Lost & Found 22 Minutes to Midnight Criollo | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Criollo
Binder: Undisclosed (Proprietary)
Filler: Undisclosed (Proprietary)
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Medium
Price: $17.25 (Can be had online for up to $3 less)

I’ve had my cigars resting naked in my humidor for two months.

Lost & Found means exactly that…Robert Caldwell scouts tobacco farms for small batch tobacco. The P.R. describes the binder and filler as proprietary. The entire history of Lost & Found is finding the mystery tobacco adrift everywhere in Central America. Nothing wrong with this.

But based upon that track record, I’m not sure the term ‘proprietary’ is accurate. Proprietary sounds a lot better than “I dunno” and may help with jacking the price. Based upon the price of the cigar, I hope that the cigar is a stunner.

The tobacco is most probably nicely aged. I really hope that this cigar sings. I paid good money for a cigar from a manufacturer who peddles Joe Camel advertising to lure novice cigar smokers in with silly names and artwork of each release. I must believe that if Mr. Caldwell is charging $17 for a stick, he knows something we don’t.

The draw is a bit tighter than my preferences. No problem. I have my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool to make things right. As in most cases, the plug is in the area of the cigar band. Took one whoosh of those stainless cutter blades to pull the plug right out and I’m now good to go.

Very tasty start. Sweet notes dominate its introduction to my aging palate. But also, a nice blast of black pepper to get my ass awake as it is only 8am. Layered on top of the spiciness is creaminess, cinnamon, Wheaties, dark chocolate, espresso, and heavy malt.

Complexity is immediate. Big relief. I would love to give Mr. Caldwell an overdue great review.

And then it goes sideways with an intense mineral taste. I don’t like it.

I found this explanation of why a cigar may taste of minerals on a cigar forum. The member put it in quotes as he found the explanation somewhere else but doesn’t give the author’s name…but it sounds right to me:
“First, to explain, the reason why cigars have a metallic taste is because natural tobacco leaf contains small, VERY small traces of metal compounds and minerals such as magnesium, silver and iron. On their own, we can barely taste them but when combined with an anion, it can create silver chloride, and this is what produces a bitter, metallic taste in cigars. Anion compounds coincidentally, can be found in ionized water and even distilled water that is not 100% pure. Certain brands of crystal gel packs have been known to contain traces of the anion compound chloride; the perfect agent for creating silver chloride. When silver chloride is mixed with our saliva, the result is an unappealing, metallic taste in our mouths.

There are some subtle flavors in play, but the mineral-ness is overwhelming them. It cuts the progress of the cigar’s complexity and depth in half. Great.

I hope the tobacco Mr. Caldwell found wasn’t grown near a nuclear plant in Ukraine.

Construction is good…so, there’s that. And the char line is on point.
But as the cigar is very light, it is underfilled. And hence, it burns quickly. I’m keeping track of the time.

The sweetie factor is dissipating as the savory portion of our show begins to take over.

I didn’t find a single written review, or video review, of this cigar online. Uh-oh.

Now I’m flummoxed as to what warrants a hefty price tag for this cigar. What am I missing?

I’m not enjoying. But I swear I can taste some good stuff underneath the metallic overtones.
There are moments that the mineral impairment goes away for a couple minutes but then returns.

Strength is medium.

I may know the reason for the lack of reviews.

And now there is saltiness. Bummer, Alice B. Toklas.

I taste caramel, cinnamon, brown sugar, coffee, chocolate, and creaminess. On the savory side, there are notes of burnt oak, fried Wallaby liver, and brand-new drywall.

The ash is very delicate proving that the cigar hasn’t enough tobacco stuffed into this sausage. It also burns a bit warm.

An esteemed cigar reviewer told me that if the cigar doesn’t have a disclaimer that tells the owner of the cigar it should be allowed to rest for X number of months, then it must be ready to smoke. I don’t agree. Experienced smokers always let their cigars hibernate for a better experience.

Maybe, two months of humidor time is insufficient to smoke.
Transitions are missing. But the finish is pretty good, minus the agate flavor.

The complexity doesn’t travel well. 1-1/2” in and the cigar hasn’t improved in a way I would expect. Stasis.
Damn. I really thought this might be a real gem…no pun intended.

