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BOTM, 1/06: Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel


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The first BOTM for 2006 is another great offering from the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Created by and named for one of the legends of bourbon making, Elmer T Lee, his Single Barrel packs more flavor than would be expected to fit into 750mls. Bottled at 90 proof and now sporting an easy-open capsule, ETL is a requisite bottling for any self-respecting collection, and an ideal bourbon with which to ring in the new year.

What say you?

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1holegrouper

ETL is one of my favorites. It is a bit too sweet for my palate to be my everyday pour. So, bourbonwise it's not my regular cup of coffee but is my occasional latte. Everytime I take a new sip of it, a new flavor seems to come out.

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and an ideal bourbon with which to ring in the new year.

Jeff, an excellent choice for the first BOTM of '06. It's an ideal bourbon for any day! At $22 a bottle in PA, it's a great everyday pour. drink.gifyum.gif

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I had this for the first time about a year ago and I thought it was good, not great but certainly drinkable. At that time I was drinking only the E.T. Lee by itself. Then just a few months ago I did a blind tasting against Elijah Craig 12yr and WT Rare Breed and I was surprised how well it held its own. With the others to contrast the ETL's maple tones were beautifully pronounced. I know this is a pretty common suggestion for drinking bourbon in general, but ETL is really at its best when along side other bourbons particularly ones that are less sweet. This is just my opinion, but like jelly to peanut butter this is a bourbon that is designed to compliment certain other bourbons. I reccomend getting something like Woodford Reserve or Old Grandad 100 and sipping it side by side with the ETL and see if you agree.

Thanks

Jimmy

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An outstanding bargain and the most consistent single barrel I've found... it's one of my favorites.

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Received a bottle for Christmas and sampled it tonight, Must agree and I was quite surprised. Value, Value, Value.

This bottle will be ever present on my bar.

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I agree, Tried it after Russell's Reserve 90, and I ended up giving the RR away!

Nominations for next month would be Weller 12 YO, or HH10 YO

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Great choice for BOTM. I love ETL. This is one of the best bargains going. It can be had for $17 (on sale) around here. At that price, I will always have one open.

Jay

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I don't have a problem liking ETL......it has lots going for it including cinnamon spice and the aforementioned sweetness. But here in Texas, its priced north of $30 and that puts it in competition with a lot of great bourbons. Particularly the Weller line which has always been priced extremely well. Weller 12yo is less that $15. So, its not a regular staple in the bar as a result.

Randy

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About 2 years ago I moved from NC to SC. NC is a control state and SC is not, so there is a much greater availability of good bourbon here in SC. But oddly, I can only find ET Lee back in NC (and only recently). Anyway, I like this one a lot - you can't go wrong with a pour of ET Lee, and the price (in NC) is about $25.

Craig

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Edward_call_me_Ed

Excellent choice. Since it is a SB it does vary from bottle to bottle. I currently have three bottles of ETL open and have been hankering to buy anouther. Now I have an excuse! Not the sort of excuse that my wife would buy, but it is good enough for me. I will have to buy a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 to replace the one I drank for the last BOTM tasting.

Ed

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On my top 5 list; going to pour me a little right now. HiTimes had this on sale about 4 months ago for around $18, a true bourbon bargain!

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Can you find ETL in WA. State? Or is Hi Times a mail order? By the way, if your interested in WT RR 101, they have a few bottles left at the Monroe store...I don't know enough to have an opinion regarding the whole 90 vs 101 debat but just in case your interested...

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Virus_Of_Life

Beautiful, I have been eyeing that ETL for some time now so this is a great opportunity. I just got my most recent 5% savings award from BevMo so I will put ETLee on the list for next week's shopping, for $23 it already sounds like a good deal from what I have read; although I DO tend to avoid the overly mapley (is that a word) whiskeys. One certain Canadien (Pendleton) was so sweet and maple syrup like that well, I'll spare the details, but let’s just say I think it would have been better on my pancakes than in my glass with my best friend insisting we finish the bottle in a 36 hour Oregon BBQ celebration!

