On paper, 2019 will be a big year for halfwheel.

I suppose every year is a big year. Every year that we get to do what we do—some variation of smoking cigars for a living—is a good year. Truth be told, smoking cigars is a very small part of what any of us do at halfwheel. The nature of being a small business is that you end up being a jack of all trades, or at least most of them—I won’t be taking up plumbing anytime soon. The point is, we get to write about an industry and a product we really care about. One that is not only living, but most importantly evolving.


Jan. 1 is a time for us at halfwheel to reflect upon that evolution.

As has been recounted every year since, Jan. 1, 2012 was the day this website went live. As I do every year, I recommend you go back and read the first post we ever published.

And if you want to read a bit more background about it, you can read the annual Programming Notes post that is published on Jan. 1, it explains a lot.

As for the first line of this post, we have big plans. While I don’t want to trouble any superstitions, it seems likely that we will be physically moving offices to a bigger and brighter space and—more importantly—unveiling a new design for the website, the first since 2013. We’ll have more updates once those two events get more underway, but 2019 looks like it will be a big year for halfwheel, bigger than the seven that have preceded it.

Jan. 1 also means the start of our annual holy grail week. For those unfamiliar, each year we try to start off with reviews of the rarest of rare cigars.

Ss this will be our ninth year doing it, it’s getting a bit more challenging to find jaw-dropping cigars. That being said, it’s a fun group this year.

Following holy grail week, actually overlapping it, are our annual awards. The schedule of which is below.

  • Jan. 7, 2019 (Monday) — Numbers Review
  • Jan. 8, 2019 (Tuesday) — Factory of the Year
  • Jan. 9, 2019 (Wednesday) — Company of the Year
  • Jan. 10, 2019 (Thursday) 2 p.m. CDT — Packaging Awards
  • Jan. 11, 2019 (Friday) 2 p.m. CDT — Top 25 Cigars
  • Jan. 14, 2019 (Monday) 2 p.m. CDT — The Consensus Top 25 Cigars

The final three awards will be announced first on Facebook Live. We will announce the winners and then take questions.

Finally, like I do every year, I implore you to start the new year the same way we do: by digging deep into your humidor and pulling out the special cigar you’ve been saving for an undetermined moment. No day is as good as the present for you to smoke that special cigar.


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 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.