The Pickle Juice from MoyaRuiz Cigars is an interesting cigar in a few different ways. First off, it is the latest addition to the "holiday release" cigar list. Secondly, it is the first Candela wrapped cigar to come out of the La Zona factory. There may be a small release that I don't know about, but as far as I can tell the Pickle Juice is the first.
What is a "holiday release" cigar. Good question. Pete Johnson and Tatuaje Cigars started it all with their Monsters line that we all look forward to ever Halloween. Viaje has a few holiday releases including the Full Moon (Halloween), Farmer Bill (Thanksgiving), White and Dark meat Stuffed Turkey (Thanksgiving), they even had a St. Patrick's Day release back in 2011. Quesada has taken over the "beer" holidays with the Oktoberfest and Keg. MoyaRuiz is now throwing their hat into the ring with the Pickle Juice. I will admit that I may be stretching the definition of "holiday release" here. The Pickle Juice has a Candela wrapper (green) and it's hitting the stores the week of St. Patrick's Day (green is important). None of this really impacts how the cigar performs from a smoking standpoint, but I think this is an interesting (and kind of fun) trend.
MoyaRuiz Pickle Juice
Size: 6 x 50
Production- 6,500 cigars for jars, 7,000 total
MSRP: $7.69 (Jar of 13, $99.98)
Samples smoked for review: 1
Cigars for review were MoyaRuiz Cigars
Note: I used the CigarFederation Rating System
Pre-Light: I'm not a fan of the look of this cigar. If I saw this in a shop I doubt I would ever buy it. The cigar itself was actually quite attractive. The candela wrapper had a nice look and feel to it. The cap application was impressive as well. I normally don't talk about stuff like that, but I felt the need to mention it given that the cap stood out so much. You can really see the artistry of the roller there.
I'll get this out of the way now. I am not a fan of cigars that are marketed this way. It has nothing to do with who is making the cigar at all. I just think it's silly. I will admit there is a fine line between calling a cigar Pickle Juice and naming it after a movie character. Both tactics are a bit gimmicky to me. Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox and we can move on.
The candela wrapper gave off notes of hay and grass along with mild notes of tobacco and spice. The hay and grass are to be expected from a candela wrapper. The cold draw was smooth with mild notes of citrus, nondescript sweetness and hay.
Beginning: I was surprised with the flavors that were present on the first puff. Notes of creamed coffee, sweet cream and a white pepper spice dominated the profile. The sweet and spicy notes were present on the retrohale as well. Keep in mind that I'm speaking of these flavors in relative terms. This was not an overly sweet or spicy cigar. Inn fact the flavors were all in the mild to medium range. With that being said, the Pickle Juice had a nice little profile. Creamy and coffee notes up front, fooled by sweet cream and a white pepper spice (more heat than flavor) on the finish. I found that as the first third came to a close, the sweetness began to linger on the finish.
Middle: The flavor profile smoothed out a lot. The spice took 3-4 steps back while the coffee seemed to disappear. The sweetness remained and took on a nutty note. As the mid-point approached, the Pickle Juice was a mild cigar in terms of strength and flavor.
End: Not a whole lot changed. There was a mild resurgence of spice, but that was about it. The flavor profile consisted of some sweet and nutty notes along with a light white pepper spice on the retro.
Final Thoughts: I am not a big candela guy, so keep that in mind. I enjoyed the first third quite a bit, but the middle and final third left me wanting. It's a fine cigar to smoke with a creamed coffee before breakfast or with an early tee time. I enjoyed what it offered, but I wanted a bit more. If you like candela's then the pickle juice is definitely worth trying. If you're not sure about candela's or have never smoked one, then the PJ is definitely worth trying. I would smoke it again, but I don't see myself stocking up.
Rating: 86 AKA "I'd buy a couple"
The Pickle Juice is a solid candela with some nice flavors, but don't expect to be bowled over with flavor or strength.