This week is halfwheel’s annual awards week, a series of awards given out by this site, capped off by our annual list of the Top 25 cigars we reviewed in the previous year.

These awards typically include Company of the Year, Factory of the Year, Packaging Top 10, and then the aforementioned Top 25 cigars. There’s also The Consensus, which is hosted here at halfwheel but is not a halfwheel award.

This year, there will be no award for Factory of the Year.

Coming to this decision was both difficult and easy. It was difficult because we struggled to nominate factories for this award. We try to base the award on more than just a factory’s performance amongst the limited number of cigars we review, instead, we consider the overall quality of cigars we smoke from a factory, the trajectory a factory might be on, recent changes a factory has made, etc. While we certainly could judge factories based on the cigars we smoke, the rest of it is very complicated for 2021.

None of us went inside of a cigar factory in 2021. Those visits, while not a deciding factor, do help immensely in understanding how a factory is doing compared to its peers. The complete lack of visits combined with the other challenges mentioned above made it pretty easy to come to the conclusion that we shouldn’t be giving out this award for 2021.

Our hope is this will be a temporary absence, both for the awards and for our visits to cigar factories. I know that some factory owners have taken a lot of joy from the results of this award and the fact that it means something to them is not lost on us at halfwheel.


With that said, we are going to reshuffle our awards week schedule.

  • Jan. 17, 2022 (Monday) — Numbers Review
  • Jan. 18, 2022 (Tuesday) — New Company of the Year
  • Jan. 19, 2022 (Wednesday) — Company of the Year
  • Jan. 20, 2022 (Thursday) 12 p.m. CST — Packaging Awards Live Show
  • Jan. 21, 2022 (Friday) 12 p.m. CST — Top 25 Cigars Live Show
  • Jan. 24, 2022 (Monday) 12 p.m. CST — The Consensus Top 25 Cigars Live Show

This post originally stated CDT, not CST.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.