In 2011, famed humidor maker Daniel Marshall custom-made a cigar wrapped in an edible gold leaf, specially designed to celebrate his friend’s 64th birthday. Not too long after, Marshall decided to recreate the golden cigar for an over the top “ultra bling” humidor, which was a project given to him by Universal Studios to commemorate the movie Scarface.
The next year, Marshall released another version of the golden DM2 blend named the “24kt Golden Torpedo” to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his company. The cigar itself is a Nicaraguan puro blended by Manuel “Manolo” Quesada and made in the Placencia factory. Each cigar gets rolled in a 24kt Italian gold leaf, which is sourced from the same supplier who provided for the Sistine Chapel. They come in individual coffins and sell for $300 per cigar.
But at such a high price point, could it be worth it? Let’s find out.
- Cigar Reviewed: Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo
- Wrapper: Habano
- Binder: Nicaragua (Esteli)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
- Size: 6 1/4″ x 54 (Torpedo)
Appearance & Construction
The Golden Torpedo is an eye-catcher. It glares under the sunlight, making it the brightest object in the dimmed B&M I’m smoking at. Other patrons couldn’t help but notice the shiny cigar, as some thought it was a prop while others recognized it immediately.
After a quick show and tell, I was able to sit down and give 110% of my attention to this cigar. Visually, the Golden Torpedo is stunning. The surface is very glossy, but I can feel the impression of the wrapper through the foil. I give the cigar a firm squeeze between my fingers, and it is unyielding. Upon a closer look, I see a small portion of the gold flaked off by the foot, exposing the habano wrapper.
Flavor & Smoke Characteristics
The gold leaf has a slight waxy smell coming off of it, which kind of reminds me of wax paper for baking. The foot of the cigar gives off a sweet apricot scent followed by white pepper, which tickles my nose. I cut off the triangular cap with my straight cutter and try a cold draw. The taste is exceptionally satisfying with floral notes, dried apricot, persimmon, and sweet hay with an aftertaste of granola. The airflow is on the tight end of the spectrum, about 8 out of 10.
Unlike a standard cigar, lighting the Golden Torpedo takes a while (and a little bit of patience). As I start puffing on the cigar, I taste barnyard, pine nuts, cedar, and black pepper. There is also an aftertaste of bitterness in the smoke. I retrohale the next puff and get a burst of black pepper spice, then hay and dark leather once the pepper disburse. This cigar forces me to continuously puff on it to keep it lit, which makes the bitterness in the smoke more prominent.
Halfway down the first third, I have to relight the cigar twice. On the third time, the filler is not reacting to the flame from my torch. I try to knock the ash off on the side of the ashtray, but the ash is hard like a lump of charcoal. I have no other choice but to cut off the remaining of the first third.
As I relight the Golden Torpedo, I notice a natural sweetness has replaced the bitterness in the smoke. There is also a taste of almond, light leather, and cedar. The retrohale becomes smoother as well, with barnyard and red pepper spice. Unfortunately, the cigar does not stay lit for more than half an inch. The same lighting issue is reoccurring. I have to do the unthinkable twice and cut off another portion of the cigar.
Hoping third time is the charm, I reignite the foot. The flavor profile picks up from where it left off all the way down to the nub. The Golden Torpedo finally burns and tastes like a $300 cigar with creamy smoke, dried apricot, sweet hay, and grain. I shut my eyes close for a second and immediately imagined a bowl of creamy oatmeal with fruits and brown sugar. I end my golden moment with a retrohale, and it leaves me with cedar, almond, and white pepper.
Is Daniel Marshall Golden Torpedo worth $300? No. This cigar did tease me with superb flavors on the cold draw. However, the gold that makes this cigar stands out is also its downfall. Not only does the 24kt gold leaf make the cigar look a bit gimmicky, but unlike natural tobacco wrapper, there is no aeration through the wrapper other than the foot of the cigar. I believe the lack of oxygen was the factor that created the burning issues I experienced throughout the whole smoke.
For the price of this cigar, the Daniel Marshall Golden Torpedo didn’t even come close to my expectation. Despite the negative experience, I am interested in trying the DM2 blend without the gold, seeing as the cold draw and the nub did leave a positive impression on me.