing itself. But it hasn't changed for me.

So. Right. You know.

**Pagoda:** Same here. It's been pretty monotone in a way for me. Yeah,

**Poobah:** a little bit. But like not monotone in like the worst monotone No, no, no. Listen,

**Gizmo:** it's not unpleasant. It's

**Bam Bam:** not unpleasant. Very

**Gizmo:** pleasant. Totally. Right. It's creamy, pleasant smoke. Yes. It's a, I think it's a great, it's, it would be a good afternoon smoke.

Good afternoon.

**Bam Bam:** Perfect. That's where you would slot it

**Gizmo:** in, think.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Yeah. It's very easygoing. Yeah. Very. But like not in a completely bo it's not completely boring. Mm-hmm. I'm not giving it completely boring. Like Monte Crystal one, completely boring. Yeah. This has

**Gizmo:** character. Yeah. This character here. You know, I guess, and this is a common, I guess, common thread with the regionals is I think this is what folks feel about a lot of regional releases from Havanas in that they're just saying, I, I want a little more, especially for the [00:36:00] money.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. And then there's a reason why we stick to the, you know, standard reproduction.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah. And this is considered one of the better. I know originals out there and it has three years of age on it. Yeah. Oh wow.

**Bam Bam:** No,

**Pagoda:** but you look at the construction, the draw, the smoke, the field, those positive, it's such an easy smoke it'ss, so great.

It's just, and from a flavor perspective, it keeps you warning more.

**Bam Bam:** That's exactly

**Poobah:** right. So, so maybe it's slots like this, maybe it's slots. Like you buy a 10 count box of these for 500 and how much, it's a lot of money. fine. But if that's, if that's not that big of a factor, you keep 'em around and you put it in a place where it's, if this was 90 degrees and there were some shrimp fajitas being prepared,

You know what I mean? And like I'm in Mexico, it goes well with guacamole, you know what I'm saying? And like I, yeah. Right. No, you're, you're actually

**Gizmo:** right now actually, it might actually have a avocado, put some

**Poobah:** guacamole and I'm eating and you could like eat a meal and smoke this thing [00:37:00] at the same time.

Picture a big mo, it's guacamole. You know what I mean? It's not. It's not a whole, it's it's not like an in your face cigar. No. In any way that. at all. Mm-hmm. , I think now maybe that's a good thing. Maybe that's a, that maybe that's a virtue in the smoke. Mm-hmm. ,

**Gizmo:** maybe pi you back on, oh, sorry. Sorry, pagoda. Go ahead.

**Pagoda:** No, I was just gonna be bantering away. I said maybe we dipped this in moles sauce before .

**Gizmo:** Right. It may, it kind of needs it

**Poobah:** that might enhance the flavor. Right. Or you could pull an Arnold Schwartzenegger and, uh, oh no. And paint the entire cigar with the, with the Alta Soro, with, uh, with tequila, with a cedar spill.

And then smoke the cigar after you paint the cigar with tequila, which he did online. And cigar Fisha actually published it as something that would be a best practice when smoking cigars. It's a disgrace, which actually discredits the entire publication beyond the fact. Thank you. That the pu that, that the publication.

Did an, uh, an [00:38:00] unboxing of a fucking, uh, oh, this was crazy. Of a 50, what was it, the 50, the COHIBA 55. The 55th. Good. Yeah. Cohiba 55. That was five count box released at the festival, which didn't get released at the festival. And the, and the, and and the, the, the factory code was U ao, which is not a factory code from 2021.

It should have been what? M R e No, it should have been M a r M A R. Sorry. Uh, uh. You know, it's like, and then one of the, one of the bands on those cigars was different than the other four was different than the other four was a premier band. Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, it's a joke. It's

**Gizmo:** like, so now here's the crazy thing about that.

That's crazy. Now this goes back to Havana. So, you know, we, so pub was talking about a video, an unboxing video that, that, uh, ca did about with the, the Cohiba 55. And there were a lot of inconsistencies about it. So obviously the internet and crazy people like us started jumping like, oh my gosh, cigar fishing Auto not only got a fake box, But they unboxed it and didn't even notice some of the anomalies, which included a, an [00:39:00] incorrect code.

