Friday, July 19, 2013

What Jeff's Drinking Now: Bourbon, with a Nod to Mr. Elmer T. Lee

With the recent passing of Elmer T. Lee, I’m drinking single barrel bourbon. 

Elmer T. Lee worked in the bourbon business for years until passing away this week at the young age of 93. Lee was responsible for introducing Blanton’s in 1984, which revived a then-dying bourbon business by bringing about the trend of small batch bourbons and single barrels.

Elmer T. Lee, Photo from Buffalo Trace

What are small batch and single barrel bourbons, you ask? It’s simple, really. 

After the spirit is distilled, it is placed in barrels to age. The distiller will often place these barrels in warehouses, barns, etc.  Bourbon labeled “Single Barrel” is just that. It’s bourbon that comes from one single barrel from a warehouse. These bottles will vary from time to time in regards to taste, but generally you’ll get a fairly similar experience when it comes to the bigger producers. Small batch bourbon is a blending of barrels to eliminate the differences in taste all together putting out a consistent delicious product from bottle to bottle. 

Whichever way you decide to go, please raise your glass to Mr. Lee.


Bar Manager Jeff Faile