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Mold or Plume with Rick Rodriguez of CAO (Video)

CAO Cigars head blender Rick Rodriguez took a few minutes to talk to us about the ever-confusing difference between Mold and Plume. While one means the end of your cigar, the other signifies it’s the perfect time to light it up. Watch as Rick sheds some light on the subject in this brief video:


Hey, guys. I’m Rick Rodriguez, the head blender from CAO. And today I want to talk to you about mold and plume.

Mold is very bad for the cigar. Mold is going to be either green or blue in color and the reason it happens sometimes is because your cigars are too moist. And so mold’s created by an environment that’s wet. And so your cigars are too wet.

Unfortunately, when you discover mold on your cigar, throw that cigar away. It’s not to be smoked in. You just lost that soldier. So let him die, let him just go away, because mold is going to be bad for you to intake, put around your lips. So that cigar is gone.

But plume is totally opposite. When you have a plume, that is the white specks on your cigar, that is when your cigar is talking to you. That is when that cigar, in its words, is saying to you, “I’m ready to be smoked.” And it’s very hard to create a plume on a cigar, so we can’t do it, you can’t do it, it just happens naturally.

What plume is really is the sugars crystallizing and racing to the surface of that tobacco leaf. And so, it’s just screaming to you, “Smoke me right now.” So when I see some plume on my cigar, I simply brush that plume off and light that cigar. And that cigar is going to be so tasty, so rich, and so much flavor, because that cigar is at its peak.

So look forward to that. Very hard to create, but when you have a cigar that has plume, don’t share that cigar with anybody. That is your special cigar. That’s the cigar that I would smoke before I give it away.