The concept of Lost&Found is actually fairly simple, although it seems to have garnered a fair bit of intrigue and even confusion. Robert Caldwell of Caldwell Cigar Co. purchases cigars that were originally created for someone else and presumably some other purpose from various factories. Jaclyn Sears, also of Caldwell Cigar Co., creates the artwork for the cigars and Tony Bellatto of La Barba Cigars handles the selling of said cigars.
These releases are relatively small in quantity—Holy Braille is limited to 999 cigars—and released without many details. In this particular case, all that was disclosed was that the 5 x 50 robusto uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper. Lost&Found targets a certain sect of the online cigar market, specifically, more personalized retailers that seem more interested in newer and smaller brands as opposed to selling volumes of lower cost cigars.
Holy Braille is based off the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake song, “Holy Grail.” The soft-pack contains the following message:
Rich Bold Smooth Sweet
And baby, it’s amazing I’m in this maze with you. I just can’t crack your code. One day you screaming you love me loud. The next day you’re so cold. One day you’re here, one day you’re there, one day you care. You’re so unfair, sipping from your cup ’til it runneth over, Holy Braille.
The “And baby…” line is part of the lyrics for the song.
Holy Braille was one of four cigars that Lost&Found shipped last month.
- Buck 15 (5 x 50) — $10 (Bundles of 4, $40) — 100 Bundles of 4 Cigars (400 Total Cigars)
- Cream Machine (6 x 50) — $12 (Bundles of 3, $36) — 600 Bundles of 3 Cigars (1,800 Total Cigars)
- Holy Braille (5 x 50) — $15 (Bundles of 3, $45) — 333 Bundles of 3 Cigars (999 Total Cigars)
- SilentShout (4 x 42) — $5.40 (Bundles of 5, $22) — 600 Bundles of 5 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Holy Braille
- Country of Origin: n/a
- Factory: n/a
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $15 (Packs of 3, $45)
- Release Date: Feb. 25, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 333 Packs of 3 Cigars (999 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
On wrapper looks alone, I would not be surprised if you had told me this was a Cuban cigar. While there’s no hints from the smell of the cigar, or the cold draw, there’s a few prominent veins and a very cylindrical roll. It’s quite smooth to the touch and I find some fruits, leather, mahogany and floral flavors. From the cold draw I get a dry floral flavor, some popcorn and floral on the back end.
Holy Braille starts out with a lot of unpleasant cedar surrounding the floral flavors. There’s some burnt citrus 15 seconds in and a very mild pepper follows. While it’s fairly mild to begin with, the flavors that are there are quite developed. The floral flavor decreases and the cedar increases and gets much more pleasant. What’s left behind is some sweeter citrus, mild coffee bean and some paprika. While the flavors increase in intensity, it doesn’t get to even the midway point of medium. Strength is also medium, but the body is mild, which creates an interesting dynamic.
A charred orange peel begins to become a prominent part of the still cedar-dominated profile. Underneath it is a sourness, nuttiness and a lot of charred flavors. On the finish there’s a familiar floral sensation and burnt bell pepper. The mouth and nose do a great job of separating themselves with cedar on the mouth and pretty much everything else through the nose. Strength picks up a little bit, but still stays medium—other than that, there’s not a myriad of changes. I am required to touch up both cigars in the second third.
Hickory barbecue had been part of the aroma particularly in the second third, but now it becomes a prominent feature of the mouth. Sweet charred orange flavors continue to exist through the nose, popcorn also becomes a much larger part of the cigar, but there’s also some unpleasantness starting to develop in the Holy Braille, specifically a grass and spice mixture on the back of the tongue. Towards the last few puffs, there’s also some saltiness that emerges.
- Here’s the song for those wondering, the language is explicit.
- A few people have asked about where the cigars come from, specifically take back by the idea that there are cigars laying around factories without any real purpose. The answer is, that it happens. People make commitments for cigars and don’t pay, as tests or plans change. There’s dozens of reasons why this takes place and I imagine the difference in the release size—400 cigars for Buck 15 versus 3,000 cigars for Silent Shout—is due to why the cigars were rolled in the first place.
- All involved with Lost&Found have been very clearly about the fact this project is independent of Caldwell Cigar Co. and La Barba Cigars.
- One sample had an extremely firm ash, while the other was a mess. Both required a few touch-ups, but one was pretty flaky.
- The price of this release is somewhat ridiculous. At least when Warped released its $15.50 bundle cigar it had bands.
- Strength was on the lighter side of medium throughout.
- Viva Republica has filed for a trademark on “Holly Grail,” which is obviously a take on holy grail as well.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time for Holy Braille was one hour and 20 minutes.
I liked this cigar, a lot more than the score below implies. It was penalized for its issues on needing to be touched-up a few times over two samples, something that isn’t common on most the cigars I smoke for a review. I’d smoke another one, although I’ll be the first one to admit that at $15, I probably wouldn’t be in a rush for hoarding whatever of the 997 cigars remain. Lost&Found is a great concept, it’s just unfortunately expensive.