The Rake – named after the term for what a casino or house takes in a gambling game. “You gotta pay to play.” In their press release Danny Moya of MoyaRuiz cigars stated:
The Rake pays homage to the company’s love of “the game”…
It was a nice August evening in Michigan and I had just finished a long day of meetings and chose to sit outside my hotel to enjoy a quiet uninterrupted moment of solitude with a fine new cigar. I had a few to choose from as looked in my travel humidor case and The Rake from MoyaRuiz just caught my eye. It was a nice dark brown, light box pressed, beauty that called my name. I took it out and held it between my fingers examining it under the moonlit night. The wrapper is dark and slightly mottled showing signs of a decent aging. The aroma along the barrel is sweet fermented tobacco and the foot had a black pepper note to it. The pepper awakened my nose and I let out a sneeze that quiets the evening crickets for a moment.
The band on The Rake is simple and as described by MoyaRuiz:
…inspired by the speakeasy peep hole found in many doors at underground gambling rooms
The Rake from MoyaRuiz comes in 4 vitolas all named with a gambling them:
- Fix (5-5/8×46)
- Cut (5×52)
- Take (6×52)
- Vig (6×60)
The Cut and Fix are slightly box pressed.
For this review I sampled the “Fix”
The wrapper on The Rake is a Connecticut Broadleaf that encases some amazing tobacco. It includes four ligero leaves, two from Jalapa and two from Esteli. The remainder binder and filler is not disclosed. They are produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory and as stated in the press release, the blend is designed to:
Truly showcase the quality blending coming out of the La Zona factory. “We want to keep pushing the envelope, with full and complex flavors” said Moya
As I clip the cap and give it a few dry draw puffs I note a nut and pepper component. It is quite tasty even before firing it up. It is a perfect evening to enjoy a cigar, cool with a light breeze and a star lit sky.
I light it up and the black pepper is first to tingle my palate but it lasts for a short few puffs and then settles into a hazelnut and coffee flavor sensation. The ash is well-formed, salt and pepper in color, resting on a thin char line. As I relax and lean back in the chair, I look over the wrapper again noticing a few veins and a noticeable seam neither of which had an affect on the burn.
Speaking of raking, the night before I was introduced to a fun little dice game called 654 by some fellow brothers of the leaf and maybe it was beginners luck, but I raked them in the game and parlayed my winnings into a couple of premium cigars. Found money always results in cigars for me!
As The Rake burns down through the first third I am introduced to a delightful cinnamon note that blends well with the coffee and nut. The ash is still holding on well but there is a slight wave to the burn.
Near the end of the first third there is a touch of sea salt coming in and then there is a transition to an earthy note. The smoke has developed a toasty aroma at this point that fills the crisp air around me. The pepper has come back in on the retro-hale reminding me this is not a mild cigar.
At the 2 inch mark the ash finally fell and the flavor moved into a hint of dried cherry and hickory. This is most definitely a flavorful cigar that keeps your palate intrigued. The aroma has also shifted now to a spicy fruit and the strength has ramped up to solid medium. The draw has been perfect.
Sliding into the final third, The Rake is taking all I have as the strength has further increased to a solid full. It is now delivering a long woody and fruit finish.
Overall The Rake is a terrific cigar. It did have a few waves along the burn that eventually corrected without touch up. It is definitely a cigar that would be enjoyed by many a cigar lover. The final stage might be a bit strong for some but not over the top. I feel this would pair nicely with a full body red wine or perhaps a good port. I say that as I feel a whisky might overpower the first 2 thirds of the cigar.
I would like to thank the team at MoyaRuiz for the samples and as always, they have their pulse on making excellent smoking experiences.