Like I said I am new to this but I will catch on quickly so excuse my occasional silly question, but just want to confirm, BOTM is Bourbon Of The Month, right?

A couple pieces of quick advice, also, if I could? The WT Russell’s Reserve is on a very good special right now at only 22, I was greatly disappointed in the Kentucky Spirit at more than twice that price so I have been hesitant, opinions please? And Kentucky Vintage 8yo I have been seeing that double gold medal at the 2k5 SF spirits competition and wondering, should I? confused.gif

Sorry to ask so much I will spend time search the archives for everything I am interested in soon, but love to get quick opinions as I plan to try everything in good time... thankyousign.gif

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bluesbassdad

To preserve the purity of the Elmer T. Lee thread, I will respond to your non-related questions here.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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bluesbassdad

VoL,

You are correct regarding the meaning of BOTM. The proprietors here instituted the BOTM idea a few months ago to encourage members to share their impressions, regardless of one's ability or willingness to write full-fledged tasting notes.

Yes, maple is a flavor element often identified by serious tasters. I think I've used that descriptor myself, but I don't recall which bourbon evoked it. [ Here's one.] I'm pretty sure I've never noticed that element in ETL. (You'll often see initials used here in place of the full name of the bourbon.) To me ETL has always suggested spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg. If there is such a thing as a mainstream bourbon, then ETL is slightly to one side.

BTW, the legal definition of bourbon precludes the addition of maple (or any other) flavoring; such flavors arise through the magic of the interaction between the bourbon and the charred, white oak barrel. Accordingly, such flavors in bourbon are likely to be much more subtle than in spirits where the addition of flavorings is allowed.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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Had the first pour of ETL last night I've had in a month (maybe more?). It was good. Full bodied. On the sweet side. Some spice but nothing on the order of WT Rye or GTS. A very pleasant pour. I followed it with a pour of Buffalo Trace. This was so much better (to me). A more full and robust pour. The definition of a good Bourbon. I would expect because of the nature of these two to like the ETL better. It's explorations like this that give you pause and make you realize that your tastes are just that. Product positioning and marketing can give you a place to start but in the end it tastes how it tastes, to you.

At any rate these are both fine Bourbons and a joy to experience.

Thanks BT!

Ken

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I've only purchased one bottle of ETL and it has been the foil top. I have access to some of the older wax tops, is it worth picking one up to see the difference?

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I have access to some of the older wax tops, is it worth picking one up to see the difference?

You know you want to do the comparison. yum.gif Go ahead and let us know what you think. cool.gif

I am in a similar position. In Dec I was in Chicago and visited Binny's and picked up an ETL Binny's bottling with a heavy wax top. I was curious on how it compared to a newer foil topped so when I came home I had to get ETL BT version. I haven't opened the foil one yet but will before I finish the heavy waxed one. This is my first taste of ETL and I think it is very tasty in deed. One other note. Brett, Binny's spirits manager, says that they have picked another ETL barrel and this one is a 12 yr. Looks like a road trip is in my future.

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ChuckMick

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At $40 Cdn at the LCBO I consider this to be one of the best values in Ontario. My default bourbon choice. Less than 1/2 the cost of Blantons. toast.gif

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You probably know that it is essentially the same whiskey as Blanton's. There was an established taste profile for Blanton's (which is excellent), but Elmer found other barrels that he personally enjoyed, more. They had a sweeter profile and they (Buffalo Trace) started selling it under his namesake. A similar product concept to Russell's Reserve (and I don't know which brand was first).

Tim

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1holegrouper

You probably know that it is essentially the same whiskey as Blanton's. There was an established taste profile for Blanton's (which is excellent), but Elmer found other barrels that he personally enjoyed, more. They had a sweeter profile and they (Buffalo Trace) started selling it under his namesake. A similar product concept to Russell's Reserve (and I don't know which brand was first).

Tim

I agree that Blanton's and ETL are similar. However, I would give the edge personally to ETL. An added bonus is that it is half the price. yum.gif

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CrispyCritter

Well, I bought a bottle yesterday (gold wax seal, Binny's cask selection), and it is mighty good! Sweet and mellow... I'd call it a "honey barrel."

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