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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
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    Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    I am a newbie here and admittedly new to bourbon hyperbole but as of late I've tried a dozen or so of the highly regarded bourbons discussed on this site. The one bourbon I purchased recently that didn't match all the reviews and profiles I read was the Elmer T. Lee single barrel. My bottle has a very pronounced ash/graphite/charcoal/char flavor to it on the finish that is very distracting. Given that this is single barrel stuff I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this in the recent bottlings. I was really happy to find this product in my local store after what I had read but I have to say relative to all the other bourbons I've acquired it really has a strong and somewhat unpleasant finish. Is this normal?

  2. #2
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    Re: Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    No, it doesn't sound normal to me. My only bottle was purchased on a long trip to Kentucky in 2005 (I cannot get it at home), so I have no experience with recent bottlings. But it is one of my top favorites, there is nothing odd about it at all.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  3. #3
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    Re: Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    Please don't feel discouraged as we have all come across bottles we have been disappointed in at one time or another. Give that ETL some time and it might straighten itself out. Try letting it breathe a while with the cork out. I've found that a lot of the bottles that I felt were off flavored were helped by doing just that.
    Dane
    I don't drink to excess. But I'll drink to most anything else.

  4. #4
    Taster
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    Re: Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    I've got a bottle of this on special order at my local shop, hope it arrives soon, it's one I haven't had before.

  5. #5
    Disciple
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    Re: Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    Assuming you're talking about char notes that are greater than that normally found in bourbon, I haven't ever experienced that with ETL, so I can assure you it's not normal. (However, I've not had really recent bottlings.) May improve some with some oxygen exposure. Try pouring some and letting it sit out for a half hour to an hour before you drink it and see what difference that makes.

    However, I have occasionally experienced some off bottlings of highly praised whiskies - including W.L. Weller 12 year old and A.H. Hirsch 16 year old - so I know where you're coming from.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  6. #6
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    Re: Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    Quote Originally Posted by gr8erdane View Post
    Please don't feel discouraged as we have all come across bottles we have been disappointed in at one time or another. Give that ETL some time and it might straighten itself out. Try letting it breathe a while with the cork out. I've found that a lot of the bottles that I felt were off flavored were helped by doing just that.
    I'm with Dane... I drink ETL frequently and this doesn't sound "normal" to me.

    Give any bourbon at least several tries over a period of time before reaching a conclusion. Human taste can vary amazingly because of health, mood, solar flares, lunar cycles, the Spring television re-run season, Presidential campaigns, etc.

    After factoring in all this and everything else, if you decide a pour is not for you... that's all right. Move on and experiment with something else. And, of course, argue passionately about your conclusions on this site. That's why we're all here....
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    I've never noticed an excess char taste in ETL. Some bottles in recent years have seemed a little earthy though, not musty but "damp loam".

    Bottlings do vary, as does the palate at any given time as was mentioned, so it's a hard thing to pin down.

    Gary

  8. #8
    Apprentice
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    Oct 2007
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    Seattle, WA
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    Re: Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    I had a similar experience. I bought one bottle about six months ago. I tried drinking it several times over a few months. It always had this intense odor and flavor that I can only describe as burnt corn husk.

    It seems so well regarded that I'd like to try it again, but it's hard to justify spending the money when my only experience was so negative.

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    Thanks all. Your (positive) experiences and descriptions of the ETL are precisely why I was so confused. I'll continue to try it and perhaps pick up my next bottle from a different store and it therefore may be a different batch. I'm certainly not averse to barrel char but this is above and beyond what I've experienced with other bourbons (and ETL doesn't seem to be renowned for being wood heavy).

  10. #10
    Taster
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    Re: Elmer T. Lee bottling?

    Does the cork appear normal?

 

 

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