There were, uh, one of the bands was different than the other four, so there's a picture of five bands and the factory code didn't match, and the factory code was a factory code that was, was extinct, retired two years ago. Now we find out through Phon, who's the distributor there, the, the distributor there in, uh, in that region.

Um, and also through ha bonos that not only is it a legitimate box, not only are they bringing back the u AO code for these, these releases, uh, but that it was just a thing that happened and they shipped them out to ca and nobody checked. Nobody raised the, an eyebrow at it. Wow. It's who, who opened that box?

David Savona. Okay. Yeah. The, the editor. So it's like, I don't understand how you, you, you produce a video like that and don't notice some of those anomalies. And then of course, you know, he gets pissed off. He gets pissed off at the, at the readers like us who were commenting on it, saying, mm-hmm , Hey, this box is fake.

They deleted all the

**Poobah:** comments. They did. They delete them. Really? I looks like I went to the [00:40:00] site and it looked like the

**Gizmo:** comments were, I'm not surprised, but it, it, what bothers me is like from a journalism standpoint, how they don't put a note on the article saying, Hey, we understand there's some anomalies here.

Some readers pointed it out. This is a legitimate box. These anomalies are okay, it's Cuba being Cuba. I mean, it's just crazy to me. And by the way, guess how much that box of five cigars is retail? 1500. 300 A stick that is $300 a stick. That is outrageous. And they're letting sticks leave the factory. Or if the distributor packed them and printed the labels themselves, whatever happened, they're letting $300 sticks leave like that.

Unbelievable. And they're getting pissed at us for saying, Hey, something's wrong here. Makes no goddamn damn sense. Wow.

**Poobah:** Yeah. It, it, so I, I honestly think that the, the, the folks at Cigar Fish Shindo, no joke. Got they. Fir well, number one, they un just unboxed it. Videotaped it, yep. Put it up and then went back to work and put it up.

So there was [00:41:00] no, um, , it was an unboxing, so there was no inspection done prior to the unboxing. They just kind of assumed the, the bottom line is I don't think they're, I don't think that these guys over there are smoking enough Cubans on a regular basis or something to even know what factory codes are current and what aren't, because that would be a tell to anyone who knows Cuban Cigars.

Yeah, Eleg. Gito that. That factory code is two

**Gizmo:** and a half years extinct,

**Poobah:** extinct two and a half years. So anyone who looked at the bottom of that box, I bet they're guys who work in the fucking mail room there who smoke cigars and no more would know more about the factory codes than, than these guys. They probably just is in the middle of his day.

We're gonna do this unboxing, get the production team ready. Okay, you got the box. Okay, bing, bang, boom, I'm gonna unbox it. Boom, bang, bang, boom. And no one's paying attention to the details. And, um, it's unbelievable to me. It's [00:42:00] ridiculous though. I don't see how that box that they, that, that, that they videotaped and published on their website with a, with a band that isn't consi on the right hand side that isn't consistent.

It's a premier band with the rest of the four cigars in the box. In an inconsistent code. Did they black? Like I, I, I just, I can't believe that the box even got opened. Yeah. With that, that big, and, and not only that, but the

**Gizmo:** font, the font of the code is wrong. I, and here's what I think happened is wrong.

Bam. Bam. Just here's what I, here's what I think happened. Again, Phia confirmed, which is the Habas distributor of that region, not a retailer distributor. Huge. They confirmed that the cigars were real, and they sent them directly to ca. I think what happened is, I think they boxed them, and I think they labeled them at Phoenicia.

I don't even think Haos did it. That's my guess. That's my guess. And, and again, for a $300 cigar, it bothers me because it gives credo to the counter

**Poobah:** fitters. How, how does that explain the, [00:43:00] out the, the band?

**Gizmo:** It doesn't explain the band. It's stupidity. Now, the reason why there's two different bands is there are, I mean,

**Poobah:** but they're putting box code.

The distributor I know is putting a box code and a date that doesn't make

**Gizmo:** sure sense. Here's what happened with the bands

**Poobah:** that, that what happen that would happen. In coordination with the transit seal and

**Gizmo:** it's crazy. It is unbelievable. So the answer to your question with the bands is when they were released at the Cohiba Festival, the bands did not have the word premiere on them.

