Get 1 Year of Cigar Aficionado for Just $14.95 + A Free Gift!

The Good Life

Bootleg Booze

When Prohibition rendered alcohol illegal in the United States, bootleggers, foreign producers and the Mob kept Americans in good spirits
By Jack Bettridge | From America’s Most Notorious Mobsters, November/December 2020
Bootleg Booze
Photo/Buyenlarge via Getty Images
Revenue agents dumping a barrel of bootlegged whisky during Prohibition.
Fifty-eight minutes after the 18th Amendment took effect on January 17, 1920, the first violation of Prohibition had already been documented. Less than an hour after the Volstead Act banned the manufacture, sale and distribution of “intoxicating” liquors, armed robbers stole a shipment of medicinal whiskey from a freight train. It wouldn’t be long before flouting the law for profit would become a billion-dollar nationwide business, and bootlegging illegal booze was a line of work that proved quite attractive to mobsters such as Al Capone, Dutch Schultz, Bugsy Siegel and more who used violence to gain market share. Federal officers tried their best to keep up with …
To read the complete story, subscribe to Cigar Aficionado or purchase this issue at your local newsstand or cigar shop.

More in The Good Life

See all
On Sale Now: Tickets To Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest

On Sale Now: Tickets To Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest

The day has come to get your tickets to the inaugural Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest.

Apr 13, 2021
Macanudo Sponsoring Barstool Sports Golf Tournament

Macanudo Sponsoring Barstool Sports Golf Tournament

General Cigar Co. is sponsoring all 26 Barstool Sports events across the country.

Mar 30, 2021
11 Irish Whiskeys That Bring a Taste of the Old Country

11 Irish Whiskeys That Bring a Taste of the Old Country

The Irish whiskey revolution marches on with the country’s iconic copper pot stills.

Mar 16, 2021
Two New Cask-Strength Bourbons for 2021

Two New Cask-Strength Bourbons for 2021

Heaven Hill’s powerhouse Bourbons have arrived in the form of new cask-strength batches of both …

Feb 19, 2021
Johnnie Walker Puts Time in a Bottle

Johnnie Walker Puts Time in a Bottle

Renowned blended Scotch brand Johnnie Walker celebrates the Chinese New Year with a special Blue …

Feb 12, 2021
Tampa Bay Celebrates Super Bowl LV Win With Cigars

Tampa Bay Celebrates Super Bowl LV Win With Cigars

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought home the Lombardi Trophy last night to Cigar City as Tom Brady …

Feb 8, 2021