We are just days from the 87th annual IPCPR Association Trade Show and I was fortunate to get a few samples of the newest creation from Hiram & Solomon Cigars – The Grand Architect. As with previous cigars from this ever growing boutique cigar company, the Grand Architect is produced at the Plasencia Cigar Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
The Grand Architect is a cigar that fills out the company’s portfolio of highly rated premium cigars. Following with the Freemason theme of all the company’s cigars, it gets its name from one of the organizations founding principles:
“It is appropriate that a society founded on the principles of architecture, which symbolizes the terms of that science to moral purposes, and whose members profess to be architects of a spiritual temple should view the Divine Being, under whose holy law they are constructing that edifice, as their Master Builder or Great Architect. Sometimes, but less correctly, the title ‘Grand Architect of the Universe’ is found.”
The Grand Architect is a blend of select aged tobacco, including a rare Paraguay leaf that is also present in both the Entered Apprentice and Veiled Prophet and produces an inviting aroma.
- Wrapper – Corojo
- Binder – Seco Habano
- Fillers – Paraguay and 2 types of Nicaraguan Ligero
It is available in three popular vitolas and comes packaged in 20-count blue lacquered boxes:
- Robusto – 5 x 50
- Toro – 6 x 52
- Gran Toro – 6 x 60
Hiram & Solomon Cigars has set the Grand Architect retail price between $10.00 and $12.00 USD.
Taking the Grand Architect out of the box and removing the protective cellophane your eyes will focus on the smooth, satiny, coffee bean brown wrapper of this cigar. It has a minimal veins and it feels solid in the hand – certainly well packed and bunched. The construction is completed with a well applied double cap.
The band is beautiful on this cigar, using a blue and gold motif. The design, though similar to company’s previous lines, adds the “Divine Being’s” arm and hand reaching out of the clouds, holding the Mason’s compass and square.
The pre-light aromas included fresh, sweet baking spice and lightly pungent notes off the foot and natural tobacco sweetness and cedar notes along the barrel.
Using my Xikar double blade cutter, I sliced the cap straight across the cap band and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs. I picked up a black pepper on my lips and tongue along with a sweet earthiness and touch of cedar.
It was time to fire this one up and complete the journey of turning it to ash. For this review I have smoked 3 of the Grand Architect Toros. Like always, I used my torch to warm the foot to an even orange glow and took in the first puffs of citrus and cinnamon smoke to start.
Cigar Review Notes
- Light citrus and cinnamon spice to start
- Dry leather notes quickly fill in the background enhancing the flavor
- Thin wavy burn line holds a slightly flaky white ash
- Sweetness and cedar notes join in along with an enticing chocolate aroma after an inch of burn
- Full volume of smoke
- Ash fell early revealing a flat but centered burn cone
- Aroma shifts early to a caramel note
- Slight off burn but does not need a touch-up
- Burn eventually corrects itself after an inch or so
- Once the ash fell again, the burn cone showed to be a bit off-centered
- Nutty notes enter deep in the second third
- Citrus re-emerges to brighten up the profile
- Sweetness moves in rounding out the profile
- Vanilla nuances enter at the start of the final third
- Finishes with light spice and coffee
- Mild to Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking time 1 hour and 40 minutes
Overall, the Hiram & Solomon Grand Architect is turning into one of my favorite blends from the is company. It had a plethora of flavor and aroma notes from foot to nub that kept my interest throughout the journey. From a construction viewpoint, it did have a slight wave that eventually ran into an off burn, though it eventually corrected itself without needing a touch-up. The ash was a tad flaky and there was a slight off centered burn cone after the second ash fall. With the flavor and aroma profile, this is worth a fiver for sure and I would suggest letting a few age, as I feel this has already gotten better in the month plus that have had them. I rate this a 91.
Point Deductions: (-1) Jagged burn; (-1) Off Burn; (-1) Flat Burn Cone; (-1) Slightly Flaky Ash; (-1) Off centered cone after second ash fall