The retail addition of these same cigars, the bands have the word premiere. So there actually are two legitimate bands, one for the festival, one for the retail that we're gonna be able to purchase at some point in the future. Um, that's why the discrepancy now to let a box leave with four of one and one of the other is crazy, but it's legitimate.

That could

**Poobah:** be, I mean, I could see that getting by someone. At a factory packing the box. I guess I could see that. But [00:44:00] you would hope Pa, Cuba being Cuba.

**Bam Bam:** But if it arrived at any one of your houses, and I'm looking at the three of you, gizmo, pub and Rooster, you would know

**Gizmo:** in a Well. I did. I commented on it.

I went, I went bonkers thinking that it was, you would know. And, and we have friends. Cigar salute Dan. He, he was all over it too. Our Facebook groups, everybody was like, what the hell is going on?

**Bam Bam:** Not to go off on ca, but if I owned ca, I would make sure that I had people on my staff that smoked, that knew what a real cigar was, as opposed to a counterfeit and could spot it.

They don't smoke cigars. Puma made a great point. Yep. These people just are there. They work and they just go back to their

**Gizmo:** desk. You know, things like the font on. the typeface of the the box code, right? Normally it shouldn't be a problem, but now with how much counterfeiting goes on, that's one of the tells for us.

So the idea that not only ha bono's, FIUs ca are allowing this to me, they're given credo to the counterfeiters to say, counterfeiter, point to this. Go, Hey, this [00:45:00] box is real. My box is real. it, it, it, it's just undermining the market and Havanas has a lot of work to do as far as authenticity goes. I also,

**Bam Bam:** I also think it's gonna undermine capturing new smokers,

**Gizmo:** $300 a scar,

**Bam Bam:** regardless of that.

Because that happened to you on another cigar. Mm-hmm. . But in general, as if novice smoker, if I were to come in looking for cigars and I wanted Cuban cigars, , I'd be afraid to buy one. Yeah. And I wouldn't know enough to know if it was fake or not, so I'd

**Poobah:** stay away. But here's the thing, the, the cohiba is the most and Oh, historically, yeah.

From, since time in memorial. Most, most common has been the most counterfeited cigar that the Monty too are, are really, have been just. You know. Yeah. I've seen boxes over the years of Monty Twos just going back, like where you can't even, they're, they're, they're actually so horrific and people buy people were buying them.

I'm talking, you know, going back, go back [00:46:00] 10, 5, 10 years, the, the I, I'd see, oh, I've got a box of these. And you'd just look at 'em and you'd go, this is, this is insanity. This is not where, where, where the shape of the cigar is so pointed. Yeah. You can't even, it's doesn't, it's not even close the rabbit. It's so incorrect.

It's so every, there's so incorrect. Um, but, you know, uh, so anyway, well long. If, if you, at the end of the day, do not buy Cohiba on the internet, don't do it. Yep. It's, it's a, it's one, they're too expensive for what you're getting. If you, if you, you know, unless you have a really trusted source, I, I would advise not to do it.

And, and also I'd like to just, and once for the listener, once you start to smoke, uh, Cuban tobacco and you smoke enough of it, you'll know, you, you'll know in three seconds, you know, you could put a blindfold on me and, [00:47:00] and put a parus defor in my mouth. And I know from the cold draw what it's gonna taste like.


**Bam Bam:** you've been smoking for

**Poobah:** a very long time, but, but, but you know, the, these, you know, some of the stuff though. Um, so, uh, if you have to pay more, get a, you know, source your cigars from good, from solid good sources. in a community of people that are like-minded. And I think that y you'll have a good experience.

Yep. If, if, if you jump into it blind and you start sourcing cigars from gray market vendors who aren't reputable, um, you could find yourself smoking, uh, you know, uh, a, a floor sweep off the floor. Yeah. And, and, and, and, and some stuff that's not even good for you. So. Yep. Um, good advice. Just be very careful with your dollar.

