Lounge Lizards - a Cigar and Lifestyle Podcast

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Recorded at Ten86 Lounge in Hawthorne, New Jersey, the lizards pair the Rocky Patel ALR Second Edition Robusto with Hillrock Double Cask Rye Whiskey. The guys discuss Rocky Patel’s unique story and extensive product line, they try a whiskey from a nearby distillery, Pagoda goes back to Toronto and they debate entering Rooster into a slow smoking competition. Plus: FDA Fight & American smoker vitola preferences.

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 are normally around 90 minutes long and feature a variety of different topics including food, travel, life, sports and work.

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

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

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

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

Our plan is to smoke a cigar, drink some whiskey, talk about life, and of course, have some laughs. So take this as your 104th official invitation to join us. and become a card carrying lounge lizard. Play the music here once a week. We're gonna smoke a New World cigar tonight, share our thoughts on it, and give you our formal lizard rating.

We discuss Rocky Patel's unique story and extensive product line. We try a whiskey from a nearby distillery. Pagoda goes back to Toronto. And we debate entering Rooster into a slow smoking competition, all among a variety of other things for the next two hours. So sit back, get your favorite drink, light up a cigar and enjoy, as we pair Hill Rock Double Cask Rye Whiskey with the Rocky Patel ALR 2nd Edition in Robusto.

Our first Halloween [00:01:00] episode tonight on The Pod, featuring a Nicaraguan Robusto. Of the aged, limited, and rare varieties, especially for our friend Rooster here. Mm hmm. It's my favorite

**Rooster:** marker of all. I mean, I really go out of my

**Gizmo:** way for this marker.

**Rooster:** It's fabulous.

**Gizmo:** Tonight on the pod.

The Rocky Patel ALR. Second edition Robusto. Smoked so many of these. It's a Nicaraguan 50 ring gauge. I have boxes. By five and a half inches long. And boys. It is completely covered by bans and information. Yeah, it's absurd. Well, it's been protected. It's that's a nice way to put it.

**Rooster:** It's aged, it's limited and it's rare.

You don't say, and it's unsmokable. [00:02:00]

**Gizmo:** Don't say that. I shouldn't say that. You shouldn't say that. I might be pleasant. We might be surprised. You know, we've, we've had some real surprises on the podcast, especially. Keeping an open mind in the last 20 episodes, I would say, you know, namely the one that really stands out for me because since we recorded it, I've smoked it so much.

Is that Ali of vlan? Uh, the lan ero. Ah, it's tremendous. I've got those for fi $5 and 50 cents. Yeah. From Atlantic. And they have been, every one of them has been better than the last. So yeah. I think tight. Who has had the

**Rooster:** cigar before?

**Gizmo:** Pagoda? Yes, of course you have. I have.

**Senator:** I've had it once. Oh, you have? Yeah.

Years and years ago. Yeah. Okay. At our former lounge.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Prior to getting it.

**Rooster:** What was your first impression? Do you like

**Bam Bam:** it? Honestly, I, I liked it. It was, you know, it, to me, this is like the precursor to the Exclusivo. It's like the two, three steps behind it. It's serviceable, decent. It's, it's got a decent flavor profile.

**Gizmo:** Exclusivo meaning? Padron.

**Bam Bam:** It's kind of

**Senator:** like that. I told you he never smokes that cigar. He doesn't even [00:03:00] know what it is. He

**Bam Bam:** has no idea. I

**Rooster:** don't know if you're talking about a...

**Bam Bam:** He smoked one in 1910 though.

**Gizmo:** I thought you were talking about a Rocky Patel exclusive. I have no idea what they make. This is

**Bam Bam:** like a precursor, like a, I don't know, a distant, very distant cousin of that cigar.

That's fair.

**Gizmo:** We'll see how it does. Is that why you bought boxes of these?

**Bam Bam:** You know, I did buy two boxes, maybe six years ago. You bought two boxes of these? I liked it. All right, good. I liked it enough. I have hope. Well, I was a, no, no, no. I was a, fairly a novice back then, guys, just please.

**Gizmo:** You still are.

**Senator:** We're all learning.

I'm sorry. The only thing I have to point out before we, all the bands off so we can actually see the cigar. Speak for yourself, Rooster. The gigantic foot band that talks about how age this cigar is. It says age for two years, as if this is like, as a, some crazy amount of age. It's like a standard Pedro Nexos heel has got four years of age.

Why is that a big deal? And

**Gizmo:** his brother Nish, who I guess is the creative director, like the marketing retail person over there. Uh, Nish Patel [00:04:00] says that Rocky puts two years, but it's actually a little more than that, but he doesn't, he doesn't want to, he doesn't want to oversell it. I saw that quote. He doesn't want to oversell it.

Interesting. Alright boys, well let's take the footband off.

**Bam Bam:** You can pull it straight off if it's loose.

**Gizmo:** Alright, it came right off, that's good. Wow, that is a big piece of paper. So it talks about the, uh, the beginning of the cigar, 2016. Rocky blended a cigar featuring the San Andres, uh, Mexican rapper, ordered short production run of 120, 000 cigars, and then they laid them to rest for two years.

And this is the second edition of the cigar. Um, so we'll see what we get. I'm good. Let's wait it. No. Let's cut this thing, boys. So we're getting on the cold draw on the wrapper. I

**Senator:** just have to say, taking the footband off, it's actually not a

**Gizmo:** bad looking cigar. It's actually a really nice cigar. If it just had the gold Rocky Patel band, it'd be a thousand times better.

It'd be so much better. I

**Senator:** don't know why they put this on. This is actually a good looking

**Gizmo:** cigar. The wrapper smells pretty good. It does. And it looks really nice. It's actually, it's a [00:05:00] San Andres wrapper. Very nice. It's delicious. It's got a subtle box press to it. which is also nice. Um, uh, you know, I'm, I'm into it, man.

I, I, I'm, I'm feeling hopeful. Smells really good. I, I wouldn't call it a

**Rooster:** subtle box

**Gizmo:** press.

**Bam Bam:** You're gonna like it. I think you're gonna like this, Giz.

**Gizmo:** I hope so.

**Rooster:** I think It's

**Bam Bam:** not that subtle. It's, it's more pressed than the Exclusivo is. Yeah. Let's put it that way. You think so? Yeah. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Or almost. Almost. Cold draw, I'm getting that dried fruit figgy thing that we get on a lot of the Nicaraguan cigars.

**Bam Bam:** I can't stand the band. I don't like the design, I don't like the color.


**Gizmo:** gold ALR? It's awful. Yeah. I guess it's not even gold, it's like copper. It's copper. Alright boys, let's light this thing. The Rocky Patel ALR 2nd edition Robusto. Again, it's a 50 ring gauge cigar by 5 and a half inches long, classic Robusto size of course. Again, it has [00:06:00] a Mexican San Andres wrapper on it from Rocky's factory in Esteli, also some tobacco in here from Jalapa, but primarily Nicaraguan tobacco, but it has the Mexican wrapper on it.

So we'll see how it does tonight. All jokes aside, I am optimistic, especially when these came in. I was really, really impressed with how they looked and smelled. A nice presentation too. Yeah, the presentation was pretty good. Honestly, they look

**Bam Bam:** good.

**Gizmo:** What's the price point? These are around 11 bucks, 10, 11 bucks.

Which I think is on the higher end of his offering. Aside from maybe the Wait a

**Bam Bam:** minute, we're welding steel over

**Gizmo:** here. Yeah, sorry. Is that another lighter that's taking off to Mars? No, because

**Pagoda:** every time I lower it, then it doesn't just burn. Like, I need some good lighters.

**Bam Bam:** You need a welding mask for that thing, dude.[00:07:00]

**Gizmo:** I don't remember what episode that was on, but I was laughing, editing that one. Senator goes, Pagoda is going to be on Mars. Yeah, he's

**Senator:** got the thrusters like Jesus.

**Bam Bam:** This is good off the light. You have to admit

**Gizmo:** it is good.

**Bam Bam:** It is good. Senator skeptical, but I like

**Senator:** it. The flavor I'm getting is just very muted.

**Gizmo:** My draw is a little tighter than I'd like.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, dude, mine's wide open. And that's a testament to its

**Gizmo:** inconsistency. My my cigar is pretty tight. Wow. Which is, I don't know the last time I said that on a New World episode. Also on

**Senator:** a box press. Yeah, right. I mean, I feel like if there's one draw that is reliably open, it's almost anything box pressed.

**Rooster:** Yeah. I'm not really getting much on the light. Yeah. Yeah. Like when you cut an exclusive or you light up a Padron, you get that cocoa and like it's a cocoa bomb, but not, I mean, I don't know. That's [00:08:00] different. We'll

**Gizmo:** see what happens.

**Pagoda:** I think this has been aged a bit too long.

**Gizmo:** So I've had these in my humidor now for about eight weeks, so they've definitely had time to acclimate. Um, they came in a little wet, I felt when I got them from the retailer, but I, I pulled them out and brought them down. So I think these are definitely closer to, you know, we should

**Senator:** have done with the cigar.

We should have poured water on this before we smoked it. We should do it now. This would have been the one cigar that I would have been perfectly fine with

**Gizmo:** that. This is true. I'm getting some interesting flavor. It's definitely a spice forward for me.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, right now, I'm getting pretty

**Gizmo:** good spice. But not a tatawahe type of, uh, for me, it's not an unpleasant spice, like...

That's white pepper, maybe? Yeah, a little white pepper, but it's not, um, it's not biting me, you know?

**Pagoda:** I kind of agree. Actually, my draw's fantastic. Mine

**Gizmo:** too.

**Senator:** I'm just getting white pepper and earth.

**Gizmo:** Definitely earth. A little cocoa for me. I'm getting a little cocoa.

**Senator:** And not like green, earth like dirt. [00:09:00] And I'm not saying that to be like legitimately like soil

**Gizmo:** smoke outputs.

Really good.

**Bam Bam:** I think there's a danger in smoking this too quickly. Oh yeah.

**Gizmo:** I think if this heats up, it's going to bite you. So Rocky Patel has a long, long history and a lot of cigars. I mean, when, when we talk about how many cigars on his website, he has three pages dedicated to just. The lines of cigars, not even the individual offerings of each.

I mean, it is significant. He is certainly one of the volume producers out of Nicaragua, making a lot, a lot of cigars, and I think he's making a lot of cigars for other folks too, I'm not so sure, but. You know, he has a lot of cigars and most of them are budget. I mean, you know, aside from maybe the new, uh, the 60, which, you know, performed pretty well last year in Cigar Aficionado's rating, um, celebrating 60 years, I guess it was his [00:10:00] 60th birthday, um...

How many

**Bam Bam:** total cigars does he sell? Do you know?

**Gizmo:** I don't know. Is there a count? I don't

**Pagoda:** know. It is substantial, by the way. I was shocked when, uh, That's crazy. Yeah. I think he's definitely in North America. He's, Oh, he's a monster. He's, he's pretty up there.

**Gizmo:** I think, you know, it, I, it's interesting to think about his customer base.

If you call, if you recall back to when we were going through, uh, Cigar Aficionado asking retailers what folks were asking for and then comparing that to what people were buying. We saw on the buying list that Rocky made an appearance, it's like his customer base, this customer base is for a lower budget smoker, which is fine, you know, uh, I think it's a very much in line with like an Oliva, which, you know, we had very high success with, but these cigars are not in that Davidoff type price range or that really higher end.

Or quality. Or quality, sure, but, you know, in that higher end price range. And I think he's very purposely [00:11:00] trying to make these cigars affordable for as many people as possible, and I respect that.

**Bam Bam:** It's a definite business model. Sell decent quality at a low price, you're gonna move product. Yeah, and he does.

**Gizmo:** Regardless

**Senator:** of what it is. So, I've got some numbers to answer Bam's question. First, I'm not sure if you saw this, but he's got over a hundred different lines. Which is nuts. It's obscene. And in 2018 alone, he exported 22 and a half million cigars to the U. S. That is crazy. So it's gotta be probably closer to 30 million now.

Dude. A year.

**Pagoda:** Dude. And the total demand over here being about 100 million?

**Gizmo:** I would think it's a little more than that. I think it was 300 million or 300. Yeah. But it's still, that's a significant percentage for one, one, one manufacturer. How good do your

**Bam Bam:** blenders have to be to blend hundreds of cigars and give each a unique profile?

Give me a break. So I got to

**Pagoda:** tell you this. It's not possible. It's not possible. I was reading something and they said, well, uh, you [00:12:00] know, the toor is, uh, you know, typically, uh, are expected roll between 450 to 500 cigars a day. But at Rocky Patel we do, uh, you know, we focus on quality. So they're expected to do about 250 to 300.

