Dark nights, creaky doors, spider webs, eerie sounds, black cats and pumpkins. It can only mean one thing. Halloween is approaching. The country of Scotland has a long and storied history of celebrating this spooky season. Samhain was the Celtic festival marking the summer’s end and was very much the precursor to the Halloween we celebrate today. Celtic tradition held that on the 31st of
October, ghosts would rise again and roam amongst the living. To prevent these evil spirits accessing homes, villagers would burn large bonfires to ward off the wayward phantoms.
In the Bard of Ayrshires poem ‘Halloween’ he declares:
Some merry, friendly, country-folks
Together did convene,
To burn their nits, an’ pou their stocks,
An’ haud their Hallowe’en
Fu’ blythe that night…
The act of guising (dressing as a ghoul and scaring the locals) was practiced by Scots children until the influence of American Halloween would see it being replaced with Trick or Treating. In similar fashion the traditional carved turnip would become scarcely seen, instead being replaced by the iconic orange pumpkin.
To gear up for this eerie event we have selected a collection of items that have a certain air to them that invokes that feeling of fright. Read on… at your own peril!
Rattray’s – Fachen Series
The Fachen series is a completely new design style by Rattray’s. The team behind the concept said aesthetically it was intended to appear “eerie and a bit evil”. An array of inspirations were drawn upon, from gothic to punk. What results is a swamp green sandblast that resembles a creature from Boris Karloff feature.
Named after a dreaded beast of Scottish folklore, the Fachen is said to be a one legged cyclopean giant bearing but one protruding hand from his chest. This is fitting considering the shape of a pipe, the tapered stem being reminiscent of the single leg, the green of the Fachen’s mottled green skin and the bowl representing the singular ominous eye.
Currently we have two models in stock, the bent 105 and the straight 108. Both are fitted for a 9mm filter.
Rattray’s – Folding Pipe Stands
The perfect pipe companion, these portable pipe stands by Rattray’s ensure you never have to place your treasured pipe upon undesirable surfaces. Made from real brass, these durable stands are laser engraved with the iconic Rattray’s logo and come in two finishes: Brass and Gunmetal.
A belief in the potential of brass to trap and contain evil spirits and demons is traceable back to the Goetia: The Lesser Key Of Solomon. This grimoire has been adapted from early 15th century texts but was most notably proliferated by Alistair Crowley. In one passage it states:
“Solomon commanded demons into a vessel of Brass, together with their legions. And when he had thus bound them up and sealed the vessel, he by divine power did chase them all into a deep lake.”
Rattray’s – Helmet Pipes
If you happen to venture too deep into the wicked woods or find yourself a top Davy Jones locker, one thing that may help light your way home is a steady burning pipe. Too often the Scottish wind blows fiercely and without a pipe that has some form of protection from it, keeping tobacco burning can be a fruitless task.
Fear not, for Rattray’s have imbued their Helmet range with a protective talisman in the form of a rotating pipe lid. This can contain tobacco securely in the bowl whilst allowing air or flame to enter through the aperture above.
Two finishes are available. The 138 is a bent poker that comes in a dark and mysterious black and brown smooth finish as well as a ebony sandblast. A traditional bent pipe in the form of the 137 comes in the aforementioned ebony sandblast only.
Artamis – Pipe Tools
Slay the evil tar build up in your pipe by plunging the poker of an Artamis pipe tool within your pipe, just like driving a wooden stake through Dracula’s heart!
Available in three finishes, wood, carbon black and a madness inducing tri colour.
Winding Road Pipe Tobacco
Ashtons Winding Road is a truly spectacular tobacco that manages to blend traditional and modern approaches into one moreish blend.
A devious mixture of golden and dark brown Virginias are mixed with a light dash of black Cavendish. This forms the base. What comes next is the shocker!
Antiquated apricot is infused with cutting edge caramel, a Jeckyl & Hyde of aromatics that somehow awakens the inner child. Surprise, shock but mostly jubilation can be seen on smokers faces when indulging in a bowl of Winding Road.
Psyko Seven Robusto
“Unleash The Madness” – Ventura
Ventura’s killer new cigars, the Psyko Seven robusto, take two awesome horror film titles, the much lauded Psycho by the godfather or psychological thrillers Alfred Hitchcock and the 90s classic Se7en to create its name.
Perhaps watching the often cigar sporting Hitchcock’s movie may send you into a frenzy of tension, these cigars are certainly the remedy to relieve that stress.
This complex robusto is made from a unique and secretive blend of tobaccos that the company is not willing to disclose. We may never know “what’s in the box”. What we do know is a Mexican sumatra binder and Dominican hybrid wrapper add to the distinctive richness of this cigar. When reviewed by Cigar Aficionado the Psyko Seven
Robusto received a rating of 92/100. Despite its name inspiring visions of Norman Bates the cigar itself is mild to medium bodied and very accessible for smokers of all experience levels.
Davidoff’s Escurio range is named by combining the Portuguese word for dark “Escuro” with the name of Brazil’s capital “Rio”. The mysterious jet black packaging with ghoulish green highlights conjures images of pitch black jungles perforated only by the faint starlight through the creeping leaves.
One thing that can be guaranteed when purchasing a Davidoff cigar is the highest quality standards have been adhered to in its manufacture. The Escurio range is only the second to be adorned with the sophisticated “black band”, a signal to its importance. When it comes to the guts of these cigars a combination of Brazilian and Dominican tobacco has been chosen. Expertly blended, these are then bound in a rare Brazilian cubra before being treated to a special Ecuadorian Havana seed wrapper. The end result is a smooth, medium bodied cigar that gives an array of luxurious notes when smoked. There’s no tricks here, just pure pleasure!
Clipper – Stainless Steel Lighters
The classic Clipper lighter can now be bought made from stainless steel. Well loved for their refillable capabilities, these metal Clippers are no different in this regard. Where they do differ is the unique variable gauge on the base of the lighter allowing you to change the flames height to your preferred size. Each also comes in its own mini carry case branded with the Clipper logo on top. Two new styles have been added to our collection, the first is a jet black clipper with a golden eagle emblem on the front. The second is a vivid red. These lighters produce the classic soft flame making them ideal for hand rolling, pipe and cigar smokers alike.