Cigar Aficionado Word of the Day - Plume, Review of Indian Tabac – Super Fuerte Maduro

Indian Tabac – Super Fuerte Maduro

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Cigar Aficionado Word of the Day - Plume

I was recently contacted by a smoker who recounted a story of a few years back regarding a number of high-priced cigars getting "mold" on them after sitting in his humidor. He promptly discarded them and felt very lucky that none of the other cigars were affected.

After asking a few questions, I had to break the bad news to him. More likely than not, the cigars were not moldy. The white dusty powder is called "plume" (a.k.a. bloom), and many longtime cigar fans only hope that this occurs to their cigars. Plume is evidence that you have a well-aged and properly cared for cigar. The white dust is crystallized oils from the cigar itself. Plume is harmless, and is typically brushed gently from the cigar when you are ready to smoke it. There is no guarantee that plume will actually occur, even if your cigars are meticulously maintained, but when it does, it signals an opportune time to have a smoke, as the cigar has matured very nicely.

Cigars can get mold, and it is a sign that the humidity and temperature of your humidor is less than optimal. The biggest difference between plume and mold is the color of the residue on the cigar. Mold tends to have a blue/green color to it and will not brush off as easily as the dust-like plume. To be certain, take the cigar to your local tobacconist for inspection and opinion. If mold occurs within your humidor, relocate your unharmed cigars into a new, clean and properly maintained environment. Brush out your humidor, and then wipe it down with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol. Air it out for at least a day and them re-humidify the humidor and re-introduce your cigars. Keep a close eye on your humidor and your hygrometer, as too much humidity will cause the issue again. Remember the 70-70 rule: 70 percent humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit is the standard.

So, lets get smokin' (preferably a well-maintained and aged cigar)!

Cigar Review:

Indian Tabac – Super Fuerte Maduro

Size: Belicoso (5.5 inches long and 52 Ring Gauge)
Price: $5 to $6 range

I have been aging this cigar in my humidor for more than a year, with no evidence of plume, but I certainly knew it has been ready to smoke for some time now. Indian Tabac is the initial line of cigars that began to establish Rocky Patel as a cigar maker worth watching. Today, the line represents Rocky's value play in the market. This particular cigar is a classic example of great maduro cigar at a good price. Ever since I have smoked my first, it has remained a staple item in my humidor.

Tobacco blend:

  • Wrapper: Honduran grown Havana 2000
  • Binder: Indonesia
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras


I have recently been on a milder cigar kick, but for some reason I needed the taste of something a little more full and rich. The topic of plume, coupled with this need for full flavor, made me think about the maduro options I had in my humidor that have been aging for awhile. Hence, the Indian Tabac Super Fuerte Maduro came to mind. Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the back deck, feet kicked back, laptop charged and cigar and lighter in hand.

Look and feel

This cigar is visually best described as a chocolate stick with the signature Indian Head band, whose image Patel still licenses from the Indian Motorcycle Co. The Belicoso style characterized by the pointed head makes this cigar look every bit as good as cigars that cost three times as much. The cigar performed excellently in terms of its slow, even burn (which those who read this feature regularly know is especially important). I just don't often have the patience for a high-maintenance cigar.

Aroma and Taste

The pre-let smell is somewhat sweet, but the opening couple of puffs are of rich chocolate and cocoa. I paired mine with a Diet Pepsi only because I did not have any root beer, a favorite pairing for a rich cigar of this nature. This cigar teamed with root beer is a formidable replacement for a decadent dessert after a big dinner. A third of the way into this cigar the sweet richness gives way to a smoother, more leathery taste, with some excellent earthy undertones. The latter portion was a little lighter in flavor (somewhat rare in a cigar).

RATING: 8.9 (on a scale of 1 to 10) – the construction and complexity of flavor was certainly a strength. I really liked the fact that I could go from first puff to nubbing it without ever having to bring out the lighter. I have noticed that this is not always the case, if you smoke them right when you get them. Let these cigars rest in the humidor for a month or two at least. The final plus of this blend: you get the full, rich flavor, but it's relatively light on the nicotine.

Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email:

Cigar Quote

In honor of the U.S. democratic process, the primaries and caucuses:

"Cigar smoking knows no politics. It's about the pursuit of pleasure, taste, and aroma."

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