Born on August 5, 1919 in the small community of Peaks Mill Franklin county near Frankfort Kentucky, Elmer Lee has been a member of Kentucky's distilling business for over 50 years at the Buffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery.
Elmer serves two key roles for the distillery: each week he helps select and sample the Single Barrel Bourbons and Buffalo Trace Bourbons. He also travels across the country attending and leading Bourbon tasting and seminars for consumers and the trade alike.
Elmer graduated from Frankfort High in the class of 1936 and went to work at the Jarman Shoe Manufacturing Company. He worked there as a clerk until 1941.
Upon returning home to Frankfort after serving in the United States Air Force in World War II, Elmer enrolled in the University of Kentucky1s College of Enginnering. After graduating from college, Elmer went to work in the engineering department of Schenley Distillers at the George T. Stagg Distillery in Frankfort, which has grown into the present Buffalor Trace Distillery.
Elmer was promoted to plant superintendent in the spring of 1966 and took on the responsibilities of all areas of plant operations, reporting directly to the plant manager. In January 1969, Elmer was promoted to plant manager. Elmer worked as plant manager until January 1983, when Schenley sold the Franklin County plant along with the Ancient Age Bourbon Whiskey inventory, to Ferdie A. Falk and Robert C. Baranaskas. Soon thereafter, Elmer introduced the Single Barrel Bourbon concept to the world.
Elmer continued on at the plant as Vice President of Operations through 1985 at which time he retired from active, full-time employment and became a plant operations consultant. He currently serves as an ambassador for the Buffalo Trace Distillery, traveling around the world, hosting tasting and educating consumers about Bourbon1s uniquely American attitudes.
Over the course of his more than 50 years with Buffalo Trace Distillery, Elmer acquired his Bourbon manufacturing, aging and packaging skills from a host of talented professionals, including Col. Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, William Fairleight and many others who have been producing Bourbons for many years.
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