Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Background: The La Jugada Habano is the second offering from Moya Ruiz Cigars, which is headed up by Danny Moya and Nelson Ruiz (hence the name). If you are familiar with the La Zona at all, this one should strike a chord since these are hand rolled at the same factory that the La Zona is.
Appearance (0-20): From a first glance, the La Jugada Habano looks pretty inviting. There are minor veins along a rich brown habano wrapper, and smooth seals throughout. The band is a white backdrop and has bold black lettering that is leafed in gold. In the bottom half of the band it swaps, with bold gold lettering on a black backdrop.
Construction (0-20): Picking this one up reveals what feels like a relatively solid stick, though there are a couple of small pockets that feel slightly loose. Cutting the end revealed a small amount of debris, but nothing extremely excessive. Taking a few puffs to check the draw confirmed what I feared, that it was a little too loose. Post lighting didn’t improve that draw, which continued to be loose throughout. The ash was also a bit on the flaky side and didn’t hold for very long. Worse still, it cracked up the side slightly.
Strength (0-20): This one is listed as a medium to full smoke, and I believe it falls almost directly in that range, with small deviations more toward the medium side of the scale.
Flavor (0-20): There is a pretty sweet bit of cocoa that is predominant to begin, which simultaneously balanced and enhanced by a peppery spice. There is also a hint of nuts that gets pulled in intermittently. There are also some periods where there is a bit of earthiness. Through the entire cigar its deviations of those same flavors, just fighting for control. The transitions between them are pretty seamless.
Value (0-20): $7.25 is a bit on the high side for this given the construction, but when compared against the rest of the items, it’s a decent value – which makes this one tougher to assess.
Additional Notes: Paired with water.
Overall (0-100): This one really is tough to assess from an overall perspective. I wanted to enjoy it, I really did. But this falls short. That, however, is not to say that this is a complete bust by any means. In fact it’s still a solid cigar… but not one I’m rushing out to get.
The appearance and strength work and are right where they should be. But the construction on the 2 I smokes both had their issues. Obviously this one in particular cracked and didn’t hold its ash at all. Both had draw issues too. And then on top of it, the flavors end up being somewhat one dimensional… or at the very least they are predictable and only stay within a certain range (cocoa, pepper, nuts, earth). Again these aren’t bad flavors, and the transitions are good, but they become a little rote. These factors, of course, call into question the value.
Again this is not a bad stick. But it also isn’t a stick I am going to rave about. As a second or third for the day? Definitely serviceable there.