MoyaRuiz Cigars has introduced their first regular production cigar since 2013, which saw the company’s first 2 cigars – La Jugada Prieto & Habano. Both cigars received significant attention from cigar media, including the #1 Cigar of the Year Award for the La Jugada Habano, here on Cigar Dojo. Now, MoyaRuiz is back with an all-new blend, this time releasing the cigar under the MoyaRuiz name.
And although the cigar isn’t part of the La Jugada portfolio, the inspiration of “the game” remains. For The Rake, the cigars have been inspired from brand creators Danny Moya & Nelson Ruiz’s love of poker.
As with all previous releases, the cigars are being made at the La Zona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. Four sizes are being produced at launch, including Two box-pressed vitolas.
The Rake Breakdown
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
- Binder: Undisclosed
- Filler: Nicaragua (including 4 ligero leaves, Jalapa & Estelí regions)
- Factory: La Zona Cigar Factory (Estelí, Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Release
- Vitola: Cut (5″ × 52)
- Price: $10
The Rake brings old school themes to the modern era. The cigar incorporates retro themes of backroom poker and underground speakeasies, using a speakeasy grill (peephole) for the band, with a modern, silver embossed The Rake logo showing through the opening. The boxes themselves are packaged in the traditional cabinet-style with bundles of 20 cigars and the box itself is modeled after an actual rake box, having slits on the lid for poker chips and cash.
For this review I’ll be smoking the robusto-sized Cut vitola (each size in the line uses poker/rake terms), a semi-box-pressed cigar that feels like a slightly miniaturized robusto, even though it’s technically 5″ × 52. The cigar’s wrapper is thick and veiny, with mottled spots of darkness throughout. The seams are visible and the thick triple cap is loosely fitted – it’s a gnarly wrapper, a true Broadleaf. The iron-colored band contrasts nicely with the shining “The Rake” lettering, interestingly though, there is no sign of MoyaRuiz on the band.
The cigar isn’t particularly pungent, having muted smells of earth, mineral, and a hint of spice. The prelight draw shows more earth, spice, and cedar wood. A medium-loose draw produces a large cloud of smoke, with a blast of flavor right away. On the palate there is a bitter coffee flavor, but this is overshadowed by a heavy-hitting spice in the retrohale. Hot chili powder and sharp, black pepper zing their way through the nostrils! This dominates throughout the first-third, though a base begins to form in the background, having wet earth and wood, tobacco, and toasted nuts.
While the intensity of the first-third was exhilarating, I found myself hoping the cigar wasn’t simply a spice bomb – the second-third answered my plea. Entering this third, the cigar quickly takes shape, rounding out and becoming much more balanced. A lively, acidic coffee note is followed by burnt, brown sugar-coated nuts, dough, and a hint of bitterness. Also, the cigar is a very long burner, giving the $10 price more weight, though it did require a touchup after it began canoeing around this point. No doubt it could use more acclimation in the humidor (samples were smoked only days off the truck), as the Broadleaf wrapper burned noticeably slower than the fillers.
Starting this smoke, I had pegged it as medium in body, medium+ in strength, and just under full in flavor. Now, The Rake has covertly increased in all categories! Remember, this cigar uses four ligero leaves, off-hand I can’t think of another cigar that does this. And while there was an initial spice burst at the front, it seamed relatively tame until now, where it’s actually making me sweat a little from the strength increase. Flavors are of light sweetness, mineral, earth, and an added savory meat oiliness. The smoke coats the roof of my mouth, with flavors that seam to weave in and out, showing interesting notes on each puff. As the cigar winds down, there are notes of sea salt, dark chocolate, warm & dark spices, campfire smoke, and a cold menthol in the nostrils.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Yes, most definitely, I’m a big MoyaRuiz fan and this one did not disappoint! I’d recommend buying 5-10 cigars to start. Also, I’d love to see this paired with a dark roast coffee, bold red wine, or imperial stout (barrel-aged coffee imperial stout for extra points).
- Full flavor
- Long burner
- Excellent balance of strength & flavor
- Conoeing and relights
- Occasional bitterness
- Slightly high on price point