Strain review: Blue Dream Shishkaberry 

click to enlarge Mix Blue Dream into any strain, and it’ll likely be good, thanks to a balancing quality. - BAYNARD WOODS
  • Baynard Woods
  • Mix Blue Dream into any strain, and it’ll likely be good, thanks to a balancing quality.
When people call weed “loud,” it’s an adjective that can act as a noun.“I got the loud,” someone might say. They are generally making a synesthetic remark about its smell. If smell were sound, the smell would be loud — that is, it would extend farther through space, more strongly, than something more quiet.

That synesthetic leap from the olfactory to the auditory may have something to do with weed itself. The French poet Arthur Rimbaud and German Jewish theorist Walter Benjamin both celebrated the synesthetic quality of hash roughly a century ago.

But some smoke, like this Blue Dream Shishkaberry, is loud in a different sort of way. Where some weed seems to work by changing the wavelength of consciousness, others deliver a high that consists in something like turning up the volume, making the sights, sounds, tastes, touches, and yes, smells, seem amplified. When you’re walking down the street, it’s like you’ve walked through the door into a louder room and everything is coming at you faster and bigger and more intensely. There’s no other word to describe the modulation than “volume.”
It’s a worn-in, big-speakers-in-the-room-above-the-garage kind of noise. Blue Dream Shishkaberry is yet another hybrid of the nearly ubiquitous Blue Dream, which has almost become the hoppy beer of the weed world: Mix in some Blue Dream and it will be good. The thing is, they’re mostly right. It accounts for some exceptionally smart blends, mainly because Blue Dream is a sort of balanced hybrid, getting the right balance of the uppy Sativa with the Indica chill. Add the stonier, slower, Shishkaberry and you get something like sludgy, stoney metal that only sounds good when it is turned all the way up, reminding you that your chest is a cavity as it envelops and infiltrates you all at once.

Both strains have blueberry ancestors — Shishkaberry comes in part from DJ Short Blueberry and Blue Dream descends in part from a blueberry Indica. And the resultant strain has a smell like Boo Berry cereal but with something darker, like Copenhagen dip.

When you first fire up a bowl, there’s a light quality to the smoke, like the outsides of the bud burn differently. Then it gets thicker. And the high works in the same way. The feeling eases off wispily, like the first jutting notes of a jagged riff beginning a song as it begins to lift toward a crescendo that will erupt into the chugging of a new riff. Like Nirvana and so many bands who have followed them, Blue Dream Shishkaberry understands the power of the soft-loud juxtaposition.

Also, like a stoner song, this high sort of fades away finally without a lot of letdown or the weariness that can sometimes follow a prolonged high. But it doesn’t leave you entirely, sticking around like the ringing in your ears after a show.

Strength: 6
Nose: Boo Berry cereal and Copenhagen dip
Euphoria: 6
Existential dread: 3
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 2
Drink pairing: Mezcal
Music pairing: Kyuss, “Molten Universe”
Rating: 7


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