Elmer T. Lee (Source: Buffalo Trace/Mark Cornelison, Lexington Hearald-Leader)
FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) – Elmer T. Lee, the Master Distiller Emeritus for Buffalo Trace has died at the age of 93.
Lee was native of Franklin County, growing up on a tobacco farm. He served in World War II as a radar bombardier on a B-29 and flew missions for the U.S. Army Air Force against Japan.
After the war, Lee came home and studied engineering at the University of Kentucky.
After graduating from UK in 1949 Lee started working in the engineering department of the George T. Stagg Distillery. Twenty years later, he would become the plant manager. In 1984, Lee introduced Blanton's, the first single barrel bourbon in the world.
Lee retired one year later, but was never far away from Buffalo Trace. He was honored in 1986 with his very own single barrel bourbon, Elmer T. Lee.
Known throughout the bourbon industry for his expertise and knowledge, Lee was inducted into the Bourbon Hall of Fame in 2001. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Whisky Advocate in 2002, and the Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame induction from Whisky Magazine in 2012.
Funeral arrangements for Lee have not been announced.
Information for this story supplied by Buffalo Trace Distillery.