MoyaRuiz Cigars The Rake
While this year’s IPCPR show is going off in New Orleans, due to work obligations I am stuck here in El Paso, at home, firing up a MoyaRuiz The Rake paired with a bottle of Trappistes Rochefort 10.
The Good Stuff:
MoyaRuiz Cigars is no stranger to our blog. We have reviewed most of their releases and they have crept their way into each of our top 10 lists every year since the company had started. Their newest release, The Rake, is the third full production release we’ve seen from the company, and their first Connecticut Broadleaf blend. The Rake is inspired by backroom poker and the box is even fully-functional featuring slots for poker chips and cash in the lid. As stated, The Rake carries a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, and undisclosed binder, and four ligero filler leafs, two from the Jalapa, and two from the Esteli regions of Nicaragua. The Rake comes in four sizes: The Cut (5 x 52 box-pressed). The Fix (5 5/8 x 46 box-pressed), The Take (6 x 52), and the Vig (6 x 60). All sizes come packaged in boxes of 20 and run between $9.50 and $11.75 a stick. Shout out to MoyaRuiz for sending these samples our way.
Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan Ligero from Jalapa and Esteli
Pairing: Trappistes Rochefort 10 (Belgian Quad 11.3% ABV)
The Rake starts off with a deep, dark brown wrapper coated in darker splotches as well as a few lighter orange-tinted areas. The wrapper is pretty rugged as it carries a very toothy texture with a good amount of oil, and a few medium sized veins. The wrapper feels very dense, and very hard while the cigar itself is very tightly packed with some softer areas around the cap and foot. As I stated before, this format as well as the Fix showcase a very smooth and round soft box press. The Rake is polished off with a round double cap, and a simple grey concrete looking band with the words “The Rake” printed in front in silver metallic ink.
The wrapper on MoyaRuiz’s The Rake gives off a very musky, spice laced aroma while the foot of the cigar isn’t as bold as it carries some sweetness, and lots of pepper. The cap cut like butter using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces a whole mess of spice and pepper coating lots of coffee and cocoa.
The first few puffs of MoyaRuiz’s The Rake lead with some great black pepper (not nearly as bold as I was expecting), bold spice, dark bittersweet chocolate, and espresso with a dash of sweetness. The draw is flawless pumping out a ton of thick, white smoke with each little puff while the cigar releases almost no stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. I should mention that the soft box-press is incredibly comfortable both in my hand and mouth. The burn line is a bit wavy, but not concerning while it leaves behind a compacted trail of white and light gray ash which held on for a inch before giving way.
A really bold, really flavorful, really badass musky/leathery flavor has started rocking the flavor profile into the second third of The Rake. Behind the leather and musk is some strong dark chocolate, espresso, spice, and sweetness with a great prune mixed in there at times. The retrohale coats my nasal passage with way more pepper than I was expecting so I don’t find myself utilizing that very often. The burn line is still a bit wavy, but I haven’t had to touch it up at all so I’m not complaining. I close out the second third with only a very slight nicotine kick.
Into the final third of The Rake pretty much everything ramped up. The flavors are bold, leading with the musk and leather with some great dark chocolate, coffee, spice, and sweetness along with some great fruit flavors. The strength has definitely jumped up a notch as well. There was a bit of harshness in the first sample I smoked, but that was more than likely due to how fast I was smoking the cigar. With a Ligero packed cigar such as this one, you have to pace yourself. Ligero burns much hotter and faster than most other tobaccos so it tends to create some harshness if you speed for it. In the case of this review sample, I took my time and ended up with absolutely no harshness or extra heat. While The Rake burned a bit wacky all the way through (again, probably due to the amount of Ligero packed in it), I never once had to reach for my torch to relight or touch up the burn line. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to smoke this bad boy down to the nub and it left me with a nice little nicotine kick.
MoyaRuiz has created some of my favorite cigars the past few years and continues on a hot streak with The Rake. The Rake is decently complex, bold, strong, and widely available. I do think it was a bit too bold for my liking, but that doesn’t take much away from the great flavor profile. This is a perfect cigar for novices to test out to see if full strength, premium cigars are their forte while it’s a great cigar for full-strength seasoned cigar smokers. This is something I’d keep around for the late-night, after dinner times when I am craving something big and bold, but I don’t see it earning a spot in my regular rotation.
The Trappistes Rochefort 10 is a 11.3% ABV Quad ale brewed at the Brasserie de Rochefort in Belgium. The Trappistes Rochefort 10 leads with fruit, caramel, malt, and vinegar with a medium mouthfeel before finishing with some strong spice, fruit, and booze with a spicy aftertaste. The spice, malt and fruit paired absolutely wonderful with the present flavors in The Rake while the full-bodied beer kept up with the very bold cigar. This cigar would also paired wonderfully with a tawny port, or just about any bold Belgian quad or dubbel.