Mm. That's a lot of cigars. That's a lot of, a lot. It's like,

**Gizmo:** what's Cuba? I mean, in Cuba is like a hundred, 120. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** So, I mean, you know, these guys are just, you know, ramping

**Rooster:** up product that, that's kind of, that's. That's a, that's a little odd. I mean, in Cuba, if they can roll a hundred cigars,

**Gizmo:** it's an accomplishment.

**Rooster:** No, but, and yet there's quality issues and these guys can roll like 200 and there are, there's no draw

**Gizmo:** issues except for tonight, something is, you know, I mean,

**Rooster:** I mean, most of the new worlds, I mean, draw pretty

**Gizmo:** good. We normally don't have a

**Bam Bam:** problem. Hey, man, look, from the point of view of, uh, of, uh, company ownership, a business ownership, it's incredible.

It's incredible. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** And it's owned by him. He was, you know, the company was founded in 1995 as Indian to back [00:13:00] cigar company. Rocky was a Hollywood attorney and he fell in love with cigars in between takes on movie sets and he would smoke cigars with other actors. And then he sold his legal practice to start the cigar business.

That's cool. And I, I really admire, I mean, he's been in this since 95, man. That's... True entrepreneur. Yeah, I mean, that's almost 30 years grinding. This, this guy is notorious for having spent weeks in his car at a time. Just driving. Just door to door. Retail store, retail store, door to door. Literal door to door.

I did not know that. Like, he was a successful Hollywood attorney. Went into his car. And went door to door to pitch his cigars. I respect that, man. I was, I was

**Rooster:** at a, at a cigar lounge in Santa Monica. There are very few. So, this particular one, the owner actually knew Rocky Patel from before. He said he used to be, he used to skateboard in Santa Monica, on the [00:14:00] Santa Monica pier.

When he was an attorney, and he was very, he was pretty successful. He even showed me his building was like very close by. And then all, then he decided his passion for cigar was so great that he bought that Indian tobacco brand. And he just went off from there and blew up. And then he changed the name to Rocky Patel.

And then his brothers got involved much later on. And, uh, I mean, he, he literally did go like, like I said, door to door promoting his brand. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** So, and think about, give him credit for that. Think about too, like when he was doing this in the late nineties, it's like the cigar boom time and think about how many manufacturers, how many brands were coming out, how many, how many things were being released, and you know, still finding a way to get through that and to thrive.

Yeah. Well in, you know, 30 years later, I mean, that's incredible. It is amazing. And there is not a single cigar shop that I've been to. That doesn't have a Rocky Patel. Everywhere. They are [00:15:00] everywhere. And he owns the business himself. He is not owned by a conglomerate. It's not owned by General or Scandinavia.

It's, you know, he owns it and runs it with his brother. It's

**Bam Bam:** tremendous. Pretty incredible. Oh yeah. You know, I've never had a bad Rocky. I've only had maybe four, five different ones my whole life. I don't even remember the ones I've had. I've had this, and I've had a few of the smaller Vertolas, and I'm just gonna name the band.

They're dark maroon or burgundy colored bands. Little, little,

**Senator:** uh... Oh, I know what you're talking about. They say they're like aged for ten or more years. Yeah, whatever,

**Gizmo:** yeah. Is it a decade?

**Bam Bam:** No. It's been a while. Honestly, I did like, enjoyed it. You know

**Senator:** the red band. It's a very dark wrapper on the cigar.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah.

It's like a Petit Corona type of a cigar. That, that Vitola. That shape. I think I've had that. It's not bad. I

**Senator:** can't complain about it. That one cigar, if we're talking about the same one, it has a dark red band and it's got a very dark wrapper. Oh yes. And I was in Scottsdale or Phoenix, Arizona. And, Um, [00:16:00] actually I was at the Phoenician and, uh, they have like a humidor near the golf course and I actually didn't have cigars on me, so I had to buy something there.

Selection was extremely limited. So I actually had that. It was not bad.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. Yeah. I can't complain about any Rockies that I've

**Gizmo:** had.

**Rooster:** What's the most expensive one that he has? Is it the decade?

**Gizmo:** No, the decades of budget cigar. Decadence of budget. Yeah, that's a pretty, Which

**Senator:** apparently I was just reading, got 95 points by

**Gizmo:** CA.

Oh boy. This, this specific, uh, line here got a 96 from CA. I think it was the number five cigar of the year, cigar aficionado, 2019.

**Pagoda:** In 19, I think that's when I tried it for the first time. I think what, uh, we had played golf and, uh, we ended up at, uh, JNR. And, uh, we were hanging out and we were just looking at cigars, and I think the two cigars that we picked up was the EP Correo, uh, the Encore, and the ALR.

And we really enjoyed it. Although we did have the Gordo, so. Oh boy, that's a

**Gizmo:** big

**Bam Bam:** cigar. It's like [00:17:00] smoking a baseball

**Gizmo:** bat. So just some more on the history of his company, because again, I find, you know, despite our, you know, ball busting at the beginning of the episode, because Rooster always mentions this, um, Since we started doing the pod, but again, I just find it fascinating.

So he, he, he founded the original company, like I said, called Indian tobacco. It was under license from Indian motorcycle company. I guess it was inspired by the motorcycle company. He licensed the name, partnered with them in some way and began manufacturing cigars in Honduras. And like Rooster said, renamed the company to Rocky Patel premium cigars.

In 2006, Indian tobacco fell as a market under that main line or that main brand, uh, and was discontinued in 2014. And since 2013, his brother Nish, as we mentioned earlier, he, who also has his own cigar line since 2013, he's been involved in the company. And I guess as of 2015, um, it's based now [00:18:00] in Bonita Springs, Florida.

But anyway. Um, I'm, I'm fascinated by his story and I just love an entrepreneurial story like that. And somebody willing to get in their car and drive around and make a business for themselves. And now shipping probably upward, like Senator said, of 30 million cigars a year. Tremendous. It's incredible.

Tremendous. Tremendous. Again, I go back

**Bam Bam:** to that. It's hysterical that you have enough blenders that are sophisticated and skilled enough to give each cigar its own identity. Rooster. How is that possible? How

**Rooster:** do you do that? You take a leaf out of one and put it in the other one.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. I look, I, I admire, I admire it.

I admire that ability to do that. Oxygen oxidizes. Yeah, it does. Thank you.

**Gizmo:** I think he has a third

**Rooster:** brother too, right?

**Gizmo:** A cousin. Oh,

**Bam Bam:** there you go. Three brothers. They got it. Three blenders. Each roll,

**Gizmo:** each roll

**Rooster:** a hundred. 10 million

**Gizmo:** each. Good to go. But

**Pagoda:** they, but there you go. He's a lizard, right? At the end of the

**Gizmo:** day, 100%.

Right. [00:19:00] And you know, the other thing about Rocky 2 is I, I would say as far as the manufacturers go. He is one of the loudest voices in the anti FDA regulation stuff. Whenever you see those articles come out in, in, uh, Cigar Aficionado or on Half Wheel or, or, or Cigar Journal, wherever they may be, his quote is always in there.

He's always, he's very active in that community, which is a very

**Senator:** good thing. And not just active lending his voice, lending his time, actually being there in person. He's in DC a lot, meets with lawmakers. I mean, if you look at like PCA premium cigar association. They're with him all the time lobbying. It's great.

It's also his law background that helps.

**Bam Bam:** That's true. I would think so. It's true. I would think so. Yeah, that would have decimated his business. Early on, the first round of these, um, the taxes were based on the number of VTOLers, the individual VTOLers, and the size, right? And you were taxed on each independent size.

That would have killed him. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. He's [00:20:00] beloved. There's no question about that. He's beloved, you know, and I, like I said, I mean, to make premium cigars at a really affordable price that people certainly love. I mean, and the other thing too, is he's really infiltrated, you know, if you think about when you buy beginner packs of cigars, those fivers or tenors, you're always getting.

A Rocky Patel or two in there. Certainly, I remember smoking the Decade. I got one of those, I think, from Cigar International or something. And, you know, it was certainly one of the better ones in the pack. Um, not great now comparatively. Because, you know, there weren't putting brands in there that we know and love and smoke a lot.

But, anyway, I think it's, uh, I think it's a pretty cool story. That's awesome. A


**Pagoda:** of people tend to like the cigars. I think, uh, I haven't had many, but they're these anniversary series. I think the 15, 20 and the 25. I think 20 being apparently like really mild and somewhat, uh, could be a day to day cigar, but the [00:21:00] 15 and 25 are slightly, they were meant to be

**Rooster:** premium.

Isn't there like 20

**Gizmo:** cigar? I think it's the 60. It's called the 60. Yeah. That's the one I think that got the, uh, it was number two. Last year in Cigar Aficionado behind the H. Uppman No. 2 from Cuba. So his was actually the top Which one? New World Cigar. Which one? It was the 60, 6x60 cigar. Oh, the big monster, yeah.

big one, yeah. Real big. But I think that's closer to 20 in price. You don't have to say.

**Bam Bam:** That Rocky Patel looks great in your hand, Rooster. Yeah. Spooky. It does look good.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. And I love the smile on your face. Didn't it in? Didn't it in?

**Gizmo:** All right. Well, I'm,

**Pagoda:** I'm just, I'm just, I'm just, I'm just glad he hasn't put it off now because the first time around, remember? Well, he can't, he's being forced.

**Gizmo:** That's the beauty of this podcast. If these microphones weren't here, we wouldn't be happening.

**Pagoda:** You'd be running for the hill. We were hanging out at the steakhouse.

Ruth said, give [00:22:00] me a Cuban, and in return I gave him an ALR.

**Bam Bam:** Oh boy. And

**Pagoda:** as soon as he lit it up, he just put it down right away. I was like, damn.

**Bam Bam:** I was like, I give this fucking guy a Cuban.

**Gizmo:** So boys, we're about half an inch. A little over half an inch here into the ALR, second edition Robusto, very pleasant so far for me. I, I,

**Rooster:** I'm not, I mean, I'm not really getting anything out of it. I'm not getting much. I mean, well, what, what flavor note could you say? I'm not getting any cocoa. Yeah. Maybe a little white pepper.

**Bam Bam:** My, for me, the pepper's dissipated. That's disappeared. I'm getting, can you name

**Rooster:** one note? I can

**Bam Bam:** name three. Distinct. I'll name three. So Senator nailed it. Earth. And I'm still getting that. A little leather and coffee for me.

**Gizmo:** I'm also getting a little cocoa. Yeah,

**Pagoda:** I'm getting muted cocoa. Like, it's not

**Rooster:** a... I can't really make out, like, a coffee note.

I don't

**Senator:** know. I'm not getting as much coffee. I get, [00:23:00] like, dark chocolate or, like, cacao. Like, it's... It's very dark. It's espresso. It's espresso. Very dark. Yeah. And then there's a tiny faint bit of sweetness that's like brown sugar or molasses like in the background. That works.

**Bam Bam:** It's tough in this room, right?

Cause we love the Padron line and we go to that and this supersedes, that supersedes anything that this cigar can ever do. Sure. For what it is, it's smoking nicely.

**Gizmo:** I think it's a pleasant cigar. I'm not, I'm certainly not even thinking about putting it down or wanting to do that, but what I will say as far as flavor that we get out of Nicaraguan cigars, this is on the, I think Pagoda said the word more muted.

It's, it's a more muted. version of Nicaraguan tobacco, whereas if we talk about tatuaje as something that's very, very in your face, punching you with spice, almost unpleasant, which is what I experience, you know, when I smoke a lot of the tatuaje.

**Bam Bam:** Were you expecting that with this cigar? [00:24:00] Because

**Gizmo:** you've never had this before.

I was expecting, I was expecting more of a Padron type of profile. Not as complex, or interesting, or as refined. Certainly, just let's talk about just age, period. You know, the tobacco is half the age of the 1964 line of Padron, but It's just um, it's just not as interesting as a lot of the other Nicaragans that we've had.

**Senator:** Yeah, I think it's It's kind of his philosophy on cigars, like it just, you think about, I mean, I've had maybe one or two from the decade line, I think grinder gave me this, uh, rocky Java that I honestly did not enjoy, but I've tried it. Did you get coffee? That's all I got. It was just like, almost like a flavored, I almost questioned if it was really the cigar.

It was just coffee all the way through nothing else. And that's what for us, I just want some complexity. But the reason I say this is all of the cigars I've had that he makes, even when they're Nicaraguan, they're super smooth and [00:25:00] barely medium. It's like weird that, you know, like you're, you're getting flavor, like the flavor notes are usually things that should be rich and deep and kind of in your face, but they're delivered in such a gentle, light, muted way.

