Elmer T. Lee 1919-2013 Commemorative Edition, 46.5%

This bourbon was released to celebrate the life of Elmer T. Lee. He was a long time employee of Buffalo Trace Distillery who made it from engineer up to being distillery manager.

Image from Whiskybase

Officially he retired in 1985, but never really stopped coming to work, according to the stories.

He passed away in 2013, at the age of 93. After that, this bourbon was released. I was lucky enough to get a sample as part of the Fiddler’s Advent Calendar last December.

Lots of corn, slightly bitter oak and almonds, cherry stones, lots of oak too. Cherry and honey after a while. Becomes more sweet after some time.

Far drier than I expected, with quite a lot of bitter notes. Almonds, cherry stones. Tree bark, oak, pink peppercorns.

A long finish that continues the dry and bitter notes. The cherry lingers longest, with some almond paste.

This is a stellar bourbon. It’s not overly sweet and offers a lot of layers and intensity. I love the bitter notes that are present in it. If this truly is the standard set by Elmer T. Lee, I might have to get my hands on some of the other Elmer T. Lee bottlings!



About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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4 Responses to Elmer T. Lee 1919-2013 Commemorative Edition, 46.5%

  1. Troy says:

    I’ve had three different E. T. Lee bottles over the years, and they’ve all been respectable, but nothing to write home about. The third one was borderline disappointing. I’ve not had this commemorative edition…but I would spend too much time OR MONEY seeking these out. Just one man’s opinion.

    • Troy says:



      • Good that you corrected it, because I got confused!

        I don’t have a clue what this cost when it came out but current prices are WAY too high indeed. I believe this currently sits at almost a thousand bucks and that’s just too much indeed.

        Although, I was a really great dram.

  2. Pingback: The best of 2021 | Malt Fascination

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