Question from a reader:
I got some white small spots on my cigars and also in the humidor, most likely it's mold. Can you please help me with a few tips?
One day you go to get a cigar out of your humidor and you notice something: there is a change in the appearance of your cigars. Maybe you see some fuzzy patches on your cigar wrappers, or perhaps some white spots on the cigars or the sides of the humidor. You immediately have a sinking feeling — could your cigars be ruined by mold? What can you do to identify, prevent, and remove mold from your cigars?
Is it Mold or Bloom?
First things first. You need to figure out whether the “mold” on your cigars is really mold or not. It could just as well be something else called bloom, or plume. As the oils in your cigar rise slowly to the surface, they crystallize at the top, giving a “dusted” appearance to the wrapper of your cigar. As bloom progresses, you will see whiteness coating your cigar—usually fairly evenly, though there may still be some spottiness to it.
Note that sometimes bloom does not form evenly. Sometimes it will take the form of white spots. If your cigar has white spots, it may be bloom and it may be mold. Look at the texture of the spots. If they look hairy or fibrous, they are mold. If they look crystalline/dusty, they are probably bloom. You can find a comparative picture in this article about cigar wrappers.
Bloom on cigars is not a problem. In fact, some cigar smokers prefer their cigars to have bloom.
Mold on the other hand is a fungus which appears on cigars when your humidor’s environment isn’t being properly maintained. Once the humidity level exceeds 80%, mold may start to form on the wrappers and the sides of the humidor. Look for telltale patches of blue or grey, green or white fuzz.
What to Do About Mold
If all you have is bloom, you don’t need to do anything about it. But if you have mold, take the moldy cigars and set them aside so the mold doesn’t spread to your other stogies, and wipe down the humidor’s interior walls using an isopropyl alcohol solution. The mold will be killed by the alcohol. Unfortunately, the mold may leave permanent stains on the humidor’s walls.
When you wipe down your humidor, if you do not see any stains, you may have only had bloom, but it’s not a guarantee. If you do see stains, that’s an additional sign you do have mold. You can actually still smoke the moldy cigars (if the mold is white; if it's green or blue it's most likely that the cigar is lost), as long as the mold hasn’t spread to the interior. First you will want to kill that mold, though. You may be able to accomplish this by keeping the cigars outside your humidor for 36 hours and then putting them back inside. If you are feeling more aggressive, you can put them in the freezer.
You don’t want this to happen again, so reduce the humidity level in your humidor to around 72%, and make sure the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Some fluctuation is fine, as long as things stay within a reasonable range (about 66-79%). Outside that range, you’ll encounter problems with freshness. If your humidor is malfunctioning, you may have to replace it. Check on your cigars regularly to ensure your problem is solved.
Last week we reviewed a cigar called Core Zero Indie and, thanks to Bryan Butler, the co-founder of the company, we had a 5-pack to give away to one lucky reader.
We're a bit late in announcing the winner, but better late than never: the winner is Adam. Congrats, we just sent you an e-mail regarding the prize.
Thanks again to Bryan Butler and Core Zero Cigars, stay tuned for more contests in future!
Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 ½ x 50
Wrapper : Connecticut Shade
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : $10 each
More info about purchasing Ashton Cabinet cigars...
The Ashton Cabinet Selection No. 6 is another masterpiece made by the Fuente family. According to the Ashton website:
The Ashton Cabinet is the “White Burgundy” of cigars. “White Burgundy” gets its rich complex taste from the soil and aging of the grape in French oak barrels. The Cabinet’s 4 to 5 year old Dominican filler blend has a rich, complex and well rounded taste. The extraordinary Connecticut shade wrapper is aged for an extra year and has an elegant palamino color resulting in a smooth and creamy flavor. The Ashton Cabinet includes no less than six different tobaccos and ends with a “big finish.” Seven years pass from seedling to finished cigar before Ashton Cabinet is brought to fruition and presented for your smoking pleasure.
The Ashton Cabinet Selection series is offered in eleven different vitolas.
Origin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 20 mm
Ring : 50
Price : $18.85 (Canada), $8.50 Cuban pesos (Cuba)
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars...
The Ediciones Limitadas are released every year and are manufactured with carefully selected wrapper, filler and binder tobaccos which have been aged for a period of at least 2 years. The wrapper for these cigars comes from the top leaves of the Tapado – shade-grown black Cuban tobacco plant, and is a relevant characteristic that identifies these special productions. This wrapper is usually darker than the wrappers of regular range sizes of the brand and this is immediately noticeable to anyone who smokes H. Upmann cigars like I do.
The Ediciones Limitadas are made with the finest tobacco leaves coming from Vuelta Abajo and also feature long filler from that region. Since my favorite vitola is the Robusto, I was intrigued by the H. Upmann 2012 Edicion Limitada Robusto. This is a size that does not exist in the regular production run of H. Upmann Cigars. For cost purposes, I don’t set out to try all of the Limitadas, instead I focus on the ones that interest me.
Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Sumatra
Filler : Nicaraguan & Honduran
Binder : Honduran
Price : $5 each
First of all, I would like to thank Bryan Butler from Core Zero Cigars for sending me a sampler.
Bryan and Nick were involved in a local metal band called Core Zero and decided that they needed to create their own cigars. After meeting Matt Booth of Room 101 and Jonathan Drew of Drew Estates, the idea took shape and CZ Cigars was launched. You can find more information about the company on their website.
At the moment, two blends are available : Indie and Metal. Indie is the milder one, wrapped in a Sumatra leaf from Indonesia. Metal is more powerful with a Habano Maduro wrapper from Nicaragua. The one being reviewed today is the Core Zero Indie.
Thanks to Bryan, we've got a 5-pack of these to give away to one lucky reader! In order to enter the draw, read the review and leave a comment at the end of the post. That's it! We'll announce the winner in one week.
Contest open internationally, you must be of legal age to smoke cigars in order to enter. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter so you don't miss the winner announcement and other contests.
About 10 days ago we launched a contest, thanks to our friends from My-Cuban-Cigars.com. We asked you about your favorite Cuban cigar and, with over 125 participants, we had some great response. It's quite difficult to show you some stats because a lot of people mentioned just brands, and a good share of the respondents never had a Cuban. Of course, the most famous brands like Cohiba, Partagas and Montecristo were well represented, but the Ramon Allones Special Selected was also mentioned many times.
It's about time to announce the winners, and here they are thanks to the Randomizer:
- Kevin Clingaman
Congrats! You won either an ashtray or a travel humidor, courtesy of My-Cuban-Cigars.com, an online boutique specialized in Cuban cigars. To claim your prize, please get in touch with us via the contact form.
And stay tuned for more contests in the coming weeks, we've got a few giveaways coming up.