Posts Tagged Elmer T. Lee

Buffalo Trace Wins 3 Awards From Whisky Magazine

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (April 3, 2012) – Buffalo Trace Distillery garnered high honors during the Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Hall of Fame Awards ceremony held March 22, 2012 at the Waldorf Hilton in London, England.  Most special was the Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame induction given to Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee.

Elmer T. Lee was born in 1919 on a tobacco farm near Peaks Mill in Franklin County, Kentucky. He graduated from Frankfort High School in 1936 and served in the U. S. Army Air Force during World War II as a radar bombardier on a B-29. After flying missions over Japan through 1945, Elmer was honorably discharged in January 1946. He returned home and studied engineering at the University of Kentucky, where he graduated with honors in 1949.

In September 1949 Elmer began working in the engineering department of the George T. Stagg (now Buffalo Trace) Distillery in Frankfort. In 1966, he was promoted to plant superintendent, responsible for all plant operations and in 1969 he became plant manager. Elmer retired in 1985, but continues to serve as ambassador for Buffalo Trace, educating others on the unique qualities of Kentucky’s bourbon whiskey.

It was in 1984 that Elmer introduced the single-barrel bourbon concept to the world with Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon, named in honor of Col. Albert B. Blanton. Elmer is known throughout the industry for his expertise and knowledge of bourbon whiskey and has received numerous awards and recognition.

In addition to Elmer’s honor, two whiskeys distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery were also awarded “Best in the World” honors by Whisky Magazine at the Hall of Fame Awards:

  • Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon
    • Best American Whiskey in the World
    • Best Bourbon in the World
  • Sazerac 18 Year Old Kentucky Rye Whiskey
    • Best Rye in the World

“It’s been such a pleasure and an honor to be able to learn from Elmer Lee,” said Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery’s current Master Distiller.  “The knowledge he brings forth to our industry has been invaluable, and we’re happy everyone else in the world recognizes it as well.”

Tags: , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Buffalo Trace Distillery Unveils Oral History Project

After more than 200 years of history in the making, Buffalo Trace Distillery is unveiling its Oral History Project, a compilation of interviews with the people and stories of the Buffalo Trace Distillery family, such as Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee, and descendents of iconic figures such as Colonel Albert B. Blanton and Pappy Van Winkle.

For more than two years, Buffalo Trace Distillery has been working with the LouieB.NunnCenter for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries to capture the memories of the Distillery’s friends and family to serve as a virtual time capsule for future generations. All the video interviews are housed on the NunnCenter website, available at: http://www.nunncenter.org/buffalotrace/.

Visitors to the website can learn the stories behind how Elmer T. Lee had a hand in creating Blanton’s, the world’s first single barrel bourbon; the memories of Alice Blanton as she visited “Uncle Albert” on the Distillery grounds where she learned to roller skate; and how Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer for Buffalo Trace Distillery feels that Elmer T. Lee is the “grandfather he never had.”

“We’re so excited to see this project finally come to fruition,” said Meredith Moody, director of marketing services, Buffalo Trace Distillery. “To have the opportunity to preserve such rich memories of our company’s legends such as E.H. Taylor Hay Jr., a descendent of Col. E.H. Taylor Jr., one of our company’s early entrepreneurs, and our Warehouse Supervisors Ronnie Edwards and Leonard Riddle, who between them have 94 years of bourbon-making experience, is so rewarding.”

Douglas Boyd, director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History agrees, saying “To have been given an insider’s look at the rich history of not only the Distillery itself but also the bourbon industry is such a rare opportunity.  We’re excited that now these stories will live on for future generations to learn about the history and tradition of one of Kentucky’s signature industries.”

In addition to visiting the NunnCenter’s website to watch all the interviews in their entirety, Buffalo Trace Distillery plans to offer computer stations in its Visitor’s Center for viewing the oral histories by early 2011.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

No Comments