STRAIN REVIEW: White Russian Flower from High Noon Cultivation

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PROLOGUE

Greetings all! It’s me, Dick. I do indeed hope you’ve been having all the fun. Between taking in 3 A.M. blood-red desert moonrises dodging coyotes in a car full of weed, finding myself far out in the wilderness in possession of vital property belonging to a man who recently did 23 years in federal prison for robbing 14 banks and generally eating more ice cream than I should: I believe I’ve earned my keep as such. But these are all stories for another day.

I deliver Cannabis products across the state of Oregon and as such am lucky enough to pop my head into some truly lovely shops wherever I go, talking to some marvelously knowledgeable budtenders and checking out their favorite Cannabis whenever I’ve got a couple minutes. The kind-hearted and well-intentioned folks here at Beard Bros. have been foolhardy enough to grant me a column where I go out and purchase the best Cannabis from the most legit dispensaries I know of and fire up until and basically warble on about it for a few hundred words. Seems legit, eh? I asked no further questions, myself, at any rate. If they want me to take more time to be stoned - and I genuinely believe that they do - being a gentleman, I shall graciously acquiesce.

That said, although it is a joyous work I take great pride in doing this sort of thing properly. If I find myself face to calyx with a truly artisan flower that tells a story of itself: I try to approach and articulate it with the same reverence as the grower behind it. So before we begin I’ll lay you out my basic ground rules for this particular endeavour:

  1. None of these reviews are in any way solicited by the grower or anyone else. If I see something potentially worthwhile I pick it up, if I feel it’s a noteworthy enough smoke to write about I’ll reach out to the grower for additional info after the fact if possible.

  2. I won’t review anything sub-par just to bash on it, nor write about anything I wouldn’t personally recommend as top-tier smoke. I may be a Dick but I go well out of my way not to be an asshole about it. There’s a healthy taint between the twin concepts of douchebaggery and positive critical thought and I like to keep that division mighty clean.

  3. I’m not doing this to get ridiculously baked: I take small hits, spaced out over time, to appreciate the deeper sublimities of the Cannabis I encounter both in palate and effect. I generally go for a walk, both to let my mind wander and to get a good physical sense of the high in question. Sometimes I think up some truly, monumentally weird shit. If this ends up being the material I’ve got to work with, it may well be what I decide is worth you reading. I make no apologies for this.

  4. I’m here to have fun. Not just in this column, but in a much broader sense. I hope you are too.

With that: Onward…

EP. 1: WHITE RUSSIAN / HIGH NOON CULT / FARMA

Harvested: 3/25/19

Purchased: 8/23/19

Consumed: 8/26/19

I figured I’d start this adventure out at my old alma mater, Farma in southeast Portland. To be fair they’ve drawn some ire from time to time for carrying a reputation as “The Apple Store of Weed”, a savage burn for a small business shunted deep into the beating coronary arteries of Hipsterville Central’s gritty ethos and fragile ego.

You know what?
I think that’s accurate.

I also think it’s righteous. I’m super glad such a standard-bearer exists. We need a well-lit space staffed by hyperintelligent, impeccably educated evangelists of the finest expressions of the human / Cannabis saga to be found and this is absolutely that space. If you’re in town, and you take your Cannabis seriously: this is a must-stop.

I was lucky enough to be helped by my main man Ian. It was indeed a pleasure to catch up with one of the most knowledgeable voices in the scene. Seek him out, eh? Better frickin’ tip him too, while you’re at it...  

Now, if you’ll excuse me: Imma rewind a bit, to provide a complete backdrop to this situation. And away we go...  

I was on my sales route in the back room of a dispensary in the suburbs recently, dealing with a jolly intake manager and recounting him with harrowing tales from the black market days. As we’re double counting the prerolls I brought against the transfer manifest describing how many there’s supposed to be I glanced up at a black square on the wall nestled amongst a cornucopia of posters and farm promos, a bandana that had been pinned up. What drew my eyes wasn’t even the super cool sacred geometry logo on the thing, nor that I was already well familiar with the garden behind it. 

It was the fact that it had dotted partition lines so it looked like an old-school blotter of acid. It made absolute, perfect sense given the grow it came from.  

So, first of all: High Noon Cult is fucking badass.

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If you give a shit about small batch craft flower - the kind of harvests where clearly every individual bud receives top notch attention - this is a grow that’s worth getting hyped about. I’ve honestly never seen a crop from them that was anything less than sterling. Furthermore, the genetics they pheno hunt and breed go well beyond the standard paradigms of bling and high yield and outlandish numbers: this is artisanship you really need to see and experience to appreciate fully. Anytime I see that somebody is growing this or that genetic solely because it speaks to them and they can speak their craft through it: I’ll pick their flower first, every time.

