The Bank Note opens with Zsa Zsa Gabor making catty remarks in a grating Hungarian accent about her assistant’s nail polish; a sickly greenish yellow the color of Confederate Banknotes that were mouldering in the attic of a backwoods swamphouse. It’d got reedy notes, like you might expect from a house in a swamp; unfortunately for you, those reedy notes were played by an oboist living on Molokai. It’s as if there was a purple truffle shunned by pigs—that’s how it’s found; they run from the roots of the trees that have the fungus growing there—and that it was run through a petroleum refinery, dumped on the old banknotes, and the whole thing set ablaze in a fusty oily manky inferno with the intent of making porcupine barbecue.
And then, fearing the worst, you drink it. It’s kinda pleasant! Oatmeal scone gone undercover as an Irish soda biscuit, pretending to be a hockey puck, trying to crack the cold case of the Fermented Marshmallows Misidentified as Plums Soaked in Saison Beer. John, remarkably, got charcoal carved into geckos by Aztec shamans that were given the kiss of life by Erda. “Surely you got that, too?” he murmured. I chewed on its tannic black licorice stick, sans anise, sans souciance while approaching the Heart of Darkness.
The finish is crazy. Crazy? you ask of us. Yes, crazy, like drooling at a flamenco performance and having an angry Carmen Amaya clickety-clacking her ebony castanets all upside your ribcage and mandibles, as if you were insect that she was crushing with her passion. There’s also a recession of a numbness you didn’t know you had, as if you were recovering from the novocaine from a dental procedure you neither asked for nor remembered. The finish is so implausibly interesting, the drink as a whole is like a shaggy dog joke that begins dreary, takes a detour around an oxbow of awfulness, but it’s told by Hannibal Buress, and somehow it ends up being the funniest damn thing (even if you can never do it justice as you try to retall it to your skeptical friends). Retrospectively, it’s like the Eisenhower administration—it seemed there was so much to complain about, but at the end, you realize something masterful happened while you were hiding under your desk during endless nuclear blast drills.
–Our thanks to David Catania and Burke Distributing for the sample!