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Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011

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In July of 2011, noted humidor maker Daniel Marshall decided to produce a special cigar for a friend’s 64th birthday party and thus wrapped his first cigar in edible gold for the occasion. After he saw the reactions of the people at the party, Marshall decided to use the same product in a “ultra bling” special humidor he was designing for Universal Studios commemorating the movie SCARFACE.

Marshall went into more detail on his website:

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This special version of 20 will have a red and clear Swarovski crystal set into the bronze Tony Montana medallion on the top of the humidor and the iconic words, “THE WORLD IS YOURS” will be set in red and clear Swarovski crystal.

I thought that a “over the top” humidor deserves a “over the top” DM Cigar and the 24kt Gold DM cigar was conceived. One of these cigars will come with each one of the humidors. When we launched the SCARFACE Humidor at our annual Cigar trade show, we displayed the gold cigar in a glass dome and were asked if it can be purchased separately from the humidor. Designers from other top cigar brands came by our display and one of them declared the DM2 Gold Torpedo “a stroke of genius”.

The process for the gold cigar involves taking the DM2 cigar, a Nicaraguan puro developed by Manuel “Manolo” Quesada consisting of a five-year-old wrapper, an Estelí binder and filler from Jalapa. The DM2 is rolled at Plasencia Cigars S.A. and sold by Marshall without the gold. 

In order to create the 24kt Golden Torpedo, Marshall applies a thin layer of Italian gold. We covered much of this in a news story a few years ago:

I carefully sand each cigar with ultra find sand paper to make the surface smooth as possible of the tobacco wrapper.They I apply the paper thin italian gold with a 100 percent natural binder. To cover the Torpedo to my satisfaction, i use a total of  25 sheets of 24kt pure  Italian gold leaf from the most famous gold leaf maker since 1820, to each cigar. 

Marshall shared with us this picture of the gold being applied:

Daniel Marshall DM2 Gold 3

Last year, To commemorate his company’s 30th anniversary, Daniel Marshall released another version of the the gold-covered DM2 blend, the 24kt Golden Torpedo. The cigars were made in 2011 and came packaged in individual coffins within travel humidors. Only 50 numbered travel humidors of five were released. 

Here is what the coffins that the Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedoes come in look like:

Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011 Coffin 1

Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011 Coffin 2

For those wondering, you are actually supposed to smoke the cigar with the gold still on it. Because gold has a much higher melting point than the tobacco, the end result is a golden-infused ash, an obvious selling point for the cigar.

Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Estelí)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Size:  6 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Torpedo
  • MSRP: $200.00 (Boxes of 5, $1,250.00)*
  • Date Released: July 2011
  • Number of Cigars Released: 50 Humidors of 5 Cigars (250 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

There is no other way to put it: visually, the Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo is stunning with a pale metallic yellow wrapper that is obviously made of gold. The veins on the wrapper show through the foil, giving the cigar a very interesting look. It is heavier than a normal cigar of this size, but not substantially so, and there is almost no give when squeezed. There is an interesting scent coming from the gold foil, a slightly sweet marzipan note, but no tobacco scent at all until you smell the foot.

It takes a while to get started and the burn has to constantly be touched up, but the draw is ideal throughout the first third. Profile-wise, the Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo has fairly basic flavors of cedar, tobacco and leather, along with a small amount of pepper on the retrohale. There is also a very strong bitterness on the finish that persists through the first third, and it only gets stronger as I am forced to puff harder to keep it lit. The strength is nonexistent so far, and the smoke production is fairly anemic. Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011 2

Unfortunately, not much changes in the second third of the Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo. While the draw is still excellent, the flavors of basic tobacco, leather and wood remain, along with the bitterness that has moved from the finish to almost overpowering levels at different points in the smoke. The cigar keeps going out on me if I don’t puff every 15 seconds or so, and when it does go out, I have to keep relighting it. The gold-covered ash is sticking together well, but there are cracks up and down the length that don’t bode well. 

Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011 3

The final third of the Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo is pretty much a carbon copy of the first two thirds with the same basic flavors of leather, wood and tobacco, and the same bitterness that is quite detrimental to the profile as the cigar gets closer to the end. The draw is still wonderful, but the burn is all over the place, and I continue to have to relight the cigar in an effort to keep it burning. There is still very little smoke present and the overall strength ends the cigar just below the medium mark.

Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011 4 

Final Notes:

  • The cigar is also known as the Daniel Marshall DM2 Gold.
  • While the idea of a gold-covered cigar is somewhat over the top and more than a little gimmicky, it should be noted that Daniel Marshall is an extremely well-regarded humidor maker, producing what are generally considered by the cigar community to be some of the best humidors in the world. 
  • He also has made a humidor in solid silver and one in solid gold.
  • Having said that, if you are wondering if smoking a cigar covered entirely in pure gold makes you feel like a badass, the answer is no. In fact, I actually kinda felt like a tool. 
  • The gold foil is extremely slick to the touch, which is cool when you run your finger across the veins that are present.
  • According to Marshall, the cost of the gold used to wrap the cigar is $75. It is purchased from the same source in Italy that supplies gold that is used at the Sistine Chapel.
  • There is a humidor tax in place. Marshall values the travel humidors at $250, meaning each of the coffins should retail for $200.
  • Prior to smoking this cigar, I talked to a doctor friend of mine to judge the medical issues, if any. He basically told me that as long as I was not smoking 10 a day, there would be no problems, as gold has a much higher melting point then tobacco and since I was not inhaling anyway, that makes it even less of an issue.
  • I spent three days documenting the Plasencia Cigars S.A. factory in Nicaragua earlier this year.
  • The description of this cigar on Cigar.com says that because the gold melts over the ash, you will be left with, “a 6-inch 24 karat gold ash that you can put on display for bragging rights.” While this may technically be true, in actuality, the gold that was left over the ash was fairly fragile and it still smelled strongly of burnt cigar, so I doubt anyone would be putting it on their mantle unless they wanted their house to smell like an ashtray.
     Gold Cigar Ash
  • One extremely annoying thing about this cigar that I did not anticipate is that the gold foil that is present on the cap comes off on your teeth when you put it in your mouth or bite down on it at any point. I was finding bits of pure gold in my mouth for hours afterwards. 
  • The draw was great for the entire smoke, but because of the lack of oxygen to aid in combustion—being covered in gold foil will do that—I had to puff every 15 seconds or so to keep the cigar lit, quite a bit faster than any normal pace. Along with that, I also had to relight the cigar at least 30 times, just because it kept going out on me, again due most likely to the lack of oxygen. The combination of these two factors was probably what caused the ever present and nearly overwhelming bitterness in the profile. To be fair, if I had actually ashed the cigar instead of doing everything I could to keep the gold covered ash on the cigar, that probably would have been less of an issue.
  • While we don’t normally post links to other people’s thoughts, Jerry Cruz also smoked this and noted the relights being an issue.
  • I have not smoked the regular DM2.
  • Interestingly, since the gold covers both the ash from the tobacco that has already burned and the tobacco that has not burned yet, in order to relight the cigar, I had to burn the gold foil to a hot enough temperature so that the heat from the gold itself—and the heat that is transferred from the gold—actually set the tobacco on fire. 
     Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011 Glow
  • I was a bit surprised to see that in addition to the Daniel Marshall, there are a few other examples of gold covered cigars on the market today: London Cut Cigars has one for $240, deLafee has a Dominican blend covered in 24k gold costing €79 and GoldGenie has a “Havana” cigar plated in gold that retails for $441.45.
  • The cigar smoked for this review was provided to halfwheel by Daniel Marshall at the IPCPR show in Las Vegas.
  • The final smoking time was just under two hours.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo cigars, you can do so on its website here
60 Overall Score

Ever since hearing about cigar, I have wanted to smoke the Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo, not because I thought it would make me look cool—it didn't—or because I thought it would taste amazing—it didn’t—but because I am a big fan of cigar makers pushing the envelope on a process that has stayed essentially the same for hundreds of years. With that said, I can tell you that while the experience of smoking one of these cigars is unique and extremely interesting, the actual flavors and profile of the cigar left quite a bit to be desired, most likely because of the physical limitations of having to keep relighting a cigar that is covered in gold to get it to burn. Is it worth the time and the effort to smoke it? Absolutely. Does the cigar taste like it should cost $200? Absolutely not. Is it worth the money to actually be able to smoke one? That is something everyone has to decide for themselves, but if you are looking for a unique smoking experience, you have found it.

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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