*I’d like to thank Joe T. for his generosity in providing this sample (not pictured). The image of this bottle comes from a bottle I was surprisingly able to acquire not long afterwards. Amazing luck.
Elmer T Lee (often called ETL for short) is a Buffalo Trace Single Barrel bourbon made from the slightly higher-rye mash #2, also used for Rock Hill Farms, Blanton’s, Hancock’s Reserve, and Ancient Age. All of those except Ancient Age are single barrel. If you didn’t know before, Mash #2 is owned by Ancient Age International not Buffalo Trace. My guess is that Ancient Age has a lot of say in the production of those bourbons, which may explain why all of them except Ancient Age are especially difficult to find, although I can’t say for sure.
Elmer T Lee Single Barrel commemorates one of the company’s master distillers, and is supposed to emulate what he would have picked himself. For better or worse, this bourbon is highly sought-after, so getting a bottle, let alone a pour of this can be very difficult. Now if you’re wondering how Buffalo Trace decides what barrels become Elmer T Lee, Blanton’s, Rock Hill Farms, or Hancock’s Reserve, I have no idea. I only know that they have different alcohol content. Uncertainty aside, let’s find out more about this bourbon in this Elmer T Lee review.