The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Undisclosed
Filler: Nicaraguan – Features 4 ligero leaves (two of Jalapa – two of Estelí)
Size: 5 x 52 “Cut-Box Pressed”
Body: Full
Price: $10.25 MSRP



Today we take a look at The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars.
A gift sent to me from an anonymous reader. Thank you, sir.

Of course, the factory is Erik Espinosa’s La Zona in Esteli. As are all of the MoyaRuiz blends are produced.
This blend marks the third regular production cigar for Danny and Nelson.

They have another novelty item that hit the shelves recently: Chinese Finger Trap. Their other novelty cigar was the NunChuck. Seems Danny and Nelson are falling into the crazy presentation trap. I received a 5 pack in the mail and have smoked two of the cigars. This review will take me off the MoyaRuiz Christmas list.

From the MoyaRuiz web site:
“The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars continues where La Jugada left off, incorporating a “game-inspired” backstory. For this release, the cigar focuses on a “backroom poker” atmosphere; going so far as to turn the cigar’s packaging into a fully-functional rake box, complete with slots for poker chips and cash on the box’s lid.

“But the packaging is just for starters, the real action is inside the box! The Rake cigars have been crafted at the burgeoning La Zona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The Rake uses a thick Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper over Nicaraguan fillers, including not 1, but 4 ligero leaves! This is where the blend really takes on a unique identity, incorporating 2 Jalapa ligero leaves, which are sweet in nature, and 2 Estelí ligero leaves, which are full and powerful. From this unique blend, the cigars take on a rich complexity, full in flavor, with a steady evolution that keeps you engaged at each turn!”

The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars is a very rustic cigar. Blotching, discoloration, sloppy seams, lots of veins, sloppy triple caps, and some giant tree trunk veins that would make Frankenstein’s monster happy.
The wrapper is a dark coffee bean color with a bit of oiliness. The wrapper is very smooth to the touch.
The packing of the tobacco is inconsistent. I find several soft spots.


“Fix” Corona 5.625 × 46 Box Press $9.50 MSRP
“Cut” Robusto 5 × 52 Box Press $10.25 MSRP
“Take” Toro 6 × 52 $10.95 MSRP
“Vig” Gordo 6 × 60 $11.75 MSRP

The shaft smells of dark chocolate, spice, earth notes, and cedar.
The clipped cap and foot presents aromas of unsweetened baking cocoa, spice, sweetness, fruit, cedar, and black raisins.
The cold draw presents flavors of spice, allspice, chocolate, and strong cedar.

The draw is a bit tight but a little massage should cure that.
First up is some potent red pepper. Followed by coffee and cocoa. The raisin aroma translates to a flavor. As well as an elusive fruity touch. Like me.

Right away, I’m having a char line issue and quickly correct it. I had the same issue with the two previous Rakes I smoked.
Strength is immediately medium/full body.


Creaminess enters the picture; accentuating the coffee element. Some herbal notes appear. And all of this is happening in the first half inch.

So far, so good. I was plagued by the cigar getting very hot and unsmokeable in my last two ventures with The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars. Maybe this being the first cigar of the day, my luck will change.
The burn issue seems to be under control.

Here they are: Chocolate, spice, creaminess, coffee, fruit, raisin, cedar, herbal notes, and earthy notes. And the newly added roasted cashew flavor.

The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars is a slow roll. Taking its time. I expect that from a double digit priced cigar.
$7.00-$8.00 was the pinnacle for good cigars a while back. Now, $10.00 seems to be the norm for a decent cigar. And after that, they just get crazy insane.


With only 1” smoked, The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars is a nice cigar but nothing special. I was very impressed with the La Jugada Habano. Which remains my favorite blend from MoyaRuiz. The Nunchuck came out and was quickly designated a very strong cigar. Well, with the public demanding stronger and stronger cigars, the Nunchuck seemed to fall back into the medium/full category compared to the new stuff.

BTW- I’ve had these cigars in my humidor for nearly 3 weeks. So they should be good to go for a review. The New Breed have that touch that makes a cigar blossom much quicker than the Old School brands like CAO, Patel, Gurkha, etc.

Smoke time is 18 minutes.
I’m not that impressed with The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars. It’s OK. But it isn’t bowling me over. Every other reviewer seems to fawn over it and I don’t get it. Did they get a different batch than I did?

This cigar blend can be matched by dozens of cigars from “The Katman’s List of 147 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$6.50 Range.”


