Hiram & Solomon Master Mason | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Dominican Maduro
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 5.5 x 50 Robusto
Body: Full
Price: $13.95 MSRP ($11.95 online)
Humidor Time: 3 weeks
Number of cigars smoked prior to review: 0

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Photos courtesy of Hiram & Solomon:
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Today we take a look at the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason.
Thanks to Jeremy Schaeffer for the sticks.

I think I broke a molar. Dentist awaits. If I disappear for a week, you will know why.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: Ventura Cigar Company
President & CEO: Ed Kashouty
Co-Founder and Manager: George Dakrat
From the Hiram & Solomon web site:
“Continuing in the long Masonic tradition of Brotherly Friendship and Fellowship.”
“This is what Hiram & Solomon Cigars is all about. One of our guiding principles is to bring Mason brothers together in the harmony of a good cigar. Pull up a chair, sit back, light up one of our Master Mason cigars, and enjoy the history.

“Ed Kashouty’s heart, a past master got together with his friend George Dakrat, who is also an ardent cigar smoker; Dakrat himself, being a big supporter of the ideas and principles of Freemasonry. With a perfect occurrence of events and without purposely seeking each other out, paths crossed, and WB Kashouty and Dakrat, became acquainted with Harry Rockefella (sic), an established entrepreneur, well rounded in the tobacco industry, already having created exemplary lines of cigars. This was fate in action.”

SIZES AND PRICING:
H & S only sells to B & M’s. So getting the price on two sticks was like pulling teeth. There is a long list of B&M’s on the H & S web site.
Online store, Stogie’s World Class Cigars sells a few but seem to be going for high MSRP. The online store is listed on the H & S web site. But they only sell a couple blends and sizes…not the whole line.

Gran Toro 6 x 56 $17.95
Robusto 5.5 x 50 $13.95
Gavel 6 x 50 $ Unknown
Box Pressed Torpedo 6 x 52 $ Unknown

A profound comment from the Toasted Foot review site:
“My feeling on the price is this: At under $10 this is a great cigar, $10-$15 this is an okay cigar and at $15+ I feel like I’m being taken advantage of.”

DESCRIPTION:
A very oily milk chocolate wrapper. Seams are tight. Lots of small veins with some bumps and lumps thrown in.
The triple cap is gorgeous.
The cigar is a quarter of an inch short. Should be 5.5” long. Nope. It is 5.25” long.

H & S sells six blends: Entered Apprentice (Blue band), Fellowcraft (Blue band), Master Mason (Blue band), Traveling Man (Purple band), Veiled Prophet (Red band), and Shriner (Dark red band). Very little information on individual blends on both the web site and other review sites. I found maybe a handful of reviews for maybe 2 or 3 blends. Naturally, I got bupkis. Not Butkus. Bupkis.

The cigar band is highly attractive. Nicely detailed. But unless you know what the different footer abbreviations mean, there is no way to identify the blend except for the differing colors of the bands.
Based on the H & S web site, I’m guessing these are very expensive cigars. Take a look.

I know nothing about the Masons. My dad was one for years. That was a long time ago.

So I don’t know if the first three blends listed are Mason oriented or all six are; even though one blend is called Shriner.

Some of the profit is being donated to Mason and Shriner charities. I guess that Ed Kashouty and George Dakrat are banking on bringing in Mason customers who will pay for these expensive blends…that for the most part are $15-$20 per stick depending on state taxes where you live.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell honey, chocolate, berries, spice, cedar, peaches, coffee, and malt.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell luscious dark chocolate, red pepper, black cherry, honey, coffee, malt, cedar, hay, and fruit.
The cold draw presents flavors of lemon citrus, honey, malt, chocolate, red pepper, and cedar.

FIRST THIRD:
First puffs are full of malt, chocolate, creaminess, shortbread cookies, coffee, red pepper, and fruit.
The draw is excellent. Due to the cigar being so overwhelmingly packed, I initially feared I might have plug issues. But, so far…so good.

A nice meaty element appears making the cigar taste like comfort food.

Flavors increase in potency and spectrum exponentially with each puff. Considering that these blends go for $15-$20 a pop, I expect everything I am experiencing. For some reason, the Robusto is much more affordable. But still expensive.

A note of pine appears. And earthwoodleather.

I grew up where every special occasion, with guests, my mom would put out a bowl of Joyva or Manischewitz chocolate raspberry jelly rings. I was obsessed with these candies. My mother would have to fend me off with a whip and a chair to keep me from eating them all before company arrived. This is what I taste in the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason.

