Lost & Found Le Pigeon | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Habano
Binder: Corojo
Filler: Corojo
Size: 6 x 54 “Figurado”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $13.00 MSRP ($11.70 @ Small Batch Cigar-No Discount Allowed)
Number of Cigars Reviewed for Review: 1
Accompanying Libation: Water

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Today we take a look at Lost & Found Le Pigeon.

HISTORY:
According to Halfwheel.com:
“Last year (2014), Lost & Found debuted as “Impromptu” Cigars. The project was then renamed to Bellatto/Caldwell/Sears. Finally, in February, 2015 the project was re-named to Lost & Found. The goal of the project is to find cigars from various factories that have been aging for quite some time, re-package them and bring them to market. The cigars are small-batch and when they are gone, they are gone. The group targets online retailers specializing in boutique cigars.”

The team mentioned is Tony Bellatto, Robert Caldwell and Jaclyn Sears.

This is a true vintage blend in which only 2000 cigars were inserted into boxes of 10. The finished cigars date back to 2009 when they were discovered.
The information about the countries used for the tobacco is not disclosed.
On the paper bag, Lost & Found says the cigars are “Cafe au Lait X Croissant du Chocolat!”

Other Lost & Found blends are: Rebel Bingo, Spam Artist, Pepper Cream Chocolate Crush and Swollen Cock, Buck 15, Silent Shout, Pepper Cream Soda (Toro), and Holy Braille.
This company is helmed by Tony Bellato and not Caldwell Cigar Co.
In addition to this company, Siempre Tamboril cigars is a collaboration between Henderson Ventura (Tabacalera William Ventura) and Tony Bellato.

DESCRIPTION:
My exploratory cigar used before this review was pretty damn good. But then it has roughly 6 years of age on it. So I don’t expect much humidor time is required. Although, I did allow them to settle for a few days after shipping in this cold weather.

I am perplexed as to why they didn’t put cigar bands on the cigars. For $13 a stick, it is the least they can do. Especially, if you have any number of cigars that don’t have cigar bands on them as well. The giveaway is the figurado shape that is somewhat irregular. And different from cigar to cigar.

Construction is hit or miss. Some show the toll of time with cracks in the wrappers and cracked caps. I don’t think #9 rollers were used in the production of the Lost & Found Le Pigeon. The figurado shape is a little goofy and inconsistent. But seams are for the most part, tight. Lots of veins. The triple caps are sloppy. The wrappers’ color changes a bit from cigar to cigar but all remain oily and very smooth. On average, they have a russet brown color.

AROMA AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
I pick the best looking cigar and find aromas of hay, chocolate, and spice on the shaft. During the cold draw, I can sense more chocolate, sweetness, cream, spice, and vanilla.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is excellent. Giant plumes of smoke fill the room.

It takes a few moments but then flavors begin to roll in: chocolate, spice, cedar, sweetness, creaminess, and coffee. The spiciness is the only bold flavor. The rest and are subtle. This is a big stick so we have a while for the cigar to prove itself.
5

But I’ll be honest; I expect a massive kick in the ass right from the start on a $13 cigar. Don’t get me started on this kind of pricing. Lost & Found was smart enough to parcel out the cigars in boxes of 10 for two reasons. More can be sold. And to keep it affordable. Otherwise, this would be a 20 count box for $260.00.

The char line is doing well.

There is a slight sour cream element. And along with that, some fruitiness. I grew up in a Jewish household and one of our big treats after dinner was cut up fruit in sour cream. When Charlotte and first moved back to Long Beach From Lake Tahoe, on Sundays, I would make her strawberries in sour cream with a croissant. We were very poor after my decade long sojourn in the music business.

Back to the Lost & Found Le Pigeon. The coffee element kicks the door down. It has a big red “S” on its chest.
With 1” burned, the flavors begin to explore the universe. The finish becomes long and chewy. We are still working on the balance.

