La Jugada Habano

The La Jugada Habano is the second cigar to be released by Moya Ruiz Cigars.  Early in 2013, Moya Ruiz Cigars launched their first cigar – a  maduro called La Jugada Prieto.  At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, the company officially showcased the Habano.  Moya Ruiz Cigars is named for the two principal partners, Danny Moya and Nelson Ruiz.  According to the company the name “La Jugada” means “move” or “play”.  It stems from the two partners’ love of gams such as dominoes or poker.  The launch of the La Jugada Prieto was a solid start for a new company, however the La Jugada Habano took things to the next level.  This cigar is one outstanding cigar.

For both the La Jugada Habano and the La Jugada Prieto, Moya Ruiz is teaming up with Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory to make his cigar. The story behind the La Jugada Habano is that this cigar was actually made first, but a decision was made to release the Prieto first – with the Habano following up at the trade show.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at La Jugada Habano and see what this cigar is all about:

Blend Profile

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan (Double Binder)
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas Available

The La Jugada Habano is being launched in the same five sizes as the La Jugada Prieto:

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 smoked the Robusto size. The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is what I term a “medium plus” brown wrapper. Another way to describe it is that it has a light cocoa color. The wrapper itself has an oily complexion. There are some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams. The surface to the wrapper has a slightly bumpy feel.

The primary band features the text “LA JUGADA” in dark gray classic styled with gold trim 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 brown 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 “ HABANO” in gold font sitting on a almost greenish background – also with a pinstripe pattern. The trim of the band has gold and pale yellow trim.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting up my La Jugada Habano Robusto, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut. After removing the cap, I proceeded with the pre-light draw ritual. The dry draw had quite a bit going on. I detected both a raisin and hard candy sweetness. There was also a cedar / pepper combo providing some spice notes. Overall, this was an outstanding pre-light draw. It was now time to light up the La Jugada Habano and see what the smoking phase would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The start to the La Jugada Habano provided some of more of the raisin / hard candy-like sweetness along with some pepper to start. At the same time, I was picking some cocoa notes in the background. As the cigar moved through the first half, the cocoa became more of a smooth chocolate note and went on equal footing with the sweetness and pepper notes. The retro-hale was also reflecting the sweet-spice I was getting on the pallet.

During the second third, the chocolate and sweetness remained in the forefront while the pepper notes receded to a secondary note. The pepper provided a nice tingle on the tongue. During this stage, I also detected some nut notes in the background. Just past the midway point the sweetness joined the pepper and nut in the background and some earth notes joined the chocolate as a primary flavor.

By the last third, the pepper notes kicked back up again – joining the chocolate and earth notes. The sweetness diminished some more, but never fell out of the picture. The La Jugada Habano remained flavorful right until the close of the cigar experience. The resulting nub was slight soft, but cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

From a burn perspective, the La Jugada Habano performed quite well. The burn line was slightly curvy, but overall was good enough to remain relatively straight. There was no danger of this cigar tunneling or canoeing. The resulting ash was firm with a light silver color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.

Burn of the La Jugada Habano

The draw performed quite well too. The La Jugada Habano produced ample amounts of smoke, but I never felt this was a loose draw. It was quite enjoyable to smoke from start to finish.

Strength and Body

I had smoked this cigar around the time of the IPCPR Trade Show and I found it to be quite a powerhouse from a nicotine standpoint. The cigars I recently smoked mellowed slightly, but I still categorized this as a full strength cigar. As for the body, the flavors were robust and provided some nice weight on the pallet. Overall, I assessed the La Jugada Habano as being a full-bodied smoke. The strength and body countered each other very nicely as neither attribute overshadowed the other.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes the worst time to smoke a cigar is at the IPCPR Trade Show. As I mentioned, I smoked the cigar back during that time. I enjoyed it the cigar then, but when I sat down to smoke and review this cigar I was really able to absorb and appreciate everything this cigar had to offer. What I found now is a very flavorful and complex cigar. No doubt this cigar is a home run. Given this cigar is still a full cigar in terms of strength and body, I’d probably steer this toward the more experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, not only is this a box worthy cigar in my book, but it’s one I’d fight Chuck Norris for.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Full
Body: Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: 4.5 – Fight Chuck Norris for Them
Score: 94


Price: $7.50
Source: Cigars provided by Moya Ruiz Cigars (*)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 87
Stogie Feed: La Jugada Habano Robusto by Moya Ruiz Cigars

* The cigar for this assessment was given to Cigar Coop by Moya Ruiz Cigars. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but this does not influence the review.