When a cigar great like Daniel Marshall carves out some time with you, you savor the moment. The man’s fashioned elegant humidors for some big names, including Al Pacino, Steve Harvey, David Beckham and Jay-Z, just to name a few. For cigar connoisseurs and collectors, Marshall creates luxury blends, such as The Golden Cigar, which is wrapped in 24k gold leaf.
Over a smoke with Marshall, Boveda’s CEO, Sean Knutsen, and EVP, Tim Swail, talked cigar care, cigar collecting and the mystery of a missing humidor.
The video’s a little over 8 minutes, so go grab your favorite cigar. (We’ll wait.) Then relax and settle in with three guys who speak the language of fine cigars. Enjoy the flavor of your smoke and the richness of the conversation.
Filmed, left to right, Boveda EVP, Tim Swail; Boveda CEO, Sean Knutsen; and Daniel Marshall at the 2017 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) Annual Convention and International Trade Show.
It’s the early 1980s. Daniel Marshall was in his California sailboat workshop taking apart a humidor. Taking apart? He had to learn the inner workings of one before he could design them for his own namesake company and others, including Tiffany & Co., Harrods and Alfred Dunhill.
“It takes a lot to make a humidor, so it doesn’t warp and change over time,” Marshall said.
Marshall’s replica of the Alfred Dunhill humidor he disassembled went missing during a move more than two decades ago.
Recovered in storage, the 35-year-old humidor was displayed at the 2017 IPCPR Convention. Turned out a bottle of Dunhill whisky was just one of the shockers inside the old chap. The other?, how primitive cigar care was back then. “You couldn’t dial into a specific humidity,” Boveda EVP, Tim Swail pointed out.
The analog hygrometer only gauged if moisture was low, normal or wet. How low, normal or wet? Who knew?! The RH was next to impossible to control. Cigar smokers filled the humidor’s antiquated vials with tap water then adjusted their caps so that moisture could evaporate.
So 1982? Think again–some cigar consumers still haven’t evolved beyond outdated one-way cigar humidification. They still use distilled water and sponges, gels or beads to douse their cigars with moisture.
In a recent conversation with David Savona, Executive Editor of Cigar Aficionado, Marshall said he discussed how far cigar humidification has come–from those fillable vials to Boveda’s two-way humidification system.
Boveda CEO, Sean Knutsen acknowledged Cigar Aficionado’s role in educating cigar smokers, “…they’ve become much more keen and demanding on quality. And they understand the difference that moisture plays in the flavor of a cigar and the aging of that cigar.”
“The key element is a humidification system,” Marshall said. The humidor paired with a humidification system “…replicates the environment that the cigars were born in and grown in and aged in.” Boveda is Marshall’s chosen cigar humidification system.
A cigar lover chooses what Boveda RH% is right for their cigars. Then just tosses a Boveda packet into a humidor and forgets about it for months. Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control works automatically to maintain a precise RH level. Natural, food-grade salts know when to absorb moisture and when to release purified water vapor. When the packet gets rigid, it’s time for a new Boveda.
“We use it [Boveda] on our cigars–on our gold cigars, with our red label cigars and in our humidors,” Marshall said.
With Boveda technology and quality humidors like Daniel Marshall’s, cigar lovers can now create and maintain an environment to store, as well as collect cigars, Swail said.
“It’s a tremendous investment,” Marshall said. “And why not protect it just like they do whisky collections or wine collections or guitar collections?”
Cigar lovers will want to grow their collection after eyeing the Daniel Marshall 35th Anniversary Whisky Cigar Humidor. The design, inspired by Marshalls’ long-lost Alfred Dunhill model, has evolved. Gone are those fillable vials. They’ve been replaced by 21st century technology–the precision of Boveda’s 2-way humidification control system.
To find which Boveda RH level is right for your cigars, check it out here.