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Spotlight Brand: Daniel Marshall Red Label

From a master craftsman. 

Daniel Marshall, a name synonymous with super high-end humidors and accessories, is responsible for this beautiful, Nicaraguan super premium.

Anyone who owns a Daniel Marshall humidor understands the quality and attention to detail that's required to create such works of art. In fact, Daniel Marshall's reputation for quality is so exemplary his humidors have been featured in movies (Stealth), have been given away as gifts from United States presidents (President Bush), and can be found in the homes of famous actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino, and Brad Pitt, just to name a few.

Daniel Marshall Red Label hails from the Plasencia factory in Nicaragua and comes packed to the brim with premium Nicaraguan long leaves from Jalapa, all concealed by a binder from Esteli. These tobaccos are then covered by a Nicaraguan-grown, 5-year-aged Habano wrapper. The result is an amazingly creamy character that presents some hints of spice and cedar throughout. Thoroughly well-balanced, Red Label is as smooth as it is flavorful, with a solid medium to full body. Rated '90' by Cigar Aficionado, this is an excellent everyday option for the most discerning aficionado.

Q & A: Humidor Placement?

Where is the best place for me to keep my humidor?

6/11/13 | by GB of Austin, TX

​The best place to create a base camp for your humidor is in a dry, temperature controlled room in your home. You want your humidor in a room where the temperature doesn't exceed 75 degrees and doesn't drop below 64 degrees throughout the year. Do not leave your humidor by a window as the sun may cause the temperature and humidity to rise above the standard 70/70 rule. It's ok to leave your humidor in a finished basement as long as it doesn't get too damp, but you want to make sure you don't leave your humidor in a drafty area such as a lobby or by the front door. Basically, you want your humidor in the most stable environment possible. And remember, at the end of the day; let your hygrometer be your guide. 

by Sean G

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Article: Spotting Trouble Ahead

It’s amazing how much effort in quality control goes into making each cigar. Some poorly rolled cigars do inevitably slip through the cracks and don’t burn or draw properly. This is frustrating when one of your prized cigars isn’t performing to your expectations. In some cases, it’s hard to foresee problems until you actually light your cigar, but with a well-trained hand, and by following these tips, you’ll be able to spot trouble the moment you pick up any cigar.

A “problematic cigar” usually relates to the burn or draw and the two are very closely related.  As long as the tobaccos are properly fermented, it all comes down to the filler and how well the leaves were bunched. Most often, filler tobaccos are folded in accordion fashion and are strategically placed in the buncher’s hand per the instructions of the master blender.  A typical cigar utilizes three to five filler leaves, depending on the size of the leaves and of the cigar being made. The accordion bunching format is meant to pack the tobaccos together but still allow for airflow through the body of the cigar. If the buncher packs the bunch too tight, too loose, or inconsistently, the cigar may burn too fast or too slow and in some cases, unevenly. The master blender creates a cigar based on it burning at a certain rate and temperature. So these types of construction issues will not deliver the intended balance and flavor, thus causing a “problematic cigar.” 

The best way to tell if a cigar is over-filled, under-filled, or inconsistently filled is by making a circle with your thumb and index finger and then pulling the cigar through the circle. The circle of your thumb and index finger must be firm and pressed against the cigar enough to feel the texture, but not so hard that it damages the wrapper. This gives you a great initial feel to see if the cigar has any soft spots. Next, perform a pinch test. Hold the cigar in one hand while pinching it gently from head to foot between your thumb and index finger. The cigar should give slightly and depress only a little bit. If it gives too much, it could be under-filled and if it is too firm without any give, it may be overfilled and probably won’t draw properly.

Once a cigar is bunched, the cigar maker will hold the cigar in one hand while breaking the excess bottom portion of the bunch off with the other. Those small scraps are then added to the middle of the bunch. It is important that this breaking motion is done smoothly in one direction. If the maker twists the bunch in any way, it will create a compression in the leaves which won’t allow air to pass. When a cigar has a hard spot leading to a draw problem, the “knot” is almost always between the band and the head of the cigar. When doing your pinch test, always be sure to spend extra time in this area.

While these are some great rules to go by when selecting a cigar from your humidor, there are many other rules to follow and understand. More than anything, mastering these initial skills will aid in your cigar enjoyment for the rest of your life.  

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