This seems familiar. As we mentioned earlier today, we changed how we determined the factory and brand/company of the year. This year, we voted amongst the staff. The reasons were because we acknowledged that while halfwheel reviews a lot of cigars, it’s not an accurate, fair or balanced sample of the cigar market. We specialize in reviews of rare, hard-to-find, prerelease, limited edition or otherwise not commercially regularly available cigars, i.e., we review the abstract.


This also seems rather familiar. It was not very close,  Oettinger Davidoff AG finished first, first, first and second on the list. Sure, Davidoff proper finally used Nicaraguan tobacco, but the largest transformation was with Camacho. The complete redesign of Camacho has worked and we imagine it’s worked well enough that Davidoff will undergo a similar push with another brand this year. The packaging, the pricing, the concept and most importantly the cigars were all improved when it came to Camacho. Room101 and Mike Ditka also became logical members of the larger Oettinger Davidoff family. Sure, Cusano and Winston Churchill were largely unheard of, but it’s hard to argue this one anyone’s year other than the Swiss giant.

Honorable mentions: Drew Estate, Havana Cellars/Tatuaje, Illusione and RoMa Craft Tobac.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.