Vitola Battle: German Engineered Cigars Autonom Lineup Pack

German Engineered Cigars was founded by three German Engineers - makes sense. Their first release was in 2016 and shared the original name of the company - “RVGN Rauchvergnügen”. The name of the company was changed to the current one in 2020, and they have since added a few more cigars to their portfolio. This year they introduced a new line entitled “Autonom” that would contain limited editions, unique size, experimental blends, and projects. The most recent of these projects is the Autonom Lineup Pack, which is an opportunity for consumers to engage with the company and take part in a new line coming from German Engineered Cigars.

The Autonom Lineup Pack contains three cigars that share the same blend (by Claudio Sgroi) but are rolled in three different vitolas. The idea is: you buy the pack, you smoke the cigars, you vote on your favorite. The winning vitola will join a 5 x 50 Robusto in the regular production lineup of this cigar. This is right up my alley for a couple reasons. First, I preach the importance of trying different vitolas of a cigar. Secondly, because I like the idea of engaging with consumers and giving them a voice in the creation of a cigar. I am quite excited to smoke these cigars for a Vitola Battle review, and vote on my favorite!

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Factory: Tabacalera Tambor

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Vitola: 6 x 42 Corona Grande, 6 x 47 Churchill, 5 x 54 Perfecto

Price: $30.00 MSRP/Pack of 3

Release Date: August 2022

Link to Purchase: Guitars & Cigars Farm (Use code “Review”)

Company Website: 


I have not had anything from German Engineered Cigars to this point, but I have had some cigars Claudio has had his hands on. Based on that, and the blend details, I am expecting each blend to bring a lot of flavor and body with medium strength. I look for oily wood, sweet pepper, earth, and maybe some citrus or other fruit. I imagine the vitolas will be different, but I can’t say that I think they’ll be extremely different. 

Prelight Characteristics

First, I love the packaging of the three vitolas in the lineup bag. I also actually really like the band that is on the cigars. The glow in the dark lettering on the band is neat as well, but too bad I couldn’t get a good picture of it. 

Corona Grande: This Corona’s wrapper looks and feels like dry leather. It’s dense and firmly packed. The cigar smells like cedar and spice. The cold draw is a bit snug but has a bit of anise and cedar. 

Churchill: The wrapper on this is a darker brown and also looks and feels like leather, but with a lot of oil. The cigar is fairly dense, yet feels a bit spongy. It smells raisiny, meaty, earthy, and like baking spices. The cold draw is distinctly like a sweet potpourri.  

Perfecto: This has the pointiest head I’ve encountered on any perfecto. It’s impressive really. Otherwise this is another leathery wrapper leaf with some oils. This is a very firmly rolled cigar and has some dark fruit, earth, and cedar on the nose. The cold draw has some grains and chocolate. It actually reminded me of a chocolate oatmeal stout. 

First Third

Corona Grande: First light brings medium bodied smoke with a lot of wood and spice. There’s a bit of a char to the wood going into the finish. The draw is a bit snug and requires a couple puffs for good smoke output. About a half inch in the flavors are around mild-medium and beginning to incorporate some raisins, earth, and toast. There’s still some wood and baking spice. Coming to the end of the first third the performance has been good except the slightly snug draw. 

Flavor: 2/4

Performance: 2/3

Experience: 1.75/3

Churchill: First light brings about medium-full bodied smoke with full flavors of rich baking spices, some cacao, earth, and leather, and a bit of that sweet potpourri. About a half inch in there’s some woodiness joining in and a bit of oily pepper lingering into the finish. Midway into the first third the body is up to full. The draw is rich, sweet dark fruit and earth with a bit of oily pepper and baking spice. The retrohale is caramel and spices. Ending the first third, the performance has been perfect so far. 

Flavor: 3/4

Performance: 3/3

Experience: 2.5/3

Perfecto: First light is full bodied and flavored smoke with notes of dry baking spices, wood, and leather. The retrohale has an interesting oily, fruity pepper and earth combination. Quickly the burn is canoeing, but I’m gonna hold off touching up until I crest the tip. I’m glad I waited because the burn did correct itself. As I get into the thick portion of the cigar there is a bit of earthiness and oil joining the leather and wood. The finish has a bit of nuttiness and coffee. The first third is closing out with much of the same flavor, with the only change being a bit of citrus on the draw. The performance has been good, but I think I will need to touch up the burn momentarily. 

Flavor: 2/4

Performance: 2/3

Experience: 1.5/3

Second Third

Corona Grande: Into the second third the flavor is staying right around mild-medium with the main notes on the draw being wood, spice, toast, and a touch of cacao now. The retrohale adds a nice flavor boost with some more toast and wood, but also a bit of citrus. Approaching halfway the draw is beginning to open up some and the flavor is coming up to medium to medium-full as a result. On the draw I am getting some notes of bell pepper, oily oak, earth, toast, and baking spices. Coming to the end of the final third the baking spices are picking up more. The performance has continued to be great, especially with the draw opening up a bit more. 

