Were They Ever Really Lost?

Lost and Found Cigars have been in question for years. The business model was basically one that saw Mr. Robert Caldwell adventuring from mythical factory to mythical factory, scavenging the aging rooms of these factories to find things forgotten about. While it was incredibly appealing to cigar consumers, the business model had major flaws. The biggest being the limitations of sales.

If you find 6,000 cigars at a factory and sell them all in a few weeks it becomes very tempting to ask the same factory to produce more. In fact consumers began to question the business practices with releases like Super Stroke. While the packaging for super Stroke promises the project was limited to 2,740 of the Robusto and 3,350 of the Corona, it was released in 2018 and yet still remains on the market to this day, 4 years later.

We spoke to one cigar club that claimed in 2018 it purchased all of one of the vitolas. This is one example of many. I believe, as consumers, we understood we were being lied to about quantities, but were so enchanted with the idea of aged cigars we didn’t care much.

Then there is the question of the recent release of a cigar called 15 Minutes of Fame. Information came to surface through multiple online retailers that the 15 Minutes was actually the original Cookie Monster cigar, once released in collaboration with Privada Cigar Club. News of this release was in question right from the onset due to how popular the cigar was coupled with the fact that Privada Cigar Club sold out of the cigar years prior. How was it being re-released again? The question starts to become: were they ever really lost?

The recent cigar boom saw factories emptying of any aged stock and being short on production. This means cigars with major age claims on them that are unverifiable, would seem suspect at this point. Which brings us to the very conveniently timed press release put out yesterday by Lost and Found cigars. You can find this below. How ironic a company would change their business model after being outed for lying about age statements. How convenient that they have been preparing by aging cigars for the last 2 years, the biggest sales years for most cigar companies by the way, to eventually deliver us the news of their new business model. They will now be manufacturing and aging their own cigars. But at a higher price because of how much it costs to store cigars.

The newsletter also goes on to mention combined tobacco ages of 29 and 31 years. This is a very misleading way to discuss the age of a cigar. It’s as though the company is doubling down on how gullible the market may be. As a journalist, I want to be unbiased. As a consumer, I cannot believe what I am reading. I wanted to put this information out there to see how you feel. Leave a comment below and let me know.

Lost and Found Cigars

As I’m sure you have realized, we have been really quiet on releases this year. We have been pivoting our model into a manufacturing model, away from finding and repackaging old cigars. We may have some found products going forward, but they will be few and far between.

Our first manufactured product was Instant Classic Robusto a few years ago. It did incredibly well. This isn’t entirely new for us, but the entire approach of the brand will be. We will have some things released limited (once), some will be biannual releases, some will be annual releases and some will be all the timers.

As we turn this page of Lost & Found, our approach also needs to change. We want to see the product ON SHELVES. We want it to turn and we want to keep the shelf space. All of the products going forward will be boxed and banded. This should open up an entirely new opportunity for you guys.

What is Lost&Found doing differently than other manufacturers?
Aging the shit out of the cigars. Using small run and test crop tobaccos. Experimenting with fermentation processes small-scale. Reproducing original vintage (lost blends) from years back (we will be remanufacturing some of the original Lost&Found brands together with the original factories using the original blends, or porting manufacture but keeping the original blends).

23:38 (22 Minutes to Midnight) is the best cigar I have ever made. There are 2 iterations. One is Habano and one is Connecticut. It’s as good as Anastasia green label, but it might be better. It’s unbelievable and your customers will absolutely flip when they try them.

They’re expensive but deserve to be. They were rolled in Jan/Feb of 2020. The combined age of the tobaccos in the Habano was 29 years at the time of manufacture. The Connecticut 31 years. There is nothing on the market even close to this.

The name is the date stamp on a text Tony sent me when we came up with the lost and found concept. We are using it now in a symbolic way as we start our pivot to manufacturers.

This cigar is made at El Maestro which is a small factory William Ventura (father) has that he started just for fun. Now just for fun is just for Me for special small projects. Everything we are doing is incredibly special, gourmet, and unique.

Instant Classic we have the limited release box-press toro which is a 6/52 toro with a hybrid Mexican wrapper. The fillers are all different Habano varietals, along with the binder. It was produced in 2018. It is sold in the box that it was Boxpressed in which is extra cool. They come in 10s.

The other Habano and San Andrés are equally as special. They’re made with 3-4 year aged tobaccos (each leaf) and have a special fermentation process that William developed for this tobacco. You will taste a unique flavor in both of them from this process. It’s a musty weird delicious flavor that makes them taste even older than they are. These cigars were rolled in 2018.

I look forward to opening a new chapter of my career and continuing our partnership. I really would appreciate you guys jumping in on this and helping me pívot to a boxed-banded brand. Thank you for your continued support.

Robert Caldwell