I once received an email from a woman who claimed to have worked at a cheese shop across from Cheesman Park in the ’70s where employees allegedly sold weed under the counter. I couldn’t find much to confirm that story, though I did find that a place called The Big Cheese won a Best of Denver award for Best Cheese Shop in 1984, the first year Westword produced that edition — and maybe that bonus helped sway the judges.
Sad to say, the Big Cheese isn’t around anymore, but when I came across a strain by the name of Cheesy Rider at a dispensary in Cap Hill, it seemed like a fitting time to honor a cool place that might or might not have existed. An old head in the bud room told me that Cheesy Rider was actually a motorcycle-riding rodent mascot for Cheetos before Chester Cheetah took over, so the toking connection was too strong to pass up.
A cross between Biker Kush and a variety of U.K. Cheese cuts depending on the breeder, Cheesy Rider is infamous for having a wide stank radius. The potent hybrid is full of jacked-up whiffs of fruity, funky cheese, as those U.K. Cheese qualities are enhanced by Biker Kush’s fruity, earthy lineage of OG Kush, Blackberry and San Fernando Valley OG. Cheesy Rider’s smell, like a delicious wheel of Gouda, gets more pungent and refined with age, so enjoy it in the grow and cure those nugs as long as you can: It’ll only taste better.
Not only is Cheesy Rider’s sweet, creamy funk flavor-made for a picnic, but the high is, too. Each session with the strain provided an upbeat high without blurred concentration, amplifying daytime activities without draining energy. But each session also gave me a serious bout of the munchies, which can kill concentration on its own.
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We’ve spotted Cheesy Rider at Euflora, Green Dragon, Magnolia Road Cannabis Co., Nature’s Herbs and Wellness, and Verde Natural. My favorite versions have come from Nature’s Herbs and Wellness and Verde Natural; both smelled like plates of old cheese and strawberries, and helped me forget my woes after a couple of rough Sundays.
Looks: Like a rocket or stalagmite, Cheesy Rider has tall, pointed plants with long nugs. The hybrid strain leans indica in the grow, hitting medium height and producing dense calyxes. Those buds generally have a glow.
Smell: It’s cheesy, all right, but part of that aromatic explosion comes from Cheesy Rider’s Kush background, which adds to the smell’s horsepower. The combination starts out funky, sweet and cheesy, almost like some aged cheese and berries, followed by spicy, chalky smells of wet dirt and vanilla.
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Flavor: Cheesy Rider’s earthy, spicy Kush aspects take the lead here, with those sweet and cheesy notes filling in the back and sides of your tongue. The taste is just as complex as the smell, but slightly less enjoyable when the cheese and fruit flavors don’t stand out.
Effects: Although the strain’s potency could floor a novice toker, Cheesy Rider’s high makes me curious, creative and talkative. Focus isn’t shot, and the euphoria and energy remains steady throughout the high.
Home grower’s take: “It smells so delicious and funky, but it’s really a collision of Skunk and OG genetics when you look into their backgrounds. Those fruity, cheesy hits are signs of evolving along the way. I had a friend spend good money on Cheesy Rider seeds, and let’s just say he was taken for a spin. Took damn near three months to flower, and his neighbors called him out about the smell coming from his house as the buds dried. I think it’s better set for people with room and experience, because it takes time and topping, and you want it nice and ripe.”
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