As you can see below, this is a very different Top 25 cigars list from most.
At halfwheel, the 25 best cigars are the 25 best new cigars we reviewed during a particular year. Any cigar that was commercially available in 2020—past top finishers have included event exclusives, single store releases, Cuban cigars, and a $500 cigar—is eligible. There's no attempt at trying to place as many companies on the list as possible. There's no attempt at ensuring a certain number of cigars come from a particular country. There's no limit about how many cigars a company or factory can have. As such, three factories are responsible for producing nearly half of the cigars that make up this list.
How that happens should be understandable. At any given point in time, some factories are just doing better than others. And, reviews are subjective. It is very likely the case that we prefer the types of cigar certain factories produce over others. That being said, this list contains cigars from five different countries. Just in the Top 5 itself there are cigars ranging in price from $4.75 to $40, and in sizes from 4 x 40 to 6 x 60. What all 25 cigars have in common is they went through the same process and they were evaluated independently of every other cigar considered.
We want you to know what we thought the 25 best new cigars were based on our reviews, even if that means that the top two cigars came from the same company.
The process is the same as it has been for many years. In order to be eligible, cigars must meet the following qualifications:
Any cigar that met all three qualifications—there were 32—then went through the Top 25 process. We sent three more cigars to the other reviewers at halfwheel as well as Brian Burt. Those three individuals scored one cigar each and the scores were then averaged equally between the four people's scores. The combined scores were tabulated in a spreadsheet that remained a secret to us until about two weeks ago, when the final Top 25 score came in.
The results are as follows.