Caramel joins the party.
I now have a wrapper issue. I was worried about delivering a minimum of 6 year old cigars and there be no problems with the wrappers. The stick I smoked prior to this review had wrapper issues as well. It is a very thin wrapper and prone to issues.

The loosened flap of wrapper is near the foot but I go ahead and glue it anyway. This Kingpin glue is so cheap and worth its weight in cocaine. They do come in flavors but once the glue is dried, the aroma and flavor goes away.

SECOND THIRD:
There is a quantum leap in the flavor profile. It has lots of warm flavors like: Creaminess, chocolate, coffee, sweetness, cedar, caramel, fruit, wood, nutty, and a big dose of pepper. But no really potent elements. All very subtle.

This is how the $13 Lost & Found Le Pigeon should have started. It is like wasting 1/3 of the cigar…or $4.33.
6third

Now we’re talking. The flavor profile has really kicked in. But not with the intensity I had hoped for. I will discuss this further in the Price Point category.

At this point, I can find over 100 cigars just as good as the Lost & Found Le Pigeon all lined up for you on “The Katman’s Best 163 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $6-$9.50+ Range.”

The Lost & Found Le Pigeon is a very decent cigar. Nice flavors. But no complexity. No balance. The burn line gets very hinky on me and needs a major tune up.

HALFWAY POINT:
The strength is classic medium body. Seems to be heading in the direction of medium/full.
A couple minutes later, it hits medium/full. And with that, a light switch is turned on in the flavor department. The sweet spot.
About half of the flavor list becomes very tangible and elegant.

A couple small cracks form. This is the only upside to no cigar band. I can turn the cigar in the photos to avoid showing off the cracks.
The Lost & Found Le Pigeon is now where the blender wanted it to be.
7half

Lots of small cracks appear near the foot.

The black pepper is now very strong. It is here that the earthiness of the blend really shines. It actually overwhelms the other flavor components.
Even with all the minor construction issues, the ash has made it to 2” long. Just as I place it down for a photo, it gently disembarks the mother ship.
8ash

LAST THIRD:

No real changes at this point. There is an addition of dried fruit that takes the place of the fruity element. It also tastes very nutty.
I refuse to believe that this well-aged cigar needs months of humidor time. It should be ready to go on receipt.

The strength remains at medium/full.

The sweet spot has diminished some. Extensive aging can do one of two things. It can enhance the flavors. Or it can diminish them creating a nice mellow cigar. I think the Lost & Found Le Pigeon is the latter.
A few minutes pass and the Lost & Found Le Pigeon hits full body.
9third

Nicotine arrives with it.

This has been a most pleasant smoke. But nothing extraordinary about it. You can find regular production cigars just as good at “The Katman’s List of 132 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$6.50 Range.”

I’m getting some real crack crap near the foot now.
10

An anonymous reader sent me some Room101 Uncle Lee cigars. Now there is no claim to extensive aging for this blend. Yet, after smoking two shortly after receiving them, I can easily declare that they are better cigars with an impeccable perfecto shape. And they are $10 each.
The last third is the best part of the Lost & Found Le Pigeon.

Vitamin N has really kicked in now. My sight is blurry and my motor skills are affected. I am typing everything twice.

PRICE POINT:
The price tag of $13 is ridiculous. I got mine on Small Batch Cigar but his pricing was $11.70. That is some substantial help but still expensive.
The Lost & Found Le Pigeon should be in the $8-$10 range; at the most. And that’s only due to the fact that these cigars have been aging in a warehouse for over 6 years.

What should have tipped me off is the amount of boxes Small Batch Cigar had in stock compared to the Lost & Found Rebel Bingo. There were somewhere around 60 boxes of Lost & Found Le Pigeon but only 3 boxes of Rebel Bingo. And I could not afford both. Now I realize what a dumbass I am. Go with the cigars flying off the shelves not the ones building a nest on SBC’s shelves. Oh well…live and learn.

I just checked SBC. When I bought mine a while back, they had 62 in stock. Now they still have 58. The Rebel Bingo is long gone. I can only surmise that the Rebel Bingo is a much better cigar than the Lost & Found Le Pigeon. And word of mouth is out on this cigar. Hence, the lack of sales.