And that's just been my experience really across everything I've had that he makes. So I feel like, you know, maybe he's trying to appeal to some more novice smokers that maybe want some of those bolder Nicaraguan flavors, but at this point in their journey, maybe need them or prefer them delivered in a really gentle way, not as full as, you know, some of the other Nicaraguan cigars

**Bam Bam:** that we're used to.

And that's exactly what this is. And I think that's what his whole, I think, concept is for his cigars, mid market, maybe just below that. And it's easy to smoke. It's fairly smooth. Like you said, Senator, I think it's right on the money. What I, what I like about for

**Gizmo:** 11, don't forget that 11 bucks. And I think, I'm sure you can buy a cheaper.

I didn't buy a box of this. I bought two [00:26:00] fivers for us. So I'm sure if you're buying a box or you're buying in bulk, you're going to be able to get them even less than that. You know, for me, it's, it's just like the. The flavor profile, when it, when it, when it hits your mouth, it dies quickly. It's in and out real fast.

Very short finish. Very short. You know. That's correct. I don't even think it's finishing. That's how fast it's, it's, it's out, it's out the door. You know, it is a very tame Nicaraguan flavor profile. It's just touching medium for me right now. No, but you're

**Pagoda:** so right about the short finish. There's nothing, there's no flavor left in the mouth at all.

It's like.

**Gizmo:** And I

**Bam Bam:** think to coming, coming from you, the ALR

**Pagoda:** expert. Not the expert. You know, I really enjoyed it at that time when I was smoking it. You've evolved. I have evolved. You

**Senator:** were smoking this like daily. Look at the company, look at

**Pagoda:** the company around

**Senator:** me. So much so that I think Rooster like prohibited you from smoking.

That's right. He

**Bam Bam:** shamed you out of smoking any Rocky Patel. [00:27:00]

**Gizmo:** No, he didn't. You shamed us all out of it. It took 104 episodes to get to it. I threw

**Bam Bam:** my box out because of you.

**Rooster:** I was hoping it would

**Gizmo:** be 500 episodes.

**Pagoda:** I never mentioned Rocky Patel after that, I think. I think what, uh, I was introduced to, uh, Uh, the Exclusivo around the same time, and then I think Exclusivo just took over.

Of course. You know, which is so much, such a great cigar.

**Gizmo:** Exclusivo kicks ass over this. Kicks ass. No, this is like You know what, you know what though? No, here's the thing that's I think important here. I think the intention, I think the intent of the blend is important. Exactly to Senator's point. Right.

He's not going for the Padron smoker with us. He wants to

**Bam Bam:** go for those guys who are just under

**Gizmo:** that market. He's trying to give someone a Nicaraguan experience without the oomph at all. Yeah. And I think he's doing that

**Rooster:** Padrone. It's not, it's not the um, I think even an office smoker would want that, would want some kind of flavor out of a cigar, some kind of notes that he can [00:28:00] distinctly make out.

I can't really make out

**Bam Bam:** any. I will say one thing though, if I, if I have a party and I probably will. Another cigar thing.

**Gizmo:** Are we invited?

**Senator:** Uh, I'm not intending if this is what he's giving out. No. I'm worried. That's where he's going. Yeah.

**Bam Bam:** I would give this to, I would give this to a novice above an exclusiva.

I would too. It's a, it's less expensive and it's well, it's well made

**Gizmo:** and it's easy to smoke. I was with some guys earlier today. I had a long lunch. Um, home run for a novice. I had a long lunch, and I gave, uh, one of the novice smokers a Padrona Exclusivo today. I smoked a Cuban. He, he was more interested in the Nicaraguan, just based on its look and its shape.

He thought it was more for him. And it was, honestly, we had a steak lunch. We went to Capitol Grill. We had a nice, big steak lunch. And it was too much for him after. Dude, I should, I should have thought more in the line of, a more mild.

**Bam Bam:** We're just so used to the whole Padron line. People that haven't smoked a lot of those.

It's a, it's a packs a punch for that. It's a powerhouse.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah.

**Rooster:** So you could have saved [00:29:00] six bucks and give him. This. Instead of this. No, save six bucks and give him the Oliva V Lancero.

**Gizmo:** I had an Oliva V Lancero in my bag. That's a full cigar. But I had one in there. After a sweet lunch. He was intimidated by the, uh, the size of it.


**Pagoda:** the Oliva V also have the San Andres wrapper?

**Bam Bam:** I think the Oliva is a complex cigar, probably not for the first timer. I think so. Even though it's so affordable, I understand gravitating to it. I probably wouldn't do that. I'd give him this. The sale are,

**Gizmo:** but again, going back to what Senator was saying, what Senator was saying on the intention of this blend is I think a perfect example.

I experienced it today and I didn't even connect that dot until we said it. I, you know, certainly we sit here and say Padrona Exclusivo is a run of the mill everyday cigar, but we're smoking 20, 20, 25 cigars a week for somebody who's smoking one cigar a month or one cigar every two or three months. And, you know, you, you're not buying Cupid tobacco, you're either getting a mild Dominican, you want something Nicaraguan that's not going to knock you around, [00:30:00] this might be the one for you.

Yep. What I find interesting too here is that Rocky Patel says that the strength profile of this line is medium full. And I don't, I'm not feeling that yet. Medium. I would say this is just touching medium for me. That's fine. So this also comes in two other sizes. I wanted to mention that obviously tonight we're smoking the Robusto 50 by 5 1 2 comes in a Toro 52 by 6 1 2 and it comes in a Gordo, which is the 60, uh, separate from the 60 line celebrating his 60th birthday, which is six by 60, which has kind of become A classic, uh, Rocky Patel size, is that 6x60?


**Bam Bam:** horror of Halloween is creeping into Rooster's mind as we're

**Gizmo:** talking about it. I'm

**Rooster:** just, I'm just, in my head I'm thinking like, the size 6x60, and I'm like, oh the pain. The pain that I would have to endure to smoke a 60 ring gauge. The horror! Of this? Oh my god.

**Senator:** Pagoda, what were you smoking this in?[00:31:00]

Yeah, the Gordo.

**Gizmo:** Oh, wow. That's a big cigar. Wow. He's a glutton

**Senator:** for punch. And we still befriended you. Wow.

**Gizmo:** I'm sorry. I'd argue we saved him. You did save

**Pagoda:** me.

**Gizmo:** He's

**Bam Bam:** changed. It's a nice, beautiful white ash. Beautifully constructed.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, the construction is good. The draw is good.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. You know, I know your favorite term is stacking dimes.

I'm stacking dimes here on this ash. It's

**Pagoda:** very nice, but you, you know, by the way, the Oliver V does not have, uh, the sand Andrew's rabbit just to follow up on. Uh, but you know, uh, the La Historia El Senador.

**Gizmo:** That EP Creole, which performed very well on the pod. Yeah. It's a great cigar at the same price.

Right. I think that might be a little more than It's cheaper. It's cheaper. Oh, excuse me.

**Senator:** It was under

**Gizmo:** 10. Okay. But that was

**Pagoda:** definitely a lot more flavorful than this. I agree.

**Gizmo:** Actually, I would put this closer, if my memory serves me well. To the Calavera? To the pledge, the pledge prequel that we did.

**Bam Bam:** Pledge prequel.

Yeah. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** [00:32:00] that's, that's fair. I would put this more in line with that because I remember we were smoking that cigar, which obviously was the number one cigar of the year, two or three years ago. Kind of right around when we started doing the podcast. Mm-Hmm. . And I remember smoking and acquiring it and people were raving about it.

I feel like we were having a similar conversation about its flavor profile and its kind of being timid or muted and not a lot of complexity there. We didn't really like that cigar. We didn't rate it well though. No, no. We much preferred the, uh, the, the, I think this is historia,

**Bam Bam:** this is better than that cigar, other than I don't remember

**Pagoda:** other than the second half of the.

The pledge was really, really bad. I think the memory served

**Bam Bam:** me right. This is a better cigar

**Gizmo:** than that, I think. So the other thing that Rocky does too is he has, uh, a line of cigar lounges called Burn. He opened, uh, the first one in Naples. It's called Burn by Rocky Patel. And then he also has other lounges in Oklahoma City.

Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh, and I [00:33:00] remember, Senator, you telling us a little story. I don't remember how, I feel like it's a long time ago, probably a year, year and a half ago, about being at the Burn by Rocky Patel Lounge in Pittsburgh and having a interesting experience.

**Senator:** I'll say mostly good things and then just one frustrating experience I had there.

The one thing I'll give it a lot of credit for, the location is fantastic. I was at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game. And I didn't even know this. I just walk out after the game trying to figure out like, oh, where can we get a drink post game? Literally two blocks from the stadium is this cigar lounge.

I'm like, perfect. I mean, all these people are just kind of funneling in from the game. So great foot traffic. It's a beautifully designed lounge, very modern, very new. There's like this beautiful big marble bar in the center. Seating all around outdoor seating. Now here's where some people may love this. I didn't, um, there was like a DJ like blaring music.

I mean, I'm not really sure that I'm going to a cigar lounge for a nightclub kind of vibe. So that was a little [00:34:00] questionable of a decision for me. Um, and then just the most bizarre part is I go in the humidor to buy cigars. I buy some nice stuff, like some Padron. I'm not sure if they had Davidoff, but I know I definitely got Padron there and.

I go and I pay for them and I sit down and I'm waiting for someone to come over, bring a lighter matches drink. First of all, I expected there to be matches like on the table. Most of these places, like, you know, just have their little matchbooks and, um, no matches on the table. 10, 15 minutes goes by.

Nobody comes over. I'm just sitting there dying to light these cigars. So I finally asked someone. I said, excuse me. Are there matches somewhere? The person tells me, no, we don't have matches. I'm like, okay. Do you have a lighter? No, I don't have a lighter on me. I ask another person, do you have a lighter or matches?

No, I don't have. I had to ask three people, all of whom said they did not have it. I finally got up and went to the manager and I said, I'm sorry, I purchased this from you here at this point, like 20, 25 minutes ago. I can't find matches or a lighter to light this. [00:35:00] And I said, you don't have somewhere you have matchbooks?

And this person literally says to me, Rocky Patel doesn't believe in matches. So, how,

**Rooster:** how are you expected to light

**Gizmo:** that cigar? First of

**Bam Bam:** all, that's an outrageous statement.

**Gizmo:** It's absurd. Do they give like two stones?

**Bam Bam:** It's crazy. You get a magnifying glass, you gotta go buy a

**Gizmo:** window.

**Senator:** It's also to say you don't believe in matches.

How do you think cigars were lit before butane lighters existed? With fucking matches.

**Gizmo:** I mean, it's... Hooper would say cedar spills. Right. Cedar spills. I

**Senator:** mean, it's just absurd. So, it's like, and I'm not a big matches guy. I, I prefer butane lighter, but... It's like, I at least respect people who choose to use matches and it's makes obvious sense why they have them in a cigar lounge.

So I thought that was so bizarre. And then the person's telling me like, Oh, sorry that they told you they don't have lighters. The people have walked off with them. So like I have one, but we don't really like to give the staff. I'm like. How do people like the cigars they purchase here? And so I had to like beg the person to give me the lighter and actually let me bring it to the table and I would bring it back.

I'm like, you see how much I just spent on these cigars? If you think I [00:36:00] wanna walk away with your $5 lighter, believe me, I do not. And so like, I like the cigars.

**Rooster:** I have never been to a lounge where you cannot find not ever something to light your

**Gizmo:** cigar.

**Bam Bam:** Exactly. Not it's, it's, it's part of the course.

**Rooster:** Dude, it's like going to a restaurant.

We don't, we're out of forks and knives. I'm sorry.

**Gizmo:** That's right. What are you supposed to do?

**Senator:** It was just crazy. That was just really frustrating. Like that's the one thing that left a sour taste for me with that experience. The bar was great. I remember the drinks were very good. Um, it's a nice space. I just think they need to kind of rework the, the service orientation to understand what the customer actually needs, which is to light the cigars that they purchased.

The basics.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. Yeah. Is it also a restaurant or just a

**Senator:** bar? I don't remember. food. If there was, it's very light bites. I know I didn't see anybody with like a full meal

**Bam Bam:** because I thought you visited the, um, the Florida location. No,

**Gizmo:** I did not. No, I've been to some other lounges. Uh, I'm on the east side of Florida.

Okay. He's in, he's in Naples. Got it. Um, so I've, I've actually, I don't think I've ever been in Naples. Okay. I've only been on the east coast. So I [00:37:00] go to a lot of the, uh, smoke in locations, which they have a big, uh, they have a popular, uh, and a lot of letters. And a lot of widers, but they have a lot of locations on the one

**Rooster:** closer to you is in Fort Lauderdale at the Guitar Hard

**Gizmo:** Rock Hotel.

Yes. There's a Davidoff. There's a Davidoff there. I haven't been to that one either, but I know it's there. Yeah, beautiful, beautiful spot. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You know, Florida, they have a lot of lounges down there. Sure. They're very lucky in that way. Yeah, Miami too. I mean,

**Rooster:** there's tons of lounges.

**Senator:** That's true.

It is odd the locations of these burned by Rocky Patel lounges. I mean, if you think of like the big major cities, he's not in any of them. Yeah. Naples, Hitsburg. Indianapolis. Oklahoma City. Atlanta. Cheap rent. Atlanta would be the only one.