In fact, as I write this some of the flavors diminish. There is no complexity yet. The balance is fairly good. But the finish is short. But at least, the cigar is not getting hot on me like the other two did.
Flavors perk up a bit at the 25 minute mark. The most prominent flavors are spice, creaminess, chocolate, and coffee. The rest of the list has diminished considerably.

There is a slight bitterness in the background.

I think that The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars is a backwards step for Danny and Nelson. The Nunchuck was better. And both La Jugada blends were better. They all much more character. I think they settled when making a decision if the cigar blend was what they wanted.

Now, I’m anxious to try the Chinese Finger Trap. I only have one so I haven’t tried it yet. I may review it tomorrow.
There is a small flavor burst. But it is from the same four flavors. The creaminess seems to rule the day.

I suppose that the two previous excursions with this blend may have been too early for the cigar. Don’t know.


Today is Charlotte’s last day at her current job. Everyone at the Brookfield Senior Facility all love her because Charlotte always goes above and beyond. She told me there were a lot of tears yesterday. And today, they are throwing her a little going away party. I’m so happy she is getting away from that place. It was killing her physically. I wish her nothing but good things at Buddy Squirrel.

Back to The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars.
I’m disappointed that there is no complexity. The balance is off kilter. And the finish remains only so-so. And the burn issues return.

Smoke time is 35 minutes.
I had a very close relationship with Danny and Nelson. I could have either skewed the review and fawned over it. Or I could tell the truth. Even with the consequences of losing a couple of friends. My duty is to you, dear readers.

Spiciness now leads the pack with creaminess, cocoa, coffee, nuts, and raisins following up.
I hope that more humidor time will bring about some complexity and a better flavor profile.
Strength remains at medium/full.


The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars is actually becoming boring. Flavors are timid, pale, and unadventurous. And I am constantly adjusting the burn line so it doesn’t go on a rampage.

This review is a bummer. I had hoped for better. I’m a big fan of MoyaRuiz Cigars.
I’m still waiting for flavors to become bold and exciting.
A new flavor: Beef jerky. Nice.
The spiciness still leads the pack.


Nicotine rears its ugly head. And The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars hits full body.
I love to fawn over a cigar even if it makes me look ridiculous. I don’t like reviewing a cigar that lets me down.
I reviewed the new Alec Bradley Sanctum back in June before it hit the shelves. A fantastic cigar for only $7.25. I will get to the price point in a bit.

Smoke time is 50 minutes.
The upside is that this stick didn’t follow suit with the two previous cigars and doesn’t become too hot to smoke.
The spiciness is on the wane. Now the main ingredient is nicotine.

One of the major things missing is malt. Malt has a major influence on cigar blends. Its presence accentuates the other flavors.
Nearly all the flavors have become so mild that the only thing left is a resurgence of spice and the beef jerky flavors. There is a tiny bit of creaminess left.

Now I’m very wary of the Chinese Finger Trap. I’m reticent about reviewing it tomorrow because I don’t want to do two negative reviews in a row.


A bit of salty pretzel appears.
I’m running out of things to say about The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars.
The cigar finishes without a flourish. No complexity. And the balance and finish leave me unimpressed.
Final smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.


$10.00-$12.00 for this blend is way out of touch. Giving it the benefit of the doubt and allowing it more humi time still doesn’t justify this price. At best, this should be a $7.00 stick.
Every online store carries them. I check Small Batch Cigars and they don’t carry them. But Cigar Federation carries them but sells them at retail pricing. But if you are a member, you can get that 10% discount. Making it a $9.45 stick. Still too much.

I went into this review thinking I would end up putting it down early based on my earlier experience with two cigars that I smoked.
Instead, there was no heat but I discovered that the flavor profile was sorely in need of some oomph and zestiness.
The constant need for burn line touch ups was a constant struggle.
The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars is definitely a backwards step for MoyaRuiz. I read the other reviews and I am confused. Actually, I’m confused all the time.
I expected a lot more from Danny and Nelson.
I just can’t recommend this cigar.


And now for something completely different:
Able Steel….The two scariest words in the English language.

We moved to Phoenix in 1991 when the California recession caused everyone in construction to lose their jobs. Charlotte has family there. And I got an offer from a company that I had worked with on a joint venture.

We had a 5 year old daughter and we decided that Charlotte would stay home the first 5 years so Katie always had a mother at home. Of course, it killed us financially regardless of how well I was paid. So lounging about was not a consideration. I needed a job immediately. So off to Arizona we went. We left all of our friends and had to start fresh.

