The Rake “Cut” by Moya Ruiz Cigars

The Rake by MoyaRuiz Cigars is the company’s third regular production cigar. The cigar is scheduled to ship to retailers July 6th, 2015 with a soft launch to three retailers beginning on June 27th. With The Rake, the company introduces its first Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper cigar to its portfolio. The name of the cigar was inspired by the theme of gaming (Poker, Dominoes, etc) – something that has been seen across the MoyaRuiz portfolio. With the name “Rake”, it is a term used to describe the fee taken by a card room for a poker game. On the eve of The Rake making its national debut, we take a look at this cigar in the Cut (Box Pressed Robusto) size. MoyaRuiz has been producing some excellent cigars. The Rake continues the pattern of excellence established by this company as this is one very enjoyable and complex cigar.

The name MoyaRuiz Cigars is derived from its principal owners, Danny Moya and Nelson Ruiz. Early in 2013, the company launched its first cigar, the La Jugada Prieto (a maduro).  This was followed up later in the year by the La Jugada Habano. Last year, the company released the Nunchuck – one of the most ambitious projects done by any cigar company in recent memory. This cigar features two cigars joined by a stem to resemble a Nunchuck weapon. The Rake, along with the soon to be released Chinese Finger Trap are the company’s focus for 2015.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer at The Rake in the Cut vitola and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

As with all MoyaRuiz Cigars, The Rake is produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Nicaragua.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Nicaraguan (including four ligero leaves, two from Jalapa and two from Esteli)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Zona SA)

In addition to the fact that this is the first MoyaRuiz Cigar to incorporate Connecticut Broadleaf, there are four ligero leaves in the blend. Two of the leaves come from Jalapa and are meant to provide sweetness into the blend.  The other two leaves come from Esteli and lend strength to the blend.  While four ligero leaves are often considered to add a lot of fire-power to  cigar, MoyaRuiz also says the wrapper and binder used help balance the cigar.

Vitolas Available

The Rake is being launched in four size. The two smaller sizes (Fix and Cut) have a slight box-press to them. All four sizes are being packaged in twenty count cabinet style boxes.

Fix: 5 5/8 x 46
Cut: 5 x 52
Take: 6 x 52
Vig: 6 x 60


The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of the The Rake Cut has a dark espresso bean color to it. Upon closer examination there is some dark marbling. There is a light coating of oil on the surface. With only a few visible veins and a few visible wrapper seams, the surface of the wrapper is on the smooth side.  As mentioned the Cut size has a slight box-press to it. The box-press itself is firm with no soft spots.

For its first two regular production cigars, La Jugada Prieto and La Jugada Habano, these brands featured very traditional packaging. For The Rake, MoyaRuiz opted to go with more modern and contemporary packaging and banding.

The band to The Rake was inspired by the speakeasy peep hole found on many doors at underground gaming rooms. The background of the band is charcoal gray. There is a black rectangular field surrounded by gray trim that resembles the door’s  “peep hole”. There is a small door on that field along with the text “THE RAKE” – both in silver font.

The boxes are also silver and black and feature two slots to resemble an actual rake box used to collect the poker game fees.



Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting up The Rake Cut, I went with a straight cut (no pun intended) to clip the cap. Once the cap was successfully removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw.  The dry draw provided a nice chocolate syrup flavor with a touch of spice. Overall I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw of The Rake Cut. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase had in store.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Rake delivered mocha, mixed fruit, and assorted pepper spices. What was interesting is that these were all compound-like flavors.  The mocha demonstrated some coffee and chocolate notes. The mixed fruit delivered some cherry and what I would term more generic “berry”. The pepper notes had black and white pepper as well as some asian spices mixed in. On the retro-hale, there was an extra layer of black pepper. No doubt, I was picking up the ligero in this cigar, yet it wasn’t assaulting my palate.

During the first third, I found the mocha and fruit notes to be primary. The spices were secondary on the tongue, but played more a role on the after-draw. The flavors all had a nice lingering effect on the tongue in terms of sweetness and spice, but it was very clean with no bitter after-taste.

In the second third, I found the fruit sweetness to diminish with the mocha notes holding primary. I did also find a slight nut flavor emerge. Meanwhile the spices were ramping up on the tongue.

By the last third, the spices definitely were in control of this cigar. It was now much more prominent on the palate.  At the same time, there was no harshness. I could still detect some of the compound mocha notes.  This is the way the cigar experience of The Rake Cut came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

Overall I found The Rake to score very nicely on the burn. The burn remained relatively straight from start to finish. Along the way, there was a slight jaggedness to the burn line, but this was easily remedied by a touch-up with my lighter. The resulting ash had a charcoal gray color to it. It wasn’t an overly firm ash, but I wouldn’t consider it a loose ash either. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.


Burn of The Rake “Cut”

As for the draw, it performed quite well. I considered this draw to be open, but not loose.

Strength and Body

Overall I considered The Rake Cut to be a cigar that leans on the bolder side – namely it delivers a nice amount of strength, and a lot of body. From a strength perspective I found this cigar pretty much was on the upper end of medium to full. With four ligero leaves, I was expecting the strength to hit the stratosphere, but that did not happen – and this actually worked as a positive.

There is plenty of depth on the flavors. This is a full-bodied smoke whether you retro-hale or not. It will definitely be a fuller-bodied smoke if you do retro-hale. When it came to strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body.

Final Thoughts

The Rake was a very interesting smoke. While this cigar was enjoyable at any time, I found that this is one of those cigars that could really be appreciated when you sit back and smoke it undistracted. While it’s easy to say there are notes of mocha, spice, and fruit, when you smoke it undistracted, you will pick up so much more. Perhaps this is a fair assessment of most cigars, but I think with The Rake this level of complexity is more amplified. I found the box-pressed robusto format of the Cut size worked extremely well with this blend. It’s not a mild cigar – and even though the four ligero leaves won’t knock you down for the count. It’s still a cigar for a more seasoned cigar enthusiast who likes a bolder smoke. As for myself, this cigar is one I look forward to smoking again, and seeing what the other sizes have to offer. The Rake Cut earns its box worhy rating here.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: High
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy
Score: 92


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