**Pagoda:** You know what's really interesting is I think the location in Atlanta is right by the baseball stadium because.

Oh, wow. That's smart. That's smart. Or by some conventions and I'm not sure who the buddy man was getting out of summer. And he also bumped into a rocky

**Senator:** Patel. [00:38:00] No, it's very clever. I mean, I love that. Can you imagine like going to a Yankees or a Mets game here in like the New York market and two blocks down there being a cigar lounge after the game.


**Gizmo:** also plays, it also plays into the DJ kind of atmosphere. Someone coming out of a sporting event, wanting to continue drinking, have a cigar. It's a little different than a bunch of, you know, a bunch of us sitting down and. You know, talking about the stock market and Teslas and watches and alcohol and whatever else you love that Tesla, Tesla.

I just said that to annoy you.

**Bam Bam:** By the way, it is pronounced with

**Senator:** an S thank you,

**Gizmo:** ma'am. I'm not arguing that on the pod. All right. Okay. Guess

**Bam Bam:** good timing. That's funny.

**Gizmo:** So the other thing that Rocky does is he's a primary sponsor. And I believe host of the Cigars Smoking World Championship. This is

**Senator:** also, should be called the Rooster. [00:39:00]

**Gizmo:** I was going to say we should enter Rooster into this. So Rocky provides a... Is that true? Yes. With an

**Pagoda:** A. L. R. Gorda, if we can.

**Rooster:** Not if I have

**Gizmo:** to smoke a Rocky.

**Bam Bam:** Is this the one where you're laying in bed? No,

**Senator:** no,

**Rooster:** you'll have a mixed up. That's a different,

**Bam Bam:** different

competition. That's not smoking naked. No, I wish. No. What? I heard there's a, there's something like this and you're smoking it like this laying down and No. There's

**Rooster:** something like that out there. I think it's the same, but it's, you're not laying down,

**Senator:** but you're, and you're definitely not in a bed.

**Gizmo:** All right.

They, they roll like 30 beds into the burn by Rocky Patel. Twin sides beds. Oh my gosh. You get to pick your pillow and Golden sheets.

**Rooster:** Were you talking about the competition where who can smoke

**Gizmo:** the slowest? Yes, that's what this, that's the one that's, that's what I'm talking about. But I thought that's what you're talking about.

[00:40:00] That's what I, okay. Maybe they lay down. I don't know. I don't know what Bam's watching, but, uh, pretty wild. So they provide a, you know, it's a consistent Rocky Patel cigar for all the participants. It looks like it's either a Corona or Robusto type of size, uh, very similar, uh, in, uh, Makeup to the cigar we're smoking now, a Mexican rapper, Nicaraguan binder, Nicaraguan and Honduran filler.

What's interesting is, you know, they don't have the rules posted. I'm pretty familiar with the rules. You can't let it go out. The whole idea is you're not allowed to relight the cigar after the first light. And then you have to see how long you can maintain that cigar smoking without relighting it and whoever is the longest wins.

So if you can believe all top five cigar smokers smoke this. I think it's a Corona or a Robusto for over 208 minutes. Number three was 225 minutes and [00:41:00] number two and number one were even beyond that. Wow. So you're talking, what is that? Four hours. Four hours on a Robusto or a Corona? That's

**Bam Bam:** right in line with Rooster's

**Gizmo:** pace.

We should take much longer. We should put Rooster in this competition, Senator. What do you think? Oh, I'm, I

**Senator:** want to see

**Pagoda:** this. And I think if we send Rooster in the morning at breakfast time. Um,

**Gizmo:** so boys, we're about, I would say halfway through the cigar right now. A bit less. I'm coming up on the, uh, I'm coming up near the band.

What do you think? I, I, I'm not hating it. Nope. I've, I've tempered my expectations of, of what I think, uh, a Nicaraguan cigar should be in, you know, in strength. Um, you know, and flavor wise, I think it's a little muted, but it's not bad. No. I like the spice. There's a little sweetness. There's a little kind of saltiness on the front of my tongue right now.

I am right there with you. I'm

**Bam Bam:** not complaining. Uh, inch and three quarter ash here. Yeah, yeah, you've got a lot [00:42:00] of ash. Bright white. Bright white. Let's see the structure. Let's see how long, how many taps. One.

**Gizmo:** One. One tap. Right on the floor. Well done, Bam. Yes, sir.

For the listener, when I tell you he put it over the ashtray. And it all went right on the floor. I underestimated the length of that. I don't think it's on the floor, it's in the ice bucket, I think. No, right next to

**Pagoda:** it. Oh jeez. Man, please don't lay down.

**Gizmo:** So speaking of cigar lounges, uh, just briefly, I saw, I, cause I love to celebrate this. I saw that Wisconsin just introduced a bill. Uh, allowing for new cigar bars, which I guess they had it in quite some time. So, uh, they have 22 sponsors in the state assembly, six members in the Senate. I mean, just fantastic to see more lounges being built, allowing more communities like this to be created.

I mean, this is, you know, around the country, so many of our friends, so many lizards out there [00:43:00] have joined lounges or at lounges well before listening to this podcast and they all say the same thing and it's just, they're. coolest, most tight group of friends that they most relate to at this point in their life are at that cigar lounge.

It's your home away from home.

**Senator:** Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, this is huge because in all these cities, really, it's the cigar lounges that are allowed to persist are the ones that are grandfathered in. Obviously anything new really can't open. So in Wisconsin, the law was any cigar lounge that existed prior to 2009 could continue to exist, but everything after that, you couldn't get a new license to do it.

So, um, this is huge. I mean, honestly, like this opens up a whole new world for other lounges, obviously there. Other States have done similar. We might have talked about this. Connecticut recently did exactly the same thing. I don't know what year their cutoff was, but now Connecticut is going to open up and allow other new lounges to come about.

And then even States, it says Nevada, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho are kind of all following suit. So that's wonderful. Um, we just kind of need that to hit [00:44:00] the coast. Yeah,

**Gizmo:** absolutely. Yeah, you know, but even in New Jersey, I think you can still, you know, despite how we're pretty fortunate up here, how restricted some things are in the state here.

We've talked about some of them on the pod, but you know, it's, um, there's a quite a few cigar lounges around here and a lot of opened up recently. Like this lounge that we're at here, 10 86, which is certainly our home away from home is only three years old. That's right. So to, to,

**Senator:** it's true. It's like the big coastal city.

So like New York, okay. They don't allow any new cigar lounges. Uh, San Francisco, exactly the same thing. L. A. I have to imagine is the same, but I'm not positive.

**Gizmo:** Don't forget that new Cohiba lounge just opened out there. In L. A. The Red Dot Lounge.

**Senator:** I thought that was, I don't think it was in L. A. It's um,

**Rooster:** San

**Gizmo:** Diego has actually quite a few lounges.

Oh, is

**Bam Bam:** that right? Yeah. Yeah. Never been there.

**Gizmo:** Great city. I hear best weather. I think in the entire country. Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara. [00:45:00] Yeah. The new Cohiba lounge close to LA. Yeah. Yeah. Pretty close to LA, but I mean, man, they spent some money on this thing too. I mean, it is really, really nice. It's another beautiful city.

Santa Barbara.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. So I heard like in Long Island, um, somebody just, uh, renovated a cigar lounge and put them like 8 million bucks. Wow. And it's above a restaurant. A lot of cigars. I believe in the Eisenhower Park. Um, yeah, no, it's uh, So there's a demand for it, and it's growing, and people are investing.

Um, but, yeah, it's great to see them opening. Especially coming from a city. where there are no lounges at all. Yeah,

**Senator:** well, that's the thing. It's a lot of these cities take this into their own hands. Like in New York state, they're outside of New York City itself. You can open cigar lounges. I mean, that's a perfect example right out on Long Island.

But like Manhattan, they just don't allow it. Same thing like LA, San Francisco. Then you get a little outside of LA, Santa Barbara. And they were apparently [00:46:00] allowed to open a lounge, so I just hope some of these cities, you know, start to get a little more reasonable and just let

**Gizmo:** people do what they want.

And it's also like, you know, the benefit of this community, it's like, you have the friendship, the mental health component of sitting down. Quite honestly, when you light a cigar, you're committing to that sit, right? The mental health component of that quietness, the friendship that you getting away from work or the home like it, to me, it's like I don't understand why it's being so restricted when you're not hurting anybody.

And you walk into these lounges, it's not like you're walking into a plume of smoke. There's smoke eaters, there's filtration, like the room is clear, it's clean. Um, it's just amazing to me that, that because it's tobacco and they tie it to kids, they tie it to cigarettes, they tie it to blunts, it's just, it's unfortunate this premium product is...

Is, is so restricted, you know, at the state level in a lot of places. So what about the drink over here? [00:47:00] Yeah. Let's talk about this.

**Pagoda:** It's, it's become so cloudy.

**Bam Bam:** The ice. That's true. It looks like iced tea. It

**Pagoda:** does. It really does. I'm really looking forward to trying.

**Gizmo:** Hill Rock. It's the Hill Rock, right? The Hill Rock

**Senator:** Double

**Gizmo:** Cast Grye Whiskey.

So this was sent in by a listener, actually. Uh, uh, listen, uh, lizard actually hit us up and said, Hey, can you send a, you know, send me your address. I want to send you guys some, um, some spirits to try because we were talking about upstate New York, like pretty close to us, uh, distilleries and Hill rock is located in and cram, New York.

And they've been putting out some really delicious bourbon, rye and single malt whiskeys. He certainly, he says him, he himself has a strong preference for the cask strength rise, but he chose the two he sent tonight. We're having, uh, the double cask Southern he's finished rye. Uh, he chose these because they're interesting, approachable and enjoyable with or without ice.

And he's fairly certain that the bourbon [00:48:00] was finished in a four square rum cask, which he knows is beloved by most listeners.

**Bam Bam:** So this is actually quite delicious with ice, I will say. Um, first of all, I'm so fascinated, we're all fascinated by getting gifts from a listener. It's incredible. It really is incredible.

**Gizmo:** This is actually a... It's amazing. This is actually a very smooth rye. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** um, it does need a bit of ice, I will say. I tried it neat. It's, it's... It's a little tough to get down, but with ice, it's actually quite enjoyable, very smooth and a little sweet.

**Senator:** I mean, it's an over proof spirit. It's 90 proof. So I mean, it's, it's definitely going to pack a punch.

Um, but I will say, I mean, I knew nothing about this distillery, uh, obviously just looking a little bit up once the, the listener had sent it. They've got a really cool story. So like really any of these whiskey distilleries, there's not a single one that I, that. I would challenge any listener to tell me of a distillery where every single thing that goes into making that from growing to manufacturing is all done on the estate, [00:49:00] on their property.

And, you know, we always make these analogs to wine, like some of the most expensive wines are like estate grown. Everything's actually done there, 90 percent of wines, obviously they're, they're sourcing stuff from other places and then obviously blending it, making it there. Um, so. They grow, mill, distill, and age all their rye there.

Uh, the thing that was fascinating, even just historically about New York, so this is made in New York State, and uh, in the 1800s, New York produced more than half of the nation's barley and rye. Wow. Which I

**Gizmo:** had no idea. I would have had no idea about that. Yeah. So

**Senator:** apparently like the growing conditions are just really great there.

And then it was obviously like prohibition and like thousands of these farms just went by the wayside. And obviously New York is no longer necessarily known for that. So they kind of build themselves as a field to glass, like, you know, farm to table, everything really is done there, which is cool. I have to say the tasting notes were kind of funny to me.

There's one in here.

**Gizmo:** By the way, that's my new favorite thing that we do on this podcast is read the tasting. Can you please do that? Because they're always wrong.

**Bam Bam:** Ready? [00:50:00] Go. Here

**Senator:** we go. The end result is a deep, rich rye that shows off espresso toffee. Now, buckle up for this one. Sarsaparilla. Sarsaparilla.


**Bam Bam:** I love that Senator ruined the pronunciation.

**Senator:** Yes! This is why, can I, can I spell this? Can I spell this? Ready? S. A. R. S. A. Okay. So I said SARS

**Gizmo:** Any, any linguist would know that the R is silent. Right, Bam?

**Senator:** Just making sure it's clear that I could read. That's

**Gizmo:** how it's spelled. By the way, the next time I mess up a pronunciation and it gives me shit about it, I'm going to spell it out phonetically.

**Bam Bam:** Can a clip? That's a clip. So what is that?

**Gizmo:** It's like root beer. Yeah,

**Senator:** sarsaparilla. That's right. No, thank you. All right. I don't get that, by the way. Caramel, and then it says the finish reverberates with long echoes of clove, dried orange peel, nutmeg, and baker's chocolate. [00:51:00] All notes that sound great. Yeah.

