THE NUGGET LIST
THE 2009 CANNABIS CUP WINNERS
How It Works
Every year, the who’s who of heavenly headies comes together from around the globe, meeting in Amsterdam—the Mecca of Pot—for the world’s foremost cannabis competition.
Because of Amsterdam’s relaxed attitude towards marijuana, the Cup can have several different layers of competition. The main event, known as the Cannabis Cup, is a contest among the cannabis entries from Amsterdam’s most elite coffeeshops. Cannabis Cup judges—comprising anyone from the general public who purchases a judge’s pass—visit each of these coffeeshops (individually, like a pub crawl) to purchase, smoke and then evaluate that shop’s entry. At the end of the week, the judges return to the Cup’s main convention hall to privately cast their votes. The winner is crowned as the Cannabis Cup champion.
Beyond the popular coffeeshops, Amsterdam also attracts a lot of excellent growers and breeders of cannabis. Because of this, many seed companies exist in or migrate toward this beautiful city, and so HIGH TIMES has incorporated specialized categories of competition geared specifically to these breeders and seed companies. The Sativa and Indica Cups are awarded to breeders who grow the best bud in each category. Only breeders with seed companies can enter these competitions, since the winning seeds must be readily available to the general public! Every year, a celebrity panel of judges is assembled to blind-test these entries and determine a winner. This panel is usually composed of experts in the cannabis industry as well as a mix of HIGH TIMES staffers (that think they are up to the challenge). Other celebrity judges include the likes of Tommy Chong, Redman and Ky-Mani Marley.
It should be noted that some coffeeshops also have their own seed companies and subsequently enter both or all three categories (not to mention the two hash categories). Thus, you will sometimes see a name or a strain that has garnered more than one award. Okay, got it? Then, without further ado: your 2009 Cannabis Cup Winners!
1st Place Cannabis Cup and 2nd Place Sativa Cup
Super Lemon Haze
Green House United Coffeeshop
& the Green House Seed Company (Amsterdam)
Winning two years in a row now (for a current total of seven overall first-place finishes), the Green House coffeeshop has done it again. Repeating its entry from last year’s Cup to defend its title, the Green House’s Super Lemon Haze is now a two-time Cannabis Cup champion. The only other strain to win two consecutive Cannabis Cups was Super Silver Haze—also from the Green House—in 1998 and '99 (the 11th and 12th Cups)!
As you might have guessed, the citrusy lemon flavor, combined with one of Amsterdam’s best Hazes, provides not only an excellent taste but a very smooth finish, making it one of the most popular smokes at the Cup. Its nose is pungent and sweet, and its high, while not overpowering, is as clear and uplifting as a super -sativa should be.
Congrats once again to Arjan and his entire team at the Green House. Not only did the Super Lemon Haze take first place overall for best coffeeshop weed, but she also placed second in the even more competitive Sativa Cup (breeders’ category).
CANNAIRS CUP WINNERS (Best Coffeeshop and Strain): 1. Super Lemon Haze from Green House United 2. VaniLLa Kush from Barney's Farm 3. Headband Kush from Green Place
Seed Company -Indicas 1. Starbud from HortiLab 2. 06 #18 from Reserva Privada 3. Kushdee from ALLstar Genetics
Seed Company -Sativas 1. Ceres Hilton from Harvest Men 2. Super Lemon Haze from green House Seeds 3. The Purps from BC Bud Depot
2nd Place Cannabis Cup
Barney’s Farm Coffeeshop
It's always a seesaw battle between the big guys when the Judges come to town and this year was no different. Finishing in a close 2nd Place this year was Barney’s Farm with their unique Vanilla Kush entry. It's a rare flavor to stumble across, but leave it to Derry, owner of the Barney's Farm chain of coffeeshops and restaurants, to make the most of it once it was discovered.
The top vote-getter of all coffeeshop indicas, the Vanilla Kush has a powerful stone and might even be described as a very medicinal herb, suitable for muscle ache and pain relief. Its bouquet is soft in smell and carries a very lady-like essence. The taste, of course, is superb - refined and relaxed - much like the atmosphere at any of Barney's establishments. Part of the fun of smoking this variety is trying to place the flavorful notes on the palate - from the dominant wild vanilla and lavender tastes to the lighter accents of rose petals, sorrel and orange peel, this Kush is a class act.
Barney’s Farm, who always rolls out the green carpet of herb hospitality at each Cannabis Cup really treated judges this year with their dense nuggets of red and gold Vanilla Kush. Look for it to start sprouting up stateside in 2010 as it will be a sought-after line for years to come!
3rd Place Cannabis Cup
The Green Place Coffeeshop
Fast becoming one of the top coffeeshops in town, the Green Place has had two third-place finishes in as many years after joining the Cannabis Cup competition just last year. Going two for two against the biggest names in the game, such as Barney's Farm and the Green House, has brought a lot of attention to the Green Place and their bud menu.
After last year's immaculate Chocolope entry, the Green Place followed up with a beautiful Headband Kush entry in the 2009 Cannabis Cup. Using a roster of excellent local growers as well as superb genetics from Reserva Privada (DNA Genetics], this year's entry was a raw, Chem-smelling herb with a strong yet well-balanced high. Its aroma and outstanding taste immediately caught the attention of the judges.
Derived from genetics that originated stateside, Headband Kush comes from the Chem Dawg family and can best be described as a hybrid of the OG and Diesel lines. The dark green leaves dotting its dense nugs are trademarks of the original genetics. Adding even more appeal for the judges, this year's entry was extremely well trimmed and manicured. It should also be noted that choosing not to re-enter his winning Chocolope strain from last year shows a lot of guts and ambition on the part of Mo, the young entrepreneur and owner of the Green Place coffeeshop. Kudos to the Green Place yet again!