SUMMATION:
I don’t understand the “flavor of the week” mentality. These Lost & Found cigars are the “In” brand at the moment. Everyone is scavenging to buy some. I see auctions for them on Face Book. And smokers are paying way over retail to get their hands on them.

Now that is brilliant marketing. Just like DE. Make the package unusual and eye catching and you have just marketed an average stick into the cigar hall of fame.

The cigar builds quietly and slowly. This is not what we should expect from an expensive cigar. It should race out of the gate snortin’ and rarin’ to go.

It’s all about pricing. And I just can’t get past the $13 per stick.
I will let the balance of cigars rest for a couple months and I shall return and report in.
11

Here is why you really read me cause it ain’t for the reviews:

This story isn’t about my rock n roll history. No drugs or sex.
But for those interested in how things are put together or engineering, you might enjoy this.
It is a story about the building of the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium.
A

I was a senior project manager for a company in Phoenix that did high end metal fabrication and installation. Rails, glass rail, stainless, bronze, copper, etc.
We had a huge contract to do all the foo-foo gingerbread stuff in the stadium. One of the many, many things we provided was a two foot square panel, made of solid copper. It was cut to show the Diamondback logo. This was done using water jet technology. It is cleaner than laser cutting because it doesn’t leave burned edges. Laser cut edges must be ground smooth to remove the black. And water jet cuts leave no residue at all. Obviously, water jet cutting is very, very expensive.
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We provided hundreds of these panels and they were inserted, every eight feet, in all the guard rails in the stadium. They have since been removed because the idiot architects decided not to coat them in some sort of clear lacquer. Which meant they wanted them to oxidize and the color/patina would eventually look like an old penny. This is not very pretty. Not to mention, people were touching them constantly. So the oil from their hands left bright fingerprints and the whole thing looked horrible. The panels looked like the fingerprint department in a police station.

I got the idea to make a 2” square version to use as key chains. I still have mine. I got enough for everyone at work but I had our shop coat them with lacquer so they would stay shiny. We paid $5 each for them. That was pretty cheap.

Schuff Steel did the structural work on the stadium. And when they left, there was still a lot of miscellaneous metal work to be done, as extras or change orders, because the architects couldn’t find their asses with each other’s tongues.

The general contractor knew I had a structural background and gave us several million dollars in no-bid contracts to finish the stadium. Sort of a small Halliburton situation.

The back stop behind home plate was a metal wire panel, like all baseball stadiums, and designed to protect the people in those seats from errant foul balls. Believe it or not, this design was very complicated. The wire rope cable support was ¾” stainless steel/rope. And the cables were attached using swaged connections. This means the cable is inserted into a stainless steel connector and then compressed; or crimped, to hold the cable in place. This was stupid considering the amount of tension that would be placed on the units. They should have used mechanical connections, which are basically cable that is unthreaded and tied off individually, but the dumb ass architects liked the clean look of the tube. This would back fire.
C
D
E

The main cable was over 800 feet long. It stretched from far right outfield, down the first base line, around home plate, down the third base line, and then back out to left field by the bleachers.

I hired a contractor that I had used once before, out of San Diego. They had done many stadiums. It took them over a month to install the cables. They subbed the cable connections fabricated by a company that does nothing but cable work.

Cables were everywhere. 20 cables were attached to the 800 foot cable to pull it back to create that parabolic shape. They had to tie these cables to the big swooping cable back to the second and third levels; thereby holding the big mutha’ in place. It required engineers to survey the installation so that as the cable was tightened in increments of 1/16″, the big cable would drop into place. One cable would be tightened a sixteenth of an inch, and then the surveyors would move to the next cable. They did this over and over in a certain sequence. Very complicated and I won’t bore you with the math. It took two weeks for a team of surveyors to get the cables tightened and at the right height.
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G

I was there when they finished. Less than 30 minutes later, I looked up as I heard what sounded like a plane crashing through the sound barrier. The big right field cable connection came broke loose and the cable was shot, like out of a cannon, all the way back to home plate along the first base line. It flew several hundred feet at the speed of sound.

