Some big news in my ongoing search for the elusive Weiss whiskey. Up until now I’ve known precious little about it. You can read my previous entries here and here. But I’ve unearthed a pretty big clue.
Little background for you:
The bar in San Saba where I met the old man with the whiskey years ago is long gone. Out of business. I was a regular back in the day though. Knew the owner. We lost touch over the years, but he found me through this blog and sent me an email with a fascinating story.
Apparently the addled old codger who let me taste his whiskey used to come to that bar fairly often, trying to sell them a bottle of it. The last time the guy was there he left behind a little stack of papers. The bar owner held them for him but he never came back.
About a year ago he found the papers in an old box when he was cleaning out his garage. God knows why he held onto them, but I’m glad he did. He sent me an email, having remembered my interest in this old guy. Email said I could have the papers if I wanted them, otherwise he was going to throw them out.
Oh shit yeah I wanted them. I drove over there a few days later and picked them up.
What I was wanting was some clue to where this guy lives and makes his whiskey. Rumor says it’s near Llano but hell, that could be anywhere. “Near” in the Llano Estacado could mean 200 goddam miles in any direction.
I also would have been thrilled to find out something about the nature of his whiskey and how it’s made. Also I’m curious about its connection to the original Weiss whiskey that – so I’ve been told – was made illegally near Beaumont back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Unfortunately, the papers offered me no clues about any of those things. But I learned something far more interesting about the nature of this strange man and his mysterious distilled spirit.
Before I get into that, I thought you might like a peek at those papers, so I snapped some photos.
As I sorted through them initially I found nothing of particular interest. Some old telegrams, notes, and pages of typed text that contained nothing relevant. The recipe book caught my eye, as I hoped it might contain some hint to his distillation process. But it was only a recipe for lemon berry coffee cake.
Then I opened the last folder in the stack and found this:
What the hell? I researched online and found that this is a famous alchemical drawing. The “Mountain of the Adepts” is what they call it. And take notice of what he circled.
I know, right? This is some weird shit. But also fascinating as hell.
In an envelope I found a copy of an illustration from an obviously old book.
On the back were a bunch of ancient quotes by alchemists. Names like The Jesuatti Book of Remedies 1562, Hieronymus Brunschwyck 1505, The Summa Perfectionis by pseudo-Geber 13th century, Nicolas Lemery 1698, and John Damien 1505.
In case some of you nerdy sons of bitches want to see the complete quotations, I posted them here. And it’s some weird ass shit for sure!
I’m assuming your mind is spinning as mine was. You’re certainly capable of drawing your own conclusions. And hey, if you have any ideas you want to share, send me an email. But I’ll close this thing by telling you what I think.
I think this guy is some kind of eccentric genius or something. I think his grandfather studied distilling from the oldest masters of all. God only knows how they got their hands on those old books and shit. Maybe made a pact with Satan. What do I know? But I’m thinking this old guy in the Texas Panhandle is making whiskey in an ancient way that no one else knows about.
No wonder it almost knocked me off the stool that day. And I don’t think it’s an accident that this stuff has been on my mind since I drank it. This is some serious, alchemical, life changing, rite of passage shit.
And I’ve got to find it. Got to.