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Strength is a potent medium body.
Flavors continue to transition. Good. Complexity has begun to roll in. And I’m only half an inch into the cigar.

I have a good feeling about the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason. It is exhibiting extreme potential for a cigar I’ve only humidified for a couple weeks.

Smooth. Flavor opulence. It begins to have a long finish. The chocolate raspberry jelly rings are upfront and banging away. Followed by the perfect amount of creaminess, malt, espresso, salt, shortbread cookies, and black cherry.

Nice cigar. Thank you Jeremy. Doesn’t look like I will have to curse as often. But I will probably will anyway…a lifetime of commercial construction and the music business. Swearing is required.

5a

There is a burn issue that does not seem to want to go away. Again, use better rollers if you plan to charge a testicle per cigar.
The Hiram & Solomon Master Mason gets better and better. If all continues on this path, I may just recommend this cigar. The only price I found for this size was on Stogie’s World Class Cigars. At $12 per single, it fits the profile. A 5 pack is $60. If it was in the $15-$20 per stick range, I’d say nah.

I love how leisurely the stick smokes.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 40 minutes.
Fucking spot on..
The char line has self-corrected.

Flavors: Heavy on the cream, a shit load of malts, chocolate, black pepper, berries and cherries, cedar, butter, coffee, salty, shortbread, and my chocolate jelly rings.
Super complex, long finish, transitions in perpetual motion, and smooth as silk.
Strength hits a powerful medium/full.

6a

Damn fine cigar. Can’t wait to try the Traveling Man that Jeremy sent me. “Medium/full bodied , dark and oily solidly rolled , burns with a rich aroma ,The perfect draw imparts a spicy smoke that punctuated by coffee and some cocoa notes.”

I did discover that I have two of the CF Color Project blends left. I shall review one tomorrow and then do the Traveling Man on Saturday.

For $12, I’m ready to give this cigar a high rating and my recommendation.
I reach the halfway point after one hour 5 minutes of smoke time.
Char line issues again. Sonovabitch. It doesn’t go awry while I am smoking it. It happens just sitting in the ashtray.

8a

Ladies and Germs…the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason is a blend to be reckoned with. It had its first sweet spot 3/4” in. It re-charges every 5 minutes and a new display of transitions occurs.

Flavors are subtle but there are very noticeable layers as the palate processes each puff.
Fuck yeah this is worth $12.00. It’s worth at least getting a couple sticks…a 5 pack would be great if you got it.

I’m happy the cigar burns oh so slowly. I’m happy that the draw is perfect. The hard as rock stick we started with off hasn’t a single plug or obstruction to deviate the flow of smoke.

It is virtually impossible for me to describe the flavors I taste.
Not only is the entire list of flavors I have described all there…but now they have broken down into stratas that make the blend so complicated that it is like being at a Pink Floyd laser show at the Griffith Park Observatory in L.A.

A beautiful cigar. I had my doubts. I did. Two guys out of my radar zone…and they swung for the fences and won the pennant.
How about those Cubs?

I watched the Joe Bonamassa Greek Theater concert last night…again. That mother fucker is a mother fucker. Jesus Cristo.

At this rate of slow burn, this big robusto will be well over a 2 hour smoke. I really like that. Spend the dough and get your money’s worth.

I’ve sad twice lately how I thought a couple cigars might be worth being on my top 25 cigar list this year.
Now I am emphatically saying that the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason will absolutely be on the list. This is one fucking incredible cigar blend. I have a semi-erection knowing that I still have one stick left and two of the Traveling Man. Talk about anticipation.

Willie Nelson is playing now. Someone should tell him his guitar playing sucks. Being stoned all the time doesn’t help.

Strength is medium/full on its way to full.
Mother lode my babies.
I’m ruined for the day.

9a

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 40 minutes.

OK. I’m going to give this kitchen sink profile a chance. I will probably throw out my back doing this.
Creaminess, chocolate, coffee, creaminess, shortbread, malts, cherries, black pepper, shortbread, chocolate jelly rings, caramel, rye, berries, espresso, cedar, earthwoodleather, baking spices, meaty, very Cubanesque, impressive tobacco, and salt. And I know I left some out.

