We’re going to look at two Rockstars side by side today. One is produced by Aphria, sold under their Solei brand, they call it ‘Unplug‘. One is from the vendor AC Medical and is unbranded.
Let’s check the stats on the AC Medical offering first. This is ‘grey area’ cannabis and there is no lab testing with this offering (read: it’s illegal). The vendor calls it a cross of Rock Bud and Sensi Star, and they let us know we can expect a tangy gas aroma with hints of spice and grape. Per single gram, it’s priced at the $10 mark. I acquired it back in February, so it’s at least 140 days old in its package.
Aphria’s version is actually Rockstar Kush, and, because this offering is tested and listed in a legal store, we get a lot more information about it.
This is a THC dominant offerings and cannabinoid content ranges 10% THC in the listing, from 15% to 25%. What arrived had 18.59% THC, representative of the low side of the average.
Nearly two-thirds of all available terpenes are Caryophyllene (63.3%), this is notably high. Limonene and myrcene make up the remaining dominant terpenes (19.3% and 14.7%, respective). The other terpene category represents only 2.7% of available terpenes.
The vendor describes Solei Unplug, as ‘harvested just at the right moment‘ and ‘perfectly flowered’, letting us know to expect ‘aromatic berry notes’.
This Rockstar was grown in Leamington, Ontario in a greenhouse. Packaging date on my container is April 4 2019, and I’m performing the review 73 days later.
Before we move into this review, let’s note that we’ve seen a Rockstar Kush from Aphria before, it was called Blue 98 and was sold under their Riff brand. I just re-read it and I was clearly disappointed by it.
Visuals on Aphria’s Rockstar Kush are poor. With that being said, I’ve seen far worse visuals priced higher. About half of what I received could be considered full bud, the rest is a scant slew of lowers and shake. The level of trim is inconsequential compared to the mixture of bud sizes, they’ve trimmed it a bit, but the effort is hardly noticeable.
Moisture content is low, to the point that I’d consider this bud brittle. Keep in mind this review is taking place just over two months after it was packaged, but it is nowhere near the spongy malleability I’d consider ideal.
Grinds dry and dusty. Take a look for errant trichomes in the photos.
Scent is passable, the Rockstar Kush character is evident, I’d guess most could identify this by the smell. But you really have to get in there, this doesn’t have a long reach. Certainly won’t fill the room.
Flavours are gassier earths coupled with the deeper sweetness of grape, it’s not magnificent, but it’s there. The note left on the palate is so undeniably grape, with some good hollow depth into the earths. The character shows up, not absent, but not there in force.
I don’t mind the longevity, this seems to fade into blunted berries with use in the vaporizer. Pronunciation is a good effort, but only that. In terms of the overall spectrum of musical talent, this is less rock concert and more like your brother learning to play a D cord by strumming wackily in the living room.
Now that we’ve seen Aphria’s Rockstar Kush, let’s look at AC Medical’s Rockstar. If you watched the video, you already know it looks superior. We’ll also note if the olfactory presence is greater or less, and if the character is the same on both.
Saying again, visuals on AC Medical’s Rockstar are better. The single gram arrived as one full bud. The bud has an interesting shape, rounder towards the bottom, coming to a jagged peak towards the top. There is observable trichome coverage as you reach the tip of the bud. Overall, it’s multiples better than the Aprhia version.
Moisture content feels surprisingly good. There is some outward dryness with audible crackling, but I was unable to crush this bud with all the might I could muster.
Take a look at the grinds, especially in the first photo where it maintains the circular contour of my grinder.
Scents are standard. I can notice a bit more berry tones in this version but the level pronunciation is similar to the Aphria version. Adequate presence, but nothing to write home about.
Flavours on the AC Medical hit with a bit more force, but with similar wealth. The fuel and earth tones are less present in this profile, instead, this gives more in the sweet berries which interpret more resinous and perform higher into the range.
Pronunciation is adequate and longevity suffers rapidly in comparison to the Aphria product, but it could be the nature of the profile. I find that it quickly becomes uninteresting.
I personally enjoyed the olfaction on the Aphria product more, despite the poorer visuals. Which makes the conversation about price a bit easier.
Prices were similar on both Rockstars, with the Aprhia version being cheaper by $0.31 cents per single gram. Aphria’s version is priced at $9.69 and the AC Medical is $10 flat. My read, based on personal preference, Aphria’s Rockstar profile was more enjoyable, it’s tested and it was cheaper. Let’s not forget, the visuals were rather disappointing, but I would trade good visuals for good olfaction any day.Let’s check the scene for Rockstar around the (legal) country. I’ve shown all the Rockstar I can find, from the 4 producers that appear to be stocking it.
Couple things to note on the above graph. First, Aphria is the cheaper alternative in all stores I track. Second, Aphria sells Rockstar under two brands, Solei and Riff, and the Solei product is less expensive of the two.
I’m a proponent of Canada’s legalization of cannabis. I’m also supportive of lower prices for consumers and lab testing. I feel good about places like this, where I can say I see lower prices, with a more enjoyable flavour profile than I could find from a ‘traditional outlet’ and lab testing. But let’s be honest, these incidences are the exception, not the rule.
Neither offering we saw here was that spectacular, but I can tell you with a straight face that, in my experience, there is some value in this Solei Unplug product in the current cannabis market.
Thanks for reading! See you for the next one.