Oh, Denver: One of the few places in the world where you can tell your pot dealer, "This shit sucks. I'm going somewhere else," and actually mean it. Securing a new and reasonably un-sketchy weed guy is a headache for people in other, less-fortunate states – but not here, where you just walk a few blocks (or feet, depending what part of town you're in) to the next dispensary. Almost two years of legal pot in Denver has created an entitlement for quality herb of which I'm completely unashamed, and for the most part, the dispensaries of the Mile High have delivered.
But which strains rose above the rest? Here the ten best strains I've reviewed in 2015:
10) Ingrid at Good Chemistry
16840 East Iliff Avenue, Aurora
"Don’t let Ingrid’s homely smell fool you. Burning this was like enjoying cheese and wine for dessert, and the knockout blow makes it an easy choice for insomnia or stress relief. With such strong and specific effects, my leftovers will be set aside for a rough day or when counting sheep just won’t cut it."
9) Stardawg Guava at The Clinic Colorado
3888 East Mexico Avenue
"Opening up the pre-packaged buds at home gave me an intense nosegasm. Sweet, fruity aromas jumped right out, with hints of diesel lingering long after; my mouth watered as a tart earthiness filled my nostrils. Despite the small amount I’d bought, all of the nugs were full and robust. Rich, amber trichomes cloaked the Stardawg’s light-green calyxes, giving them a yellowish hue, and the noticeable lack of stems made me smile. I couldn’t twist one up fast enough — and after a few drags, subtle tropical notes danced around my taste buds and a familiar earthy flavor stuck to the back of my tongue."
8) White Fire OG at Mile High Green Cross
"To my initial dismay, the entire recreational lineup had been bought from a wholesale grower because Mile High’s recreational crops weren’t ready yet. But there was good news: My budtender said the wholesaler was Kind Love, a Glendale medical dispensary that has a great reputation. So I asked her what strain was the hardest to keep on the shelf. She said the alpha of the lineup was White Fire OG — a thoroughbred of a strain born from Fire OG and The White genetics. The nugs on display at Mile High were a beautiful mixture of green, white, purple and orange; this love-at-first-sight cost $12.12 per gram after tax."
7) Tangerine Haze at Herban Medicinals
"A couple of Volcano bags at 320 degrees tasted like halftime at a youth soccer game. Tart, tangy sensations jumped around the sides of my tongue like little Clementines bouncing off my taste buds as I took rip after rip. Afterward, I couldn’t sit still, wandering around my house like a bored dog looking for mischief."
6) Blue OG at iVita Wellness
3980 Franklin Street
"Blue OG is bred with Blueberry Moonshine, Blueberry and OG Kush genetics, making a slightly sativa-dominant hybrid that smells like a blueberry-banana-pineapple smoothie: simultaneously sweet, savory and sour. All of those fruit notes, combined with a crisp earthiness, made me want to jump inside Blue OG’s bottle and set up camp for a few days to soak it in, and bright, frosty trichomes glimmered in the sun as I admired the dense nug. Some of these beautiful Colorado buds tug at my heart as I grind them up, and Blue OG’s sweet-smelling cries were deeply felt."
5) Alien Rock Candy at Sweet Leaf— Evans (Grown by Kind Love)
4400 East Evans Avenue
"A midnight bowl brought the salivating sweetness I expected, but it was rounded out with a firm earthiness as well. It’s one thing to enjoy the taste of a strain, but taking hit after hit because I can’t get enough of the flavor is something entirely different. The exquisite taste made me overzealous, and I smoked two bowls too many before I even realized it. One would’ve worked just fine to enhance my appetite and then put me to sleep. Three made me a drooling vegetable."
4) Ogre Kush at Advanced Medical Alternatives
1269 Elati Street
"Not wasting any time, I quickly narrowed my posible choice to two very qualified candidates: Bubba OG, the indica-dominant equivalent of Jay Z and Beyoncé’s child; and Ogre Kush, a fruity strain with some iconic genetics of its own. Watching Shrek stoned on some Ogre sounded like a great way to fall asleep and kick-start an interesting dream, so I bought a half-eighth for $18 with the discount."
3) Gogi OG Cookies at Headquarters (Boulder)
537 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder
"Not one to be turned off by Cookie genetics, I was impressed by how much more pungent the earthy and sweet scents were compared to those of the original Gogi — almost as if a tennis ball had been dunked in powdered sugar. Heavy Pine-Sol smells instantly brought flashbacks. I broke up the chunky, sticky nugs with the passion and touch of a prisoner during a conjugal visit and couldn’t spark my bowl fast enough. The trichomes, oozing with THC, melted before my eyes like some finger hash that just happened to taste like tart, rubbery oranges."
2) Lavender Jazzberry Jam at the The Herbal Cure
985 South Logan Street
"Lavender Jazzberry Jam is a house strain that can only be found at THC. Comprising Afghani Skunk, Blueberry and Lavender genetics, this beauty has syrupy bubble-gum aromas that would be right at home in a candy shop. Its sugary sweetness didn’t completely kill off the skunkiness, though, as each sniff was rounded out by a Pepé Le Pew after-scent."
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1) Bordello at Kind Love
4380 East Alameda Avenue, Glendale
"Fortunately, the menu only had eight options — or I probably would’ve been there until closing. The legendary Alien Rock Candy and resin-glazed Gorilla Glue #4 looked too good to pass up, but another, stankier temptress pulled me away: the Bordello, in all of its sour glory. I would have left the shop with the nug shoved up my nostrils, but apparently that’s illegal, so I bought a gram in a bottle for $18 and change after tax."
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