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In the September/October 2012 Cigar Aficionado

Cigar Aficionado's 20th Anniversary

In the October issue of Cigar Aficionado, we celebrate 20 years of being the ultimate resource for cigar lovers. It starts with Editor and Publisher Marvin R. Shanken telling the tale of how the magazine was created and continues with various in-depth features that examine the magazine's impact not only on the industry, but cigar culture. This 274-page collector's edition includes works by famed authors Gay Talese and P.J. O'Rourke, a journey back in time with some of the pioneers of the cigar industry, a gallery showing every cover of the magazine, discussions with some of the celebrities who have graced our cover, a dream interview with some of history's most famous cigar lovers and much, much more. Plus, we look at slow play on golf courses, teach you how to get VIP treatment in a hotel, and argue why the NFL's quarterback rating system is flawed. Also, subscribe to Cigar Aficionado and receive the digital edition of our premier issue FREE!

Up Front

Editors' Note
Twenty Years of Good Living

Out of the Humidor

Good Life Guide

OLEDs change the big picture.

Buying the entire barrel.

QuintEvents will get you in the game.

The humidor that’s a transformer.

Harry Winston is channeling Copernicus.

Rolls has the last word in limos.

The next-best thing to Versailles.

Put outer space on your bucket list.

When fabrics turn fantastic.

A celebrity chef in your kitchen.

20th Anniversary

Marvin Speaks
For the first time anywhere, Cigar Aficionado’s Editor and Publisher Marvin R. Shanken tells the whole story of how he came to create a magazine that would capture the imagination (and passion) of cigar smokers everywhere.
An Idea Becomes a Phenomenon
From the inaugural issue of what was seemingly an odd-duck magazine tailored for a very specialized niche market to the explosion of cigar smoking to the unbridled excitement of the Big Smokes, Cigar Aficionado has always been a publishing anomaly…and a cultural game changer.
The Stars
What it Meant to Them
We’ve gathered the 112 Cigar Aficionado covers to celebrate the presidents, generals, actors, athletes and legends who have been the face of the magazine.
2nd Look
Gay Talese Reconsiders
Our first issue contained an essay by the distinguished journalist Gay Talese about his ritual of “walking my cigar” and it garnered unwarranted ire. We ask him 20 years hence how that has changed.
P.J. O’Rourke and the Cigar Legends
Freud, Churchill, Groucho and more answer in their own words the burning questions of smoking.
The 2012 Hall of Fame
For the first time since 1997 we reopen the doors of the Cigar Aficionado Hall of Fame, welcoming nine new members: Carlos Fuente Jr., Hendrik Kelner, Robert Levin, Benjamin Menendez, José Orlando Padrón, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Nestor Plasencia, Manuel Quesada and José Seijas.
The Cigar Men Look Back
We asked a coterie of elite cigar men (and some women) to look back to where their businesses were 20 years ago and to comment on how the cigar boom changed their lives.
Cigars Go Boom
How the sleepy cigar industry went from a dying craft to an enormous fad and weathered the inevitable crash.
An Inside Look at Scoring
In 20 years, the editors have selflessly smoked thousands of cigars, assessing them for our ratings pages. We examine the process and the numbers behind this core aspect of the magazine.
Our Picks
The Editors Chime In
Our editors give picks in eclectic categories from favorite Big Smokes to ah-ha moments.
How the Rest of the World Changed
The good life apart from cigars has also changed in 20 years. Our contributing editors in automotives, travel, golf, technology, gambling and spirits survey the vast changes.


The Rise of the Slow Pokes
A rash of tediously slow tournament golfers is plaguing the professional game and threatening to spill over to local clubs as duffers imitate their idols.
Catering to the A-List
Hotels won’t admit it, but most have a VIP pecking order by which they give their loyal customers the royal treatment. What should you expect when you get on an innkeeper’s good side?
The Story Behind QB Ratings
Why does the NFL quarterback rating system consistently deny its passing legends access to the higher reaches of the ziggurat? We examine a flawed system that puts Aaron Rodgers at No.1, but has Joe Montana as an also-ran.


Hawaiian Cigars?
Say aloha to Les Drent, a cigarmaking pioneer who brought tobacco growing to Kauai and aims to create a smoke that’s as good as—if different than—a Nicaraguan cigar.
78 Cigars
We rate 78 cigars in six sizes: Churchills, corona gordas, figurados, lonsdales, petite coronas, and robustos plus Connoisseur’s Corner, our vintage cigar tasting.

Ratings & Reviews

Search our database of more than 17,000 cigar tasting notes by score, brand, country, size, price range, year, wrapper and more, plus add your favorites to your Personal Humidor.