Mandarin Gold from Maven Genetics via Calma West Hollywood on 10/20/2020. THC tested out to 22.1%. Huge shoutout to Calma for making it happen! Calma was cool enough to gift this to me, it runs $45 pre-tax on their menu, but goes for about the same after tax on the menu at Maven’s home shop Kush Alley in the valley. A few people have told me that Mandarin Gold from Maven was an awesome sativa, so when I spotted it on the shelf at Calma and asked them if it was cool if I swapped it for one of the other flavors in my sample pack, they were totally on board and pulled it right off the shelf for me to try. The surface of these semi flat diamond shaped buds are mostly lime accompanied by forest and Sacramento green accents, occasional intense flurries of bronze and apricot orange pistils, and an ample amount of yellowing egg cream colored triches.
The nose out of the jar is a slightly sweet must with a very faint touch of orange in the background. On busting open a bud, that orange gets slightly sharper and louder and takes center stage, pushing that mustiness into the wings. Breaking it down by hand, it leaves an orange must on the fingers that leans slightly cheesy, while the grinds themselves have a very sugar sweet orange quality that comes off more like an orange candy as opposed to a natural backyard orange. The dry pull on the joint is a sugar sweet floral with orange that hits me like a very mild orange starburst with a floral backing. The inhale is smooth and comes with a lightly sweet floral coupled with distant orange on the joint, whereas the bong is essentially the same, but the orange comes through just a little more. The exhale on both the joint and bong is a mildly sweet floral with an orange tang that again seems to be a bit sharper on the bong. Cross checking the flavors on my GhostVapes MV1, at 170c I get a heavy orange taste with a mint pine backing and at 185c, it turns the orange down just a tad and rounds out with that same semi sweet floral. The headchange comes on quick and has much more of a sedative effect than I was expecting with all of that citrus involved in the scent. Half way through my joint walk, and 3/4 of the way through the joint itself, I felt this sudden fatigue and weight on my body that made me really just want to sit down and take a minute to enjoy being stoned. I figured I might have just been having a low energy type day, but even on days where I had a good amount of energy prior to smoking, it seemed to drag me down a bit physically. Mentally I didn’t feel worse for wear, I felt present and focused and while I admit I was distracted on occasion, it wasn’t too disruptive to my train of thought and I was able to pick up right where I left off. Effects wise, it feels like it’s more of a straight hybrid as opposed to Sativa Dominant, but some of that could be due to being harvested around 9 months ago and going through off gassing etc that most likely changed it’s terpene composition somewhat. That said, I think it’s held up extremely well for it’s age as that orange is still very bright, I’d love to get a fresh batch for comparison to see if it hits me any differently. I can still see myself wake and baking on this strain but I’d save it for the start of a lazy Saturday/Sunday and not lean on it as a daily driver as it’s just a little too demotivational for those days where you want to get things done. Great job once again Maven, keep up the good work.
Blueberry MAC from Maven via Showgrow Long Beach on 9/17/2020 (shoutout to Travis at Showgrow for the swoop). THC tested out to 28.092%. With a discount I was able to get this for about $45 out the door but I’ve seen it go from about $45-60 pre tax depending on shop. I’m a huge fan of all things MAC so when I saw that Maven put out a special Blueberry variant I knew I had to get my hands on some. The surface of these small yet hardy nugs are a mix of pear and forest greens with rashes of raisin and eggplant, coupled with whips of dark twine and light orange tinted pistils, all covered in that signature MAC frost comprised of an army of egg cream colored triches.
The nose out of the jar hits like musty unwashed berries and spiced cream, very similar to the typical MAC scent, but this one leaned a bit more musty than usual. Busting open a bud the mustiness takes a back seat and a that sugar sweet spiced cream takes center stage, reminding me of an Horchata somewhat, but one that’s made with fresh natural ingredients and doesn’t have that saccharine sweet artificial bite you often come across in a mass produced powder based Horchata drink mix. Grinding it down by hand you get a sense for how very dense it is, leaving heavy notes of mulled spice on the fingertips with echos of sweet cream, while the grinds themselves come off like classic MAC with that delicious berries and cream scent popping off in spades. The dry pull on the joint is a sweet creamy floral with a musty spice back end and just a hint of freshness. The inhale is smooth, and has a surprisingly sharp cheese taste on the bong, whereas the joint is more of a floral sweet cream experience. The exhale on the bong is a sweet cream with berries and just a bit of spice, whereas on the joint the berries really come through up top, with a heavy spiced cream and floral follow up. Cross checking the flavors on my MV1 from @ghostvapesofficial , at 170c I get slightly piney floral, whereas at 185c it’s a heavier near perfume like floral with a skunky beer aftertaste. The headchange comes on quick and with a decent smack but it’s a bit hazier and less spacey than I expect from a MAC. There’s a physical drain accompanied by a “meh” feeling that really saps any motivation or will you have to do anything of consequence. Typically when smoking MAC I’ll go through a bowl or two and be able to reach a satisfying state, but with this batch I found myself attempting to reach for a 3rd and 4th bowl not too long after the initial smoke, as something just felt like it was missing from the effect and it never quite materialized. That said, on its own merits, this batch of Blueberry MAC is pretty good but still has that mentally depleting high of which I’m not a personal fan but many people seem to enjoy. If you’re a MAC fan then you may not find the type of effects you’re expecting, but if you’re looking for more of a Blueberry type body buzz with a MAC twist, then I have a feeling you’ll really dig this batch. Sorry Maven, you guys continue to put out some well crafted and high quality herb, but as a MAC enthusiast this one missed the mark for me.
