Mold vs Plume
The cigar... A symbol of relaxation, sophistication, and, of course, a good puff. But for even the most seasoned aficionado, a white dusting on your prized stogie can send shivers down the spine. Is it mold, that dreaded enemy of all things enjoyable, or plume, the harmless byproduct of aging? Fear not, fellow hunters, for we're here to clear the smoke and shed light on this common conundrum.
The Phantom Fog: Mold on Cigars
Mold, the bane of humidors and dreams, is a fungus that thrives in damp environments. On cigars, it appears as fuzzy, discolored patches, often green, blue, or white. Unlike plume, which typically forms in tiny, even crystals, mold can be uneven and textured, sometimes accompanied by a musty odor.
Signs of Mold
- Color: While plume is usually white, mold can be green, blue, black, or even grey.
- Texture: Mold is fuzzy and uneven, while plume is fine and crystalline.
- Smell: Mold often has a musty or earthy odor, while plume is odorless.
- Spread: Mold can spread quickly and easily, while plume remains localized.
Moldy Verdict: Toss it Like a Hot Coal!
If you suspect mold, don't hesitate. Remove the affected cigar from your humidor immediately and dispose of it safely. Clean your humidor thoroughly with a disinfectant solution to prevent spores from spreading.
The Friendly Ghost: Plume - A Sign of a Well-Aged Cigar
Plume, on the other hand, is a sign of a well-aged and well-stored cigar. It's essentially crystallized oils and sugars that migrate to the surface over time, forming tiny, white, odorless crystals. Unlike mold, plume is harmless and even considered a sign of quality.
Plume Perks: Bonus Points for Aging
- Appearance: Plume forms in tiny, even crystals, not fuzzy patches.
- Odor: Plume is odorless, while mold often has a musty smell.
- Location: Plume usually appears on the head or foot of the cigar, while mold can appear anywhere.
Plume Verdict: Puff Away with Confidence!
If you see some white dust on your cigar, take a closer look. If it's fine and crystalline, and your cigar smells fine, it's most likely a plume. Just brush it off gently and enjoy your well-aged stogie!
Remember: When in doubt, throw it out! It's always better to be safe than sorry.
Cigar Wisdom for the Ages:
- Proper storage is key: Keep your cigars at the right humidity (69-72%) and temperature (69-72°F) to prevent mold growth.
- Regular checkups: Inspect your cigars regularly for any signs of mold.
- Don't trust your nose alone: Some molds don't have a strong odor, so visual inspection is crucial.
- When in doubt, consult a pro: If you're unsure, talk to a cigar shop employee or a seasoned smoker for advice.
Bonus Tip: Plume can be gently brushed off with a soft brush or cloth. Don't scrub or rub, as this can damage the cigar.
I hope this blog clears the air and keeps your stogies safe and smoky! Let me know if you have any other questions about the fascinating world of cigars.