Despite debuting in 2016 under the name Rauchvergnügen, it likely wasn’t until the company’s 2020 rebranding as German Engineered Cigars that cigar hobbyists (at least on the American side) began taking notice. The company was founded by Oliver Nickels, Jan-Klaas Mahler, and Joachim Sadowski, being based out of Hamburg, Germany and positioning themselves as “the first-ever German engineered cigar.”
While their earlier efforts featured mechanical themes such as codified titles (NN01) and cigars named after the cubic volume of the product (Rauchvergnügen #42), the company seems to be pivoting to slightly more familiar concepts over the past year, with releases such as the Raumzeit and Weltschmerz making use of boxes/bands that feel a bit more traditional (at least when compared to the clear container-like boxes and nondescript bands of the NN01).
The Raumzeit is themed around space, with its name being the German word for Spacetime (it’s pronunciation can be listened to here).
Raumzeit is listed as the company’s second full-time line (and first Nicaraguan offering), being the first cigar developed in a partnership with Claudio Sgroi, who left his role as master blender and president of Mombacho Cigars (now Favilli S.A.) in 2021. Claudio announced his CST Consulting company shortly thereafter, with the Raumzeit being among the first projects to come out of the move.
German Engineered Cigars has taken to introducing their cigars with esoteric descriptions to set the tone of the cigar at hand. With Raumzeit, the cigar is described as “Traveling at the speed of light, far beyond the next galaxy, while a friendly android serves cake.”
Raumzeit Robusto Breakdown
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Connecticut
Binder: Indonesian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa) | Dominican Republic (Piloto)
Factory: Tabacalera Tambor de Estelí S.A. (Nicaragua)
Production: Regular Production
Vitola: 5? × 54 (Robusto)
Price: $11.00 (MSRP)
Raumzeit was introduced at the beginning of 2022 during the TPE trade show in Las Vegas. The cigars were later met with multiple delays, and eventually shipped in July following the PCA 2022 trade show.
Raumzeit makes use of an atypical wrapper—Nicaraguan-grown Connecticut—adding to the growing trend of American seeds being transplanted in Central America. This leaf surrounds a Sumatra binder and fillers of Nicaragua’s Jalapa region and Dominican Piloto. The cigars arrived in a total of five sizes, three of which are regular production.
Half Corona: 3½” x 44 | $6.50 (5-ct bundles)
Robusto: 5? x 54 | $11 (20-ct bundles/boxes)
Gran Toro: 6? x 58 | $12 (20-ct bundles/boxes)
Lancero: 7? x 40 | $10 (10-ct bundles) *limited
Short Robusto: 4? x 50 | $10 (10-ct bundles) *limited
The first thing to catch my eye with Raumzeit is its band, which is as dark and technical in appearance as the cigar’s theme. It has a nice contrast against the cigar’s wrapper, with a copper-like ink standing out against a matte black backdrop and matching the Connecticut leaf very closely. While attractive, it can also be somewhat hard to make out (or photograph), as the ink blends into the black background if not reflecting light.
The wrapper is darker than most Connecticuts, having medium and fine veins and a ripple or two from head to toe. The cigar seems to have a dense bunch, with the 54 ring gauge feeling quite solid throughout. The wrapper gives off a musky aroma, joined by tangy citrus and caramel. The foot is fairly clean, showing nuts, cedar, and basil. A pre-light draw reveals a slightly firm resistance, with notes of chestnut, cinnamon, and something along the lines of lemon meringue pie.
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The Raumzeit Robusto lights up with a surprising amount of flavor, being clean and aromatic upfront and finishing with a slight bitterness and a dry texture. The cigar is fully retrohalable, bringing in a fiery yet restrained white pepper and sage quality. These flavors are nicely extended with a floral bitterness on the palate, coming across like Campari liqueur. The profile is mild to medium in strength and body, allowing flavor to lead in the medium range.
There is a wavy burn line through the first two inches, stacking a solid ash that has a peculiarly brown hue. The draw is similar to that of the pre-light, being good but on the firm end. This makes for a medium-light smoke output, having an increasingly creamy texture as the cigar develops and a dry finish that has lessoned since the start. The Raumzeit feels nicely balanced through the first portion, bringing out more flavor than the conventional Connecticut, though carrying the mid-palate bitterness that the style is known to exhibit. This is simply where the flavors settle on the tongue, coming across as a sensation and not an off-putting harshness.
The profile really hits its stride passing the two-inch mark, having a bright citrus quality, a satisfying pinch through the retro, and a clean sensation across the palate. The upfront flavor of each draw continues an aromatic vibe, being fruity and floral and evolving to include a milky tea note through the finish. Most of these characteristics had not been especially sweet up until the midpoint, where light caramel (perhaps butterscotch) comes into play.
This sweetness is somewhat short-lived, as butterscotch becomes buttered popcorn and buttered popcorn becomes hay and sawdust. It’s a warm profile, complete with toasted nutmeg and cedar. This finale brings back a somewhat dry mouthfeel, being pleasantly clean and without any signs of harshness. It finishes close to medium in strength and body, while flavor pulls back to medium-light for the first time.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I formerly wasn’t quite sure what to think about German Engineered Cigars, but the Raumzeit has nudged me in a positive direction. The cigar is in the camp of the modern Connecticut, though not in the fuller-bodied sense; instead, it’s quite flavor-forward, making a good impression from the outset. I like the tobacco narrative as well, and the Nicaraguan-grown Connecticut did not disappoint, bringing amplified flavor to the clean Connecticut style. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to smoke this one again, though I will note that the smaller Half Corona size didn’t match the performance of this, the Raumzeit Robusto (these are the only two formats I’ve smoked as of this writing).
The Raumzeit currently sits at 2,278/4.2k cigars on Dojoverse with a 100% smokable rating.
Strength: Mild / Medium
Smoke Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Pairing Recommendation: Gin fizz | Negroni | Old Forester Rye | Hot Toddy
Purchase Recommendation: Start with a fiver
Balanced and flavor-forwardFits the modern Connecticut bill without attempting high strength outputEnjoyable white pepper / sage pinchiness through retro
Slightly firm drawInconsistencies between sizesFinal third loses bright flavor qualities
Originally posted on October 28, 2022 @ 5:17 am