A Note on Plant of the Year 2021

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This week is half wheel annual awards week, a series of awards given out by this site, crowned by our annual list of the top 25 cigars we reviewed the previous year.

These awards typically include Company of the Year, Factory of the Year, Top 10 Wrappers, and then the aforementioned Top 25 Cigars. There is also Consensus, which is hosted here at half wheel but is not a half wheel award.

This year there will be no award for Plant of the Year.

Making this decision was both difficult and easy. This was difficult as we struggled to name factories for this award. We try to base pricing on more than a factory’s performance among the limited number of cigars we review, rather we consider the overall quality of the cigars we smoke in a factory, the trajectory a factory might be on, recent changes a factory has made, etc. While we could certainly judge factories by the cigars we smoke, the rest is very complicated for 2021.

None of us have walked into a cigar factory in 2021. These visits, while not a deal breaker, help enormously in understanding how a factory is doing compared to its peers. The complete lack of visits combined with the other challenges mentioned above made it quite easy to conclude that we should not award this award for 2021.

Our hope is that this will be a temporary absence, both for prices and for our cigar factory tours. I know some factory owners have taken great joy in the results of this award and the fact that it means something to them is not lost on us at half wheel.


That said, we’re revamping our Rewards Week schedule.

  • January 17, 2022 (Monday) — Review of the numbers
  • January 18, 2022 (Tuesday) — New Business of the Year
  • January 19, 2022 (Wednesday) — Business of the Year
  • January 20, 2022 (Thursday) 12:00 p.m. CDT — Packaging Awards Live Show
  • January 21, 2022 (Friday) 12:00 PM CDT – Top 25 Cigars Live Show
  • January 24, 2022 (Mon) 12:00 PM CDT – The Top 25 Consensus Cigars Live Show

Charlie Minato

I am publisher and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of halfwheel’s two predecessors. I manage 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 have lived in most parts of the country and am now beginning my second stay in Dallas, TX. I like boxing, headphones, the 24 hours of Le Mans, wearing sweatshirts all year round and gyros. echte liebe.

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