It's very careful because with your dollar, because it, it, it, Cuban tobacco is very distinctive. These, these, all these different markers have a distinctive flavor profile. And [00:48:00] once you know what that is, uh, it's not, you know, it doesn't take a whole lot of know-how once you smoke one. Yeah. To really, to really under, to, to, to, to recognize it.


**Gizmo:** doesn't. Right. So, uh, I wanna get back to that in a second here, boys. Uh, we're coming into the last third, I would say, of the punch Duke here. What are you guys thinking right now? I'm enjoying it more. Yeah, definitely.

**Rooster:** It did pick up a little bit in, in, you know, in in body and, uh, I think so. Yeah, I think so.

Maybe the last third did pick up. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** I'm pretty far ahead, but yeah. Uh, it's not amazing. It's, and the and the rating will, the rating will reflect that. Sure will. But I, you know, the one thing I wanna say about PVAs point is I think that, you know, he said if you're, if there's shrimp, you know, and you, you have guacamole and you're on the beach or whatever.

I think if we weren't under the microscope tonight, I think we might be enjoying the cigar a little more. If this was something, you know, in those kind of circumstances, I think we would be enjoying it more. But, you know, here, under these circumstances, doing the pod, really examining it. Yeah. I think it's [00:49:00] really fun.


**Rooster:** a casual smoke. It's, you know, it's nothing complex about the smoke. Sure, sure. Yeah. It kind of reiterates the point about regionals just, you know, not, not living up

**Bam Bam:** to the height. Yeah. And what's, if you had a matrix for this cigar and you, you know, you crossed the, your, the cost. flavor profile where you would slot it in.

Yeah. A lot of those boxes won't be

**Poobah:** checked. Agree a lot. I, yeah. I had a, I had a rasp before I came in here. It was a 2019 or a 2020, I don't know. And way, way better cigar.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. That's a $14 smoke. Yeah.

**Poobah:** It's a way better cigar. Like head and shoulders above this thing. Yeah. So,

**Gizmo:** so pagoda, you had an interesting tidbit that you were sharing.

Uh, no, before we went on earlier, but Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Because you mentioned Phoenicia. Yeah. And Phoenicia, in addition to being a distributor, is also one of the largest retail, um, special, like a duty-free retail holder in Beirut airport. And it's amazing. Beirut [00:50:00] Mount. Yeah. And it's amazing the number of CIGA sell in 2021.

They sold 20, sorry, what was it? It's like, um, over 10 million ciga. It's ridiculous.

**Bam Bam:** Wow. Out of one airport, out of one.

**Pagoda:** Outta one retail 10,002,000 2021. That's incredible. The other thing, what the, what the, you know, there are a few pointers. It's, it's just interesting. Few interesting facts. Um, they say it's common for people to buy, you know, from thousand even up to a hundred thousand when people come and buy, people fly out in their private jets, pick up cigars, birth a hundred thousand and

**Bam Bam:** go.

Wow. They must have some inventory there. That's, they

**Pagoda:** have, um, typically they, for defaults, they have around 300,000 sticks in stock all the time. what?

**Bam Bam:** No wonder.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, that's where they all are.

**Bam Bam:** What the heck? So they

**Pagoda:** said it's one of the most, uh, popular cigars.

**Gizmo:** Sounds like Gizmo's House. sounds like your house over

**Pagoda:** there.[00:51:00]

So some of the most popular cigars which sell through there is ob the Defor. Um, it's impossible to get, they said like Kohi. Kohi. Yeah. Uh, but, uh, the Romeo and Julietta White Churchills the ho material. Le Hok. Yep. De Rio Seko. Rio Seko. Yep. So essentially all of them are these fat cigars, and for some reason these fatty cigars are more popular.

