Mindful’s Orange Sour Dub
What we enjoyed: smells like Chinese food; made everything powerfully hilarious; the right combination of uplifting and relaxing; perfect for an afternoon with friends.
The train from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport to central station takes about 20 minutes. It always felt like a lot longer than that. Recalibrating from an overnight flight on the northbound tracks, we passed the multi-colored new construction of outskirt apartments and office buildings and, into the old city, brown and grey and red all cut through with concentric circles of water, occasionally looking at the list of Cannabis Cup winners we couldn’t wait to try.
Before we had the responsibility of children and work and student loans and meal planning, we would take annual group trips whenever we could find affordable plane tickets. Medical marijuana was just getting started in the United States and there was nothing like Amsterdam anyplace else in the world for cannabis lovers, certainly not on the east coast.
We wouldn’t say much on those train rides; it was sort of understood that we’d exit the platform and breathe in the morning rush of fried cheese and bike tires before turning right and heading to Barney’s Breakfast Bar, where someone would get a table and everyone else would head back to the non-breakfast bar to look at the other menu. Eggs, coffee, and baked beans, conversations and amazing weed all got shared at those long tables, and, when we were done, we’d go to the next place, everyone picking up a gram at each coffeeshop, until at the end of the night we had enough samples to fill a New York deli buffet.
It wasn’t only the weed, though the weed was always glorious. It was the communal experience. The looking to see what everyone got. Nothing came with a label so we all learned quickly to carry around a notepad, to record what we bought and to tear out little pieces of paper to mark all the bags. With so much to choose from the most unique buds got sampled first and stood out the most, a kind of canna-Darwinism.
One of our old travelling companions lives in Denver now, and though you can’t walk around any city like you can Amsterdam, you can sample some of the finest strains of marijuana ever produced, and with a little sense of adventure. We head to Mindful on Colfax, and, after spending maybe a little too much time with our budtender, we hang back and let our friend make his choices. He’s on the medical side, so we don’t get to hear the description of what he bought. It all goes into the childproof bag and gets tucked safely into the trunk of our car to be sampled once our room is ready. To recreate the Amsterdam experience as closely as possible, we visit a museum.
It is just past three when we check into our room. Still talking about unexpected angles and red fox hallways, we begin to unload our Mindful haul, and it is impressive. We have a lot of quality flower (and some shatter) to choose from, but it is obvious what we will try first.
Of all the samples, the Orange Sour Dub gets the best reaction. It’s a beautiful bud: dense little nuggets clustered around the stem, bright light green, and frosty with trichomes. Everyone sticks their nose in the container, pulls it out, looks confused, returns their nose to the container. Finally our friend speaks up:
“It’s almost like…I don’t know…Chinese takeout.” A strange description, and I’m not ready to believe him, but it’s hard to argue. We all agree, the orange smell is prominent, but almost as pronounced is the combination of ginger, peppers, and waxed paperboard, with maybe a little lo mien sauce to round it out. We grind it up and pack a small glass pipe, and the smell translates really well to the taste. Do you ever get Chinese food and combine the leftovers into one box? The Orange Sour Dub tastes like white rice that’s been stored overnight directly on top of some expertly made orange chicken.
Sight and smell isn’t always the best way to choose your flower. Even if they do give some indication of quality (and good looking and good smelling cannabis doesn’t always mean good smoking cannabis), you could wind up tied to a sofa at 11 in the morning, or writing down notes for a novel or reorganizing your kitchen cabinets at 11 at night. The Orange Sour Dub, though, was perfect for the afternoon post-museum session. Some strains make us giggle; this one produced full belly laughs for the first twenty minutes. It’s the kind of strain that turns your conversations into labyrinths; you forget midsentence what you were talking about but are quickly struck by another insight that must be expressed, regardless of how tangential it actually is. More than once, I caught myself holding the bowl while chatting away and had to remind myself that it’s not a microphone. Having spent the day being very serious in shopping for weed to review and being very serious in finding art to look at, it was nice to unwind with old friends, jokes, and eventually, some Bob’s Burgers at 4:20. The OSD has a pleasant nerve-calming quality as well, which, for me, makes it a nice choice for daytime pain management.
Mindful’s commitment to “handcrafted cannabis” means that the menu is always changing, always exciting, and always worth a look. It also means you should pay close attention to all the information given out by the budtender because you may not be able to find much once you leave.
Tracking down OSD’s lineage has been tricky. Leafly doesn’t have anything on the strain itself and currently lists one shop as carrying the OSD (in pre-rolled joints), 1859 in Black Hawk, which is part of the Mindful family. My guess is it’s a hybrid but more sativa than indica. The “orange” in the name doesn’t really give any hints to actual heritage, as there are so many different kinds of “orange” cannabis, and there have been for decades. It could be related to Orange Diesel or Orange Skunk. The “dub” suggests that there is probably some A-Dub (itself a combination of Sour Double and Alien Dawg, one of my personal favorites) mixed in. The Orange Sour Dub’s ability to quickly alleviate stomach pain and relieve stress might come from having some kush ancestry.
Occasionally I like a good cannabis puzzle to solve. It takes me back to the old days, around the turn of the century, when we were kids with summer savings, passports, and our worn copy of the latest Smokers Guide to help us discover the top strains through coffeeshop crawls. No matter how much you tried, the best always stood out; similarly, the Orange Sour Dub was one strain we all noticed right away and enjoyed for a long time after.