How often were you told that a given cigar is covered with Plume (or Bloom) only to find out, based upon closeup inspection, that you are dealing with a Mold ? I was on multiple occasions. 9 times out of 10 it is unfortunately the latter – the infamous Mold or simply – fungus.
Mold appears on the surface of cigars and will form irregular, fuzzy, patchy clusters. Although normally mold forms on the surface, it can also be found on the foot and within the filler. Mold can appear in various colors: gray, white, blue, green, yellowish. High humidity (80% and above) or wet spots in cigar containers are the root cause for the Cigar Mold. Inspect your humidors frequently, especially during summer when temperature and humidity levels are high. Folks often debate whether moldy cigar should be destroyed or salvaged. First, remove questionable cigars as soon as possible and inspect the surrounding. Introduce circulation, rotate your cigars and boxes from time to time, and keep humidity in check. Some salvage their moldy cigars by simply wiping that nasty fungus off and subsequently smoking it. I, personally, don’t see the need to salvage mold / fungus. There is plenty of other cigars to choose from. I chuck it and move on.
Plume (or Bloom) is a happy place to be. Unlike patchy and fuzzy mold clusters, Plume will look like a dusty layer throughout the cigar. Initially formed as tiny crystals, Plume is a naturally occurring by-product of long-term cigar aging and rising of essential oils to the surface of the cigar. There is no negative impact on smoking as for as I know. Many cigar smokers cherish cigars covered with Plume and label them as a successful aging project.
- click on photographs (slideshow / EXIF)-