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Why Colorado Tokers Love Gelato

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Living without air-conditioning in Denver is more of a blessing than a curse at this stage of my financial life. Even in the middle of the summer, my house rarely went above the mid-80s during the afternoon, so I was never tempted to double my energy bill. When I lived in Phoenix, I’d be sweating through my clothes and still have a $300-plus bill (and you wonder why people are moving to the Mile High City!). Despite my heat-superiority complex, though, some hot Denver nights in July made falling asleep tough. I needed something to cool down or at least make me forget how overheated I was.

I was walking along East Colfax Avenue one day when the pavement was about to melt; the strip smelled like cigarette smoke and body odor everywhere I turned, and all I could think about was diving into a Slurpee tank. When I spotted the name “Gelato” at the Clinic, it was an instant match. The heavy indica-dominant hybrid gave my nose a cooling sensation the second I opened the bag, and its pedigree was impressive, rising in prominence thanks to California rapper and pot activist (and Taylor Gang member) Berner.

Also known as Larry Bird in some circles, the Bay Area strain is a transplant that Colorado natives might actually want here, bred with Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies and Sunset Sherbet genetics for a silky but debilitating high. It’s also a fox in the looks department: My roommates thought my buds were wet because of the way the dark, purple buds and oily resin glands contrasted with each other in the afternoon light — or maybe they were just that thirsty to smoke it. Lucky for them, I shared the wealth.

Gelato chilled everyone out that evening, dropping us one by one until I woke up at 2 a.m. with the DVD menu of 300 playing on repeat like we were on a junior-high sleepover. The fan wasn’t even on. Mission accomplished.

If the heat ever gets to you, ditch the ice-cream-and-smoothie approach. Enjoy a bowl of Gelato instead, and everything will cool down from there.

Looks: Known for being dark and dense, Gelato has orange pistils and trichomes that fairly shine off its forest-green and purple buds. Break apart a nug to peek inside its calyxes for an even better look.

Smell: Intense but complex. A musty, OG-like earthiness hits your nose immediately, almost overwhelming it. But a few lighter sniffs will showcase creamy, sweet scents of lavender and berries.

Flavor: As is the case with its parents and grandparents, Gelato’s initial flavor follows the pattern of its smell: Earthy flavors up front (they might be all you taste on your first bowl), followed by rich, milky tastes to balance them out — almost like half-and-half with blueberries.

Effects: Relaxation and sleep have always been my two biggest takeaways from Gelato, but its heavy effects can also treat pain, depression and stomach issues. Although the strain can bring about creativity, the hazy head high might leave you out of order.

Commercial grower’s take: “I’d tried this strain a couple years before we finally got it [in the shop]. I even noticed it won a couple awards in San Francisco for its popularity. I’m a Cookies guy, so why not? It takes about nine weeks to flower, which could be worse compared to other Cookies strains. The bad thing for consumers is that the yields aren’t great, so we have to charge more for this than other strains, but it still goes fast. The sweet-tasting name helps, in my opinion — just like Key Lime Pie. But this is great for hash, too, because it’s so potent; that’s where I think the best deal on this is for consumers. I can only imagine what some live resin run from Gelato tastes like. Well, probably Gelato!”

Is there a strain you’d like to see profiled? E-mail marijuana@westword.com.

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