The future appears grim for us cigar enthusiasts, who have in recent years seen our civil liberties erode like the wrapper on a hot, fast-burning Java wafe. Our new president has voted to increase the cap on cigar taxes through SCHIP legislation and advocates increased nationwide smoking bans. Yet there appears to be a glimmer of hope even for our persecuted bunch, as the Hoover Digest, Foreign Policy magazine and legions of Cuban-Americans plead once more with the federal government: End the embargo.

There was a time when even aficionados considered the embargo a worthwhile foreign policy endeavor. President Kennedy narrowly averted apocalyptic nuclear war and sought to strip a crazy, communist dictator of funds that he would inevitably use on crazy, communist schemes by prohibiting all trade with Cuba (though only after he had purchased 1,000 Petite H. Upmann cigars for himself!). Yet in this era of change and supposed hope, how can we allow an antiquated and unnecessarily cruel vestige of the Cold War to persist? How can we continue to smoke disgusting Honduran cigars when a bounty of delicious Cubans lie a mere 90 miles away?

I speak on behalf of all downtrodden cigar smokers when I say this: Mr. President, if you seek prosperity, if you seek liberalization, hear our raspy, smoky cries! Mr. President, tear down this embargo!

Review: Davidoff 3000

Strength: Mild

Shape: Panatela

Cost: ~$13

Ever since he ended his long but troubled partnership with Cubatabaco in 1991, Zino Davidoff has served as the unparalleled leader of the non-Cuban cigar market. Though his cigars, now made with Dominican tobacco, have little in common with their Cuban predecessors, aficionados continue to count them among the best available in the world. The Davidoff 3000 challenges its smoker to find a proper way to describe it. Go-to words like earthy and woody fail to capture its true flavor.

During the first third of this long, thin smoke, I was tempted to draw parallels to the feeling of approaching spring, but this suggests that the cigar possesses a sense of welcoming that it simply lacks. It tastes, instead, of the first hints of autumn in rural Vermont, insomuch as its mildness gives its smoker a sense of comfort and ease. The bouquet contains an unexpected amount of spice that balances its lack of potency and allows even a seasoned smoker to enjoy its complex flavor. Nice roll, albeit a bit veiny, similar shape to the Cohiba Lancero and a perfect burn. All in all, a fine daytime smoke. B+