Bourbon Review

Bourbon Review: Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel

Born in Peaks Mill, Kentucky Elmer T. Lee was a legendary master distiller and a true Kentucky Bourbon icon. Elmer joined the Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1949, where he would spend the next 36 years playing a pivotal role in the revival of the bourbon industry.

He worked his way up from maintenance engineer to plant superintendent and eventually to plant manager and master distiller. Along the way, he introduced several innovative practices, including the use of experimental yeast strains and the creation of the iconic Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon in 1984. At it’s time of release Blanton’s Single Barrel was a revolutionary concept at the time, as it showcased the unique flavors of individual barrels of bourbon. This marked a turning point for the industry, as it introduced the idea of premium, single-barrel bourbons and helped to revitalize interest in the spirit.

Elmer T. Lee passed away in 2013 at the age of 93, but his impact on the bourbon industry will forever be felt.

Bourbon Review: Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel
ABV: 45.0% (90 Proof)
Age: Not Disclosed
Mash Bill:
Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2 (12-15% Rye)
Produced & Bottled By: Buffalo Trace Distillery
Bardstown, KY (USA)

The Nose: Featuring an abundance of fruit, specifically strawberries that ride upwards from the glass. Secondary aromas consist of caramel and vanilla alongside a subtle leather.

The Taste: The sweetness from the nose carries over to the first sip with strawberries and honey being the dominant flavor profile. Subsequent sips see the addition of vanilla and spice. The finish of the bourbon is fairly long with a definitive rye component.

The Conclusion: Since I’ve been married I rarely get the first bite or first sip of anything. At a restaurant before my wife digs into her meal she will take a bite of mine. At a bar, before I take my first sip she will take it. If anyone tries to poison me the joke is on her. With that said, whenever I order a bourbon the first sip results in her making a face of “how can you drink this?” The Elmer T. Lee hit differently for her as she too noticed the fruitiness of the bourbon. That sweetness makes this ideal in lieu of desert after a hearty steak dinner. While I enjoy it, a single pour vs a double will suffice.

Score: 90
MSRP Price:  $49.99 (750 ml)

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