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Strain review: Cherry Alien 

click to enlarge Ready to feel like you’re thawing out? - BRONDON SODERBERG
  • Brondon Soderberg
  • Ready to feel like you’re thawing out?
With a cool name that evokes some Barbarella-meets-Cherry 2000 sci-fi softcore flick for the legalized weed set, you’d expect Cherry Alien to be so much more than pleasant at best.

This aloof Indica mixes Cherry Pie (which pairs Grandaddy Purple and Durban Poison) with Alien Kush (which pairs Las Vegas Purple Kush and Alien Dawg), so it’s all over the place really, as if all four of its strains were forced to talk to one another at a mixer and don’t have enough to say, so they don’t listen and wait to speak or talk over one another, never quite coming together or hearing the others out.

The only counter to its meek chaos is Cherry Alien’s compelling smell — a distinct sweetness that bumps into a brash hint of “gas” and tastes like a cherry Tootsie Pop or pre-packaged store-bought granola mixed with cherries and cheap chocolate bits. Sugared, bland, a little gross, as much chemical as natural. And that taste goes away on the inhale, molting into something more homely, a Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup flavor made worse, or maybe just weirder, because your mouth is super dry and warmed by the strain. Somehow this is not entirely awful or if it’s awful it’s awful in a particularly fascinating way?

This is where the whole “alien” part of this strain’s name makes the most sense. It is all familiar enough with echoes of harder, better, faster, stronger strains but mutated, unfamiliar. And it peels your personality back without inducing insight or offering up any epiphanies, just a creeping comfort — crappy and uncanny, out of body in the most quotidian way imaginable.

Cherry Alien looks great though — caked in crystalline fuzz. You ever get a request from a networking weirdo you don’t know on LinkedIn who has added, via some cheap photo-editing tool, so much sharpness to their profile photo that they look frozen over, like one of the guys discovered in the freezer in the “Layla” sequence toward the end of Goodfellas? This is like a bud that got that treatment, frosted-up and all icy.

You’ll feel a bit like you’re thawing yourself out smoking Cherry Alien. Its high tapers slowly as if it is breaking down then dripping out of you and you’ll feel as though you’re speed-reading life just to get to the point, but never getting there. There’s a recent Nicolas Cage interview from IndieWire going around the internet where he discusses his recent bonkers and baroque approach to acting in really fascinating, intentional terms. At one point he references “imitating Edvard Munch’s ‘The Shout’ as [he] did in Ghost Rider,” which is a pretty good metaphor for how Cherry Alien and other strains like it operate, all crisscrossed with one another toward no end exactly. A whole lot of work and thoughtful, intentional planning executed toward totally middling results: Here, that’s an energetic indica with a light punch that, hey, at least doesn’t leave you enervated.

Strength: 9
Nose: Cherry Chocolate Chapstick
Euphoria: 4
Existential dread: 4
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 4
Drink pairing: Dr. Pepper or some garbagey drink, who cares
Music pairing: Kenny G’s G Force or Derek Bailey’s Ballads
Rating: 6

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