La Jugada Claro by MoyaRuiz Cigars | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 50 No. 4
Body: Mild/Medium
Price: $8.49
Humidor Time: 5 weeks
Number of cigars smoked prior to review: 0

1a

2a

Today we take a look at the La Jugada Claro by MoyaRuiz Cigars.
Thanks to Jeremy S. for the sticks.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: Erik Espinosa’s La Zona, Esteli, Nicaragua
Regular production.
Released July, 2016.

SIZES AND PRICING (All Prices are MSRP):
6.5 x 48 No.1 Toro $9.39
5.5 x 50 No.4 Robusto $8.49
6.125 x 58 No.8 Gordo $10.49
Online prices are about $1.50 cheaper.

DESCRIPTION:
This is not a pretty cigar. A lot of veins interrupt the very smooth silky wrapper.
The wrapper is a semi-oily caramel color. The triple cap has a somewhat flat head.
Both sticks have several soft spots up and down the cigar. One cigar has a plug in the bottom third.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweet caramel, creaminess, chocolate, floral notes, cedar, melon, lemon zest, and earthleatherwood.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell the same as above with the addition of light spice.
The cold draw presents flavors of white chocolate, espresso, asparagus, butter cookies, cedar, cinnamon, nuts, and lemon zest.

FIRST THIRD:
I liked the La Jugada Prieto. I loved the La Jugada Habano. But the limited productions of Pickle Juice, The Rake, and Chinese Finger Trap left me disappointed. At the start of the Moya Ruiz team’s attempt at producing cigars, Erik Espinosa helped them with the blends. It seems that during the blending of the limited production blends, Espinosa left the boys on their own; or was not a big factor in the blending process.

Since they are using the La Jugada name, I have high hopes that the cigar is excellent.
First puffs are strong with red pepper. The draw is perfect.
Immediately, flavors begin to emerge: Creaminess, fruit, salted nuts, ginger, cinnamon, café au lait, milk chocolate.
Strength is mild/medium.

Transitions waste no time kicking into action. Flavors are flying all over the place like flies circle a dead possum.
With only half an inch in, I am impressed.
Complexity shows its puss.

I get a nice surprise with a pruney Hamantaschen flavor.
Because the cigar doesn’t feel fully packed, it appears to be burning more quickly than what I would prefer.
The char line is a long way from being crisp.

3a

Flavors are good. I usually don’t care for mild bodied blends. The only one I can think of that I really dig is the My Father Connecticut. And while not as good as the My Father, The La Jugada Claro is holding its own.

The very spicy pepper element provides a false sense that the cigar is stronger than it really is.
Malts appear. Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) show up. The blend is very nutty. The chocolate and coffee elements move to the back of the pack. Every couple of minutes, new flavors seem to join the band. And the existing flavors establish themselves as solid entries to the blend.

I’m a fan of the La Jugada line and it appears that the Claro makes a fine addition. I think the Moya Ruiz boys still need time in developing special limited edition blends. I sometimes hallucinate, while asleep, watching hundreds of Pickle Juice cigars marching towards me and I can’t run away.

As I near the second third, flavors take off. The creaminess is big time. Mild chocolate and strong coffee return. The malts coat the flavors like a warm blankey.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is only 20 minutes. Most likely due to being under filled.

The La Jugada Claro is a real treat. I was concerned about this blend based on the limited edition blends but my fears are waylaid. MoyaRuiz keeps the La Jugada name proud and pristine.

The red pepper makes a massive surge causing my eyes to water and my nose to run. Wow.
The flavors are so complex I find it difficult to name them. It is a beautiful mish mosh of delectable ingredients.
I must now reassess my opinion that the My Father Connecticut is a better cigar.

4a

I’m a little bummed that the stick is burning so quickly. These are the types of flavors you want to savor and enjoy for as long as possible. At this rate, the cigar won’t last an hour.

Creaminess, malts, nuts, fruit, and caramel run the marathon in record speed. These components make the La Jugada Claro a primo blend.

After only minutes after starting the second third, I am dangerously close to the halfway point. Smoke time is 26 minutes.
As good as this cigar is I give pause as to whether I would buy more. The price point is spot on for this quality. Way ahead of those $15-$20 cigars I reviewed. But the La Jugada Claro is burning like a cigarette.

5a

The char line has finally found some grounding and maintains an even keel.
I friggin love this blend.
I check Cbid and shit out of luck. Not a single La Jugada for auction. But I’d keep an eye out.
Strength is a solid medium body.

The La Jugada Claro is so damn complex that the sum of its parts is more important than individual flavors. This is rare.
OK. This cigar is better than the great blend of My Father Connecticut.

Nicotine kicks in. My world becomes hazy.

The La Jugada Claro has become very soft. The draw isn’t as good as it was earlier.
Even though the cigar is burning, I must torch the foot to kick start it. I get a huge whoosh of pepper and a multitude of wonderful flavors.

The malts and the caramel are soaring.
The nicotine is affecting my ability to type.

The nicotine v. strength is lopsided. I expect a full body cigar to have this amount of Vitamin N but not a mild/medium blend.
I have to walk it off.

Despite earlier problems of the burn being too fast; this portion of the cigar slows down to acceptable expectations.
Right now the flavor profile is a kitchen sink blend. The list of flavors is robust and delicious.

