In 2015 MoyaRuiz released The Chinese Finger Trap, which was the second of what would be three limited edition cigars for the company. The first was the La Jugada Nunchuck in 2014, followed by The Chinese Finger Trap in 2015 and finished with the Dim Mak in 2016. All three Asian-influenced cigars were born out of the company’s relationship with Cigar Dojo and the members were offered first dibs before the remaining cigars were sold at other retailers.

After Dim Mak, MoyaRuiz said the likelihood of any further limited edition releases was slim, due to the FDA rules that went into effect shortly after the 2016 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show. As was to be expected then at the 2017 show, MoyaRuiz only had one new regular production line to show off.

When I saw The Chinese Finger Trap in my humidor, I really wanted to revisit this as I remember the original review having an enjoyable profile, though the cigar was plagued with construction issues. My hope is that they potentially calmed down after a couple years of rest in my humidor.

Here’s what I originally had to say about it:

A neat idea with some pretty cool packaging, I was intrigued by this cigar. Having never tried any of the rest of the MoyaRuiz lineup, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I was greeted with was a good blend that was quite enjoyable from start to finish, that was unfortunately plagued by numerous construction issues. Luckily the issues didn’t seem to overly affect the profile, though with our scoring system, the score suffers from it. Regardless, I still think these have some good qualities that you should experience for yourself and won’t hesitate in suggesting trying one or two out for yourself.

  • Cigar Reviewed: MoyaRuiz The Chinese Finger Trap
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Zona Cigar Factory
  • Wrapper: n/a
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: n/a
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Toro
  • MSRP: $11 (Boxes of 10, $110)
  • Release Date: June 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

Even with knowing the large outer band was just a printed copy of an actual Chinese finger trap, it’s still enough of an optical illusion that my brain expects it to be textured with I take it off. Underneath it the soft wrapper still had a bit of an oily feel to it, with enough give to show consistency without any soft spots. Coming off the wrapper is a much lighter aroma than I remember with barely any damp earth and a touch of cocoa, although no hints of anything else really. The cold draw is quite muted as well, with hay and chocolate being about the only light notes I can pick up.

The first third starts off with all the pepper that was missing from the cold draw, almost an overwhelmingly so. A half an inch in the profile settles down with some spice joining the pepper up front, a sweet oaky note in the middle and hints of cocoa in the background. The second third continues with spices, black pepper, oak and cocoa, though the sweetness has died down a little bit. About halfway through the second third though, the sweetness that was dying down is gone, and a little bitterness has started to creep into the profile. As the final third begins the bitterness has increased slightly, getting to the point where it’s encroaching on the rest of the flavors. While the bitterness has grown, the spice, black pepper, oak and cocoa persist, trying their best to not be overwhelmed by the harsh note. Luckily it all seems to plateau, with the harshness staying where it is and the other flavors not dying out towards the end.

The first third started out with a solid burn line—even and sharp—which gave me a slight bit of hope for the construction this time around. About half an inch in though it starts to go a little sideways, with one section lagging behind the rest. The second third doesn’t fair much better, with an entire section needing relit at about the halfway mark. While the ash isn’t as flaky as I remember it being originally, it isn’t very dense looking and needs ashed anywhere between the half an inch and three quarters of an inch mark. One positive thing about the construction is an ideal draw, and with each one plenty of smoke pours out of the cigar. In the final third another touch-up is required, which keeps the cigar on track enough to finish it out.

81 Overall Score

While this is a similar review to my original one, there is certainly enough of a difference that I can tell time has affected the MoyaRuiz The Chinese Finger Trap. The rich profile from before was not nearly at the same level, leaving a little to be desired in the second half. All the construction issues I experienced with the original samples—including some significant splitting and numerous touch ups each third—were much less frequent this time around. That’s not to say that there weren’t still issues I noticed, but not nearly at the level they were before. If you have any of these left, I’d suggest smoking them now before the flavors get any more muted, because the profile is certainly the redeeming part of the entire experience.

Original Score (October 2015)
Redux Score (September 2017)
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Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.