Our first impressions of the nose include sweetness and herbaceousness. But then some of the surprises emerge: first a chalky note, then a glissando of cucumbers left in a cedar drawer. “A hint of cherry,” says Stephen, who is the only one of us to perceive it. But we all agree that there’s a well-oiled mouse trap next to the cucumbers in the drawer. You see, there’s something darker and dankier than we normally expect from bourbon. Something manky, like wet tree bark on an early winter morning stroll.
The mouth has bite, that’s for sure. A touch of gingerbread, with baby aspirin dotting the cornices. Water mutes the nose slightly and brings out corn spears—
“–wielded by the Duke of Cornwall!” Bill adds enthusiastically, if unhelpfully. Still we all agree that it’s a pinch better with a few drops of water, or after more time in the glass. I get an array of art supplies, after completing a masterpiece. Tubes of oil paint with rolled-up ends, still-glistening sable and hogs hair brushes, and carnations pressed in an unabridged dictionary on the page that includes the word “promenade.”
The finish is big and spicy. There’s orange pith, honey, and white pepper. You know how people sometimes produce an invisible instrument, calling it the “world’s tiniest violin,” and then play an inaudible performance in a snarky counterpoint to the sad story that you’re telling them? Well this finish has me commissioning an entire string quartet that can fit inside a doll’s house, which I then eat lustily with a knife and fork. “Wow, John, are you okay?” asks Bill. I tell him that I’m better than okay. With some Peerless in my glass, I’m ready to surmount the scorn of my enemies and to transform art into caloric energy.
On the scale of art that changes the way we think of art —
The Peerless Bourbon is “Eating Poetry” by Mark Strand. “There is no happiness like mine,” it begins. “I have been eating poetry.” If you like to “romp with joy in the bookish dark” as much as I do, then you now have the perfect pairing.
–Our thanks to Peerless for the sample!