As an Iraq veteran, I keep a mental note of bourbon people who are veterans or served in the military. The late great Elmer T. Lee was a World War II Veteran and his former distillery is creating a commemorative edition bourbon with profits going to a local VFW.
I commend Buffalo Trace for doing this. Aside from remembering a legend, Buffalo Trace is working with a local VFW chapter, which often struggle for funding. I imagine Mr. Lee would appreciate the local effort.
The former master distiller passed away late last year, but is considered one of the greatest distillers of the 20th Century. He introduced single barrel bourbons to consumers in the mid 1980s and became an integral icon to Buffalo Trace and the industry. He’s a member of the Bourbon Hall of Fame, and his likeness appears on the popular bourbon Elmer T. Lee.
“We’re remarkably fortunate to have known Elmer. His contributions to the bourbon industry, Buffalo Trace Distillery and all our lives are countless. We want to honor our friend and give back to his family and his favorite cause, the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” said Kris Comstock, bourbon marketing director, in a press release. “Profits from the sale of this commemorative edition Elmer T. Lee Bourbon will go to local VFW Post 4075, in which Elmer was active until the end.” Elmer served as a radar bombardier in the United States Army Air Corps (now known as the United States Air Force) in World War II.”
The company says it will select barrels from the same warehouse floors that Elmer found his “honey” barrels and package in the same square bottle as the standard Elmer T. Lee, but with a black label with gold embossed lettering bearing Elmer’s signature.
According to the press release, the one-time limited commemorative bottling of Elmer T. Lee Bourbon will start arriving in stores this April. Suggested retail pricing is $34.99. Production of the standard Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon will continue as barrels come of age and are deemed worthy of Elmer and his legacy, Buffalo Trace said.