Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel

Elmer T. Lee 1

Thanks to /u/CalZeta for a swap of this nice swig of bourbon.

It’s that time of year when everything seems to be happening all at once. I look at the news and it’s pretty rough. I look at the leaves and they are pretty rough. I look at the fact I need to be studying for my midterm, and I am pretty rough. I look at my calorie counting and the fat levels are pretty rough.

Not to mention the general feeling is everything is going into hibernation mode. Give it a month, and even Toronto may end up with some snow.

However you can’t just look to the rough stuff these days.

This is the time of year when you find out what you’re made off. Put the metal to the fire.

The same happened to Elmer T. Lee, when he first showed up to George T. Stagg Distillery. And if not for a friend insisting that he show up to work the next week anyway, I’d be drinking a bourbon named after someone else (or not at all). He ended up the Master Distiller until his retirement in 1985.

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel is named for Buffalo Trace’s ex-Master Distiller. It uses their Higher Rye Mashbill #2, same one used for Ancient Age and Rock Hill Farms.

Let’s see if it’s as persistent as its namesake.

Elmer T. Lee 2

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Kentucky

Abv: 45%

Colour: Light Brick

Nose: Corn, strawberry licorice, peppermint, brown sugar, evergreen, rye spices, orange zest

Like getting a candy cane stuck up your nose while laughing… but not nearly as painful.

The rye element here is very evident. It’s hard to break apart the different spices (save for mint and anise), however it has a really unique nose.

Taste: Zesty orange, ginger, anise, cumin, caramel, oak, cinnamon

Lots of spice, is what I’m saying. Imagine if you made a bunch of sorority girls run a mile in their uggs after stopping at Starbucks and then squeeze out and dried the sweat.

You’d be a crazy person, however that’s how much spice you’d get. It’s fairly one note for “spice” on the flavour profile.

Finish: Chocolate milk, cardamon, salty caramel, cranberry, peach, anise, corn

The finish reminds me of Laphroaig without the peat. The only thing I don’t like is this underlying cheap flavour, that I think I wrote down as corn because I can’t really say “That flavour that I, /u/TOModera don’t like, but can’t explain, so you get me, right?”

Sometimes I wish that I could just do these reviews “Being John Malkovich” style… however then you’d all play with my toys and judge my porn, so maybe not.

Conclusion: So if you’re following along, I stuck a candy cane up your nose, redid the greatest scene from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life (to a young boy when I saw it) and made you smell it, and then described part of the finish as a whisky known for peat without peat and having something intrinsically off-putting that I can’t explain beyond “corn” and using a movie.

Yeah, these reviews aren’t going stale anytime soon.

I like sipping on this one. It has enough unique flavours, though they are somewhat muted. The nose is unique, the taste is fairly “spice” and that’s it, and the finish almost wins it out and then fails me. I’d buy this one as a regular sipper, an everyday dram.


Bourbon review #36, Kentucky review #25, Whiskey network review #303

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #157

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