Strain review: Black Cherry Maduro 

click to enlarge Black Cherry Maduro combines a skunky undertone with a higher note of pine. - BAYNARD WOODS
  • Baynard Woods
  • Black Cherry Maduro combines a skunky undertone with a higher note of pine.
T.S. Eliot was wrong about April being the cruelest month — uh obvs, 4/20 dude. It’s September, of course, because it’s always either hotter or colder or wetter or drier than you expect. But this hybrid of the lazy Indica summer and the crisp Sativesque fall, brings back endless remembrances of buds past. See, kids, back in the old days, we had to buy weed on the black market and it was either smuggled in across the border or grown in the local mountains. There was always a drought around the end of the summer, August was hell for a stoner. Then in September came the extraordinary relief of the first mountain harvests, often still too damp to burn properly, a rushed salve for our impatient jones.

And as the air got crisp and the weed rolled back in, reaching a peak around Thanksgiving, harvest festival and all, it was the only really fresh weed we ever got back in those days. Even the best of what we got in the late ‘80s was garbage by today’s standards. But still, I have a visceral memory of the feeling that came from sticking my nose in the baggie and breathing in deeply, dissolving into smell for just a brief flash of an instant. Smelling nice fresh weed as the weather wavers never fails to bring back those strong, involuntary memories, like a particular vintage of wine or a wizened old whiskey.

For a lot of cannabiseurs the smell remains a big part of the high — it’s like aromatherapy. Terpenoids, or terpenes, the chemical compounds that give plants smell and flavor, are responsible for tastes and odors in different strains and probably play a large role in the subjective effects of the plant. The long-lasting and draconian drug laws have made such study shaky, but I can attest that upon first opening the baggie the dark and funky odor of deep purple Black Cherry Maduro buds flooded me not only with a euphoric rush but also a Proustian flood of memory. The bud is largely orange and purple and ugly but the earthy clump embodies the essence of September.
A big thick bud of Black Cherry Maduro is a memory machine and it’s one of the most sensorially pleasurable strains I’ve tried. It’s almost decadent. This Maduro is the Madeira of weed, thick and portly, robust and warm. Wherever you smoke it, it’s like you’re sitting by a roaring fire that reflects off the wood paneling as leaves fall, like you should smoke it from some big briar tobacco pipe with a book, a dog and a nice whiskey.

The Indica-heavy hybrid has a nice initial lift, like that first little lift from a sip of whiskey. It’s warming and gentle, easing you into its groove with a flash of flavor and then settling into a pleasantly vegetative meditation. It makes even a sunny day feel windswept and dramatic, full of fluttering leaves and falling color.

But I can’t say enough about the smell. The aroma of this strain is in multiple octaves. Or rather it is a chord, because it beautifully combines a skunky, almost skanky, undertone with a higher note of pine. A memory machine, I tell you.

Strength: 8
Nose: The past, sex, lonesome pines
Euphoria: 8
Existential dread: 1
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 1
Drink pairing: Madeira
Music pairing: Yo La Tengo’s “Autumn Sweater”
Rating: 9


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