Taste of the outdoors: Four Swami Select strains, reviewed
Over the course of three Swami Select Salons, Nikki Lastreto and Swami Chaitanya shared nine different strains with a delighted crowd of Bay Area cannabis enthusiasts.
Nikki and Swami grow these potent and flavorful flowers organically under the Mendocino County sun. (They like to point out that their cannabis is not only sun-grown, but also moon-grown and star-grown.)
Sampling so many strains from a single garden, in the company of the cultivators, is an extraordinary privilege. The flowers themselves begin to reflect the personality of the farmers, who select and cultivate strains that complement their sagaciously groovy vibes.
Aroma: These flowers emit the sweet berry and floral scent typical of Blue Dream, but the aroma is also full of cedar and pine, with hints of lemon juice, chamomile, and marshmallow.
Flavor: Overtones of shredded wheat, honeysuckle, and cacao fade into sweet sawdust tinged with tart lemon peel, and heavy floral notes continue through to a lightly browned banana coconut finish.
Effect: The clear and floaty head high is, again, quite similar to classic Blue Dream. It’s disarmingly light and lucid, softly settling into a spacey cerebral stone that feels carefree, creative, and perfectly mellow. It’s physically soothing and sensually relaxing, neither energizing nor sedative, and fairly functional but very chill.
Aroma: A floral sweetness reminiscent of rose hip tea mingles with greasy french fries, damp mossy soil, a dash of spice and cedar, and a whisper of mint.
Flavor: Sweet powdery perfumed rose talc carries through from beginning to end, along with invitingly earthy peat and savory tempura, traces of kerosene, peppermint, and oak, and a wasabi kick in the exhalation.
Effect: A sudden stony stillness numbs the body, relaxing muscles to comfortable near-paralysis, as it slowly stirs the mind, offering contemplative inspiration. It’s profoundly grounding, inducing a tingling feeling of auratic awareness and washing away worries before veering into a groggy trance.
Aroma: Pineapple, dried apricot, and geranium blend into a mellifluous fruit punch garnished with a sprig of rosemary.
Flavor: Creamy pineapple with undertones of toasted brown rice, tempered with lemon zest and rosemary and dusted with cocoa powder, progresses into a cocktail of juicy pineapple, smoky scotch, and bitters, with a lemon twist.
Effect: This happy, undemanding high introduces a sanguine sense of amiable benignity, encouraging muted smiles, and deeply cleansing exhalations. Meanwhile, intellectual capacity inconspicuously slips away, replaced by a fluttery buzz of absentminded innocence.
Aroma: A mildly sweet lemon butter fragrance intertwines with pungent diesel fuel, accompanied by soft cedar and peppery soil that lingers in the nose.
Flavor: A bittersweet mix of soil, wood, and citrus conjures up a lemon orchard, and the chalky smoke leaves a light peppery bite at the back of the throat.
Effect: Body and mind become loose and languid as a warm fuzzy feeling sets in, dissolving pain, tension, stress, and anxiety. Easygoing conversation flows freely at first, until dreamy inattentiveness takes over. As time passes, a creeping heaviness leads to a yearning for a nap, or at least some quiet time vegging out on the couch.
Photos by Caitlin Podiak and Erica Edwards