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Cigars 102: Mold vs. Plume

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Okay fans; get your hate mail ready….

There is a long standing fable of a magical white substance (plume) that appears on perfectly aged cigars. Some say it is the crystallization of oils and sugars that come to the surface during the aging process. But how is this possible? Let’s talk science, ever mix oil with anything? Ever notice that unless you use an emulsifier, the oils will not mix with other substances. Also, sugars are water soluble, thus remaining in the water molecule in the

leaves as they stay humidified. Oils will evaporate and become sticky, the sugars may come to the surface but if there are any spores in the humidor, it will grow mold!! Recently, cigars were sent to a biotech lab in Australia to determine the difference between mold and plume, and sadly it was discovered that it’s all mold. Different spores at different growth increments. Yes I know, it’s hard to imagine, centuries of folklore debunked by science. Please understand, I’m not a biologist or a scientist, I have a tobacconist and emergency medicine

background. I personally wouldn’t smoke a cigar with anything coming out if it, regardless of “plume” or mold.

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