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Halloween Edition: Scariest Smokes of 2011

It’s Halloween, and as such, it’s time to break out your darkest, strongest, and spiciest stogies. I’m talking about the ones you’ve been putting off smoking in fear of getting hit with a wave of fiery, buzzing nicotine; the ones your buddy smoked and said, “Man, that cigar kicked my ass.” Halloween is the perfect time to smoke those.

photo by vancouverfilmschool on flickr

I did a similar post to this last year detailing the most intimidating smokes on the market, but it just so happens that since last year, a ton of stronger and even more intimidating smokes have been released, and here I’ll detail a few of my favorites. So without further babbling, here are the four scariest smokes of 2011 (so far), in no particular order:

601 La Bomba
The 601 La Bomba Napalm is by far the strongest cigar I have ever had. I reviewed this one not too long ago, and I seem to remember being buzzed out of my mind after the first inch, so much so that I even let the cigar go out a couple of times while getting my bearings. If you’re planning on smoking this (which you should, because it’s damn delicious), eat a huge meal before you even think about lighting up. If I hadn’t before this one, I might not be sitting here writing this right now.

Fausto by Tatuaje
Fausto by Tatuje is not only a true powerhouse of a smoke, but it’s also got one of the coolest (and most Halloween-themed) logos I’ve ever seen: a devil with bat wings. This is most likely a reference to the German legend in which a character named Faust sells his soul to the devil for infinite knowledge and worldly pleasure. The Fausto, which I reviewed recently, is a chocolaty and peppery beast of a smoke that maintains its strength almost all the way to the end, at which point it mellows a little. At this point, you will likely be buzzed to the point where anything more than “mellow” would be too much, so this is a welcome change. Anyway, wolf down a cheeseburger and try this one, because it is definitely worth it to experience this kind of power.

A. Turrent Puro Corojo
The A. Turrent Puro Corojo was released at the 2011 IPCPR show, and surprisingly, I’ve heard little mention of it since. As the name “Puro Corojo” might suggest, these are rolled entirely with Corojo-seed leaves; a San Andrés Corojo wrapper from Mexico, a Nicaraguan Corojo binder, and a filler blend of both of these leaves. Having smoked the A. Turrent Triple Play Puro Maduro (see also: Zac’s review) and been pretty much unaffected by its strength, I wasn’t expecting to be punched in the face by the Puro Corojo, but this thing was fiery. I smoked this before lunch, and about halfway through, my legs were wobbly and I was having trouble holding a conversation. If you’re going to try one of these, which I recommend highly, eat something first and make sure you’re sitting down.

La Gloria Cubana Artesanos Retro Especialé
Alright, I know I said “darkest,” but bear with me here. When I took this cigar out of the cellophane before I reviewed it a while back, I was expecting probably what everyone expects from a Connecticut-wrapped stogie—a smooth, creamy, easygoing, and non-threatening smoke. But this thing is a legitimate wolf in sheep’s clothing. Underneath its silky, Honduran-grown Connecticut-seed wrapper is a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan leaves that will test anyone’s capacity for spice. That said, this is one tasty smoke; it just commands respect.

Anyway, that’s the list—everyone have a happy Halloween, and if you think there’s anything else out there that should be on this list, feel free to leave a comment!