Most of my strain reviews are based on reader suggestions and buzz around town, but some happen just because I come across a new pot shop on one of my days off. This was the case with Platte Valley Dispensary, a small shop on Seventh Street that I noticed after dropping my cousin off at the Denver Aquarium. Considering its proximity to not just the aquarium but also Elitch Gardens, I decided to see what relief Platte Valley had to offer for stressed-out parents yearning for their kids’ birthday-party excursion to end.
The dispensary, on the second floor of a building that houses an El Señor Sol Mexican restaurant, is a little cramped and worn down, but the most important room — the bud room — offered plenty of space. “Hoping the Avs and Nuggets games bring in some business this year?” I asked the budtender. “If they’re not out of it by December, maybe,” he replied. I wasn’t sure if his contempt came from his inner fan or his inner capitalist, but I liked where the conversation was going. I asked what he’d recommend after a twelve-game losing streak, and he brought out the El Diablo. Despite its devilish name, he said it was a relaxing strain that still left him with enough energy to get outside instead of wallowing in sadness after his dog died. That’s not the type of depth I’m used to getting when asking for strain suggestions (nobody likes a dead-dog story), but I appreciated his help all the same, and I bought a half-eighth for $15 after tax.
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Later, opening my bottle of El Diablo released sweet floral scents, providing some aromatherapy for my musty garage as I readied my rolling papers. The fruity smells and hints of lavender could’ve passed for perfume had they not been rounded out by an earthy skunkiness just begging to be tasted. The buds were adequately trimmed and a little dry, but still fresh enough to keep most of the ripe trichomes intact; breaking them up took about three seconds, though, and the herb turned to dust. Puffing on the joint was a little harsher than I expected, and despite an obvious presence of lavender and grape flavors, I also tasted chlorophyll. The half-gram pinner I rolled was fine on my lungs, but something bigger would have been too much.
El Diablo’s leafy taste didn’t affect the incredible high, however. Waves of relaxation rippled through my body for the first fifteen minutes or so, but a glass of cold water popped me right back. Both the compact bud structure and the tranquility level told me that this hybrid was definitely indica-leaning — but not far enough to end my day’s production. If you’re looking for something to take the edge off without gluing you to your TV, Platte Valley’s El Diablo might be the fallen angel you need.
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