When I saw their harvest of White Russian it was a done deal almost automatically. It’s the kind of thing that jumps out at you. 

I had the pleasure of chatting with founder and grower Ty recently. Alongside an impassioned two-way diatribe centered on the ongoing rec battle for the soul of Cannabis culture we occasionally stuck on topic regarding this cultivar in particular and his experience with it.

He confirmed its I-suppose-this-makes-it-retro-now heritage (White Widow x AK-47).

“Had that for, man: fuck, that one’s been around forever, since like ‘03. Goddamn. . . one of the originals that we had. We run it now and again, it’s a great strain but you gotta get it fresh, the flavor fades super quickly. That fruitier, skittlier smell can die.”

I asked him about his grow methods. “We’re all soil beds, indoor, a lot of top dress, try to run as much raw top dress as we can. We hand water, reuse and collect as much rainwater and dehumidifier water as we can.” This is an important distinction: an adult Cannabis plant, being a subtropical ornamental, can consume an absolutely ludicrous amount of water. This model of conservation is something that’s increasingly coming to the forefront; in the new explosion of hemp macro cultivation farmers (and large scale cultivators in general) are absolutely going to need to draw from these techniques to stay viable if we’re to avoid desertification.

We got to talking about the larger scope of what they grow and why. In ways White Russian is an outlier for their garden, one of the few all stars in rotation from an earlier era. “We’ve got a few of our strains that have trickled through from our medical days, but everything we do now is from seed in house.”

I ask him about breeding projects, and although he’s fairly humble about this point I’d EXTREMELY recommend the reader find some Irish Cream, when and where available, and decide for themselves: “We bred that Irish cream, I wouldn’t call myself a professional breeder, but...we mix shit up, have some fun.” *laughs 

Overall and in closing, I’d say Ty summed up the philosophies of small craft growing High Noon espouses thusly: “Touch your plant! Have fun!” In the face of automated macro grows replacing an older and more intimate tradition: I have to say I couldn’t agree more if I tried.

SPECS

Structure

A bit loose but not wispy by any means. Smaller flowers predominated the jar I saw; that said they looked pretty uniformly like tops. Some slight color variegation bud to bud, not sure if this is from different placement in the room or...maybe I'm just finally going blind, y'know?

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Cure / Condition

Nice and springy, just about prime I'd say. Broke up easily with some dried tips but still enough life to the flower for an appreciably long burn.

Nose

The first thing I got out of the jar was a dark, bready, raspberry jam / rose. There’s bit of clean and sharp gas in the background but it's muted. Broken open the medicinal, brighter AK-47 lineage takes center stage. Some sharp fruity candy too.

Palate

Light and bright, fairly dry. Necco wafers, Irish Spring soap, maybe a little sandalwood. As the bowl burns there's a pleasant fade of the sharper notes that leaves a tan, vanilla custard-ish sort of aftertaste.

Effects

Upbeat and warm, sociable and centering. I'd say this is a grade-a classy socialite party kind of weed: not too racy, no real physical disorientation or mental confusion to speak of, just a warm and wholly decent feeling about life in general.

Were this a presidential campaign I'd have to rank it Howard Dean 2004 but, you know, without that one unfortunate shouting incident. Of course, I really don’t have all too much to get fired up about right at the moment, not like I’m eyeballing a clear shot at the White House or whathaveyou on an unassuming Tuesday night. I went for a pleasant stroll around the neighborhood and contemplated the possibly Seinfeldian minutiae driving the hive mind of an intergalactically-spanning nanotech swarm deep within the Bootes void and also some sensible low-carb snack options if you must know. Regardless I can see this comfortably settling into a relaxed, low-pressure but nonetheless crucial and inimitable role in the pantheon of weed I get after this year.

So there it is! I’d say git you some while you still can but I feel that would be far too starkly capitalistic and bossy. I liked it. I bet you might. Either way I hope you’re enjoying your time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Onward... 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DICK FITTS - GUEST CONTRIBUTOR - BEARD BROS. MEDIA

Jesus, this fucker is still talking? I guess there’s still a bunch of those molly-spun 45-year-old Phish Phart idiot crusties out there that are just too spun at this point to ever shut their obnoxious “heady” mouths. Friggin dinosaurs like this should stick to terrible dancing at dad-rock cover bands in the back of sports bars rather than tell us all how to live our lives. I bet he always goes on and fucking every time he sees his budtender about why don’t they carry Skunk #1 and Neville’s Haze and how much better everything was from Sensi Seeds in 1995 than anything that’s around today. What a goddamn prick...I bet if you slush his PATREON with some “Just fucking stop it already” money he really just might.Might as well try, eh? (Seriously tho: Big Thx if you can)