No matter how long I allow the cigar to sit, it won’t go out. I putz around with the photos and writing and time holds still for the cherry.
I’d submit this review to Hiram & Solomon, and beg for samples, but my crude writing style will put them off.
I get a lot of emails from manufacturers. Just the ones from their cigar I trashed. I’d love to tell you who and what they begged for…but that would be unfair to them. You know I am always fair.

10a

I only found three reviews. All of them liked the cigar a lot. But not as much as me.
No idea if it is timing or palate.
The pepper makes a quantum leap. My nose burns.
I can’t think of another Dominican puro that comes close to the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason. In fact, I’m not a DR tobacco fan.

Strength is muy full body now. Nicotine has kicked in like a nuclear blast. I’m correcting my typing three times with each sentence. Wasn’t expecting this.
I have 1-1/2” to go and I don’t know if I can finish it. I have a swirl going that is paralyzing.
The Traveling Man is supposed to be just as strong. Oy.

I suppose a smoker with more testosterone than me could handle this better. It would wipe out all the newbies like the plagues of Egypt.
Going to walk this off.
My senses have returned after a bowl of cereal.

Haven’t had my arse kicked like that in a long time.

Despite the amount of nicotine, my recommendation of the Hiram & Solomon Master Mason remains firm. For reasons I don’t understand, since my health issues erupted in April, I have become much more sensitive to nicotine.
Check out the Hiram & Solomon web site. And check out Stogie’s World Class Cigars should you choose to purchase some H & S blends.

RATING: 95

I’m sure I’ve written about this. My first shot at reviewing for a big cigar online store (2009) was for Famous Smoke. That’s right. They built a whole review page around me on their web site. I went by Katmancross in those days. (It was a weird epiphany. I needed to come up with a new email address and Katmancross came to me like an unsuspecting fart.)

It was called “Cigar Odyssey. The Chronicles of Katmancross.”

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It lasted 4 months. The reviews have since been removed.

NEW POLICY: I REALLY TRASH SOMEONE OR SOME COMPANY AND THEN LEAVE IT UP FOR A COUPLE DAYS AND THEN I REMOVE IT FOR GOOD. ALL THAT SHIT ABOUT FAMOUS. NOW IN THE SHITTER. IF YOU WANT TO READ ALL THE FUCKING DIRT, YOU HAVE 48 HOURS.
Kohn…out.

My eyes opened in 2009.
I began to review.

First with Open Salon as my host but then, after thousands of reviews, began using WordPress in 2012. Open Salon was very restrictive and I didn’t like it. But I developed my chops there. Most reviews reeked of my learning curve.
Open Salon sucked. Time to upgrade.

My luck, or not, a short time ago Open Salon re-booted and now all of my reviews between 2009-2011 are gone. Maybe that’s where they should be.

I just remembered that I reviewed for Rocky’s Cigars on their web site. I wrote silly ridiculous reviews like I do now. Management thought it was cool. They even allowed those extra music stories at the end of the review.

Well, we had a falling out after 100 reviews. No memory of what it was about. I’m sure it was my fault. It’s always my fault. Ask anyone.

AND…the bastardos kept all of my reviews, removed my name from the author listing… And then these bastardos have the nerve to keep my rock n roll stories. So naturally, I get emails all the time from people that accidentally wander over to Rocky’s Cigars’ reviews…then telling me they found a review that looks like I wrote it.
…go ahead..check out the reviews at Rocky’s…anytime you see credit given…that was me.
OK. I’m done. So, thank you everyone. Thanks for hanging with me.

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5 replies

  1. Yo Katman, just ordered a box of these for a botl who just passed his Master Mason for his bday from http://www.rudysshop.Com (website sucks, best to call them) For $190 shipped…..granted I am in Indiana as they are, but it still took over a week to get to me……so there’s another option for you & your readers.

  2. Good review, good cigar! A bit too rich for me, but at least I know if I ever do try it, I won’t be swindled.. another thing, I had started reading online store’s reviews, to base my cigar purchases (hit and miss), until I discovered a long lost Jewish uncle, I never knew before..lol Now, I just look up your reviews for future purchases, I love spicy as well! THE STORIES ARE A BIG PLUS, LONG LIVE ROCK!
    P.S. Happy belated birthday to Miss Charlotte, and hope you get well Katman!.

  3. ….what a douchebag.

  4. Another great review Katman. I have never had this cigar or Manischewitz chocolate raspberry jelly rings, but now I want to try both asap. Lol. Always enjoy your writing, thank you sir!