In the spirit of this special issue and our cover package on the Mob, we wanted to share a fun photo from our archives. This shot of the two of us from 2014 (along with former executive editor Gordon Mott on the left) demonstrates the Cigar Aficionado version of Mob justice.
Take the cigar, leave the cannoli.
If you’re like us, you love a good Mob movie, especially in winter. Give us a cold night, a cigar and a gangster film and we’ll be happy. But while movies like The Godfather, Once Upon A Time in America and A Bronx Tale make for fascinating viewing, there’s an even better story out there—the tales of real-life mobsters.
These are men who built criminal empires by the power of the gun and knife, men who made their own rules and battled for fortunes. They raked in obscene amounts of money, one of them more than $1 billion. Another ran one of New York’s most powerful crime families in secrecy, fooling authorities into thinking he was an innocent suffering from mental illness. Others have been linked to the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa. Many perished in violent ways befitting their violent lives, while a surprising number lived to be old men.
Anchoring this cover package is the story of a little-known battle fought in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, between the Italian Mafia and the Cuban Mob over the illegal—and highly lucrative—numbers racket. This story, by New York Times best-selling author T.J. English, is a compelling must-read.
The stories of the Mob are just a taste of this issue. We also catch up with Tiger Woods on the site of his newest golf course, Payne’s Valley in Missouri, to talk about his new career as a designer. Out in the desert of Las Vegas, we find Derek Stevens, a bold entrepreneur who just bet $1 billion on the long-term life of Las Vegas by opening the luxurious Circa Resort & Casino. We have a cigar with Ed Reed, perhaps the best safety ever to play in football, as he embarks on new ventures with the Miami Hurricanes and a cigar brand all his own. And we interview the stars of the cigar business to tell you what they’ll be drinking this holiday season, plus much, much more, including our trademark cigar reviews.
It’s a packed magazine to end the year. Sit back, light up, pour your favorite drink and enjoy the issue.