Cigar smoking is gaining as a way to spend an evening with friends or have a little more fun on the golf course. A good cigar is only as smoker worthy as the condition it maintains before lighting.
Daniel Marshall arguably crafts the finest and unique humidors in the world. Much more than a cigar box, they are works of art that offer superior functionality and workmanship for the cigar aficionado. Cigar Aficionado magazine consistently awards Daniel Marshall the top honor in humidors.
How Marshall got started on the road to humidor building by making a gift for his girlfriend’s grandfather. He was building a 32-foot sailboat out of teak, so there was a little extra for a custom humidor. As the story goes, the grandfather urged Marshall to take the humidor to Alfred Dunhill of London and determine their interest in carrying his humidors. The rest is humidor history as Marshall has combined sailing and humidor design into a fascinating life.
As you could imagine, 34 years of making humidors have lead to some interesting clients connecting cigar aficionados and celebrities. Marlon Brando used two of Marshall’s largest humidors to keep the humidity out to protect his scripts on his island in Tahiti. “Four of our biggest humidors we made into Sterling Silver Flatware Chests for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s Wedding” Marshall noted. When it came to cigars, comedian George Burns never joked about cigars. He liked his DM Humidor so much he wrote he would have to start smoking better cigars. Marshall is modest about his list of clients, but many heads of state prominently display his humidors in their office.
Marshall’s humidors are surging as there is a renewed interest in American craftsmanship versus offshore manufacturing. Since first starting in 1982, Marshall is the leader in humidor design and innovation. While humidors have been the primary business, customer request in 1996 resulted in divergence into cigar manufacture. With a fanatical dedication to the endeavor, Marshall engaged cigar legends Manuel Quesdad and Nestor Plasenica to work on the collections. The three legacy brands are all pre-2007 and have over 56 Cigar Aficionado Ratings for these collections. In the cigar world, that is like winning the Olympics. Moreover, his Gold Leaf cigar is unique in all the world. The Daniel Marshall Red Label cigar combines the finest quality, 5-year aged tobaccos from two of Nicaragua’s premier growing regions Esteli and the Jalapa Valley.
A humidor is all about keeping the cigar at a proper and consistent humidity. Marshall notes this should be at 65-70% humidity. One note is that his humidors are so well built, they do not need the “seasoning” other humidors need to soak up moisture until ready for usage.
Marshall notes that “over humidification is a killer to a cigar, also variances of humidity with a broad range of humidity with spikes and valleys that shock a cigar and damage it physically and perfect it to sleep, rest and age, so the taste is affected as well.”
Under humidification can cause wrappers to come off, cigars to fall apart as you light it and to burn too hot. So, how the cigar is cared for before the smoke is of great importance. In golf, Marshall notes the cigar should be kept in the humidor, and then taken to the course in a tube or plastic bag.
From top to bottom, his humidors are exceptionally consistent because of the attention to detail, materials (woods, adhesives & finishes) used and even the hardware used. Hold and view one of his humidors, and it is easy to see the craftsmanship Marshall puts into every one. This is not a storage box for cigars; it is a small work of art.
Once you have a good humidor, how you work with it improves the aging and storage of cigars as well as their usage on the golf course. Never use tap water, only distilled water, and check the humidity at least once per week, especially in dry climates. Marshall has also found the humidity control packs to work well, especially for smaller humidors and during travel.
On the road, it is important to keep the cigars in their ideal element before smoking. Rather than design a special humidor, Marshall determined most people travel with 8-20 cigars, so he designed his desktop humidor also to function as a relatively lightweight travel humidor. “I would recommend that cigars in tubes are a secondary alternative to not traveling with a small humidor” Marshall stated.
In the world of humidors, there is likely no equal to Daniel Marshall.