Is this mold?

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coys

Starting to Get Obsessed
Feb 15, 2022
194
426
Missouri
I opened a new pouch of St. Bruno tonight, the ready rubbed version that comes in the OTC pouch. I've never had St. Bruno before, but I noticed right away that some of the tobacco has a whitish coating on the outside of it. See the photos:

Since I've never had this blend before I don't know if it always looks this way, if it is some kind of topping or what have you, or if I should return this pouch. I know that mold is nothing to play around with, but I don't know what this blend typically looks like or if this is ever normal.

Any thoughts?
 

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coys

Starting to Get Obsessed
Feb 15, 2022
194
426
Missouri
By contrast, I found a photo online of a similar pouch and it just looks all dark.
 

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Brendan

Lifer
May 16, 2021
1,194
6,764
Cowra, New South Wales, Australia.
I'm pretty sure there was a thread maybe a few months ago on this.

I'd like to say @JOHN72 had this issue, from memory, and was the OP ?

Bumping this along to see if the guys in that thread can pitch in - but it looks like what they had, and it wasn't mold.
 

craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
5,136
39,748
Minnesota USA
Mold generally originates from one point and spreads out from that point. This is like a broken flake so it’s spread apart. The whitish specks have some open areas between them.

Minerals in the tobacco leach out of the leaf and the oils dry out and leave crystalline structures. It’s not sugars, these are basically salts, calcium oxalate and such.

Seems more prevalent in the European manufactured tobaccos. Probably because there is a higher concentration of certain minerals in the crops grown in other countries, such as Africa, were they source a lot of their leaf.

In any case, I think you’re just fine. This “Plume” or “Bloom” or whatever somebody chooses to call it shows that the tobacco is aging well.

Here’s some GH Dark Plug from several years ago:

B97319B4-0F21-40E2-810C-69F074CB30D4.png9C68AAA4-8EC1-48DA-90AF-42A1822CD8D7.png

Looks good enough to eat, and wash down with a latte…
 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
7,928
21,358
33
Burlington WI
I opened a new pouch of St. Bruno tonight, the ready rubbed version that comes in the OTC pouch. I've never had St. Bruno before, but I noticed right away that some of the tobacco has a whitish coating on the outside of it. See the photos:

Since I've never had this blend before I don't know if it always looks this way, if it is some kind of topping or what have you, or if I should return this pouch. I know that mold is nothing to play around with, but I don't know what this blend typically looks like or if this is ever normal.

Any thoughts?
Looks good to me! Like embers said, mold is fuzzy. Plume is crystally.
 
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sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
17,249
34,512
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
I opened a new pouch of St. Bruno tonight, the ready rubbed version that comes in the OTC pouch. I've never had St. Bruno before, but I noticed right away that some of the tobacco has a whitish coating on the outside of it. See the photos:

Since I've never had this blend before I don't know if it always looks this way, if it is some kind of topping or what have you, or if I should return this pouch. I know that mold is nothing to play around with, but I don't know what this blend typically looks like or if this is ever normal.

Any thoughts?
I smoke a lot of St Bruno. It's not uncommon for there to be some evidence of grayish sediment in either the ready rub or the flake and I've never found mold in any of it. Plume is generally caused by the migration of mineral deposits to the surface. It can often look like veins in the strata of the flake

Mold can be fuzzy, cobweb like, beard like, and often has a pronounced stink. When you can see it, it means all of the adjacent tobacco is infected, even if the mold hasn't activated everywhere. Trying to save some by picking out the "bad bits' is an idiot's errand.

One last thing from someone who's worked on literally hundreds of commercials over the decades. Never believe the photographs or images. They're not there to document reality. They're there to persuade the viewer to buy the product and are carefully lit, doctored, polished, and otherwise preened to seduce the viewer. That nice little pile of tobacco would have been artfully selected and arranged by a stylist before being carefully lit and photographed, followed by image processing of the photograph under the watchful eye of the "art director" or whatever form of bullshit specialist is approving the final result.
 

coys

Starting to Get Obsessed
Feb 15, 2022
194
426
Missouri
Ok, thanks. It seems like most feel this is plume and not mold. According to the pouch this was bagged in 2021, so it’s not exceptionally old, but I will give it a shot and see how it smokes.
 
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FurCoat

Lifer
Sep 21, 2020
6,440
53,708
North Carolina
Mold generally originates from one point and spreads out from that point. This is like a broken flake so it’s spread apart. The whitish specks have some open areas between them.

Minerals in the tobacco leach out of the leaf and the oils dry out and leave crystalline structures. It’s not sugars, these are basically salts, calcium oxalate and such.

Seems more prevalent in the European manufactured tobaccos. Probably because there is a higher concentration of certain minerals in the crops grown in other countries, such as Africa, were they source a lot of their leaf.

In any case, I think you’re just fine. This “Plume” or “Bloom” or whatever somebody chooses to call it shows that the tobacco is aging well.

Here’s some GH Dark Plug from several years ago:

View attachment 183081View attachment 183082

Looks good enough to eat, and wash down with a latte…
That's just beautiful. I have a pound of dark plug sealed in mylar. I hope it ages as well as yours did.
 
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anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
13,153
24,653
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I say this every single time. But the answer is almost never mold. Mold rarely leaves a question. It usually just gets trashed because it leaves the tobacco in such a gross state that even if it was safe you wouldn't want to taste something that smells like that...
I think there was one time since I started here that the answer was mold.
 
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maker

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 22, 2018
238
187
only way to be 100% sure is to look at it magnified. mold looks like strands with little bulbs and plume looks like crystals. I had mold that looked exactly like plume on some cigars until I used one of those microscopes you plug into a computer to look at it.
1669362329621.png
1669362562350.png
 
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coys

Starting to Get Obsessed
Feb 15, 2022
194
426
Missouri
Well, I went back to the pouch and am reasonably certain the St Bruno did not have mold on it, although the plume seems a bit odd since the pouch said 2021 on it.

In any case, the St Bruno smoked well and I liked the fact that it won’t bite and hardly required any relights, but the flavor didn’t really do anything for me. Apart from this, I found the room note to be cigarette-like and to linger for longer than I’d like.

All in all not a bad tobacco, but I feel that for a tobacco that gives that good honest OTC feel I’d stick with the Sutliff Ready Rubbed match.
 

butsiethesungo

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 3, 2016
104
71
43
Broussard, LA
Personally, I think its plume not mold. I’ve had plume on many of my cigars before after aging.

Ive read on the forums where some members just break off the chunk of mold and keep on smoking!