This year, we made a decision to vote on company and factory of the year, as opposed to simply relying on scores. The decision was made because the nature of our review guidelines means that we rarely review the central offerings for the new year from each company and place a large emphasis on the limited releases, albeit, not entirely.

Voting allowed for us to evaluate companies and factories from the totality of what we saw in 2013, not just what we specifically reviewed. This is similar to how we have evaluated new brand of the year in the past.


Cigars Davidoff has always made cigars well, arguably, the best of anyone in the industry as far as construction goes, but this past year, was something different. As we mentioned yesterday, the packaging was superior, but so were the cigars. Amongst what was put out this past year: 25 Anniversary, Madison Avenue 25th, Colorado Claro Aniversario No. 3, Club House Toro, Nicaragua, Puro de Oro Gorditos and Year of the Horse, there’s little to complain about and a lot to marvel at. While Nicaragua will get almost all the attention, Davidoff offered three cigars (25th Anniversary, Madison Avenue 25th and Year of the Horse) that might extend beyond the regular Davidoff clientele, yet all still very Davidoff-like. Hendrik “Henke” Kelner and Eladio Diaz had as good a year of any when it came to new products.

Honorable mentions included AgroIndustrias Laepe, S.A., Fabrica de Tabacos NicaSueño S.A., La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and My Father Cigars S.A.

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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.