Hiram & Solomon Shriner Robusto. One of the seven blends available within the Hiram & Solomon portfolio but the only one without the Freemason logo. The recipe is the same though. Made in Nicaragua, blended by Fouad Kashouty and George Dakrat with the help of David Blanco. And produced at the renowned Plasencia Cigars factory in Esteli. And as true freemasons, Hiram & Solomon donate parts of the proceeds of the cigars to charity. The brand started as a fundraiser. The idea was to create a one-off cigar for an event, but the cigars became so popular that it resulted in one of the fastest-growing family-owned cigar brands on the market nowadays.
The size of the cigar caused some confusion. The sticker on the cellophane mentions 5×52. That is also mentioned in the vitola list on the website, yet, at the pictures of the cigars, another size is mentioned. 5½x50 instead of 5×52. Cigar nerds as we are, we grabbed our Herics cigar measuring tape to see which information is correct. The cigar measures 5×52. The wrapper is Ecuadorian Sumatra. The binder comes from Indonesia, maybe even the real Sumatra but the specifics have not been disclosed. To make this a five-country blend cigar, fillers from Brazil, Dominican Republic, and two tobaccos from Nicaragua were selected.
The Colorado colored wrapper has a water spot. Quite a large one. But that doesn’t matter and it would be unfair to deduct points. Why? Because we have a few more of these that don’t have ugly spots. Cigars are a natural product, and a water spot can happen. It doesn’t alter the flavor, it is just aesthetically not the best look. The ring, compared to the other Hiram & Solomon cigars, this is lacking the Freemason logo. But the sword and the crest probably have a meaning in the Masonic world. The maroon colored ring is decent yet pale in comparison to the other Hiram & Solomon rings. The wrapper is silky without veins and has some tooth. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is strong, barnyard, and hay.
The cold draw is fine, with a dry raw tobacco and raisin flavor. Sweetness with spices, coffee, and earthiness are released from the first puff on. With some red pepper. The flavor has hints of straw and hay, but with some sweetness, spice, and earthiness. There is a little cinnamon in the retrohale, with cedar. After an inch, there is a salty flavor, with honey sweetness, hay, and some slight white pepper. After a third, the flavor turns to sweet, young wood with milk chocolate. The cigar keeps giving that slight woody flavor with sweetness, spice, milk chocolate but now with some leather as well. The sweetness turns to marzipan. Add in a little nuttiness, gingerbread spices, and some white pepper and you have the start of the final third. The last few puffs, nut flavors are strong.
The draw is good and the burn is straight. The ash is quite firm even though it’s frayed. The smoke is white, reasonably thick and the volume is good too. It’s a smooth cigar, no rough edges. But at the same time, it’s lacking some character, it’s pretty middle of the road. Perfect for a cup of coffee late morning. The cigar is smooth, medium-bodied, and medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and forty minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? I will pick the Hiram & Solomon Fellow Craft over this.