Um, and in 2019, I think they had their 40th year anniversary. So they came up with the Ramon aloneness. Phoenicia 40. Yep. Uh, which is six and a half inches by 54. Which

**Gizmo:** a big smoke. That's crazy. That's another inch on this. Yeah. Which

**Pagoda:** sells in a l e humid for up to $24,000. Wow. It is, it's, it's just interesting.

That's amazing. Yeah. Beirut, who would've thought Beirut? Yeah, it's good. Wow. One of the largest worded Casa del

**Bam Bam:** Havana. Yeah. Middle Eastern market's not

**Poobah:** small. The Middle Eastern market is huge. Yeah. City power is [00:52:00] ridiculous. Just think of the, just think of all the money in Cutter. Um, Dubai. In Dubai,

**Bam Bam:** Bahrain.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. And they're all just jumping on their private, private planes flying in there. And so I've been to load up

**Bam Bam:** free, free fuel . I've been to a lot of those countries. That's true. Yeah. That's a good point. Free fuel. I've been, I've been to a lot of those countries. They spare no expense when it comes to entertaining their friends and their family.

Yeah. No expense. I was a guest at a bunch of those countries. I was on a business trip. they spare no expense.

**Gizmo:** None. Wow. That's

**Pagoda:** crazy. You know what's really interesting is about it, they were the one of the first ones who have a walk in humidor at

**Bam Bam:** the airport.

**Poobah:** Airport, yeah. Airport. Wow.

**Gizmo:** Wow. Impress amazing

**Pagoda:** stuff.

I would've never thought Beirut would be the hotspot.

**Poobah:** No. Yeah. I mean, uh, for

**Gizmo:** kidnapping for sure. , uh, of Americans

**Bam Bam:** of cigars,

**Pagoda:** meaning it's like 10 million cigars

**Bam Bam:** is quite a

**Poobah:** bit. I'm not surprised. I mean yeah, you [00:53:00] got a lot of guys in like white robes walking around just ready to like purchase a lot

**Bam Bam:** of shit.

Exactly right.

**Gizmo:** Yep, yep. So what are you guys thinking about the El Tesoro right now paired with the cigar?

**Poobah:** You know, I put Oh, the Elta Soro, sorry. The Elta Soro is really good over a lot, a lot more character than the cigar. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. We're coming in the last third here, boys coming to the end almost. Yeah.


**Bam Bam:** Almost, almost at the end. Yeah. I feel that there's more body, um, it's, it's a bit more satisfying cuz I'm getting more flavor. But What flavor? Well, that's a good question.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I, I, I think I, again, the rating will reflect this, but certainly for 60 bucks a regional release, something that people chase it is just not Yeah.

Worth any of it. It's not worth the money. It's not worth the effort. I put, I've

**Poobah:** put mine down. Yeah. So I'm, I've had it. Who's

**Bam Bam:** trademark? ? No, but no, but I've, you know,

**Pagoda:** it, it's really weird, but I've kind of really enjoyed [00:54:00] just holding it and smoking it. It's such an easy, like the smoke output is there. It's easy.

Yeah. But it's like you're feeling nothing.

**Poobah:** Yeah. Yeah. It's kind of like, It's like a guest. It's a good cigar. Yeah. Yeah. It's like a guest. It's a, if it was smaller, maybe I could put up with it, but like in length. But it's like a guest who hangs around at a party just a little bit too long and you're waiting for them to bring additional value,

And they're just, that guest is just not bringing additional value. And then like, everybody's left the party and then he's like still hanging around. , you're, you're kind of like, all right, dude. Like, you know, like, this is, we're about to clean up and go bed is kind of good, but like, you know, let's maybe take off.

Or Why

**Pagoda:** didn't you

**Gizmo:** stay over? Oh,

**Poobah:** no, no. Like, just call an Uber. It's over.

**Bam Bam:** It is like the Seinfeld

**Pagoda:** episode. .

**Rooster:** Yeah. He's covered that as well. He wouldn't do that in Baruth,

**Gizmo:** right? Bam. No. A

**Bam Bam:** guest as a guest, never ever tell a [00:55:00] guest to leave. Can't do that.

**Gizmo:** Wow. That's, that's, I, I would not survive over there cuz I shut it down real

**Bam Bam:** fast.

The hospitality is off the charts. Give them

**Gizmo:** the dates. All right everybody, let's wrap it up. That's what I tell 'em. That's what I tell 'em at the party. Not us. I'm saying at a party. Like, wrap it up. I shut it down. Yeah. Start playing the fabulous Thunderbirds. Put the lights on. Last call. Are you guys ready to do the, uh, formal liquor rating on the Elta?

