The Highland Park 21 smells like a Provence cottage’s kitchen in which a nearsighted adolescent aspiring chef misread Nana’s recipe, and mistakenly used prime rib, venison, and plums rather than stew meat and plum tomatoes, and then slow-cooked them with fennel, pine needles, sequoia bark, moonstone, and Miss America’s tiara. It’s recaramelized cotton candy waved under my nose (and winged feet) as Mercury speeds by, tossing me a complicitous wink.
On the mouth, a tapestry woven from slippery elm and hemp, interwoven with platinum threads. A perfectly ripe cantaloupe sectioned into a copper bowl, liberally aerated by the breath of non-martyred saints. It’s a tesseract mosaic embedded in five dimensions, whose axes are sherry, bourbon, the tears of women crying at Avatar, Lite-Brite™, and sherry. (Yes, there’s a Euclidean sherry hyperplane fruitlessly—no pun intended—endeavoring to bisect 5-space.)
Going down the rabbit’s hole: Baked apples with cinnamon, kirschwasser Molotov cocktail, and the feeling of burgeoning cavities suddenly receding to the sound of the cavalry’s retreat. The ambition to become a fully actualized human sheds all shreds of pretension, and my chakras blossom like little girls squealing with delight as Miley Ray Cyrus walks among them.
The Highland Park 21 is yelling Blackjack!–There’s the mounting excitement when first you’re dealt an ace, and then when royalty follows, you shout “Blackjack!” (hopefully not like a n00b) before coolly and calmly collecting your tumbled towers of tokens into your Prada man bag preparatory to cashing out.