Cigar 101 - Mold vs. Plume

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If you have ever noticed strange white stuff on your cigar this could either be a really good thing or a really bad thing. You could be looking at either mold or bloom (also known as plume). Mold will ruin your cigar while plume is a sign that your cigars are aging well.

Identifying the two can be tricky and it seems to be a common question among customers so we thought we would break it down for you. If you find mold on your cigar you definitely do not want to smoke it. Mold on cigars tends to be a yellow or green color, and very rarely can even look red or blue. When a cigar has mold on it the mold will also appear “hairy” or “fuzzy” and is often difficult to rub off because it’s rooted in the cigar. If you find yourself opening your cigars to a very unpleasant, musty odor, that is also a sign of mold. It’s important to check the other cigars inside of your humidor if you find one moldy cigar, as others may have it.

Plume is the good stuff and occurs when the oils in the tobacco leaf crystallize and come to the surface of the cigar. The best way to describe plume is that it’s a fine white or light gray powder that appears on the wrapper in random spots. Plume can also be rubbed off with a finger therefor you can easily tell the difference from mold.

While mostly rare, there are some occasions when a third type of substance appears on your cigar. This usually happens when a humidification unit is not being used properly and you will see mineral deposits on your cigars. If you use tap water in a humidor that only accepts distilled water there is a good chance of getting mineral deposits. Mineral deposits will not ruin your cigars but are a sure sign that the quality of your tap water is pretty bad. If you keep your humidor at the proper humidity level and follow the instructions you shouldn’t have any problems with mold or mineral deposits.

We hope you found this useful! Give us a ring if you have any questions or concerns! 

Last update: Jun 09, 2014

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