2023: Small/Medium Factory of the YearFabrica Oveja Negra, the factory in Estelí, Nicaragua under the leadership of James Brown, is the winner of the Prime Time Award for Best Small/Medium Factory for 2023. This award factors in things such as innovation, continued quality, and impact on the industry coming out of a Small/Medium-sized factory.

The factory is best known for producing cigars for Oveja Negra Brands, which include Black Label Trading Company, Black Works Studio, Emilio Cigars, and Dissident Cigars. For many years, the factory was associated with popular small-batch, darker, and heavier cigars. More recently, the company has shown it can make cigars from mild to full. It also proves that it can make consistent, regular-production cigars.

Of note, the Black Label Trading Company Porcelain, a Connecticut Shade cigar, landed #4 and #3 on the Cigar Coop and El Oso Fumar Takes List. The Black Label Trading Company S&R and Black Label Trading Company Bishops Blend Novemdiales landed on Developing Palates’ Top 25. Other 2023 cigars noted by panel members included the Black Label Trading Company La Madonna Negra (for the brand’s 10th anniversary), Black Works Studio Poison Dart, and Black Label Trading Company Santa Muerte (this one a new regular production cigar).

Fabrica Oveja Negra appeared on all five ballots of the panel, receiving 23 of a maximum of 25 points. The factory garnered three first-place votes and two second-place votes. This is also the third time Fabrica Oveja Negra has won this award.

For more details on our selection process, click here.

The full vote results appear here.

Complete List Winners (Previously Awarded as Small Factory of the Year until 2019)

2014 Fabrica de Tobacos Nica Sueño S.A. (Estelí, Nicaragua)
2015 La Zona S.A. (Estelí, Nicaragua)
2016 La Zona S.A.(Estelí, Nicaragua)
2017 La Zona S.A. (Estelí, Nicaragua)
2018 Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. (Santiago, Dominican Republic)
2019 Fabrica Oveja Negra (Estelí, Nicaragua)
2020 Fabrica Oveja Negra (Estelí, Nicaragua)
2021 Tabacalera Pichardo (Estelí, Nicaragua)
2022 TABADEX (Licey, Dominican Republic)
2023 Fabrica Oveja Negra (Estelí, Nicaragua)