Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gone But Lives On

One of my top bourbons that I have always kept in my cabinet is a good single barrel of Elmer T. Lee.  For those who are not familiar with this brand, Elmer T. Lee was the Master Distiller of  Buffalo Trace.  He was a WWII vet, an engineer and an amazing man.  I had the prvillege to meet him myself once and recently spoke with an individual from the Blanton's line of how great a man he was. 
In the early 80's he was honored by the company and given his own single-barrel namesake.  In 2001 he was inducted in the Kentucky Hall of Fame, his receipt of the "Lifetime Achievement Aware" from both Whiskey Advocate in 2002 and Whiskey Magazine in 2012.  Recently this past year, Elmer T. Lee passed away, just weeks before his 94th birthday.  Up till his passing, he was known to still be at the distillery a few times a week, checking in on his batch and the Blanton's batch.  He also greeted those who came to visit.   Many people in the bourbon community has wondered what Buffalo Trace will do to honor this man, and just like like rumors that go with the bourbon industry, I've heard everything from multiple companies putting a batch together, to special bottles, and even not making the batch anymore. But with my recent find, they will be producing a new label and this batch will be at 93 proof.  So, bourbon lovers keep an eye out and have a glass for Elmer T. Lee when it arrives on the shelves.