Orange Julius from Maven via Secret Sesh on 12/07/19. THC tested out to 26.496%. Purchased for $40 out the door. During my shopping spree at Secret Sesh I stopped by the Maven booth to see what they had on offer and this Orange Julius really stood out to me. These fluffy buds are comprised of a light green surface with dark green lilts, burnt orange pistils and a frosting of triches so thick they look like a shimmering force field around the nug, which makes it difficult to get a handle on the true overall coloring.
The nose out of the jar is, not surprisingly, straight orange with just a slight hint of mint in the background. On busting open a nug the orange smell sugars up a little and hits a lot like fresh squeezed orange juice. When broken down by hand the oranges amp up even further and make the area smell like you just peeled an orange, it’s impressively strong, and you’ll also notice a good amount of triches left on your finger tips. I did find 2 seeds in one particular nug in my batch. A couple seeds in this amount isn’t crazy, and could frankly be a come up for the right person, so I won’t knock it for that but for sake of veracity I thought I’d mention it. When dry pulling on the J I get the taste of fresh oranges and a little bit of mint but mostly a fresh orange zest like zing. The inhale is smooth and I pick up on a very light sweet citrus and on the exhale I get a strong orange with a musty earthy backend. Cross checking the flavor on my MV1 from @ghostvapesofficial I get a very mild orange on the inhale but an extremely strong orange zest like zing similar to the dry pull of the j multiplied by 10. The headchange does come on fast but is fairly mild mannered. I like my sativas to have a racy near paranoid edge and that’s something that’s just not present in this batch of Orange Julius. It’s not exactly sedative but there is this strong hazy quality that sort of makes me feel “meh” instead of feeling energized. Instead of a get up and go sativa I’d describe this more as a get up and chill sativa. You can focus if you need to and you won’t exactly be sleepy but you don’t feel like doing much either. This would be good for a wake and bake on a lazy Sunday morning or maybe an afternoon at the movies but I’d avoid it if you have a list of chores you need to knock out. This was a beautiful looking, awesome smelling batch, and (despite those two seeds) in those two categories it really knocked out of the park. However in terms of effect, it left something to be desired, so when on the hunt for a rush inducing sativa I’d probably leave this one on the shelf.
Watermelon from Maven via People’s OC on 7/12/19. THC tested out to 22.577%. Normally $50 plus tax but I split an ounce with a buddy and after the first time discount it ended up being $40 after tax per 8th. I’ve heard of Maven for a while now and they are always spoken about in positive regard, and after checking out this Watermelon, I can definitely understand why. The look does grab ones attention when hunting in a shop. Large healthy light green nugs with spurts of orange hairs dotting the surface under a nice frosting of triches. Its got that hazy glowy sheen to it that says this herb smacks.
The scent in the jar is slightly muted, I’m picking up on spice and sweetness, but you have to stick your nose all the way in the jar for it. On the finger grind, that fruitiness really shoots to the forefront and takes center stage. The info card that came in the box says Pinene is the top terp in this batch but, if that’s supposed to smell like pine, I don’t pick up on any of it. The inhale is ok but will leave your throat a little scratchy after a j. No real noticeable taste on the exhale. The headchange doesn’t exactly smack so much as it does gently push you back. After smoking a full j I felt functional and relaxed, not really impeded in any sort of way but not motivated to do much either. Definitely a nice way to start the end of the day if you don’t want to get as wrecked as possible as fast as possible right when you get home from work. You can smoke a big bowl or two and enjoy a movie and by the time it’s over and you smoke that third bowl it will gently see you off to sleep. Luckily I was able to get this as a discounted ticket of $40 out the door, and at that rate I’d have no problem repeating this experience, but at the full rate of $50 plus tax, I’d think twice. This is a great looking herb with a fairly decent indica effect, it won’t have me running back for more, but it does make me curious as to Maven’s other offerings.