My grandmother has always had a burr in her saddle about Willie Nelson. It dates back to the sixties (I believe) when my father was going to his first Willie Nelson concert at Red Rocks. My father kept trying to point out to her that Willie had a very similar background to her own. Not only did Willie get his start in a polka band, but his music and taste were very much in line with her own (well most of his tastes). Hell, even my stoic-ass grandfather was a fan of Willie’s music. There was always one thing that my grandmother didn’t like about Willie Nelson. It was all that whacky tobaccy use. Sadly, with my grandmother now going on 97, she still has not changed her viewpoint on cannabis use. It’s a cruel irony that many of the medicinal attributes of cannabis could do her a world of good in her old aDark Chocolatege and help her cut back on pain meds. Despite my grandmother’s opinion that Willie should stop consuming marijuana, he just hasn’t. On the contrary, he even has his very own cannabis company now called Willie’s Reserve. If you’ve never sampled any of the products from Willie’s Reserve, then now is the time! Today I want to talk about Annie Nelson’s Infused Chocolate, but they are just a small part of the full line of Willie’s Reserve products which includes pre-rolls, loose cannabis, and even vape pens. To get an idea of what makes these chocolates unique and what sets them apart from the rest of the marijuana edibles on the market I corresponded with Ryan, the COO of Willie’s Reserve. As with any edible product, I wanted to know what components start the process of making these amazing chocolates. As it turns out, “The recipe for Annie’s Infused Chocolates is based on the one she developed to keep Willie [and] company on the road, and follows the same strict ‘Zero Crap Policy.’ Each ingredient is picked with care.” With a seasoned edible pro like Annie Nelson, helming the recipe, I can see how these old-school chocolates taste so classic. Another key step in production is using a low heat method. “[The] use of low-heat techniques keep the chocolate’s raw vitality and flavor” and “lower temperatures preserve a greater spectrum of the flower’s beneficial effects.” This holistic approach to harvesting and extracting the cannabis is the first step to making the end products so delectable. “When the ingredients come together, the result is an antioxidant-rich, gluten-free, vegan, low dose confection. It’s a cannabis-infused superfood, appropriate for both new and experienced consumers.” I knew the basics and I understood what puts Willie’s Reserve Annie Nelson’s Infused Chocolate apart from the rest of the pack. I also wanted to find out whether this was just Willie’s name behind the product or if it was actually inspired by his concepts (using his wife’s recipe for the chocolate was pointing me to infer he does have a major role). As Ryan says it, Yes, “Willie Nelson has been directly involved in creating the Willie’s Reserve brand since the very first day. He’s a founder in the company, and holds the appropriate title of Chief Tasting Officer (CTO). He’s very good at the job.” Now that’s a job title that any of us would be proud to announce before sparking up a fat joint. “And as with his music, Willie’s cannabis business is a family affair. Willie’s wife Annie Nelson is also hands-on in product development, guiding recipes and product standards for the edible line.” With a proper background in place, the mood and the time was right to get in there and see just how good these chocolates are! I had the fortune of not having only one, but two different Willie’s Reserve Annie Nelson’s Infused Chocolates to sample Maui Espresso Bean and Dark Chocolate with Himalayan Sea Salt.
If you want to get your hands on the chocolates that kept Willie rockin’ for so many years, you can peruse the lineup of Willie’s Reserve edibles, flower, and pre-rolls at Smokin Gun Apothecary, located in Glendale Colorado. Smokin Gun is a unique cannabis experience where the history of prohibition and the war on drugs comes to light through an experience that’s half museum and half amazing retail dispensary. Check out Willie’s Reserve at Smokin Gun Apothecary today and don’t forget to take advantage of Smokin Gun’s local Coloradan discount.
Annie Nelson’s Infused Chocolates Dark Chocolate with Himalayan Sea Salt :: Appearance | Smell | Taste | Effect:
I decided I would start with the milder flavor of Dark Chocolate with Himalayan Sea Salt. I feel like now is the opportune moment to comment on how cool the packaging is for Willie’s Reserve. If you’ve had a lot of experience in the past with tamper-resistant packaging, then you know just how insanely difficult it can be to get into. Willie’s Reserve Annie Nelson’s Infused Chocolate have transcended standard packaging. Their presentation, while still tamper-resistant, is made mostly out of cardboard with minimal use of plastic, which makes them recyclable. Not only were the boxes housing my chocolate easily recyclable and tamper-resistant, but they were very easy to get into for an adult. Each box contains eight chocolates, each containing five milligrams of THC. Thinking of a perfect sample dose for my first time trying Willie’s Reserve, I decided I was going to have two bars for a grand total of ten milligrams of THC. I removed one of the little, divided chocolate bars and held it in my hand for a moment before taking a large bite- who am I kidding I ate the entire thing in one bite. The very first flavor that hit my mouth was deliciously dark chocolate. I’m talking about the good stuff. After the initial flavor of the dark rich chocolate started to melt in my mouth a couple other flavors joined the party. A slight pinch of salt accentuated the dark chocolate flavors and an earthy sensation of cannabis was the finishing flavor. When all the flavors are put together, this Dark Chocolate with Himalayan Sea Salt is just the bee’s knees. There’s something inherently old-school about the flavor as well. I would go so far as to say that it reminds me of some of the first homemade cannabis chocolates I’d ever had in my life. The hint of Himalayan sea salt is what pushes this chocolate to the next level in the flavor department. I’ll put it this way, Annie Nelson sure knew what she was doing when she cooked up these chocolates for Willie. Without hesitation, in fact I would say with glee, I gobbled down another chocolate. With the bitter notes from dark chocolate already absorbed onto my tongue from the first bar, the second tasted