Today we pay tribute to an American Icon. His name is Elmer Lee and he is the father of American Single-Barrel bourbon.
Yesterday, at the age of 93, Elmer passed away. Nintey-three years is a good life, especially considering what he has accomplished. Born in Kentucky, after serving in World War 2, he began as an engineer at the George T Stagg Distillery in Kentucky. He later became Plant Manager and eventually, Master Distiller.
In 1984, he stunned the world, introducing the first single-barrel whiskey, made right here in America. You see, at that time, there was no such thing as Premium Whiskey, Small Patch Whiskey, or craft spirits. Everything from the American brown-nectar making stills was incorrectly considered inferior to whiskeys produced on other continents. Elmer Lee changed that by bringing to market a Blanton's single-barrel bourbon. It became a hit in Japan, and then eventually here.
His success spawned the modern boom in American Whiskey. George T Stagg became the Buffalo Trace Distillery, producing many of the most famous American bourbons. And Elmer Lee kept at it, approving every release and creating his own hand-selected bottling called....Elmer T Lee.
Here at The Lodge, we're huge fans of bourbon. It's a special mash of corn, malted barley, and wheat or rye, aged in American Oak. Not only does it taste damn good, it's uniquely American. And it's one of the few American industries where manufacturing is actually increasing. Because of this, it's very important for you to drink as much of it as possible.
As we write this post, we sip our Elmer T Lee bourbon, slightly chilled with whiskey stones and we say, thank you Elmer. Well done.