Cigar Club LDN and Hiram & Solomon: Friendship across the ocean
I was first introduced to the Hiram & Solomon brand early last year. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to be able to sample most of their cigars and several of them have become firm favourites. As a member of Cigar Club LDN, when it was announced that their “Cigar of the Month” for April 2021 was going to be the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason Robusto, I was excited at the opportunity to smoke a different vitola of an already-favourite cigar.
In previous months the club has enjoyed its cigar of the month live on Instagram as well as having a separate virtual herf to catch up with each other. This month though there was only one event. The reason for this was that we were going to be joined by Fouad and Romy Kashouty, the husband and wife team responsible for creating the Hiram & Solomon cigar lines.
During the herf we found out about the history behind the Hiram & Solomon brand. It all started, as many good ideas do, with a good cigar and conversation. From there the brand was born, initially offering cigars exclusively to the Masonic Brotherhood to raise funds for various charities that the Masons support. Within a week, the first 1,000 cigars were sold out and demand only increased from there. Within a year 10,000 cigars had been sold and word was starting to get out about the incredible quality of the cigars.
With the exception of the Curamus, all of Hiram & Solomon’s current lines of cigars are made in the Plasencia factory in Nicaragua. The names of the cigars come from various degrees, chapters, events or stories associated with the Masons and each blend is designed to reflect this. The blends are created in collaboration with a master blender and there are a minimum of 27 different blends sampled, 33 for the Master Mason, before the cigar is finally ready to go into production. Once rolled, every single cigar is tested on the draw machine and scrutinised for imperfections before being allowed through quality control and on to its final destination – your humidor.
Conversation flowed easily as if everyone present at the Cigar Club LDN herf were all lifelong friends and the discussion eventually moved on to the Master Mason cigar itself. We found out that the only difference between the Master Mason and Fellow Craft is the maduro curing that the Habano Oscuro wrapper goes through. Several members remarked at the creamy smoothness of the flavour despite the full bodied nature of the cigar, as well as the cleanness of smoke. Whereas other cigars can leave an unpleasant coating around the mouth, the smoke from the Master Mason Robusto was clean and without any heaviness.
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When talk turned to drinks and how that can affect what you taste in a cigar, there were a number of different pairings. Amongst these were a fruity pale ale, ginger beer, a light, fruity whisky, rum and lime with lemonade to name but a few. I had chosen a ruby port myself, and the one thing that stood out to me about all of the drinks was the fruit notes in them. This seemed to balance perfectly the mineral notes, which I pegged as charcoal, from the Ometepe filler in the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason.
As I got into the final third of the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason, I found myself retro-haling nearly every draw, the smoke was so smooth with not even a hint of harshness. Once again I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful cigar and recognised all the flavours that I had tasted before, along with a couple more, including charcoal and chocolate, that were highlighted through conversation.
For my full review of the Toro vitola of this cigar, click here.