There are a few traditions that continue here at halfwheel that actually pre-date this cigar blog. This is one of them. Well, not the video portion.

At Brooks Whinttington’s old cigar blog, Smoking Stogie, he once decided to highlight his favorite cigar packaging of the previous. It’s something we continue to do at halfwheel.

You may also watch on Facebook.

The Packaging Awards are exactly what they sound like, halfwheel’s list of what we think of as the best packaging of new cigars introduced in 2022. There are a few basic rules:

  • New Packaging — This is pretty simple: the packaging must debut in 2021. 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 — 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

If you are not interested in watching the live show, once we finish up the live show, the Packaging Top 10 will be published in a separate post.

The remaining 2022 Awards week schedule is as follows:

  • Jan. 20, 2023 (Friday) 12 p.m. CST — Top 25 Cigars
  • Jan. 23, 2023 (Monday) 12 p.m. CST — The Consensus Top 25 Cigars
Overall Score

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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 have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.