even richer. With both chocolates consumed, it was now time to play the waiting game. After about 45 minutes I felt the onset of a very balanced high. I’d only had ten milligrams as a dose, in an attempt to avoid some of the grogginess that can happen to me when I eat too many edibles. It turned out ten was a perfect dose for me. After about an hour fiddling around on my phone (quite high), I had officially ruled the ten milligrams of Willie’s Reserve Annie Nelson’s Infused Chocolate is the perfect amount for me to get nice and high without crashing on the couch (I’ll just admit that I’m kind of a lightweight). One thing I did observe about the high that I received from Willie’s Reserve Annie Nelson’s Infused Chocolate was that it didn’t linger too long. In fact, a couple hours after the initial sensation set in, I was already feeling fairly clear headed. This is a big distinction from lots of edibles I’ve had in the past that make me feel groggy and leave me a puddle on the floor for hours. I think this is a testament to the manner in which these chocolates were produced. This really is the good stuff
Annie Nelson’s Infused Chocolates Maui Espresso Bean :: Appearance | Smell | Taste | Effect:
I waited until the next day to see what the Willie’s Reserve Maui Espresso Bean Chocolate might have in store for me. I’ve always been one to save the best for last. If coffee is involved, I’m going to immediately assume that it’s the best and, thusly, save it for last. The packaging for the Maui Espresso Bean was identical to that of the Dark Chocolate with Himalayan Sea Salt. I slid open the container to reveal eight perfect little squares each containing a five-milligram dose of THC. This seems like an opportune moment to discuss the specific style of these chocolates. Each five-milligram bar already comes with a division line directly down the center. This makes these chocolates very easy to snap in half and make two two-and-a-half-milligram doses. This is a way for Willie’s Reserve to cater to the new trend of microdosing. Microdosing is a concept ideally utilized for medicinal benefits intended for individuals with diagnosed seizures or cancer who may not necessarily want to feel the effects of THC but still want to reap its benefits in smaller dosages. As I started handling my first Maui Espresso Bean Chocolates, I was about to find out how hard it is to microdose a chocolate this delicious. In tried-and-true manner, I shoved an entire briquette into my mouth. Insanely dark and delectable coffee flavors hit me almost instantly. Pair that up with incredibly high-quality chocolate and you have a coffee flavored edible that will go down in my record books as being one of the best chocolate bars I’ve ever had. Unlike the Dark Chocolate with Himalayan Sea Salt, it was exceedingly difficult to taste any semblance of cannabis in these chocolates. I slowly let the chocolate melt away in my mouth and as soon as I finish the first, excitement drove me to have another… Oops. Maybe I had three. I sat back and enjoyed the after-flavor of coffee and chocolate in my mouth and started to casually clean some dishes while I waited for the high to set in. By the time the wash cycle had started on the dishes, the wash cycle had also started on my brain. For whatever reason, the additional five milligrams seemed to make me a lot higher. Feeling exceptionally giggly and useless I parlayed my apathy for action into a session of computer games. After an exceptionally stoney session on my computer, my ship was blown up and my crew was all dead (this is why you should never smoke weed in space people). The additional five-milligram dose made this high a little more enduring than the one I experienced the day before. Thankfully, it still didn’t put me to sleep which is a common reaction when I have too many edibles. It probably doesn’t hurt that there’s coffee in this one either. It was overall a very delightful experience, and one that I wanted to reproduce as soon as possible (mostly so I can just eat more of the chocolate).
With all sorts of crazy amalgams and scientifically formulated concoctions hitting the edible market, it’s nice to have a chocolate that returns to the good old-fashioned roots of the cannabis plant (pun intended). Annie Nelson has been doing it right for decades now and despite seeing this formula produced on a large scale I have no doubt that it has lost none of its original pizzazz. Beyond producing great products, Willie’s Reserve has another special secret up its sleeve. Unlike many other edible producers, who use only cannabis from one source, Willie’s Reserve supports multiple farmers who are hand-picked for their superior products. This community outreach to the rest of the cannabis world makes Willie’s Reserve a true patron of the world of cannabis, just as Willie wants it to be. “Willie Nelson is well known for standing up and speaking out for the things that matter most. He’s been a loud and proud member of the “cannabis community” for longer than it has had a name. In turn, Willie’s Reserve is committed to working with a variety independent farmers who represent the roots of the movement and its future.” This commitment to giving everyone an equal opportunity to get their products out there is a new concept to the cannabis industry and helps support farmers around the country. “It’s something Willie Nelson cares about deeply – he founded Farm Aid over 30 years ago to support American family farms, and has been an outspoken advocate ever since. We aim to honor cannabis cultivators in the same way, highlighting the farmer’s name right on the packaging, and sharing the stories of what makes each flower special and what makes each farm unique.” Now that’s pretty damn cool if you ask me. Despite my grandmother’s less than favorable views on cannabis I only wish she could see how many people I know that it has helped. I’ve seen what cannabis can do for insomnia, I know what a boon it is for people suffering from PTSD, and it’s also personally touched the lives of people I know with epilepsy. With companies like Willie’s Reserve producing amazing chocolates in microdosed portions, the medicinal opportunities to use cannabis have never been greater. That being said, these chocolates sure are a welcome recreational treat after a hard day’s work. In other words, regardless of whether you’re using Willie’s Reserve Annie Nelson’s Infused Chocolate recreationally or medicinally, these chocolates deserve a chance to put a smile on your face. They sure made me smile!