Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Elmer T Lee Single Barrel

Dependable Elmer

6 1191

@talexanderReview by @talexander

3rd Apr 2020

1

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    91

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Thought I'd take care of his heel and finally review it. Elmer T. Lee was Master Distiller at Buffalo Trace, having joined in the 1940s when it was called the George T. Stagg Distillery. This single barrel bourbon is named in his honour; but no barrel number is given, and is bottled at 45% ABV. Bottle code is L191010123:06K.

The colour is a deep amber. On the nose it's tobacco, burnt sugar, toasted almonds and leather. Nutmeg. Overripe peaches. Chili powder. Wood smoke with water. Elegant but with just enough power.

The palate is spicy with brown sugar, baked apples, cumin and dark honey. Gets spicier with time. Silky mouthfeel. Figs. Water gives it more delicacy somehow. Classic bourbon.

The finish is ashen and oaky with milder spices, mint and juniper. Don't know what else to say except this is simply great bourbon - elegant, powerful, sweet, fruity, spicy and silky.

Related Elmer T Lee reviews

11 comments

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

Is ETL made from the same mashbill as Blanton’s ? How does this compare to the standard Blanton’s? I was kind of underwhelmed with Blanton’s and I’ve yet to open my bottle of ETL. I don’t know whether to open it or trade it...

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@OdysseusUnbound I don't know, and I don't know. Just open the bottle and taste it! It's bourbon, not a Faberge egg!

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@talexander
talexander commented

@OdysseusUnbound OK well I don't have a Blanton's to try next to it, but I recall Blanton's is oakier and not as sweet.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@talexander thank you for your review. Elmer T. Lee bourbon deserves the affection it receives.

@OdysseusUnbound, yes, Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2 (approx 13-15 % rye, but BT will not confirm this) is used for both Elmer T. Lee and Blanton's. BT Mash Bill # 1 is low rye, about 8 to 10% rye, so this BT Mash Bill # 2 is average rye content, vis a vis the overall standard (i.e. rye-containing) bourbon market.

Differences? Elmer T. Lee is very sweet and very spicy, what Elmer himself called, "the honey barrels". Medium and high pitches. I have always liked ETL. It is light, but very engaging. By contrast the barrel selection for Blanton's tends to be lower pitched, not so sweet, and less light and elegant. I have had very mixed experiences with Blanton's with most of the not so good ones being 5+ years ago. I have a buddy who has/"had" hundreds of employees in his food and beverage catering/event operation, has scores of bourbons and other world whiskies in his private collection. Elmer T. Lee is his favourite whisk(e)y in the world.

Before the Buffalo Trace disappearances starting in 2014, I could walk into my local store and pick up 3 or 4 bottles of Elmer T. Lee off the shelf for under $ 25 total each. Those were good days. None of that 10 times that price now on the secondary market-- $ 238 average world price on wine-searcher.com as of today.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor Well I think that settles it; I’ll open my ETL. I’m forever in your debt since you steered me toward WT Rare Breed.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

Astroke commented

@Victor The big 3 of mash bill #2, RHF's being what appears to be the most elusive. Only the second bottle I have owned and the first was an off the shelf purchase at the LCBO 5 years ago. This one was part of a trade.

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

Expand image
@Victor
Victor commented

@Astroke the entire Age International line, viz. Ancient Age and its variants, also uses Buffalo Trace Mash Bill # 2. Blanton's is one of the Age International brands.

I've had only a very few opportunities to buy Rock Hill Farms, and I passed them up. If I see one now at a reasonable price, I may well get one. The fourth BT Single Barrel product, Hancock's Presidential Reserve Bourbon, is the one we almost never see in my region. I nabbed a bottle once in Delaware, I think. Still working on that one 9 years later. N.B. Hancock's omits the word "straight" on the bourbon label. Makes me think that it has additives. The law allows a tiny amount, but then the whiskey is no longer "straight bourbon".

Here's a nice chart (bottom) and discussion of BT mash bills from bourbonr blog:

bourbonr.com/blog/…

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

Astroke commented

@Victor I had seen the chart before and the write up. Read it again anyway.

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

nice review for a nice bourbon, the two samples I have tried made me feel like it was a really well selected batch of bourbon, no off notes to speak of.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in