The sly fox hasn’t been so sly lately…
I’ve seen these distinct green jars all over my feed and their team popping up at events coast to coast, from last year’s Emerald Cup in Northern California to the recent “A Very Heady Halloween” bash in New York City.
While Sly Fox has been gaining traction and getting buzz across the country, the rosin comes straight out of home in Humboldt. In fact, their production process spans both the northern and southern regions of the county — an acre cultivation site is situated in the Salmon Creek area, while the hash is all hand-washed at a facility up in Arcata.
The founder has a legacy background, telling me the last paycheck he got from a non-cannabis job was back in 2003 when he moved here to study environmental science with an emphasis on water quality and hazardous waste at Humboldt State. He then got a property and started growing off the infamous Titlow Hill Road in 2005, where he’s been “living on California cannabis” ever since — and still applying what he learned in the classroom at the Sly Fox lab today.
“I approach everything very scientifically and with scientific method in mind. When doing R&D, we’ll just change one little thing, see if it makes a difference, then try to do it over the same strain so that it’s actually comparable in the batch. That side of things came to me pretty naturally, which I think is how I’ve been able to keep homing in on my craft as a grower and a hash maker to get the quality to where it is now,” he explains.
There’s definitely been a lot of R&D going on over at the Sly Fox farm lately, which, in case you are wondering, is actually home to a fox. Located in grey fox territory, the brand is affectionally named after the female who returns each year to make her den and have her litter of pups underneath the processing building.
Out at the cultivation site, the team has shifted to using all organic inputs over the past year, with top dresses and teas made with earthworms, Bokashi, oatmeal, guanos, and more being applied throughout the growing cycle. In the lab, they’ve been cooking up some exciting collabs with Cozy Cubes for Terp Basel in Miami, dialing in upcoming competition entries for Legends of Hashish III and The Emerald Cup 2024, and experimenting with unique flavor combinations (often featuring Strawguava).
“We did a blend called Fox Berry, which was Strawguava and Kombucha, and the Mango Lasi, which is Strawguava and Mimosa. You may be noticing a trend here,” the founder laughs.
He goes on to tell me, “I like mixing things with Strawguava — that’s just one of the things I like to do and will continue doing. Another mixed wash that really hit this year was Papaya Cake, which was a mix of the Papaya cut I won second with at Emerald Cup last year and Strawberries n’ Cream. That one came out very uniquely, which is why I love doing these blends. You really have the chance of coming up with something that people haven’t tasted, and I think whenever you can do that, it’s a great opportunity to take.”
Speaking of, this would be a great opportunity to take some globs out of these Sly Fox jars…
I grabbed three flavors off the menu that stood out to me, and of course, I had to start with their Emerald Cup-winning Lemon Sour D. A mainstay flavor on the farm, this Dark Heart cut of Sour Diesel x Lemon Kush is one of the few that will appear in the rotation again and again. She was super funky with an almost foul BO scent — opening the jar was more like opening a locker room door. The flavor (thankfully) was much more pleasant with zesty citrus peel upfront and those classic earthy, kushy undertones to follow. A rarity to find rosin that is a hard sativa; I found myself reaching for this one for my first smoke of the day. That funky flavor definitely woke my senses up in the morning, and the euphoric and creative high carried me through to my lunch break.
Next up was the Motorbreath x Banana Punch, a newer cut for the farm acquired right up the road from The Source Nursery in Arcata. The aroma reminded me of the overly ripe mushy bananas you’d use for banana bread, which is different compared to that artificial candy scent you often get with banana strains. She ended up tasting sweeter with some gas from the Motorbreath creeping through on the exhale, coming together to create a fruit punch flavor. With a really nice even-keeled effect, this one checked all my boxes for an all-day hash smoke.
Finally, the flavor I was most jazzed about was the Mango Lasi — another one of those classic Fox blends featuring Strawguava mixed with Mimosa. I’ve gotta give a shout-out here to my dude Chef Dave from The Samosa Shop in Denver, who serves mango lassis at his farmer’s market stand. Now that it’s nearly winter, seeing this strain on the menu made me nostalgic for sipping on a lassi during sunny summer weekends so I definitely had to try to hash named after the drink! The first whiff was sour like Greek yogurt, then turned more tropical each time, and the flavor experience was just as unique. Sweet and spot-on to the taste of ripe mango with a creamy and tangy mouthfeel that left a coating on my tongue for a few minutes after the exhale. I may have to put some of this jar away in the freezer head stash to pull out next year and pair it with an actual mango lassi from the farmer’s market…
Just kidding, I definitely already smoked it all! Until next time, stay hashy.
Katherine Wolf is an independent writer and the Chief Marketing Officer of Malek's Premium Cannabis - a boutique cannabis brand based in Denver, Colorado. Passionate about glass, hash, and a good latte.