**Gizmo:** You guys getting any of

**Bam Bam:** that? I don't think so. None of it? It's pleasant. I mean, I'm not going to, I kind of like it with ice. I can drink this again. Yeah, I

**Senator:** really, I like it. I do too. Just smell the nose of it. Yeah, I mean, it's like the holidays

**Bam Bam:** in a glass. Yeah, and I think that's where Foursquare, if they finish it in Foursquare barrels, that's probably where it comes from.

The bottle is really cool. I was about to say, the design is beautiful, the spirit, the color of the spirit's

**Gizmo:** awesome. The way that these were packed, I was like, what are these, you know, the way in the box, it came in from a YS, I guess, sent it from a, uh, a distributor, uh, and it came in these like really bundled bubble wrap.

And I'm like, what are these things? And I pulled them out and it like, you know, like Rooster saying, it's these square. You know, bottles, unlike anything I think I've seen. I mean, they're, it's, it, it, they were pretty significant when they came out. That's a handsome presentation.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. It was a

**Gizmo:** beautiful bottle.

So, you know, like Bam was saying, it's just so cool. Thank you so much to, to [00:52:00] Lizard for sending us, uh... These bottles and we're going to try the other one down the road. But, um, we really, really appreciate the love from the listeners. This is, it's, it's been amazing. Where, where are they located? And Cram, New York and Cram.

But where,

**Rooster:** where is handcraft?

**Gizmo:** I've never heard of it. It's about 25 miles from where we're 25 minutes from where we are right now. I think it's right over the border.

**Bam Bam:** You know, it pairs nicely with the cigar. I think it pairs

**Gizmo:** very nicely. I agree.

**Pagoda:** Right. It does have the, uh, I guess, you know, It really cleanses your palate in a way, like I haven't felt that in a rye before.

It has that orange, it does have that orange peel. This is

**Bam Bam:** sweeter than most

**Gizmo:** ryes I've had, honestly. And I'm glad for that. Yeah. Yeah, that,

**Senator:** that's the thing. So how they age this in two different casks, I was reading how, um, the second one is to balance for, it's like a lot of ryes typically are very spicy, and it's to balance out the spice with some more like sweet caramel notes.

Yeah. It was very intentional on their part.

**Bam Bam:** Makes sense. Like, I've had the bullet rye, not as sweet as this, and the [00:53:00] whistle pig, I think is more sophisticated than this, a different type of rye, both very good.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, I think it's pairing very well with the cigar. I think it works. Yeah, so, thanks again to Lizard , very, very cool.

So Pagoda, we're talking so positively about lounges and smoking freely and nice smoking communities and experiences. You just came back from Toronto. You mean North Korea?

**Bam Bam:** I heard a constable

**Gizmo:** was chasing. You sent a photo of you smoking against a brick wall. We thought you might have. With a

**Bam Bam:** cigar in his hand.

I was

**Pagoda:** actually hiding and smoking. You could see I was. You were against a brick wall. Yeah, I was against a brick wall between two side walls. I found this little nook. And I'm smoking over there because, um, so what happened is I didn't know that they would allow you to smoke cigars. So in Toronto, uh, you can go to the, you can smoke outside anywhere apparently.

And [00:54:00] so I went, I went up to, uh, the reception and said, is it all right if I smoke outside? And I said, sure, of course, then I went and there's a beautiful patio with a fireplace in, uh, in the middle of the patio. So I just took a little chair, went all the way in the back, right by the wall and I started smoking there.

And that was the first time then after that it just opened up and we all were smoking in the patio. But yeah, I was a bit nervous going there because of Rooster's experience. And I was like,

**Bam Bam:** Oh, again, Rooster's horrific story. Yeah. First the Rocky Patel and now Toronto.


**Gizmo:** is Halloween.

**Pagoda:** It is. It is the spooktacular. Yeah. So, um, I was a bit nervous, um, you know, because I really enjoy cigars and it gives me the break even when I'm on a short trip away and it was great. Um, yeah. So wonderful times. A lot of people got together. I was there for a wedding. Uh, we were smoking around, uh, the fireplace in a really nice [00:55:00] patio.

We put our music on and a fantastic, fantastic evening. That's good. And the weather cooperated at least two of the three days I was there. So I love

**Gizmo:** a fall wedding. If I have to go to a wedding, I like a fall wedding. 'cause you don't sweat in your suit. You're not sweat. You can wear a hoodie to the wedding.

You can wear a hoodie. It's hoodie wedding. It's hoodie wedding. So did you go to any cigar places, any cigar lounges or There are no lounges, but any retail shops, anything like that? No sir.

**Pagoda:** Uh. Two things, I did ask around, there are no lounges, um, I think in a prior episode I might have mentioned that I bumped into a lizard at Carnegie, who actually reached out to me this weekend and said, hey, uh, you know, what are you up to?

He had actually invited me over. Uh, you know, uh, to the location to, I think his friend's garage, they smoke over there. And, um, although this wedding, I was just really tied up in the wedding and I couldn't get the time out to be able to really research and, you know, go, he was in a different, different part of [00:56:00] town.

Um, but it was a fantastic, um, experience because, you know, once we figured out that we could smoke at the hotel and it had a really good spot, it was just, uh, wonderful. You

**Gizmo:** have to be away. That's shocking. But I

**Rooster:** mean, the law is you have to be

**Gizmo:** 30 meters away, but he

**Bam Bam:** can smoke at a hotel. That's amazing.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. On the property, but you have to be away from the building. I guess. Right. All right. So did you buy any cigars?

**Pagoda:** No. So I, I didn't even go around looking for cigars, but on the way back, I, you know, I dropped by the duty free. I said, all right, maybe, uh, let me look at a few Cubans. I could not figure out there was a very small humidor.

And everything was covered in these brown wrappers and there was some new worlds covered in brown wrappers as well. And they weren't described well. And so I was trying to figure out what, what cigars are these. It was so bad. It just looked like a little brown patch. And, uh, yeah, it was, um, really disappointing that, uh, you know, you're in the duty free in Canada where.[00:57:00]

They do import Cubans and, uh, You just

**Bam Bam:** don't know what they are. Yeah.

**Senator:** Yeah, nice little mystery box. In

**Bam Bam:** Canada, all cigars are equal.

**Pagoda:** It's like, it's like if you're like, life is a box of chocolates, you don't know which one you get. That's right. You don't know.

**Rooster:** The entire country is like basically against tobacco.

It's like anti cigar, anti tobacco, anti everything. But yet you can smoke weed in every

**Gizmo:** fucking corner. See, that's crazy. And you know, there's shops

**Rooster:** everywhere, every cannabis, right? Am I right? Did you see that?

**Gizmo:** It's cannabis stores

**Senator:** everywhere. Look, you can drive a car high, but you would never want to drive.

**Gizmo:** God forbid. They're right. If you get any in your lungs, it's just, You have to

**Bam Bam:** wonder if the cannabis locations are government owned and if they are.

**Gizmo:** No, they're not. They're private. They're just highly taxed. Oh, is that right? They're highly taxed. Okay. Okay.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. But what was, what was interesting was I met a couple of Canadians at the hotel and they said, the irony of it all is that Canada is, Like really, really [00:58:00] important to the Cuban economy because it's been one of those places where everyone over there goes for tourism, like, you know, how we go to Mexico, a lot of these guys end up going to Cuba.

Yeah. And so they really support the Cuban economy from that perspective. And the fact that You're not able to get cigars there. You know, you think it's a two way street. Yeah. I

**Rooster:** mean, even if you could buy a Cuban cigar, the taxes on it are crazy.

**Gizmo:** They're ludicrous. Yeah. The import taxes are hundreds of percent.

I mean, a D4 is

**Rooster:** like 70,

**Gizmo:** 70 US dollars. Oh my God. Yeah, it's crazy. Yeah.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, and, and the money too, I think, uh, we'd cover that and... I

**Rooster:** mean, you were in Montreal, do you remember

**Gizmo:** what

**Pagoda:** you paid for that? Oh, that was, yeah. Was it 80, 85 bucks? Around 80 bucks.

**Gizmo:** Wow.

**Rooster:** I mean, the only thing is Montreal is a little bit laxed with the, with the laws.

I mean, you can still kind of smoke. There are some lounges there, uh, although the LCDH has been closed since, but they used to be, you used to be able to

**Pagoda:** smoke in there. Yeah, yeah, the LCDH had a beautiful bar behind the [00:59:00] store and really good leather couches and a bar right in the end and really, really good whiskeys available as well.

Yeah, no, it was, it was not a bad experience overall, but yeah, for someone. Who's looking for a retail store or lounge. It's just become extremely difficult.

**Rooster:** Yeah. I mean, there are some private lounges, but you have to like membership.

**Gizmo:** You can get Cubans there.

You can also get New World cigars there, right? The cigars that we can get, but they're so highly taxed that it's even prohibitive even to get a, a Davidoff or a Padron or a Rocky Patel we have in our hand. They, it's, you know, we look at it like, Oh, well, they can get Cuban cigars. We can't. It's actually the entire cigar offering in Canada is such a miss.

because of this, you know, the regulation and the pricing problems with the tax. Also, it's just, they're trying to shut down

**Bam Bam:** tobacco. Yeah. And the cloaking [01:00:00] of the bands. Yeah. That doesn't make

**Gizmo:** it easy. And the cloaking of the brands, the bands too, let's not forget, has also limited not only in Cuban cigars, but also in these new world cigars.

Yeah. How many Imports. Imports are actually coming in because the lines have been restricted because Canada doesn't let the manufacturer, like Rocky Patel, right, to ship the cigar. He cannot put these bands on them. He puts a simple band and then he has to put that brown band before they're imported. So it creates more work, more labor.

I'm curious if it's even worth it. That's the problem. What's the point

**Rooster:** of it? I mean, what are they, what are they actually achieving and accomplishing by doing

**Pagoda:** that? No, I can tell you that I, they are achieving it because I really had a difficult time trying to figure out what cigars there were on display.

So, you know, it's, unless you're really seeking them out, if you're walking by them, You know, it's, there's something to be said then.

**Rooster:** No, no, no. What, what are they preventing? Are they preventing kids, kids from like, uh,

**Bam Bam:** smoke? Does a [01:01:00] kid know the difference between a Padrone and a

**Rooster:** Davidoff? I mean, don't you mean, he's not going to buy a 70, uh, Portuguese D4 to begin with.

**Senator:** Nah. You mean you've never seen a kid in an airport at the duty free trying to buy a 70 D4 all the time? I mean, this happens everywhere. Except

**Bam Bam:** for Rooster. He was. Eight smoking an exclusiva, okay.

**Gizmo:** No, it is crazy. And I mean, it's just, it's an interesting mentality. I'd love to under, I'd love to meet the guy who introduced this initially, however many years ago it was to try to kill the, the, the premium handmade cigar, you know, industry up there.

But it's like. You know, again, you have these incredible products that people want to smoke. They're not inhaling the cigars. And then you, you put the, the, the owners, you put that burden on the manufacturers to, to label them with these plain bands that, that Pagoda is talking about. It's like, if I'm one of these manufacturers, if I'm Rocky Patel and I have a hundred lines and I want to import them, I'm not important.

A hundred lines of [01:02:00] cigars into Canada, I'm going to import three. Yeah. And now you've restricted the offering. Which is of course what they want, but it's just really unfortunate for the Canadian people that they're not able to get the cigars that they want and have the same experience as we do.

**Senator:** I mean, the whole thing is just so stupid because look, if their goal is essentially to phase this product out, have the balls to say, we're going to ban cigars and guess what's going to happen.

People are going to be up in arms and some of these legislators that vote for that are going to get booted out of office, like have the gumption to actually go. As far as they clearly want to go. But instead of doing that, they want to play this little stupid game of we're going to wrap stuff up and do all this.

And it's like, well, people can still get it. So, right. They're not taking as much flack as they would if they ban them. Just the whole thing is a silly game. I, I just, I don't understand how people operate. What did they

**Gizmo:** do with cigarettes?

**Pagoda:** No. So this is, this is the irony of it all. There were groups of guys and women hanging out and smoking cigarettes on, you know, because it was a huge [01:03:00] patio.

