Holidays have long been a source of inspiration for cigar makers, with lines made for Christmas, Thanksgiving and even just the general “Holiday” season. Considering the amount of visual possibilities, it is no surprise that Halloween has been featured for quite a few of those themed cigar line releases, including from manufacturers like EmilioTatuaje and Viaje, among many others.

In early October, Lost&Found  began shipping a new cigar named Halloween. Patrick Lagreid did a great job detailing the history of the Lost&Found brand in his review of the Instant Classic Limited Production 2018:

Since its launch in February 2014, the cigar project known as Lost&Found had a pretty straightforward model: find finished cigars in factories that had been abandoned for one reason or another, give them a new name and make them available to retailers. Or as Robert Caldwell put it in February 2015, “Find great lost cigars. Package them. Share them with friends. This is BCS.” BCS, which is one of the company’s previous names, stood for Bellatto/Caldwell/Sears, the trio behind what would become Lost&Found. Caldwell would find the cigars, Jaclyn Sears would handle the designs and packaging, and then the cigars would get distributed under the direction of Bellatto.

Yet in April 2022, the company announced that it was pursuing a new business model. Instead of finding lost cigars, Lost&Found would now be commissioning its own cigars, and those cigars would be aged for between two and four years, an unusually long time for cigars to rest before release as most are closer to 90 days. It was a change brought on by a number of factors, including the increased demand for cigars caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other companies adopting a similar business model, both of which contributed to a decreased supply of cigars to be found.

In an email, Robert Caldwell told halfwheel that the company had produced several private label Halloween projects through its Lost&Found brand, and this year, “we decided to launch our own.” The result is the Lost&Found Halloween, a 5 x 50 robusto packaged in 10-count bundles that was a limited release with only 5,000 cigars made. The MSRP of each cigar is $12 and the cigars were rolled at Tabacalera William Ventura factory located in Tamboril, Dominican Republic.

Blend-wise, the Halloween incorporates a San Andrés maduro wrapper from Mexico covering a binder and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic. According to Caldwell, bundles began shipping to “a handful of guys (chosen) by no particular method” starting the first week of October last year.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Lost&Found Halloween
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura
  • Wrapper: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $12 (Bundle of 10, $120)
  • Release Date: October 2022
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Bundles of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Covered in a mottled, dark espresso brown wrapper, the Lost&Found Halloween is smooth to the touch, although there is a multitude of protruding veins running up and down its length. A physical inspection reveals very small soft spots on two of the cigars—one in the middle and one closer to the main band—and all three cigars feature some nice give when they are squeezed. The aroma from the wrapper includes notes of oak, barnyard, earth, generic nuts, baker’s spices and black pepper along with some light sweetness that reminds me of brown sugar. There is a number of scents from the foot as well, including sweet almonds, earth, nutmeg, coffee beans, leather, black pepper and raisin sweetness. Finally, after a punch cut the cold draw brings flavors of almonds—albeit creamier than the aroma from the foot—nutmeg, cocoa nibs, leather, earth and rich raisins.

Earth and black coffee flavors start the profile off as I light the foot of the Lost&Found, but those two flavors morph into a combination of cocoa nibs and leather tack. Additional notes of almonds, roasted coffee beans, cinnamon, toasted bread and a vegetal note flit in and out at various points. The retrohale features quite a bit of black pepper but not as much raisin sweetness, although the former is already receding as the first third burns down. Flavor ends the first third at just under medium and the body is between mild and medium, while the strength is at a point just under medium but increasing. Construction-wise, the draw and smoke production are excellent on all three cigars, and while the burn line is a bit wonky at times, no corrections are needed.

Quick corrections with my lighter start off the second thirds of two of the cigars, but that is not the only change compared to the first third: the main flavors have now shifted and include a creamy almond note combined with some obvious leather tack. Secondary flavors include hay, gritty earth, powdery cocoa nibs, cinnamon, sourdough bread and light citrus peel, while the amount of black pepper on the retrohale has decreased compared to the first third and the amount of raisin sweetness has increased slightly.  Flavor increases enough to reach a point just over medium, body remains at a solid medium and the strength ends the second third just over the medium mark. Construction-wise, the draw and smoke production continues to give me no issues for all three cigars, while the burn has evened up nicely after the minor issues at the beginning of the third.

Powdery cocoa nibs easily overtake the rest of the flavors during the final third of the Lost&Found Halloween, followed by notes of cinnamon, leather tack, hay, coffee beans, earth, tobacco and toasted bread. The retrohale features about the same amount of raisin sweetness and black pepper as the preceding third, and while a slight metallic note invades the finish of one of the cigars at one point, it is not strong enough to have any sort of negative impact overall. Flavor ends the final third at medium-full, the body increases slightly to land at a point just over medium and the strength ends up between medium and full. Finally, both the draw and the smoke production continue on their excellent path until I put the nubs down with less than an inch remaining, but the burn on two of the three cigars wanders enough to need two minor corrections each.

Final Notes

  • The band on the Lost&Found Halloween features a question mark, which instantly brought to mind the Viaje M?stery line. However, while the latter does feature a question mark as part of its official name, it does not actually have an actual question mark anywhere on its band.
  • Growing up collecting comic books—albeit more Marvel than D.C.—whenever I see a stylized question mark like the one on this band, my first thought is of the villain The Riddler.
  • In September 2022, the Tabacalera William Ventura factory in Tamboril, Dominican Republic suffered a massive fire.
  • In fact, according to a post on his Instagram account, Caldwell mentioned that the Lost&Found Halloween was the last cigar shipped to retailers the day before the aforementioned fire broke out.
  • No, there are no spaces in Lost&Found.
  • I photographed a portrait of Robert Caldwell that you can find here.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time for all three cigars averaged out to one hour and 24 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Lost&Found Halloween, site sponsor Cigars Direct has them in stock here.
88 Overall Score

I have always found the impetus behind the Lost&Found brand fascinating and the Halloween robusto is a solid addition to the brand’s offerings. Although the first third is a bit linear, the profile does become noticeably creamier starting in the second third while also increasing in complexity and nuance. Having said that, considering the use of a Mexican San Andrés wrapper I was a bit surprised at the lack of any overt sweetness either in the blend or on the retrohale. In the end, the Halloween is worth tracking down for those seeking a stronger flavorful blend, albeit one that is a little light when it comes to sweetness.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.