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Spartan   

I treated myself tonight to a Cohiba EL 66' and it was quite enjoyable (draw was a little tight) what seemed somewhat odd was that the ash was grainy, something I don't ever recall experiencing with a Cuban cigar. Is this common or what gives?

post-3766-0-02656200-1379212573_thumb.jp

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I've always seen it as a sign of quality tobacco since its always on cigars that seem to impress me.... Just another fascinating detail to tantalize the senses....

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Colt45   

I'd rather not post the link here, but try googling cigar wrapper blisters-leaf grain, and check out what should be the first result. I don't know if it's gospel, but it seems a pretty good explanation. I know we've had at least one discussion on the topic here, but I can't recall it exactly.

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nino   

I'd rather not post the link here, but try googling cigar wrapper blisters-leaf grain, and check out what should be the first result. I don't know if it's gospel, but it seems a pretty good explanation. I know we've had at least one discussion on the topic here, but I can't recall it exactly.

Thanks for the link ( by googling ) - excellent "cigar science" article and spot on.

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I've seen that before, many of times. Is it only found on Cuban tobacco?

No, I've seen it on NCs mostly. I had it on a few Padrons 1926s that I thought were particularly harsh. Not sure if that is the reason though.

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CigKopf   

I just finished a Padron 1926 about an hour ago, and it had specks on the ash. Mine wasn't harsh, but very nice IMO. I've smoked two R&J short churchills from a box of 10 that I purchased and both had the specks on the ash. I loved the taste of those two smokes as well.

I can't remember exactly, but I thought I watched something where James Suckling said that the specks are nicotine and flavor, and its a sign of good quality tobacco. I could be complete mistaken, since its been so long that I saw the movie, but I think it was in the cuban cigar documentary that he made. If you have Amazon prime, its free to watch.

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Ryan   

I'm not sure about it being caused by presence of chemicals.

Potassium and magnesium are both required for plant growth but the amounts in the plant would be absolutely tiny. I don't think anything like the concentrated blobs that could form those spots in the ash like that.

I could well be wrong but those spots, to me, look like they would be from stomata in the wrapper leaf.

I'll add, I've seen these spots before on some cigars and, this is at least partially my own opinion, again I could well be wrong, that these spots are caused by stomata injury, specifically ozone-induced weather-flecks.

Certain hybrids of wrapper tobacco are more suseptible to weather-flecking than others. This is one of the reasons that the tobacco hybrids change in some years. Predictions of ozone levels, among other things, are attempted.

I'm not making this stuff up. Really.

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Colt45   

I could well be wrong but those spots, to me, look like they would be from stomata in the wrapper leaf.

Very interesting. What I've been able to find re stomata has been fairly esoteric - I'll continue to research, but I'd love to hear something more digestible to the layman.

And now I'm off to pen a screenplay idea - Stomata of The Leaf, The Last Scion.......

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Ryan   

All leaves have stomata, literally "mouths", they are what allow gas exchange in the plant, all plants.

Another thing I remember seeing is that stomata in tobacco leaves can remain open or closed during curing, depending on the curing temperature. So these spots, or their size/visibility could be related to the curing temperature of the wrapper leaf.

What I do know is that those spots in the ash, their size, pattern and density remind me very much of the size, pattern and density of stomata in the leaf.

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Dbone   

No, I've seen it on NCs mostly. I had it on a few Padrons 1926s that I thought were particularly harsh. Not sure if that is the reason though.

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All leaves have stomata, literally "mouths", they are what allow gas exchange in the plant, all plants.

Another thing I remember seeing is that stomata in tobacco leaves can remain open or closed during curing, depending on the curing temperature. So these spots, or their size/visibility could be related to the curing temperature of the wrapper leaf.

Yes but stomatas are invisible to the naked eye.

I've found this document about stomatas of the tobacco leaves:

http://www.google.fr....52288139,d.d2k

It clearly states that you need a photonic microscope for the observations; I fail to find a relation with the white spots on the ash, but I'm not a biologist…

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Philski   

I was told once that they are 'oil pockets', although I have nothing to support this!

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I was told once that they are 'oil pockets', although I have nothing to support this!

This.

I asked someone years back (can't remember if it was at a LCDH in Cuba or here in Canada), and the explanation that I got was a combination of the above. That, if a tobacco plant has good/lots of magnesium in the fertilyzer blend and/or that's in the soil, it allows a very elastic and flavour-rich leaf-filled plant to grow. Then, those leaves, if grown and cured correctly, get a mild "tooth" usually to the wrapper, which are slight build-ups of oils in the tobacco leaf. Sort of like nutritional reservoirs for the leaves and the veins in the plant while they're growing. If they're, the excess nutrients, not used up by the plant during the growing and drying and curing processes, then they ferment into oil pockets / reservoirs. Then, once smoked, if combustion and all other things are good, you get these little white spots on the ash, which is a sign of the oils in the wrapper leaf burning off.

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