It is a little hard to describe the pride we feel here at Cigar Aficionado. Twenty years ago, the world kept telling us that it was a bad idea to launch a cigar magazine, that there was no future in it. But thanks to Marvin Shanken’s vision and passion, he ignored all the naysayers and plunged ahead with the project. Today in 2012, we have enjoyed an incredible two decade run of success, all the while having a lot of fun and remaining true to our original mission of educating the world about the pleasures and joys of not only a good cigar, but the good life too.
We began with a simple prototype, the product of an outstanding design team working with an equally simple mission—make it beautiful, the best-looking magazine you can design. We reviewed dozens of magazines, always keeping in mind that we wanted a magazine that epitomized the good life and stayed true to a couple of key words—simple elegance. We have always felt that we achieved that goal.
The 20th anniversary issue of Cigar Aficionado will be arriving on newsstands or at your tobacconist or in your mailbox over the next few days or weeks. You will find a first-ever interview with Mr. Shanken taking you from his early days as a cigar smoker, to the realization of his dream to create a cigar magazine. You’ll hear from some of the people in the cigar industry who have been along for the entire 20-year ride, and you’ll read about the thoughts of some our cover subjects and why they were thrilled to be on the cover. And we will take you behind the scenes of our tasting process as well as some thoughts from our editors. Throughout the planning of this special issue, we wanted to focus on the people behind the magazine’s success, personal recollections of an incredible experience that has defied all predictions.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed producing it. We spent long hours reminiscing, going through back issues and back note books, remembering some of the good times we have had. In the end, we realized that the one thing we appreciate more than anything else is the community of cigar smokers that has been created since the launch of Cigar Aficionado. For that, we thank you. Enjoy the memories.