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Cigar ash | The Cigar Holder London

The black, grey and white colour of cigar ash has been a hot topic on cigars. Whatever I have read or any explanations are offered for the different colours, I notice there is one thing in common: the writer offers no proof of what he says.

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Few facts..

Try this. Torch the black/grey ashes. They become white. The black/grey ashes are due to incomplete combustion. The black particles might be partially burnt organic molecules, because they are too large to be combustible.

A white ash means near complete combustion. A white ash means the cigar burns better. This might be a result of the breaking down of complex molecules, by the fermentation process, or the breaking down of tannin long-chained polymers with age.

A whiter ash offers a plausible explanation as to why cigars get stronger in taste in the first few years. Substances too complicated to burn remain in the ash as black particles. Whit time, these substances become combustible and the cigar becomes stronger. This happens most commonly with cigars which have a bitter or harsh green taste when new.

Please note that a white ash may be skin deep. The wrapper ash is white, but what’s inside is still grey. Look vertically at the foot of the cigar and you will see clearly.

The ash of a cigar nearly always begins to turn white by 5 to 6 years of age. By 30 years old the ash of most cigars has become snow white.

It is interesting that some young cigars have white ash. A young cigar with white ash nearly always tastes smooth. The meaning of whiter ash means better complete combustion. It is no way related to the long term aging process, in which complex mysterious chemical reactions take place and are practically not understood.

A cigar in a box in which others have a white ash, but which has a grey ash in particular could mean two things.

The humidity of that particular cigar when smoked may be not optimal, either too dry or too moist, which hinders proper combustion.

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