Workers were everywhere in its path. There was over 30,000lbs per square inch tension on those cables, so when it came loose, it tore bolted seats and threw them 100 feet into the air… it also sent them flying into the infield. Where the cable just barely touched the thick plastic seats, it left half circles of missing plastic at the top of the chair. It literally dissolved the plastic.

I watched as this loose snake missed hundreds of workers in its path. Had it hit one person, it could have decapitated him or cut him in half. And God help us if it happened during a game. It would have killed dozens of people.

So you can imagine the brouhaha that followed. It got the same response as if a plane had crashed on first base.

The general contractor insisted that this time, the connections would be mechanical. Screw the architect. The blame for this was shifted to the manufacturer of the cable. In all situations, engineers over-design connections, so that they are several times the required design. That’s how all structural steel is designed. The bottom line is that the manufacturer just let this swaged connection pass by inspection. Everyone asked where their quality control was? The GC demanded all their paperwork. It got ugly.

I spent the next two weeks supervising the re-installation of the cables. It was slow and laborious. It took four teams of surveyors and engineers to get it right. We had no liability and it was not our fault. But we were the messengers, so to speak. And the GC was really pissed off at us for something that was not our fault. The cable company took full responsibility for this and re-fabricated the connections at their cost. And they had to pay for the re-installation…and the four teams of surveyors.

I remember standing in the rain, due to a giant retractable leaking roof, in the middle of February. The closing roof had so many leaks that it was like a rain forest inside the stadium. And I got sick as a dog the first week. After seeing how diligent I was, the GC got off my back and our relationship went back to normal as they came to terms with this not being my fault.

As expected, the owner of the company I worked for didn’t give a shit if I was sick or not. I was to be there every single day until it was fixed…10 hours, 6 days per week. I remember taking the cable connection part that failed and had it made into a coffee table curio. I had the connection welded to a round stainless steel plate.

When the cable fix was complete, I spent the next four days in the hospital with pneumonia. The boss never visited once. Construction is a really shitty industry. I don’t miss it one bit.

The only upside was that I spent almost two years watching a ball park being built. From breaking ground in 1996 to the laying of the sod in 1998. Once the sod was down, they put guards around the playing field to make sure no workers stepped on the grass. The grass was an especially custom designed hybrid.

Later, when the park was open, I went to a game with the CFO and we had home plate seats. I got there early because the D-backs were playing the Cardinals. And I wanted to watch batting practice.
H

I remember being in awe at the size of Mark McGwire when he came to the plate. I was only 30 feet away. And I watched as he hit every pitch outside the park. And his last one smashed a hole in the Jumbo-Tron.
The D-Backs lost the game that day.
I

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4 replies

  1. Cigars made by an unknown manufacturer six years ago that he has not been able to unload on anyone until now. Put them in some pretty packaging and magically you have a $13 cigar. Brilliant marketing and proof that there is a sucker born every minute.

  2. A REALLY enjoyable read!
    Your anal-lytical (anal-lyrical) presentation is captivatingly meticulous, Proffessor, as I could taste the cigar and hear the twang of the reptile cable!
    Tasteful, sonorous writing (well-aged).

  3. I have to be honsest, this Lost and Found Marketing ploy is a genius method to turn some quick cash. I would never buy a Lost and Found product based on what I have seen. Glad I did not drink the Kool-Aid……you can find so much better at that silly price point.
    I wonder if Lost and Found has reps on these Facebook groups to create a feeding frenzy on this rubbish?

  4. If it carries Robert Caldwell’s stamp of approval, it’ll be all marketing hype and bravado and for many cigar smokers, it’ll be enough to make them think they are smoking something terrific–see any number of cigar forums. For me, I’ve smoked enough great sticks to know that Caldwell cares more about marketing than he does delivering on what he markets. Spend your money elsewhere imho.