There are plenty of celebrities around the world who love a great cigar. We challenge you to find one who enjoys them as much as Arnold Schwarzenegger. He began smoking cigars in the 1970s and he still adores them today.
He's a man of many nicknames. The Terminator. Conan. The Austrian Oak. The Governator. But for most people, and for us, he is quite simply Arnold. And he's back.
Arnold makes history with this cover appearance, as no other person has ever appeared three times on the cover of our magazine. (His first cover was Summer of 1996, when we were still a quarterly, and his second was August 2003.) He's not only back in our book, he's back in the limelight in a big way, stepping into the shoes vacated by President-elect Donald Trump in the network television series "The New Celebrity Apprentice," which debuts on NBC on January 2. Will he adopt the Trump catchphrase "You're fired," when dismissing a contestant, or will he go his own way, saying "You're terminated," or perhaps "Hasta la vista?"
Arnold has experience as a boss, for as you'll read in our cover story, he's a lot more than muscle and movies. He was a business success before his first hit, a millionaire before he was Conan the Barbarian. He's succeeded again and again, conquering the world of bodybuilding, then film and being elected governor of California, the biggest economy in the United States. And he's done it all while smoking cigars. When California law forbade him from lighting up in the statehouse, he built a cigar-friendly tent in the courtyard. That's thinking outside the box.
Also in this issue, we review the changes to U.S. law that finally allow Americans to legally bring Cuban cigars back into the United States, not only from Cuba but from London, Paris, Geneva and elsewhere. It's a change we have long lobbied for, and one we welcome, but it comes with important caveats. Restrictions still remain.
This issue also contains our annual ranking of the best cigars of the year, the 25 finest smokes that have emerged victorious after our tournament of champions. Who survived the world's toughest taste test to be named Cigar of the Year?
There's much more to this issue. We imagine a golf world without Tiger Woods, and name the players who would have had far different careers had Tiger never teed it up as a pro. We bring you into the high-stakes world of baccarat and introduce you to the woman who won more than $70 million with her controversial technique. We look at the spiciest of whiskies, rye, and pair it with exceptional cigars.
Light up a cigar, sit back in your favorite chair and enjoy this issue.