Hi again everyone! I have a most spectacular pairing I want to share with you today. Now, I’ve been a huge fan of Paradox since I moved to Colorado back in Spring of 2012, and I remember seeing their stuff pop up on local shelves sometime that summer and have been really digging their experimental styles and brewing processes. Anyone whose motto stated on the beers are ‘Wayward Beers – Barrel Bound’ is going to pique my interest as well as thousands of others who understand the importance of this kind of experimentation. This particular offering from them, ‘The Cherished’ part of their ongoing ‘Low Hanging Fruit’ project, is a dark ale aged in oak red wine barrels, brewed with Belgian specialty malts and then RE-FERMENTED with cherries added in. Whoa.
The herb I’ve chosen to pair this with is quite possibly my favorite strain in all of Denver, the Cherry Lime Kush from GroundSwell dispensary. I know I used this in budder form for my last pairing with the ice cream, but the actual strain being smoked is a very different experience, while also retaining some of the same characteristics. The bag upon opening is incredible. Just look at the bud in the picture to get an idea. Immediately you’re hit with the aromas of cherries, grapes, lime and citrus. You could literally walk around all day like a horse and have a bag of this wrapped around your nose and you’d be totally fine with it, that’s how great it smells.
I pour the beer before taking my first hit of the kush, and find it to be a very dark, dull ruby colored beer, with some tan colored head that dissipated within a minute or so. The first whiff of the beer and I’m met with tart citrus note, along with the malts and hint of cherries. Very nice.
Usually, I’m one to go for the beer first, but in this situation, I wanted to give the kush a go before I dived into the intricacies of the ‘The Cherished’. I take out my lighter and only blaze up the top of the bowl, letting those trichomes erupt into gray smoke and enter my lungs. The flavors of sugared grapes, cherries and citrus blast my taste buds on inhalation and exhalation. Very, very sweet smoke and I go right away for my glass of beer. The first sip brings a slightly unexpected (but not unpleasant) sour taste that then turns into a veritable explosion of flavors which melded in my mouth with the lingering smoke tastes. On my exhalation breath after that first sip, the just incredible flavors of honey, oak, cherries and vanilla burst out like I’m eating 5 desserts all at once. The alcohol is non present in my mind, just the barrage of flavors permeating my tastebuds and my mind.
I go into my second toke, and wow, the cherries now have a roasted taste, and meshing with the beer bring out the intense flavors of sugared plums, candy canes and blood oranges. Going back and forth between the two, the amazing notes of aged oak blend like a tornado with the booze soaked fruit flavors of the beer, balancing well with the malts. Every flavor variation of cherries that one could experience without actually eating them I believe I explored between the Cherry Lime Kush and this beer from Paradox. Even near the end of the bowl, the charred smoke from the ashes only seemed to compliment the oak and vanilla notes at the tail end of the glass of beer that I was perceiving.
Overall, I’d consider this one of the more ‘perfect’ pairings I’ve ever done. The just stupendous way the Cherry Lime Kush pushed and expanded the already complex and amazing flavors of ‘The Cherished’ is something I’ll never forget, and a prime example (in my mind) why people should give weed/hash pairings with beers more play in the news and culinary world around Colorado.
The buzz after finishing the bowl (and two goblets of ‘The Cherished’) was extremely pleasant and relaxing, no munchies, but a surefire case of ‘couchlock’ coupled with the rosy cheeks of a relaxing almost ‘wine-like’ buzz from the beer. After working 9 hours in an office, this was a great way to unwind and watch the sun set over the foothills of the rockies.
You can find Paradox at numerous locations throughout the front range, just stop into your local liquor store and ask for them by name, and if they don’t carry them, ask for them to. GroundSwell meanwhile is my favorite dispensary for numerous reasons, but first and foremost their care for the patients by bringing A++ quality products to the table is unbeatable, and they’re located near the Bluebird Theater on Colfax in Denver.
I hope you enjoyed this pairing, and until next week, may your glass never run out, and may your bowl of herb never empty. Take care!