Closer to the building. All, all around. Everybody was on the pad. But if I had a

**Bam Bam:** cigar, I'd be told that you got to go over there. No,

**Gizmo:** it's all tobacco. I see.

**Rooster:** No, but are the Marlboro packets also like wrapped in

**Gizmo:** brown

**Pagoda:** paper? No, I didn't see them. They were, but they were smoking cigarettes. So a lot of them were.

**Rooster:** I mean at that duty free shop, did you see any cigarettes like that were wrapped up also?

**Gizmo:** Yeah,

**Pagoda:** I think, I didn't, uh, I think in the cigarette packs they had those images.

**Gizmo:** Oh, the labels? Yeah, the labels. The warning labels? Yeah. Yeah, strange. It's insane. Yeah. Crazy. So back to the United States. Oh,

**Pagoda:** sorry. I was just about to say Toronto's out.

**Gizmo:** Toronto's out. Check. You know, I like having this discussion about Canada as often as we do because we have a lot of Canadian lizards who write in like you guys are, you know, telling this story like we have a real problem. I have, I think I told you guys, one of [01:04:00] my friends is a cigar reviewer in Canada and he's like terrified when he lights up in his garage and puts his exhaust fan that his neighbor's gonna call and complain on him.

It's unreal. That's unreal. This guy reviews cigars for a living. Can you imagine

**Senator:** that in America? I would say to my neighbor, I dare you, . I know. I mean,

**Bam Bam:** can you imagine? I know

**Senator:** someone calling the police saying that someone in their own home is smoking a cigar and I can smell it on my lawn. I mean, you know what?


**Bam Bam:** just absurd. Fuck that. I'd put a lawn chair right in front of my house. Pull my tower up onto the grass. Here you go. And start

**Senator:** smoking. Only if the string lights are

**Bam Bam:** working. That's right. They are.

**Gizmo:** So back to the United States for a second. The FDA again, um, not only, so we, we, we discussed this I think briefly on a previous episode, but they're appealing The ruling of judge Meta with the, uh, decision to prevent the FDA from regulating, uh, handmade [01:05:00] premium cigars.

But the FDA is also preparing to now issue a final rule prohibiting flavored cigars, period, which we discussed targeting, of course, the flavored cigars that are colorfully packaged, named things like berry fusion, ice donut, cherry dynamite, watermelon, widely available and priced as cheaply as, you know, 33 cents a piece.

The problem is they're lumping in, you know, 11 Rocky Patel's or 14 Padron exclusives or 29, you know, Davidoff millenniums into the category of 33 cent flavored stuff. The kids are buying because they're sugar flavored, you know, tobacco products to give them a little high. And they're probably cutting them or, you know, unrolling them and putting weed in there and rolling them back up and making spliffs out of them.

You know, it's like. It's, it's just like, we're talking about two different things, and I just can't understand how the United States government, or the Canadian government, can't separate them effectively. [01:06:00]

**Bam Bam:** Aren't there some, a few, major marcas that do sell flavored cigars? Yeah, well I

**Gizmo:** think A lot. Right? You know, Acid.

And that could be, Acid.

**Bam Bam:** That could be part of the problem. If the manufacturing was separated from the actual high level quality cigars

**Gizmo:** from, I think Java, obviously from Rocky Patel. There's some infusion in

**Senator:** there. Probably. That's ridiculous. There's that like, Pappy Van Winkle cigar. There's like a Maker's Mark cigar.

I mean, the problem is, so, you know, at some point we're gonna have to have, um, Uh, some of the

**Bam Bam:** folks, Yeah. My favorite. And Blueberry. White Owl.

**Senator:** At some point, we're going to have to have, um, some of the folks from Cigar Association of America on. Yeah, we have to do that. And I say this because, I mean, they, number one, they're the lead plaintiff in this case.

It's Cigar Association versus the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. And on the whole flavored issue, I had lunch with the president of CAA in D. C. And I mean, I'll be honest, going into this lunch, I, I, I wasn't all that, I didn't have as much of a problem, [01:07:00] honestly, with banning flavored cigars because I don't smoke them.

So it really didn't, you know, impact me, but

**Gizmo:** we had that discussion on the podcast saying the same exact thing. So we did, this is

**Senator:** really interesting. That's why I really want to have, um, David, who's the president there and CEO on, um, and we've been talking about this because their perspective is very different and.

It took one lunch for me to start to actually embrace why their position is what it is. And it's this slippery slope, right? It's this idea that if the FDA can come in and say, well, this type of cigar, we don't want people to have, then what's to stop them from saying other types of cigar. Like, you know, at what point, if the whole premise is that this is an adult product, that the industry has not only said.

18 has self regulated and said, we want to increase to 21 years of age, right. To really make sure that no minor gets their hands on this. If that's the whole legal structure of this, then who's to say a grown adult can't choose a [01:08:00] flavored cigar. That's right. You know, I may not want to smoke one, but who's saying a 40 year old guy or girl can't go pick up a Pappy Van Winkle cigar.

It's just, that's where government has gone too far. And so their stance is like, if we give an inch on this, like. They're going

**Gizmo:** to take a mile,

**Bam Bam:** correct? Also from the point of view of revenue, I'm going to guess that they sell a lot of those flavored cigars

**Gizmo:** nationwide. I think for a lot of those, you know, for Drew Estate, it's certainly their number one seller.

It's important from the point of view of business. That's the thing. Which helps them develop cigars that we love. Correct.

**Senator:** That's the, that's the other operative point. Like this is where, you know, I really started to evolve on this because Even if we're not smoking those cigars, the margins that they make on those cigars, they help keep costs low for all the stuff that we smoke.

It really helps just broadly the entire industry.

**Gizmo:** Great point. The other thing I wanted to point out here too, and I want to talk about, I want to talk about this with the president of CAA. When we have, you know, him on the FDA keeps throwing out that there are 500. thousand youth in the United States [01:09:00] currently using cigars each day and more than 800 youth are trying cigars for the first time each day.

Now that says to me that these, these kids are getting, again, they're getting cigars. You know, and they're opening them, and they're, they're putting weed in them. Correct. And some of those, I'm sure,

**Senator:** are Philly blunts. And I'm sorry, anything with a plastic tip on the end is not a cigar. No, it's not a cigar.

By definition, a premium cigar, this is what, this is what CAA will say. PCA and any organization that advocates on behalf of this industry, a premium cigar is an entirely handmade, natural cigar. That's right. You can't have a plastic tip on it and call it a premium cigar.

**Gizmo:** Yeah, and

**Bam Bam:** aren't flavored cigars primarily machine made?

**Gizmo:** They have. They have

**Bam Bam:** must be because they're injecting. Yeah, they're, yeah. So they're injecting a flavor. So there could be some distinction there in the manufacturing process. Right. And they can identify that and distinguish these, these, this product. Yeah. But from the premium cigars, if

**Gizmo:** you [01:10:00] do that's and legislate that.


**Rooster:** but if you do that, there's a lot of guys who smoke machine made

**Gizmo:** correct cigars. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** that's true. They are not flavored. And it goes back to the slippery

**Gizmo:** slope that you mentioned. Yeah, sure. The other thing too, you know, here's a good example. You know, Travis Kelsey. The tight end for the Kansas city chiefs.

Oh, do we have to talk about him? Oh boy. It's the biggest thing in the world right now. It's the biggest star in the world right now because of his Taylor Swift thing. We're not going to talk about that. On his birthday, a couple of weeks ago, he was photographed purchasing two packs of Dutch masters. That is 7 11.

And what is everybody saying under the comments? They're not saying, oh, he's enjoying cigars, he's smoking tobacco. They're laughing that he got caught buying Dutch Masters because he's then gonna take them and put weed in them. That's the, that's what they're for. Oh. That's what they're for. And even, you look at these comments, like everybody under the, on these Twitter threads know that Travis Kelsey's buying that, not because a Dutch Master tastes great or he's gonna smoke them.

There's another purpose to them. Wow.

**Pagoda:** And weed

**Gizmo:** is [01:11:00] available legally, by the way. And weed is available everywhere. It's not illegal. Wow. So it's like, it's just a crazy concept to me that... That this is taking down or they're trying to take down an industry that we so love. And I think the other point too with CAA and, and their fight is it's not even close to over.

You know, every time the FDA appeals this, Senator, what do you think? Does that add two, three, five years onto the whole process? Yeah. And

**Senator:** millions more that they're going to have to pay in legal

**Gizmo:** litigation. Which then comes back to us as the consumers funding that effort through the price of cigars.

Right. Just crazy. So, boys, we're into the last third here on the Rocky Patel AOR second edition Robusto. Second half has been pretty damn good. Not bad.

**Senator:** What do you the final third, I do actually think gets

**Gizmo:** medium full. I agree. I think we're here now.

**Senator:** Rooster, this is where it actually is smoking at a strength that you would like.

It's not the strength.

**Gizmo:** There is no flavor. [01:12:00]

**Bam Bam:** Did you put the cigar down? Can you cut his mic? I might

**Pagoda:** have to. I was about to say, you just did the puba.

**Bam Bam:** Sorry. Well, I think it's still smoking pretty smooth. It's not offensive at all in any way and with the spirit that we're drinking it tastes quite nice. It's a good combo Yeah, I'm very

**Gizmo:** happy with the pairing tonight.

I am too. So the other thing I wanted to talk about boys was Cigar aficionado put out I guess a report from their cigar insider They did a survey of shops around the country. So we discussed a few episodes ago, I forget which episode it was, but we talked about what, uh, what cigar manufacturers are being requested with lines and then what are actually selling.

And then they also put out a report on the top selling cigar sizes. In the United States by percentage. So tied for number four was the Churchill and the Corona at 1. 2%, which is an [01:13:00] absolute sin to me agreed. This surprised me too. The Robusta was only 13. 6%. The Grande. Was right under 15%, number two, 14.8, and number one was the Toro Corona Goda at 69.2%.

BA's favorite. What are we doing here? I was shocked to see the difference between the Toro Corona Goda at 69.2 and number two as the the Grande at 14.8, right? But the Robusto being so low. Yeah, Robusto was number three on the list at 13. 6. That's shocking. There's a 55 point swing between number one and number two between the Toro and the Grande.

That is lunacy to me. It's insanity. Yeah. It's America. It's all about big portions. It

**Pagoda:** is. But it's, it's also people trying to find value, right? Meaning if you're going to spend a couple of bucks extra and you feel you're going to be able to smoke more.

**Senator:** But this is my problem with that. [01:14:00] Then buy a damn Churchill.

Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. You know, I just had a reasonable ring gauge. I, I, I hated seeing that. Honestly. I mean, I immediately questioned like, there's no way this is true, but obviously it makes sense. You have to believe it. I just really don't understand why people, I mean, if you think of the best cigars out there, I mean, I would even challenge, uh, even people who smoke these larger ring gauge.

The, the most respected, highly regarded cigars, 95 percent of them are not Toros. Yeah, right. You think of all the like great legendary cigars and like really an expansive list. I can't, I would struggle to think of like, what would be a Toro? I mean, the Padron 50 year. That would qualify

**Gizmo:** as a Toro. 52, yeah.

52 by 6 and a half, I think it is.

**Senator:** Outside of that, I don't know a single other cigar in Toro that's regarded as like one of the top. Even the ones that CA, you know, gives these silly 96, 97 points in named cigar of the [01:15:00] year, like the Pledge Prequel, that wasn't a Toro. I mean, so many of these are not. I don't get it.

**Bam Bam:** It'd be good to know. It'd be interesting to know, uh, how many of the purchases were made by long, long term cigar smokers and novice smokers. Well, if, I mean, it kind of goes to what Pagoda said, you know, if you're a newbie and you're just getting into it and you want value and you think, look, if I'm going to spend the money, let me get a bigger cigar, blah, blah,

**Senator:** blah.

But it's clearly both because who's driving volume purchases, it's people who smoke a lot.

**Gizmo:** This is true.

**Rooster:** If you go to a local lounge. And you look around what people are smoking other than us, you will find most people are smoking a bigger

**Gizmo:** ring gauge. Yeah, in general, in general. Yeah. Well, I mean, the, the, the data certainly points to that.

I mean, you know, you know, and, and this also. You know, kind of explains the thinking in Habanos, even in Cuba, the thinking of these, you know, new world manufacturers that we [01:16:00] smoke cigars from, why they're not putting out new cigars in ring gauges under 50. You know, under 52, they're putting out, they're not selling ring gauge cigars.

I mean, Petite Corona's, Panatella's, Lonsdale's, Lancero's. I mean, those are all under 1%. And those are

**Bam Bam:** such enjoyable. Vitolas, you're getting incredible experience

**Gizmo:** and in new world and not. I mean, look at how many we did a whole block. of long skinny cigars, Lonsdale's and Lancero's on this podcast.

Arguably too many in the words of Senator, but we won't go down that road. But they were all great. They were all excellent. Yeah. I've modified

**Senator:** my sweet

**Gizmo:** just enough, just enough.

**Rooster:** I mean, before this pod, Senator and I, I mean, I saw what he was smoking. He was smoking a Davidoff Millennium Petite Corona, I believe.

Yeah. And I had the Monte Cristo Media, Media Corona. They were both small cigars. I mean, there's so much flavor. Out of those cigars, it's

**Pagoda:** unbeatable. That's awesome. No, but Russo, I think [01:17:00] we evolved to that, right? Because I was just thinking about me going back, you know, whatever, 20 years or so. Every time, even when I went to Nat Sherman, my preferred size to get was a Toro and.

