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View Full Version : What to do with Colonel Lee?



kbuzbee
01-17-2006, 12:30
Gary, (everyone of course, but Gary is our vatting inspiration) recently someone here pointed out 100 Proof Colonel Lee was discounted to $6.90 a bottle here in Ohio. At that price I had to try it. Maybe it was just my palate last night but I found this undrinkable. To anyone whose tried this, what can be done to salvage it??? Is there something to vat in that will vectify this Bourbon or should it be left to sit for future generations?

Ken

Gillman
01-17-2006, 13:58
Funny, I saw this bottle on St. Martin, Ken, and almost bought it. I DID buy another bottle with a black and white label called "John Lee" with no stated age or manufacturer.

Can you describe the flavor of Colonel Lee? Is it metallic/congeneric? Is it minty/menthol like some of the price brands from HH?

If I have a sense of the flavor I can suggest how to deal with this.

My John Lee may be the same whiskey (I am thinking). That one had a smoky wood taste but not a rich clean smoky taste, it was kind of sandy or muddy-tasting almost, is yours like that?

Gary

Gillman
01-17-2006, 14:21
I topped my recent blend of 50% Old Grandad and 25% each Beam Black and 12 year old Charter with a splash of Lot 40. Now it is even better, fuller in taste with a pleasant bourbon nose. Blending makes the result arguably better than each alone, I am very happy with this 1885-style blend (inspired by Joseph Fleischman's blending manual of that year, see www.pre-pro.com (http://www.pre-pro.com) for extracts).

Gary

bobbyc
01-17-2006, 18:22
You do recall Ken telling us at Barton that the Colonel will be discontinued? Not the best 100 proof on the planet, I plan to grab a couple to bunker.

ThomasH
01-17-2006, 23:23
Since I'm the nice guy who told Ken about the Colonel being on sale, let me offer a few solutions. Mix it with some Canada Dry ginger ale, it makes a half decent long drink. If that doesn't work, keep it for those pesky relatives you love to hate. They will drink it if its free. If all else fails, set it on a shelf and admire the pretty label on the bottle, someday when the price of bourbon goes out of the stratiphere, you'll still have this gem to drink. Cheers!

Thomas

cowdery
01-18-2006, 00:13
The only thing wrong with Colonel Lee is its youth and sometimes you can be in the mood for that sort of thing. I suggest lots of ice, a little lemon, ginger ale sounds good. I'm not saying you have to drown it, just give it a little help.

kbuzbee
01-18-2006, 03:46
The only thing wrong with Colonel Lee is its youth and sometimes you can be in the mood for that sort of thing. I suggest lots of ice, a little lemon, ginger ale sounds good. I'm not saying you have to drown it, just give it a little help.



That will probably help. I'm really not used to finding something I disagree with as much as I did this one..... Very unusual. Some things make my favorites list and others don't but usually I can see the value in them.

Gary - the taste that I come up with is "medicinal". Chuck is right about the age. There are no barrel notes to speak of. There is some anise and maybe some chlorine??? I can tell you what it isn't. It isn't maple or vanilla or sweet or spicy. It was like when a pill begins to disolve before you've swallowed it.... Maybe this was just a bad bottle. Hey, it can happen to top shelf Bourbons. What happens when you get an "off" bottle of a bottom shelf offering?? Maybe this.

You've read how Laphroaig made it in during prohibition because they thought that anything that tastes this bad had to be curative??? Well, I love Laphroaig but I would say that about Colonel Lee. Maybe it will cure my arthritis?? I had hoped you might have tried this. I'm hesitant to add anything I would actually drink to it to see if it helps.... We'll see.

Thomas - Don't worry about it. It was $7! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif Unfortunately, no relatives to drop in a offer this to. (come on up if you like! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif)

Appreciate the feedback guys.

Ken

Gillman
01-18-2006, 06:29
I advise to use Colonel Lee for Old-Fashioneds and Manhattans.

Another way is to use it to "dilute" a bourbon you find too-powerfully flavored. E.g., Old Fitzgerald Bonded has a lot of extract in it: try blending that 50/50 with Colonel Lee, if something is missing, add a splash of any strongly flavoured rye whiskey, say Rittenhouse or WT's. Or instead of the rye use Jack Daniels for the flourish. Instead of the Old Fitzgerald, you might consider a bourbon some people (not me) find too sweet, e.g. Elmer T. Lee or Knob Creek, their sweetness will balance out the lack thereof in Colonel Lee.

To stay within the Barton family VOB Bonded (or perhaps more so, Ridgewood Reserve) would likely bring the Lee into proper balance.

Gary

kbuzbee
01-18-2006, 06:47
Oh Gary.... You're gonna get me to do this...... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Sounds like ETL, Ridgemont and Col Lee..... I have, and rarely ever drink, both RR and ETL. Are we thinking 1:1:1??

Thanks,

Ken

(no Manhattans or Old Fashioned, thanks. I'll fall back on ginger ale if this doesn't work out)

Edward_call_me_Ed
01-18-2006, 07:41
Hi Ken,
If you are in the mood to experiment, how about adding a drop or two or vanilla extract to about a shot? Just a thought.
Ed

Gillman
01-18-2006, 08:04
Yes, either 1:1:1 or just 1:1 the Elmer T. Lee, or Ridgewood, to the Colonel Lee. Try it first in the glass with Ridgewood, since it is from the same distillery you are simply vatting two house whiskeys and albeit their mash bills are different that doesn't really matter. The extra heft of the Ridgewood (e.g., it has more barley malt than the regular Barton mashbill) will likely "fill out" what is "missing" in the Colonel Lee. At the same time, the super-rich character of the Ridgewood will be reduced, which would not displease some.

The three bourbon approach (one-third each) will create more complexity but since the Elmer Lee introduces a "foreign" bourbon there is more risk of the mixture going awry, as it were.

Gary

miller542
01-30-2006, 10:46
100 Proof Colonel Lee was discounted to $6.90 a bottle here in Ohio.

Ken

I searched no less than 6 liquor stores in the Columbus area this past weekend and was unable to find this bourbon. Looks like it may be long gone.

Anyone know where it is still available in Ohio?

kbuzbee
01-30-2006, 14:05
I searched no less than 6 liquor stores in the Columbus area this past weekend and was unable to find this bourbon. Looks like it may be long gone.

Anyone know where it is still available in Ohio?

I saw it several places around here no more than 4 days ago (Mentor, East of Cleveland)

Ken