G.H. Johnson Cigar Company was the original producer of the Dutch Masters cigar brand. Dutch Masters would become a mainstay of the Consolidated Cigar Corporation, which merged the G.H. Johnson Cigar Company and six others together in 1921. The Consolidated Cigar Corp. later became part of Altadis, formed in 1999 by a merger of the French and Spanish state tobacco monopolies. Through its long history the Dutch Masters cigar brand has become one of the most popular and profitable cigar brands in America.
Dutch Masters became well known in the late 1950s and early 1960s for its sponsorship of various television projects of the comedian Ernie Kovacs. (Kovacs, a well-known cigar smoker, never smoked Dutch Masters off camera, sticking almost exclusively to Havana cigars.) He was, however, appreciative of Dutch Masters allowing him nearly complete, creative freedom in the production of their sponsored shows and commercials. His silent Dutch Masters commercials have become classics in their own right. Dutch Masters cigars gained notoriety in the early 1990s, mainly due to "Dutches" being mentioned numerous times in hip-hop songs as a popular brand of cigar to be broken down and re-rolled with marijuana.