Our new single barrel from Buffalo Trace just landed. Elmer T. Lee was responsible for the first single barrel expression of bourbon, the legendary Blanton's, which was released in 1984 while he was plant manager at the Distillery. In 1985, he retired from daily plant operations, but continued to share his great knowledge and passion for bourbon as Master Distiller Emeritus. His name sake bottling is one of my favorite expressions from the current line up. However, due to the high standard of the regular bottling we do not regularly purchase single barrels. The quality of this barrel, however, is EXCEPTIONAL. It shows a similar profile to the standard bottling, but more with more intensity.
Here are my tasting notes: Not sure how we topped the extremely generous standard bottling, but this barrel stood head and shoulders above the other samples we tasted. Barrel #007 came from a distinct part of the rickhouse. Its barrel number plays perfectly to its strengths. Sleek, but powerful. Mysterious and sexy...his name is Lee... Elmer T. It amplifies all of the most exciting qualities that we know and love about the Elmer T. The depth on the nose is astounding, running the spectrum from spice, rawhide, and sandalwood to plums, tea and violets. Those nose is sensual and familiar, but the palate is where this bourbon really set itself apart. Awesomely honeyed, the taffy and clove move swiftly into stone fruits and vanilla bean. This barrel is showing very little oak tannin. Super complex, yet strangely easy to wrap your head around. I have a feeling we'll be talking about this one for some time to come.