Elmer T. Lee

Title

Elmer T. Lee

Subject

Lee, Elmer T., 1919- --Interviews
Distillation
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Liquors--Gaging and testing
Whiskey industry--Kentucky
Whiskey--Analysis
Whiskey
Lee, Elmer T., 1919-

Description

Elmer T. Lee, retired master distiller of the distillery now known as Buffalo Trace, was born in Frankfort in 1919 and came to work at the distillery in 1949. Before beginning work at Buffalo Trace, he served in World War II and received a degree in engineering from the University of Kentucky. Lee describes his childhood in Kentucky and explains how he began working at the distillery as an engineer and rose to the position of plant manager and, later, master distiller. In this interview, Lee discusses changes to the distillery over time, including changes in ownership, modernization of the production process and changes in the brands produced. Lee describes the addition of single-barrel bourbons to the distillery's products, including his own brand, Elmer T. Lee. He describes the aging and tasting processes and explains how he selects the bourbon for the Elmer T. Lee brand. Lee also describes changes felt by the bourbon industry as a whole, such as the fluctuation of bourbon's popularity in the marketplace and the growth in demand for premium bourbons. In addition, Lee speculates about the future of the bourbon industry.

Format

video

Identifier

2009OH023BIK004

Interviewer

Thomas Troland

Interviewee

Elmer T. Lee

Interview Keyword

Frankfort, (Ky.)
World War, 1939-1945
Engineers.
African Americans in the whiskey industry

Sort Priority

0002

Files

elmer.PNG


Citation

“Elmer T. Lee,” Buffalo Trace Distillery Oral History Project, accessed August 18, 2019, https://nunncenter.net/buffalotrace/items/show/4.