You know, I, meaning a lot of the cigars I've tried were on the, on the larger ring gauge size and larger and, and maybe subconsciously because of the value associated with it. Now that I've tried so many, I think my favorite size is the Robusto. Yeah. Right? Me too. So I've evolved into that and I think it's, it's a matter of time maybe or, you know, hopefully people listening to the podcast and the education, they're getting that there's more impact of, you know, there's so many different, I guess, Vitolas where you can, um, Actually, uh, have a more meaningful experience.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah, and I think the investment of time component's important. Because if you're going to sit down and have two or five cigars, the Toro's probably not going to make your rotation. You're going to go for the smaller ring gauges or the shorter sizes. If you're going to have one cigar and go home... [01:18:00] Maybe the largest cigars for you.

**Gizmo:** Well, you know, but the thing, the thing that I'm thinking about with a larger engaged cigar, like we've talked about a lot of those cigars are not densely packed, they burn pretty quickly. And a lot of the times you see it, I've seen it in many cigar lounges, even here at our lounge, you know, guys are throwing these cigars away at the halfway point or just coming into the last third, which a lot of the times for us on our favorite cigars, those are the best parts of the cigar, the best moments of a great cigar.

So it's like, if you buy a Lancero or a Corona. You know, that, that, you're going to get more value out of that just from the experience if you smoke it well and you smoke it down to the end.

**Senator:** I mean, we've seen dozens of El Jefe Gordos thrown on the wall. I was just, I was just thinking. You stole that. El

**Gizmo:** Jefe.

I was

**Rooster:** like, how many were strewn at the Hotel Dillon?

**Senator:** Lizard Dave. But I will say, I want to go back to something that Bam and Pagoda said that now is, is resonating with me. If you think of. Novice cigar [01:19:00] smokers kind of early in their journey. There is this sense, like I'm going back to like the first, very first few cigars that I bought.

There is this like value equation in your head that, because the price difference is not all that significant between some of the smaller ring gauge and larger ring gauge cigars. And so when you're, you're kind of viewing this through the lens of like. Budget, but also something you're going to enjoy. I do remember like actually smoking a number of larger ring gauge cigars, just very, very early on.

And like the thought process was like, well, if this little ring gauge cigar is 11 and this bigger, much bigger cigar is 13. I mean, I feel like a fool not buying the 13. Now the problem with that, and this is what I think you learn on that journey. And then I hope that, especially for. Folks who would listen to this podcast that maybe are early in their journey.

What I certainly didn't realize early on, I think even many of us kind of midway through our journey, didn't [01:20:00] realize not all Vitolas of the same blend and the same cigar smoke, the same, the flavor profile is not even identical. I mean, the fact that like, obviously I've loved the Ex Lucivos since day one, but.

I couldn't believe, like, you know, Gizmo, I remember, tried the Monarcha, right, basically a Lonsdale, smaller ring gauge than the Exclusivo, and it's the same blend, the 1964 anniversary series. It's different. Yet, it tastes different. You get dried fruit in that Monarcha that is completely absent from the Exclusivo.

And so, I, I think once you realize that you're not, it's not like. You're looking at a line in different Vitola's and they're all going to have the same flavor, exact same flavor profile. And it's just a question of like, what's the best bang for your buck. Once you realize that that's not the case, I think that's when you then start making those conscious choices to pursue maybe a smaller cigar, knowing it's actually going to deliver something unique and different.

It's not about like, I'm getting screwed by, you know, this smaller ring gauge at. A [01:21:00] similar price to a larger cigar. Right.

**Bam Bam:** But early on, I think we all succumb to that. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's the investment of time in combination with what you just said. I mean, if

**Rooster:** you can go back and remember your first cigar that you ever had, do you guys all, did you all smoke like a big ring gauge

**Gizmo:** cigar?

I know. I never, I never reached for big for me. It was the short

**Rooster:** story by Arturo Fuente. That was my

**Gizmo:** first ever

**Bam Bam:** cigar. Well, you know, my first cigar was a Millennium Pyramid. That was my very first cigar.

**Gizmo:** So that's a, that's a pretty big, but mouthfeel wise, it's not. It's not because of the pyramid. Exactly.

Your mouthfeel on that is probably in the mid 40 ring gauge. Right. Mine

**Senator:** was a Robusto, the Aromatic Humamia Mor in

**Bam Bam:** Robusto. Right. That's still a good cigar,

**Gizmo:** honestly. Yeah. It's, it's an interesting thing. And I mean, it, it points to again, understanding why. So many of these brilliant cigars that we love have been discontinued lines that we love don't offer You know the cigars and sizes that we like I mean even think about Davidoff, right?

We love the Millennium series We love the Robusto, especially the pyramid [01:22:00] they have now the Lancero which was discontinued probably for the reasons we're talking about tonight Offered now is limited edition or exclusive releases It seems like these other kind of Vitolas are only going to be kind of pop ups.

Yeah, you know not regular offerings, which is unfortunate. I mean even Padrone, Padrone's newest cigar And their family reserve line is a really, it's 60. It's like a 60 by by. Yeah. It's a really big, big cigar. I'm

**Bam Bam:** sure they're doing the research and they're moving toward

**Gizmo:** the market. Yeah. Even Haos

**Rooster:** is doing the same thing.

They're coming up with much

**Gizmo:** bigger ring gauge. Yeah. Yeah. And you look at the Churchill and Haos, there's, you know, that, that legendary Sir Winston? Mm-Hmm. . There's only what, two or three offerings of Churchill in the entire catalog. Yep. I mean, it's

**Pagoda:** crazy. I, I can't lie, like, uh, the, the times I end up gonna car again, if I don't have a cigar with me, or if there are quite a few people coming, I will go to the, uh, David Dolf store and instead of getting the exclusive o I'll get the Imperial, which is like the Toro, [01:23:00] a little bigger in the 60 64 wine.

And, and, and the reason is, once again, the price differential. Instead buying two exclusive oes or three exclusive os, I'll buy two Imperials and it just changes, you know, it buys me some more time. Yeah. I'm not sure. I don't know why I do. It's, I just do,

**Rooster:** it's an Indian mentality. Maybe .

**Bam Bam:** Hey, listen, I don't look at the price as

**Pagoda:** much as they, it is, it is, I'm value driven, you know?

Yeah, I don't

**Bam Bam:** look at the price as much as I do the Vitola. For me, if I'm going to be with a group and I'm going to have one or two with them and I know they'll have one and leave like a bigger cigar for

**Gizmo:** that experience. Ring gauge size or width? Both.

**Bam Bam:** Okay. Cause I know that's what they're going to want to smoke and I'll, you know, keep up with them.

**Gizmo:** Smoke slower. Yeah. But, you know, to, to Senator's point, I mean, we experienced this, what do you leave a V Lancero, which I think we rated what a nine, seven, nine, six, something like that. Incredible. Incredible. You look at the Churchill, even in that same exact line performed. I almost [01:24:00] probably 20 points less or, you know, 15 points less.

So that proves your point. And the same thing in Padron 1964, I had a, uh, Diplomatico. The Churchill in that line the other night, because I wanted something a little longer. I think it was editing a podcast or something. And, and I, you know, I wanted something that kind of gave me an hour and a half or two hours of cigar and it tastes totally different to your point.

And to what Pagoda said, it really tastes very different than the Exclusiva does, which I also feel about. The Menorca, which is the Lonsdale, the Corona, which is, you know, a 42 and, and, uh, the torpedo I think is maybe the biggest outlier in that line. As far as a difference in flavor that the torpedo in that line in the Maduro is so different than the other 44, right?

Yeah, that's a good cigar. No, I'm talking the 1964 torpedo, the one that won cigar of the year, but we smoked that in Maduro. Yeah.

**Senator:** The best example of this, even perfect example, because this is the smallest [01:25:00] cigars you can really get from Padron. Most of us, obviously not all of us. Don't love the 19, the regular 1926 line in Padrón.

It packs a bit too much nicotine and strength for a lot of us. Yep. The 1926 number 35. That little

**Gizmo:** short smoke. That's a great little cigar.

**Senator:** Is universally loved in this room. It's an incredible smoke. Yet, if you were to hand it, most of us, any of the other, uh, Vitolas in the 1926 line, none of us would want it.

And so, like, it's a perfect example of, like, just, the ratio is just perfect for our palate. It happens to be a smaller cigar, and that arguably smokes better than any of those other Rotolas, and I just think people don't know that and haven't experienced that enough to really understand why they might want to pursue a smaller Ringgate

**Bam Bam:** sometimes.

And that goes back to the concept of that novice cigar smoker, and it would be great To know who's buying what,

**Gizmo:** somehow. And also, you know, for the listeners out there, if you find something in a [01:26:00] line at whatever ring gauge, if it's super small, or it's, it's the Gordo that we're talking about, or some of these lines are producing 70s and 80 ring gauge cigars now, you know, if you like something and it's kind of giving you what you want, explore the other Vitolas in that same line, like we're talking about.

I mean, you might really find something that's a home run, where. The sister cigars to it might not be doing it for you, you know, or giving you 100 percent of that. And I think, again, that Oliva V. Lancero really points to that theory.

**Senator:** Sorry, all I'm thinking about is really wanting to light up a 1926 number 35.

And the reason I say this They're so good, man. Well, the odd thing, so the price on those, like, dramatically started to increase. Yeah, they're expensive now. And now I can't even imagine what it is. It's your fault. And so I stopped buying them and I stopped smoking them because at that, again, I guess this is where the value comes in.

I mean, that's a small cigar, right? We have found other short smokes that are a fraction of that price. Isn't it like 12? Oh no,

**Gizmo:** now it's more. Really? It's probably 16. Yeah, I think [01:27:00] so. And that's a little, that's a little petite Corona.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. That's an end of evening cigar. Yeah.

**Senator:** Where it's like, if you think of any of the other short smokes we buy, like they're all like five to 10 bucks, basically.

They're not much more than that. And so I just realized I have not lit that cigar since we've been at this lounge, which is now what three years at least. Yeah. Right. I have. So, I mean, I think the 1926 line has five years of age. I've got a whole box. It's sitting there now with an additional three years at least.

Cause I probably bought it even a year before that. So probably another four years. So that's like nine years right now. I'm pretty excited to

**Gizmo:** try one of these. He's rubbing it. He's for the listener. He's rubbing his hands together over there. We're also excited. Bring seven cigars. No, I I'm in the same boat.

I have not reached for that cigar for how delicious it is. I haven't reached for it in a long time. I think because a lot of the time I'm finishing my evening with, you know, I'll, I'll, I'll start Cuban. I'll, I'll move to Dominican or Nicaraguan tobacco. And then I'll finish with a short Cuban, like the half Corona or some of the other ones that we've done on [01:28:00] the podcast or the, the, uh, the Monte, uh, Monte Cristo that Brewster mentioned earlier.

Yeah. That's a, that's a great evening finisher, especially we're talking about it now, guys, it's cold out. It's getting, it's going to get chilly. That is a great winter cigar, the Padron 1935, especially with some sort of, you know, higher proof bourbon or rye whiskey. It's a robust

**Bam Bam:** cigar the outdoor elements.

**Gizmo:** Yeah. I just

**Rooster:** looked up the price for it. It's 315 for a box.

**Gizmo:** So it's 1260 12, but that's in bulk. So if you're buying singles, you're definitely going to be closer to 14 or 16 for a cigar that's what three and a half inches VIP price. Atlantic VIP. Yeah. It's a great value there. All right, boys. So we're coming to the end of our evening here.

Any thoughts on the pairing with the Hill rock, rye whiskey, and the Rocky Patel ALR, I think nice overall. Yeah, I'm happy. I'm very satisfied with how the. You know, the cigar rounded out toward the end. I'm [01:29:00] much happier with that than where it started, but really no complaints for me. And I think the pairing was, was very nice as well.

I mean,

**Senator:** I have some complaints with a cigar, but I'll get into that in my rating. But the one thing I will say positively, the last third was the best part of it for me. If it would have been that all the way through, I would have scored it higher.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. And the last third, it does ramp up and the Hillcrest, the Hill Rock, I'm sorry, the Hill Rock pairs very nicely in the stretch.

**Gizmo:** All right, boys. So let's do the formal liquor rating on the Hill Rock rye whiskey sent in by very kind listener Lizard . Bam Bam, you're up. Yes, sir. Um,

**Bam Bam:** do we know how much that bottle is?

**Gizmo:** I think it's not cheap. Let me look at this on Total Wine. It's not cheap.

**Senator:** Yeah, this is not a cheap bottle. It's, uh, 1.

20 a bottle. Oof.

**Pagoda:** Wow.

**Gizmo:** Thank you. Thank you, Lizard . That's quite the gift. Thank you. Yeah. No, that's very kind, man. I mean, that's just amazing.

