For people enjoying a good cigar, they often have a humidor to keep their cigars fresh to preserve the flavor. Unfortunately, many times they open the door or look into the window and are shocked to find a white film or growth attached to some of their most valuable cigars. Before screaming and reaching in to grab and throw out these precious commodities, look carefully at what is actually there. It would be a disaster to unnecessarily throw out perfectly good cigars, so read below and figure out if it is actually a deadly mold issue or a simple and easily remedied plume issue.
Plume, also known as bloom, is just a white dust that can sometimes connect on the surface of cigars. It may even sparkle a little bit. Plume can grow with the oils that tend to rise from the inside of a cigar reach the surface of the stick and begin to form a crystal structure. Plume can also show up as simply a haze on the top of the wrapper. In contrast to mold, plume is always a white or gray color and will coat the entire stick, as opposed to mold which only grows on a part of the cigar. Plume actually poses no threat to the integrity of a cigar at all. It isn't anything that should be worried about. Furthermore, it shows that the humidor is functioning well and keeps those sticks as good as new. The powder can simply be lightly wiped away prior to lighting the cigar. If the cigar is made from a more oily tobacco plant they are more likely to develop plume after spending an extended amount of time in the humidor. Cigars such as Maduros are prone to developing this. Don't worry about plume, the cigars are still good.
Mold, on the other hand, can be a serious issue. Everyone has encountered mold at some point in time. The black fuzz can frequently be seen growing in the corners of old buildings. White growths may be seen on old foods such as bread that have been in the refrigerator or left out in the open too long. Green substances are seen in wet areas with stagnant water. The sight causes us all to gross out. Mold can similarly affect cigars as well. Mold, in contrast to plume, grows in many different colors. Green, gray, white, blue, red, orange, and even yellow colors are seen in mold that grows on cigars. This is actually alive and can spread to damage all of the various cigars. Unlike plume, mold is a thee-dimensional structure and can be fuzzy or bumpy. It grows branches that release spores that fly through the air to affect all of the cigars in the humidor. It also tends to grow in spots or asymmetrical shapes instead if in a flat, thin, uniform coating as plume does. Mold actually roots deep into the cigars and makes it difficult to wipe off. The smell can also be pungent, so smell the cigar and look for a musty odor. This is a sign that the cigars need to be thrown out. If you find mold on one cigar, make sure you check them all. The mold can quickly spread and ruin the entire batch. Do not smoke them as some mold can make people very sick.