I have a couple La Jugada Habanos simmering. The Habano is my fave cigar blend from MoyaRuiz. The La Jugada Claro is giving it a run for its money.
Too bad though…the under filled stick will have an effect on my rating. It could have been in the low 90’s…but now…we shall see how the cigar finishes.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is 40 minutes.
Haven’t had to tweak the char line for some time now. The construction is solid.

Once again, I must rant about how those really expensive cigars don’t necessarily mean great cigar. Here, the $8 cigar is better than my recently reviewed overpriced cigars.
The blend is smooth as silk. The red pepper will not relent. It is powerful and tasty. Yet it doesn’t overshadow the flavor profile.

6a

Due to being under filled, the stick needs frequent re-lights.
With 1-1/2” to go, the flavors go from bold to slightly flat. I’m confused. I should be hitting the sweet spot.
My brain begins to shut down from the dose of nicotine.

A new sweetness appears. The earlier described flavors are all there but faint.

Normally, I would recommend this cigar for newbies due to the mild strength. But the nicotine is so overwhelming, I rescind that recommendation. I’m now swimming in a sea of swarming simbas.
The La Jugada Claro needs a major char line tune up.

An inch to go and the flavor profile hits the sweet spot.
I am conflicted. I love the blend’s flavors but the nicotine is killing me. I don’t think I can continue.
I hope that I got a bum stick. Under filling the cigar is a serious issue. So here is my recommendation…this is a highly flavorful blend so if I were you, I’d snag a couple of singles or a 5 pack and you can determine your best plan of action.
Final smoke time is 55 minutes.

RATING: 88

Rant A-43.5³:
I have curly hair. My afro, back in the 70’s, was au natural. I was accused of having a perm so often that I was able to say the four word question (Is that a perm?) at the same time the person asking; was saying it. Trust me, it was real and what a pain in the ass to maintain it. (I did have that cool Afro-American black pick that had a handle with a balled up black power fist. I sometimes wore it when we did our gigs. Brits had not seen this kind of pick before so it was a trip to them.

Now the top of my pate is disappearing. Quickly accelerating since I became ill. Stress, most assuredly. If I stick a pick into my scalp now, someone will think it’s a nail without a lighter.
I’ve become a hermit crab. Errands now and then…but other than that, I don’t leave home, sweet, home.
Therefore, I see no need to primp my hair…or is it pimp my hair?

I wanted my long hair cut because it was getting out of hand…..I have no idea how Greg Allman puts up with it….
I went to a salon that was real hoity toity; maybe a couple months ago. I brought a photo of Jeff Bridges with a perfectly layered hair style. That’s what I wanted on the sides and back. Up top? A baby Jesus miracle would be required.

The bitch did a half assed job that I couldn’t see while it was being cut. But I did notice the next day when I looked in the mirror. Egads! Yikes! Godfrey Daniel!

I tried to make it look similar to the style the bitch cut, but I have no hair skills. So fuck it. I now just wash my hair, add a little dab’ll-do-ya organic coconut oil to give it some sheen, and then let it dry naturally.

I look like a hood from a 1972 TV detective series. Straight back, receding forehead, long curly hair in the back; a little shiny…Does that make me look like Weird Al Yankovic? Shit. Piss. Cunt!

I did the dumb ass Yelp search. “Top 10 Salons of Fabulous Milwaukee, Wisconsin.” I picked one that had a lot of great reviews. I booked an appointment and returned from my cut an hour ago.
My new cutter told me that the “bitch” that tried to make me look like Jeff Bridges didn’t know what she was doing (Don’t they all say that?).

So she gave me a bona fide layered haircut. (You’re thinking….how can I be getting a boutique salon cut while bitching about being broke? I only get my hair cut in 10-11 month cycles, that’s how. $40 plus a jism tip.

Fuck this getting older shit. For the longest time you say to everyone, yeah I am (fill in the decrepit age) but I feel like I’m 35. And you look good, too. People respond with “You look much younger.”

Then, for no earthly reason….you don’t look so good. I used to lie about my age and tell people I was 76. They just nodded. I don’t do that anymore. I don’t think I’m much of a catch any longer.
So you are glad you don’t have to die alone because you were a needy bitch and got married over 30 years ago. And you put up with each other and never get too mean; and now you get to die with a friend instead of alone. Whew.

I now look “musician cool.” Fuckin’ A, I do. Except I’m almost 70 years old.

Naturally, my new hair style is so fragile that if an 8mph, or higher, breeze kicks up, I will look like Flock of Seagulls.

I had my adventure of the day…maybe even the week. And I got a story out of it. Very cool.

Now that I don’t drive so much, I realize how numb I became to the crazies on the roads and sidewalks. It stands out now. Just an observation. Continue.

You will read this ditty, tomorrow, in my La Jugada Claro review.
By the time I begin to write, I will know if my haircut is damn fine and resilient….or I look like I need to be embalmed.
Will let you know tomorrow.
Phil

Hair notes: It doesn’t look too bad after sleeping on it and with a CPAP mask attached to my head. Although, I do look a little like Albert Einstein.
I will allow it a week to settle down and then I might do a pic of myself for my FB page.

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1 reply

  1. Hard to be getting old. I just wash mine and tie it back and let it air dry. Haircut? Haven’t had one since 93. Doesn’t grow much longer than about a foot but it still has original color even if up top it’s all gone. Wear hats…no one knows I think.

    Could just be I’m fooling myself. Had extremely curly hair when younger like you
    Remember one time someone yelled out “it’s Kramer! ” geez. .