Soro? Yep. All right. Bam. Bam. You're up. I will give

**Bam Bam:** it a seven. Okay. Pagoda

**Gizmo:** seven Puba. The ELTA Soro. Yes.

**Poobah:** I really liked it. I'm gonna give it a nine.

**Gizmo:** Ooh, I'm there with you. I think you guys are crazy at a seven. I'm a nine all day. I think an eight

**Bam Bam:** would've been

**Gizmo:** a fair. Well, that's how it ended up. Wow. 8.0. Okay. That's fair. I think it's low. That's fair. But that's my opinion. Yeah, I definitely think for me it, I, I like it better than the Forza.

Um, I know some of the others that, that Ricky brought that are a little bit harder to [00:56:00] get, um, have a little more, but I, I think this is a very drinkable, it's drinkable, enjoyable spirit, even, you know, obviously we didn't have it with ICE tonight. I was gonna say,

**Bam Bam:** if I had a chip of ice, it would've been different, I think.

Terrific. But,

**Pagoda:** but compared to the Dawn Julio, the.

**Gizmo:** Well that's extremely, I mean, to me, I'm gonna drink the Don Julio more because it's more affordable. It's easier to get, this is not easy, easy to find. Uh, but if I had them both sitting there, I'm probably gonna reach for this. Oh really? Oh yeah, absolutely.

This is very refined. This is very good. It's really nice.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. When you're looking for something that's got more

**Gizmo:** body. For sure. Yeah. And you know, the thing I'm finding too, to go back briefly to the conversation of, of spirits, um, I'm finding that when I drink tequila, I feel better when I drink it. I feel better after I drink it.

No hangover. And I feel great in the morning, you know, so that is a deciding factor for me. Especially if I work the next morning, you know, or I have something to do, I'm gonna go. Tequila now is first really known calories and really low in calories. Yeah, right. Yeah. So, I don't know. And especially with no additives, no sugar, I [00:57:00] just feel good.

Yeah. Concern that

**Pagoda:** is no sugar. And now that I'm really focusing on Maquila,

**Gizmo:** great. By the way, pagodas down 20 pounds, everybody. I am. Yeah. Looking good over there looking. Felt, I think tequila

**Pagoda:** should be the drink of choice. , I think I might

**Bam Bam:** change my rating to a nine.

**Gizmo:** too late. All right, boys, we're coming to the end.

Here are the punch. Duke. Uh, any final thoughts before we rate this thing?

**Bam Bam:** I think we've covered it. Yeah. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Not much more to say. No. Yeah. I just kind of give up on these regionals. . Yeah. I mean, I think we've kind of done that as a group, but we don't have them on the pot a lot. We don't review them a lot.

We don't smoke them even when we're not recording a lot. Not easy, not easy to get. Not easy, easy to get. And I find that most of the time they're a disappointment. Mm-hmm.

**Pagoda:** so, and especially because they're

**Gizmo:** overpriced. They're overpriced. Yeah. And they underdeliver. So now let's see, the, the manu was good.

Manu was good. Yeah. But again, I don't know if that's worth the price. It's commanding these days. Agreed. Agreed. So, all right, rooster, you're up for the formal wizard rating. All

**Rooster:** right. So I'm, I'm a little bit disappointed. Uh, You know, again, in this, in this regional, I mean, I [00:58:00] like, I like the punch marker. I love the punch.

Punch. I like, I like the short, the punch. Thank you. But this regional, uh, definitely, I mean, not at this price point, so I'm gonna give it a seven. Okay.

**Gizmo:** Puba?

**Poobah:** Um,

I'm gonna give

**Gizmo:** it,

**Poobah:** I hate to do this now. Be

**Gizmo:** honest. Be honest. I,

**Poobah:** I was hoping for more. I like, I like the way it started. Was hoping it developed into something more dynamic. It didn't. And, uh, I'm gonna give it a seven. Okay?

**Bam Bam:** So because of the factor of cost. I'm not ashamed to give this a six.

**Gizmo:** Okay. I was close to that. Yeah, I know you were, it, it leave me wanting, I'm gonna give it a six for sure.

Yeah, absolutely. I, I was gonna give it a five, but I think that that's unfair. That's unfair to this. I, I, I think a six is fair. [00:59:00] I agreed.

