Elmer T. Lee Bourbon Review Header

Editor’s Note: Dustin Motley is our guest blogger today with his Elmer T. Lee bourbon review. As with our other Help Wanted applicants we ask that you share your thoughts on his post in the comments as well as online where you can find Dustin at @plainswhiskey or @Reddirtwhiskey

America was built on the blood and sweat of patriotic Americans who took the word “No” as a polite suggestion. Elmer T. Lee is as American as they come. A native of Kentucky, Elmer enlisted in the military two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Elmer served for four-and-a-half years in World War II as a Radar Bombardier. In 1949 Elmer applied for a position at the George T. Stagg Distillery where Coronel Albert B. Blanton told him, “Son, we’re not hiring any hands today.”

This should be the end of my tale as Elmer should have faded into the anonymity of history, but like every good hero Elmer pushed on. At the behest of Coronel Blanton’s protégé, Orville Schupp, Elmer came to work at the distillery despite the words of Coronel Blanton. According to Buffalo Trace’s website Elmer quickly rose to Plant Engineer and then Plant Superintendent. Eventually Elmer was given the shared title of Plant Manager and Master Distiller. Elmer remained at the distillery until his retirement in 1985. In 2001 Elmer T. Lee was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.



Elmer T. Lee Bourbon Review

Elmer T. Lee Bourbon Review BottleBourbon Name: Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Sour Mash Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Proof: 90

Age: NAS – Non-Age Stated

Year:  2015

How I Drank It:  Neat, in Glencairn whiskey glass.

My Nose Noticed:* Honey | Vanilla | Cherries

First Sip: Vanilla | Fresh Apples | Old Leather

The Burn:** The finish is long with moderate warmth. Leather fades to undertones of vanilla, cherries, and rye spice. The end is greeted by dry oak.

Neat, Splash or Rocks: In my opinion, this one is meant to be enjoyed neat. Water brought out more oak and covered some of the subtle underlying fruit flavors.

Share With: This friendly, approachable bourbon would be worth sharing with a friend new to bourbon. However, because of the rarity (at least in my part of the world) I would only share Elmer T. Lee with my closest bourbon buddies.

Worth The Price: Bottles of Elmer T. Lee range from $30 to $40. For a single barrel bourbon it is reasonably priced especially for what is in the bottle. From the nose to the finish Elmer T. Lee is well-balanced, full of flavor, and well worth the price.

Bottle, Bar or Bust: There is no need to sample this before open your wallet. If you find a bottle buy it!

*I like to let my whiskey sit in the glass for at least 5 minutes before I start to smell it or have a drink. I personally find that it’s better to let some of the alcohol waft off before diving in. If I’m drinking bourbon on the rocks I skip the waiting and dive in both feet first. In this case thought, the whiskey really required more like 20 minutes to balance out.
**Some of you refer to this as the “finish” but let’s be honest. Don’t we all just want to know if it burns good?