This is the prettiest Top 10 you'll see.
That's because this is not a list of the 10 best cigars from 2022, rather, this is the list of halfwheel's favorite new cigar packaging of 2022. This is the 11th year, we've done the Packaging Top 10 and the format is the same as last year.
For those interested in how we came up with this list, there are just a few rules:
- New Packaging — This is pretty simple: the packaging must debut in 2022. By "debut," we mean it must ship to stores for the first time in 2022. This does not mean the cigar needs to ship for the first time in 2022—reworked packaging like J.C. Newman's revamped Diamond Crown Black Diamond—is eligible. Items that are shown off in 2022 but do not ship to stores until after the end of 2022 are not considered for this list. The items must also be sold in a retail fashion, meaning limited edition humidors for auction are not eligible.
- Primarily a New Design — Some companies will take existing products and place them inside a special humidor, we won't consider these "new" designs if most of the branding is entirely the same.
- One of Us Needs to See It in Person — At least one of the four members of the halfwheel team (Brian, Brooks, Patrick or I) needs to see it in person.
- Retailer Exclusives Are Allowed — This was a new rule for 2021, though ultimately didn't play a role for the 2022 awards.
The way we determine the list is pretty simple:
- Nominations — Throughout the year, any of the four halfwheel staff members are able to nominate however many items they want for consideration so long as they meet the above qualifications. This year, 17 products were nominated.
- Voting — At the end of the year, each of us was asked to rank the 17 nominations from 1-17. A first-place vote translated into one point, a second-place vote meant two points, etc. We added up all the results and the 10 items with the lowest final scores made the list.
There are no guidelines about what to consider or how to vote. Some of us value innovation more than final design, and some of us value craftsmanship more than innovation. Each year, the voting tends to produce some clear contenders at the top of the list, but very diverse preferences everywhere else. That makes sense for any number of reasons, not the least of which is because these are awards about looks.