**Pagoda:** Pagoda. Yeah. No, I've been thinking about it because there's nothing Mexican or spicy, uh, about this.

**Bam Bam:** I don't know if I ever was intended to

**Pagoda:** be, no, I'm just kidding. You know what I mean?

Uh, but, um, there's something about the cigar. I really enjoyed smoking. The smoke out output. It felt very comfortable in my hand. Um, I'd give it a seven.

**Gizmo:** Okay. So the formal lizard rating on the punch Duke is a 6.6. That's pretty

**Poobah:** fair. Which I think is appropriate. You know, it's pretty fair, the construction, if the construction was worse, if the draw was worse, if.

It was like unpleasant in any way. I would've given it a six. Mm-hmm. , but it wasn't, but six, I think that's a fair score. Yeah. It's not, you know, I, I, I think it's a

**Gizmo:** pass. I think it's a pass. Yeah. Not a recommend. It's not a recommend. It's not a recommend. No, absolutely at all. And we've listen like you, like you said, Puba, look at the RAs, look at the default.

Like some of these are the cigars you're getting for a quarter or less of the price. Standard production is [01:00:00] the way to go. Standard production is the way. I mean, this is crazy for 60 bucks. Oh yeah.

**Poobah:** It's obscene. Oh, it's obscene. It really is. It's obscene. I mean, when you put the price into it, I mean, it's, it's obscene.

But even at, at 20 bucks, yeah. Now, honestly, I

**Bam Bam:** would've given it the same rating. I mean, if it was 20, I probably would've given it a seven because of the cost. I

**Gizmo:** wouldn't have, I would, I didn't let, to me, price was such a, with the way this, the construction of it was good. Yeah. Very well made cigar. Yeah. And it just, price aside, um, it, it, it just did not really do much.

**Poobah:** You know, the combustion, the construction of it was good. It, it wasn't offensive. It just didn't deliver. in, in, in a way. I was really hoping like the, it would be a two-part act. Yeah. Or, or a two act play. Three or even three or something. Or a three act play. Yeah. Maybe it would develop into something, but it really didn't at all.

**Gizmo:** No, actually, and, and Puba talks a lot about getting to that kind of zen place sometimes with cigars where, you know, you're just kind of, you [01:01:00] kind of get that's a real thing, by the way. It is. That's real. And like I said, I'm wanting another cigar now because I'm not. Oh yeah. Like this to me as if I ate a plain salad.

There's not enough

**Poobah:** nicotine in it. It's not, it didn't deliver enough right. Of anything. It, it needs more strength. It needed more, uh, something needed to happen with this

**Bam Bam:** thing and it didn't. I wonder, will age change that

**Gizmo:** at all, you think? I doubt it. I mean, he always talks about, people, talks about previewing.

I don't think it's gonna get better. Preview. Well, because it didn't, it didn't have even more , it didn't have rough edges per se. No, it just didn't have much going on. Agreed.

**Poobah:** Agreed. Didn't have like this youthful ammonia or anything in it. It just was just,

**Gizmo:** eh. So a and a flat 8.0 for the el tosoro tequila and a six point.

For the punch Mexican Regional, they called Duke. And, uh, great night guys.

**Poobah:** It was a great night that the, the tequila's better than an eight, by the way. Just saying

**Gizmo:** it is just saying the [01:02:00] tequila's closer to a nine. It's closer to a nine. I wish, I wish it ended up like an 85 or 87.

**Bam Bam:** Give a chip of ice. Maybe I'll change my mind.

So anyway, I had to,

**Gizmo:** I had to sneak that in . And, uh, thanks again to John at 10 86 cigars our clubhouse for having us. Yes, absolutely. And uh, thanks for, thanks to Chef Ricky. The great info, great insight on, uh, Elta Soro. All right, boys, we'll see you next week. Keep smoking. Hope you enjoyed this episode.

Thanks for joining us. You could find our merch store and ratings archive at our brand new website, lounge lizards pod.com. That's lounge lizards p 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.[01:03:00]