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Strain review: Big Smooth


Get contemplative with the big, beautiful buds of appropriately named Big Smooth. - BAYNARD WOODS
  • Baynard Woods
  • Get contemplative with the big, beautiful buds of appropriately named Big Smooth.
I was in Denver, shortly after Trump won the 2016 election (the Electoral College vote at least). A friend and I were very stoned. We were walking around downtown, looking for a restaurant we wanted to go to, and it started snowing. There was something about the big, airy flakes fluttering down onto the old Western street that intensified the high. It was hard to see, and we didn’t really know where we were going, and suddenly, everything seemed foreign.

I somehow got caught on this thought as I was smoking Big Smooth, the way the snow is so silent and yet, with its ever downward drifting, so kinetic. Like snow, this strain is slow and contemplative and serious, and also raucous and exhilarating and joyful, full of the sound of kids squealing as they sled down hills in the distance.

With another hit, I began to think about the “mind of winter” that Wallace Stevens writes about in his poem “The Snow Man,” which is so seasonal it has become almost a sort of Christmas song of snow days. It is a pretty apt description of being stoned in the snow, when you are “the listener, who listens in the snow / And, nothing himself, beholds / Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.”

That’s kind of the way the Big Smooth strain hits you. It’s legitimately profound but also sort of cliché. But unlike the modernist edges of Stevens’ poem, Big Smooth is smoother, Western, chill.

The buds are outsized, big pale green baubles of curled plantflesh bursting with thick wiry acid-washed orange hairs overlapping in unruly tangles. Almost like an adolescent’s imagining of what cannabis should look like, idealized and exaggerated, airbrushed by High Times. But the analogy only works if that adolescent airbrush artist were also some sort of genius who could make cannabis look like it was painted by Cézanne.

If the color is pale, the smell is really bright, like if there were such a thing as a lemonberry that was part blueberry and part lemon, with some snow-covered pine thrown in, of course. The taste feels complex because of where it hits your palate, kind of high and far back. Jim Beam just released a rye whiskey made with a pre-Prohibition recipe, and it’s shocking how much more robust the flavor is than many recent ryes that are all bite, striking the palate hard up front. But the pre-Prohibition rye hits right where your tongue touches if you put it straight up in your mouth at 12 o’clock. That’s the same place that Big Smooth lingers, in a way more like pipe tobacco than weed often is. And like a good Jim Beam rye, Big Smooth rates as an everyday smoke, not a knock-you-out special-occasion toke or a need-to-get-immobile on the couch sedative. It’s good for just lifting your mood, easing your pain, and making you slow down a bit to watch the snow fall and the winter wind blow. For once, a weed name actually sounds accurate.

Strength: 6
Nose: Lemonberry snowpine
Euphoria: 5
Existential dread: 0
Freaking out when a crazy person approaches you: 0
Drink pairing: Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition Rye
Music pairing: “In California” by Neko Case
Rating: 8

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