I love Sunday mornings. My darling wife always brings me breakfast in bed, and today she brought me some homemade pancakes with fresh maple syrup and butter. As I sat up and dug into the stack I picked up that wonderful butter and syrup aroma and was brought back to last night when I sampled the new MoyaRuiz Chinese Finger Trap cigar. As you read this you will understand why I mention this.
Danny Moya and the guys at MoyaRuiz made a big splash last year with the introduction of their Nunchuck cigar that was a collaboration with the crew at Cigar Dojo. They are also famous for their La Jugada line of cigars. This year they are doubling down with their the limited edition Chinese Finger Trap. When we did the press release earlier this year it was clearly noted that:
“The blend is an ancient Chinese secret. Thus, no further information about the blend will ever be released.” says Moya. The cigars are made in Erik Espinosa’s factory La Zona in Estelí, Nicaragua.
The first thing you will notice about the Chinese Finger Trap is the outer covering of the cigar itself. It is a Chinese Finger Trap, you know, those quirky toys we had back in the day that you would slip onto a finger of each hand and when you try to pull it off it would lock your fingers. So the first thing you have to do is remove the trap from the cigar. Danny must have known that if he used a real finger trap, smokers would be destroying the beautiful stick hidden underneath, so they made the outer covering to look like a finger trap but it really is just a paper band with the finger trap design on it. Thanks Danny, I can say, that was clever!
The Chinese Finger Trap cigars come packaged 10 to box and come in 5 different colored outer bands for your collection pleasure. The box is classic Chinese toy design and it definitely brings a smile to my face reminding me of my youthful days. There is only one vitola of this limited edition blend – a 6×50 toro.
Once removing the outer trap, that slides easily off the cigar you will be greeted with a pristine cigar that has no noticeable veins and tight seams. It has a silky smooth feeling to the touch and is medium brown in color. The head is finish with a triple cap that clips off easily with a double blade cutter.The primary band design reminds me of the sign outside the Chinese laundry in my childhood town on Long Island that was owned by my High School friend For-Li Chan’s parents. Yellow and Red with the words Chinese Finger Trap on the front with MoyaRuiz on one side and Limited Edition 2015 on the other side.
The dry draw delivered an earthy and slightly musty flavor and the foot has a sweet tobacco scent to it.
Once fired up, it will open your nasals right away. If you don’t retro-hale your cigars you will not experience this, but if you do, the shot of peppery smoke will get you ready for the full flavor experience of this cigar. The retro-hale burn lasts for a good 1/2 inch of the initial burn. The smoke is thick and creamy and has a buttery flavor once the pepper recedes. It does not take long for the wrapper to oil up with a wonderful waxy sheen. The tight ash is snow-white with a razor-sharp burn line and the draw is perfect.
Approaching the end of the first third there is leathery background note along with a touch of cedar that enters the profile while the buttery flavor remains. The wrapper sheen is growing deeper into the cigar at this stage, well beyond the burn line.
Into the second third the butter tempers down and a citrus note takes over.The ash is still holding tight and eventually falls after 2 plus inches and then picks right back up with a solid burn. The full volume of smoke has become very smooth and delightful.It is so thick you can cut it with a knife, perfect for smoke rings. The strength has started to move up to a solid medium. I have to say, this is a very well constructed cigar and I would not expect anything less from the crew at MoyaRuiz and Espinosa.
Midway through the second third, the cedar takes more of a prominent position in the profile and there is a maple syrup aroma wafting off the foot. Remember what I said about buttered pancakes and maple syrup? Well, there it is.
I did receive two of these cigars from MoyaRuiz at the IPCPR and based on the smoking experience so far I am going to age the other one for another 3 to 6 months as I feel this will age wonderfully and produce even more flavor. If you get your hands on these I recommend you do the same. One to smoke and one to age, I am sure you will be delighted.
Near the end of the second third the citrus re-emerges in the profile as the cedar recedes and then the flavors blend together well as it moves into the final third. there is a slight spice component that enters just before the band is removed.
I smoked the Chinese Finger Trap cigar to the nub and found it to be one of the best cigars so far this year. It is setting the bar for the Stogie Press Top 25 for 2015 as we continue to sample the plethora of sticks we received at the show.
We would like to thank Danny Moya and his crew for the samples and look forward to sampling the second one later in the year.