Daniel Marshall – has been one of the leading names in the cigar world since 1982. The best-known cigar aficionado, cigar expert and philanthropist is also known as the King of Humidors. His Campfire VIP Party at the Kitzbühel Country Club in Tyrol, Austria, is legendary and attracts world stars and elites every year.
In 2024 on 20.02.01 this established VIP party will take place for the 8th time. The party can only be attended by personal invitation, as a KCC club member or, for the first time since 2024, with a Gold Ticket. You can request the golden ticket from Kevin Underwood.
Daniel Marshall gave Kevin Underwood an exclusive interview.
Mr. Marschall, you sell humidors and cigars very successfully. When did you come up with the idea of building humidors and earning money with them or turning them into an international business?
The idea of building humidors and earning money with them wasn’t planned and it wasn’t an idea I had. It was a nice coincidence. I gave the grandfather of my girlfriend at the time a homemade teak cigar case for his favorite cigars, which at the time were Dunhill cigars.
Daniel Marshall is the number one humidor designer, internationally recognized and gaining more and more followers in Europe.
He loved the gift and saw my professional future in it. I was 19 years old at the time and really just wanted to make him happy. But my grandfather was so enthusiastic about my gift that he told me he was sure that the Alfred Dunhill store in London, which was the cigar dealer where he bought his cigars, would buy this cigar case.
It would give me the opportunity to set up my own factory and sell my creations worldwide. I would then have a good life. I should simply realize my dream, which I did. I set up my own factory and became more and more successful. I have been dreaming and living the American Dream ever since.
So I can say that the idea of becoming humidor designer no. 1 was more of a coincidence, but not an idea in the classic sense. Establishing my own cigar brand was then the logical and correct consequence of my success.
„The idea of making humidors came about purely by chance“
You sell 2 products, humidors and cigars – there is the Red and Black Label your latest product is the 24K golden cigar „DM Gold Torpedo“. Can you tell our readers something about your cigars? How did you come up with the idea of making a golden cigar? What is special about your humidor?
Establishing my own cigar brand was the logical and correct consequence of my success.
The first cigar series was created in 1996. That was a real boom phase in the cigar industry. At that time, the top cigar producers could not produce cigars fast enough or the tobaccos did not grow fast enough.
Thanks to my friendship with Manuel Quesada from MATASA, who is a 5th generation cigar producer, I was able to negotiate a deal with him. I produced a special humidor packaging for a series of his cigars and he supplied me with 5,000 cigars a month in return.
Then came the 2nd series from me, the Red Label. The Red Label was developed together with Manuel Quesada and Nestor Placencia from Nicaragua. The cigar is made from Nicaraguan tobacco (filler and binder) with a Habano wrapper, which was also grown in Nicaragua. In terms of aroma and taste, the cigar also has a sweet, slightly tart cocoa aftertaste. Earthy notes resonate from time to time.
The DM Torpedo Gold cigar came about by chance, just like my humidor business. In 2011, Universal Studios approached me and asked me to make a special humidor for their cult film Scareface, which was now to be released on Blue-Ray. They imagined white humidors limited to 1,000 pieces, with the inscription „THE WORLD IS YOURS“ and the initials of Tony Monatana.
When I finally met with a top manager of the film studio to sign the contract, he told me that he needed 20 special bling-bling humidors for the VIPs like Al Pacino. So one thing led to another. Of course, these 20 special humidors also needed special cigars. I sent the humidors to Swarovski so that the studio manager’s ideas could be realized. But what do I do with the cigars?
Daniel Marshall is the No. 1 bling-bling humidor specialist
In the evening, I had dinner with my girlfriend and told her about the cigars. After we talked about it for a while, she said – why don’t you make golden cigars? I thought about it for a moment and said words that I don’t often say „it’s not possible“. My friend then said, I don’t know anything about cigars but I’ve given you an idea, make the most of it.
After 3 months of working on how I could produce a cigar with pure gold, I found the solution. The result was a cigar made from 24 carat pure Italian gold. I was happy that I could also deliver the 20 special cigars and didn’t even think about making any more.
Do you see the cigar as a status symbol?
No, I see it as a personal symbol. The cigar is a symbolic sign that signals relaxation and enjoyment. In short, a good friend reduced this to one word – a cigar is „something“ calming.
Where can I buy your cigars and humidors?
All over the world. My aim is that our humidors and cigars can be bought in the best stores all over the world. We now also offer our products in Iran and Malaysia. From August we will be in South Africa and China.
Are there differences between cigar smokers in the USA and those in Germany?
„I will make my brand „DM Daniel Marshall“ even more popular all over the world“
I think there are differences. First of all, I am happy that we sell our cigars so well in Germany, Austria and England and also in markets where Cuban cigars are bought. So the quality of our cigars is right. I think you can find quality everywhere in Germany. No matter where you go in Germany, everything has a very high standard of quality and I like that. Whereas the USA has more of a market sensibility.
Anyway, I would like to thank Kevin Underwood’s readers for their interest in me and my products. I am happy that I can share the many great stories with them here. The humidor in the Kitzbühel Country Club (KCC) was created by me for the Private Member Club.Of course, I look forward to working for many lounges around the world. I can only say, come to Kitzbühel and have a look at Richard Hauser’s absolutely successful Private Member Club and enjoy a cigar in the fantastic cigar lounge.
In Europe, there are more and more bans on smoking in public places. In Austria, there will soon be a general ban on smoking in bars etc. too. Do you see this as a problem for the cigar business?
No! I don’t see a problem at all. If we can no longer enjoy cigars in public places, we will find a place. There are so many beautiful cigar lounges all over the world.
I was recently in Kitzbühel, Austria at the posh Kitzbühel Country Club and learned that you designed the humidor for the wonderful Cigar Lounge there. Was that a one-off project?
First of all, I would like to say that I love this Kitzbühel Country Club, the owner Richard Hauser and the whole team on site. I am absolutely thrilled with the attention to detail with which Richard Hauser opened the club. It was a great privilege and a great honor for me to develop the Club Humidor for the Kitzbühel Country Club. I am enthusiastic about the vision that Richard Hauser has. But also of his quality standards. He pulls out all the stops to offer only the best quality to his club members.
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