Flavor: 2.5/4

Performance: 2.5/3

Experience: 1.75/3

Churchill: The second third is bringing in a rich, savory, yet slightly sweet meatiness to the draw. There’s still some damp, sweet, floral earth and oils, but less pepper and wood. Approaching halfway there’s a lot of syrupy sweetness coming in, along with black pepper and citrus. Coming to the end of the second third there’s a ton of citrus on the draw now. The retrohale has plenty of sweetness and a bit of black pepper and baking spices. The performance continues to be perfect. 

Flavor: 3.2/4

Performance: 3/3

Experience: 2.5/3

Perfecto: I go ahead with a slight touchup to the burn, as one side was lagging. The cigar is rolling along here about a half inch into the second third with really no notable changes on the draw. The retrohale has added a musty berry-like note to some baking spices and earth. After ashing around halfway I had to do a slight touchup to the wrapper, as the filler was burning a touch faster. Soon after the draw has shifted to a slight charred wood and honey combination. At halfway the retrohale is showing some rich caramel now. Near the end of the second third the draw is showing more honey and a bit of ginger, along with some oily wood. Coming to the end of the second third I have to do another small touchup as the wrapper was lagging again. The touch ups have been minor, fortunately. 

Flavor: 2.5/4

Performance: 1.25/3

Experience: 1.75/3

Final Third

Corona Grande: The final third is starting out with full flavors. They are about the same as the end of the second third, but now with some syrup sweetness joining in. I had to step away for several minutes to do something and I let the cigar go out. I gave it a relight when I returned and the cigar doesn’t seem to have any off flavors, but the flavors are a bit indiscernible right now. Hitting the primary band the cigar has settled back in from the relight and is back to showing notes of citrus, oak, earth, and spices. Coming to an end the draw has snugged a bit again, but the flavors and body are full and the strength seems to be around medium. It concludes in an hour and 20 minutes with a lot of oily wood, some earth, pepper, and baking spices. There’s a bit of char that joins the wood into the finish. 

Flavor: 2/4

Performance: 2.5/3

Experience: 1.75/3

Churchill: The final third flavors are rolling along much of the same. I found I can’t set the cigar down too long or it will start to go out. I had to touch it up quickly as a result of me discovering that. Into the primary band oily wood is becoming the primary note, followed by some earth and pepper. Coming to an end at 2 hours and 5 minutes the only change has been a return of some of the sweet, floral earth. The performance has been perfect since the touch up. 

Flavor: 3/4

Performance: 1.75/3

Experience: 2/3

Perfecto: The beginning of the final third shows a bit of a tangy chocolate note, like a chocolate mousse. At times, the finish tastes almost like a tootsie roll. Quickly into the final third sweet citrus is becoming quite prominent on the draw. Secondary are some baking spices, earth, and wood. The retrohale has some of the tangy chocolate and a bit of pepper and wood. Hitting the bad point there is some pepper joining the draw. Into the band point I had to do another small touch up. The draw has a little citrus still but is mainly wood and drying spice. Nearing the end of the cigar, I have to do another small touch up. Coming to an end at an hour and 51 minutes the profile has maintained the wood and spices but added more pepper and some earthiness. The performance was fine to the end. 

Flavor: 2.25/4

Performance: 1.5/3

Experience: 1.75/3

Overall Experience

Corona Grande: Overall I think that this vitola is pretty good when the draw was able to open up some. This allows the flavors to come up to a fuller level and, around halfway, these flavors showed some nice complexity and nuance by balancing sweet and savory components. This one will not be getting my vote, however, I think it was a good cigar, again, when the draw was not on the snug side. 

Overall: 6.25/10

Churchill: I thought this cigar was fantastic. The cigar offered plenty of rich, sweet and savory flavors that showed multiple transitions and plenty of complexity. The performance was very good through the lengthy burn time. I would certainly recommend this vitola if it goes into regular production. I should note that this cigar has stuck in my mind since I smoked it. It was the first one in the pack I smoked and I almost just voted for it immediately because I know it’ll be tough to beat. 

Overall: 7.98/10

Perfecto: Overall I thought this vitola was a bit above average in flavor, but, while they were minor, the burn issues did hurt the overall experience. I do think, otherwise this was a good cigar that offered some nice and interesting flavors. There was always good balance and the burn time was pretty impressive as well. 

Overall: 5.5/10

Feel free to reach out to me with questions, concerns, criticisms, or just to talk at @guitarsandcigarsfarm on Instagram, or visit my website

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