Cookie Crisp from Balanced Los Angeles via a Balanced sales rep on 12/22/2020. THC tested out to 32.92%. This was gifted to me but I believe it averages 45-60$ pre-tax in the shops. Having had a pretty decent experience with their Macaron, when Balanced reached out and asked if I was interested in giving their Cookie Crisp a shot, I was absolutely on board to give it a go. These portly buds are mostly a mix of forest and army greens coupled with veins of deep rich aubergine, intense flurries of golden brown pistils, and an omnipresent coating of egg cream and yellowed triches.
The nose out of the jar is a sweet mustiness with a slightly peppery/spice cabinet edge. Busting open a bud there’s no real discernible difference, it hits exactly like the jar smell, and doesn’t amp up any at all. Breaking it down by hand, the grinds have a very subtle fruity sweetness similar to that of an apple peel with a bit of a flat vanilla cream backing, while I found a musty chlorophyll scent inundated my fingertips. Also I should note the buds feel desiccated somewhat compared to the first time I handled them, so while this jar definitely looks sleek, it didn’t seem to maintain the herb as well as some of the other packaging I keep in the same environment. The dry pull on the joint has a lightly sweet and spiced floral although it’s very distant and vague. The inhale is mostly smooth and on both the bong and the joint has a light sweet musty floral, although on the joint it also has this muted pastry backend, and it started to get slightly harsh toward the middle of the j which is not something I noticed on the bong. The exhale on the bong is a semi sweet musty floral with a touch of distant mild fruitiness and a hint of weak cream that seems to come and go whereas the joint is a slightly sweeter floral with that same mild fruitiness. Cross checking the flavor on my Ghost Vapes MV1, at 170c I get an ultra light floral mint whereas at 185c it’s more of a general floral, but it’s so vague it’s almost nonexistent. The headchange comes on quick and hits with a wave of calming energy while simultaneously putting a touch of pressure on my shoulders and behind my eyes. Mentally, while drifting off to space on occasion, I am able to mostly stay focused and relaxed while making my way through my task list. However, I also find myself wishing I could shirk this responsibility all together and just kick back on the couch, as the only challenge I’m really up to in this state is trying to stay awake while watching the entire Snyder Cut of Justice League in one go (impossible). All and all, while it’s undoubtedly some beautiful herb, there wasn’t anything particularly stand out about this batch that would have me jumping at the chance to get my hands on more. However, depending on the ticket and what else might be on offer, there’s a chance I’d grab it again if I was looking for some lazy day smoke
Macaron from Balanced via @showgrow.official on 9/17/2020 (shoutout to Travis at Show Grow for the swoop). THC tested out to 27.63%. I was lucky to get this for a little under $50 but going price for Balanced jars at Catalyst is $57 out the door. Having only seen Balanced pop up on @theblacklistxyz now and then, when I saw their herb was hitting recreational shops in SoCal, I made it a point to get my hands on some. The surface of these banana shaped buds are a mix of pear and office greens coupled with deep rich indigos, intermittent pops of sunset orange pistils, and is absolutely inundated with a flood of well preserved brilliant yellow triches that give the buds a jaundiced dusty glow.
The nose out of the jar is a very muted grungy fruit scent that’s similar to gelato, but paired with this air of vanilla and a chalky freshness, all wrapped up in an overall musty sugar sweetness. Busting open a bud that fruity sweetness amps up but also brings with it a warmed sugary baked good sweetness. Grinding it down by hand my fingers are coated in a trich grime that smells of equal parts fruity sweet and must, while that warm baked good sweetness takes center stage on the grinds themselves, pushing the formerly dominant fruity sweetness to the background. It has a smell similar to a thumbprint cookie but one made with fresh berry chutney as opposed to a preserve. It should be noted that I came across two seeds in this batch. Not a huge deal to me personally, and a come up for some without a doubt, but worth mentioning nonetheless. The dry pull on the joint had a muted deep sweetness that came across like a vague pancake syrup with a bit of herbaceous fruity must underneath. The inhale is smooth, and has a toasted sugar quality off the bong, whereas the joint is a mix of sugar sweet and fresh with a floral lilt. The exhale is a soft sweet cream with a winterfresh edge off the bong, where the joint is more of a caramelized sugar, underlined by slightly fresh and sour herbaceous must. Cross checking the flavors on my MV1 from @ghostvapesofficial , at 170c I get a minty pine freshness with a sweet floral backside, whereas at 185c it’s a very light caramel with a fresh floral underpinning. The headchange comes on quickly and puts some pressure behind your eyes while making your head feel lighter and like it’s losing contact with your shoulders ever so slightly. There’s also a feel good aspect to it that had me busting up with rosy cheeked laughter at things I’d probably just crack a smile at typically. Over time, that joyful energy fades slightly as a haze settles in across the eyes and a weight makes it’s way into the body, which doesn’t leave you couch locked exactly but you’re not going to want to run any marathons either. All said and done, I enjoyed my time with Macaron as it’s a solid smoke for a chill Sunday afternoon, but at $57 out the door there’s a lot of great herb to choose from so I might lean towards something else depending on what’s available. Great job on this one Balanced, even though there were a couple stowaways, it was still an enjoyable experience and has my curiosity piqued as to the rest of your offerings.