La Jugada Prieto by Moya Ruiz Cigars

The La Jugada Prieto is one of two cigars from Moya Ruiz Cigars.  Moya Ruiz Cigars is a new cigar company started by Danny Moya and Nelson Ruiz.  According to the company the name “La Jugada “means “move” or “play”.  It stems from the owners love of games such as dominoes or poker.  “Prieto” is often a term that refers to something “dark” and in this case the La Jugada Prieto is a beautiful dark maduro cigar.  To make their cigar, Moya Ruiz has collaborated with Erik Espinosa and his La Zona factory in Nicaragua.  The cigars have started to make their way to various retailers.  I recently had an opportunity to smoke several of these cigars.  Overall I have found to this be an excellent maduro blend – and one that can appeal to a wide range of cigar enthusiasts.

As mentioned there are two cigars made by Moya Ruiz Cigars.  The other cigar is a habano wrapper version of the La Jugada blend.  The story is that it was actually the La Jugada Habano that was made first, but a decision was made to release the Prieto first.  The La Jugada Habano was recently just launched at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show.

Without further ado, let’s explore the La Jugada Prieto some more and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

For this blend, Moya Ruiz uses a San Andres maduro wrapper which gives this cigar its dark color.  It’s a type of wrapper that the folks of La Zona are familiar with as several cigars with a San Andres wrapper come out of that factory.

Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

The La Jugada Prieto comes is currently available in five sizes:

Robusto: 5 x 52
Belicoso: 6 1/8 x 52
Toro: 6 x 52
Doble Corona: 7 1/2 x 49
Ancho 6 x 60


For this cigar experience, I opted to smoke the Robusto vitola.  The San Andres wrapper has a rich coffee bean color that gives this cigar its “Prieto” look.  The wrapper has somewhat of an oily complexion  The wrapper seams are somewhat hidden from the wrapper’s dark color.  There are also a couple of visible veins on the wrapper.

There are two bands on the La Jugada Prieto.  The primary band features the text “LA JUGADA” in a gray-colored classic styled font sitting on a pale yellow background.  That text also has a gold trim around it.  There are five gold medallions below the text.  Below the medallions is a black ribbon with the text “ESTELI, NICARAGUA” in a light colored font.  On the left side of the ribbon is the text “DM” and on the right side is the text “NR” – the initials of the company founders. The remainder of the yellow field has gold and green adornments. Surrounding the band is almost a dark green pattern with a pinstripe effect.   Below the pale yellow field is the text “PRIETO” in gold font sitting on a almost a blackish background – also with a pinstripe pattern.  The trim of the band has gold and pale yellow trim.

There is also a band on the footer that says “LA ZONA” in gold font with white trim. Above the text is “HECHO EN” which is in a smaller white font.  The remainder of the band has the dark green background with the pinstriping effect.  There is also gold and pale yellow trim on that band.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my smoke of the La Jugada Prieto, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. I then proceeded to begin the pre-light draw ritual.  The flavors on the dry draw definitely had a “chewy” maduro feel to it.  As for the flavor notes, I got a combination of leather, chocolate sweetness, coffee, and some floral spice.  Overall, I considered this a solid pre-light draw flavor profile.  At this point, I removed the footer band and proceeded to light up my La Jugada Prieto and see what the flavor profile would have in store.

Flavor Profile

I didn’t find the La Jugada Prieto as a cigar that was going to have a lot of flavor transitions, but I did this cigar delivered excellent flavor from start to finish.

The start to the cigar had a mix of leather, mocha, and pepper spice.  The spice was something that could be detected on the retro-hale early on, and this would remain throughout throughout the cigar experience.  The leather notes took over quickly as a primary flavor.  The pepper was a close secondary note.  The mocha diminished further in the background.  On the after-draw, I also detected some citrus notes.  At times the citrus was a little more prominent than other times, but most of the time I found the citrus subtle – adding the right amount of sweetness.

As the cigar experience progressed through the first half, the leather notes took on more of an earthy quality.  At times the pepper, mocha, and citrus notes would make their way toward the forefront.  In the second half, the spice joined the earth notes in the forefront.  The citrus notes still surfaced from time to time.  The mocha became less of a factor toward the end.  The flavor profile remained until the end.  There was no harshness at the end the cigar.  The cigar consistently finished with a firm and cool nub each time I smoked it.

Burn and Draw

The La Jugada Prieto is a cigar of excellent construction and this is reflected in the attributes of burn and draw.  The burn line of the Prieto consistently burned straight requiring minimal touch-ups.  The resulting ash had a nice salt and pepper color.  The ash was pretty much on the firm side on each of the times I smoked the Prieto, but from time to time there was a little bit of flaking.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

The draw was outstanding on the La Jugada Prieto. It was not too tight and not too loose.  Overall, this cigar was low maintenance to puff on to get the most out of the cigar experience.

Stength and Body

From a strength perspective, the La Jugada Prieto is not going to be a cigar that is going to overwhelm you with nicotine.  I assessed the Prieto to be a medium strength cigar.  As for the body, the flavors are also not going to overwhelm you.  They deliver the right amount of depth in terms of the flavor profile.  I assessed this cigar to also be a medium-bodied cigar.  Overall, this is a well-balanced maduro when it comes to its strength and body.

Final Thoughts

The La Jugada Prieto is a very good first effort by newcomer Moya Ruiz Cigars.  This is a very good medium strength, medium-bodied cigar.  The San Andres maduro wrapper used on this blend is not going to overpower this cigar, but instead is going to shape the flavor profile nicely.  This isn’t going to be a sharp, pungent maduro.  Instead this blend allows all of the tobacco flavors to shine.  This is definitely a cigar I would recommend to a new cigar enthusiast looking to smoke a maduro that is not overpowering.  Experienced cigar enthusiasts looking for a well-balanced maduro in the medium / medium range will really appreciate this cigar.  As for myself, this is a cigar I can see going into my rotation.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 91
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Smoke Inn in West Palm Beach, Florida.