Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Sour Mash Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
What the Distillery Says:
In 1949, a slight young man fresh out of college with an engineering degree came to work at Buffalo Trace Distillery (then known as the George T. Stagg Distillery). That man was Elmer T. Lee, and little did anyone know, he would become a legend in the bourbon industry – a Master Distiller, creating the world’s first single barrel bourbon in 1984 and revitalizing the bourbon industry.
After 36 years of service to Buffalo Trace Distillery, Elmer retired in 1985, but continued to travel the world as a bourbon ambassador for Buffalo Trace. He regaled bourbon fans with stories from his past, while educating them about the history and heritage of America’s native spirit. Shortly after his retirement Elmer was honored with his own namesake single barrel bourbon. Every week Elmer visited the Distillery in which he had spent so much of his life, went to the laboratory, and personally selected the barrels for his namesake brand.
Sadly, in 2013 Elmer died just a few weeks shy of what would have been his 94th birthday. Now, Buffalo Trace honors Elmer again with the release of a commemorative edition Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon at 93 proof, his age when he passed.
Selected from the same warehouse floors which Elmer liked to find his “honey” barrels for his namesake bourbon, the commemorative edition is packaged in the same square bottle as the standard Elmer T. Lee, but with an upscale black label with gold embossed lettering bearing Elmer’s signature. His distinctive profile adorns the front of the label while the back label details of Elmer’s life and his legacy.
“We’re remarkably fortunate to have known Elmer. His contributions to the bourbon industry, Buffalo Trace Distillery and all our lives are countless. We want to honor our friend and give back to his family and his favorite cause, the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” said Kris Comstock, bourbon marketing director. “Profits from the sale of this commemorative edition Elmer T. Lee Bourbon will go to local VFW Post 4075, in which Elmer was active until the end.” Elmer served as a radar bombardier in the United States Army Air Corps (now known as the United States Air Force) in World War II.
“The barrels selected for this bourbon taste much the same as the standard Elmer T. Lee bourbon in which he was so proud. Barrels were tasted and carefully evaluated by the team at Buffalo Trace to ensure each had the smooth and balanced sweetness that Elmer T. Lee Bourbon fans have come to love,” continued Comstock.
What Richard Says:
Nose: A little herbal grassy note followed by green tea, vanilla, butterscotch, and burnt sugar with just a hint of cinnamon.
Palate: Creamy with a buttery toffee sweetness backed with a black pepper and mint rye kick.
Finish: A little hot on the finish. As mellow as the nose and palate are this is surprisingly aggressive on the way out. Mint and oak notes pervade after the pepper finishes dancing around the edges of the tongue.
Comments: This is much better than most of the Elmers I’ve had recently. I was in love with the Elmer T Lee bourbons I had the early part of the last decade when I first discovered them. It was like liquid candy in a very non-cloying way. It just hit all the right buttons. Sadly, in the intervening 12-13 years I feel that the bottlings have gone down hill. You can come across a great private selection from time to time but the stuff coming from the distillery picks is a shadow of it’s former self. This commemorative release in the closest I’ve seen to the old Elmers that I miss so much. A great bourbon at a great price.
Rating: Must Try