The Old Weller Antique 107 opens coyly, hiding the power within, giving hints only of a candle scented by anise and balsam collected from Myroxylon trees in Peru. It’s. So. Nice. My. Brain. Has. Begun. To. Defrag. Still, peeking around the corner is black cherry yogurt that’s been infiltrated by crabapples hoping to pass. “You have no pits!” exclaim the black cherries. And then, it begins to assert itself, swelling like a hero’s flexed biceps: Whortleberry jam, and a washback made out of clarinet reeds and filled with a limited edition release of Robitussin available exclusively through Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP site. I don’t know—and I’m not going to look it up—what the collective noun is for a group of logicians, because it should be: A clarity of logicians gaze upon an exaltation of larks, which are, in turn, gazing upon a parliament of owls swiveling their heads at a loveliness of ladybugs.
The mouth is beyond words in the way that the sun is beyond vision: It can be caught only in quick snippets, peripherally. It’s like stealing home in a baseball game if you were possessed, literally and figuratively, by the spirit of Jackie Robinson and trapped in the Robert Francis poem, “The Base Stealer.” Stephen got heartwood from a cherry tree being turned on a lathe into a baseball bat. With water, it transcends silk for smoothness: Smooth as silk is a poor evocation of the richness of the smoothness here.
The finish unhinges my nervous system, ganglion by ganglion, like a brassiere being unhooked*, eyelet by eyelet. It pours me to the floor, like mercury out of a Paul Bunyan’s broken mercury thermometer. There’s sweet, sweet corn on the finish, and it’s ineffably nice, unassailably perfect. There’s absolutely nothing wrong about it, and like a perfect mirror, I can’t see any flaws or details in it; just my own projections. It’s like a baseball swing with no holes; there are no open spots, no rough edges. After a time, my synaptic gaps close to normal tolerances, and I get aged velvet that had been kept in a maple hope chest.
On the scale of poignant books that make grown men cry manly tears of love, longing, and soft sorrow–
The W. L. Weller “Old Weller Antique 107” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson. Powerful emotions resist analysis and beg to be experienced. So does the Old Weller Antique 107.
* Note: The one of us who used that simile and insisted that it appear in the review shall remain cloaked evermore by the Omerta of the Impostors.