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There was a wealthy man who so desperately wanted a son. One day, he was granted that son, and he was so happy. He truly believed that life couldn’t get any better.
When his son turned five, he went to him and said, “Happy birthday, son. You turn five today. What do you want for your birthday? I’ll buy you anything you want.”
“Daddy,” the boy said, “I want a golf ball.”
“Son,” the father replied, “why a golf ball?”
“I can’t tell you, Daddy,” the boy said. “But I promise I will tell you someday.”
Years passed and the son turned thirteen.
“Son,” the father said, “Happy birthday. You turn thirteen today. You’re a teenager! What do you want for your birthday? I’ll buy you anything you want—a video game system, a stereo, a horse. I’ll build you your own go-cart track. You name it!”
“Thanks, Dad,” he answered. “These all sound really nice, but all I really want is a golf ball.”
“Son,” the father began, “every year you ask for a golf ball. I offer to buy you anything you want and you only ever want a golf ball. Why?”
“I can’t tell you, Dad,” the boy said. “But I promise I will tell you someday.”
Another passage of time rolls by and the son turns sixteen.
“Happy birthday, Son!” the father said, “You’re sixteen today! What do you want for your birthday? I’ll buy you any kind of car you want—a Porsche, a Ferrari, whatever you want!”
“That’s really nice, Dad, thanks,” the son said. “Get me whatever you want, but just fill it full of golf balls.”
“Wait, what?” the father asked. “All you want are golf balls again? Every year you ask for this. Why?”
“I can’t tell you, Dad,” the boy said. “But I promise that the day is coming soon when I’m going to tell you.”
The boy continued to grow older—turning seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, and twenty-one—and each time the father asked him what he wanted for his birthday. He offered him the opportunity for the most exquisite things money could buy, but all the son ever desired were golf balls.
Time continued to pass, and then one day, the son met a girl. He fell in love. He proposed marriage to the delightful maiden, and she accepted. They were to be married that summer. Excited, the son told his father.
“My boy!” the father shouted with joy. “Congratulations! We must celebrate!” And they did. The father took his son to a fine restaurant. He ordered the finest drinks for everyone in the establishment. He covered everyone’s dinner expenses, and with that, the whole establishment was lively and full of excitement for the young man who was preparing to be wed.
“Son,” the father said and leaned over toward the young man. “I want to buy something special for you and your bride-to-be. You name it. Anything you want—a house, a boat—heck, I’ll even buy you a houseboat! What would you like?”
“Dad,” the son replied, “that’s really nice of you. But my fiancé and I have already talked about it. You can buy us whatever you want, but just be sure to fill it full of golf balls.”
“Son!” the father said. “Enough! It’s time to tell me why all of these years, ever since you were five years old, all you’ve ever wanted were golf balls! You need to tell me, and you need to do it now.”
“Dad,” he said softly and gently, “I can’t tell you just yet, but the day is coming soon—sooner than you know, in fact.”
That night, as they were leaving the restaurant, they were crossing the street when the son was suddenly struck by a car. Lying on the pavement, covered in blood and struggling to breathe, he reached up for his father’s hand. The father took his hand and then scooped him up enough to cradle him in his lap.
“Son,’ the father softly, “I don’t think you’re going to make it.”
“I… don’t think so… either,” the son said with a gasp.
“Son, before you die, you need to tell me why all these years all you’ve ever wanted were golf balls.”
“You’re right, Dad,” he said. “It’s time.”
Looking up into his father’s eyes, tears beginning to trickle down both of their cheeks, the son inhaled.
“Dad, the reason… I wanted all… those golf balls… all those years… is because…”
And then he died.
Hey, where’re you going?
Fine. Whatever. Anyone else gonna stick around and find out about the Jefferson’s Ridiculously Small Batch No. 6? No? Okay, you? No? Fine.
The nose of this dram takes a little time to breathe. Give it fifteen minutes or so after the pour before you attempt to lift the particulars from it. When you do, you’ll be rewarded with evergreens, vanilla, and freshly sawn wood.
You need to work with the palate, too. It’s a bitter jab of peppery spice until you add a drop or two of water. Then it becomes a bowl of sour apples topped with cinnamon.
The finish is where patience is the key. It’s almost long. It leaves a bit of a sour aftertaste at first, but if you avoid the temptation to take another sip of something—whether it be the whiskey or water—it isn’t much longer before the sharpness recedes and becomes the vanilla you experienced in the nosing. But there’s also somewhat of a syrupy aftereffect that I liken to a gulp of decarbonated cola. I could’ve done without that note.
Yes, you waited all that time for this. Like I said, you have patience. I admire patient people. Patient people are mindful people. They get the most out of everything with which they interact, and most often it is that they are rewarded—except, of course, in the case of the father whose son had a mysterious fetish for golf balls.