I got a gig as a senior project manager at Able Steel in Mesa, AZ.
Horrible, horrible place. The politics of dancing ran amok.

I had been there almost a year when they hired an assistant for us 4 PM’s. A nice looking 32 year old slut. A married slut.
She made it her sworn duty to undermine me and take my job. Even though she knew nothing about structural steel fabrication and erection.

One day, she told me she wanted to become a PM. I suppressed a snigger and asked how she was going to do that knowing nothing about steel?
I asked what she would do if asked to go out to the field because there was a problem that needed to be solved? And fix it so the ironworkers could go back to work instead of just standing there picking their noses.

She told me that she would write the problem down and then tell the general contractor she would get back to him.
Then..I laughed out loud.
“You can’t do that. You have to solve the problem right there and then. Which may require you to use your geometry and trigonometry skills. Which you have none of.”
She walked away without answering.

We had a Nazi general manager. He hated Jews. My wife cleaned his expensive house in Scottsdale and reported back that his library was full of pro-Nazi books.

Well..this chick started blowing this guy. She swayed him into ditching me and she succeeded in replacing me.
I was given some bullshit reason for being removed and that he was putting me in the drafting department. I was a steel detailer when I started in the business so this was no problem. But he also took some money away. That hurt.

What was I going to do? I had a non-working wife and a child to support in a strange land in which I knew no one and had no connections. It was so humiliating. And of course, I was treated like a pariah by my work compadres. The GM had them convinced I was doing a bad job when just the opposite was the truth.
So, tail tucked between my legs, I moved to drafting.

I did this for 6 months. I was very good at my job. Drafting, the old way with a board and a pencil, was very relaxing. I loved detailing and I love math. And the other 6 draftsmen were good guys. No politics there.

But this chick? She was a fucking disaster. Everything she touched; she fucked up. It got worse and worse. She knew jack shit but she was sucking the knob of the GM.
Finally, there were so many complaints that the GM had to fire her.

She didn’t get it. She thought she was doing fine while costing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in mistakes. One fuck up was that she sent 50 tons of steel to the jobsite in L.A. before the field was ready for it. And there was only a tiny lay down area due to the location of the site. They had to bring it all back to the shop.

She had zero math skills. And one thing a PM had to do when a problem occurred was do the math to figure out how to fix it…meaning if something didn’t fit. She was lost when this happened.

She organized a going away party for herself at a nearby bar. One guy showed up. An iron worker who thought the drinks were on the house. No one else showed up.

Then I was taken out to lunch by my Nazi GM who fed me more bullshit and asked me to come back to project managing.
He never apologized but he complimented me on not making a fuss over my demotion.
My boss in drafting was beside himself because he was losing me. And he got into a big argument with the GM. He lost. And I think I won.

This is why I never liked the construction industry. Every job I went to had a high level of nasty assholes who finger pointed, spread rumors, blamed, etc. All to make themselves look good and others look bad. I just don’t understand that mind set.

I was a very easy going guy and never engaged in that behavior. It is a waste of energy and time. And if you start lying, you begin to forget your lies.
Respect is everything in any business.

I could write a small book about the injustices I was dealt. Especially, anti-Semitism. Not too many Jews in construction.
So when I was forced out of my last, and final, job in 2009, I was happy to some degree. I was 59 and the recession had dealt me another bad hand.

No one wanted me because I made too much dough and I was too old. So they hired 25 year olds who would work for $25K per year and then cost the company several hundred thousands of dollars in mistakes.

Once I gave in and realized I was done, I was really relieved. No more office bullshit.

And that last job I had? I had caught the Operations Manager in a huge lie and he had caused a big job to go south before I even started there. I was the 5th project manager on that project in Sacramento.
When I was told to dig to find the root of the problems, I found his emails that put the entire blame on him. I made the mistake of telling him this. The next week, I was gone.

I’m sure many of you have gone through the same bullshit. Working in an office is the worst. So many terrible and evil people.
The funny thing is that I regularly get emails from head hunters who say they have the perfect job for me. I guess the thousands of resumes I sent out are still floating around. Protection Status


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2 replies

  1. First off, good to have you back reviewing and telly stories. I know where you are coming from re: construction politics. I was a rebar detailer in the early 70’s. I thought it was funny when you said, “…Even though she knew nothing about structural steel fabrication and erection” and later stated that she knew about erections, up close and personal.

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