I have $6-$8 cigars in my humidor that are better…with age of course.

A sip of water and muted flavors, earlier described, are flushed out but dash for the exit in just moments.

Nothing sucks the wind out of a reviewer faster than reporting on an expensive cigar that is subpar.

I reviewed the DT&T The Bewitched yesterday and boy that was a real treat. Now I’m being tricked.

I detect improvement but I hesitate to hang my hat on that analysis.
The complexity is back and moving forward at last. The cigar shows some needed depth. Transitions are still absent, but the finish is delicious. Same flavors as described but that’s OK. The stick exhibits some warmth.

The mineral intrusion may have left the building.

The cigar reviewer mantra is not to rate a cigar based upon its price point. Nope. I enjoy reading blind reviews but since I know everything I need to know as provided by Lost & Found, the price will be factored into my final rating. If this was a $10 cigar, it wouldn’t matter.

The burn is exemplary.
Still hanging at medium strength.

The spiciness is in witness protection. The blend needs that kick to help unleash its potential.

The finish is the star of the carnival. Otherwise, it remains linear.

This coming new year marks my 55th year smoking premium cigars. I don’t claim to have a better palate than anyone…but experience does count.

I cannot think of one entertaining thing to say. I could go medieval on this blend, but I’m disappointed which takes the air out of the balloon.

The halfway point arrives at 45 minutes.

The cigar is on the cusp of being great, but something is wrong. It doesn’t follow through. It doesn’t make strides in the overall conceptualization of its design.

6 months of humidor time might fix this. But as this is a limited production, waiting is not an option. No point in hailing the cigar as a good fellow if you, the reader, cannot purchase it.

A positive observation is that the cigar stays lit no matter how long it rests in my ashtray.

I have my first burn issue. Bummer, Arlo Guthrie.

I put torch to foot to correct the wayward inmate.

While some sophistication lurks behind the curtain, it has no forward momentum.

I’m still going to plug my sponsors who have this cigar for sale in case I’m full of shit.

Nicotine shows up with no invitation.
Yet, the strength remains at medium.
The cigar needs a serious kick in the arse.
Damn. One trick pony syndrome.

My rating will be kind as one never knows if extended humidor time will heal all wounds. I say this because there are flavors and minor depth at play…but this blend is going the other way from a stellar interpretation.

Strength moves on up to medium/full.

When I was a working stiff, I would spend $1500 or more per month on cigars. For the most part, I now depend on the kindness of strangers. Shit happens as each decade passes. Stuff you just can’t control. And of course, I took those expenditures for granted. I know you tire of the old man repetition…but the fact is that I’ve been your age, so I know how dreams are still on the table. I’m at the point in life where reflections of my life replaced dreams of the future. I would love it if I’m still doing this at 80.

I hit the sweet spot with 3” burned. Very flavorful. But it is déjà vu all over again as the cigar pretty much started with this impact…and then disappeared.
Sips of water help the finish. Unfortunately, there is no real improvement of the cigar’s progress.

The wrapper begins to unravel. Could absolutely be my fault. It is the bane of every smoker to keep their humidors evenly humidified. Some cigars are just too delicate to withstand changes. While other cigars remain stout and indifferent to minor humidity changes.

Heat is elbowing its way into the experience. Nicht gut.
Speaking of German, there is one statement all Jews know…Nicht Schiessen (Don’t shoot). *I forget. Nothing to do with age. I get new readers and lots of people don’t know I have the blood of Moses in me. And I make fun of myself. Nothing mean intended. No disrespect. Contact me if you want a signed photo of my bris.

The burn line has gone crazy.

This $17 cigar is a big disappointment. I don’t have it in for Mr. Caldwell. But his blends are wildly inconsistent. I thought that if Lost & Found had the cajones to release a stick at this price point, it should be pretty good.

I put a bullet into the cigar’s brain pan.

There are other blend choices for this line: Connecticut, Habano, and Maduro. I wonder if I chose incorrectly on the Criollo.

I walk out of the basement with my hands up and surrender.

My sponsors, Atlantic Cigar and Small Batch Cigar carry all four of the line’s blends.