1st Place Sativa Cup
The Harvest Men (UK)
Talk about a coming-out party—the Harvest Men, a newly launched seed company out of the UK, premiered their first strains at this year's Cannabis Cup ... and WON! Ceres Hilton, the first-place winner of the Sativa Cup in the breeders’ category, took Amsterdam by surprise, giving the Harvest Men a very big win in their very first year.
Given their goal of “spreading great genetics all over the world at affordable prices,” there's a lot to like about this up-and-coming seed company—not the least of which is their weed. The Ceres Hilton is a gorgeous, sweet-tasting herb that keeps you high for hours on end. With two exceptional parents, this lineage has serious potential. The mother is an Amnesia #1 female that came to England from Amsterdam and has been worked with over the last eight years. She was crossed with one of the powerhouses in the Harvest Men's genetic library—a male plant that is a hybrid of a pre-2000 Super Silver Haze (Cannabis Cup winner in both '98 and ’99) and Jack Herer, a strain very similar to the SSH. This killer male has been used in several Harvest Men breeding projects before becoming the father of this year's top sativa, Ceres Hilton.
We here at HT are very excited—as are all Cup enthusiasts—about this year's onslaught of new seed companies entering (and winning) the competition. The Harvest Men’s 2009 indica entry, the Prophecy, wasn't too shabby either and only heightens our interest in these new kids on the block. All in all, next year’s playing field should be quite interesting with guys like these.
3rd Place Sativa Cup
BC Bud Depot (Canada)
You know the name and they've been here before, taking home a thirdplace finish in the Sativa Cup in 2007. And if you know anything about the Purps, you know that when this strain is done right, it’s one of the besttasting and best-looking buds out there. This year was no exception.
Coming out of Canada, the BC Bud Depot has been refining British Columbian genetics for years now, and the Purps is a fine example. A sativa/indica hybrid that originally began as a Mendocino in-bred line (IBL), the Purps was out-crossed and worked over for two years until the breeders at BC Bud Depot had stabilized the new pheno and created an herb comparable to their earlier God Bud (which won first place in the 2004 Indica Cup). But the new lineage they created came out slightly sativa-dominant (60/40), giving it a powerful high.
As always, the dense nugs have purple running rampant all over the bud, and the deep purple-grape taste lingers on the palate long after exhale. This year's entry burned smooth, keeping its flavor to the very end of the joint, and finished with a fine white ash—unmistakable evidence of a well-flushed crop. Once lit, the judges never put it down.
1st Place Indica Cup
HortiLab—first year at the Cannabis Cup, first place in the Indica Cup. Exciting, to say the least, and impressive for sure! The young and talented HortiLab team hails from Germany and has been putting in diligent work with genetics from all over the world, waiting for just the right strain to present itself—and man, did it ever!
Starbud, a mystery strain to many, actually originated in the US: An accidental pollination in a Midwestern growroom resulted in the seeds from which this line was selected. Some guess that the lineage derives from the Chem Dawg family, due to its sup er-indica stone and the raw, dank reek that will open your sinuses the moment you smell it.
Judges at the Cup were immediately impressed with the Starbud's appearance: dark green leaves contrasting sharply with white, resinous trichomes and a few orange hairs. The taste has hashy overtures and a subtle sweetness to it. But it was the indica-heavy high that had everyone rolling a few extra joints for their late-night sessions. Plus the buds were exceptionally well manicured—adding bonus points to this professional product. We look forward to more from the guys at HortiLab and fully expect next year’s entry to be even better.
2nd Place Indica Cup
Reserva Privada (Amsterdam)
Straight out of Cali and from the boys at DNA Genetics comes Amsterdam's finest OG yet, this time in the form of OG #18 from Reserva Privada—a DNA subsidiary comprising only their gourmet lines.
Two years ago, Reserva Privada took third place in the Indica Cup with their #18, an earlier version of this year’s OG #18.
While the OG #18 is technically the same as that #18 of '07 vintage, it's been officially renamed, since it was selected from a batch of OG F-1 ’s and then refeminized. It must have been an excellent selection, because this #18 has only gotten better, if that's possible.
While the OG #18 is a little more on the sour side than true California OG goes, this version yields twice as much! If there's anything changed in the taste, it's not a bad thing, as this bud was reminiscent of the old-school Dawg that spawned the early OG Kush and Sour Diesel lines. Anyone looking for seeds to replace these lineages in their growroom should consider this strain as a very attractive option, especially if growing in Europe.
3rd Place Indica Cup
Allstar Genetics (Amsterdam)
Another astonishing indica entry at this year's Cup, the Kushdee showcased the refreshing side of Kush, with its myriad possibilities of hybridization. Boasting a much sweeter taste than your OG's and Sour D's, this was definitely not your mother's Kush.
This Kushdee comes to us from Allstar Genetics, the seed-company affiliate of Stone's Café coffeeshop, who took home their first Cup in their very first Cannabis Cup appearance, winning third place in the indica category for breeders. (For those keeping score at home, that makes three out of nine winners this year who took home Cups with their first-ever entry!)
Bordering on the exotic, the flavor of Kushdee exudes a Super Silver Haze quality. This makes perfect sense, given that the stone is much lighter than your usual Kush//ncf/'ca variety. The high is closer to 60/40—/nd/'ca-dominant, but with a very cerebral feel. The taste also carries notes of Bubblegum, and the Kushdee has an excellent aftertaste. This entry was particularly pleasing to the eye and light in color, while the feel of the nugs was very dense. All in all, a gorgeous bouquet and an immediate favorite with the judges. #