Top 25 Cigars 2022

At its core, this is best described as a 198-cigar tournament. Over the course of 2022, we published 198 reviews of cigars that were first released in 2021 or 2022. All of these reviews involved one person smoking three cigars. If the average score of those reviews resulted in a 91-point rating or higher, the cigars advanced to the next round.

During that time, the other three reviewers were each provided a cigar to smoke and score themselves. There were 28 cigars that made it to this stage, of which, the 25 highest-scoring are ranked in order below.

Alfonso Extra Añejo No. 3

2022 Cigar of the Year

Our Process

For every seven cigars we reviewed during 2022, one qualified for the Top 25. Just one of every eight cigars actually made it onto the list. The Top 5 cigars below represent the 97th percentile of scores from cigars we reviewed in 2022. It is extremely difficult for a cigar to make it onto halfwheel’s list. It’s been that way for quite some time.

The process of making this list starts with a review, typically published between Tuesday-Sunday. Each of our three full-time reviewers—Brooks Whittington, Charlie Minato and Patrick Lagreid—is assigned cigars to smoke for review. Those reviews are based on a single person smoking three of the same cigar. While the reviewer knows the cigar they are smoking, they do not know the score they are giving the cigar until the review is ready to be published. If that score is 91 points or higher and the cigar is new, then the cigar is considered eligible for this list.

The next step involves sending three other people—the two other reviewers as well as Brian Burt—each one of those same cigars, meaning that six cigars in total were smoked for every cigar in consideration for the Top 25 list. Those three people score the cigars using the same system, one where they do not know the score of the cigar. At the beginning of 2023, after all 28 eligible cigars had been scored, the results were tabulated and the cigars were ranked from the highest average score to the lowest.

This list is the results of four people smoking a combined nearly 700 cigars to try to determine halfwheel’s highest-rated new cigars of 2022.

To be eligible for this list, cigars must:

  • A. First ship to stores in either 2021 or 2022,
  • B. Receive a full review during 2022.

Once the results are tabulated, we do not modify them. That means we do not limit the number of cigars a company can have on the list, we do not allocate a certain number of slots for certain cigar companies, we do not factor price into scores, and we do not break ties.

The math is the math. The list is the list.