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2017 Awards: Top 25


We reviewed nearly 300 cigars in 2017. As is often the case with halfwheel, it’s a wide range of items from the biggest releases of the year to some very limited products. Some were expensive, some were gigantic and one of them was a coffee-infused candela-wrapped cigar from a new company.

halfwheel’s list is eclectic and it’s a decent sampling of what’s on the market, but in a world where there was probably 1,500 new SKUs for the American market alone, our year was just that, a decent sampling. That matter compounded itself by events that took place in the summer of 2016, namely, impending regulations by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration forced tens of thousands of new cigars onto the U.S. market.

Some of those were released only in the legal sense, but many were actually put out in a formal manner and as such, this year’s list is a bit different than prior years where we’ve had a strict must be released from December of the prior year to December of the current year to be eligible rule. This year, we spent much of the first quarter reviewing cigars that came out in the latter half of 2016. We did our best to try to get to cigars as they came out, but there were far more releases than there were days. As such, there’s some cigars on this list that came out in 2016. Most of these cigars came out pretty late in 2016, but one or two from the latte summer slipped in.

The rest of what we did is much like year’s past. Cigars that were eligible and scored 91 or above were deemed a nominee for this list. From there, we procured three more cigars, distributed them to the three other reviewers and we each scored the cigars using our scoresheet. The results were than tabulated and ranked.

In the end 35 cigars met these qualifications, though three—all Cuban—weren’t evaluated for this year’s list because they aren’t formally released yet, so they’ll be eligible for the 2018 list.

Below is the top 25 of those 32 remaining cigars, in order of how we scored them. Nothing more, nothing less.

top cigar 2017
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2017 Awards: Packaging Top 10


It’s the second full week of January and as such that means it’s time for halfwheel’s annual awards.

Unlike most publications, we give a handful of awards, not simply a top 25 list. Traditionally, the first of those is the packaging awards, a list of the top 10 new packaging designs voted on by the halfwheel staff.

Eligibility is based on a few requirements:

  1. The product must be new for 2017. Also, it must actually ship to retailers in 2017. (At least one potential winner was excluded as it did not actually arrive at retail by the end of the year.)
  2. The design must be primarily new. Simply changing the color or font on a previous design isn’t good enough. This meant something like the Hammer + Sickle Museum Series II was not eligible, as it was just a color change for an already released—and recognized—design.
  3. Humidors are excluded unless it’s the only way to purchase the cigar

With that, our 2017 packaging awards.


Camacho Diploma Special Selection

2017 Packaging of the year

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2016 Awards: Prime 25 Cigars


For the fifth time, halfwheel listing its 25 greatest cigars of the yr. This time the yr is 2016 and the listing is under.

You’ll probably discover that there are specific producers with a number of cigars on this listing, actually there are a number of with a number of cigars. That’s the truth of what occurs when a prime 25 record is created as objectively as attainable. We do not make any effort to maximise the variety of producers who make the record, we don’t merely take the very best rating from every model or some other efforts to control the listing. It’s a easy course of, one which produces fascinating outcomes each yr.

Any cigar that started formally delivery between Dec. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2016 was eligible for our prime 25, although as famous right here, there was a give attention to cigars that shipped previous to Oct. 1, 2016.

Cigars that scored 91 factors or greater have been deemed a candidate and we mixed the composite rating from the unique reviewer, i.e. their three samples, with three further scores—one cigar every from our different critiques. These scores have been averaged with every reviewer getting equal weight and under our the highest 25 of the 37 cigars that have been eligible for the record.

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2016 Awards: Packaging Prime 10


Awards season is again.

As is our custom, we kick off our week of awards with a take a look at the best-looking cigars and cigar packaging from the earlier yr. That is the fifth yr we’ve completed this award and a complete of 26 cigars have been nominated. In an effort to be eligible, the cigar should debut in 2016, the packaging have to be unique—which means it can’t merely be a brand new measurement of an present line or present packaging barely modified—and humidors are excluded until that’s the one strategy to buy the cigar.

For the winner, two of the three of these guidelines have been actually necessary because it shipped just a few weeks earlier than the top of the yr and is a humidor.

Every of the 4 halfwheel reviewers have been allowed to appoint any cigar for the packaging listing. And all 4 of us voted on the highest 10. For the primary time within the packaging awards historical past, the winner was unanimous.


Cohiba 50 Aniversario

2016 Packaging of the yr

*There was a tie for seventh place.

Cohiba 50 Aniversario picture by way of Habanos S.A.
Davidoff Artwork Version 2016 picture by way of Davidoff of Geneva USA.