**Bam Bam:** Yeah. So that, it's, it's, the, the price is tough. You know, I [01:30:00] have to say with a good handful of ice, it's very drinkable. With our pairing, it was quite delicious.

You know, I don't want to be too hard on it, but that price is really... It's a high price. That's, that's tough.

**Gizmo:** You're supporting a local

**Bam Bam:** business, Bam. This is true. I'll, I'll, you know, I'll give it a seven. Okay. I'll give it a seven. And the

**Senator:** other thing we should keep in mind, why the price has got to be so high.

Absolutely. Everything is done on their

**Bam Bam:** estate. And it's a batch, small batch, I'm guessing, right? Yep.

**Gizmo:** I'm sticking with a 7. All right. Pagoda. Yeah, you wouldn't

**Pagoda:** be allowed to change that. Nope. And I won't.

**Gizmo:** Ha, ha, ha. He was ready to get you, man. I considered

**Bam Bam:** it.

**Pagoda:** Ha, ha, ha. No, I think I'll give it a 7 as well. I think it's very kind of, uh, uh, the listeners who have, uh, sent it. It, you know, it's a testament to the community we are building as well, right?

It's fantastic. Um, and I hope that, you know, uh, the listeners can, um, you [01:31:00] know, try a little bit of both, both the pairings together. Like, uh, it did work well with the cigar. It really did. But having said that, um, I felt that it definitely needed ice obviously because of the high proof. Um, I enjoyed it in the beginning.

Um, I felt it was really cleansing my palate for a certain amount of time and um, to recommend the prices, I think, uh, beyond my, my price range, I would put it this way, uh, for this particular drink, I think a seven to fair score.

**Gizmo:** Senator?

**Senator:** I'm, I'm in the exact same boat. I think the pairing worked extremely well with the cigar, so I'm very happy that we, we did this.

The flavor I liked a lot of the flavor notes that you get out of this rye, and I especially appreciate it. Again, a lot of ryes tend to be spicier, and I didn't get that. I actually like that they did this double cast that kind of balanced that out with some sweet notes. And again, I'm not someone, I mean, I don't have a single bottle of rye in my bar.

Period. And this was one of [01:32:00] the more enjoyable rise I've had. The price point is a bit problematic. I mean, I say that because Whistlepig 10 year, which is kind of regarded as like the gold standard of like a really good quality rye. And that's quite tasty actually. Right. I mean, that's significantly less, it's like 70 a bottle usually for Whistlepig.

So, um, that would. preclude me from probably, you know, pursuing this with any regularity. But if I was at someone's house and they poured me a glass of this with ice, I would definitely drink it again. I wouldn't have any complaints. So for me, it's a solid seven. And I think for probably a more experienced rye drinker, you know, this may score higher.

I'm not all that experienced with rye. And so for me, it's a seven.

**Gizmo:** So I agree with everything you guys said. Um, the one thing I will say about this versus some of the other rise that we've had on the podcast and other rise that I've had, I actually found this to be a more pleasurable drink because it didn't hit me with that whole thing to talk about.

It didn't hit me with that spice. Yeah. The price point is questionable. Um, obviously we didn't purchase this bottle [01:33:00] tonight, but the flavor of the rye, it's definitely one of the better rise that I've had from my palate. And I think with a cigar, I think actually it paired perfectly. So I think if I'm sitting at home sipping something, I'm not going to reach for this.

But if I'm having a Nicaraguan cigar or a Dominican cigar, I think this pairs very well. So I'm actually going to go with an eight on this. Um, you know, I'm very comfortable with that score despite the price. Um, I really actually enjoyed the ride tonight. The thing that I will say too, is I didn't sip this till quite a bit into the pod.

We started, I don't think we even talked about this till about 40 minutes in. So mine sat with ice. I didn't sip it. without. So I, maybe I should have, but where it was when I started drinking, it was pleasurable the whole way through. So it's an eight for me. And that boys brings the formal liquor rating on the Hill Rock double cask rye whiskey to a 7.

3. Okay. That's a

**Bam Bam:** recommend. Absolutely. What's ironic about this is the price because it drinks like a, what a novice. [01:34:00] Whiskey or a scotch drinker would want to try if they're going to try a rye for the first time because it's so easy to drink with ice because without, you'd need to be a really seasoned rye guy and it, it packs a punch.

The price though, it just makes it out of reach for a lot of first time rye guys. Yeah. And that's ironic because it drinks, it drinks like what a rye would drink for a novice and they would enjoy it. I enjoyed it. It's true.

**Senator:** I will also say I'm glad we're doing this this time of year because when I just think of like, where would I drink this?

This is great in the fall and winter. Like, I'm imagining after like a Thanksgiving meal, having a glass of this, it'd be great.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, the Angel's Envy Rye, I think, goes for 90, which is, uh, you know, which is a pretty, uh, I guess, uh, a reasonable rye to be drinking, and, you know, I tend to, I really like the Angel's End Me rye, and, um, that's, you're talking about 30 bucks cheaper, which is 25 percent [01:35:00] lower in price.


**Gizmo:** So. Alright. Alright boys, you ready to do the formal lizard rating tonight on the Rocky Patel ALR 2nd edition? Robusto. Here we go. Connoisseur Corners. Michael Myers, you're up. Connoisseur Corners teed up. Yeah. So,

**Rooster:** I mean, I have yet to find a Rocky Patel that would, that has vowed me. And this still, you know, I mean, I'm still searching.

So if there's any listened recommendations to try another Rocky Patel, I would. I would be happy to do that. Having said that, I mean, this, the cigar was kind of one dimensional for me. It didn't really change much. Um, it's not in my wheelhouse. It's I'm not, I didn't quite get the notes that you guys were talking about.

I didn't get any cocoa. I mean, I was just getting some white pepper.

So my, my rating on this cigar, it's a very generous.

**Bam Bam:** [01:36:00] Wow. Generous.

**Gizmo:** Generous.

**Rooster:** I'm being generous.

**Bam Bam:** So are you going to get the meat cleaver now and just walk around with it?

**Gizmo:** We're going to be packing up the gear tonight and Roosters is going to be standing outside with the Michael Myers mask on and the uh...

The overalls.

**Bam Bam:** Oh, Senator,

**Gizmo:** you're up. Um, so

**Senator:** I think, this is tough, I'm between two scores.

**Gizmo:** Can't

**Rooster:** change, be careful. I

**Gizmo:** know,

**Senator:** I really do have to be careful here.

Yeah, I know where I am. It's a six for me. Um, I say that because it's just not a cigar that I would recommend. Um, I, I wouldn't, yeah, I wouldn't give this to anybody, even a novice cigar smoker. I think my frustration with it is that the flavors are muddled for a lot of it. There are notes in there that I typically appreciate.

It's just that none of them are overly pronounced. I [01:37:00] had to really wait until the final third to kind of pick up in strength to a place that I felt was more in my comfort zone for a Nicaraguan cigar. But I mean, you know, like rooster, it's like the temptation to put it, to put it down was definitely there in the first half.

So I, I, I would never pursue it. Um, the, the merits I will say, it's well constructed, good looking cigar once you get that foot, giant foot band off, the combustion was great. And, um, it's just a shame because the flavor notes that are there, if they could just blend this in a way to really accentuate those more and bring them out more.

This would get a seven or an eight for me, but because it just feels too muted and at many times muddled, I've got to give it a six.

**Gizmo:** Okay. So I'm going to give the cigar a seven and I'll tell you why. I think number one, I think a lot of new world cigars that have been mediocre or below that call them poor on this podcast, they start [01:38:00] decently or poorly in the first third and then through the second third and last third.

They take a nosedive, like the plane goes right into the mountain. What I liked about this is I'm sensing that this is intentional. I'm sensing that what Rocky and his team did on this was trying to give you a little bit of a journey, which were, I think we all experienced that it picked up in that last third, as opposed to diving.

And I thought that even though it didn't give me what I normally am looking for in a Nicaraguan cigar, I do think it delivered a pretty decent experience tonight. Um, I would give this to novice smokers. I would give this to folks who like a mild cigar and say, Hey, can you give me something a little more than that?

I liked that the first two thirds were, were medium, you know, bordering on medium full in the last third. So. I can't complain about it for how much I would love to, to join Rooster and his Michael Myers, you know. [01:39:00] Hacksaw stabbing approach, um, putting it down, but you know, seriously, I, I, I think that it was intentional and I think what Rocky intended to do in this cigar, he did.

So for me, it's a seven. Pagoda.

**Pagoda:** Yeah. This is, this is an interesting one because I did smoke quite a few of these, um, you know, uh, earlier, um, no peer pressure, no peer pressure, but you know, I'll rate it a seven. And I was very happy that Rusa did not, um, You know, just put off the cigar in the first couple of minutes.

That's what I was a bit worried about. He almost didn't come

**Gizmo:** tonight.

**Pagoda:** Yeah, but having said that, I, you know, I, I thought the flavors were very, very muted. And I was debating between a six and seven throughout the cigar. Um, it's for me, I felt that towards the end, it was very peppery for me. Um, you know, I did get.

muted notes of cocoa, um, and at one point in time, I [01:40:00] felt a little bit of bitterness and I don't know whether it could be attributed to coffee or dark chocolate. I couldn't really. And maybe it's slightly muddled. Yeah, I think seven is a generous score. You know, using a rooster's, uh, word over there, uh, but yeah, it's, it's like a soft recommend, uh, not something I'm going to go and buy again.


**Gizmo:** Bam.

**Bam Bam:** Wow. I'm surprised. Yeah. I was thinking an eight coming out of you. No. All right. I'm going to give it a seven. And what I said earlier, I would give this to a novice cigar smoker because, you know, if I give him a Padron, like we said earlier, it could hit him with a hammer. This is a great. lower middle market cigar that I think works for a lot of people.

And I think like you said, it's intentional seven. I had no rough edges at all. It was one dimensional, maybe slightly muddled, but still fairly enjoyable

**Gizmo:** cigar. I don't know if muddled is the right word for me. I think muted or tone down tone down. That's a great word. I don't think I, there was no confusion as [01:41:00] far as what I was getting, how I was getting it.

Like, so it was just kind of like the volume knob was turned down a little bit on the cigar from what I'd expect from this kind of blend Nicaraguan, but nothing to hate, nothing to hate

**Rooster:** muddled in the sense that the distinguishable. That's what, that's, that's where I'm at. You know, like I couldn't pick.

They weren't very distinct. Like I couldn't say, well, I'm getting a lot of cocoa. I'm getting a lot of this, a lot of that. It wasn't that. So that, that to me is kind of like muddled or muted or whatever,

**Gizmo:** you

**Pagoda:** know. And you know, I typically like the San Andreas rapper, you know, we all do. Yeah. So, you know, there is some merit to that, but.

Um, I do think, uh, that, uh, uh, the pairing really enhanced the cigar, I felt. That's true. I really enjoyed the cigar after, I think, uh, the pairing with it. So, I think that might have pushed it between from a six to a seven at some point, yeah.

**Gizmo:** So the former Lizard Rating Boys on the Rocky Patel ALR. [01:42:00] Second edition Robusto is a 6.

6 mm hmm, which I think is the right score for this. Yeah, I think that's fair I think it's perfect. Yeah,

**Bam Bam:** I think Freddy Krueger would love the cigar

**Gizmo:** Michael Myers did not yes, that's true. All right boys. So a good pairing tonight. Not great for our Halloween spooktacular. Did we spook you? Rooster, I'm spooked for life.

**Pagoda:** So, I think we're going to try the Goda next. Yes. Yeah. We're going to do

**Gizmo:** that next week. Actually.

**Senator:** Do you, do you remember that there were times early on when we met Pagoda and we were all kind of trading cigars and I remember Rooster gave Pagoda some cigar, probably a Cuban. Yes. And Pagoda wanted to give us something back.

And he's like, well, this is all I have. And he hands him an ALR and the look on Rooster's face. If I had a photograph of that. That was

**Pagoda:** incredible. That was a fun

**Rooster:** night. I think

**Bam Bam:** I gave him an 8.

**Gizmo:** 98. the Hill Rock, Double Cask Rye [01:43:00] Whiskey was a 7. 3, and the Rocky Patel Cigar tonight, the ALR 2nd Edition Robusto was a 6. 6. Good, uh, good hanging with you all. Happy Halloween. And we'll see everybody next week. Hope you enjoyed this episode. Thanks for joining us. You can find our merch store and ratings archive at our brand new website, LoungeLizardsPod.

com. That's LoungeLizards, P O D, dot com. Don't forget to leave us a rating and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. If you have any comments, questions, if you want to reach out, say hello, tell us what you're smoking, email us, hello at LoungeLizardsPod. com. You can also find us on Instagram at loungelizardspod.

We really appreciate your time and we'll, uh, we'll see you next week.